1. Global plan to save 10 per cent of coral reefs
A world-wide plane is being hatched a global plan says only 10 pc of coral reefs to save 10 per cent of coral reefs. The stark fact is that:
- Scientists estimate 90 per cent of the world’s coral reefs will disappear in the next 35 years due to coral bleaching induced by global warming, pollution and over-development.
The 50 Reefs initiative, recently launched at the World Ocean Summit in Bali, in a donor funded initiative to identify the 10% of reefs most likely to survive past 2050. Effectively it’s a triage operation.
That’s presuming there will be something left to bleach.
Back in 2011 we had a holiday on Kangaroo Island with my daughter’s family. A charming place, with open farmlands, national parks and very visible native wildlife.
The population is about 4,400. It’s 13.5 km from Fleurieu Peninsula and 112 km southwest of Adelaide. Their big beef is that reliability of power is 10 times worse than it is on the mainland, and the cable connector is at near the end of its life.
- Replacing the cable, according to a report prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, would cost about $169 million – $10 million more than the estimated the cost of a wind, solar and baseload (diesel or biomass fuel) grid on the island.
They say they need both and have been inspired by the transformation of Denmark’s Samsø Island to 100 per cent renewable energy by the mid 2000s.
They are working on a partial community ownership model and hope to sell power to the mainland. Good luck to them!
This article from last April talks about the returns provided by Powerlink, the Queensland government-owned high-voltage transmission grid that connects the local grids to power generators. Powerlink does not buy or sell power, it just provides the conduit.
From government equity of just $401 million Powerlink has accrued total returns of $9.4 billion in the last 15 years, that is, it has returned over 23 times the equity investment.
Personally I can’t see it, but the article suggests that according to NSW prices you could expect to sell it for around $33 billion. If history is any guide that would be political suicide.
A trial is being conducted involving the newly constructed 100MW Hornsdale 2 wind farm in SA funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and with the involvement of the Australian Energy Market Operator:
- The intention is to show that wind farms can provide what is known as FCAS – frequency control and ancillary services – a critical component in ensuring grid stability in the face of unexpected voltage swings and other faults. Many insist that only coal and gas generators can provide this so-called “inertia” to the grid.
AEMO believes that encouraging wind farms to provide FCAS will add more fuel choice to the narrow FCAS market, and lower prices. Currently, only a few gas generators provide FCAS in South Australia, leading to massive price spikes when the service is called upon.
It’s too technical, and I just don’t know. We have been told that FCAS doesn’t matter. Last September the Victorian interconnector was being run so close to capacity that when the pylons hit the ground the system would have blacked out, no matter what. In starting up again, wind came on board before gas.
In the February blackouts the problem was that AEMO did not forecast the wind drop-off in time.
An ANU study:
- has found that by using solar and wind energy, supported by pumped hydro, Australia can have a cheap, stable, zero-emissions network.
Meanwhile I’m interested in this:
Frydenberg said the government had also asked the Bureau of Meteorology to “embed its expertise” within AEMO as an immediate step to strengthen their forecasting capability.
So far I haven’t connected the recent heatwave to climate change. However, scientists involved in climate attribution now say that climate change doubled our chances of it happening. Also:
It is all part of a rapid warming trend that over the past decade has seen new heat records in Australia outnumber new cold records by 12 to 1.
- As the nation basks in some of the warmest February weather it has seen in decades, the U.S. Geological Survey has been quick to point out that the early spring conditions are another symptom of climate change.
On Thursday, the USGS shared a new analysis just released by the USA-National Phenology Network, which the agency helps to fund, showing that an early spring has already swept through the Southeast and is continuing to work its way across the country. As the agency points out, the new analysis reaffirms a fact scientists have known for at least a decade now — that “climate change is variably advancing the onset of spring across the United States.”
In Washington DC spring came a whopping 22 days early this year.
Problem is, growth starts and can then be killed off by snap frosts.
The Colorado River supplies water to about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles of farmland.
Scientists have found that the decline in precipitation should have produced a reduction of about 11.4 percent in the river flow. In fact the reduction was 19.3 percent.
- They concluded that the rest was due to higher temperatures, which increased evaporation from water and soil, sucked more moisture from snow and sent more water from plant leaves into the atmosphere.
They say that climate change could reduce the flow by more than a third by the end of the century.