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Big Brother imposes fines up to $1M for blaming carbon tax.

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You have stated here you do not have an 'accurate picture'. Therefore you cannot argue shit.

I can argue that my cost of a rack is increasing by 6% at least.

 

And that all my other datacenter costs will go up. Can't I?

 

That 6% doesn't support your idea that the Government's projections are wrong. Therefore stop using it if you're not going to back it up.

 

Want to know why?

 

BECAUSE IT DOES NOT TELL US % oF INCREASED EXPENSES, AND THE LEVEL YOU NEED TO RAISE PRICES BY TO COMPENSATE FOR THIS MINIMUM ALREADY KNOWN ABOUT AMOUNT.

 

Therefore you can't argue shit. Shit being the shit your spewing about the Government's projections being way off, and how the CPI will be much higher. Because you have not presented anything to support that.

 

 

You provide incomplete data that does NOT support your claims. You provide NO evidence for your claims. Your entire tactic resolves around discrediting opposition, because you have no PROOF.

 

 

You have a pre-existing idea at which you try to clutch at kind of 'evidence' that supports it, ignoring everything else. I look at the evidence first, then arrive at an idea.

 

 

 

Money re-invested back into the business is called expenses. It is appears on the cashflow under expenses. You might have an R&D line. You might be a research heavy industry and have 100 lines for R&D. But it will be on the cashflow and it will be in expenses.

If you want to talk strict accounting, I believe it appears in the balance sheet under shareholder equity as money retained in the business.

 

I'm not an accountant - I do the IT side of things.

 

To do R&D and retain money, whatever it's labeled as on the accounting side of things, you have to earn a profit. The lower your profit, the less you can retain in the business for R&D.

 

This tax reduces profit unless it's passed onto the business' client base.

 

 

You do not need to make a profit for R&D. Wages, purchases, etc can be included in expenses.

 

That same figure does not apply to business. Jesus Christ - it's like talking to a 12-year-old.

 

My business has 30 or 40 servers running in two racks, plus storage arrays, plus firewalls, plus tape libraries. Just 6 of these servers are Dell R610s with dual 702W power supplies.

 

And all this runs 24/7.

 

http://www.climatespectator.com.au/comment...less-carbon-tax

 

 

"In looking at the lifecycle analysis data around the carbon emissions involved in food production I can’t for the life of me work out how a pie could be going up by 8 per cent, unless cow’s methane emissions were covered by the carbon price – which they’re not. Yet I suspect this deli example is not an isolated case. A range of small businesses think that they will be heavily punished by the carbon tax and feel a sense of injustice that they won’t be receiving any free permits to compensate them."

 

"The reality is that for the vast majority of businesses, particularly SMEs, the carbon tax will represent almost a rounding error in their operating costs. That is because energy – which is where the carbon tax will have the greatest impact – represents less than 3 per cent of input costs for most of these businesses and the carbon tax will represent an increase in energy costs of about 10 to 20 per cent. So the end result is 0.3 to 0.6 per cent."

 

 

3.5% in your industry's case, because your industry uses a fair bit more energy than others. I've bolded the important bit. That is where the greatest increase will be.

 

Let's assume 20% rise in energy costs. That is +0.7% in expenses in your industry as a whole. Or 6.83 million. That represents a 0.62% rise in revenue needed to pass on 100% of that cost (and no more). 5% of your industry's market segmentation is to households.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dimension Data Pty Ltd has 75% shareholding in Bluefire Pty Ltd.

 

They acquired a 65% interest in BlueFire Pty Ltd for $6.8 million.

 

They are NOT a major player in the Cloud Computing industry in Australia. Large? Yes, they have (assumedly) millions or at least hundreds of thousands in revenue. Small fry compared to the entire industry though. (Hint $6.8 million for 65% of a company in a $1.1 billion/year industry means that company is not a major player).

 

I am wondering what your definition of "Australian" is, because Dimension Data isn't.

 

Regardless, it's irrelevant, the figures in that report are Australian only, and only for cloud computing.

