Monday, August 10, 2015

Whatever you do, don't let deniers near a power grid

Sou | 4:59 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
You'd think that with all the engineers who hang around denier blogs there'd be one or two who knew something about designing a power grid sourced from renewable energy. Not so. They are hopeless. There's an article at WUWT today where some chap has had a shot (archived here). He's made a real mess of it. No planning. No decent distribution system. Not even a national grid let alone a smart grid. He started with just wind and natural gas and only added PV some time later as an afterthought. Given the low cost of wind (and solar), he went way over budget. Probably gave the contracts to shonky mates. It was a woeful design and his planning was next to useless. It wasn't long before patched his flawed design by resurrecting an outdated filthy coal plant.

That's what can happen when you hand the reins to incompetents.

Thank goodness we're not relying on WUWT's engineers is all I can say. You can read his dismal attempt here if you want to.

From the WUWT comments

kamikazedave puts no faith in people's ability to design energy systems that are fit for purpose. He does put his faith in conspiracy nuttery, and he's an alarmist of the denier kind:
August 9, 2015 at 10:19 am
Problem #12: The country declares bankruptcy, thereby ending all subsidies to renewable energy sources. Since reliable forms of energy were phased out long ago and no money is available to bring them back to life, civilization reverts back to the Stone Age. Millions (billions?) of people die from starvation or exposure to the elements. Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt as well as the rest of the indulgent bums declare “Mission accomplished.”

I have to agree with Ted G when he says the WUWT article is a must read. But only if you are thinking of getting a WUWT engineer to design an electricity supply and distribution system. Get some properly qualified people on the job, not a bunch of incompetents.
August 9, 2015 at 10:55 am
This is a must read for any level of government, bureaucrat, green energy dreamers and most important for the citizens who have to pay the bills through higher taxes, higher energy bills Etc..
One thing to note this is actually happening in Canada’s largest province Ontario. The amount of government bullying , pressure and rule changes that restrict any kind of local descent against green policies, green at any cost is not the answer and in the end cost twice as much, it also epitomises a top down government approach – Our way or the highway!
This is how 3rd world government act – only this is in North America . Im sure there are similar examples all over the USA and the world?


  1. WUWT does seem to draw comments from a significant number of engineers.

    However these are self-selecting for that subset of the population with spare time and the inclination to waste it commenting on that site on matters entirely outside their fields of expertise... if any.

    Or as Sou puts it in a nutshell, incompetents.

  2. I'm going to try and be kind. He did at least have the honesty to admit up front that his cautionary tale was made up. That does put him ahead of most Wutters & Tea Partiers & GOP candidates who seem happy to spout made stuff up without fessing up.

    When the cautionary tales about something have to be made up, then that's a pretty good recommendation for whatever they are trying to diss. We might compare that to fracking where there are plenty of cautionary tales which are not made up, although the industry's lawyers are very busy writing out gagging orders to try and reduce the number of cautionary tales we might get to hear about.

  3. What is the difference between Wuuuterville Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?
    The Mechanical Engineers build weapons systems and the Civil Engineers build the targets.

    They never liked my engineer jokes... They never liked my GOP (Goldman Owned Pukes) jokes either. Snip, snip, snip... And in other news, Donald Trump has set up an online donation site and is asking for $$$$, it's probably the first Prickstarter Campaign.

    1. And will probably be the first to declare bankruptcy.

  4. Damn!

    First the scientists don't know nothing. And now the power engineers don't know nothing, either.

    Funny, the solar array on my friend's house manages to feed power into the grid all the time - it even has a dicky little digital readout to show how many kilowatts is being generated.

    1. Not only the scientists and the power engineers, but also the city planners: "City Problem #4. Before the coal plant is retired, which operated 24/7/365, the city planners realize that the wind does not always blow."

      The whole post, in fact, looks like a calculated effort to portray the worst possible sort of planning.

  5. I think the 'Moral of the Tale' says it all and manages to contradict the premise. Since the potential negative consequences are spelled out in the story they are no longer unexpected. Proper planning can take place so that no government rushes into the change over wasting money and time. He and the WUWTers pretend like no one else has ever thought about these issues before when in reality (a place they rarely visit) these and other issues are already being dealt with. As usual the anti-science crowd are forced to manufacture problems and offer no solutions.

  6. Hans Christian Andersen he's not.

    It really is scary thinking about all those poor farmers getting their land expropriated. Why look what happened to the poor farmers on Wolfe Island in Canada. Practically hounded off their land!


  7. He's not an engineer from what I've read. He was, before retirement, a principle investigator in the NASA science directorate dealing with meteors and meteorite impact.


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