A Diesel in the Shed.
You can have your solar panels
and your turbines on the hills;
You can use the warmth of sunshine
to reduce your heating bills.
You can dream you’re self-sufficient
as you weed your vegie bed;
As long as you make sure to keep
A diesel in the shed.
When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy – horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.
Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.
There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle. Here is the exact model which saved us from a life of dairy drudgery, kerosene lights and Mother Potts irons:
See and listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itxY98A8wHQ
But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas replaced dirty open fires in the cities.
The problem with wind power is that electric utilities have to be prepared at any time for their power production to just stop on short notice. So they must keep fossil fuel plants on hot standby, meaning they are basically burning fuel but not producing any power. Storage technologies and the use of relatively fast-start plants like gas turbines mitigates this problem a bit but does not come close to eliminating it. This is why wind power simply as a source contributing to the grid makes very little sense.
The Labor/Green coalition in Australia has declared war on coal, oil and gas and industries that use them. So why is Big Mining not fighting back?
BHP Billiton is a big producer of coal, oil, gas, iron ore, copper, nickel and uranium. Rio Tinto is a big producer of uranium, coal, iron ore, copper and aluminium. Glencore is a big producer of coal, copper, zinc and nickel. And Shell is big in oil, gas and bitumen, manufactures biofuels, and generates peak power with natural gas.
These companies employ competent geologists, physicists and chemists who could tell them that CO2 is not a pollutant, that it is not the primary driver of climate and that climate has been changing since time began. They must know there is no scientific justification for the green war on hydro-carbon fuels – but none of these big miners speak out against this baseless war on their products. Some even waste shareholder funds producing glossy brochures promoting the green agenda – the BHP Billiton document “Climate Change: Portfolio Analysis” reads like it was produced by the Greens.
Big Mining is not that dumb. Their climate “concern” is more motivated by self-interest – they see long-term profits flowing from the silly green agenda. They are also political cowards wanting be loved by guilt-stricken billionaires, business haters from Hollywood and the green mob controlling the ABC/BBC.
Wind and solar power are indeed “free”, but to extract electricity from them is not free – it needs turbines and solar panels, generators and transformers, transmission towers and power lines – all of which boosts demand for metals like steel, copper, zinc, nickel and rare earths.
Moreover, wind and solar are very diffuse power sources and need large areas of land together with webs of access roads and power lines in order to collect significant power. The heavy machinery needed for construction, maintenance and replacements in these green power networks provide ongoing demands for petroleum and mining products. Before one watt of green electricity is generated for consumers, green power has boosted demand for most products of Big Mining.
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Green power also needs back-up power ready to swing into action immediately the wind drops (or blows a gale) or clouds, fog, snow, rain, dust or night-time obscure the sun. This is great news for reliable energy suppliers capable of rapid backup, which usually means gas. So Big Gas loves Big Green – it is secretly delighted by the war on coal and the force-feeding of Green energy, as this will cause a boom in gas demand. Lead, nickel, cadmium and lithium miners are also delighted with the soaring demand for energy-storing batteries.
Earth has only three significant sources of energy.
First is geothermal energy from Earth’s molten core and decaying radioactive minerals in Earth’s crust. This energy moves continents, powers volcanoes and its heat migrates towards the crust, warming the lithosphere and the deep oceans. It can be harvested successfully in favourable locations, and radioactive minerals can be extracted to provide large amounts of reliable heat for power generation.
Second is energy stored in combustible hydrocarbon minerals such as coal, oil, gas, tar sands and oil shale. These all store solar and geothermal energy collected eons ago and they are the primary energy sources supporting the modern world and its large and growing populations.
Third are radiation and gravitational energies from the Sun and Moon which are captured by the biosphere as heat, winds, tides, rain, rivers and in biomass such as forests, crops and animals. These are the natural “Green” energies that support all processes of life and still support a peasant existence for some peoples.
Green zealots believe that we can and should run modern societies exclusively on “Green” energies, and they have embarked on a war on hydrocarbons. They need to be told that their green energy favourites are just stealing from the biosphere – they are not as green as they claim.
Climate alarmists claim incessantly that all bad weather is caused by man’s use of hydro-carbon fuels – oil, gas and coal.
They insist that man-made carbon dioxide is the trump card in the climate game. Their computerised models of doom assume ever-rising levels of carbon dioxide which will trump all natural climate controllers.
Unfortunately for their credibility, since at least the year 2000 global temperatures have trended level despite significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
By Richard Treadgold
Len Mills sends us a study of wind farms reported in the Daily Mail. It emerges that their real production history falls a long way short of the breathless claims some make for them.
