Climate clippings 224

1. Oil and car companies are suddenly investing in electric vehicles. Here’s why.

Joe Romm’s article was also posted at RenewEconomy.

($48 billion is about what Tesla is worth.)

Change is being driven partly by an increase in fuel prices, but largely by better technology and reduced battery prices. Major step changes in battery technology are still to come.

Here’s Bloomberg’s forecast:

2. ACT government to install 50 EV charging stations

Minister for climate and sustainability Shane Rattenbury:

3. Tesla plans 18 new EV supercharger stations for Australia, in major global roll-out

    US electric vehicle maker Tesla has released a progress report on its rollout of EV supercharger stations, with an updated global map revealing thousands of new stations either already being built or in the pipeline for construction.

    According to the global map, the bulk of the estimated 10,000 “coming soon” supercharger stations will be installed in 2018/19 in North America, Europe, and China.

    But Australia is getting its own boosted network, with another 18 supercharger stations planned for the east coast in both metropolitan regions and along “popular holiday routes, and one new charging station planned for Perth, Western Australia.

4. Shell buys in to fund battery company sonnen’s Australian expansion

    German battery giant sonnen has won key backing from global oil major Shell, after the latter’s venture capital arm Shell Ventures led a $A95 million fund raising round for the battery maker.

    Sonnen said on Wednesday that it had closed the successful financing round of €60 million, the proceeds of which would go towards expanding the company’s strategy of rapid international growth and to further enhance its pioneering position as the “utility of the future”.

    This expansion includes in Australia, where it is involved in several virtual power plant projects and has also proposed a battery manufacturing facility in Adelaide.

    And the tie up will also involve linking sonnen’s smart batteries with new EV-charging infrastructure that is also being developed by Shell’s Venture, and is yet another significant indicator of the changing landscape of the energy industry.

5. Why there will be no new petrol cars sold in Australia by 2027

Robert Dean reckons that by 2027 80 per cent of new vehicle sales will be electric, and 20 per cent hybrid.

He says that by 2022 the lifetime cost of ownership of an electric vehicle will be less than an internal combustion vehicle. By 2025 the initial purchase cost of electric will be cheaper.

However, he says we have too many cars. The young coming on will be more likely to dial an Uber, ride-share or use public transport.

6. Anheuser-Busch switches to hydrogen trucks

    Anheuser-Busch (“A-B”), the largest brewer in the USA and owners of Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s and other beer brands, has placed an order for 800 Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell EV trucks (“FCEV”) with US manufacturer, Nikola, to be delivered by 2020.

It’s the first step in a transition to a 100% renewable energy long-haul fleet by 2025.

7. New laws for autonomous vehicles

Currently there are over 700 laws relating to the function of autonomous vehicles in Australia. Transport ministers decided at their meeting on 18 May to clean it up and have new uniform laws in place by 2020, based on the National Transport Commission Policy Paper Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles.

8. SA Liberals vow to continue energy transition, go big in batteries

    Dan van Holst Pellekaan, the energy minister in the newly elected South Australia Liberal government, has vowed to continue the state’s dramatic energy transition and show other states “how it can be done”.

Seems he has gotten himself briefed and is going with the flow. His special thing is home battery storage.


    apart from large-scale storage projects such as the Tesla big battery at Hornsdale and other battery storage projects, pumped hydro, hydrogen and solar thermal, he said his government was keen to embrace household storage

    Van Holst Pellekaan also made it clear that the proposed 40,000 batteries that would be installed as the result of the Liberals $100 million subsidy scheme would be “connected”, possibly working as a virtual power plant, although the final details had not been worked out.

9. Queensland going bananas over renewable energy

Queensland’s state-owned transmission company Powerlink says it has received enquiries about 30 GW of new generation projects, almost all of them renewables.

The state has some 2 GW of rooftop solar, but large-scale solar is starting to impact on the grid, with some 1400 MW, or $2.6 billion of projects to be connected this year. The 100 MW Clare solar farm has just started exporting to the grid. Clare is 35 km southwest of Ayr. (I picked tobacco at Clare one summer in the 1960s when they were still growing it there.)


    A total of more than $4.2 billion worth of large-scale renewable energy projects are currently either under construction or financially committed.

    This will offer a combined employment injection of more than 3500 construction jobs across regional Queensland and more than 2000 MW of power.

