East Coast Wind Farms On The Horizon

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)

Last month, a notice was sent out to residents of my coastal suburb that BlueFloat - a large Spanish-owned energy company - would be holding a community engagement event at the local surf club. The reason was to educate residents about the planned wind farm offshore from the Illawarra.

Not sure what to expect, I attended the mid-morning gathering. From the outset it was clear that the event was an exercise in bad faith from both sides. It’s been estimated the Illawarra wind farm will be a $10 billion project, which, even if it’s incorrect and the number is rounded down a few percent, still makes for a head-spinning chunk of money. Yet the best BlueFloat could put on for this, their first engagement with the local community, were ten poster-size reproductions of the same brochure available at the front door. Clearly this was a box-ticking exercise and nothing more.

Meanwhile, the citizens concerned enough to attend were largely of the talkback radio persuasion. They didn’t want questions answered, they wanted a target to fixate on as they worked through their dot point list of objections from wildlife genocide to visual pollution.

Outside, I was reluctantly interviewed by the local postcode print mag. When it came out, the reporter mistakenly attributed my name and likeness to someone else’s opinion. It was a shambolic introduction to what’s sure to be a tiring and protracted issue - even if approved, the Illawarra wind farm won’t be operational till 2030.

Back at my work desk, someone on Swellnet asked about the possible effect of the wind farm on waves, and I felt like it was one part of the discussion I could justifiably wade into.

When thinking about the effects of a wind farm on surfing potential, my thoughts flashed to a study done many years earlier and published in the now-defunct surf magazine The Surfers Path. However, before continuing any further I best explain what’s happening with Australia’s offshore wind industry.

In 2021, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water drafted the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Act 2021 and identified six areas of interest around Australia, determined by their exposure to wind, access to a deep water port, and grid connectivity.

The six areas are Gippsland and the Hunter, both of which were recently declared fit for purpose and are moving ahead, plus the Illawarra, western Victoria between Warrnambool and Port Macdonnell, Tasmania’s north coast, and Perth/Bunbury in WA. The final four are in various states of assessment before being declared.

Owing to the shallow water off south Gippsland, the wind farm there will be fixed to the seabed, however both the Hunter, which has been declared, and the Illawarra, which hasn’t, will use floating technology due to ocean depth. As the tenders haven’t been awarded, the public don’t know what the final design will look like, however we can get a sense of it as there are only three floating wind farms in the world: one in Portugal, two in Scotland.

You can add to that six test turbines on various coasts around the world, yet all share similar attributes: a large vertical turbine with rotating blades at the top and a floating (or suspended) structure underneath that limits the pitch and roll from open seas. The structure is tethered to the bottom with anchor chains not unlike a cargo ship while moored. Though already deployed in the North Sea and off Portugal’s far north coast, some people remain skeptical of the concept. Before covering that, one more digression is required.

Three possible designs for the floating wind farms (CoreWind)

When the wind farm was announced in the Illawarra, many people assumed a position aligning with their stance on climate change. Those who thought climate change was a crock, considered wind farms ugly, while those who believed in climate change thought them a necessity; a saviour even. However, those in the latter group - and I tend that way myself - run the risk of not seeing the situation for what it is. The companies operating in this space aren’t white knights sent to save us from a heating planet, but large, well-financed energy companies capitalising on changing sentiments. In fact, many are simply the green arms of the same companies that sold fossil fuels over the past century.

Ideally, the coming energy transition should be seen as an opportunity for the government to correct past mistakes and wrest energy away from the volatility of the private market. The people of Australia were duped on other resources, our geological inheritance traded for a pittance while creating vast fortunes for rent-seeking multi-nationals. This is a moment for intervention; to view energy less as a commodity, but also as a necessity, and to buffer citizens from inflationary energy shocks.

To the dissenting voices pointing out the folly of state ownership, just one word needs to be spoken: “Equinor”. Two-thirds owned by the people of Norway, Equinor, through its oil, gas, and various renewables projects (solar, wind, and hydrogen), returns two-thirds of its substantial dividends to Norway’s Oil Fund, which is currently tracking at $250,000 for every citizen of Norway.

You may recognise the name Equinor from their abortive proposal to drill the Bight for oil. They now want to win tenders to build our wind farms.

To be clear: While we’re told state-ownership doesn’t work, the Australian government is enabling a state-owned company to harness our resources and send the profits offshore, further increasing the public wealth of a foreign nation.

So who’s the clever country, ja?

If we can’t own the wind farms, I think it’s fair for regions who are hosting the turbines to at least issue some demands. Such as, rather than feeding all the wind energy into the national grid, some of it goes to the region, perhaps even to public housing, or to disadvantaged suburbs within the region. Yet as it is, two camps are forming, one totally (and unquestioningly) for wind farms and the other totally against them, and it’s highly likely neither will get what they want. Nor will the people in the middle seeking some form of structural change, so that only leaves one clear winner - the energy companies.

Hywind, a floating wind farm off Aberdeen, Scotland, is owned by Equinor.

As the Newcastle and Illawarra wind farms are floating, my intuition tells me that there’ll be no downstream effect on wave size. For one, the structures will simply rise and fall with the swell much the same as coalships do, and both Newcastle and Wollongong have no shortage of them anchored offshore. Also, each stanchion is at least 1.5km apart and spread across a significant area meaning the chance of any interference is slim.

Still, I’m not a scientist so I set out to ask people schooled in the field of wave propagation. The resulting conversations were intriguing, far from definitive, and all off the record. No-one could be quoted. You see, each of these projects are complex, costly, and rely on highly specialised knowledge. There are only so many scientists working on wave physics and it became clear that, if they weren’t already somehow involved in wind farm projects, they soon would be. 

Tip for school leavers #1: Do ocean science at uni.
Tip for school leavers #2: If you don't get the ATAR for uni, get an electrical or machinists trade. When the wind farms go ahead there'll be a shortage of both.

One thing I was told, however, and which could be relayed, is that the effect on wave quality hadn’t been considered in any previous project, most likely as they’re offshore from coastlines without surf or surfers. Also, each coming project has approximately $2 billion (of the $10 billion budgeted) to be spent on feasibility studies. When that process begins, that will be the time for local surfers to ask hard questions and force those involved to deliver answers.

Perhaps in readiness of said questions, The Illawarra Mercury recently asked two experts, Professor Ty Christopher from the University of Wollongong and Professor Britta Bienen from the University of Western Australia, about the effect of floating wind farms on waves. Both said the turbines would have little, if any, effect on swell.

"The offshore wind turbines will be floating," Dr Christopher said. "And what that means is their impact on swell will be minimal to nothing, because they will ride up and down with the swells that are there."

"The offshore wind turbines are not there to take any significant energy out of the wave environment,” said Dr Bienen, “so the impact of a floating offshore wind farm on [swell] will not be significant in any way.”

If they sound resolute, it’s worth noting that their confidence wasn't shared by all the people I spoke to. Call it the skeptical scientific mind - they want to see proof. It’s also worth mentioning that swell reduction is just one way floating offshore wind farms could affect wave amenity. Reflection from wave energy bouncing off turbines can possibly influence nearshore quality, though with the closest turbine at 14 kms offshore* the chances may be slim.

Lastly, is the ‘wake effect’ of turbines influencing downstream wind strength. This is a known issue and affects the efficiency of downstream turbines to the point that planners try to stagger turbines so they’re not in the lee of other turbines. If downstream wind strengths are less, does it also follow that the waves the wind makes are also of lesser size?

This won’t be an issue for swells that form outside the wind farm and are passing through it, yet may be a problem for localised wind swells, and the coastlines that sit in the shadow of those farms. Summertime nor’easters might be great for business, with all the blades happily spinning, but what does that lost energy mean for the staple of our summer months, the short-period NE swell?

Map of the Hunter Declared Area, though the actual position of the array is yet to be determined

On the 7th June, 2007, an East Coast Low (ECL) formed off the NSW Central Coast. Deepening rapidly as it moved offshore, storm-force winds whipped up a large swell. Early the next morning, all 56 coalships off Newcastle were ordered to weigh anchor and move further offshore. A number of ships were slow to act and dragged anchor as the storm increased. One of those, the MV Pasha Bulker, couldn’t maintain control against the tempest and was washed ashore at Nobbys Beach.

Of the two operational floating wind farms in Scotland, one of them, Hywind at Aberdeen, was built in Norway - the Hywind farm is owned by Equinor - and tested off their west coast in 220m of water. There, the turbines reportedly stood up to 144km/h winds, which is hurricane strength, and waves up to 19m.

With a CV like that, there’s a strong assumption that floating wind farms could withstand an ECL, though they are peculiar storms with their own set of challenges. Testing to see if turbines can handle an ECL will be high on the list when the feasibility studies begin.

The MV Pasha Bulker grounded off Nobbys Beach

While researching and writing this article I was frustrated by being unable to find the aforementioned study that appeared in The Surfers Path - the one that assessed the effect of floating wind farms on near shore wave quality. Widening my search, I discovered the reason I couldn’t find it: the study wasn’t on a floating wind farm at all, but instead a floating energy generator. The Wave Dragon it was called, a floating structure with an internal turbine driven by wave-overtopping. 

Twenty years ago, Wave Dragon got a lot of press as an alternative energy generator. They’d be launched in 200 strong arrays, the glowing copy stated, offshore from wherever the wave climate suited. However, after being launched in 2003 there’s been little take up and Wave Dragon has largely disappeared without trace. Another promising solution that failed the real world test.

The Wave Dragon study was commissioned by UK’s Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), an activist group who’ve moved beyond their original purview to include other environmental threats. Climate change is one of them and their position on mitigating strategies, such as energy generation from offshore wind, is worth noting for every concerned surfer in the Hunter and Illawarra regions.

When the Rampion offshore wind farm - which is not floating but fixed to the ocean floor - was proposed in 2015, SAS supported the project while campaigning against the initial design. When a study found the farm would reduce wave heights by up to 22% at Brighton, SAS intervened and through less intrusive anchoring systems, fewer yet larger turbines, were able to get the maximum impact down to 3% - an amount tolerable for the local surfing community.

The template set by SAS, is that it’s possible to be both for the wind farms while also concerned about surfing amenity. However, to do anything about the latter, surfers have to formally involve themselves in the process.


* The floating wind farm off the Illawarra coast will be between 14 and 30 kms offshore, while the farm off Newcastle will be between 20 and 35 kms offshore. Aside from waves, questions of visual amenity are being asked. In Newcastle the overall height has been limited to 260m, meaning it’s possible the array may be visible on clear days, however only the blades and not the turbines as they’d be over the horizon. The height of the Illawarra towers is yet to be determined, however as the area is nearer to shore and the Illawarra has a coastal escarpment, visual impact will be part of the coming debate.

Feasibility license applications for the Newcastle wind farm opened on August 8th. Prospective developers are now required to undertake further consultation on their proposals, including detailed environmental assessments. If asked, surfing amenity will be one of them.


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donweather Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 4:14pm

$2billion on feasibility studies? That’s an outrageous sum of money on feasibility studies and some of the biggest studies on major infrastructure projects in Australia wouldn’t spend anywhere near this in feasibility studies. Are KPMG doing the studies!! ;)
Snowy Hydro 2 is just one of them that wouldn’t have spent anywhere near $2b on their feasibility studies. Also what level of power are they getting from these wind farms? $10b for the wind farms seems an outrageous CAPEX for how much power do we get in return?

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mcbain Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:29am

Maybe Snowy Hydro 2 should have spent more, and TBM Florence might not still be 'paused'?

Possible that the big numbers for feasibility are due to the fact that much of this infrastructure is unkown territory, particularly at this scale.

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donweather Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 2:30pm

Florence is actually back up and running. And the reason it was "paused" was because no geotech investigations were allowed in that area as it's environmentally protected. So no additional $ on feasibility studies would have helped.

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mcbain Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 2:48pm

Ineresting, I thought they were still in slurry injection phase.
I wonder if the cost blowouts could have been identified with more feasibility though. Was full steam ahead for Mr Turnbull at the time. $2B, now looking at about $6B, probably more.

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peekaa8 Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 3:30pm

The number for feasibility studies is incorrect by an order of magnitude.
I would expect the installed capacity of one project to be between 1 and 2 Gigawatt, enough to power around 1 to 1.5 Million homes.

