Smith gets it wrong on fracking

Former Environment Minister Nick Smith has been peddling a pro-fracking article across the country’s newspapers but he can’t even get his facts straight.

In his article trying to ‘inject some science and common sense into the debate’ Smith has been caught-out with his incorrect comment that ‘geothermal energy resources in the upper North Island that can be developed only with fracking’ and that the Greens were hypocritical campaigning for green jobs when our fracking stance would kill the geothermal industry.

He’s been rebuffed by a highly credible source.Brian White, the Executive Officer of the New Zealand Geothermal Association (NZGA) commented on Smith’s article saying ‘we do not want the New Zealand geothermal industry to be misrepresented in this debate.’… and ‘While certain similarities exist between drilling for oil and gas and drilling for geothermal resources, hydraulic fracturing is NOT used in the New Zealand geothermal industry.’

It does Smith no credit to be misrepresenting facts to advance his Government’s pro-fracking agenda.

I’ve been saying this for donkey’s years: Fracking has been used overseas in a new geothermal process called Enhanced Geothermal Systems, (EGS) but EGS has never been used in New Zealand or by any NZ company.

Smith also focuses on earthquakes and misrepresents the Green Party as focusing on this issue alone when it comes to fracking. That is not and has never been the case. The science has certainly proven a link between earthquakes and fracking and that’s a big concern, and we’ve always acknowledged that a lot more research needs to go into the issue.

However, there’s other more immediately concerning risks associated with fracking like water pollution, water use and air pollution (not to mention climate change) which warrant using a precautionary approach and putting a moratorium on fracking NOW.

I’m happy to have a chat with Nick if he needs some further clarification about what fracking is and where its used.

78 thoughts on “Smith gets it wrong on fracking

  1. All I could do after reading Nick Smith’s article was feel very sorry for him. It was that badly constructed.

    First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win. I get the feeling that the sort of tatics now being used by the fracking fraternity demonstrate they are now fighting us. One step closer to winning. Keep up the good work Gareth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. Cheers, Gareth.

    There is a great take-down of Nick Smith’s op-ed here by Bryan Walker at Hot Topic.

    Nick Smith is doing the typical Nat “trick” – looking at the narrow and short-term benefits while ignoring the wider and long-term losses (oh, and fudging the figures as well).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. Gareth – you have articles ON THIS SITE where you are clearly fearmongering to try to scare people that fracking will cause earthquakes.

    Now you claim “That is not and has never been the case.”

    You crawled into gutter politics, and now standing with muck all over your suit, toilet paper dangling off your sleeve, and expecting people to believe you are clean.

    We’ve got a lot of people still traumatised by the Chch earthquake, and understandably so. The last thing we need is polititians diving into the sewer deliberately trying to scare people with claims that fracking causes a 600% increase in earthquakes.

    Now you claim you’ve been going on about fracking for “donkeys years”.

    Which is funny because just over two months ago you told an audience
    “A year ago, who had heard of fracking? I hadn’t”

    When were you telling lies – in May, or now?

    I expect you to fight for the environment, but when you deliberately try to scare vulnerable people with dubious claims, and contradict your OWN quotes, it just looks foolish, at best.

    If you stuck to facts and were realistic about what are relatively low risks from fracking, instead of pretending the world will end, a lot more people would believe you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. Never been the case that it is the only thing we talk about Photonz. Do get your reading glasses cleaned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. BJ – thanks for pointing out yet another falsehood in Gareths story above.

    Gareth says “Smith also focuses on earthquakes and misrepresents the Green Party as focusing on this issue alone when it comes to fracking.”

    But he links to Smiths article on the Greens issues – “The second concern is pollution of New Zealand’s waterways and aquifers.”

    Gareth is just making stuff up which is easily disproved with his own links and his own previous statements.

