Monday, June 01, 2015

"New Matilda"

"New Matilda" is an Australian far-Left site that often amuses me by its crookedness.  I have therefore put up a separate site on which I gather together my derisive comments on their emissions.  It's called: Laughing at "New Matilda"


Five current articles below

The Church of England and Divestment from coal

Grant Goldman broadcast this editorial on Radio 2SM and the Super Radio Network at 7.10am Friday 29 May 2015

As we discussed yesterday the Church of England is part of a push to reduce Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990 levels by the draconian figure of 80% in the next fifteen years, which would make Australia unable to feed, house and clothe Australians.

In Britain, North America and Australia the Church of England has declared war on coal, through a combination of divestment programs and propaganda from the pulpit.

Time for some facts about coal. The gerontologist and evolutionary biologist Caleb Finch tells us that since the early 1800s life expectancy in Europe has doubled. The single greatest factor in the longevity revolution has been coal. Beginning in the eighteenth century and accelerating into the nineteenth century, coal made possible stunning increases in productivity.

Coal saved from destruction the forests of Britain which by the mid-eighteenth century were rapidly disappearing. Coal dramatically reduced pollution caused by cooking and heating with wood and animal dung. Coal permitted large scale smelting of metals. Coal made possible modern medical science and modern agriculture. Coal opened the way to commerce and freedom of movement on a scale never before imagined.

Thanks to coal, for the very first time ordinary workers who were not members of the aristocracy nor of the clergy had leisure time. Life was still tough, but thanks to coal life rapidly improved. Instead of being permanently enslaved to tasks like collecting wood to heat and to cook, women had the opportunity to learn to read and become educated or musical or artistic or political or charitable as they wished.

Coal made possible the growth of democratic institutions and, vitally important, the abolition of slavery. Nineteenth century Britain saw the flowering of culture with bands, orchestras, choirs, drama societies, literary societies, trade unions, and, of course, the flowering of the Church of England. I’ll mention some of the great hymnists of the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. In chronological order:

John Wesley (1703-1791)
Edward Perronet (1726-1792)
William Cowper 1731-1800
John Newton (1725-1807),
Reginald Heiber (1783-1826 v
Joseph M. Scriven (1819-1886)
Matthew Bridges (1800-1894)
Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940)

Thanks to coal, hymn books could be printed cheaply and thanks to coal there were trees left in the land to make the paper.

In Britain by 1860 around 400,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 175 tonnes of coal in a year for an annual total of seventy million tonnes of coal. In 1913 around 1,100,000 coal industry workers were each producing around 264 tonnes of coal in a year for a total of 290 million tonnes. This great increase in coal production coincided with wonderful progress in every aspect of society. People lived longer, ate better and their purchasing power increased year by year.

As the twentieth century dawned, coal was already popularising the wonderful blessing of electricity. The former major disadvantage of coal-fired power – sulphur dioxide emissions – was overcome with fluidised bed combustion using limestone, and coal has continued as the world mainstay of electrical power.

Tragically, 1.3 billion people – eighteen percent of the world’s population – have no access to electricity and so are deprived of all the wonderful things we take for granted. Expansion of coal production is vital as part of the energy mix necessary to offer the poor and disadvantaged of the world an escape route from poverty, misery and short life spans.

By declaring war on coal, people who purport to represent the Church of England are committing a terrible crime against the world’s poorest people.

My suggestion to the people purporting to lead the Church of England is re-read the Parable of the Talents. It’s still there in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14 to 30.


The $9b waste that is Australia's solar industry

It's been dubbed 'middle class welfare' of the first order, since it is typically only wealthy households that can afford to install photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, with the higher power costs hurting low income households and renters, neither of which benefit.

As a result, the Grattan Institute reckons it ranks among the worst government disasters of recent years with as much as $9 billion of the $14 billion spent on rooftop solar systems in Australia wasted.

In raw numbers, Queensland - especially the south-east around Brisbane and the Gold Coast, has led the way with the introduction of solar systems, followed by NSW and Victoria.

Splitting the data up to look at the underlying distribution by household, then more than a third of households in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth have solar, easily outstripping the more populous states.

But apart from the 'feelgood factor' does solar really make that much of a difference? Most solar electricity is produced around the middle of the day which pushes down wholesale electricity prices and hurts the big carbon emitting power generators, but solar doesn't help much at the peak demand period for electricity in the late afternoon and early evening.