 

 

Infoplex Pty Ltd is a 100% subsidiary of Leighton Holdings Limited

Edited by Athiril

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"He argues he doesn't have enough data yet to show increased expenses, and therefore the amount he needs to increase prices by. (Not enough data to show, yet insists Government projections are wrong? Hmmmm)"

 

To be fair it is a well know given that all gov projections from every gov are wrong. It's only a matter of the extremety of magnitude of error that becomes know after the fact.

 

8{(

Edited by Elfarch

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I recieved a letter from Coca-Cola today

they did not mention the Carbon Tax/Price, but the price of Coke will be going up on July 2

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Leonid:

 

1. In putting a price on carbon, we accelerate the development of these technologies that you are waiting for. This has the long term benefit of reducing over all carbon emissions.

 

2. You seem to concentrate on the technology required to produce carbon-cheap power. But what about technology to be more energy efficient? Consider using more efficient power supplies, using slower CPUs if your applications are disk bound, etc. None of these seem out of our grasp.

 

3. You might pass the cost on, but market competitions says there will also be those who won't, and there will be those who will find ways to be more energy efficient as to maintain their margin and their cost-to-customers. As long as businesses are not colluding, a price on carbon will force companies to optimise for energy efficiency, and if they do, the rise in prices may not be as extreme as you make it out to be.

Leo is having the most difficulty with point 3.

 

market forces work in both directions, and not instantaneously.

 

there's every chance those who raise prices will gouge to varying degrees. some will do it innocently, based on conservative projections that over-estimate expenses, and some will make an opportunistic push to see what the market will bear. one anticipates a substantial inflationary effect being compounded along the chain.

 

and then the market will push back. more and more businesses will seek competitive advantage through the absorption of costs or in bringing their prices back into alignment with their REAL energy cost increases. yes, fossil-fuel reliant and/or energy inefficient businesses will suffer proportionately more, but that is the point. and some prices will go up and stay up because australia can be an incestuous anti-competitive shithole. but for the most part, every last drop of disingenuous inflation will be slowly wrung out of the system.

 

Athiril's figures strongly suggest Leo's data centre is gouging. depending on how saturated the data centre market is, perhaps he will soon be able opt for one that doesnt gouge him, so that he can keep his own rates competitive?

Edited by @~thehung

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"He argues he doesn't have enough data yet to show increased expenses, and therefore the amount he needs to increase prices by. (Not enough data to show, yet insists Government projections are wrong? Hmmmm)"

 

To be fair it is a well know given that all gov projections from every gov are wrong. It's only a matter of the extremety of magnitude of error that becomes know after the fact.

 

8{(

This.

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Also to be fair, I don't blame Leo for not wanting to put some of those numbers for his own business online.

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Guest xyzzy frobozz

Perhaps we should adjourn this discussion until say, August?

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Might do you good to listen to a recent TED talk:

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_re...renewables.html

 

A nuclear reactor is 1000W/m^2.

 

Solar is at best 20W/m^2 (in the desert). Wind is 2.5W/m^2. And neither is capable of reliable 24-hour production.

 

In other words, in present tech terms, we need a small country's worth of area to run Australia on solar or wind.

Interesting video, but the math's you've lifted doesn't apply to Australia. 20W/m^2 was for England, which gets considerably less sunlight.

 

I was interested in your claim that we would need a small country's worth of area in order to satisfy our demand, so I did some 'back of an envelope' style calculations. Using the Gemasolar plant as an example, it's able to produce 110 GWh per year using 195 hectares, and can provide base load power by using molten salt storage tanks. For simplicities sake, we'll ignore that Australia generally has higher levels of solar radiation throughout the year than spain.

 

We use approximately 225,400 GWh per year, which means we would need an area of ~400,000 hectares or 63km * 63km devoted to solar power. While it's true that there are a few countries with smaller land areas than that, it's still a fairly trivial amount of space, representing 0.0005% of Australia's total area.

 

The prohibitive factor for solar thermal is cost, with the total coming to ~$595 billion based on the cost of the Gemasolar plant. Not a viable option with current tech.

 

Wind is much more affordable, competing well with CC coal and is cheaper than nuclear in terms of $/MWh, but would take up slightly more space, and wouldn't be able to guarantee base-load power. Using the Alta Wind Energy Center as an example, we would need ~480,000 hectares or 69km * 69km. Total cost would be ~$247 billion.