10. Australia’s biggest solar farm switches on in Port Augusta


    Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 220MW (AC) Bungala solar project near Port Augusta in South Australia – has begun production marking the important first stage of the transformation of a former coal city into a major renewable energy hub.

    The first output from Bungala – which could end up being a 300MW project if all three stages are built – was injected into the local grid last week, as final commissioning of the 110MW first stage continues.

    Bungala, located 12kms from Port Augusta, is one of a number of major renewable projects being built, or about to start construction, near the city which once hosted the state’s two brown coal generators.

    Near Bungala, the 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, along with at least 10MW of battery storage, is under construction, and the 150MW Aurora solar tower, with 8 hours of molten salt storage, should start construction later this year about 30kms north of the town.

11. Gupta says he could build 10GW of large scale solar across Australia

    UK steel billionaire Sanjeev Gupta has dramatically increased the scope of his renewable energy plans for Australia, saying his company could build 10 gigawatts of large-scale solar across the country, as well as an electric vehicle manufacturing facility.

    Gupta’s GFG Alliance and its energy offshoot SIMEC ZEN has previously spoken of 1GW of solar plus storage just in South Australia to power the newly purchased Whyalla steel works, and more for the OneSteel assets that he now also owns in NSW and Victoria.

He’s betting that Australia’s solar potential will give it the edge so that manufacturing can emerge here as a growth industry.

    Gupta also confirmed plans to begin manufacture in Australia of a radical new lightweight electric car, developed by former F1 car maker Gordon Murray.

    He said this could happen within two or three years, but it was not yet clear if that would occur in South Australia, or another state such as Victoria, as recently suggested.

12. The game is up

I appreciate that most of the above items appeared at RenewEconomy in the last week or so. I’ve extracted them from the large flow there and highlighted them here to indicate that we are in the cusp of a huge change in the energy environment which has the potential to change our society. Australia’s policy makers and politicians can get on board or get swamped by the tide. History will be judge them harshly if they don’t.

Geoff Miell linked to testimony given by Professor Andrew Blakers at the NSW Parliament Select Committee on Electricity Supply, Demand and Prices in the NSW public hearing for 21 February 2018:

    The key point that I would like to get across is that the game is up — wind and solar photovoltaics [PV] have won the race. It is a lay-down misere. The number one new generation technology being installed around the world is solar PV, number two is wind, and coal is a distant third. This year, roughly 200 gigawatts of PV and wind new generation capacity will go in around the world, while only 50 gigawatts of coal will go in. That is a difference factor of four between PV and wind and coal. In Australia, virtually all new generation capacity is PV and wind. The reason for this is that PV and wind are decisively cheaper than coal, even when one adds the additional costs to stabilise a variable renewable energy supply, such as storage, primarily in the forms of batteries and pumped hydro; stronger interconnection; and some spillage of wind and PV. That is the basic message I have. If you want cheap electricity you push renewables as hard as you can. (Emphasis added)

40 thoughts on “Climate clippings 224”

  1. I’d nearly finished this Climate clippings last night, so I thought I’d clear it out of the way.

    Not sure whether I’m working tomorrow, but will probably work in our garden if not elsewhere. So unfortunately new Salon will happen before midnight Saturday.

  2. Item 8 is great news for the nation, and, I will venture if words become actions, for the world. The is so much promise in Dan van Holst Pelekaan’s announcement on a solid spectrum of pathways that it gives me some real hope that Australia can pull through.

    I hope and dare I say project all of my positive thoughts (aka pray) that the Nationals and the Federal Liberal elite don’t slither in here to screw this up.

    I second Brian’s assessment that “the game IS up”, a renewable future is the most economic and smartest way forward for our energy future.

  3. BilB (Re: JUNE 2, 2018 AT 1:55 AM):

    I hope and dare I say project all of my positive thoughts (aka pray) that the Nationals and the Federal Liberal elite don’t slither in here to screw this up.

    It’s important to draw their attention to information such as Professor Blakers’ testimony (referred above). From the Blakers session transcript:

    The CHAIR: In the illustrations that we have seen of base-load power, one of the arguments has been that wind is unreliable, even if there is some mapping. The argument is that wind is unreliable, as are solar panels, which rely on sunshine. Professor Blakers, do you want to make a comment on that?

