Thursday, October 6, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Green Disaster - South Australian Blackout Due To Loss Of Wind Power

Australian Energy Market Operator Orders Wind Farms To Limit Generation

In this newsletter:

1) Green Disaster: South Australian Blackout Due To Loss Of Wind Power
The Australian, 5 October 2016
2) Australian Energy Market Operator Orders 10 SA Wind Farms To Limit Generation After Statewide Electricity Blackout
The Advertiser, 4 October 2016
3) Green Socialism Puts South Australia In The Dark Ages
The Australian, 4 October 2016
4) Climate Zealots Exposed As The Arctic Ice Fails To Melt Away
The Sunday Telegraph, 2 October 2016
5) Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics And Politics Of Climate Change
Global Warming Policy Forum, 30 September 2016

Full details:

1) Green Disaster: South Australian Blackout Due To Loss Of Wind Power
The Australian, 5 October 2016
Graham Lloyd

A dramatic, sudden loss of wind power generation was the root cause of South Australia’s state wide blackout last week.
Preliminary Report – Black System Event In South Australia On 28 September 2016 — Australian Energy Market Operator

And the bulk of damage to high voltage transmission lines that was caused by high winds and paraded as evidence to defend renewables most likely took place after the power had been lost.

These are the major facts contained in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) preliminary report.

More work is needed to flesh out the forensic, time sequenced analysis that has already been conducted.

But there is enough in the interim report to make the rush to defence of renewables mounted by special interest groups and conflicted state governments since the lights went look foolish.

Certainly, the power would not have been lost were it not for the big storm.

And seven big towers were damaged in the lead up to the blackout.

But AEMO said data currently available indicates that the damage to the Davenport to Brinkworth 275 kV line on which 14 towers were damaged “occurred following the SA Black System”.

The big event was a 123 MW reduction in output from North Brown Hill Wind Farm, Bluff Wind Farm, Hallett Wind Farm and Hallett Hill Wind Farm at 16.18.09.

Seconds later there was an 86 MW reduction in output from Hornsdale wind farm and a 106 MW reduction in output from Snowtown Two wind farm.

No explanation was given for the reduction in wind farm output.

But the loss of wind farm production put too much pressure on the electricity interconnector with Victoria which cut off supply.

This in turn led to a shut down at the Torrens Island power station, Ladbroke Grove power station, all remaining wind farms and the Murraylink interconnector.

AEMO says a lot of work is needed to fully explore what happened.

Full story

2) Australian Energy Market Operator Orders 10 SA Wind Farms To Limit Generation After Statewide Electricity Blackout
The Advertiser, 4 October 2016
Paul Starick

TEN South Australian wind farms have been ordered to limit generation in the wake of the disastrous statewide power blackout because the national electricity market operator has declared they have not performed properly.

The state’s biggest wind farm, at Snowtown, is among those which the Australian Energy Market Operator has targeted in its “management and analysis” of last Wednesday’s unprecedented power outage as it gradually restores the power network.

The move will prompt further questions over whether renewable energy jeopardised electricity grid stability and triggered the cascading blackout, which started when fierce winds damaged 23 Mid North transmission towers and severed three high-voltage lines.

Premier Jay Weatherill, who on Tuesday revealed former police commissioner Gary Burns would lead an independent review into the catastrophic storms and power outage, said he expects a preliminary report from the national electricity market operator by late on Wednesday.

The 10 wind farms, all but one in the Mid North, were the subject of a national electricity market notice issued late on Monday night, in which AEMO says it is not satisfied that a failure, or trip, of multiple generators, following another disruption to the grid is “unlikely to re-occur”.

Asked to explain, an AEMO spokesman said it had been established that some South Australian generators “had not performed as AEMO would have expected” but did not say whether this was before or after the statewide blackout.

“While further analysis needs to be undertaken to identify the cause (of the statewide blackout) and any remedial steps, AEMO must continue to manage the power system to avoid any further risk,” the spokesman said, in a statement to The Advertiser.

He said the power grid’s security could be maintained, in the face of a credible perceived threat, by limiting generators’ output or the flow on transmission lines to “minimise the risk of a significant supply/demand imbalance”.

AEMO did not respond to The Advertiser’s questions about whether the wind farms in some way contributed to a cascading power grid shutdown, once the high-voltage pylons were toppled.

Announcing Mr Burns’ appointment, Mr Weatherill said he would examine the circumstances surrounding the storm and consider the state’s plans for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. 

Full story 

3) Green Socialism Puts South Australia In The Dark Ages
Nick Carter
 Where is the old industrial Left when it’s needed? The communists merely wanted to take over the factories. The greenish Left wants to close them down.

The climax last week of Labor’s 14-year campaign to de-industrialise the state of South Australia was less than triumphant.