 

For comparison, using modern nuclear plants such as the AP1000 to meet Australia's demands would cost ~$147 billion. A further $11 billion would be required to decommission the plants at the end of their lifespans, and the operating costs would be around $1.8 billion per year. I don't have figures for the operating costs of solar or wind, but I think they're likely to be much, much less than this.

Edited by Akamatsu

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20W/m^2 was for England, which gets considerably less sunlight.

Watch the video again - that's saturated sunlight - desert :)

 

England's a basket case for electricity - Monbiot once remarked that during a full year, London only gets 17% sunny days.

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(Repetition of already debunked crap)

Athiril, try listen for a second or three. Read the next few points thoroughly. Then read them again. Then again. And then one more time.

 

1. My rack cost is going up by at least $150 per rack in one datacentre. I have been told this is because of electricity costs. You then tried to calculate costs of electricity in my rack. I explained to you that this is wrong because my rack is not the only electricity I pay for as the common functions of a datacentre such as the air conditioning costs, the transportation costs, the lighting costs are split among customers as well with the datacentre passing on all their costs to their clients who will pass it on to their clients and so on to the consumer. In short, your calculation of the electricity cost of a 4kVA rack was as useless as it may have been correct - because I don't pay for electricity - I pay for a rack in a secure datacentre which includes security, cleanliness, edge networking, air conditioning, lighting, land tax, etc...

 

2. You don't need to know my costs. THEY ARE IRRELEVANT. Let me explain why, one more time. I know that all my datacentre (and associated) costs will go up, though not by how much because I have not yet been given this information by all my providers. Trying to work out my cost increase as a percentage of my current costs is impossible before I know what all my cost increases are. Hence my current costs are irrelevant to you because you can't do anything with them except calculate an incomplete increase in my cost based on 1 out of 10 potential cost increases to my business due to the carbon tax.

 

3. This one was hilarious

(Hint $6.8 million for 65% of a company in a $1.1 billion/year industry means that company is not a major player).

Since you love averaging businesses even when I tell you reports based on multi-national datacentre owners hardly reflect the cloud industry in Australia... lets do some maths.

 

If 65% of a company is $6.8million then 100% of that company is $10.46million. You say it's a $1.1 billion industry, and there are 556 players in it. That means the average company should be worth $1.98 million. That makes Bluefire 5 times larger than the average player in the cloud market in Australia. I'd say that's a major player. When you take out HP, CSE and IBM (which are not cloud companies, but datacentre and services companies) out of the equation you will find that Bluefire is 10-15 times bigger than most cloud companies in Australia.

 

You could ask Bluefire about their electricity costs in a datacentre. They wouldn't know because they also rent racks, just like I do, except since they're huge, they get much better deals. This is why your report is so flawed. Cloud companies DO NOT OWN datacentres. Hell, Amazon's grid is coming to Australia into a datacentre owned by another company. Even Amazon won't know the cost of their electricity, because just like every other company, they'll pay the cost of the rack without knowing their exact electricity share of the total delivered to the datacentre.

 

So I repeat to you again: Cloud companies do not own datacentres as a rule. Those that do are like HP - they use cloud as another product line but they are not cloud companies. That is not their primary focus nor their primary profit.

 

4.

You do not need to make a profit for R&D.

Cloud companies do. Because we host other businesses, if we lose too much money by not turning profits, we endanger our clients' businesses. I know of a company from Melbourne which operated a cloud in Sydney through acquisition of a company I used to work for. When that company stopped being able to pay its bills because its owner didn't know how to run a business, the datacentre switched off power to the rack, bringing their business to a screeching halt after 3 months of no-payment warnings. My company had by then migrated all but two of the clients off that cloud. The other two were left without data, email, CRM for a week as we scrambled to fix things.

