The stampede of Green lemmings
No country on Earth relies entirely on wind and solar energy, but Australian politicians aim to achieve this miracle.
They are leaders in the Stampede of the Green Lemmings.
Solar energy has a huge problem. Even on sunny days, almost nothing is generated to meet the demand peaks around breakfast time and dinner time — the solar energy union only works a six-hour day, goes on strike with little warning, and takes quite a few sickies.
So, for at least 18 hours of every day, electricity must come from somewhere else. Then, around noon, the millions of solar panels pour out far more electricity than is needed, causing electrical and financial chaos in the electrical grid.
Naturally, our green "engineers" see wind power as filling the solar energy gaps. But wind power has a union, too, and they take lots of sickies when there is no wind over large areas of the continent. And they down tool in storms, gales, or cyclones in case their whirling toys are damaged.
So the green planners claim that batteries can solve these intermittent problems of the green energy twins.
They will need humongous batteries.
Batteries are just a crutch for a crippled generation system. And with fierce lithium battery fires reported regularly, who wants a humongous fire-prone battery over the back fence or in the basement?
A battery is not a generator of electricity. Every battery (including Snowy 2) is a net consumer of electricity. Batteries are very expensive, most lose capacity as they age, and every conversion between DC storage and AC transmission triggers energy losses. To collect, back up, and redistribute green electricity will require a continent-spanning spider web of transmission lines with all the costs and energy losses that network entails.
Still nights and calm cloudy days are what really expose the problems of wind-solar-batteries.
Suppose electricity consumers require 100 units of electricity every day. A well-designed coal, nuclear, or gas power station can do that, 24/7, day after day, whatever the weather.
But to ensure a wind/solar system against, say, seven days of calm, cloudy weather would require a battery capable of storing 700 units of electricity. To recharge this huge battery while still supplying consumers will require much larger wind- and solar-generating capacity. However, if several weeks of windy and sunny weather then occur, this big battery will sit idle, connected to a bloated, expensive generation system capable of delivering far more power than is needed.
Sunny and windy weather brings a deluge of green energy, causing power prices to plunge at irregular intervals and forcing reliable generators to stop producing and lose money. Eventually, they will close. Once all coal and gas generators are all gone, every (inevitable) green energy drought will awaken the specter of extensive blackouts.
On top of all these practical problems of green energy, we have the massive carbon credits scam, where speculators sell green fairy stories to greedy bankers, and real producers are forced to buy these fictitious "products," passing the costs onto real industry and consumers.
Australia is following the green energy lemmings of Europe.
Germany once produced abundant reliable electricity from coal and nuclear power — the backbone of German industry. Then green ants started nibbling at this backbone, replacing it with wind-solar toys. Now Germany has expensive electricity and a grid in danger of collapse and must rely on imported gas from Russia, nuclear power from France, or hydropower from Scandinavia.
The U.K. is following similar foolish energy policies, even banning exploration of its own oil and gas resources.
Australia is almost alone in the southern oceans, with no near neighbors to buy, beg, or borrow electricity from. We cannot afford to follow the green energy lemmings or their billionaire pied pipers.
Viv Forbes has tertiary qualifications in science and financial analysis and no vested interests in hydro-carbon energy, apart from a diesel generator in the shed.
More Food for Thought:
World's Biggest Battery (in Australia) becomes World's biggest Joke:
The dangers of explosions from battery farms:
The Impossible Costs of a fully wind/solar energy system:
Big Battery sued for failing to help the power grid:
The high risk of large batteries – huge fires and toxic fumes:
World's Biggest Lithium-ion battery keeps melting: