💧simon holmes à court Profile picture
energy geek. impatient incrementalist. root striker. @climate200 @opennem @SmartEnergyCncl #AEGN #SuperpowerInstitute likes≠agreement. DoB: 329.7ppm
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Jun 28 9 tweets 3 min read
🤓 icymi, latest data from @EnergyInstitute is out!

this dataset has been lovingly curated since 1952, until recently by @bp_plc.

a good report, lots of charts and most exciting for energy nerds, lots of raw data!

i knocked up a few charts 🧵

energyinst.org/statistical-re… 🤓 global electricity generation by technology

gas and coal still growing, but at a slower pace than renewables.

quite likely we'll see coal and gas both peak in the next few years. Image
Jun 18 20 tweets 3 min read
☢️ with the #coalition expected to announce its #nuclear plan on wednesday, here are 18 questions every diligent journalist should be seeking answers to:

🧵 1. how will dutton remove the ban?

the coalition would require control of the senate to repeal the ban, which is embedded in two acts.

the coalition hasn’t controlled the senate since 2004-2007.
May 20 6 tweets 2 min read
🤓 you'll probably hear scary claims today about "blackouts" in NSW, due to a "reliability gap".

…caused by delays with SA-NSW transmission line, a few batteries & mothballed generators.

to meet the 99.998% reliability standard, NSW needs to build more kit.

not a big deal. 🧵 Image the eraring power station has 4 units, each 720MW. delaying closure of 1-2 units could fill the gap.

a 500MW–1GW gas generator operating <10 hours a year would also suffice. lower emissions and might be cheaper?

helpfully AEMO has provided 9 options to fill the gap: Image
May 15 10 tweets 2 min read
i attended the ‘navigating nuclear’ conference on monday in sydney.

up front: there were some high quality presentations — on issues such as health impacts, safety culture, regulatory systems. Image …but sadly there was also some abject nonsense…
Mar 21 18 tweets 4 min read
⚛️ @abcnews's recent #FactCheck made a classic rookie error in calculating that the latest US nukes had "build times of 10.1 and 10.4 years".

depending how you count it, it took somewhere between 13.9 years and ~19 years to build them.

easy mistake to make.

let me explain… 🧵 ABC's analysis assumes the build time is the elapsed period between "construction start" and "grid connection" dates.

in the real world, a nuclear power building project begins years before "construction start" and often finishes months after "grid connection".
Mar 13 7 tweets 2 min read
☢️beware #nuclear porkies #2 🤥

australians🇦🇺: you're going to hear lots about ontario🇨🇦, which does have a very clean grid and cheap retail power.

but you should know 🧵

1. average age of ontario's nuclear fleet is 40 years. all government owned, but ~half privately operated. Image 2. the current nuclear price (as determined by the ontario energy board) from this old fleet is CAD 10.1¢/kWh which is the same as A$113/MWh.

ontario's proposed new nuclear power stations will cost much more…oeb.ca/sites/default/…
Mar 9 30 tweets 9 min read
⚛️ why #nuclear power is a distraction for australia

if implemented, the #coalition's plan would see:
• increased gas & coal usage
• increased cost
• increased emissions
• higher chance of blackouts

read on to find out why… 🧵 Image firstly, let me say i have a deep interest in nuclear.

i've visited multiple nuclear plants, met with companies planning to build SMRs and nuclear VCs, taken a nuclear course at @MIT and closely watched the sector for years.

i encourage the use of nuclear where it makes sense. Image
Feb 4 15 tweets 5 min read
🤓 an interesting thing about the govt's proposed 'new vehicle efficiency standard' (NVES) is how they're consulting.

they've put 3 options on the table, and are wanting to hear the public's views.

but first, a little 🧵 about the NVES: we've been talking about 🚗⛽️ efficiency standards since at least 2008!

over 85% of cars sold worldwide are covered by a new vehicle efficiency standard, but not here!

russia & australia: the only developed countries without 🚗⛽️ efficiency standards.

Jan 3 8 tweets 3 min read
i asked #chatgpt4 to show me what other australians think people from #Victoria look like: Image …then i asked #chatgpt4 to show me what other australians think people from #NSW look like: Image
Dec 24, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
my wish for you all today is that you’re not seated at xmas dinner next to your uncle who wants to convince you that australia needs to go #nuclear. ☢️

bit if you do get cornered, you might want to remind him that… 🧵 1. about 90% of our coal power will shut down by 2035, the rest well before 2040 — due to age and economics

2. nuclear won’t be able to contribute meaningfully to our grid before 2040 — SMRs won’t be commercially available for years, and large-scale nukes take that long to build
Dec 14, 2023 16 tweets 5 min read
🤓 90% of our coal power to retire by 2035 and *all* gone by 2038!

…according to the most likely projection in the much anticipated *draft* 2024 integrated system plan #ISP just released by @AEMO_Energy.

our grid is transitioning from fossil to renewable energy.🎉

read on! 🧵 Image this is the much anticipated *draft* of the 4th biennial edition of the ISP — first published in 2018 in response to the 2017 #FinkelReview of australia's NEM.