 

 

 

Let me conclude: your report is worthless, it does not reflect the cloud industry in Australia because it references only datacentre-owning companies in Australia with respect to electricity costs. All cloud companies in Australia do not own datacentres. That is not their business. There is no Bluefire datacentre. There is no OBT datacentre. There is no Infoplex datacentre. Thus there is no possible way to know the costs of electricity that these people use because they use NextGen, Global Switch, Telstra, HP, IBM, CSE, Equinix, Optus, iSeek, Infraserve datacentres, and not one of these are cloud companies, despite what the report might have you believe.

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Watch the video again - that's saturated sunlight - desert :)

Re-watched it, he definitely specifies that the 20 W/m^2 was for England (8:39 in the video). Possibly you're getting it confused with the figure for solar thermal, which was given as 20 W/m^2 in the dessert (a figure I'm also skeptical of).

 

Assuming that this is the averaged figure over the course of a year, a patch of sand in the deserts of central Australia is good for ~270W/m^2. This takes into account that the sun isn't always shining, and is below the horizon for ~12 hours each day. Place a high efficiency solar panel such as the Sanyo HIT range, and you'll get 17.7% of the direct light converted to electricity. Without a tracking system to ensure correct alignment, and taking into account losses in converting this to usable AC power, the figure drops to about 13.5%.

 

So the yield for PV solar in the Australian desert is ~38W/m^2 - 90% more than what they get in England.

Edited by Akamatsu

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Watch the video again - that's saturated sunlight - desert :)

Re-watched it, he definitely specifies that the 20 W/m^2 was for England (8:39 in the video). Possibly you're getting it confused with the figure for solar thermal, which was given as 20 W/m^2 in the dessert (a figure I'm also skeptical of).

 

Assuming that this is the averaged figure over the course of a year, a patch of sand in the deserts of central Australia is good for ~270W/m^2. This takes into account that the sun isn't always shining, and is below the horizon for ~12 hours each day. Place a high efficiency solar panel such as the Sanyo HIT range, and you'll get 17.7% of the direct light converted to electricity. Without a tracking system to ensure correct alignment, and taking into account losses in converting this to usable AC power, the figure drops to about 13.5%.

 

So the yield for PV solar in the Australian desert is ~38W/m^2 - 90% more than what they get in England.

 

Then take away transmission losses for hundreds of kilometres of desert, a hundred square kilometres of concrete, the building o a town for workers to live in, and add maintenance costs.

 

You couldn't find a more expensive form of power if you tried.

 

On top of that, deserts cause damage to solar panels with sand storms scratching the surface of panels.

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Then take away transmission losses for hundreds of kilometres of desert, a hundred square kilometres of concrete, the building o a town for workers to live in, and add maintenance costs.

 

You couldn't find a more expensive form of power if you tried.

 

On top of that, deserts cause damage to solar panels with sand storms scratching the surface of panels.

While I mostly agree (except for the most expensive part, that title is reserved for current tech fusion), the point was that 20W/m^2 was for England - not typical Australia, and certainly not peak desert conditions :)

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While there's definitely elements of truth in the article, there's also a lot of opinion and a poor amount of research. A quick google reveals the expected capacity factor for Moree to be ~31%. It's much higher than the Sarinia plant because of higher levels of solar radiation in Australia compared to Canada, and a 1-axis tracking system that the Sarnia plant lacks.

 

Nuclear is the clear winner in the short term, but renewables still have a place in the energy market. Thorium is currently more expensive than renewables, but could be promising in the near future. Uranium is essentially inexhaustible, but carries with it issues with waste and to a lesser extent yellow cake mining and processing in the very long term. Wind (when placed appropriately), is actually cheaper than 'new' nuclear over the life of the plant. The output of solar thermal tracks peek usage well for Australia, and looks like it will be economical in 5-10 years time with the pace of current advancements.

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While there's definitely elements of truth in the article, there's also a lot of opinion and a poor amount of research. A quick google reveals the expected capacity factor for Moree to be ~31%. It's much higher than the Sarinia plant because of higher levels of solar radiation in Australia compared to Canada, and a 1-axis tracking system that the Sarnia plant lacks.

Lets have a look: http://www.moreesolarfarm.com.au/pdf/Envir...nt%20Report.pdf

 

The plant is a 150MWe plant which is expected to produce 404GWh per year.

 

404000 / 365 / 24 / 150 * 100 = 30.7.

