"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No emission savings from solar.

The Queensland government has called on the independent Productivity Commission to investigate renewable power subsidies after claims from the biggest power generator that solar does not reduce emissions at all . You would guess that the Stanwell power station people would know what emissions they are generating but apparently Greg Combet and his Climate Change Charlatans know better and would never let their bodgie calculations be independently verified. Apparently Renewable Energy Certificates "were not calculated wrt carbon dioxide emissions" says a spokesman for the Minister which is quite incredible as I thought that was the purpose of the whole multi-billion dollar waste of tax-payer funds.

THE Productivity Commission should examine the cost and environmental benefits of the Renewable Energy Target and the amount of carbon emissions actually saved, the Queensland government has said.

It was critical renewable energy projects delivered emissions savings to justify their cost, Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle said in a letter to Climate Change Minister Greg Combet.

Stanwell Corporation, the state's biggest power utility, has said the boom in rooftop solar installations has not resulted in any carbon emissions savings.

"There is some evidence to suggest the unreliable nature of renewable energy has resulted in coal-fired electricity generation to be maintained at pre-RET levels and claims carbon abatement inflated by the federal government to justify its commitment to renewable energy," Mr McArdle said.

But a spokesman for Mr Combet said last night: "Renewable Energy Certificates were not calculated with respect to carbon dioxide emissions."

Emissions reduction estimates were derived by either "modelling, by external consultants or in-house calculations by the Department, or a combination of these approaches".

RECs are issued for each megawatt hour of electricity generated. Small-scale installations, such as rooftop solar, are supported by the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme.

Mr Combet ruled out a PC probe and said the government had legislated a thorough review of the operation of the RET by the Climate Change Authority.

"The government rejects views put forward by climate sceptics designed to undermine our transformation to clean energy sources," a spokesman said.

He said the government was "committed to ensuring renewable energy plays a big part in our clean energy future through the carbon price, Renewable Energy Target, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency".

The spokesman said the government was confident in the accounting that underpinned both the carbon tax and the RET.

Carbon emissions savings would be achieved through a combination of the RET and the carbon price, he said.

In a submission to a senate inquiry into electricity prices, the Newman government has highlighted the hidden network costs of rooftop solar.

Stanwell has now openly questioned the environmental benefits of the rooftop solar rollout.

This was because generation of solar electricity did not automatically reduce carbon emissions at base load power stations.

Coal-fired power stations are designed to run most efficiently at full capacity, a Stanwell spokesman said. "Reducing the amount of coal burnt made them more inefficient and increased the carbon intensity of the electricity produced," the spokesman said.

This cancelled out any benefit of Queensland's 400 megawatts of rooftop solar, which did not produce electricity at times of peak demand.

Financially, the situation was made worse for power utilities because annual fuel costs were fixed.

The fixed cost of producing less electricity from coal was passed on to consumers who were then forced to subsidise rooftop solar panels for the theoretical carbon savings that were not actually being made.

Mr Merritt said rooftop solar was a curse for big power utilities because "your two cheapest forms of generation are being displaced by the most expensive".

1 comment:

  1. The recs must have spent a lot of time on advanced research in order to come up with these results. Does that mean that solar power is not at all a good source of energy?