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Garryh Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 3:57pm

I'm feeling sad for the local birdlife. I hope they can learn to cope/avoid and do that before they're decimated

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Tim Fisher Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 11:26am

May I ask why? Wind turbines are not killing fields for birds.

The most authoritative study on exactly this was done in the United States. Cats kill 1.85 BILLION birds every year in the United States, buildings kill 675 MILLION birds, vehicles kill 214 MILLION birds, and 72 million birds are poisoned.
For comparison, wind turbine are responsible for 328,000 bird deaths.
To equal the number of birds killed by turbines as by cats alone (according to these chart numbers) we would need over 5,500 times as many wind turbines as we have now
If we're really concerned about birdlife, the most effective thing we can do straight off the bat is ensure all cats are kept indoors.

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Logical_man2 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 10:40am

All domestic cats should be banned.

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Logical_man2 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 10:36am

Snowy Hydro 2 - IS and WAS a HOAX !!
The output I calculated at the time in 10 years would not even cover the extra housing being built for new Immigration into NSW. Yet touted as "adding power to avoid shortages"......

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Jaspo Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 4:36pm

wait until they do scoping studies (like feasibility studies, only thicker and with graphs and diagrams)

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scoopmaster Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 4:47pm

I'd be happy with a few lightning rods offshore for my photography. 15-30 km out will be visible most days but not dominating the seascape out there. I don't have a boat to get out there but hopefully those that do can fish around them for mahi mahi over summer too.

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JackStance Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 5:03pm

Great article and writing Stu.

State ownership doesn't work for profits of the powerful.

"Nor will the people in the middle seeking some form of structural change, so that only leaves one clear winner - the energy companies"

Culture wars (sexism; racism; homophobia...) are fuelled and fanned by the powerful in this country to take political energy away from issues that affect the power and wealth of the Powerful. The fueling and fanning of culture war issues is a population control strategy.

Class War issues like economic justice, corruption, war, militarisation, capitalism, and ecocide, are issues that the powerful don't want the people considering or asking about.

And so as economic injustice increases, the powerful artificially crank up the heat on culture war issues. We should expect culture war issues to continue to worsen. Most vile, is that the powerful throw vulnerable groups under the bus to achieve their means, and then just sit back like Greek gods and watch the community fight one another. - just to take the heat off their wealth and power vampire-ing activities. Their wealth derives from the public.

Whenever good folk on the Right, or right wing narrative managers, are hammering on about culture war issues, they are also doing the work the elite structures they criticise.

In turn, whenever the good folk on the left, or left wing narrative manager, respond to such hammerings in an incorrect manner that doesn't clearly address the imperialism of the powerful, they too do the work of the powerful.

Most people hate this being pointed out. That is the effect of the programming.

Anyhow, when we're talking $10Billions, good luck getting any justice or transparency...

I believe environmental collapse and nuclear war are the two greatest existential threats to our species, and both are breathing down our necks. I think global warming is real and caused by human activity, but I also think it’s suspicious that that debate consumes so much oxygen when there’s so much other evidence that the biosphere is dying (deforestation, vanishing wildlife, plummeting insect populations, etc).

Obviously there are rich and powerful people who’ll be looking to ride their various agendas on top of humanity’s shift from fossil fuels to other energy systems, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real — it would be strange if they weren’t doing that. That just means we need to pry the fingers of the powerful from the steering wheel of our civilization, not that drastic changes aren’t needed to how we live on this planet.

But that is not going to happen until we collectively realise the nature of imperialism, and for that to happen, we each need to overcome the effects of the greatest propaganda machine in history.

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batfink Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 5:43pm

Nailed it Jack, times 1000. I always argue that these ‘culture wars’ are fought by two groups of people that could maybe fill a mini-bus, but are magnified a billion times by social media, actual media and political parties, for exactly the purpose you mention, and the click bait.

People get sucked into it repeatedly. What you outline is the main game, nothing else is remotely important.

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JackStance Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:54am

Thanks Batfink.

I reckon it is critically important to call out sexisms, racism, homophobia and the like.

But that we do this in a way that kicks the imperialist source of these abuses in the nuts.
Punching up instead of punching across or downwards.

We've got to constantly expose leftwing narrative managers AND rightwing narrative managers for the gas-lighting lackeys of the Empire that they are.

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mr mick Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 5:47pm

Exactly Jack, agree with all above except where you said global warming is caused by human activity. In my view it’s real but is caused by solar cycles, volcanoes, ocean currents including subduction, ocean warming & cooling events such as El Niño, La Niña . Biggest contributor is water vapor, such as was spewed into atmosphere from Tongan volcano. Unusually warm period 1000 AD to 1300 AD , where was the CO2, coal, electricity generation back then? The ice age? Climate changes, always has & always will.

I call this ‘Green Revolution’ the Big Green Scam’ . Money for the elites at the expense of the ordinary folk, you & me. Take a minute to think where all the minerals to build these wind turbines and solar panels come from, we haven’t an endless supply in our earth. These panels & turbines have a life of around 20 years before having to be replaced & they’re not fully recyclable. 29 ton of copper into 1 offshore turbine including wiring to onshore, plus all the zinc, tungsten & more.
Isn’t ironic to ‘save’ the planet we have to dig more & more minerals out of the ground by miners, the most intense & high polluting business going.

You watch the blowout in dollars these companies will winge about in coming years, it’ll happen, always does when idiot politicians are involved.

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velocityjohnno Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:44pm

Mr Mick, there is also this:


We could currently be going through an excursion now, the north magnetic pole is accelerating toward Siberia, and the south magnetic pole has now left Antarctica. The south Atlantic magnetic anomaly is increasing in size, and it is inferred that the strength of the overall magnetic field is falling. Updates on where the poles are located are coming in far too slowly, but the world magnetic model had to have an out of cycle update in 2019:


For 2c - this adds to the complexity and the problem of retained heat in the system with all the CO2. If anyone knows if the change in the magnetic poles and strength of the field are accurately represented in the climate models please advise.

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mr mick Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 8:11pm

Thanks V J, looks very interesting, have to have a close look…..when the footy’s finished.

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JackStance Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:41am

Thanks Mr Mick and VJ, much appreciated.

I sincerely appreciate a view of the world that reasons that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax being used by globalist elites to seize control of the world.

Given the last 3 years, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that powerful plutocrats intend to use the concept of climate change to lock down control of human behavior and the world economy. When we’re talking about a shift in industry and energy worth tens of trillions of dollars and the potential to degrade national sovereignty with global regulations, we can be absolutely certain that there are extremely powerful people scheming to exploit it. Of course they are.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The science showing the warming effect of man’s carbon-releasing industrial activities was discovered in 1896 by a man named Svante Arrhenius. Nobody accused him of being a pawn in a globalist conspiracy; the scientific world simply noted his discovery with an “Oh cool yeah, that makes sense.” One of his colleagues even suggested setting fire to unused coal seams in order to increase global temperature, because back then milder winters sounded like a nice idea. It wasn’t until this line of scientific inquiry became threatening to the fossil fuel industry that it turned into a radically politicized debate propelled by Koch-funded research teams and Fox News.

It seems clear to me from all the goalpost-shifting that the primary impulse behind climate denial is distrust of authority (which is critically important) and a basic desire to avoid the psychological discomfort of grappling with the reality that in a few short decades humanity could be extinct.
Billions of large mammals digging up fuel sources from the earth and pouring their exhaust into the air for decades will necessarily change the environment. Of course it will. This should be obvious to everyone. Powerful manipulators who work constantly to control as much of the world as possible will necessarily try to make sure they grab up as much power as possible in a historically unprecedented global shift in energy and industry. Of course they will. This too should be obvious to everyone. Both are true. Both need to be dealt with. The fact that we are ruled by depraved oligarchs doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change our ecocidal course, it means we should overthrow the oligarchs so that they don’t achieve their goal of herding us into a globalist Orwellian dystopia as they shore up power in their profit and power driven 'fight' against climate change.

In fact, if seen in the right light, if we take both into account, we will see this is also a huge opportunity to spot the machinations of the plutocracy as it shuffles everything into place, and in the chaos, for the people to seize back control (hopefully we learnt what not to do from state covid responses). The smooth running machine of the oligarchy will necessarily have to change shape to take advantage of the new industries and to keep in control. That’s a tricky dance, so there will be many openings where the people can seep in like water and gum up the gears.

In order to do this, we must have as complete a roadmap as possible, and that means letting go of loyalties to partisan theories and taking a step back and engaging with all the data as it is. It can be done. It must be done. Our lives depend on it.

Our lives, our children and grandchildren lives also depend on us smashing into a trillion pieces the globalist Orwellian dystopia the Empire is churning us towards.

The revolution will not be funded.

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Craig Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:32am

Great post Jack.

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Tim Fisher Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 10:01pm

Came here to say this. Keep punching, Jack.

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Mcface Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:41am

+1 to both your posts Jack. Well said

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mickseq Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 4:40am

Lol you guys need to get off the gear


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Solitude Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 9:07pm

@ Mr Mick. Despite your ideals that climate change isn’t as a result of human activity, do you still support a notion that we should do better to look after this rock and have less negative impact on it? Which is to suggest we aim to reverse much of the shit we’ve caused to aid future generations and even to enjoy this ride a little more whilst we’re here?

People who deny our influence on the planet to me sound a bit like a 60 year old, 40 pack-year emphysematic saying ‘you gotta die of something’

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mr mick Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 6:40pm

Certainly do solitude, & I try to do my little bit, you know recycle, pick up rubbish off the beach & land, plant more trees, plant veges ( I live rurally) , keep waterways clean, teach my grandkids etc, etc. Maybe we should ask the government if they’re looking after it as native vegetation, valuable farmland are cleared for these ugly & unsightly turbines & solar farms. Governments come in and take land off farmers, you have no say & the jury is out on the negative effects in our oceans concerning fish habitats, whale migration, pollution etc. Let’s hope the wind blows & the sun shines.
Maybe ask Brazil how they treat the Amazon, called the lungs of the Planet,
ask Asian countries about clearing forests for palm oil.

There’s plenty of conflicting views out there, both verbally & in print, such as Daily Reckoning : The Green Scam , part 1-5.
American Thinker: Leading climate scientist expresses doubt about the veracity of global warming
The Daily Sceptic: Cancellations start for Nobel Physics Laureate John Clauser who slammed ‘ climate emergency’.
Associate Professor Simon Michaux engaged by Finland to calculate volume of metals needed, “a staggering amount of minerals”.

More mines, one of the most intense & polluting businesses around, means more scarred land, water, air pollution.

But I certainly agree with you about lookin after this rock.

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Solitude Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 7:58pm

Good on you mate. I agree and wish the big end of town gave more F#%ks about our world. This rape and pillage shtick is getting old.

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mr mick Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 8:18pm

Yep, it’s all down to the almighty dollar, imo.

Just looked at trailer for’ Thrown to the Wind’ documentary, about turbines effect on whales, not released yet, might be well worth a look when it comes out.

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dandandan Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:07pm

You had me at Class War. Great post.

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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:47pm

This guy Noam Chomsky, a US Professor, studied & taught his whole life, ideas including the power of state supported capitalist tyranny, how it overrides community needs & democracy. He sums up recent history of economic power plays & alternatives in " Why you can not have a Capitalist Democracy! " in 16 minutes

Alternative option

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JackStance Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:05am

Thanks bbbird.
This is a great little read by Rudolf Rocker that goes into some of the historic examples of worker and people controlled life, and where it diverged and criticised "wage slavery".

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belly Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:54pm

Well written Jack, also support.

Overall great article Stu, but when I saw that line comparing what we could do to Norway, well ^^^

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andy-mac Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:32pm

Well written and spot on...
You nailed it.

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Le_Reynard Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 10:37pm

Yeah a good summary of much of my thinking also. Focus on inert Co2 while every other emission/pollutant is ignored, much less the role of obsolescent consumerism. Worry about trans-longboarders or whatever while wealth inequality explodes and democracy dies through apathy and ignorance. But it's easier to provoke and retaliate than to hold nuanced public discourse. Anyways, the sandbanks at many of the beachies are crap and that's real cause for concern. It's all absurd.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 6:04am

Yes, everyday people getting thrown under the economic bus, but look, a squirrel! It's not a squirrel, it's a sugar glider! No it's not! Don't be sugar glider phobic! It's a damn squirrel and you're mad! NO you are mad! Do not impinge on my right to see a squirrel! etc

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Tgoose Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:25am


This post touches on similar issues, unfortunately

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G.C. Cruiser Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 5:31pm

I totally agree with you view on "culture wars". It's happening right now here in Oz with the upcoming referendum on the Voice in parliament. The whole thing is a diversion to take our attention away from other issues like the economic, housing and environmental problems. It's a variation the classic bread & circuses theme, and the majority of the populace falls for it.