    But then that’s no surprise when you are trying to scare people into thinking something is much worse that it really is, i.e.
    – we should be fearful that fracking will cause earthquakes.
    – we should be fearful that the Chinese will invade if we sell them a farm.
    – the education system will collapse if our children are assessed on reading and maths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. Photonz1-Your dogged loyalty to the blue machine knows no bounds, you should be working for Straterra . Surely even you can see there are some concerning elements with fracking and that we needed the Environment Commissioner’s investigation and some clear guidelines for monitoring the industry. All the aspects that you claim are unsubstantiated fear mongering have been taken so seriously elsewhere in the world that the industry has been banned. Gareth is not alone with his concerns.

    National and Act’s answer to economic sustainability appears to be to invite the world to dig, drill, mine and frack the bejeezus out of our country while the going’s good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. Photonz – I am expecting an Ice FREE Arctic in September of 2016, possibly 2015. I am expecting agricultural products to increase in value to where we are the economic equivalent of any oil-exporting nation. Those are short term results of climate change. The LONG term results include a complete breakdown of human civilization, and civilized behaviour.

    So fracking the planet to find more hydrocarbons to burn so as to make it all worse is a thing that really REALLY pisses me off. I accept that some folks are overstating SOME of the issues with fracking, but I only need the one. There isn’t an excuse for this that washes.

    Actually fracking DOES cause earthquakes. Fear? Some will, depends on your knowledge of fault lines and the consequences. I am not particularly nervous about that aspect.

    Selling a farm will not “cause” the Chinese to invade. I never made so strong a statement at all… ownership of farmland here gives them a diplomatic excuse when the actual causes (noted above) come to roost. At no time did I say it “would” cause such an event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. BJ says “I am expecting an Ice FREE Arctic in September of 2016, possibly 2015.”

    I’ve reduced my vehicle carbon emmissions by 50%, but if ice melt is happening as fast as you say, then in reality there’s nothing that will change that in the next three years.

    On the possitive side it will open up new shipping lanes, with the potential to cut carbon emmisions.

    BJ says “I am expecting agricultural products to increase in value to where we are the economic equivalent of any oil-exporting nation.”

    That would be fantastic news for our economy.

    BJ says “The LONG term results include a complete breakdown of human civilization, and civilized behaviour. ”

    Your paranoia is showing again. There’s never been a time in human history where we have been more capable of living in more extreme climates than right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. There’s never been a time in human history where we have been more capable of living in more extreme climates than right now.

    Sorry Photonz, you haven’t got any idea what you are talking about here.

    That extreme climate will cause food production to go straight off the cliff. We, and a few other fortunate places, will still have a viable (though damaged) agricultural output and food to export (I think – there is not a lot of certainty attached to any regional projection). There has never been a time in human history when so many people depended on the agricultural output of our farms. The areas that may become newly viable farmland in Siberia and Northern Canada would need a lot of work to start to grow food and get that food out to the rest of the world.

    You are correct in that the Northern Passage will reduce emissions from shipping a bit. The question of what will exist to be shipped has to be asked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. Gareth has misrepresented a number of things related to fracking. The kapuni blowdown pits for example, to the point where the taranaki regional council felt compelled to write to him, calling him out on his unprofessional behaviour. Why did you object to that letter being tabled in parliament, gareth? He’s also been strangely silent on the royal society report that found that fracking could be done safely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. Photonz, and anyone else who “likes” what he has to say, could do well by checking out Prof. Tony Ingraffea of Cornell University – plenty of clips on Youtube.

    Hint: I think Prof. Ingraffea knows a wee bit more more about fracking than Nick Smith

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. BJ says “That extreme climate will cause food production to go straight off the cliff.”

    Wow – yet another doomsday scenario. We’re gonna starve, the chinese will invade, the ocean will swallow us up, fracking will contaminate the water, national standards will end the world, we’ll all die from GE contamination etc etc.

    At least were not starved for choice from the Greens on how the world will end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. Photonz… If I am still around a decade from now maybe we’ll compare notes and see who was closer to the truth.