 

Will it actually produce 404GWh?

 

Windorah Solar Farm is a 175kW plant in QLD and gets more sunshine being close to the Simpson Desert. Goth did the math here: http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?s...mp;#entry142661

 

It has a capacity factor of 23%. The problem with the Moree proposal is that it's just that a proposal - and it's been padded for marketing.

 

Solar Power never performs the way the marketing says it should. Neither does wind. And the math above ignores the fact that power still needs to be generated when solar and wind aren't working.

 

Nuclear is the clear winner in the short term, but renewables still have a place in the energy market.

Not on a planet with a fluid climate envelope. Not on a planet with a day/night cycle.

 

Because the day people start dying in hospital beds because power's been off for a week due to severe weather, is the day revolutions will start.

 

Wind (when placed appropriately), is actually cheaper than 'new' nuclear over the life of the plant.

No quite. The highest capacity factor wind farms in the world are 52% and they're in New Zealand. The upper average range of capacity factors is 40%. 4% loss needs to be added for conversion to AC.

 

Lets do the maths for Australia. A 1.8MW Vestas V80 costs $700,000.

 

The Uljin (South Korea) 1001MWe PWR nuclear reactor plant costs $1,760,000,000 with a near 100% capacity factor

 

With a capacity gross factor of 36%, we're going to need 1545 Vestas V80 turbines to equal one Uljin reactor.

 

That'll cost $1,081,500,000. On top of that, for the time they're not working because the wind's too low or too high, you need a backup baseload nuclear/coal/gas plant able to produce 1001MWe.

 

When you add the costs - it's just not worth it.

 

The output of solar thermal tracks peek usage well for Australia, and looks like it will be economical in 5-10 years time with the pace of current advancements.

I highly, highly doubt it.

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Windorah Solar Farm is a 175kW plant in QLD and gets more sunshine being close to the Simpson Desert.

 

...

 

It has a capacity factor of 23%.

Windorah also uses a different technology, so the comparison isn't valid. It's possible the estimates are optimistic, but do you have any evidence to back up your/Stan Beer's claim that the figure could be out by such a large proportion (~34%)?

 

No quite. The highest capacity factor wind farms in the world are 52% and they're in New Zealand. The upper average range of capacity factors is 40%. 4% loss needs to be added for conversion to AC.

 

Lets do the maths for Australia...

Or you could follow the link I attached to the claim, which leads you to this:

 

U.S. Average Total System Levelized Cost for Plants Entering Service in 2016:

Wind (onshore) $97.0 USD/MWh

Advanced Nuclear $113.9 USD/MWh

 

Sources:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/

http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/assumption/pdf/appendixa.pdf

 

Nuclear is great for base-load power, but becomes expensive when you take into account waste disposal/storage costs, and the eventual decommissioning costs for the plant.

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Windorah also uses a different technology, so the comparison isn't valid. It's possible the estimates are optimistic, but do you have any evidence to back up your/Stan Beer's claim that the figure could be out by such a large proportion (~34%)?

That depends on whether you're willing to do a lot of reading about marketing in the green/renewable energy industries.

 

They NEVER deliver on the marketing promises :)

 

Or you could follow the link I attached to the claim, which leads you to this:

 

U.S. Average Total System Levelized Cost for Plants Entering Service in 2016:

Wind (onshore) $97.0 USD/MWh

Advanced Nuclear $113.9 USD/MWh

 

Sources:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/

http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/assumption/pdf/appendixa.pdf

 

Nuclear is great for base-load power, but becomes expensive when you take into account waste disposal/storage costs, and the eventual decommissioning costs for the plant.

That doesn't ACTUALLY tell you the cost. It tells you the cost per generated source but it doesn't tell you what you need to build to sustain that.

 

For non-baseload power, with current tariffs, there's nothing cheaper than a solar panel on your roof.

 

However that's not what we're really talking about. We're talking about grid-grade power and those links don't actually answer the simple questions.

 

Suppose you had a 1MW nuclear reactor (piddlingly small example, I know) and a 1MW turbine - you could reasonably expect about 99% capacity factor with the nuclear reactor and deliver 8.70GWh. With the wind turbine you could reasonably expect 40% capacity factor and deliver 3.48GWh.

