Want Rocketing Power Prices & Grid Chaos? Wind Power’s Your Answer

Deranged and delusional, those that promote wind power come up with all manner of falsehoods to protect their beloved.

One of the latest is that conventional generators, namely coal-fired power plants ‘fail all the time’.

When presented with images like the one above from Aneroid Energy – depicting the output every wind turbine connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid (with a notional capacity of 4,675 MW) during February, the response is something like ‘hey, quick look over there’.

A momentary trip in one generator at a coal-fired power plant bears no comparison with precipitous 1,000-2,000 MW collapses in wind power output, that occur without warning and over the space of minutes (see above).

Keen to bring this subject matter back to earth, Terence Cardwell, a former electrical engineer lays out some hard, coal facts.

The Desperation of the Environmentalists
The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog
Terence Cardwell
24 February 2018

A recent claim by Environment Victoria that “Coal power stations keep failing” came to my attention, and as I worked in such power stations for some 26 years, I state categorically that this assertion is absolutely incorrect and is, in fact, malicious slander without foundation designed, it would seem to me, to further brainwash those who believe in “global warming/climate change” (“anthropogenic, of course!”). This sensationalist claim would have fitted Nazi Dr Joseph Goebbels philosophy perfectly:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

There would seem to be no limit to the ridiculous statements that have been made in this latest assertion about coal-fired thermal power stations, and that it would seem the sole purpose is to support the use of heavily taxpayer-subsidised so-called “renewables” (wind and solar) that are now combined with the latest fashionable fad of batteries. That these things are so generously subsidized often by our least well-off people is shown in this recent letter to “The Australian” newspaper:

“Members of the Hepburn Wind co-op have just received a report on the first six months’ performance this financial year. The turbines earned $455,491 generating electricity into the spot market, up 120 per cent on the same period in the 2017 financial year. The windmills also earned $435,771 from large-scale renewable energy certificates. Whether or not renewable energy is cheaper than “high efficiency, low emission” coal, 48.9 per cent of our co-op’s income was a subsidy extracted from the nation’s electricity customers. Thank you one and all.”

At least the letter-writer is honest; unlike those behind the assertions made by Environment Victoria!

So let me examine their claim to see if it stacks up:

Coal fired power stations have supplied the power grids of Australia since the end of World War 2, and NEVER once has the power grid system failed to meet power demand UNTIL the “renewable energy” scam showed up. This is now creating major power shortages due to the closing and/or destruction of 13 power stations throughout Australia, which has created a massive shortage of power and undermined the spinning reserve needed to ensure stability and consistency. The existing coal-fired power stations and Snowy Hydro are the only reason we still have power. These coal-fired power stations are still the backbone of the power supply in this country and will run for months on end, being shut down only for routine maintenance and for any repairs they may require.

Another ridiculous statement they made: ‘Coal-fired powered fired power stations trip out in a heatwave.’ Absolute rubbish!

Coal-fired power stations rely on cooling water from lakes or rivers for their condenser cooling water, which are totally unaffected by daily temperature changes in the air. Over a long term, they can slowly rise or fall but has very little effect on the unit’s performance. Cooling towers are another means of cooling the condenser cooling water, and although the temperature of the cooling water can change slightly it only has a very minor effect on the unit’s efficiency. In nearly 50 years I have NEVER heard of a unit tripping due to weather temperature conditions.1

But today there is a new ‘game-plan’ brought about by the ideological drive to “Save the Planet” from supposed “anthropogenic global warming/climate change” (a totally unproven hypothesis) so that the thermal power plants face an almost impossible task of chasing after the erratic performance of the wind generators as they dance up and down, with the power station generators having to compensate for this UNRELIABILITY. (Wind generators have an output performance factor average of only 30% of capacity, and rarely reaching that capacity, for a major percentage of the time producing a zero output.)

Yes! The odd thermal power unit can trip out, usually through no fault of the unit, but because of an exterior fault. My own unit was tripped out in the middle of the savage storm in 1974 that tore a large sheet of aluminium off the turbine-house roof, and dropped it across the unit transformers. Even aircraft, ships, buses, trains etc. can have occasional faults, but these are rare.

So let’s look at the unreliability of wind and solar generators, something strangely overlooked by the good folk at Environment Victoria!

Wind generators throughout the World have proven to be unreliable, erratic, high maintenance, and expensive to install. After seven years Spain has closed down its wind generators because of the high cost of maintenance for little generated power.2 In the U.K., power generation from wind generators for 2013 and 2014 was 29.4% and 28.8% of capacity.3 Check the unreliability of Australian wind farms for yourself.4

In South Australia, in the last heatwave the Wind generators supplied 7.5% of power demand. The rest was from diesel generators or COAL-fired power stations in Victoria, whilst the much-acclaimed 100 Megawatt storage battery supplied all of 6.5 Megawatts for 2 minutes. And the South Australian Government has the effrontery to say it was a success, with the cost of power soaring to an astronomical $14,200 per Megawatt! (This was 3,000% more than the Eastern States!)