And despite the optimism of its supporters, only around half of all houses may be suitable for solar systems, AGL reckons. But while the take up has been high thanks to government subsidies, only a modest portion have solar systems installed.

On AGL's numbers, without subsidies and if the changes to the network charges being debated take effect, then it could take around thirteen years for a solar system to cover the cost of purchase and installation.

But that may change if solar PV prices continue to slide, as many predict. But the real cut through for solar will come if it manages to boost the efficiency of converting solar heat into energy, which remains low.

The Grattan Institute reckons greater savings in carbon emissions could have been achieved far more efficiently with other policy measures, than the solar subsidies.

Germany also had heavy subsidies for the introduction of solar for a time, but because its subsidies applied not just to households but also industry, more than 85 per cent of its solar come from systems of more than ten kilowatts, while in Australia more than 90 per cent of the systems are small household systems. So Germany now has a quarter of global installed solar capacity, the Grattan Researchers say.

"Government's have created a policy mess which should never be repeated," it said in a study released on Monday.


Australia welcomes UNESCO decision on Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef will not be listed as endangered but will remain under watch because of "major threats" to its health, a draft recommendation to the UN's World Heritage Committee says.

The federal and Queensland governments have welcomed the draft report released by UNESCO on Friday, with Environment Minister Greg Hunt calling it "an overwhelming endorsement" of their approaches to reef protection.

But environmental groups say the report puts both governments on notice to deliver on their promises to protect the reef.

The UN's conservation agency said it noted "with concern" the state of the reef which has had World Heritage Site status since 1981.

UNESCO warned that the "in danger" label wasn't off the cards as "the overall outlook is poor" and it urged Australia "to rigorously implement all of its commitments" and submit a progress report by December 2016.

The report said measures that represent significant progress to protect the reef included restoring water quality, "restricting major port development" and "a permanent ban on dumping of dredged material".

Mr Hunt welcomed the report, saying it recognised the "unprecedented" work by the federal and Queensland governments to protect the reef, including a ban on the dumping of dredge material and port development restrictions.

"Indeed, all references to in danger have been dropped and Australia and Queensland's efforts have been praised," he said in a joint statement with Queensland's Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Environment Minister Steven Miles.

"This is an overwhelming endorsement, but we want to make sure that we keep the pressure up on ourselves and inviting a little bit of long-term international scrutiny, I think, is a very valuable thing,"

Ms Trad said the decision reflected the commitment made by the Palaszczuk government.

"We were elected with a mandate to save the reef for generations to come and we intend to deliver on those promises," she said.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council said listing the reef as "in danger" would have been catastrophic for the tourism industry, as it would have discouraged tourists.

The Queensland Resources Council said the report recognised Australia's huge strides in the management of the site.

But Greenpeace said the decision by UNESCO to demand a report on progress within 18 months showed the federal and Queensland governments were on notice.

"The Australian government can't talk about protecting the reef while aggressively supporting the licensing of mega-mine and expansion of coal ports along the Great Barrier Reef coast," said Shani Tager, Greenpeace Australia Reef campaigner.

WWF-Australia's CEO Dermot O'Gorman also pointed to the measures demanded of Australia in the draft decision.

"The Australian and Queensland governments must now deliver on their promises to better protect the reef,"he said in a statement.

The 21 nations in UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will decide whether to accept the report's recommendations at a meeting in Germany at the end of June.


The green movement’s role in the sorry Reef debacle exposes them as frauds

Last week’s UNESCO report accepted that enough has been done by Australia to stop the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.
THOSE conservationists and wacky scientists who waged a jihad against Queensland by falsely claiming that the Great Barrier Reef was in danger because of degradation and over-development should leave the state and go and live somewhere else.

With UNESCO giving the Reef a clean bill of health in a long-awaited report, the likes of Greenpeace, WWF, GetUp and the Australian Marine Conservation Society have been discredited and should not be permitted to peddle their lies in Queensland. In fact, the green movement’s role in this sorry debacle exposes them as frauds.

The UNESCO report accepted that enough has been done by Australia to stop the destruction of the Reef. The trigger for the UNESCO probe was the Port of Gladstone expansion to cater for the boom in coal and coal seam gas exports, featuring the biggest dredging project in Australia’s history. Despite heavy conditions and environmental regulations, the greenies jumped on the issue which allowed them to link coal exports to climate change and the Reef.