 

However, the nuke reactor works ALL the time so if you depend on it's power, it'll deliver all the time, every time.

 

The wind plant does not work all the time so if you depend on it's power you're going to have dead people in hospitals without power to their life support. Which isn't acceptable.

 

This is why every single Watt produced by renewable energy HAS to be backed up with reliable baseload power.

 

Thus every single generated MW of wind or solar must also include the cost of the backup baseload grid. And those figures don't appear to include that, far as I can tell from a cursory glance.

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Leonid, you're arguing that current renewable technology can't cope with the base load, and you're right, but noone (of importance) ever said they could.

 

If everyone puts a solar panel on their roof, and removes 20% of the base load from coal, gas or nuclear (Au obviously doesn't have nuclear) then it's still doing something. The base load can be covered by more efficient methods, like hydro electric, geothermal and even tidal (if there is an area close by with very predictable tidal movement).

 

Just because no single technology (apart from nuclear) can replace the efficiency of coal on its own, doesn't mean a collective effort isn't a possible solution for the future. I'm not in the power industry as you all know, but my mate works in exactly this field (he works for a consultancy company in power generation and supply), so we have discussions about it on a semi-regular basis. Renewables can come fairly close to competing with coal on efficiency, but the location has to be near perfect, and there is still a level of unpredictability with the various technologies (eg a wind farm sitting inactive due to low winds), however in places with high wind, solar, tidal activity, rainfall and geothermal vents, renewable generators can perform very strongly.

 

No, we won't see base power covered by renewables in the next 10 years, but if it happens within the next 50 it can only be a good thing.

 

When the bean counters at power companies predict a parity of coal and renewables will happen within their decade, a rush for renewable growth and development will happen. If there is money in any market, it will grow and improve. Did the first coal plants produce 1500MW? You can bet they didn't even come close. It's only fair to assume renewables will undergo the same improvements when the industry calls for it, and companies will depend on finding coal alternatives in order to survive. What if geothermal becomes 5x more efficient than it is now? It will replace coal almost instantly as the running cost is about as close to 0 as a high-output plant can be.

 

Give engineers and researchers some money, and it will take off. Unfortunately the money will only flow when the energy producers of today see the need to move away from coal, and until the price on coal goes up, that won't happen.

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They NEVER deliver on the marketing promises :)

So you've got a hypothesis, why not present some evidence to support it?

 

That doesn't ACTUALLY tell you the cost. It tells you the cost per generated source but it doesn't tell you what you need to build to sustain that.

Figures were in $USD/MWh for "The Average Total System Levelized Cost". The source was U.S. Energy Information Administration, and all assumptions were listed. Have a read, they take into account the limited capacity factors.

 

I agree in the extreme case that you had a system entirely based on wind, you would require a higher capacity buffer, which would increase total system cost.

 

Just as a side note: Hospitals, regardless of where their power comes from (Coal, Nuclear, Hydro etc.), will always have back up generators. Regardless of how stable the output of your power source is, there are other factors you need to take into account for power critical applications. They might switch to fuel cells or battery technology at some point in the future, but there will always be some form of redundancy. Your argument is a poor application of the slippery slope fallacy :P

Edited by Akamatsu

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Leonid, you're arguing that current renewable technology can't cope with the base load, and you're right, but noone (of importance) ever said they could.

http://beyondzeroemissions.org/zero-carbon-australia-2020

 

:)

 

Yes, some people are stupid. And yes, some of them are important. One of them is our climate commissioner who is yet to get a single prophecy right.

 

If everyone puts a solar panel on their roof, and removes 20% of the base load from coal, gas or nuclear (Au obviously doesn't have nuclear) then it's still doing something.

No it's not. Solar panels on roofes don't remove anything from baseload.

 

The base load can be covered by more efficient methods, like hydro electric, geothermal and even tidal (if there is an area close by with very predictable tidal movement).

Have a look at the Snowy Scheme. 5300km^2 for 3.3GW. The word "efficient" is not what I'd use.

 

Hydro, tidal and geo are all extremely location specific and thus of use in baseload systems only in specific countries. Tidal systems are also ecologically damaging from what I understand.

