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State Of Emergency Declared In NSW Australia As Deadly Bushfires Rage; Military Deployed

State Of Emergency Declared In NSW Australia As Deadly Bushfires Rage; Military Deployed

A seven-day state of emergency has been called in the Australian state of New South Wales amid raging wildfires that have killed eight people in the region since Monday, including volunteer firefighters, according to officials.

Military helicopters and naval vessels have been deployed to deliver water, food and fuel to remote areas which are difficult to reach by road. The Australian Defense Force has sent navy ships to Mallacoota on a two-week supply mission, according to Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp, who added that firefighters would be flown in via helicopter do the the lack of access.

Via The Guardian

Conditions are expected to worsen in coming days, with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicting temperatures to soar above 104 degrees in NSW, Victoria and western parts of the country.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NSW power imports in January 2019 heatwave exceed 2 GW, drive up electricity prices

NSW power imports in January 2019 heatwave exceed 2 GW, drive up electricity prices

Maximum demand for electricity increased from 9,500 MW on 13 Jan 2019 (16:00) to a whopping 14,000 MW on 17 Jan 2019 (17:30).

Fig 1: Heatwave pushing up power demand
20190117 New South Wales
Pic 2: Power generation graph downloaded from Open NEM website

Downloading the data in XLS format allows us to restack the above graph to show more details on coal:

Fig 3: NSW power generation with coal stacked first

“Black coal net of pumps” means that off-peak pumping for hydro storage has been deducted from the total coal generation. We see that the off-peak pumps replace only part of the main hydro generation (around 1/3) so Snowy would run dry without replenishment by rain.

Coal fired power generation reached around 9,000 MW by 1 pm and continued at that level until 10 pm. That is 93% of the maximum theoretical capacity of 9,660 MW as per following table:

Fig 4: Capacities of coal fired power plants in NSW

Note that Liddell’s capacity was reduced to 1,800 MW (which seems to be 4×450 MW). However, the Australia Institute has only 4×350 MW as per December 2018.
This aging coal plant is scheduled to be closed in 2022 due to ongoing technical problems.

Let’s zoom into generation excluding coal:

Fig 5: NSW power imports and generation without coal

When the demand peak happens between 16:00 and 18:00 solar output is going down. Imports can’t increase due to capacity constraints of interconnectors and also generation availability in other States so hydro has to cover the peak on top of gas.


 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Farmers Battle WORST Drought In 100 Years: ‘It’s Dire!’

Farmers Battle WORST Drought In 100 Years: ‘It’s Dire!’

Farmers are saying the situation they’ve been presented with is “dire.” As they battle the worst drought they’ve faced in 100 years, farming families in central-western New South Wales in Australia are facing ruin.

According to The Guardian, the farmers in the affected region of central and western New South Wales continue to battle a crippling drought that many locals are calling the worst since 1902. In Warrumbungle Shire, where sharp peaks fall away to once fertile farmland, the small town of Coonabarabran is running out of water. The town dam has fallen to 23% of its capacity and residents are living with level-six water restrictions. There are real fears the town will run dry. Unable to provide food would not only mean financial ruin for the farmers but also less food for those who need it. “It’s a pretty tough old time,” says Coonabarabran farmer Ambrose Doolan. “But if you’re working with your family and everyone is looking out for each other, you count your blessings.”

Last year, the Doolan family recorded their fourth-lowest average rainfall and that poor year has been followed by even drier conditions this year. The family has begun selling whatever stock they can and spends their whole day at feeding the cattle that remain because the pastures have dried up.

Farmers in this part of NSW are importing almost all food for their livestock from as far away as South Australia as prices rise with demand. The continued cost of buying feed is causing many to question their future on the land. The NSW government recently approved an emergency drought relief package of $600m, at least $250m of which will cover low-interest loans to assist eligible farm businesses to recover.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NSW fuel consumption and high immigration not compatible with CO2 reduction pathways

NSW fuel consumption and high immigration not compatible with CO2 reduction pathways

On 12/4/2018 a briefing session of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) on recently released planning documents

took place in the Parramatta Novotel. According to the GSC establishment Act 2015 No 56 one of 9 principal objectives is:

(e) to encourage development that is resilient and takes into account natural hazards,

The term “resilient” for the purpose of this legislation is not defined elsewhere in the act. According to the Oxford Dictionary resilient is being “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions”  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/resilient

Note that CO2 emissions are not mentioned in this act.