    Professor BLAKERS: That is simply wrong. There is a well-recognised path to a highly reliable renewable energy system. The path comprises of three components. The first is storage. The market leader in storage is far and away pumped hydro, and New South Wales has a wealth of pumped hydro. Batteries are coming and they will make a major contribution. Demand management is also a form of storage in the sense that if the demand is trimmed it is the same as having storage. That is the storage side of things. The second component is that as we push up into the 50 per cent to 100 per cent renewables range strong interstate connections are needed, because if more than a million square kilometres from Townsville to South Australia to Tasmania are interconnected, then it is highly unlikely that there will be no wind or sun anywhere over a 24-hour period.

    The third component is to build approximately 10 per cent to 15 per cent more PV and wind than needed and spill a small amount. The cost of storage plus additional high-voltage interconnectors plus spillage turns out to be approximately $25 per megawatt hour, compared to the current wholesale price of electricity, which is up around $80 or $90 a megawatt hour. Adding in $50 per megawatt hour for the actual generation pushes the total price up to $75 for an all-in, highly stable renewable energy system, compared to $80 or $90, which is the current wholesale price. It will be more, not less stable.

    I note this testimony was given under oath – I would suggest it would be reckless for Professor Blakers to be telling fibs, and I’m not suggesting in anyway that he would do anything other than be truthful. I think his testimony is compelling – I highly recommend you all read it in full, then tell others about it.

    “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

    -Mark Twain

  4. Mark Twain’s wit is terrific.

    Sad little story in Fairfax today about rooftop solar setups underperforming or faulty.

  5. What was your point GeofM? My point was that there is a government minister from the conservative side actually registering a recognition of what can be done and declaring an intention to get on with it.

    For my part I know full well what can be achieved and how to go about it, and can only do that for my own family which I was in the process of doing. However now. That I have decided to move aboard a boat permanently from early next year that is where my energy “laboratory” will be. Off grid energy solutions are an essential for cruising boats and systems these days are pretty damn good requiring very little top up from fossil fuel, and that also includes the energy for the desalination of water.

    My current immediate interest is in a 3D printer that I have just bought, and thinking through what I can do with it. A while ago Brian, or was it JQ, had a thread up on the future impact of 3D printing and I was less than optimistic at the time. However, I am now very much convinced that 3D printing will substantially moderate the negative effects of technological dependence by reducing the number of components that can render complete essential systems useless due to component failure. It is a real eye opener as to the variety and durability of parts that can be built virtually anywhere one at a time from data with a tiny little hot nozzle moved around by a computer.

  6. BilB
    If your “ laboratory “ has time, 3D print both a small conventional fan and a helical fan, mount both on your hull to capture tidal flow ( won’t work in the marina, sorry ) and tell me which is more efficient in water.

    I’m looking into a 27/7,hull mounted trickle feed for big tidal areas like the Whitsundays or Broome .

  7. At the moment we have been able to put significant amounts of wind+solar into the system without energy storage because we have enough fossil power to keep the system going when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.
    Batteries are OK for providing backup for an hour or so but they are expensive once you want more storage than that.
    Pumped hydro can supply longer storage provided you have somewhere for water storage.
    Which brings me to solar thermal with molten salt energy storage and back-up molten salt heaters. Molten salt heat storage is cheap with several days worth of storage being practical. I am not sure of the economics but note that one is being built at Pt Augusta.
    We should talk about solar thermal more.

  8. So, John

    One advantage of solar thermal is that it doesn’t depend on a particular site’s topography as much as, say, hydro storage?

    I recall in the 1970s people saying “convert your existing hydro generation setups to accommodate storage” which sounds relatively cheap.

    But it seems Snowy Photo Opp 3.0 and 3.1 emcounter significant cost and feasibility problems as soon as rock drilling is contemplated.

    Has anyone forecast what nameplate capacity of solar thermal the Australian eastern grid might need? Cost? Several stations in each State?

    Or put smaller ones all along the.main high tension transmission lines to reduce transmission losses?

  9. Mr A, yes, mooring up here is often in tidal rivers or behind islands.
    Out of the wind but still in current.
    My Pioneer River rises and falls about 5m twice a day, regardless of wind or sun or rainfall.
    Anchorages like Middle Percy, the boat hangs with the current.

    BilB, ta.
    That Flumill setup looks good.
    It would need to be robust and self clearing when foreign objects like large plant matter or plastics hit it.

  10. Thanks Mr J.

    Mr Know Zero here has the impression that small-scale tidal power may be more useful than very large scale.