 

Just because no single technology (apart from nuclear) can replace the efficiency of coal on its own, doesn't mean a collective effort isn't a possible solution for the future. I'm not in the power industry as you all know, but my mate works in exactly this field (he works for a consultancy company in power generation and supply), so we have discussions about it on a semi-regular basis. Renewables can come fairly close to competing with coal on efficiency, but the location has to be near perfect, and there is still a level of unpredictability with the various technologies (eg a wind farm sitting inactive due to low winds), however in places with high wind, solar, tidal activity, rainfall and geothermal vents, renewable generators can perform very strongly.

But solar and wind still can't provide baseload (and never will) and this means that every single renewable utility based on these will need a baseload plant to provide the load when the renewables fail. So why even bother?

 

No, we won't see base power covered by renewables in the next 10 years, but if it happens within the next 50 it can only be a good thing.

We won't see it in the next 50 or the next hundred.

 

Solar and wind are excellent on planets without a day-night cycle and no fluit climate envelope.

 

Out in space, solar is useful - not so much on Earth. The best we'll ever be able to do here is have giant amounts of batteries. But how much stored energy is enough?

 

When the bean counters at power companies predict a parity of coal and renewables will happen within their decade, a rush for renewable growth and development will happen. If there is money in any market, it will grow and improve. Did the first coal plants produce 1500MW? You can bet they didn't even come close. It's only fair to assume renewables will undergo the same improvements when the industry calls for it, and companies will depend on finding coal alternatives in order to survive. What if geothermal becomes 5x more efficient than it is now? It will replace coal almost instantly as the running cost is about as close to 0 as a high-output plant can be.

That's a lot of what ifs. I remind you that solar has had the most public money thrown at its development of any modern generation technology. For some very simple reasons:

NASA

CNSA

ESA

CSIRO

ROSCOSMOS

 

And that's just some of them.

 

Give engineers and researchers some money, and it will take off. Unfortunately the money will only flow when the energy producers of today see the need to move away from coal, and until the price on coal goes up, that won't happen.

You do know that "throw money at a problem to solve it" is a myth? Just like you can't get blood out of stone, you may not be able to get benefits out of solar.

 

There's no guarantees in engineering.

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breaking post up.

Where the fuck did you come from????

 

(and don't say google)

Edited by Mr.Twinkie

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So you've got a hypothesis, why not present some evidence to support it?

Sure. http://papundits.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/...ee-solar-plant/

 

It speaks specifically about the Moree plant.

 

That doesn't ACTUALLY tell you the cost. It tells you the cost per generated source but it doesn't tell you what you need to build to sustain that.

Figures were in $USD/MWh for "The Average Total System Levelized Cost". The source was U.S. Energy Information Administration, and all assumptions were listed. Have a read, they take into account the limited capacity factors.

 

I agree in the extreme case that you had a system entirely based on wind, you would require a higher capacity buffer, which would increase total system cost.

Here's a summary of total levelized cost:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

 

You may want to read "Beyond the power station terminals, or system costs"

 

Total Levelized Costs do not include the backup grids required for wind or solar.

 

Wind and solar are FAR more expensive than nuclear.

 

Just as a side note: Hospitals, regardless of where their power comes from (Coal, Nuclear, Hydro etc.), will always have back up generators. Regardless of how stable the output of your power source is, there are other factors you need to take into account for power critical applications. They might switch to fuel cells or battery technology at some point in the future, but there will always be some form of redundancy. Your argument is a poor application of the slippery slope fallacy :P

Backup generators that run on diesel. Out of curiosity, have you ever seen a full-scale city-wide blackout?

 

Happened in 1991 in Moscow. People died in hospitals because everyone was in the streets in their cars or on public transport and diesel deliveries couldn't be made.

 

That's not a good example but there are other points I need to make.

 

Diesel generators in hospitals are generally not designed for standard operation - they're designed to keep people alive, not keep the hospital 100% functional. Lights dim, certain areas are blacked out, etc. Basically, they're there for emergencies, not to be used regularly when a renewable utility does what it does best, and produces inadequate power.

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