For the Queensland tourism industry, the possibility of a UNESCO listing of the Great Barrier Reef as endangered would have had catastrophic implications for the state. It would have sent a message to tourists that the Reef had lost its lustre. But of course, the conservationists don’t have time for the trivialities of an industry worth billions every year to the economy.

Cult-like zealotry to save the world from capitalism is all-consuming and factoring in economic effects is not part of the charter. The Greens are a major threat to the Queensland economy, fuelled by the Labor Left’s love affair
with the movement and its capacity to stop progress.

Most Greens in Queensland are watermelons – green on the outside and red in the middle. They tend to take a BANANA approach (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) to development, Their warped ideology and passion for power won’t allow them to even see, for example, a cruise ship terminal built on the Gold Coast. Not the Broadwater, not The Spit, not anywhere, thanks very much.

The Great Barrier Reef tick of approval from UNESCO has exposed the state’s eco-warriors as the kings of deceit and lies. They should not be given a platform for their views because they have proven they are not capable of being honest and candid. This win-at-all costs mentality is dangerous and their currency has now depreciated to the point where we can’t believe a word they say


Australia primed as heartland for battery-storage revolution

Low cost, high capacity batteries alone could make solar and wind power viable but we are still a long way off that

The battery-storage wars are breaking out, with Australia in the thick of it. Tesla, while the highest profile, will not be short of combatants.

The mass popularity of rooftop solar – more than a third of Queensland houses have solar PV – and the way people pay for the power make Australia a much more attractive market than the United States.

Raghu Belur, co-founder of Silicon Valley start-up Enphase Energy, which will launch its home battery in Australia in early 2016, points to the wide gap between the typical "feed-in" tariff that a household in Australia will receive for its excess solar power and the price of power from the grid.

Prices for mains-supplied power more than four times as much as the feed-in tariff in some cases make battery storage worth a look.

Not so in the US, where electricity is charged by "net metering", so a household will pay for the power consumed from the grid over a set period of time, less any electricity they generate themselves.

The US battery market, for now at least, will be driven mostly by demand for back-up power, not economics, Belur says.

No surprise, then, about Tesla's early focus on Australia for its Powerwall system, with its sleek, coloured wall-mounted 7-kilowatt-hour or 10kWh batteries to be available in 2016.

Bernstein Research, a bull on the lithium-ion battery space, says that at $US350 ($455.46) a kilowatt hour installed capacity for the 10kWh model, Powerwall is well below the $US550/kWh it had been modelling for storage costs. In optimal conditions, Powerwall could supply power at US27¢ a kilowatt hour, ranking Tesla on the scale – though admittedly at the high end – of residential retail power prices in large markets around the world.

Bernstein describes Tesla's system as already "modestly attractive" in Australia – the 20¢ a kilowatt hour spread between wholesale and retail power prices gives a five-year payback.

But the Grattan Institute puts the realistic cost of a Tesla battery, including inverter, charger and installation, at more than $7000 in 2017, too expensive for most. It says the price would have to fall to about $1600 before it made economic sense in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and by more in other cities.

Yet lithium-ion battery costs have fallen 94 per cent since 1991, while the energy packed into them per kilogram has increased. Bernstein sees usage costs continuing to fall by 20 per cent a year, cannibalising competing technologies for the next decade.

Belur won't talk dollar costs yet for Enphase's 1.2kWh battery, which comes with built-in inverter and software to communicate with the grid. But he insists that all up, the "plug and play" system will be competitive with Powerwall. Australia will be its global launchpad.

Meanwhile, Panasonic, a battery supplier for Powerwall and one of the "big three" lithium ion players alongside Samsung SDI and LG Chem, will launch next week an alliance with Australian electricity retailers targeting home storage.

Yet to be seen is how these suppliers align with local retailers. AGL Energy launched recently a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and is due to make larger sizes available later in 2015. Origin Energy is understood to be bringing forward its battery launch plans, potentially to the third quarter, while EnergyAustralia is in talks with Enphase on its battery, to add to their solar panel alliance.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Solar. A cautionary tale of policy not thought through, and based on the trendy populism of the day. Brilliant lesson also in the unpredictable laws of unintended (presumably) consequences.