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arcadia Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 5:06pm

Good article, particularly the section about wresting energy production from private / foreign entities.

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velocityjohnno Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:48pm

Well investigated and explained Stu. Cannot disagree with your view of the matter. Don, I wonder what the EROEI is, surely a terrible number? But it may be Necessary to deploy in some form or ownership structure.

"Outside, I was reluctantly interviewed by the local postcode print mag. When it came out, the reporter mistakenly attributed my name and likeness to someone else’s opinion. It was a shambolic introduction to what’s sure to be a tiring and protracted issue - even if approved, the Illawarra wind farm won’t be operational till 2030."

I thought you swore off interviews Stu? That bit made me laugh - sorry!

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stunet Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:50am

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a sweet-talking journo with the promise of a hot take.

I've said it before, but this time I really mean it. No more interviews.

Swear to dog I mean it.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:51am

Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen :)

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tubeshooter Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 6:50pm

On the fishing side of things....

"Whether it is the commercial or recreational fishing sector, all will be impacted by the introduction of offshore wind farms. The sheer scale and resultant exclusion zones of wind farms across key fishing areas will severely impact the viability of both sectors.

With the exclusion of fishing activity, both recreational and commercial in the affected areas by the offshore wind farms will have a triple-bottom-line effect. The economic, social and environmental consequences for the recreational fishermen, the commercial fishing industry, the coastal communities that depend on this sector, and society, in general, will be negatively impacted. In addition, the cables’ sounds, vibration, and electromagnetic fields can impact captures.

Besides taking away prime fishing grounds through exclusion zones, the wind turbine structures will become large-scale full-time floating artificial reef structures, each creating a whole new marine ecosystem system based around each wind turbine underwater structure. The number of structures planned will naturally draw baitfish and, as a result, draw target species away from permissible fishing areas. These will also compete with and overtake the benefits of any seasonal Fish Attraction Devices (FADs); they will alter the migration pattern of schooling baitfish, which in turn will alter the pattern of the pelagic species that follow.

Whilst this is a national issue, the impact in the proposed area for the Hunter-Central Coast offshore wind farm, for example, covers the prime regions for pelagic sports fishing, predominately Marlin, Tuna, Dolphin Fish & Sharks. Renown locations such as “The Carpark”, “Allmark”, “Newcastle Canyons”, “Norah Head Canyons”, and other prime areas will all be affected through exclusion zones."

"Conflicts between commercial fishers and OWF in European waters have resulted in spatial exclusions for certain types of fisheries. This development will sit astride important commercial fishing grounds for the Hunter area. The Newcastle and Port Stephens Commercial Fishing Cooperative estimates that up to one third of the local commercial fishing grounds could be lost through this development, putting the livelihoods of the fishers and the future of the Cooperative at risk. Considerable conflict can be expected between the regulatory bodies, the operators and the commercial fishing industry. Apparently recreational fishers will be able to access these areas, but this is highly unlikely as these areas will probably be designated exclusion zones for security purposes etc."

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stunet Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:26pm

Knew you'd be on top of it.

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mpeachy Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:21am

Playing devils advocate, would the mini exclusion zones around the turbines actually act like marine reserves, which would allow fish populations to regenerate which would benefit the fishing industry (and fish populations) in the medium and long term?

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indo-dreaming Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 12:02pm

Yeah MrPeachy that was my thought, but Tubshooter also makes some decent points i hadn't considered.

Also taking away areas to fish might increase pressure on areas left to fish, not an issue for pelagics but would be an issue on non pelagic species.

File me as undecided either way on this one, need to learn more.

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frog Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 2:02pm

There is rsearch indicating that this is the case. Fish stocks surge quickly when areas are not fished and structure creates habitat

But tubeshooter's points are valid and shows the complexity of impacts and how real world experience is needed to fully understand what will happen.

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tubeshooter Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 5:09pm

It is a very complex issue and does have the 'potential' for some very serious ecological and social consequences, and I'm not just talking from a commercial fishers perspective. 'IF' they change too many habits and patterns of species like baitfish, then obviously that's going to impact many other species.
I have a lot of literature to catch up on before I get my head fully around it.

"The template set by SAS, is that it’s possible to be both for the wind farms while also concerned about surfing amenity. However, to do anything about the latter, surfers have to formally involve themselves in the process."
Quite true.
At least the reco and commercial fishers have some pretty organised groups and associations to weigh in on the consultation process.

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Tim Fisher Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 11:38am

It's disappointing to see the Fishing Trade Association has no references or sources for any of their claims that offshore wind farms will negatively impact fishing. Like, they literally have no evidence at all.

Without pointing to any studies, these are just their claims, and they've very much got a dog in this fight, so without real evidence I'm afraid it's all just hot air.

Plus, the idea that existing super tankers, oil drilling and all the massive ocean-based infrastructure that props up existing power generation somehow doesn't impact fishing? Come on.

The ocean is literally hotter than it has *ever* been this northern summer.

We have to get realistic about changing our sources of energy. Wind turbines are incredibly low impact forms of generation compared to *any* existing fossil energy generation. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of evidence-based studies confirming this.

You're all smart folks. you know this.

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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 7:49am

Have to agree with Tim here. The claims from tubeshooter are no doubt genuinely made, but read as worst case conjecture, much like the views of the anti-party up at the Newcastle site, where, you will be stunned to hear, “real estate prices will be drastically affected”.

Aren’t they always.

I haven’t seen any proposals that ban fishing, not to say they don’t happen. Bans on commercial fishing may well come into play, which are generally a boon to amateur fishos.

And with all those unfished fish out there, I think we can safely say our shark attacks will drop to zero. Nobody will sight a shark anymore as they’re all 15-20 kms offshore at the wind farm/shark feeding facilities.

Yes, I jest. But claims are generally worth not a whole lot. The idea that surf amenity will be affected also strikes me as faintly ridiculous.

But my curtains are likely to fade, which is a problem.

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stunet Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:11am

"The idea that surf amenity will be affected also strikes me as faintly ridiculous."

Have to agree, but I was surprised by the response from people with far more knowledge than I possess in matters of the ocean, and who also fall on the side of acknowledging AGW.

If there is even a sliver of concern, then now, while big bucks are being thrown around on studies, is the time to raise a hand.

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tubeshooter Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 4:14pm

Good points and as I mentioned I have much to study and catch up on in relation to OWF impacts on fisheries.

Most of the studies and research is all from OS and from what I've seen so far, many seem inconclusive and require more research. Some of them are quite lengthy and I'm time poor at the moment.

I have concerns but have not formed a definite opinion either way on the matter yet. I'm keeping an open mind. Though some of my concerns could turn out to be very serious if they get it wrong, and even though some of them might be worst case scenarios, they're definitely worth at least looking into and addressing.

I realise you weren't being totally serious, but hypothetically, if all the sharks were to 'hang out' at these wind farms then surely, that would be changing the patterns and habits of the apex sea life, which would have a knock-on effect down the chain.

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stunet Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:06am

If they can show they've commercially fished in what will become the wind farm exclusion zone then I'd say they'll be paid off. Compensated for lost earnings. It's what happened/happens in the North Sea.

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mr mick Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 8:30pm

Some good info there tubeshooter, you may be interested in a documentary still to be released about effects on whales. There is a trailer to view : ‘ Throw to the Wind’. Cheers.

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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:54pm

Another great article Stu.
We need to support alternative energy options to fossil fuels as were running out of cheap coal, unless you want to dig under lakes, rivers, ocean, or subside suburbia.
NSW Powerplants are sold off O/S & shutting down in 2030.
Planet earth is warming up & were still fuelling the fire.
Australia is a sunburnt country, Geoscience Australia (Fed Govt Dept) studies conclude that solar panels are the best energy option.
There are many energy alternatives however few proven technologies have the large scale capacity for big industry consumers (eg .Aluminium & steel makers)

eg. There was a $650 million solar thermal power plant planned, mirrors & tower built at Port Augusta, SA; that will not go ahead after the company behind it failed to secure commercial finance for the project. the 150-megawatt solar thermal power plant had been secured for Port Augusta in August 2017, following the 2016 statewide blackout. Earlier in 2017, the Federal Government confirmed it would grant $110 million in a concessional equity loan to support the project. Mr Weatherill said the project would be ready to go in 2020 and would supply 100 per cent of the State Government's needs for 20 years. So Govt, business & bankers have a lot of sway in who gets what power, where and when....

eg. Hawaii has windfarms on the ridges above Waimea Bay.... way back in 2012..... however they're over sacred land.
"Turbine numbers 4-14 are placed along Waimea ridge, dangerously close to the valley. Wind turbines now affect a once natural view, however this sight remains subjective." "When asked if Kawailoa Wind project supporters had possibly overlooked the cultural significance of Waimea Valley, Carol Philips states, "No, I think they had a deal, this is just a business deal. "

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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 8:21pm

"Currently solar PV and onshore wind in Australia come in at around $40 per megawatt hour, Mr Buckley said. SolarReserve’s (Port August) project would have been in the vicinity of $80 per megawatt hour."
Reference 2019

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Britabroad Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 2:04pm

Solar is absolutely not the silver bullet though. All the energy generation is in the day (a generally low demand time) meaning a huge amount of generated energy ends up being curtailed. This is why the price is high. If we could match demand and supply then solar prices would drop dramatically.

Offshore wind offers an alternative as it's not got such a limited generation window, but if we are to move away from coal & gas we need multiple generation methods, most importantly a base load (not intermittent generation method) *cough* *cough* nuclear.

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Tim Fisher Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 11:45am

I was agreeing with every single thing you said right up until you said nuclear.

Unfortunately nuclear is a terrible compliment as base load for a renewable-heavy energy system.

Nuclear power plants cannot be switched on and off at short notice - or at all. They are built to pump out power 24/7.

Plus, they take - absolute best case - a decade and a half to build.

In 15 years (or more realistically, 30), we will have an energy grid dominated by renewables. Matching a renewable-heavy grid, which already, right now in 2023 is producing more power than we need on sunny days, with nuclear, unfortunately makes no sense. We'd just be producing way too much excess power.

You're dead right about matching supply and demand, though. Something we really need to be thinking about is managing the energy we *use*, to match the energy that's supplied.

Smart, energy efficient buildings that can switch on air conditioning while the sun is shining on all those solar panels, with enough insulation to actually stay cool overnight - that sort of thing. We don't need to add new tech, we just have to get smarter with the tech we already use.

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Britabroad Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 3:37pm

Nuclear takes a long time to build out for sure, but a lot of that is regulation requirements that could easily be (safely) reduced.

The fact that its a baseload that runs at near 100% is what makes it such a good compliment to a renewable heavy system. The ideal system (IMO) would be a nuclear running full capacity with wind & solar as the intermittent energy generators for peak demand, matched with disruptable compute co-located onsite at wind & solar farms. That location-agnostic disruptable load (AI compute/cloud services/bitcoin mining etc) can then act as demand response when energy is needed by the grid. Turning off immediately & indefinitely (asides from cloud services) at the click of a button. It's truly a unique solution that we've never had access to before.

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Tim Fisher Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 3:55pm

I haven't heard of this solution. Respectfully: is it currently operating anywhere in the world?
If not, how far away is it, realistically?

One of the many issues with nuclear is that it remains the most expensive form of energy generation, while the costs of renewables continue to fall (even including cost-of-transmission, which the Murdoch press is currently suggesting has not been included in CSIRO's GenCost report, which is completely false).

In the decade or more it will take for a nuclear plant to theoretically be built, the cost of electricity from renewables will have fallen to the point where any nuclear plant will immediately become a stranded asset, and billions of dollars that could have been spent on something useful will have disappeared.

Nuclear power makes sense only for countries that already have it.

For countries that don't – especially countries with incredible access to renewable energy sources – it just doesn't stack up.