Two of the most “difficult conditions” are oil supplies and climate change. So the question here is:  has the Commission done any calculations to demonstrate Sydney’s resilience in this regard?




Fig 4: Recommendations on energy

In Q&A questions had to be submitted in writing:
My question was: “In which document can I find your energy calculations? How much oil, gas and coal will Sydney need in 10, 20 years? Have emission calculations been done? Has resource consumption as a function of alternative immigration scenarios been calculated?”

The host (Craig) sorted and selected the questions. He left out the immigration related part of my question and replaced it with: “And how about resource consumption?” This shows the GSC does not want an immigration debate because it would practically put in question their whole perpetual growth planning.

The Commissioner for Environment, Rod Simpson, answered:

“Good question. So we have actually got a publication where we are looking at the actual energy demand, the water demand across Sydney up on the web. So I encourage you to look at that.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NSW coal power maxed out in hot summer (part 2)

NSW coal power maxed out in hot summer (part 2)

Part 2 Eraring, Mt Piper, Vales Pt

Introduction: The NSW government is selling Snowy Hydro to the Federal Government, thereby demonstrating beyond doubt that it is abrogating its duty of care to transition the energy supply system away from coal to renewable energies.

Malcolm Turnbull buys Snowy Hydro scheme from NSW and Victoria for $6 billion
While the proceeds must be spent on “productive infrastructure” that boosts the economy, there will be no conditions placed on the specific projects that are funded by the proceeds, leaving Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with full scope to fast-track existing projects with the help of the new cash.

NSW will receive $4.154 billion and Victoria will get $2.077 billion, reflecting their respective Snowy shareholdings after allowing for the company’s debt.


It is feared $4 bn will be wasted in election gifts. The Federal government failed to impose as a condition of sale that NSW spends the proceeds on investments in e.g. windfarms to drive the Snowy2 pumps.

NSW_gas_power_plants_Dec2017Fig 1: NSW black coal generation capacities


Nameplate capacity 4×720=2,880 MW

Eraring_location_mapFig 2: Eraring coal fired power plant

Available generation for each of the 4 units was 700 MW max, slightly less than the name plate capacity of 720 MW.
Unit 1 started only on Jan 4th 2018.

Eraring1_Jan2018-RGFig 3: 3-dimensional representation of utilization of available generation between 4 Jan 2018 and 29 Jan 2018 in the afternoon (yellow to red) and evening (yellow to green). The valleys show a malfunction of the power unit.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Energy guzzling NSW had to import up to 1,700 MW on 7 Jan 2018

Energy guzzling NSW had to import up to 1,700 MW on 7 Jan 2018

On the first really hot day in 2018 Sydney experienced temperatures above 45 degrees.

2018010720180107.hresFig 1: BOM Temperature map for NSW on 7 Jan 2018

These were the temperatures in Sydney’s suburbs:

Sydney_temps_7Jan2018Fig 2: Maximum temperatures on 7th January 2018 in the Sydney Metropolitan area

Energy guzzling NSW had to import 1,659 MW on Jan 7th 2018 at 16:40 NEM time. This was a Sunday during summer holidays with a comparatively low demand.

NSW_generation_imports-7Jan2018Fig 3: NEM generation, imports and demand during the afternoon

Note that solar is not included in the definition of “generation” but sits on top of the NEM demand curve. It lowers the grid supply peak as described in this graph of the Australia Institute

AEMO Dashboard

The generation and import data are from AEMO’s dashboard (NEM Dispatch Overview tab)


Fig 4: Screen shot of AEMO’s NEM dispatch tab on 7/1/2018 13:30 NEM time (14:30 AEST)

We can see that in NSW at 14:30 EAST demand of 11,608 MW was higher than generation 9,987 + 486 = 10,473 MW, a deficit of 1,135 MW.