Premier Jay Weatherill’s oversized media machine was turning out cheerful press releases early last Wednesday boasting of the government’s preparation for the coming “weather event”, as we are obliged to call it.

Baptist Care would be opening its doors in Adelaide to ensure that homeless people would be warm and fed, we were assured.

There was silence, however, on the government’s crowning achievement: the mother of all Earth Hours that, for an uncomfortable evening, reduced carbon emissions to close to zero. This time, perhaps even Weatherill realised that his hokey, greenish socialism had gone too far.

It is barely two months since Weatherill demanded $100 million from Canberra to keep Arrium Steel working. Yet it was the blackout, a consequence of Labor’s renewables policy, that ­finally shut the Whyalla plant down. Enforced idleness is costing Arrium about $4m a day.

Nyrstar’s Port Pirie lead smelter will be out of action for another fortnight. BHP Billiton is unable to say when it will restart mining copper at Olympic Dam.

Where is the old industrial Left when it’s needed? The communists merely wanted to take over the factories. The greenish Left wants to close them down.

When Labor was elected in South Australia in 2002, manufacturing provided more than 15 per cent of gross state product; now it’s less than 10 per cent and falling. The state government employs more staff than the manufacturing sector.

If Weatherill had the slightest comprehension of the damage Labor’s B-grade managerialism has caused he would struggle to crawl out of bed in the morning, let alone stand for re-election.

Economic growth is less than 1.5 per cent, half the national average; unemployment is the highest in Australia; investment has fallen by 0.5 per cent a year since 2011.

Which raises the question: why would anybody invest in South Australia, except out of sympathy? The state’s extraordinary economic growth in the 1950s and 60s that produced jobs, built homes and bought cars was driven by cheap, reliable energy. Who would risk entrepreneurial capital in Weatherill’s energy-deficient jurisdiction? Even basketweavers need a reliable source of light.

South Australian Labor has been boasting for years that its policies are making the state more “sustainable”. Yet if a measure of sustainability is keeping the freezer running, the unfashionably brown coal deposits from Leigh Creek were working better than subsidised windmills. A sobering report from Del­oitte’s last year noted the irony: “Renewable generation is already challenging the sustainability of the South Australian system.” Adding more renewable capacity, it said, would destabilise the system further.

The speed of South Australia’s transition from coal to wind and solar is breathtaking. The state’s renewable generation capacity has more than doubled in the past six years. Other regions that have made transitions on this scale, such as Denmark and Iowa, already had strong network connections with neighbouring producers, making it easy to buy in baseload power when the blades stopped turning. By contrast, as we saw last week, South Australia’s energy link to the outside world seems held together with sticky tape and string.

The state’s capacity to produce its own baseload power from fossil fuels has rapidly diminished. The state’s four largest power stations — two at Port Augusta, Pelican Point and Torrens Island A — will have closed or will be in mothballs by this time next year, made unviable by unpredictable deluges of cheap wind power.

The combined lost capacity of 1250MW represents a third of the state’s generating potential. What has filled the gap? You’ve guessed it: imported power from Victoria, generated mostly by the same brown coal deemed unacceptable in oh-so-clean South Australia.

Upgrading the national grid to give South Australians the comfort of a reliable energy supply will be expensive. The costs inevitably will push up power prices, passed on as another hidden cost of Labor’s carbon fetish.

The same challenge is facing Europe, where a rapid growth in renewable energy in Germany has thrown the energy market out of whack. Last year Germany opened a new coal-fired power station, much to the distress of the Greens. Upgrading cross-border supply across northern Europe is a priority; how else is Germany going to be able to suck up French nuclear power, the production of which is banned within its own borders? The cost of bringing the entire European network up to scratch could cost as much as $500 billion.

Full post

4) Climate Zealots Exposed As The Arctic Ice Fails To Melt Away
The Sunday Telegraph, 2 October 2016
Christopher Booker

I know it is only two weeks since I last reported on Arctic ice, but the latest news from that front is even more remarkable. My theme then was those sad climate activists who regularly venture into the polar regions because they have been fooled into thinking that the ice is vanishing but find it so thick that they have to be rushed back to safety. But this week’s focus is on those responsible for fooling them.

For nine years, two professors – Wieslaw Maslowski from California and Peter Wadhams from Cambridge – have been in the forefront of warning that, thanks to runaway global warming, the Arctic will soon be “ice-free”. Their every dire prediction has been eagerly reported by the warmist media, led by the BBC, In 2007 they said this would happen “by 2013”.

In July 2008 The Independent even devoted its entire front page to announcing that the ice could have gone by that September, only to find that it had by then begun a marked recovery. By 2012, when this dreadful event still hadn’t happened, Wadhams was making headlines by predicting that it would all be gone “by 2016” (only for its thickness to increase in 2013 and 2014 by 33 per cent). By June 2016, with Wadhams due to publish a book called Farewell To Ice, he was being quoted, under such headlines as “Arctic could be ice-free for first time in 100,000 years claims leading scientist”, again predicting that by this September it could have shrunk to “an area less than one million square kilometres” and by next year could be all gone.