The nuclear tech that the LNP and other nuclear boosters are currently pointing to as being our future – e.g. small modular reactors – does not exist. It is not being used to generate significant amounts of power *anywhere in the world.*

If the LNP truly believed in nuclear, why didn't they get it underway in the decade they were in government? Only once they lost power did they start talking about it. I wonder why that might be.

Meanwhile, Hawaiian wetlands are on fire and oceans are boiling. We don't have time to wait for SMR and other castles in the sky.

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Britabroad Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 5:19pm

The point is wind & solar can not and will not ever be enough on its own. A grid *needs* baseload power generation.

In Australia we have great access to intermittent energy generation but we aren't blessed with "green" baseload generation so if we want the most sustainable grid possible we need nuclear (OTEC is interesting but decades away at least). Nuclear is also, against common belief, incredibly safe... https://ourworldindata.org/safest-sources-of-energy

Why didn't LNP pass Nuclear? I have no idea. Maybe because Australia has easy access to cheap coal that currently makes up our baseload energy, but whatever the reason is, it doesn't mean its a good idea to keep overlooking it.

When it comes to these location agnostic services balancing intermittent energy there is absolutely grids that are operating with this now. The Texas grid (ERCOT) being the most interesting as it is comparable to Australia (lots of wind & solar).

Here are some links...

There is an Australian company doing this too...

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Tim Fisher Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 9:55pm

Thanks for the good-natured debate, Britabroad.

Both your links are about bitcoin mining, and don't mention nuclear at all.

Look, I don't doubt nuclear is safer than it used to be, but the issue of spent uranium remains as problematic as ever.
As I said, if a country has already put its chips behind nuclear, then it makes sense to maximise the investment they've already made.

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bonza Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:31pm

“In the decade or more it will take for a nuclear plant to theoretically be built, the cost of electricity from renewables will have fallen to the point where any nuclear plant will immediately become a stranded asset”

They’ve been saying that for the the last decade or more. I used to believe it.

Imagine if we had of just got on with it.

Yet here we are.

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Tim Fisher Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 9:48pm

It’s so bloody fascinating how the story of renewables has been hidden in Australia, isn’t it.

Most people have no idea how fast renewables have been moving.

bonza, you say you've been hearing this for a decade. Have you been hearing that nuclear is going to save us all ... or that renewables will?

Because if you feel like you used to believe that renewables were the solution, well - a lot of the work has actually happened, it just doesn't make the front pages.

Last year, the increase in solar generation globally was enough to power the whole of Australia. And the increase in wind generation on its own could have powered the whole of the UK.

Right now, the *biggest* single energy generation source in Australia isn’t Eraring or some other gigantic coal plant - it’s household rooftop solar.

In other words, we already have rooftop solar doing a job that was being done by coal power as recently as 2005.

This isn’t me pulling numbers out of my arse and ranting like a greenie – you can look this stuff up on the International Energy Agency or The Australian Energy Market Operator’s websites.

Because so much of Australia’s media is captured by fossil fuel interests (The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, Channel 7, the Financial Review, the Herald Sun, Sky News etc etc etc forever), we are not being told this story
(OK when it comes to media, maybe I do get ranty. But the point holds).

The Australian Energy Market Operator - which is a completely non-political organisation that runs our energy grid - has an engineering roadmap that plans for 100 per cent renewables. They released it December

In just the past few years, we've got to the point where a quarter of all our energy is coming from renewables.

In another 10 years it'll easily be half. And we still won't have the social licence for nuclear in this country, let alone actually be able to start building a plant. Meanwhile, all those solar panels and wind turbines have been producing 20 per cent more energy, year on year, for the past decade.

And after the initial investment to construct them - they'll be pumping out electricity for free.

So *why do renewables make people so angry*?

OK, if you grew up on the south coast and the mines employed every second person you know: then I absolutely fucken get it.

But the mines employ way, way less Australians than most people think – they've just had bigger marketing budgets and have been spending them for longer.

(Again, this is not a rant: if don't have time to read the book 'Carbon Club', there's some good short podcasts featuring proper reporting on this stuff getting around https://7ampodcast.com.au/episodes/reporter:Marian%20Wilkinson )

So why are people comfy with fossil fuels, but find themselves getting bent out of shape about renewables? Like, how is lowering the emissions of our energy actually going to make our lives worse? All evidence shows that it's cleaner and it's cheaper, and all evidence saying otherwise – like the gas lobby in Victoria right now – has been debunked.

This stuff is fascinating, hey.

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bonza Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 11:21am

"In another 10 years it'll easily be half".

There I was thinking we are living in a climate emergency?

Even with trending favourable economics aside Newcorp have done a pretty good job the last 20 years in ensuring the transition to renewables is complicated, slow and highly politicised. That isn't going to change anytime soon.

Rooftop solar PV is great for the declining trend, current 67% of home owners - but what about the rest?

Rightly or wrongly whenever large scale solar or wind farm construction is proposed there is a backlash (this article case in point). That also requires a significant social license to address farmers concerns whether marine or terrestrial.

It has been and will continue to be very difficult to transition off fossil fuels to living on renewables. We are collectively going to have to start saying Yes to something. Nuclear has its problems too but It has been and will continue to be part of the solution. All options should be on the table. Can we at least have some sensible public debate, and get over the myths and fearmongering of safety and economics when it comes to nuclear.

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Tim Fisher Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 12:05pm

Agree with much of what you're saying, bonza.

Turns out the Senate legislation committee released a report on nuclear just last week, explaining why the government has come to the conclusion that nuclear isn't right for Australia at this point https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environm...

If you don't have time to wade through it, Dr Jim Green has written a good summary of both sides' arguments

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bonza Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 8:07pm

Thanks for the link Tim

“Australia’s projected 83 per cent uptake of firmed renewables by 2030.”

Let that sink in. What about the remaining 17%. What if projections change?

Dr Jim Green has an axe to grind as a campaigner for Friends of the Earth Australia and a wiling publisher reneweconomy. Nonetheless he’s spot on when it comes to the shitfuckery of the coalition.

That said there’s nothing new or controversial in either party’s submission. It’s a stock standard argument from the labor party. There are 7 arguments there that could be refuted by others more smarter than me reading this.

“net zero emissions by 2050” is a red flag for me. I’m Yet to be convinced how that will be achieved with record rising immigration and an environmental market scheme inherently flawed, lacking scientific rigour and fundamentally designed for Wall Street profiteers.

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mr mick Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 8:38pm

9.2 years world average to build nuclear plant

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Tim Fisher Friday, 18 Aug 2023 at 1:16pm

Heard a spokesman from The Australian Industry Group (i.e. not a climate organisation) make a good point this week.

1. Cheap, scalable nuclear in Australia is a bit like Tattslotto.
2. You probably won’t win Tattslotto.
3. Making “I will win Tattslotto” your solution to any problem is a bad move.

If your response to this is to ask, "Why are you trying to ban winning Tattslotto?"
it might be the wrong question.

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Seaweed Friday, 18 Aug 2023 at 10:44pm

Well written Tim, my mum the horse must have been a good English teacher.

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Tooold2bakook Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:18pm

Great article Stu, the last line in particular. If it was in my neighborhood I'd be attending those consultation.

Re affects on waves, couldn't some basic physics help get an idea? I mean if these turbines extract X energy then worst case waves lose X energy. I know this ignores complex things like refraction but might be a useful way to get a worst case idea.

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andy-mac Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:34pm

Yeah great article Stu... Living in interesting times

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Jelly Flater Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:49pm



bbbird's picture
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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 9:04pm

Thanks for the Wind turbines video
Offshore hasnt been proven tech yet.
Detail construction cost estimate @12m 30sec

Cost Wind turbines on land = $30 US / Megawatt/hr
Wind turbines fixed into earth offshore = $80 US / Meg/hr
Wind turbines floating offshore = $200 US / Meg/hr (est.) plus power cables

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frog Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 7:58pm

Hopefully government doesn't sign contracts which socialise the risks which have just got higher now inflation has jumped.


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JackStance Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:30am

my understanding is that is the fiction of government; transfer wealth and power upwards, public foots the bill and wears all the risk.

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MartinNow Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 8:04pm

There is an Australian company called Vast Energy. It has revolutionised an old technology - Concentrated Solar Thermal Power - CSP. It has developed a world leading approach.

Once again Australia has failed to capitalise on our local genius.

They have partnered with a US company and will soon be listed on New York stock market.

I have little doubt that vested interest have ensured it has not been turned into Aus's greatest achievement.

Look at this:


Fuck you Santos

Fuck you monsters fracking elsewhere

Fuck you idiots in charge - you are corrupt, overpaid slaves to more greedy corporate maggots.

Fuck you idiots in charge for not embracing this

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carmo-dee Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 9:46pm

X 2
I remember reading an article about the resurgence of CSP.
The port Augusta CSP plant looks wild on a sunny day. An illuminated beam atop a massive tower.
Hopefully they get traction, but I won't hold my breath

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MartinNow Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 6:02am

Hi carmo-dee

I haven't seen the Port Augusta CSP plant, but "a massive tower" does not sound like what Vast Energy are promoting on their website.

Vast's approach is modular - small towers with small arrays of mirrors. Less modules for small needs, more modules for greater needs.

The engineering is lighter than the massive single tower approach and the mirrors are closer to the towers which is more efficient.

I hope they continue to gain traction also.

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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:43am

It does look good, you can see the beam a long way out when driving in from the west.

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MartinNow Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:56am

Thanks for the feedback / confirmation that someone has got their no smoke and all mirrors act happening.

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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 8:44pm

suits embrace prestige & or profit
Why the Port Augusta solar thermal power station couldn’t nail down finance
"Currently solar PV and onshore wind in Australia come in at around $40 per megawatt hour, Mr Buckley said. SolarReserve’s (Port August) project would have been in the vicinity of $80 per megawatt hour."
Reference 2019

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MartinNow Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:32am

Old news bbbird.

Have a look at Vast - current projects:

"SM1: Solar Methanol Demonstration Plant
Vast is developing the SM1 project in Port Augusta, South Australia a world-first green methanol demonstration plant. The project will receive funding from the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator (known as HyGATE) in the amount of AUD$19.4 million and EUR13.2 million.‍

Methanol is the most versatile hydrogen derivative which, if produced using clean energy, has the potential to decarbonise several hard-to-abate industries, including aviation and shipping. SM1 will produce up to 7,500 tonnes per annum of green methanol.

SM1 will be co-located with the 30MW VS1 project in Port Augusta. VS1 is Vast‘s first utility-scale concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plant, generating zero-emissions electricity and heat, including to power the 10MW electrolyser in SM1 that will create green methanol.

Reference 2023

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bbbird Thursday, 10 Aug 2023 at 9:16pm

stan1972's picture
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stan1972 Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:10am

Stu, it might be worth noting in the article that neither Profs Christopher and Bienen are specialists in the field of ocean physics (ocean waves).

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Thegrowingtrend.com Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:15am

What’s our alternative? Wooden surfboards? Horse drawn carts?

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dandandan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:46am

This doesn't answer your question, but it's what goes my head when I think about it:

Modern humans have existed for roughly 200 000 years. The horse drawn cart started to fade out of mainstream use roughly 100 years ago. Surfboards stopped being made from wood roughly 60 years ago. I think it might be more useful to acknowledge that in a historical sense we are currently existing in the "alternative" and that it isn't working, and not let our imagination be constrained by constructed ideas of what progress is, or by the constrains of our current systems (neoliberalism, capitalism, etc. etc.)

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bbbird Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 6:52pm

I like to ride wood veneer surfboards, both strong and beautiful. Havent broken one in 20 yrs.
We use to ride an ex trotter & race horse to the local shop. They ate grain, grass & weeds (solar generated food), garden manure galore & reduced bushfire fuels but .... farted alot when they got older (CH4)

An alternative could be rooftop solar, charging a modular battery in your E'car / truck & feeding back into the house (instead of an exhaust pipe spewing out 4ton/yr CO2, CO, lead, sulphur, etc for over 50 years .) Mitsubishi, Volvo and Samsung are already on to it....

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More tubes please Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:44am

Great article Stu. I work in the offshore oil and gas industry and it pains me no end that all of the profits from our resources sit in offshore bank accounts for foreign companies, while smarter countries such as Norway and the gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi have state owned companies whereby their citizens reap the benefits. Not only that, but we’re constantly told that Australian workers are too expensive to work on our own projects and we should be replaced with cheaper foreign labour.