I too wish to save the world, but not by using wind turbines, because they’ll ruin us first. They’re expensive, ugly, short-lived, noisy to the point of ill-health, ugly, kill bats and birds, they stop generating if there’s too little or too much wind, they demand lots of rare metals and they’re ugly.
Incidentally, if you actually want to contaminate a dependable schedule with a wind turbine’s unpredictable variability, a wind farm needs instant, reliable backup (meaning fossil-fuelled spinning reserve), meaning you greatly increase your establishment costs, about double your operating costs and your CO2 emissions are not reduced by a jot or tittle. I ought to mention they brutalise the landscape.
Promoting Parasitic Power Producers
Wind and solar are parasitic power producers, unable to survive in a modern electricity grid without the back-up of stand-alone electricity generators such as hydro, coal, gas or nuclear. And like all parasites, they weaken their hosts, causing increased operating and transmission costs and reduced profits for all participants in the grid.
Without subsidies, few large wind/solar plants would be built; and without mandated targets, few would get connected to the grid.
Green zealots posing as energy engineers should be free to play with their green energy toys at their own expense, on their own properties, but the rest of us should not be saddled with their costs and unreliability.
We should stop promoting parasitic power producers. As a first step, all green energy subsidies and targets should be abolished.
The Miracle of Green Energy – by Steve Hunter
Read more, as well as:
- Blowing Our Dollars in the Wind
- Five Fatal Flaws of Solar Energy
- The Sensible Environmentalist to Visit Australia
- Thanks for your Support
- The Last Word – our enemies have noticed us Trilobites
Read the full report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/parasitic-power-producers.pdf [PDF, 150KB]
Keywords: Green energy, parasitic power, wind power, solar power, Dr Patrick Moore, the trilobites strike back.
The UN IPCC and others with a vested interest in the global warming scare have not bothered to check what sea level evidence says about global temperature changes.
Sea levels are very sensitive to temperature changes, and the oceanic indicators are currently reading “steady”.
So are all other thermometers.
Apart from bubbles of heat surrounding big cities, the thermometers and satellites of the world have not shown a warming trend for 17 years. This is in spite of some inspired fiddling with the records by those whose jobs, research grants and reputations depend on their ability to generate alarming forecasts of destructive global warming.
To explain this absence of warming on Earth’s surface, the warmists now claim that “the missing heat is hiding in the deep oceans”.
This sounds like a water-tight alibi, hard to disprove because of our inability to measure “average ocean temperature” directly.
However, the ocean itself is a huge thermometer – all we have to do is to read the gauges.
Most liquids expand when heated, and this property is used in traditional thermometers. They have a glass reservoir filled with liquid (usually mercury) and a graduated scale to measure any thermal expansion of that liquid.
More, as well as:
- The Environmental Multinationals have lost their Way
Read the full report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ocean-thermometer.pd [PDF, 153 KB]
Keywords: Sea levels, ocean warning, thermometers, Pacific islands, green multinationals, green energy, CSIRO, climate alarm.
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By Kimball Rasmussen | President and CEO, Deseret Power | November 2010
With Acknowledgement to: John Droz at the Alliance for Wise Energy: http://www.wiseenergy.org/
“Wind energy has a highly intermittent output that significantly mismatches demand and delivers energy largely when it is less needed. Wind cannot satisfy the demand requirements of a utility unless it is backed up with fossil fuel plants and/or energy storage projects. This results in duplication of resources and additional costs, with little, if any, carbon mitigation. Further, the steep increases and declines in power delivery of wind put the reliability of the grid in question. The tactic of switching off excess wind supply only diminishes the already weak pattern of intermittency and adds to the per kWh cost of wind. Typically, wind resources are located far away from where the power is needed and require significant additional costs of building new transmission. Intermittency, duplication and grid operations all significantly increase the already high cost of wind energy.
“Wind becomes even more questionable when proven solutions like natural gas can deliver even greater reductions in emissions at half the cost.
“While solar power is much more grid friendly than wind, it is generally the most expensive form of renewable energy. Solar energy quasi-matches system peak load periods, but the peak solar output significantly misses actual electric system load peaks. In addition, solar facilities still produce only about 18 to 25 percent of the time. Without electricity storage, solar energy will not be able to do more than serve as a supplement to other forms of energy. It is not currently a full-scale alternative to baseload energy.
“A Renewable Portfolio Standard, or mandate of 20 percent, can result in a utility-scale duplication of net investment in generating plant of 100 percent or more. The mandate can also cause the wide variation of rate impacts, depending on availability of renewable energy projects and other utility specific parameters.”
Full detailed report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/rational-look-at-renewable-energy.pdf [PDF, 3.5MB]