renewable energy’s massive fail …

Across many countries, the price, and supply, of renewable energy creates chaos and bankruptcy. First, Ivanpah in the US:

[…] Ivanpah currently produces electricity at $200 per megawatt hour — that’s six times the cost of natural-gas fired electricity.

Ivanpah had been woefully under-producing the power it promised to generate for PG&E, and the $2.2 billion solar plant would have been forced to shut down if the California Public Utilities Commission had not extended the timeline it had to produce more power.

Ivanpah is co-owned by BrightSource Energy, NRG Energy and Google, and the project was mostly funded with $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Energy Department. The project was even hailed by the Obama administration as the future of clean energy.

Tasmania is regretting their renewable investment: Islands Trying To Use 100% Green Energy Failed, Went Back To Diesel

The islands of Tasmania and El Hierro tried to power their economies with 100 percent green energy, but both islands eventually went back to diesel generators after suffering reliability problems and soaring energy costs.

These islands may be on opposite sides of the Earth, but they became poster children for environmentalists campaigning for countries to ditch fossil fuels. The fact remains that Tasmania and El Hierro saw their energy sectors become costly failures after going green, according to the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER) published Thursday.

“One of the biggest reasons that natural gas, oil, and coal are the world’s most-used energy resources is because they are incredibly reliable,” Daniel Simmons, vice president for policy at IER, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “By the same token, wind struggles to compete with conventional fuels because it is inherently unreliable.”

Tasmania, off Australia’s southern coast, has generated most of its electricity from hydropower and other green energy sources for more than a century. The island currently has 30 hydropower stations, supported by three wind farms. However, these sources proved to be unreliable due to weather, mismanagement, and technical issues. To make matters worse, the cable which allowed Tasmania to purchase electricity from Australia broke in December.

The island’s hydropower has been hurt by an extended dry period. Water reserves fell from 50.8 percent in November of 2013 to the current record low of 14.8 percent. Tasmania is so desperate for water, the island has even resorted to seeding clouds for rainfall. Tasmania energy system simply wasn’t able to keep up with rising demand for power, and they’ve been forced to shut down portions of the island’s industry and purchase 20 portable diesel generators to keep the lights on at a set-up cost of $44 million.

Venezuela’s plunge into communism has them broken:

Represa de Macagua, Macagua Dam, Venezuela - By Tico estudiante - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Climate News

Venezuela Green Energy Emergency Shutdown

Guest essay by Eric Worrall h/t JoNova – Venezuela, a major oil exporter, has ordered an emergency week long industrial shutdown, to try to prevent electricity demands from exceeding their available hydroelectric reserves. Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis Venezuela is shutting down for a week as the government…

A looming Spanish bankruptcy: Abengoa Going To The Wall As The Subsidies Run Out

By Paul Homewood




We’ve been following the final dying breaths of the Spanish renewable company Abengoa for the last few months.

The NYT supply the latest update:


Announcing government support for clean-energy projects, President Obama hailed a Spanish company, saying its new solar technology would supply tens of thousands of American homes with renewable power, while spurring local employment.

“It’s good news,” Mr. Obama said in 2010, “that we’ve attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America.”

Since then, the Spanish company, Abengoa, has built two American plants, in Arizona and California, supplying electricity to more than 160,000 homes. It is the world leader in a technology known as solar thermal, with operations from Algeria to Latin America.

But Abengoa’s global ambitions are now the source of its troubles.

Saddled with debt from its expansion, the company is scrambling to avoid what would be the largest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history. Creditors and shareholders are taking the company to court as losses mount and crucial financial support disappears.

Fortunately, for the Japanese, common sense prevails: Japan Plans to meet Paris Commitments, by Building Coal Plants

Update, The UK have ‘suddenly’ found out that wind and solar can’t keep the lights on.

Update 2, a far more detailed outline of Tasmania’s energy crisis. It all stems from decisions made by the previous Gillard Government and carbon taxes, along with a bureaucracy failure.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to
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