    The US government slashed its forecast for drought-hit corn production by 17% on Friday, raising fears of a new global food crisis and sending some commodity prices to record levels.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/10/us-corn-production-forecast-drought

    “Across the Black Sea region — in Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan — drought this year is pushing harvests down by fifteen to twenty percent.”

    http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/china-ukraine-drought-food-corn-wheat/1474772.html

    We just got a wake up call. Did you even bother to look at the links? Tamino is very very good, and Hansen is even better, and the changes to more extreme events are more pronounced than anyone expected with the change in temperature as small as it is so far

    … and the temperature rising another 2 degrees is already locked in by the CO2 we’ve already emitted. We can’t take it back. I’ve heard every excuse too. Fed up with the lies.

    If we get this stuff several years in a row, which becomes more likely as we get deeper into the actual climate CHANGE… the result will shut down the debate. Ordinary people will crucify the RWNJ ignoranti.

    Nobody here said anything as extreme as the things you just attempted to put in our mouths.

    Maybe you’d like to try again without the insult of misrepresenting what we DID say.

    …eh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. Fracking can – I think – be done without undue risk, but burning the product of the fracking cannot.

    Assign a cost of $150-180 a ton for CO2 emissions. What is the value of the oil or gas then?

    We cannot afford to BURN the stuff, it is not a matter of what we do to GET it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. …unless the fracking is used for releasing geothermal heat rather than oil or gas.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. Are you also against CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) which involves injecting large quantities of CO2 into the ground at high pressure? This is a similar process to hydraulic fracturing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. Shale gas is a major contributing factor in reducing CO2 emissions in the USA (as power stations move away from coal), and has provided a significant number of jobs.

    Shale gas also provides energy independence for countries like Poland. If we use shale gas, then it means we can source natural gas at home and countries don’t need to go to war to find fossil fuels.

    Baroness Bryony Worthington, the main architect of the UK’s climate change act, has stated that she is in favour of shale gas as a transition technology to something like Thorium, for which we have thousands of years of known reserves.

    Furthermore, Michael Mann, of the “Hockey Stick Graph” fame has stated his support for fracking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. Gareth is wrong about fracking and geothermal wells. It was done on WK301 in the early 80s when it was overpressured by 80 bar to improve permeability. It did get better but only after some very localised earthquakes. It has also been done on quite a few tight wells since then during completion tests. They have also done acid injection and used sealing agents like cellophane and plastics during drilling.Brian White has forgotten about these tests, even though he was working at MWD at the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. Andy

    I’d be happier if CCS were a viable technology, but to date it has shown (as I have always expected) that it is an empty promise, with no economically useful implementations.

    Fundamentally, the notion of fracking the planet to get more carbon based fuel is flawed from the start.

    The notion of using it as a bridge, or that it is less damaging than coal, is compromised by the fugitive emissions that it suffers from. Those emissions can be (*and I think are now*) better controlled, to make CH4 a less bad option than coal. The US has that problem, too much coal generation and no options to quickly replace it with anything but gas.

    The need to do it here in NZ however, remains tenuous. IF the coal mines (all of them) are closed by way of using Natural Gas obtained from fracking AND the fugitive emissions are controlled, I reckon it can be useful. It is less bad than the coal.

    I have little faith that the industry WILL do it safely without supervision. The nightmare stories from the US relating to the companies there and their abusive relationship with the people who happen to live above the resource, are instructive in this. However, I do believe it can be done safely though it won’t be nearly as profitable to do it as a result.

    If Brian White forgot about them how would Gareth who wasn’t even born (I think) then, remember them ? :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. Yes I agree that CCS is unproven and unlikely to work. My question was largely rhetorical

    So if you are anti-fossil fuel, what do you propose to use to build your beloved windmills?

    Wind generates maybe 1% of the global energy supply (we can quibble about this figure but it will never be a significant player IMO)

    Wind turbines last maybe 20 years. In the 200 years of known shale deposits in some countries, that is 10 generations of wind turbines.

    These turbines use 5 times as much concrete and steel per MW generated compared with nuclear. Both these products use significant quantities of fossil fuels. In fact,NZ coal is used primarily for steel production.