    I recall that around 1972, the first (modest) river scale tidal power generatiin setup on the Rance River estuary in France, had lower than expected power output. The engineers reckoned that a resonance effect, which had influenced the very strong tidal flows measured in that estuary before construction, had been markedly affected by the building of the barrier and generators on it. Tidal flows dropped.

    C’est la vie?

    Well, good to learn from faulty forecasts.

    Personally, we are very latecomers to the wonders of the Whitsundays. First visit last September: magical! Son-in-law plans to hire a yacht up there when his boys are older.

  11. My Son that just became a marine engineer and I are toying with the idea on a helical prop on a houseboat that doubles as propulsion and electricity generation at rest.

    The need to cover large distances at speed is not a priority at all so the focus is on the electricity.

  12. Has anyone forecast what nameplate capacity of solar thermal the Australian eastern grid might need? Cost? Several stations in each State?

    Or put smaller ones all along the.main high tension transmission lines to reduce transmission losses?

    Yes, Blakers has. And you need more if you don’t have modern long-distance transmission. However, I looked at the NEM just now.

    In Tas demand and generation squared off. In the other four states all were in deficit except Qld. So in effect Qld was sending power to SA, but I Vic would be supplying SA, and then there is serial back-filling from there.

  13. Jump

    On second thoughts…
    Before you jump into the patent fees and saga

    1. The Archimedean Screw has been around since, oh I dunno, Archimedes was a lad.

    2. Powered ships, submarines etc have used a fan shaped propellor blade for over a century.

    3. I reckon there must be a reason for 2.

    4. Besides, John pointed out that huge propellors moving huge ships along, help the ocean micro fauna by stirring nutrients up into the surface sunlight zone where photosynthesis absorbs CO2.

    Cheerio

  14. Geoff Miell:
    So far so good.
    A minor detail but was just wondering if some of the work on pumps-and-storage was based on present-day, off-the-shelf pipes, valves, pumps, etc. or if cutting-edge stuff was assumed? Cheers.

    Brian:
    Clare, N.Q.? Good location. Well, solar farms there would give a better return per Hectare than either tobacco or sugarcane – and without any watering or eastern brown snakes to worry about.

  15. Adam Morton has an article in Guardian online: “Up in smoke: what did taxpayers get from the $2bn emissions reduction fund?”

  16. BilB (Re: JUNE 2, 2018 AT 5:41 PM):

    What was your point GeofM?

    I’ve heard politicians use the argument that the “wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun is not shining all the time, so renewables are not reliable”, or words to that effect. Blakers testimony says:

    “There is a well-recognised path to a highly reliable renewable energy system.”

    I reiterate:

    It’s important to draw their attention to information such as Professor Blakers’ testimony (referred above).

    Unfortunately, ignorance and misinformation/lies have had a head start, hence my quote from Mark Twain.

  17. Graham Bell (Re: JUNE 3, 2018 AT 9:43 PM):

    A minor detail but was just wondering if some of the work on pumps-and-storage was based on present-day, off-the-shelf pipes, valves, pumps, etc. or if cutting-edge stuff was assumed?

    See YouTube video titled 2017 CURF Annual Forum – Andrew Blakers keynote, link here. From time interval 22:42 is shown a PowerPoint slide stating:

    No heroic assumptions: only use technologies with >100 GW deployment

    At about time interval 23:16 Blakers said:

    And the reason we chose those technologies is that there is no arm waving – they are all off-the-shelf – prices are well known – we don’t have to say, well…

    The mapped potential pumped-hydro sites (22,000 sites, 67 TWh capacity) are shown at time interval 14:55. Only 20 sites are needed to serve Australia’s 100% renewable energy electricity generators for grid stability.

    At time interval 16:03 is a table for the Off-river pumped-hydro site search.

    Please watch the full video – there’s a lot of detail there.

    I note the YouTube video has had 114 views to date. Last time I looked last week it was about 70+ views.

  18. Geoff Miell:
    Thanks a lot for that link to Prof. Blakers’ talk. Couldn’t finish it tonight so shall come back to it Wednesday or Thursday, (unless he is banned and declared an Outlaw in the meantime).