So, with September now over, what happened? By Sept 10 the ice had reached its lowest extent, 4.1 million sq km, four times more than Wadhams predicted. But this was its earliest date of refreezing for 19 years. And what has happened since, is even more startling, The Danish Meteorological Institute reports that, since that date, it has been refreezing at its fastest rate since daily records began in 1987.

In a note for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Dr David Whitehouse, formerly science editor for the BBC website, shows how,  ever since  those scary predictions began in  2007, the trend of summer melting has been completely flat. Shouldn’t all those climate zealots be wondering whether Prof Wadhams is really the most reliable “leading scientist” they should be quoting on this particular story?

5) Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics And Politics Of Climate Change
Global Warming Policy Forum, 30 September 2016

Michael Kelly FRS FREng, Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge

This book should leave any dispassionate reader deeply disturbed. It should be required reading for people in policy and politics who deal with these matters. No thought leader should be ignorant of the contents.
A Review of: Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change by Michael Hart – Compleat Desktops Publishing, Canada, 2016 pp xi+594

Let us be clear at the outset: the global climate is changing, and has always been changing. The earth has warmed by 1C over the last 150 years. That is not the issue. The issue is whether the human emissions of carbon dioxide since 1850 are heralding an imminent and certain global climate catastrophe that could be averted by engineering projects.

This is the most complete book to date that takes a critical look across the whole of the recent history of climate change as science, as input to policy, and as a driver of far-reaching societal change. My own interest in the subject starts from the totally unrealistic engineering outcomes being assumed and implied by a decarbonisation of the world economy by 2050, and even a simplistic attempt to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the decarbonisation project as far as engineering and technology will make a difference. The scale of the investment for the unknowability of the measureable outcomes implied by ‘solving the climate change problem’ represents hubris of the grandest order.

The opportunity costs dwarf any possible outcomes. If one then goes back into the ‘post-modern science’ from which the imperative to decarbonise originates, several cans of worms are waiting. I fear that when this whole enterprise collapses, as certainly as the tulip bubble evaporated in 1637, there will be a backlash against trust in science that will herald a dark age in which scientists are routinely regarded as untrustworthy shamans. My concern is that the integrity of science is under great threat and that my own subject, engineering, will get caught in the backlash, even though engineers have been among the most vociferous critics of the projects of imminent global catastrophe caused by humans. It is the human desires for comfort, secure and variable food, health, education, mobility, communications, defence and other fruits of the industrial revolution that lead to the scale of human emissions of carbon dioxide, and only a deep and dramatic curtailment of these desires by everyone, but especially those living in the developed countries, will reduce carbon emissions in the next 30 years.

Michael Hart, who has spent the last decade working on this book, has produced a scholarly and accessible analysis of this saga. The first third of the book talks about the nature of science and current pathologies in the practice of science that would have Newton, Einstein and even Feynman spinning in their graves. There is a core of robust but uncertain science undertaken by humble and true scientists, but this is overwhelmed by second rate and rampant speculation passed off as gospel: the humble and true do not protest against the accretions, and their silence is held against them. The science of climate change is not settled insofar as it is used to inform policy, with wide and intrinsic uncertainties not noticeably narrowing over the last 25 years, and with mainstream predictions of global warming running 2-3 times faster than the real-world data over that period. How are we to trust the long term predictions if the short term ones are so much at odds with reality?

The second part of the book deals with the politicisation of the science, and especially the studies of future impacts and possible measures by way of mitigation and adaptation under the aegis of the United Nations. This is where we see evidence of serious malpractice in continuous post-hoc modification of historical data, exaggeration of claims, the collusion of the premier journals and the reports of the academies that report upper extremes as expectations by the simple expedient of  repeating the extremes without qualification, and sedulously avoiding any mention of the proven upsides of the last century of global warming.

One chapter entitled ‘Baptists, Bootleggers and Opportunists’ draws some interesting comparisons of the contemporary climate change movement (for that is what it is) with the temperance movement a century ago.

The titles of the last two chapters speak for themselves: ‘Rhetoric vs Reality’ and ‘Immorality Pretending to Virtue’.

This book should leave any dispassionate reader deeply disturbed. It should be required reading for people in policy and politics who deal with these matters. No thought leader should be ignorant of the contents.

How will humanity extricate itself? One can hope that the accumulation of failed predictions over the next two decades will burst the bubble. The world academies cannot be asked to sit in judgment on the misconduct, as they will be in the dock. The UN is also hopelessly compromised. Perhaps this might be the subject of a follow-on study?
The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Why wind power. The middle of Australia is a barren desert where the sun shines every day. Can anyone see the obvious here?