…the ISP was an evolution of the annual transmission planning reports #NTNDP produced for many years by AEMO.
Nov 4, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
i visited CATL, the world's largest battery manufacturer, in china early this week and saw the production process from lithium compounds through to tested cells.

i asked our host if the company would consider opening a factory in australia and he gave me a sobering answer… Image australia mines about half the world's lithium and battery manufacture is _highly_ automated, requiring relatively little labor per unit of production.

…and we're installing a *lot* of grid storage.

so i thought it might make sense to locate some cell production here 🇦🇺…
Oct 23, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
🧵 9 march 2017 was a remarkable day in australia's energy transition.

it could be said that our understanding of batteries' role in the grid fundamentally changed between morning and evening.

a short thread… at 9:56am @AEMO_Energy published a report stating:

"being modular & scalable, electrochemical batteries such as Lithium-ion (Li-ion) are capable of helping maintain power quality at small-scale power (approximately 1–100 kW) & medium-term storage…"

Oct 8, 2023 8 tweets 3 min read
some columnists reckon labor must be getting nervous about #nuclear…

i suspect the opposite is true, and that #labor reckons the #coalition is making a big mistake.

putting aside the fact the technology dutton & co are spruiking is decades away… how do the politics look?

🧵 this very recent polling from AFR / freshwater strategy is fascinating.

australians *love* solar and really like wind. nuclear is slightly more popular than coal.

coal & nuclear both opposed by 35% of australians.
*much* less opposition to wind & solar.

Jul 4, 2023 23 tweets 5 min read
🧵electoral reform moral: careful what you wish for!

in 2018 victoria quietly introduced a new set of electoral funding laws — a well intentioned set of 'reforms' aimed at kicking out big money from politics.

unfortunately the 'reforms' have made our elections less fair.

cont. the new laws introduced a donation cap: nobody may give more than $4320 to a party or candidate over the electoral cycle.

expecting this would massively reduce donation income, the parties agreed to compensate themselves for the loss of income… with our tax dollars.
Apr 17, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
dutton's "rampant child sex abuse" is @LiberalAus' 2023 version of howard's 2021 "children overboard".

a manufactured moral panic demonising the most vulnerable for rank political gain.

shame on any @LiberalAus MP who doesn't condemn this tactic. it won't be forgotten. *"children overboard" was 2001 obviously. :(

while i'm here… who can forget dutton's racist 2018 "african gangs" dogwhistle?
Apr 15, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
there’s a range of opinions on #nuclear energy — some love it, some hate it, with many energy experts somewhat ambivalent.

…regardless, few will be cheering when germany’s last 3 nukes are retired this weekend while nearby coal power stations spew CO₂.

theguardian.com/environment/20… german energy policy experts have patiently explained to me that the nuclear phaseout was a prerequisite for the country’s massive investment in renewables.

…but still a great shame the politics couldn’t be turned around, closing #coal first, resulting in much lower emissions.
Jan 12, 2023 30 tweets 11 min read
🤓 time for a update on $SMR @NuScale_Power’s pilot project!

#nuscale is hoping to complete the *first* small modular #nuclear reactor #SMR in the USA in 2030, for UAMPS — a utah based energy buying group that supports dozens of small-town energy companies. 🧵 Image #nuscale's VOYGR is a pressurised water reactor, with 2 key features:
• simplification & passive safety features reduce size & complexity
• small modular units, allowing increased proportion to be made offsite and benefit from manufacturing economies of scale. (wright's law!) Image
Nov 24, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
🤓 @mattjcan hasn't done his research on nuclear. 🧵

for a preview of the future — almost — squint at south australia.

gas (orange) & imports (purple) currently balance SA's grid. as you can see the need for balancing is very variable.

source: @OpenNem here's a recent week of nuclear generation (red) from france… compared with total demand (black).

nuclear 'wants' to be run flat out… it can be modulated up and down a little, but it kills the (already poor) economics and shortens equipment life.

source: @energy_charts
Nov 16, 2022 6 tweets 4 min read
in #TheBigTeal i wrote how libs+newscorp work together to publish 🐴💩.

libs electioneering strategy in play today:
- libs complain to an authority
- leaked to newscorp
- newscorp gives us ~4 hours to respond

- article written selectively quoting us
- complaint dismissed …and here it is.

confected, false accusations by @LiberalAus, and the @australian doing their dirty work.

Nov 5, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
true story:

during the election campaign, a journalist gained my confidence then wrote a blatantly false article about me.

i called him up and asked him why.

the best he could offer was that his editors "think you're decapitating democracy".

still stunned by that response. the paper totally missed that the community independents movement was grassroots democracy on a scale no experienced in our lifetimes.

they deliberately misrepresented my role.

…and ran a concerted (yet unsuccessful) campaign — confusing news & opinion — to elect one party.