    Yes indeed, there are lots and lots of truly terrific PHES sites in Australia but he seems to be concentrating solely on 300~900 Metre head ones and ones with light-up-Planet-Earth output. What about twenty to fifty Metre head sites with an output sufficient to run a shearing shed and a couple of dwellings or one sufficient to make the lives of an isolated Aboriginal community a lot more pleasant? Whilst I’m keen to see the big projects start as soon as possible, I would also like to see tiny weeny ones get going too.

    What about the social impacts? Living where I do, there are a lot of marginal farmers or graziers utterly dependent on working in the coal industry just to survive. Their hostility to renewable energy is based almost entirely on sheer fear. It would be a real pity if PHES energy became a terrific technical success – which I am certain it will be, sooner than we expect – if that success came at a terrible social cost. Not quite as bad as The Clearances in 18th Century Scotland or The Industrial Revolution in 19th Century England but bad enough. How can marginal primary producers with limited education be re-employed from the coal industry to these new industries? And sorry, the answer is not sending them to university (even if Santa Claus did miraculously restore free tertiary education). Cheers.

  19. Jump:
    Houseboat in the Hinchinbrook Channel in wintertime? Well, just so long as you don’t mind hundreds of whopping big – and a bit peckish – scalies for neighbours. 🙂

  20. Graham Bell (Re: JUNE 4, 2018 AT 9:44 PM):

    What about twenty to fifty Metre head sites with an output sufficient to run a shearing shed and a couple of dwellings or one sufficient to make the lives of an isolated Aboriginal community a lot more pleasant?

    The laws of physics say with lower head heights there will be less power and energy generated. In economic terms, you will get less power and energy per dollar invested in the capital equipment. Higher head heights are more cost-effective.

    For an isolated community, that may not be much of a concern.

    What about the social impacts?

    The change is inevitable. What needs to be done is to plan this transition in an orderly manner, retraining and re-purposing the workers in the industries that will be affected by these inevitable changes and transition them across to other industries. That’s the big social and economic challenge.

    Professor Blakers’ testimony (on page 53) says:

    Professor BLAKERS: The workforce has to change. Fortunately, a large fraction of the types of work required for wind, PV, pumped hydro and high-voltage interconnectors is not dissimilar to what is needed for mining. It involves people who know how to drive heavy trucks, dig holes, move earth, erect powerlines, do the electrics and run substations. All of these jobs are quite similar to what is involved in running coalmines and coal-fired generators. It is different work to some degree and quite similar work to some degree. Importantly, all of the coalmines and coal generators are in rural areas, and that is where all of the wind, most of the PV, all the interstate interconnectors and most of the storage will be.

    In partnership with this is the fact Australia is currently the world’s largest coal exporter. Coal is NSW’s largest export earner. Alternative revenue streams need to be found, as the demand for coal exports will inevitably decline.

  21. Thanks, Geoff Miell. True, lower head heights may be horribly inefficient in absolute terms but compared with hauling diesel fuel tanks on a 400Km round trip for a diesel generator , (or, worse yet, in 200L./44gallon drums), the seemingly inefficient low head height PHES plant looks bloody marvellous.

    Re-employment and re-training of today’s coal industry workers would have to be handled very, very carefully – because if it is not, I could make a fortune by selling grenade-screens and vehicle hardening kits as well as by investing in funeral parlours.

    Central Queensland TV news this evening carried a story about a proposed wind power complex around Clarke Creek (NW of Rockhampton; SW of Mackay). I’ll believe it when I see it. Financially, it is probably a real winner – BUT there are so many business and political interests tied up in strangling anything that isn’t coal that all the reasons it can’t be done wouldn’t fit on a 6TB external hard-drive. Perhaps we would all enjoy the benefits of renewable energy if the money that is being poured into finding solutions to technical problems was, instead, diverted temporarily into research into the psychology of irrational behaviour, into political corruption, into the history of buggy-whip makers and into suchlike non-engineering fields. Just a thought …. Cheers.

  22. The current fuel consumption record for a car is 5385 km per litre. That is about 3 litres p.a. for the annual travel distance of a typical Australian car. Or put it another way, a typical fuel efficient modern car consumes 5 litres/100 km or 20 km per litre=270 times distance per litre for the record breaking car.
    OK, the record breaking car but the results to suggest that there is a lot of scope for reducing energy consumption if we design commuter cars to carry one person only and we use crash avoidance technology to avoid the need for heavy crash protection.
    I have little time for the TESLA tank. It is essentially the same old heavy heavy family tank fitted with an electric motor.
    I have little time for the fully automated tesla tank. If anything, it will increase congestion because of all the autonomous cars travelling empty between assignments.
    I will get a lot more excited about electric cars when what we are talking about is electrifying a vehicle that is radically different from the family tank.

