Why renewables are/should (if the government would let the free market work) going to take over (South Africa)

Ramez Naam explains why renewables are the best economic choice now for South Africa (and most of the world) and definitely the cheapest form of energy in the near future.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzmMDAnzPiI

PS Don't watch this if a future with rapidly declining fossil fuel use scares you. Or at least have a fellow dinosaur juice junkie with you to hold hands and reassure each other that this could never happen.

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For heaven sake. That guy is repeating all the same debunked nonsense activists have been peddling for years. The coal industry went through a low point in the business cycle in 2016 but coal prices have since rebounded  https://ycharts.com/indicators/australia_coal_price

The presenter, you will note, carefully avoids mentioning that all the resources industry (including coal) had a massive boom which ended about that time, mostly thanks to demand from China. Australia's coal exports doubled or some such (I'd have to waste time looking up the exact figures), so the fact that production has levelled off is hardly surprising. As for coal companies going out of business, Peabody had a hard time in part because the US is switching to gas thanks to fracking and the aforementioned price collapse.  Its out of bankruptcy proceedings. I dunno about the other companies he mentioned but Australia has some big coal companies and none of those are anywhere near crisis. In fact coal exports have rebounded to the point where Federal and State governments have been wondering aloud what to do with the windfall tax revenue. The point about renewables being cheaper has been thoroughly discussed and debunked in other threads on this forum. Basically the cost of having renewables on a grid outweigh any of the benefits. That said, coal has lost ground to gas mainly western markets in the past few years, but China and India are building heaps of new capacity. 

DA?/JH - I suggest you find a fellow activist to hold hands with while you come to terms with the fact that coal industry ain't going anywhere.

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12 hours ago, markslawson said:

For heaven sake. That guy is repeating all the same debunked nonsense activists have been peddling for years. The coal industry went through a low point in the business cycle in 2016 but coal prices have since rebounded  https://ycharts.com/indicators/australia_coal_price

The presenter, you will note, carefully avoids mentioning that all the resources industry (including coal) had a massive boom which ended about that time, mostly thanks to demand from China. Australia's coal exports doubled or some such (I'd have to waste time looking up the exact figures), so the fact that production has levelled off is hardly surprising. As for coal companies going out of business, Peabody had a hard time in part because the US is switching to gas thanks to fracking and the aforementioned price collapse.  Its out of bankruptcy proceedings. I dunno about the other companies he mentioned but Australia has some big coal companies and none of those are anywhere near crisis. In fact coal exports have rebounded to the point where Federal and State governments have been wondering aloud what to do with the windfall tax revenue. The point about renewables being cheaper has been thoroughly discussed and debunked in other threads on this forum. Basically the cost of having renewables on a grid outweigh any of the benefits. That said, coal has lost ground to gas mainly western markets in the past few years, but China and India are building heaps of new capacity. 

DA?/JH - I suggest you find a fellow activist to hold hands with while you come to terms with the fact that coal industry ain't going anywhere.

Don't you get sand in your eyes? How are the shares doing in the coal industry now? Coal is playing out the end game for electricity generation. I haven't seen any argument that has debunked renewables becoming cheaper than fossil fuels or nuclear, a load of it can't be so because I don't believe it but that's it. Even China and India now realise coal is a bad investment and is killing it's own people. I see Australia will with present trends produce about 3/4 of it's electricity by 2030 with renewables even with the "liberals" in power trying their best to save coal.

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DA?/JH - the counter-arguments are quite common.  The problem with renewables is that they have to be backed up by conventional power plants. That is, the grid has to be planned so that the renewables won't be contributing at all at certain times. The bulk of the cost is the capital investment in plants, not fuel. The cost comparisons you sometimes see do not take those and other network costs into account. They are on a straight output basis. The presenter in that video you linked talks about bids. That's completely different. Those are relevant to markets that have been completely distorted by regulation. On any level playing field it is unlikely that grids would accept renewable energy, at least in any significant quantity, due to the problems of balancing supply 24/7. The presenter also says that battery storage costs have come down to the point where the problems of stabilisation have been overcome. This is straight nonsense. Battery costs have come down but they cannot be used in large enough quantities to make any appreciable difference. They have been used in frequency stabilisation.

 

9 hours ago, DA? said:

Even China and India now realise coal is a bad investment and is killing it's own people. I see Australia will with present trends produce about 3/4 of it's electricity by 2030 with renewables even with the "liberals" in power trying their best to save coal.

Both statements in this are wrong. China and India are building more coal power plants. In China its gotten out of hand, with the central government losing control of provincial building of plants. See this report from a green group  https://endcoal.org/2018/09/tsunami-warning/

I would agree with the report that most of those plants won't be used to anything like capacity and may not be profitable. 

The Labor party which is expected to win the next election in Australia, has a policy of 40 per cent renewables in power. I don't think that's achievable but I only have one vote.

As for the jibe about coal industry shares you are the only defending vested interests by spruiking the now vast green energy industry, not me. I've now wasted enough time debunking propaganda. Leave it with you.

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