Also you’re spot on about the 2 climate change camps. You’re either for it or against it, there’s no in between or room for nuance in the media. The left refuses to listen to logic or rationale in the transition away from fossil fuels, while the right refuses to acknowledge that climate change is real.

Also +1 to your prospective jobs list, these wind farms will need offshore support vessels to maintain the turbines, so it should be a bit of a boost to our marine industry, eg Masters, marine engineers and IRs! Great jobs for surfers!

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:45am

Yeah I really liked the machinists bit, gotta have the machine shops to maintain the parts. Hey presto, there's a local apprenticeship pathway.

Stephen Allen's picture
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Stephen Allen Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:57am

The rot started ironically with Paul Keating, Bob Hawke and the Fred Hilmer competition reports.

bbbird's picture
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bbbird Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 7:00pm

In 2005 The Prime Minister, John Howard, said minimum wages would be set "at levels that ensure they are competitive in the labour market" but the Federal Opposition seized on these words as "code for slashing the wages of Australian apprentices".
Created a generation of labourers & a huge gap in skilled tradies

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555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 8:36am

The right has always said that climate change is real , it has been ongoing for billions of years.
The question is , whether anthropogenic emissions are actually causing it , to the sudden exclusion of all natural drivers , and whether making small reductions to emissions in some areas , while CO2 continues to increase overall (to more normal long term levels), will actually provide any tangible benefit to the human race and to the environment ?

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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:05am

Yes, anthropogenic emissions are actually causing it. That’s just a fact.

If you don’t believe that, I have another thought.

Unless science absolutely proves that anthropogenic emissions are NOT the cause then on a precautionary principle we must do everything in our power, ahem, immediately to reduce all emissions.

People don’t seem to have comprehended that this is the end of ‘the human experiment’ if we don’t stop this. At 4 degrees Celsius increase humanity is basically down to enclaves scattered around the world. At 5 degrees we die off.

The revolutions might end up causing as much death as climate change. This isn’t going to end pretty.

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mcbain Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:39am

This is just the tip of what will be a continuing issue.
The choice to pursue an energy system that relies on diffuse and dispersed energy collection has significant conflict with society and environment baked into the pie. These systems, by their nature, require significant areal impacts - and so, interactions with people, plants and animals. This is before we even touch on the associated impacts of additional transmission and storage.

Maybe consideration of something more energy dense would be useful?

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Mad Dog Morgan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:42am

I went to the consultation at Shellharbour and it was clear Blue Float didn't want to discuss any potential impacts, box ticking at its finest. I approached the local state member with concerns only to be told it wasn't a matter for them and to talk to Blue Float, so they obviously have a few fingers in this pie. No options have been put on the table, just trust us they say, this is the way. This could potentially be a whole lot of impact on our precious coast for something that will only last 30 years. This could absolutely impact wave climate reaching the coast as these pontoons would be massive to support a 200m high wind turbine in action. The wave impact on the coast will be a function of the pontoon size and draft, spacing between, number of, water depth, distance from the coast and vary for different wave periods and directions. As the article reads, it’s a complex study but doesn’t sound like it something that is currently being considered.

I fully support a clean energy transition and it has to be done, but not when its driven by corporate greed where the existing environment comes behind profits and politics. Hypocritical for a sector that is intended to save the environment.

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stunet Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 1:31pm

Worth noting that the pontoons weigh significantly less than a coalship, and yeah, there'll be more of them then there are coalships at anchor, but the question of coalships blocking swell has never, ever been raised.

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thermalben Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 1:37pm

Actually, coalships are a very useful indicator as to the synoptic wind direction (as they're too far offshore to be influenced by terrestrial features).

For that reason, I encourage the construction of more coal mines (and thus coal loading shipping terminals), especially near coastlines where the local topography can create tricky wind outlooks for surfers.

The resultant parking lot of coalships will assist in the further improvement of our inshore wind forecasts.

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Mad Dog Morgan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 2:44pm

You would have to look at it in detail. As you point out, its the shear area and density these things would occupy. Waves may simply detract around the structures with little loss but they also may well not. It could even cause real south swell to bend in to the coast more, who knows. It would need to be modelled, not just for impacts on surf amenity, but also coastal erosion.

Besides that, they will look crap so close to shore off the coast as they are constrained by navy waters and the water is too deep apparently on the other side. Not to mention the marine ecology impacts. I just don't appreciate how no options are being considered. The only reason they are now in the Illawarra is because Kiama Council told them to move on.

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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:11am

I think ‘surfers may get a 3% reduction in wave heights to be at the very bottom of concerns of right thinking people when considering how to avoid climate catastrophe.

I swear, within 20 years the world’s populous will be wondering what the fuck were we thinking, running unheeded into this fire, when all the science was telling us it was coming.

Sorry mad dog, your concerns are reasonable, just not valid. On one side a bunch of privileged surfers in the luckiest of the lucky countries, on the other side > humanity.

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Stephen Allen Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 9:56am

In the entire debate about energy sources, not one mention of reducing energy consumption. How so?

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dandandan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 10:30am

We're so trapped within the growth mindset of capitalism, and governments so captured by corporate interests, that the notion that you could simply aspire to reduce energy consumption by doing less is so shocking to people that go into fits of rage and are entirely incapable of imagining it being possible.

A key function - if not purpose - of neoliberalism is to render any alternative future unimaginable. Whether it is forms of socialism or communism (I prefer the acid variety), post-work futures, degrowth, or any other ways of structuring society that we haven't yet experimented with, they all seem impossible, which is one of the reasons this bullshit system persists despite it's endless failings.

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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:12am

Couldn’t agree more, triple D.

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Solitude Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 9:14pm

Love it Dan. My thoughts for a long time.
People shit the bed at the idea of staying still or even reverting.

Imagine driving your car for 25 years, owning one surfboard for as long as you can patch it up. Having a home for shelter and not giving a fuck whether it was worth any more than when you got it. Wearing a shirt until it fell off you…………crazy

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mcbain Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:06am

Degrowth aint the answer, thats for sure. Political non starter, not to mention would impact on those at the bottom the most.

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Stephen Allen Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:19am

Ah so you have succumbed to the trickle down dogma? Following all the decades of economic growth economic inequality continues its insidious march.

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mcbain Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 12:29pm

Nope, there are other ways - read some Leigh Phillips.

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dandandan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:29am

I agree, but I try to not get caught up too much on the definitions of things. I think when the average person uses the term degrowth, they are talking about the global rich having fewer private jets and not putting computer chips and touch screens in fridges, rather than stopping the global poor from having solar panels and healthcare.

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bocirl Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 4:59pm

Simply because everyone understands that we have a fundamental drive for more.

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dandandan Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 5:57pm

I don't think there is anything fundamental about it. I think it is learned behaviour.

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bocirl Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 6:06pm

So your average caveman 200,000 years ago learned the behaviour from who exactly?

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rooftop Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 12:00pm

The benefits of cheap and abundant energy far outweigh the downsides. As much as we like to object to the conspicuous consumption of the mega-rich and the problems of inequality, increased consumption is a sign of material improvement, which is, on balance, a thing.

Blaming the poor administration and distribution of that abundance on excess consumption is not the way to go.

I want to be able to live in material comfort, to be able to afford clean food, quality housing, access to health care, recreation and so on. And while the best things in life are free or nearly free (surfing, bushwalking, love, music), the opportunities to enjoy them are bought with the leisure and security created by abundance. The average Westerner today lives far better and longer and more luxuriously than the wealthiest person in the world a couple of hundred years ago, who didn't even have sanitation, dentistry, food security, safety from heat and cold. Cheap and abundant energy helps make the modern world possible for me and everyone else, provided it is managed wisely.

Quality public health care won't be funded by people sitting at home and not spending; it will come from a vibrant and efficient economy with an equitable distribution of the spoils.

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rooftop Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 12:22pm

"...which is, on balance, a *good* thing."

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velocityjohnno Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 1:58pm

Upper Palaeolithic carvers love curves and they cannot lie

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Stephen Allen Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:23am

Also, scant attention has been given to the declaration of renewable energy zones across NSW by the NSW government (Illawarra is one such zone) and what fate lies with the peoples who reside in these zones. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has been particularly neglectful on this matter.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:42am

Interesting topic and read, and lot to take in and discuss, this might surprise some people that know many of my views, but im a big supporter of wind farms even solar farms, but wind is a far better energy source than solar on a commercial scale especially for countries like Australia whio dont have the luxury of non carbon Hydro or Nuclear to build on or support solar, we will need shit loads of wind if want to get to 100% carbon free energy.

Solar has its place and is great domestically, but domestic or commercially you are always limited to day time production generally 50% of the time and batteries are really not the answer on a large scale commercially, batteries are just one piece of a bigger puzzle but not the holy grail many make out.

I also think its great that fossil fuel companies are getting in on the action and following the money, for example Adani has been at the fore front of solar even wind for a long time and are the biggest private provider of solar in the world and also making huge investments in wind.

Im surprised that these at sea wind farms are viable though in open ocean even with land cost taken away there must be all kinds of issues and high maintenance cost.

As a surfer id have some concern if fixed to the bottom if it was proven and even the short period wind thing for either designs could suck if in your area.

But hey like the great Thomas Sowell once said "“There are no solutions, there are only trade-offs; and you try to get the best trade-off you can get, that's all you can hope for.”

My automatic thoughts was these would be good for fish stocks too and provide safe spaces for them especially pelagic, but hmm Tubeshooter also makes some good points above.

Visually i wouldn't have any real issue with them on the horizon off my local.

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555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 8:29am

They are not viable without government mandated tax payer funded subsidies.
Many off shore projects touted in Europe have recently been cancelled , due to being economically unfeasible , since the high operational maintenance costs are only now being fully realised.

Wind farms of all kinds are environmentally damaging and should not be allowed to happen.

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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:17am

The Middle Arm gas facility in NT is being subsidised by our fearless Labor government to the tune of $1.5 B.

Subsidies prop up much of the fossil fuel industry. Don’t talk to me about subsidies suddenly being not allowed for green energy when governments have propped up fossil fuel this long.

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Michael Jardine Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 11:54am

Norway is an interesting comparison but it's not like for like as one is a unitary nation state (Norway) and one is a Federation (Aus), whereby in the latter exploitable minerals & hydrocarbons belong to the states (who receive the royalties) not the Federal government.

As a rough proxy if you compare (total income taxes + state Royalties) to the various inbound revenue streams into the main Norwegian SWF (excluding investment income) then on last available data I can see the total yield to the combined Aus governments is about half what Norway received, albeit they've seen hugely inflated returns recently as energy prices have been much more elevated than mineral prices (relatively more important for Aus). Would be interesting to do a like-for-like over a much longer period if someone could be bothered, my guess is they wouldn't be orders of magnitude apart and largely reliant on various relative pricing scenarios.

If so, one could mount an argument that our philosophies aren't so different given we actually do realise 'sovereign wealth' from our various natural resources i.e. it's not all going offshore, State Treasurers are often the largest beneficiaries. It's just not accounted for at the Federal level in the same way, and perhaps even more importantly our various state governments have not been as responsible at managing long term wealth. In which case, perhaps this discussion should also examine how existing income streams are managed by government rather than how can they get more of the pie.

Irrespective of that I think it's worth highlighting the structure underpinning our currents arrangements isn't some recent neocon conspiracy but was largely set in place back in 1901 when we became a Federation. A perfect replica of the 'Norway' model has never really been on the table for Aus.



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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 12:10pm

Very interesting, thank you Michael.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 4:48pm


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rooftop Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 4:37pm


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batfink Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:21am

Fair comment Michael, but you can’t lump minerals and fossil fuels together to come up with about half of what Norway earns. We earn effectively nothing from all our gas. Royalties are the equivalent of bank interest on your daily spending account, 4/5ths of 5/8ths of sweet FA.

Coal is now much more lucrative in Qld where they slapped some serious royalties on top of normal. Good move there.

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Michael Jardine Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 2:29pm


Appreciate the engagement, I guess for further context my comments were mostly philosophical in noting:

- the Federal Aus government can't unilaterally increase Royalty rates for example as our various resources (minerals or energy) are owned by the States, who can do this as you rightfully point out. In Norway no such internal negotiation exists whereas our Fed govt is largely limited to using tax law if it wants to increase its take.