AEMO’s dashboard also shows demand curves and electricity spot prices in a moving window of 2 days, separate for each State:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Beautiful 1-Acre Small-Scale Permaculture Farm

Beautiful 1-Acre Small-Scale Permaculture Farm

A tour of Limestone Permaculture Farm in New South Wales, Australia. The 1 acre property has been developed into a productive permaculture farm that is currently helping to feed around 50 families. The tour includes a look at the orchard, caravan farm gate, chicken and duck areas, and the shade house.

Limestone Permaculture Farm is a highly productive small acre property, designed & operated on permaculture principles & located in the beautiful Stroud Valley NSW.

Here you can undertake workshops & courses on a farm that exhibits practical examples of most permaculture techniques, along with chemical free market gardening, farmgate sales, passive building systems, health, happiness & much more..!

Our Farm... The Early Days 2010 / 2011
Our Farm…
The Early Days
2010 / 2011
Our Farm... 2014 / 2015
Our Farm…
2014 / 2015

They have just entered their sixth year on our wonderful property showcasing what is possible in a short time frame whilst working fulltime.

Brett is running a Introduction to Permaculture course on his site. For bookings and details please click here.

For more information about the work Brett and Nici are doing please visit:

Limestone Permaculture Farm

On Facebook,

Limestone Permaculture

Two Men and a Pumpkin Farmgate (name is based on two small acre farms supplying the farmgate)

Happen Films on Youtube

Broken Hill’s water to run out by August 2015 amid major drought – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Broken Hill’s water to run out by August 2015 amid major drought – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Drilling work has started in Broken Hill in far west New South Wales to find an emergency water supply for the drought-stricken town.

The iconic mining city is due to run out of good quality water by August 2015 due to the dwindling level of the Menindee Lakes.

The lakes have been steadily drying out because of the drought.

Darryn Clifton from the Broken Hill-Menindee Lakes We Want Action Group said mismanagement was also to blame.

“It’s only through over extraction of water upstream in the Barwon-Darling River system that we’re not getting the flows down,” he said.

The NSW Government has started drilling for groundwater to provide an emergency bore water supply for Broken Hill.

Water Minister Kevin Humphries said the current supply of surface water was not sustainable.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Blockading Australia’s largest coal mine – Features – Al Jazeera English

Blockading Australia’s largest coal mine – Features – Al Jazeera English.

Maules Creek, Australia –  On a balmy Sunday in late November, the renowned Rugby Union Wallabies player David Pocock chained himself to mining equipment where he spent the next 10 hours with a handful of others to protest against the bulldozing of a state forest to make way for what will become Australia’s biggest coal mine.

In a photo posted to his Twitter account, Pocock is seen smiling and wearing a wide-brim hat, while tethered with a farmer to a super-digger near the Maules Creek mine, located in the coal-rich Gunnedah Basin of New South Wales.

Construction of the open mine, which will cost an estimated AUS $670m ($558m), according to Whitehaven Coal, started in January 2014. Since then, blockades and protests have regularly sprung up with activists chaining themselves to mining equipment and creating roadblocks in and around the mine.

They’re angry at the creation of a mine that requires the bulldozing of about 1,500 of the 8,000 hectares of Leard State Forest. It’s a unique and endangered ecosystem that is home to 396 native species of plants and animals, of which 34 threatened species live including the squirrel glider.

The mine was approved in July 2013 by the state government, and the life of the project is expected to span over three decades with an estimated 13 million tonnes of coal produced annually, once production reaches full capacity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Locals protest Santos Pillaga CSG expansion | Climate Citizen

Locals protest Santos Pillaga CSG expansion | Climate Citizen.

Something is happening in the Pillaga in western NSW. Coal Seam Gas exploration and drilling by Santos is under concerted attack. While the protests are not new, the profiles of those locking on or taking a stand are no longer the regular sterotype.

Yesterday a Coonabarabran mother of three young children, Nicole Hunter, locked on to a bulldozer for several hours. Mrs Hunter attached herself to a bulldozer to stop Santos clearing a patch of the forest for a new coal seam gas drill pad. She had a support crew from Coonabarabran. She was released after several hours without charge.

She is concerned about the industrialisation of the area and the impact on underground water, the mainstay of agriculture and important for recharging the Great Artesian basin. Read the story onCSG is risky business for aquifers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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