This is mind-boggling! When I think that my unit at the Munmorah Power Station was generating power for only $0.7 cents a kilowatt = $7.00 per Megawatt. (That cost was at the alternator output; then there were the transmission costs (2.0%), maintenance costs, and management costs. The all-up end-cost would only have been about $16.00 per Megawatt, and that was in 1980. It would equate to about $32-$36.00 now.)

The present subsidy levels are:

  • Solar $214 per Megawatt
  • Wind $74 per Megawatt
  • Other ‘renewables’, including hydro, $33 per Megawatt
  • Coal? $0.43 cents! 5

This is reality, not fantasy!

So, before a coal-fired power station generator even turns over it is financially behind by $213.57 plus the TRUE cost of production of approximately $36.00, a cost disadvantage of $249.57 compared to a wind farm! These massive renewable subsidies are such that overseas Arab, Chinese, and Japanese investors are making billions of dollars from our Australian taxpayers’ money, not only from being paid for the power generated, which is minimal, but also the massive subsidies.6 (As shown by the honest letter writer quoted above.)

So, what about solar farms? Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire. The Moree Solar Farm is supposed to generate 150,000 Megawatt hours of electricity per year, or 17.1 Megawatts per hour.

By contrast, Bayswater thermal power station has an output of 4 x 660 Megawatts per hour, a far bigger output! And, of course, wind and solar farms work only when the wind is blowing and the Sun is shining.

Then there is the example of the Gullen Wind and Solar Farm, with an output of 2.5 Megawatts per hour in peak conditions, ONLY when the sun is shining and the Gullen wind farm with ‘capacity’ of 165.5 Megawatts but in reality average of 30% of capacity or 50 Megawatts per hour but ONLY when the wind is blowing. Major shareholders in this venture are Japanese, and they will receive massive subsidies even without making any profit from the little power generated.

New research shows that in 2015/16 Australians paid more than $3 billion in subsidies for electricity production, with 98 per cent going to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. 7

Compulsory Electricity Purchases
Another reason the grid system is becoming less reliable is the fact that ALL electrical wholesalers and retailers MUST buy a percentage of “renewable” energy, whether they like it or not, and this is a major reason why our electricity is so expensive these days, with the price increasing continuously! If the crazy subsidies were removed, and no one was forced to purchase “renewable” energy (especially wind and solar), and new thermal power stations were to be built to replace the ones knocked down, then the cost of electricity would be cut by about 50%. This is fact not fantasy! (Note that I exclude hydro, as it has always been part of the mainstay of the power industry since the late 1950s.)

The other major reason for the cost of electricity skyrocketing is the fact that the state governments of New South Wales and Victoria sold off the people-owned-and-paid-for power stations to private entrepreneurs who now have a gold mine/milch cow that they can mine/milk as much as they want, and nobody can do anything about it.

The Baird New South Wales State government GAVE the 4 x 500 Megawatt multi-billion dollar Liddell power station to the biggest pirates in the industry, AGL, which immediately closed down two units, and are now using EVERY lie and distortion they can invent to tear the station down. Including the statement: ‘Coal Fired Power stations fail in the heat’ 8. Absolute rubbish! They never fail. I should know: I operated them for many years. The shortage of power thus has enabled AGL (and others) to charge such extortionate prices for their electricity. Last year AGL made ONE BILLION DOLLARS profit from the sale of electricity. (This is enough to build a new 2 x 660 Megawatt “HELE” coal-fired power station!)

Vales Point B power station, with two modern 660MW units, was sold by the New South Wales Baird State Government for $1,000,000 to Sunset/Delta Power because THEY said it cost too much to run, was worn out, and should be pulled down. Sunset/Delta reassessed it – this time CORRECTLY – and in its first year of ownership made a profit of $260,000,000. Sunset/Delta then revalued the station at – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS? – $760,000,000 (Seven Hundred & Sixty Million dollars of taxpayers’ assets), with its life extended to 2029 at the earliest date for closure.

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, effectively closed down Hazelwood power station (by tripling the royalty on brown coal, thus making its continued operation uneconomic) with NO replacement power, creating an immediate ‘black hole’.

Then the New South Wales Government, not satisfied with what had been done already, closed down and destroyed the Munmorah power station on the New South Wales central coast, “because the high levies imposed on thermal power stations supposedly made it non-viable”. Any other time these governments would be on a charge of treason for selling and destroying assets that belong to the people that are critical to our existence. They also destroyed a number of other stations including Wallerawang A and B. The “Green” parasites tried to close down Mount Piper power station, using coal mining as an excuse. But this time the ideologues failed, and the coal supply to Mount Piper has been guaranteed and secured by the High Court.

The Queensland government is nowhere near clean either. They are the owners of Ergon and Origin Energy who between them made 500 million dollars profit last year; and guess where all that money went to? Straight into the government coffers to waste on crazy schemes!

