Thursday, January 11, 2018


South Australia planning to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant

Will someone save South Australians from their crazy Green/Left government?  They have got a big battery that peters out in only a matter of minutes and windmills that fall over in South Australian wind and now they are going to get something that other people have been trying to make work for many years.  Solar thermal just does not work as advertised.  They sometimes even use more energy than they produce and require huge subsidies to keep working.  The Ivanpah plant in California and the Abengoa experiment in Spain are cases in point

Following the success of the world’s largest battery, South Australia is aiming to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant.

SolarReserve’s $650 million, 150 megawatt Aurora solar thermal plant has received state development approval.

Construction of the facility will begin this year.

South Australian acting energy minister Chris Picton called the project a welcome development for the state.

"It's fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals and schools," Mr Picton said

“South Australia is fast becoming a global centre for the development of renewable energy with storage, with a range of other projects set to come online over the next few years.”

Commenting on the latest approvals, SolarReserve chief executive Kevin Smith said it is a major milestone.

“It is a significant step in the development of the Aurora solar thermal power station, which will bring clean power generation technology to South Australia,” Mr Smith said.

The Clean Energy Council executive general manager Natalie Collard told Fairfax Media, "the price that the government will pay for power is remarkably low, considering solar thermal is a very young technology in Australia.

"The state has taken a series of positive steps towards greater energy independence which are really starting to pay off. And it has already met its target of 50 per cent renewable energy almost a decade early," she said.

“South Australia is providing the rest of the country a glimpse of a renewable energy future. Our electricity system is rapidly moving towards one which will be smarter and cleaner, with a range of technologies providing high-tech, reliable, lower-cost power."

The power plant will be able to generate 500-gigawatt hours of energy annually, providing power to around 90,000 homes, with eight hours of full load storage.

Once constructed, the facility will be the world’s largest single-tower solar thermal power plant.

It works by using multiple heliostats - which are in essence turning mirrors - to focus solar energy onto a single central tower.

This tower uses molten salt technology to store this heat, which it can later use to create steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity when needed.

The plant will displace the equivalent of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Australia has two other large-scale solar thermal plants, a 44-megawatt plant at Kogan Creek in Queensland, and a small 9.3-megawatt facility built to support AGL’s Liddell coal-fired power plant in NSW, although neither is a single-tower style of thermal solar plant.

South Australia drew international focus late last year when, in a partnership with Tesla, it installed the world's largest single battery unit, capable of powering 30,000 homes.

The new plant will be located 30 kilometres north of Port Augusta, in South Australia.


Global cooling:  It's official!

The oceans are gradually losing the heat they accumulated in the years of El Nino

THERE’S no doubt last year was hot but eyebrows have been raised following a dump of climate data. Globally the world actually cooled slightly.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) 2017 annual climate statement, released on Wednesday, the world got slightly cooler last year compared to 2016.

But put away dreams of skiing down the Blue Mountains or snow gently falling in Brisbane’s CBD — 2016 was the hottest year globally on record, temperatures are still well above average and 2017 will go down as Australia’s third warmest year in history.

Climate researchers have said Australia remains “vulnerable” to the effects of climate change and only “political inertia” was preventing concrete steps being taken to tackle the issue head-on.

The BoM’s Head of Climate Monitoring, Dr Karl Braganza, said the national mean temperature in 2107 was 0.95C warmer than average.

“Despite the lack of an El Nino — which is normally associated with our hottest years — 2017 was still characterised by very warm temperatures,” he said.


Erratic weather: with both record highs and lows

Not much of a story in that for Warmists

The drop-dead bats of Sydney’s summer shocker have joined the frozen lizards of Florida as proof positive the weather gods have gone crazy.

With Donald Trump calling for a bit more global warming, Australia can only dream of getting a dose of America’s current Arctic chill.

It’s a steep learning curve. Climate change can now make things hotter and colder simultaneously, with the strangest of natural results.

As temperatures plunge in the US, frozen sharks have washed ashore after drowning because water had frozen in their gills. In the usually balmy, tropical southern panhandle of Florida, iguanas have fallen out of palm trees frozen solid. The reptiles were still capable of being thawed if placed into the sun.

In Australia, it has been a similar story but opposite.

As temperatures soared to an eight-decade high of 47.3C in western Sydney this week hundreds of bats fell out of trees dead in Campbelltown, literally cooked alive. News of the brain-fried flying foxes travelled around the world.

Australian fruit bats at home

Heat-affected bats fell out of the trees in Sydney in 1790 also.  Yes. 1790, not 1970.  Australia has always had episodes of extreme heat in summer

Given such shocking extremes it can be difficult to maintain perspective.

But even the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate monitoring, Karl Braganza, admitted yesterday it was not unusual for Australia to have the hottest city temperature in the world at this time of year, as it did this week.

The coincidence of the northern hemisphere winter with summer across the equator will see to that.

But BoM says its homogenised national temperatures are continuing to creep ahead, confirming concerns about a gradually warming world.

At the end of the day, however, weather is still the weather and climate, climate.

Current extreme events are not unprecedented and the fashion for “attribution science” to decide if they are more or less likely to occur does not change that.

Natural variation is still not fully understood. Unless you are prepared, as London columnist Matt Ridley controversially has been, to take the really, really long view.

Ridley concedes the world is slowly slipping back into a proper ice age after 10,000 years of balmy warmth.

But he says where interglacials start abruptly with sudden and rapid warming they end gradually with many thousands of years of slow and erratic cooling.

In geological terms it’s a sure bet another ice age is on its way.

When it does come, maybe in many thousands of years’ time, some things will remain the same.

It’s just the bats, the sharks and humans who really will have reason to complain about the weather.


Australian East Coast Narrowly Avoids a Widespread Blackout – Thanks to Coal

The spare coal capacity which saved the day during the heatwave will soon no longer be available.

Energy giant AGL plans to shutter its NSW based Liddell coal plant by 2022. They have so far refused federal government entreaties to keep the plant open. AGL plans to divert future investment towards government subsidised renewable projects.

WHY wouldn’t AGL shut down Liddell coal-fired power when global warming theory obsessed politicians are shelling out billions upon billions of taxpayers money to fund the unreliable energy, corporate rent-seeking, subsidy-sucking renewables scam.

I do hope “save the planet” greens and climate freaks suffer their fair share of zero electricity in high-demand times. Or, maybe it will take one of their relatives or loved ones to die of heatstroke or freezing cold for them to quit the collective climate change hysteria that is hurting the poor and destroying economies.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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