- Given the state take, I would also argue we do have a 'Norway light' model here in Aus anyway, certainly compared to the US where freeholders also own mineral/energy rights in almost all cases. We could certainly debate the merits of a higher state take (see my next point) but no way in practice does 'it all go offshore'.

- finally I would much prefer to see our collective governments get better at managing the income they already receive from our natural abundance before I would support a larger government take. Especially state treasurers who are Slater level barrel aficionados, just of the porcine not liquid variety. There is absolutely nothing stopping our States directing current Royalty streams into long term wealth funds, as opposed to funding spending today, other than a lack of political vision and leadership.

I appreciate not everyone will agree with me on this last one.

Finally re: your point in terms of which commodities - minerals, oil, gas, renewables (?) - are quasi taxed the most (and when), this is probably outside the scope of my ability to participate in this forum time wise. But if you want to dive into the details of how you see it I will read with interest,.



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Tomyang83 Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 12:28pm

Long time reader, first time poster…

Is there any facts in regards to wind turbines not being recyclable? I don't understand how they couldn't be? Just because the copper, aluminium is 20 years old at end of life doesn't mean its not copper or aluminium any more. The anti climate change agenda seems to push this but it doesn't seem right to me.

Also, we live in one of the most politically stable, seismically stable continents on earth with a metric shit tonne of uninhabitable land. With most of the worlds uranium to boot. Why not go nuclear?? Seems a mo brainer to me……

Ill let myself out…

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peekaa8 Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 4:11pm

Turbines are, in fact, mostly recyclable...

It s a nice punch line that comes up every now and then but its nonsense. In that regard, it's similar to the one on wind turbines costing more energy to manufacture than they produce in their lifetime.

Traditionally, the main issue with recyclability of wind turbines used to be the blades because they are made from thermoset resin, typically epoxy or polyester + glass and/or carbon fibres. Thermoset composites are notoriously difficult to recycle. The blades are huge and can weigh up to 60 tons a blade, so it's a real problem.
Blade recycling has been a focus area of the wind industry over the past 10 years. Solutions have been developed and are currently in the 0-series production stage. Those solutions allow the resin to be separated from the fibers. More and more countries will demand recyclability of the wind turbines as part of their approval processes.

More info:



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velocityjohnno Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 5:20pm

Yeah I wonder if you would cut the blades up then heat them in something like a crack tower from the petroleum industry, and off take hydrocarbons/gasses at different levels. What would be left would be the burnt fibres at the bottom - if a silica type material, I guess it could be purified and remade into more fibreglass?

It's a bitch of a material to recycle if you don't have the equipment for it.

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555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 8:24am

It is cheaper to make new blades than to recycle old ones.
The installers don't want to spend more money when the turbines break down and fail , which they do after around 20 years or less.
Millions of tonnes of blades are already going into landfill across the world , combine this with the large demands on resources , energy and the environment to make them and to operate them , and the low capacity factor , which means that turbines only produce around 30% of their capacity overall,
and it becomes clear that wind power is nothing but a scam to make money for those involved.

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spencie Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 1:39pm

If you want to take a look at a State government owned model (does that mean owned by all Tasmanians?) look at our Hydro which economically produces virtually all Tasmania's power in a "clean" manner using no fossil fuels. The Tasmanian government in all its wisdom refused to pass on the benefits of cheap power to the State and have tied our electricity prices to that of the mainland (or close to it). The extra several hundreds of millions of dollars per year it earns from this rort goes to the government as extra tax revenue so it can continue its white elephant schemes like Marinus Link, new Hobart Stadium, etc etc. Little benefit to ordinary Tasmanians.

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gsco Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 5:20pm

solid article and comments

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bbbird Friday, 11 Aug 2023 at 8:16pm

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Old Gregg Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 7:35am

Interesting. I remember asking swellnet some years back abut were the rumours that the surfcoast beaches particularly Barwon heads, Ocean Grove ect were going to have further surf cams forced on them (back then there was one) I could rabbit on but after being told absolutely not, the similarities I can draw from this article are striking.

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555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 8:19am

These installations will one day be recognised as a massive mistake,
Environmentally more damaging than any claimed benefits to the climate or the people of Australia.
Offshore wind power is expensive to make , and produces expensive electricity as a result.
If not for taxpayer funded subsidies , they would not be viable and would not be built.
The companies behind them only care about money , with no regard for the environment.

Placing these constructions right in the path of our migrating whales is nothing short of criminal.
Not to mention the killing of sea birds , and the unknown effects of resonance created by spinning blades upon whales and dolphins.

These things have a short lifespan due to the effects of salt water , and will then be abandoned to create a permanent monument to environmental stupidity of our politicians.
It is cheaper to build new turbine blades than it is to recycle them , which is why there are millions of tonnes of blades in landfill already.

If you care about our environment , you will do everything possible to stop the expansion of wind turbine installations , not only offshore but on land as well.

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rooftop Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 12:20pm

Hey mate. Are you able to please provide a summary of the costs and benefits of the wind turbines over their lifespan that support your argument they're unviable? Genuinely interested, not being snarky. When I look into it (see link below) it doesn't seem to match what you're saying.


The effects on whales of a stationary pole or two would be minimal compared with the impacts of moving ships that hit many more whales at speed with their prows and propellers.

With regards to birdlife, climate change would affect entire populations of all species, which would have much greater impact than the collisions of individual birds who live near the turbines.

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555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 1:25pm

I would not trust semprius , a company whose viability depends upon the popularity of renewable generation. They are clearly , biased and have a conflict of interest.

Why is it necessary for our governments to subsidise turbines if they are so economically profitable ?
Each turbine reaps $600,000 in subsidy payments from the government..or over $1 Billion per year in Australia. These payments would not be required if they were independently viable in a free market , which we know longer have , due to the Renewable Energy Target.

Why have offshore wind projects been recently cancelled (due to high costs and low returns), in both the UK and the USA if they are so independently profitable ?

Studies have shown increased beaching of whales after turbine installation , possibly due to resonant interference with their sonar systems , but no one really knows with certainty what the effect actually is ,,we should not take that chance with the East Coast being a major highway for migrating whales.

With regards to bird life (being killed by blade tips moving at up to 200 km/hr) suffering a greater risk from climate change , can you provide any evidence , quantifying how much colder the planet will be and how much climate change will be reduced , if we install hundreds of turbines off our coast ( bearing in mind that we produce a total of around 1.3% of global emissions ) ?

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rooftop Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 5:12pm

Ok, so no actual numbers then, just suppositions.

Governments subsidise things for many reasons, regardless of whether they are profitable if they align with their strategic interests - good or bad. The Renewable Energy Target is an example of such a strategy, so I don't see any mystery as to why the government would be putting money into reaching that target.

As for free markets, I'm all for them, but they tend to produce externalities - unforeseen negative consequences on areas unrelated to short-term profits - such as the environmental damage from the hugely profitable fossil fuel industries. The cheap fossil fuels we enjoyed for many years were only cheap because the cost of the environmental damage they cause had not been priced in. In any but a truly radical free market view, it is the job of governments to regulate industry correctly to account for that. If they don't, they will end up having to pay to fix the problems anyway, which is where we are now.

I don't know why the wind projects you vaguely reference have been cancelled. There could be many reasons, none of which you provide.

As to the impact of bird strikes, it pales in comparison to the deaths caused by other existing risks such as cars, cats, and powerlines.

From https://www.energymonitor.ai/tech/renewables/weekly-data-how-many-birds-...

"With wind farms rapidly scaling up across the world, it is hard to find a measure of the number of birds being killed each year that will still be accurate, but Joel Merriman, a wind specialist at charity the American Bird Conservancy, modelled the death rate at the start of 2021. He accounted for the fact that many of the bird death studies were published earlier in the decade and the numbers will have increased since then. He also factored in that many deaths of smaller birds will escape the notice of studies. Merriman concludes that 1.17 million birds are killed by wind turbines in the US each year.

This is a lot of birds, but it is only 0.016% of the estimated 7.2 billion birds that live in the US. It is also significantly less than the 5–6.8 million killed each year by communication towers, the 60–80 million killed by automobiles, the 67–90 million killed by pesticides, or the 365 million to one billion killed by cats each year in the US, according to a study published in Nature."

It is uncontroversial to say that climate change will disrupt most animals, from habitats to food sources, to migration patterns, resulting in loss of lives and species. Some, like jellyfish, will thrive, but only at the expense of many more. If you accept that the human contribution to climate change is real, then any renewable energy solution will involve tradeoffs. While we should seek to minimise them, we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. There is no perfect solution, only better ones. And in my view, wind energy is not perfect, but far better than coal or oil.

Your other argument, that our contribution is small so we should do nothing, is illogical whataboutism. We should do our bit.

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555ZZZ Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 6:41pm

So 'doing our bit' , means that we should ignore the environmental destruction caused by the proliferation of mostly Chinese made turbines and panels , all of which require vast quantities of toxic materials to be mined in order to be produced , in addition to large amounts of fossil fuels to mine and manufacture ?
We should ignore the fact that vast areas of land are required , we should ignore the detrimental effects upon our oceans , all so that we can feel good and say that 'we did out bit' ,
even though it actually did nothing ,
except drive up the cost of energy , drive down the standard of living , and increase environmental destruction in previously pristine areas ?
We should ignore the looming waste disposal /pollution problems that will come from millions of tonnes of turbines and panels that no longer function , and are too expensive to recycle ?
Seriously ?

Coal ,oil and gas have enabled us to live the lives we do today , everything we do depends upon them in some way . Without them , 7 out of every 8 people alive today could not survive.
82% of global energy is provided by fossil fuels.
Despite decades of promotion , and trillions of dollars spent , wind and solar still provide less than ten % of global energy.
Wind and solar will never replace fossil fuels .

Offshore turbine installations in the UK and USA have been cancelled due to high costs , low returns , higher capital costs , and insufficient subsidies to enable investors to make a return on their money.
The increased use of environmentally destructive wind turbines and solar panels is driven by corporate greed and political self interest and control , it has nothing to do with stopping climate change which will continue on as it has for billions of years.
One million birds killed in the USA alone , many of them larger species , including endangered eagles and hawks which rarely if ever are killed by cats or cars.
Rainforests in Nth Qld are being cleared to enable turbine installations , each requiring huge amounts of concrete , steel , and composite materials. Oceans polluted with fabricated monstrosities.
28,000 extra kms of high voltage power lines . Expensive installations of toxic flammable batteries.
Ten billion $ plus spent on Snowy 2.0 which is a complete failure....

The transition to renewables is a green fantasy , driven by corporate and political self interest , and green ideology based upon misinformation , which will ultimately fail , but only after it makes electricity unaffordable for many people and businesses.

The human contribution to climate change will one day be seen to be negligible , and therefore the
'trade offs' of the so called transition ( which will never happen btw ) are nothing but additional environmental destruction that should never have happened.
All the species on the Planet have lived with climate change to this point .
Claiming that it will suddenly accelerate is baseless fearmongering , propagated by vested interests using manipulated data to intentionally create a false prediction.

Our system of fossil fuel energy and electricity has served us very well , far better to have relatively small coal/gas or nuclear power plants supplying our grid than to destroy vast areas of our country and the surrounding oceans with turbines that actively kill wildlife , increase mining , and create a future toxic waste problem.
I feel sad for the children of today , who in the future will see rusting , broken , abandoned wind turbines almost everywhere they look , if the current madness is allowed to continue.

True environmentalists would support zero emission nuclear power , hydro power , high tech coal and gas , and would be protesting to stop all new installations of wind turbines , batteries and large scale solar panels , both on land and especially offshore in our almost pristine oceans.

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stunet Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 7:11pm

You sound a lot like one of the people at the BlueFloat community engagement event.

An aggro amount of certainty.

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555ZZZ Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 7:50pm

Ah , Ok , ??
There will be more and more people who sound like me as time passes.

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dawnperiscope Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 6:41am

Regardless of your views on our changing climate, you can’t be too worried about the “children’ if you think we can just carry on using fossil fuels. That shit is going to run out.

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southernraw Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 6:26pm

"and the unknown effects of resonance created by spinning blades upon whales and dolphins."
I reckon this is a pretty valid point and largely overlooked.
Down my way there's a couple of large windfarms in the region and they make a whopping sound as the blade cuts through the air on even a mild breeze. It's quite awesome, but i wonder what effects that would have underwater, knowing that sound travels vast distances underwater.
It could really fk with the whales sonar, especially due to it being a whale migration path.
Great article Stu and some brilliant posts throughout.