  23. Australia post has started introducing 3 wheel electric mail delivery vehicles.

    In an email to RenewEconomy on Tuesday, Australia Post confirmed that more than 100 of the eDVs would be out doing mail runs around the country by the end of the month, as well as more than 1000 electric assisted bikes.

    The battery powered eDVs are designed and manufactured in Switzerland by a company called Kyburz, and are being used by postal services in various European countries, including Germany.

    Kyburz says that the vehicle’s narrow dimensions and three-wheeled basis make it “astoundingly manouverable,” and “perfect for a large delivery postal fleet.”

    Able to travel at speeds of up to 45km/h, and with a range of up to nine hours per full charge, the eDVs offer posties a much quieter, safer and more efficient ride – they’re able to carry a total of 195kg, or up to 100 small parcels and 1200 letters at a time.

    They also offer the added benefit of being able to be left unattended – unlike bicycles – as the storage compartments lock automatically when the vehicle is switched off.

    And with more than 100 now in the Aussie Post fleet, it looks like they are proving to be a success – at least in some areas (they do require an exemption from government to ride on footpaths).

    On top of its efforts to cut vehicle emissions, Australia Post has installed solar PV at 49 sites across Australia, including a 284kW system at its NSW headquarters, StarTrack House, in Strawberry Hills, and a massive 2.1MW array on its Sydney parcel facility in Chullora.

    Annually, the company says these installs will cut its grid electricity consumption by 5315 MWH a year, saving 4635 tonnes of carbon and over $1m in cost savings and avoidance, every year.

    Australia Post is also one of 14 consortium members behind the ground-breaking Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, who are contracted to buy buy a total of 88GWh, or one-third of the assumed output of the Crowlands wind farm, in Ararat.

    “We are seeing immediate returns as we unlock renewable energy at some of our busiest sites, which helps to insulate the business against rising energy prices,” said Australia Post CFO Janelle Hopkins in comments on Tuesday.

    The three wheelers offer some weather protection but could d with more. Would be a lot of potential applications for other tasks or simply moving people around.

  24. John Davidson (Re: JUNE 5, 2018 AT 10:31 PM):

    The current fuel consumption record for a car is 5385 km per litre. That is about 3 litres p.a. for the annual travel distance of a typical Australian car.

    That’s remarkable, but how many people do you think would find travelling around in the manner shown in the video is acceptable? And was that achieved on the flat, running around and around the track? That’s hardly ‘real world’ for people’s day-to-day tasks, would you think?

    Or put it another way, a typical fuel efficient modern car consumes 5 litres/100 km or 20 km per litre=270 times distance per litre for the record breaking car.

    Here’s a list of the most fuel efficient vehicles, dated 28 Nov 2017, link here. Fuel efficiency will only get you so far. As I’ve said before:

    Humanity must leave petroleum oil, before oil leaves us.
    Humanity must leave fossil natural gas, before gas leaves us.
    Humanity must leave petroleum oil, fossil natural gas, and coal, before 2050, to mitigate dangerous climate change.

    So, making more efficient ICE vehicles doesn’t make sense in the long-term – a bad investment. I think making more efficient, cost-effective/affordable battery-electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric vehicles is where humanity needs to progress towards.

    See this YouTube video No more bad investments – Ian Dunlop, link here. From about time interval 24:29, Ian Dunlop outlines what needs to be done “to stay below the Paris limits”. At about time interval 25:44 is shown the slide that includes:

    For 50% chance of success for 1.5°C, or 66% for 2°C:
    – no new fossil fuel projects can be built
    – managed decline of existing fossil fuel industry

    People need to get their heads around this, and demand an urgent transition. Otherwise it’s probably game over for human civilisation (see from time interval 34:26).

  25. John

    Interesting about Australia Post.
    About 7 years ago we talked to an importer in Melbourne who was tendering to supply battery-assisted bicycles to Australia Post.

    A
    He brought in a heavy Swedish model, very sturdy; a claimed 70km range on a charge. Fairly quick recharge. Three gears, three levels of “motor assistance”. Or you could pedal without assistance.

    Motor came on only if you pedalled a bit. Not a battery scooter. But definitely a two-wheeler conventional bicycle.