South Australia is a basket case, and the laughing stock of the World. Don’t blame Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg it is not his fault; blame the State Premiers who “sold ALL Australians down the river” and sent us on a downhill run to chaos. If you don’t believe all this then:

  • Do some research of your own; and
  • Sit and wait: it won’t be too long. In the last heatwave, electricity in South Australia reached $14,200 per Megawatt. (Much of actual energy used in South Australia was from brown coal power stations in Victoria.)

And they talk about the so called “Renewable Energy State”! What an absolute farce.

And now – A “Game-changing” Technology
This should become commercially available in 2018! And from where? Surprise! Surprise! China! (With the basic science courtesy of development work in the United States some fifty years ago; the sad part is that the project was defunded and closed down back then “for political reasons”, one of which was that this technology is essentially useless for making nuclear bombs!)

This is a completely different type of nuclear power generation, using molten salt reactors with none of the problems associated with older-style units. Check this Summary9 , and this Commentary 10. Extensive information may be found on pages 4 to 6 of this interactive PDF about the climate. 11 (It is mind-opening stuff, with lots of good news, such as a cure for cancer!)

Those who subscribe to the notion that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels drive “global warming/climate change” should be particularly attracted to the nuclear option because this technology has zero output of so-called “greenhouse” gases. On the other hand, enthusiasts for windmills and solar panels conveniently ignore such things as the huge amounts of “greenhouse” gases emitted as a result of their manufacture and assembly, as well as the extensive connectivity network required simply because of the vast land mass required. And then there’s the major problem of what to do with the extremely hazardous waste once these “farms” reach the end of their lives!

Significantly, a number of internationally-renowned environmentalists have changed their opinions from being “anti-” to “pro-” nuclear when they learned about this new technology

The Green Menace has for too long been allowed to destroy the lifeblood of Australia, and then has the insolence to say (in ignorance) that thermal power stations must be closed in order to “Save the Planet”! Yet, the reality is that thermal power stations have given over 65 years of unbroken service, and this should be proof enough of what a threat these ideologues are to Australia.

Slavishly following ideologues, and “wanting to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren” leaves many well-intentioned people being the victims of charlatans and frauds pursuing two goals:

  • Money; and
  • Political objectives!

Once again: check the letter quoted in para 4: It summarises the fraud perfectly!

Below is a typical wind output graph spread over seven months showing how unreliable is the output from wind turbines, and the obvious instability they create in the grid system. Remember that thermal coal-fired units have to chase this erratic output to compensate and maintain a steady input load to the power grid’s varying demands. Some further graphs follow.

1 http://www.galileomovement.com.au/docs/msp/the-truth-about-power-stations.pdf

2 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/business/energy-environment/renewable-energy-in-spain-is-taking-a-beating.html

3 https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/intermittency-of-uk-wind-power-generation-2013-and-2014/

4 http://anero.id/energy/wind-energy

5 http://www.minerals.org.au/file_upload/files/publications/Electricity_Subsidies_The_Facts_March_2017.pdf

6 http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/renewable-energy-subsidies-fight-heats-up-over-taxpayer-funds-for-saudiowned-solar-farm/news- story/a33d0927ec991f1821c86e2032ec8439

7 http://catallaxyfiles.com/2015/08/11/guest-post-ian-plimer-renewables-in-nsw-produce-0-0-of-all-electricity-generated/

8 https://environmentvictoria.org.au/2018/01/17/5-facts-you-need-to-know-about-energy-this-summer/

9 http://www.galileomovement.com.au/media/NuclearSummary.pdf


Click to access ShouldYouReallyBeAlarmed.pdf

The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog

Yallourn: simply designed to deliver.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. John McGrath says:

    Excellent explanations of the state of affairs re coal fired power generators being replaced by “cheaper?” wind/solar energy.

    • Wind and solar don’t ‘replace’ coal fired power, unless you’re happy to sit freezing or boiling in the dark 60% of the time, at unpredictable random intervals. In Australia, sitting behind every MW of wind or solar there’s a MW of coal or gas somewhere in the system ready to prevent its collapse when the wind stops blowing and the sun goes down.

  2. New Zealand is setting itself up for a similar disaster. http://newzealandjusticeandpolitics.weebly.com/

  3. Son of a goat says:

    The South Australian labor govt has now been thrown out of office by the people for its wilful destruction of the states once reliable and cheap power generation.

    Rumours abound that as the former energy minister young Tommy, who received world wide acknowledgment as minister in charge during the states infamous statewide power blackout cleared out his desk, a tear rolled down his cheek.

    Apparently, as he said goodbye to his staff and his beloved wind turbines, he began to sing;

    “Hear the wind sing a sad, old song
    It knows I’m leaving you today……………..”

    ………and it was said that between delusionals and rent seekers there was “much weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

    And no Tommy, we won’t forget you!

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