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57 Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 10:31am

would it be cheaper to put the windmil somewhere with wind 24/7 then run wire forever?

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Mick Lawrence Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 10:40am

There's a saying: a cynic is but an optimist with a lot of experience.

I'm a cynic - particularly when it comes to Atlantic salmon.

It's an industry which mirrors the antics of the 'energy industry' in this article. Tick-a-box public consultations, heavily redacted reviews, all delivered with PR spin that would do Warnie proud.

Salmon farming was established in Tasmania in the late 1970's as a boutique industry. Initially privately owned, it was subsequently bought out by three public companies which have since morphed into an industrial giant with a turnover north of one billion dollars. In return for the use of our drinking water for their hatcheries and public waterways for their pens, they collectively pay a measly rent of around one million. With no security bond, they are literally the tenants from hell.

Currently they operate over 600 fish pens in our waters with plans to double production by 2030.

Given the environmental issues created by farming fish in shallow water with low energy flows, science and public opinion has forced the industry into deeper waters - namely Storm Bay.

Which just happens to be the 'wave pool' for Hobart surfers.

The plan is to create a wall of some 300 pens across the head of Storm Bay, slap bang in the middle of the Great Southern Ocean swell trains. Each plastic pen is up to 220 metres in diameter and 20 metres deep, which are filled with upwards of thirty thousand salmon smoult.

There are three issues here.

Firstly their crap. The excrement produced annually by that many fish pens exceeds that of a city of one million humans. However industry assures us that swell, tides and wind will flush the crap away. They fail to mention exactly where it's flushed to. By inference Storm Bay - our wave pool - is about to become a septic tank.

The second issue is swell.

During a recent meeting with the minister, I queried what effect a wall of pens full of fish will have on the swell moving up Storm Bay. She didn't have a clue what I was talking about. So I went to talk to somebody who did - a marine scientist at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

He thought it was an interesting question. Unbelievably, one he hadn't been asked before. It could be tested through computer modelling though and when he had time he'd run it through the system and get back to me.

But he hasn't.

The third issue is foreign ownership.

In the northern hemisphere, the natural home of Atlantic salmon, industry is transitioning out of ocean farming and moving to a land based, recirculating aquaculture system - known as (RAS). They are also tightening environmental standards and increasing direct taxation.

Which is no doubt why the three public companies running the local industry have been gobbled up by private foreigners. Notorious entities like JBS from Brazil whose owners have all done time for bribery and corruption, Cooke whose environmental vandalism saw them kicked out of Canada, and Nissui, a Japanese seafood giant who made their money harpooning whales.

They brand themselves not as farmers but 'protein producers'. An environmentally sustainable industry dedicated to feeding the starving masses, while saving the planet's wild fisheries.

What a load of crap.

Consuming 1.5kg of protein to grow 1kg of salmon is not environmentally sustainable. The world's starving masses can't afford salmon sushi. And you aren't saving the planet's wild fisheries if you are converting krill into salmon feed.

However, perhaps I'm being overly cynical.

555ZZZ's picture
555ZZZ's picture
555ZZZ Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 1:48pm

No , you are not being overly cynical.
Being cynical , and being sceptical , should be highly valued in today's world , but unfortunately it seems not . Group think is becoming the norm , and alternative views are routinely silenced.

Especially over the last decade or so , where much of what we are told by those in control , the elites ,
the leaders , the politicians , the mainstream media , has proven to be incorrect , if not total lies.
The Government is not here to help us , they do not have our best interests at heart.

Data manipulation and statistical inference has been tuned to become a self serving weapon , using predictions of future catastrophe and hence , fear , to gain control over the majority , to make even money for the elite minority.
Once established , most people don't want to admit they have been fooled , so they prefer to remain ignorant of the truth , no matter how inconvenient , no matter how much they have to reject the evidence of their own eyes and ears.

frog's picture
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frog Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 6:45pm

In addition, incompetence is upwardly mobile in many professions and politics because competence is not being selected for or regarded on its merits like it once was in recruitment, various "modern" organisations and the media.

A rough cut suggests that less than 2% of the population have the mix of intelligence, general competence and objectivity to manage complex projects and organisations.

Once they are sidelined due to the more ideologically sound social justice oriented being promoted, things start to fall apart - e.g. cities such as San Francisco and even countries like the US.

Experts used to be experts. These days high profile experts may be just street smart narrative followers or the semi competent who met soft skill criteria but are quite bamboozled by the technical complexity of the job they were placed in. Energy policy is complex.

Safety lies in parroting the dominant narrative or signing onto the sales pitch of the big suit from overseas.

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peekaa8 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 9:29am

@555ZZZ, funny you should say that after making so many factually wrong statements in this discussion.

555ZZZ's picture
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555ZZZ Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 10:27am

Oh really ?
Go on then , list the statements and explain why they are each in your opinion 'factually wrong'.

frog's picture
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frog Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 11:59am

On the wave dampening effects of 300 fish pens, a hint as to the effect comes from this study on kelp forests (maybe 1 % impact - smallish).


Here is an idea. Get them to sit the pens in a north / south line (not across the bay) so that it creates a slight drag effect slowing the western part of the swell train so that it bends the swell towards the surf spots. It would act like a favourable offshore bathymetry to a small extent and might create slightly bigger waves on the local spots.

Better some possible tiny benefit than none or just a negative.

Mick Lawrence's picture
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Mick Lawrence Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 2:14pm

Thanks for the link Frog, found it interesting. We're pretty much in the same pond, however my cynical outlook tells me that industrial exploitation of public resources - be they oil, wind or fish - is driven by profit over the environment. The precautionary principle is simply not in their interests. Much better to charge ahead rather than first coming to understanding the full consequences of what they propose doing.

The truth is, that while we think we know it all, we actually know very little. We need to understand that we can't fuck everything up ourselves, we need to leave something for future generations to fuck up as well.

At this point of our evolution we're like Superman searching for Kryptonite.

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:15am

"We need to understand that we can't fuck everything up ourselves, we need to leave something for future generations to fuck up as well."

Very dry, Mick.

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geoffrey Saturday, 12 Aug 2023 at 2:07pm

wonder if it will impact the freak of nature that is gerroa for windsports

Logical_man2's picture
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Logical_man2 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 10:38am


By your own admission you can't see this history repeating itself.

"The people of Australia were duped on other resources, our geological inheritance traded for a pittance while creating vast fortunes for rent-seeking multi-nationals."

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Gyro3000 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 7:58pm

I attended the online webinar ( link attached) & as Stu said I feel it was just a box ticking exercise as well. The meeting ran for 1 hour with no audience participation & to ask a question I had to text them to a separate number. Only the last 10 mins or so was allotted to questions & for a 10 billion dollar project I thought it was pretty weak. There should have been more public viewings of the project & more webinars with greater attendee participation. I understand that as in Great Britain offshore wind projects would be more viable as land space there is premium. I’m concerned about them in a volatile situation off our shore in an ECL even though they say they’re hurricane proof. There seems to be a mixed response when it comes to whether they actually affect incoming swell or not. My question to the conveners about this was answered-that they do possibly cause a 3-5 percent loss according to research but this has been dismissed by others because the platforms are floating & would rise & fall with swell. But I agree as Stu also says in Summer our short range low period NE swells could possibly be affected. I’m glad though that the project is out there now & being talked about & questions asked about all the aspects of it on the environment & wildlife. We were told this would possibly come into operation around 2030 & these are still early days but we need to get vocal now. Big business is courting governments for this and there’s a lot of money in it for them. Whether it’s the right choice or ends up being the Monorail of the new millennium remains to be seen

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:47am

See the news on the weekend? The Illawarra Offshore Wind Zone was declared yesterday. Consultation period has begun.,

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dawnperiscope Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:54am

Offshore wind projects have a lot more reliability on the power source, particularly at night. Despite having much higher population densities, the countries surrounding the North Sea still have plenty of open land, however there is more wind to farm offshore.

I am by no means well read on the commercial aspects, ROI etc... but I do know we are not just a little bit behind Europe on this one.. we are 2 decades behind. Plus it's fair to say, humans have thought windmills are a good idea for a while now!

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Gyro3000 Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 at 8:01pm
monkeyboy's picture
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monkeyboy Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 5:56am

All seems a little pointless if the biggest polluters in the world still consume fossil fuels: https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/china-abandons-paris...

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:14am

You're correct that whatever we do will be inconsequential against China's actions.

However, the info you've linked to only paints part of the picture. China are building coal fired power plants, however they're also building renewables at a far greater rate than the rest of the world.

"New figures show China connected more offshore wind generation capacity last year than every other country in the world managed to install in the last five years." - Forbes

From this vantage point, it appears China is developing an energy matrix composed of long and short term needs to span the transitional problems other countries - read: Australia - are facing.

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monkeyboy Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:28am

That's very true. They have the largest wind power generating capacity on the planet apparently. I also read reports of parts of Europe pushing back (even Greta protested at a Wind Farm proposed in Norway on Indigenous land) but this seems to be more election cycle driven. Who knows really. It's worth trying for sure but it'd be great if we reduced the amount of land clearing and dare I say consumption of stuff we dont need; thats wishful thinking though.

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tip-top1 Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 7:15am

how will they construct the turbines , on the water ? or pre assembled then shipped out , you would need some sort of crane and a decent window of calm sea either way ,

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 7:48am

Needs a harbour nearby for assembly and then towed into place under ideal weather conditions.

The test turbine for Hywind in Scotland - mentioned in the article above - was built in Norway, tested offshore from there, and finally towed across the North Sea to Aberdeen.

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dawnperiscope Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:31am

Positive spin for anyone that's worried about the affect on the surf... when you take off on your 0.28m wave (that should have been a 0.3m wave) you can feel good about the sacrifice you made whilst everyone else is playing golf.

stunet's picture
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stunet Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 8:45am

The Illawarra Offshore Wind Zone was declared yesterday. Consultation period begins now.

RichieMac's picture
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RichieMac Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 5:19pm

Wind turbines take 7 years to recoup the costs associated with manufacture and installation and that's on lands they really are only productive for 13 years of a 20 year lifespan.property owners get about $6000 per year but are liable for maintenance and any damage they cause yet the federal government pays the turbine companies $500,000 -$600,000 per turbine within an annual 40 billion dollar industry.Thats taxpayers money and we won't be getting cheaper energy that's for sure.

peekaa8's picture
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peekaa8 Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 7:03pm

indeed, it's better to keep burning coal and externalise the societal cost related to that.

Can you provide the source for your numbers?

The wtg's offshore will have a design life of at least 30 years.

RichieMac's picture
RichieMac's picture
RichieMac Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 7:20pm

It’s on government website, unable to copy and paste to here although if you do a search it will come up

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 8:15pm

Prob a bit closer to the Mark -15 - 30 K mentioned here
Gotta 100% bullshit on landowner being Liable for any Maint or Damage related to the Turbines..

RichieMac's picture
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RichieMac Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 9:10pm

the wind industry receives a substantial and generous cross subsidy from the RET. On a conservative estimate, each RET-eligible company receives in excess of $500 000 a year for each turbine.
This is taken from government website

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 17 Aug 2023 at 10:35pm

I didnt Query that Payment..
Here it is Anyway...
Is it 10yrs old ?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 14 Aug 2023 at 6:02pm

Where are you finding those Payment Figures and Property owners up for the Maintenance ETC ..?

steveb's picture
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steveb Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 5:09pm

How the proposed wind farm will look from the shore off the Gippsland Vic coast-
Add to that, at night every turbine pylon will have a flashing light on top- not a good look off the Illawarra coast. If they want them so much and they reckon they will look good, put them off Sydney Heads, close to where the most power will be used.

peekaa8's picture
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peekaa8 Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 6:48pm

if allowed by the aviation authority, the turbines can be equipped with an adls system and wouldnt have those lights on at night unless an aircraft is in the vicinity.

steveb's picture
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steveb Friday, 18 Aug 2023 at 3:39pm

maybe, but i think they would also require other lights on all night closer to sea level for safe navigation of vessels

peekaa8's picture
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peekaa8 Saturday, 19 Aug 2023 at 10:52pm

yes, likely, particularly at the turbine locations that delineate the wind farm area

dawnperiscope's picture
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dawnperiscope Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 8:21pm

How close will they be to land off Gippsland?

steveb's picture
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steveb Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 8:48am

That image was apparently what the wind farm would look like from Woodside Beach which is about 14km from the farm according to the scale on this map ( the same distance offshore as the Illawarra proposal) https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5eb3699d1492806f7759caf4/4...

steveb's picture
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steveb Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 9:52am

looks like they are getting closer, now its official 10km from the Illawarra Coast

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nasigoreng Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023 at 9:59pm

Does anyone know if gas mining, exploration and export is planned to continue in VIC?