  26. Saw a few of the 2 wheeled varieties today working beside an Australia Post dispatch centre.

    Makita had a similar thing but it wasn’t popular enough to keep making.
    I rode one and they do zip along.

  27. We used two of the Swedish model (Monark) for several years, because our area is so hilly. Both have now been sold.

    Some cyclists regard assistance as “cheating”.

  28. Jump:
    Yes, the Makita 18volt LXT bike was excellent – but stick around, Makita are turning out a widening range of 36volt LXT tools now, (2 x 18v, 5AH),: chainsaws, mowers for tough lawns, etc. ; they’ll probably put out an updated version of that 18v. bike. A bush-bashing BMX type would be nice.

    John Davidson:
    Share your views on street tanks with funny motors. Where did we go wrong? Or rather, why the heck did we stick to the straight-and narrow after Mercedes-Benz put out its 170 with a tubular frame and Citroen put out its DS and Honda put out its little 600cc Zot?

    Radically different crash avoidance and crash survival technologies could be put into cars and semi-cars right now, if the will was there to do it. The same goes for light aircraft. Gee-whiz wing configurations are fine but they don’t help a pilot whose aircraft has turned into a brick and the engine goes abruptly from its mounts in front of the pilot to somewhere behind the pilot.

    Agree about autonomous vehicles and road congestion. I know, “It seemed like a good idea at the time”.

    Our obsession with 50-80-100 Km/hour speed limits is not only wasting whole oil fields, it is killing and maiming us. Most urban and suburban travel could well be done at 25~35 Km/hour, with public transport used for long and fast journeys. So “Able to travel at speeds of up to 45km/h, and with a range of up to nine hours per full charge, ….” would be just fine.

  29. Today, at RenewEconomy.com.au is this article headlined World’s biggest solar tower with storage starts commissioning, link here. The article begins with:

    The world’s biggest solar tower power plant with molten salt storage has begun commissioning in Morocco, and is scheduled to begin production by October.

    The 150MW Noor Ouarzazate III solar receiver, with 7.5 hours of molten salt storage is only the second big scale project of its type, and trumps its predecessor in size, the 110MW Crescent Dunes solar tower in Nevada.

    Noor reportedly has a price of $150/MWh.

    South Australia’s Aurora project, at 150 MW rated capacity with 8 hours storage, scheduled for operation by 2020, is mentioned:

    SolarReserve’s project in Port Augusta will deliver electricity to the South Australia government at an average cost of around $75/MWh, but it will sell capacity into peak demand periods at high prices to ensure it can meet its costs, estimated at more than $110/MWh.

    I think bigger generating capacities (i.e. 200 MW) with larger energy storage (i.e. 17 hours) is likely to bring down LCOE for solar thermal further. Multiple units constructed concurrently should also assist in lowering construction unit costs.

  30. GM: I was very careful to say that the record braking car was not practical. However, the point I was making is that the difference is enormous and largely caused by the weight of the family tank we insist on using for driver only trave.
    What we need is a thoughtful discussion of new standards including standards for narrow rack cars and the weight required when currently available collision avoidance is fitted.

  31. John Davidson (Re: JUNE 7, 2018 AT 12:53 PM):

    GM: I was very careful to say that the record braking car was not practical.

    Where did you imply that in your comment (at JUNE 5, 2018 AT 10:31 PM)? It wasn’t clear to me, hence my comment:

    That’s remarkable, but how many people do you think would find travelling around in the manner shown in the video is acceptable? And was that achieved on the flat, running around and around the track? That’s hardly ‘real world’ for people’s day-to-day tasks, would you think?

    You say:

    However, the point I was making is that the difference is enormous and largely caused by the weight of the family tank we insist on using for driver only trave.

    I don’t disagree with you on this point. How would you go about encouraging people to forgo their “family tanks” for smaller, lighter vehicles?

    What we need is a thoughtful discussion of new standards including standards for narrow rack cars and the weight required when currently available collision avoidance is fitted.

    Your statement “currently available collision avoidance” implies to me you are suggesting it’s currently fault-free. It isn’t – there’s still along way to go before I would forgo “heavy crash protection” – every road vehicle would need to have effective crash avoidance active.

  32. I’m a few key strokes away from a new post on Antarctica ice loss., where the rate has about trebled in the last five years. Will have to wait until tonight.

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