How Political Lunacy Sabotaged Australia’s Once Reliable & Affordable Power Suply

STOP THESE THINGS

If what Australia’s political brains trust has done to its once reliable and affordable power supply had been done by external agents, it would have been branded an act of terrorism.

The so-called ‘wind power capital’ of Australia, South Australia has become an international laughing stock: statewide blackouts, routine load shedding and rocketing power prices might be enough, you would think, to make its Labor government see sense.

Far from it, it is now looking to spend $150 million on a giant battery that will return power to the grid and ‘power’ SA for all of four minutes and to set up somewhere between 200 and 250 MW of diesel generation capacity to keep the lights on, whenever the wind stops blowing.

The absurdity of throwing $550 million at a perfectly avoidable problem, when Jay Weatherill had the option of paying a mere $30 million to Alinta to keep its…

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Following the break down of talks in Northern Ireland, what now?

The Constitution Unit Blog

Northern Ireland’s political parties have failed to reach an agreement that would allow a new power-sharing Executive to be formed by today’s deadline. This will have important legal and political consequences, possibly including the re-introduction of ‘direct rule’ from Westminster. These issues are looked at here by Alan Whysall.

Political negotiations have been going on since the election of 2 March, which was brought about by the decision in January of Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin (who has since died) to resign as deputy First Minister. Yesterday, however, Sinn Féin said that the talks process had ‘run its course‘, and they would not be making nominations to Executive offices today. They did not say where the political process might go from here, but professed commitment to the devolved institutions returning.

Sinn Féin have significant grievances that they say must be resolved before a new Executive is formed. They…

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Labour/Green Budget Responsibility Rules

croaking cassandra

Grant Robertson, for Labour, and James Shaw, for the Greens, released on Friday a short document on the “budget responsibility rules” the two parties would adopt if they are in a position to form a government after the election.

As others have noted, it was PR win for the two parties, in what was in any case not a great week for the government (Afghanistan and all that).    If one criticism of the left-wing parties in the 2014 election was that no one seemed sure what a Labour-Green government might look like, or how the key figures might get on, this is the sort of initiative that helps build confidence and makes people nearer the centre, or just tired of nine years of a government that has accomplished little, think harder about the possibility of voting for a change.   Whatever their other specific policies, whatever their other limitations, in this release –  and…

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I dont know why humans drink coffee. It smells like something that belongs in my litter box

Updates on a Hamas story under-reported by the BBC

BBC Watch

In June 2016 the BBC Gaza bureau’s Rushdi Abualouf produced an article for the BBC News website titled “Gazans squeezed by triple taxes as Hamas replaces lost income“.

As was noted here at the time, Abualouf’s portrayal of Hamas’ “financial crisis” skimmed over the fact that the terror organisation’s prioritisation of rearmament and tunnel building plays a key role in the creation of economic and social pressures on ordinary residents of the Gaza Strip. The BBC’s correspondent preferred to focus audience attentions elsewhere:

“It [Hamas] has also faced a crippling blockade by Israel and Egypt and financial sanctions from other countries since it won Palestinian elections in 2006.”

“And Hamas’s financial crisis is unlikely to be solved soon with Israel and Egypt continuing their border closures amid fear of attack by militants from Gaza.”

In early February of this year the BBC’s Tim Franks visited the Gaza…

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Would @GetUp @SenSanders go back in Time Machine to their 1970s glory days?

US life expectancy is below naive expectations mostly because it economically outperforms

Random Critical Analysis

In my prior few posts I made a strong case that the United States’ exceptionally high health care expenditures are well explained by its unusually high material standard of living.   In response to this several people I have interacted with have fallen back to the position that something still must obviously be uniquely wrong with the US health care system because US outcomes are significantly below what one might expect given its level of spending:

rcafdm_306_life_expectancy_by_hcepc_oecd.png Life expectancy in OECD

They believe it cannot be a coincidence that the country that spends so much more than expected (according to naive expectations) also gets worse outcomes than expected and generally gets worse outcomes than the most developed countries of predominantly European and Asian origin.

In this blog post I will address the so-called “outcomes” dimension and explain why these apparently sub-par outcomes are not only not otherwise inexplicable, but can actually be explained in a fairly straight forward and parsimonious fashion  For…

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By the numbers: Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Watts Up With That?

Decommissioning of world’s first offshore wind farm offers an opportunity to see how industry costs have changed over the past 25 years.

Guest essay by T. A. “Ike” Kiefer, CAPT, USN (ret.)

Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm

Decommissioning has started at the 26-year old Vindeby offshore project, one of the world’s first The 4.95MW Vindeby offshore project was installed in 1991 using 11 Bonus 450kW turbines. It operated 1.5-3.0km off the southern Danish coast.

The first offshore windfarm in the world has just been decommissioned and is now being torn down ( http://www.windpoweroffshore.com/article/1427436/dong-begins-vindeby-decommissioning-pictures ). Its lifetime performance specs are illuminating in comparison with recent wind industry data, and alternative generation options.

1991 Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm – Denmark

Years of Operation: 1991-2016 (25)

Capital Cost: 75M Kroner = $13M (1991USD) = $23M (2017USD)

Number of Turbines: 11 @ 450 kW

Lifetime Generation: 243 GWh

Nameplate Capacity: 4.9 MW

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The Kidney Machine Gambit & @NZSuperFund @VernonSmall @TaxpayersUnion

Prime Minister Jim Hacker: “Well, of course we do what we can. There are many calls on the public purse: inner cities, schools, hospitals, kidney machines…”

nzsuperfund contributions as percentage of social spending

How to be an Atheist

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