I'm just considering the potential hypocrisy of that, given the recent banning of domestic gas (2024 builds).

I guess it must be a different atmosphere once burnt overseas :)

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 12:31am

Couldn't find the Full Vid (Not released Yet) but tbb come across today's News Promo!
Thrown to The Wind 'News Promo' is watchable...
Keeps on track for the first half...& then shit happens...
(Warning) Then it goes well off the Rails...
Seems like the Doco maker might be drawing conclusions ahead of time...
Does a very convincing impression of a Gas'n'Nuke Stooge...
Like Ok! Never saw that comin' in good ol' USA!
(Yer gonna need a bigger Popcorn Bag + XL Vomit Bag!)

Please Promise yourself to only watch the first half to [8:15] then get out fast...while ya can!
Warning...it'll do yer head in & only wipe the first half decent [8:15] from memory! A darn shame it is!

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truebluebasher Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023 at 1:44am

Fed Govt never knew where to locate Wind Farms...then they were told exactly where to put them.
Think ya gotta have one of them fancy AUKUS Aluminium Smelters to qualify for a Wind Farm.
Wind Farm powers up yer WAR Smelter to melt yer Town faster to heat yer Ocean...just saying!

Aluminium Port Plants are #1 Energy Suckers & need their own nearby direct Port Power Source.
Sure! Any Ship / Car Mob that needs Aluminium will build as may giant fans as yer Whales want!
Otherwise...no green credits...that's even worse than yer War Factory.
Won't stop the local pollies sellin' it, as yer own local green power supply.
In fact you'll find they're already onto that...(Correct!)

If yer looking for a side project check how all Wind Farms line Up the new Vocus East Coast Cable
New '24 pairs' inner most Oz Cable / Power links & loops all Farms nicely.

Not saying it's defence security in the way we know it...
Local RAAF are pretty pissed off ....
1. They can't train F-35A pilots fast'n'low over the coastline / shipping lanes / Fan Farm...they're fucked!
2. The Blades Fuck Up Oz Defence Radar > Chinese Ships simply approach head on until 20km.
Bang! They've already blasted yer pretend RAAF base...all thanks to the Fans...(Chinese luv Fans)

Govt: "Fan Smelter is also strategic defence alongside yer sitting duck useless RAAF training base!"

Being honest...tbb only just started researching but the Big ticket does come together pretty fast!

Wot intrigues tbb the most is that there detail in the Northern Ship [P] Bay
First guess being...A free market lease for Massive Multi Story Yellow HVDC Converter Station
Is it a leftover Shipping Container Zone or Pricey Cargo Parking Bay.
Or maybe free Shipping delivery site for Non union labour!

Most likely a Mass Whale Grave.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Friday, 18 Aug 2023 at 11:38am

Oz Windfarms to power Aluminium Smelters ...continues :

Chris Bowen (Minister Climate Change & Energy)


29 June 2023 " Of course it's also very important potentially for the future of Portland Smelter. They want to transition to renewable energy and (Offshore Wind) The Big 3 Smelters in Australia, Portland, Boyne Island and Tomago (Here) are all looking very carefully at Renewable Energy and Tomago and Portland in particular have Offshore Winds as part of their future. So it's important!"

Above tbb explained that current proposed Aluminium Smelters live and die by Windfarm approval...
WA / NZ all the way 'round are no different & propose similar offset 'green aluminium' Port models.
Energy sucking industry needs direct Port access therefore naturally offset by accessible offshore power.
Private Ports now Govern Oz Harbours > extending their privatized power reach to international waters

Govts offsetting pet polluting mining magnates to further exploit & industrialize coastlines.
Mining Magnate Greed! Same Ol' Ocean exploitation as ever...This is Australia!

AUKUS /NATO War on China is driving these Wind powered WMD Aluminium Smelters.

Since 2014 China owns 50% majority of said Port of Newcastle...
China bosses & taxes current RAAF / Smelter and any proposed Windfarm / AUKUS Sub Base
Don't that beat all!

Jelly Flater's picture
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Jelly Flater Monday, 21 Aug 2023 at 7:31am

Nice work tbb…
Lots of questions still to be answered.
- can sustainability and conservation coexist ?


Jelly Flater's picture
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Jelly Flater Monday, 21 Aug 2023 at 7:46am

Some further considerations / possibilities in the pipeline…


truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 21 Aug 2023 at 11:30am

Cheers Jelly Flater...follow the money trail to see where the Buck stops...as always ~ Magnates.

tbb hates air/con, got solar & had whirlybirds in the past...huge fan man...run them 24/7.
There is one obvious flaw in these Ocean Wind Farms & crew would see this more than any.
Stu did highlight this anomaly...Wave Action or in this case the Zero Wave Power harnessing.

Why the hell would one mount these Colossal towers without thought to wave and Solar power.
Surely these towers could source 3x the Sun lit wave energy from these lazy Blow hard Sentinels.

A while back tbb established a definite link with Built Pier / Column Structures agitating Sea Foam.
These collective columns work a turbulent ocean like Potato Masher to agitate wave action up/down.
These collective Towers all have Collared Platforms that equally mimic this mashing action.
Not just a little but a enough to froth up a deadly killer brew of sea foam...that is a lot of power!

Surfers will see waves powerfully gloving each tower rising 2x 4x 6x 8x10x surrounding height.
This wave power equally extends beneath sea level to thrust waves upward...(Massive Power!)
Here's a just few photos highlighting these amazing towers of wave power...(Wasted on Wind Farms)


Here's more examples of Pillar froth...
Tripod will brew & harness froth
Bulky HVDC Converter / Platform (Base) Frothin' up more soup.

Whole world sees Massive / Majority Renewable Power being wasted by inept lead proponents.

Harnessing wave power on a wind farm should be mandatory by design.
Firstly as Wave mitigation to prolong life of the Wind Farm Towers...well durr!
Mitigate escalated wave distortion & Sea foam near coastlines
Recoup running costs or even boss the grid with rising seas being the norm.

Crew could list 100 reasons why but struggle to think why ya wouldn't.
So how the fuck are these wasteful windfarms allowed to proceed as being less than half useful.

Like what idiot would invest a dollar with greatest wave harnessing farm sitting idle in the breeze.
Makes zero sense people! Sheer bloody waste of money by fools that know & can do much better.

Mandate 100% elemental power / zero energy waste for all off shore projects or...you can fuck off!
No more Yuppie Tax write off Junkets...bring on friends of the Earth to design Universal Towers.
If grown ups can't design a Universal Tower of Power than let the gromz have a crack.

Only ever see a yuppie wank fest in a sea of wasted opportunity.
Reckon that's the point...perfectly designed piece of shit...doubles as perfect Tax Write off ventures.
Boss! Yer Green Machine #101 has failed again.
Bummer! Not another $Gazillion Tax Write Off that buys me buckets more eco cred!
Probably get lumbered with another Knighthood or some shit!

Well! Isn't that exactly wotz goin' down!

Plenty of Wind farms have been decommissioned already...
But not one has been, nor can be fully removed.
Did no one mention that...
They can't remove their (Monopiles) that's driven beneath the sea bed.
They just cut off their towers at the base & leave the Monopiles & then fill or Cap them...
They are working on ways to remove these substantial beneath sea bed columns.
If one must know...(HyPE-ST) hydraulic technique using pressure to rise Monopiles back out.
See next : Bonus : Pages [35-36]

Crew have earned a bachelor thesis on Decommissioning Wind Farms.

If ya wanna get up to speed on this future Power source then this is yer Speeding Ticket.
Chix uni paper is a rare gem...great detail...No! Not boring...very good on itemizing components / cost!
Also really well laid out reference doc...can just pick'n'mix wot yer after & learn heaps fast...Salute!

It's geared as pro Windfarm Industry but that's the point...like a rabid fan base compilation of stats.
Complete guide to the arse end of Wind Farms exposes any flaws in the frontline rollout!
In essence...the reader gets a default sneak peak into the future of the industry.
Yes! Makes an excellent Wind Farm Encyclopedia of past/present/future with helpful concise chapters.
Also very playful : Recycled Giant Fan Blades as Kidz Playground gear...gotta luv that!
Sure! Wind Farm Bible for smart arse Dummies...nuthin' wrong with that...perfect for us crew! Huh!
Bummer...Always happens with PDF...
HVL Open...Wind Farm Decommissioning by Celine Henriksen

Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater's picture
Jelly Flater Monday, 21 Aug 2023 at 12:09pm



truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 21 Aug 2023 at 1:15pm

Surfing Resources and Offshore Wind Farm
Development of offshore wind farms and their potential to damage surfing recreation
(Short read) No Spoiler...let the chix rule the waves...

Exclusive Spot X Wave Gallery for swellnet fans & Blow-ins!


Feel free to re check photos...ya probably noticed something!
Stu then tbb & others note the many featured Ships and or Ports amongst the Wind Farm line-ups.
Seems like if ya got Ports yer more likely to get Wind Farms...
Also need Port-like Power transmission set ups onshore to transition the large load.
Most know that Global Port Authorities overrule most Council / State / Fed laws.

BrandonLG's picture
BrandonLG's picture
BrandonLG Monday, 30 Oct 2023 at 12:22pm

“I would expect the installed capacity of one project to be between 1 and 2 Gigawatt, enough to power around 1 to 1.5 Million homes.”

Complete propaganda! The capacity of wind and solar farms is accurately measured over periods of time. These things may have a maximum production of 1 or 2 gigawatt per hour, per two hours, per three hours etc. BUT that is maximum and ideal - only if wind conditions are at their best over that period; if the turbine is in top shape; is well maintained; if the gears are not excessively worn and are adequately oiled; if the angle of the blades can harvest fully etc etc etc. World-wide experience has shown it is impossible to accurately give a sensible baseline production estimate.. A big reason why these farms are proposed is because of the resistance to installing them on land. But proponents rarely comment about the impact of transmitting electricity back onto land. Nor do they mention how long these turbines need to operate purely to offset the cost, in emission terms, of their construction, production of synthetic oil and landfill dumping of broken blades or those that have outlived their use. What is the break-even measure and how does it stack up alongside warranty. And why would communities not be incensed at the visual impact if each one, as they say,, is taller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Thingo's picture
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Thingo Saturday, 11 Nov 2023 at 10:24am

Unless we transition away from FF to renewable energy at speed, and at any cost, there won't be a environment to surf, fish, or survive in. The biosphere is collapsing at a rate far faster than any historical scientific prediction. The technology & materials are available to transition quickly, but governments and communities are in thrall to fossil fuels.

Concerned about the visual aesthetic of a windfarm? Coal has been mined and shipped out of the area for over a hundred years, the entire population of the area is used to the poor visual aesthetic of coal tankers lingering off the coast, beacons of destruction. At least a windfarm heralds something cleaner, a step in a cleaner direction.

As for 'grassroots' community support against the windfarm, who is behind it? Who is financing it? Why?



frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Sunday, 12 Nov 2023 at 8:31am

So much of the green energy transition is smoke and mirrors to make it all sound easy and effective to keep us motivated This leads to bad policy.

Example: Germany "leads the way" on renewables and after spending trillions achieves only around 10% green energy and has recently had a very big increase in CO2 emmission due to burning more very dirty lignite coal to replace nuclear plants shut down and less use of natural gas.

They say it is 40 to 70% renewables in the media and PR but that is by counting all electricity with some green component at any given time as totally green. A big fat lie is at the heart of their policy and its outcomes as presented to the world.

Greta, call them out please in a hard hitting tweet.

See video below from 7.00

How much our energy policy is based on reality is hard to know, but one has to be sceptical given the German poster child example.

Truth is best even if it is unpalatable.