    Each of those turbines blades is made of a non-recyclable composite material. Some of these blades are have the wing span of a 747 jet.

    Some basic facts of physics are that water can generate 1000 times the power of wind for a given volume. Nuclear has one million times the energy density of the carbon-hydrogen bond that is used in fossil fuels
    If we want abundant, safe and carbon neutral energy, then the global path to me looks like Thorium, and shale can bridge the gap.

    Renewables may work on a domestic or small scale, but on an industrial scale they are an offense to anyone who has an empathy with the environment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. “Yes I agree that CCS is unproven and unlikely to work.”

    So, Andy S, the use of fossil fuels will continue to add gas to the atmosphere, accelerating global warming? Fracked coal-seam gas, burned at the surface to produce electricity will contribute a constant stream of gas to the atmosphere?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. Perhaps Brian White would like to clarify a couple of things from his own organization’s website. For example:

    Enhanced Geothermal Systems
    enhanced geothermal systems: rock fracturing, water injection, and water circulation technologies used to sweep heat from the unproductive areas of existing geothermal fields or new fields lacking sufficient production capacity.

    He argues in submissions for use of EGS. He notes the research into Induced seismicity and fracture mechanics.

    Where is the Green outrage at induced seismicity in geothermal fields? Where is the campaign against Enhanced Geothermal Systems?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. @Spam – “Green Outrage” is a very focused energy force. When coal is exploited, snails have to be relocated, but when wind farms kill endangered birds(*) you don’t hear a squeak.

    (*) Sea Eagles in Norway and Scotland, Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles in the USA (2000 at one wind farm alone) etc etc

    Not to mention that an Oregon wind farm operator has applied for the legal right to kill Golden Eagles (to avoid prosecution of course) which is a criminal offense under US law.

    Where are the “environmentalists” complaining about this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. Spam – the ‘outrage’ results from the release of greenhouse gases during and after fracking. If that doesn’t occur when geothermal resources are fracked, there will be no ‘outrage’, will there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. @greenfly – if you are anti-fossil fuels completely, then you need to stop using the following products:

    Anything made of steel – e.g washing machines, saucepans, nuts bolts, computers, trains, lightbulbs, TV, bicycles, food delivered to supermarkets, knifes, forks, wind turbines etc etc.

    if you can find another way to make these products without fossil fuels in the next 20 years then I’d be interested to hear about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. @greenfly, geothermal energy comes under the ETS as it releases CO2 into the atmosphere

    Therefore, I assume that the Greens are anti geothermal energy
    If not, why not?

    Also, dams have been shown to release methane into the atmosphere, and windfarms built on peat bogs in Ireland and Scotland release masses of amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. All bad.
    Are the Green’s against this? If not, why not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. Spam – your links take us to a glossary. You say Mr White argues for one thing and notes another.
    Is your post supposed to support that of Chris @ 8:21?
    It doesn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. The first link goes to the glossary – the reference for Enhanced Geothermal Systems. Which is essentially an extremely similar process to fracking – injection of fluid to fracture rocks to improve geothermal production.

    The point is that the green outrage is a moving target. First it is about water contamination risks (by the way, geothermal usually have to reinject their water as it is arsenic contaminated). When that is shown to not reallyy be a problem, then its about induced seismicity (earthquakes, although I’d call them microquakes). When that is shown to be insignificant, then, and only then, does it become about the greenhouse potential.

    The fact is, the Greens are protesting about fracking and dressing the protests up as to be about concerns due to the two things I mentioned, but the reality is they’re completely disingenuous, and its all about hydrocarbons as a fuel.

    My point, is that they should come clean on this motive, or be prepared to be accused, correctly, of hypocrisy when it comes to the hysteria they are trying to whip up around fracking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. The point is that the green outrage is a moving target – true. This disturbs me also, but the real objective is coming into sight now.
    I too believe it’s ‘all about hydrocarbons’. The general public though, have real concerns about things associated with fracking: the incursion of frackers onto farms, for example. The impact on water needed for farming or domestic use by users of the fracking process, for another. These are serious worries for real people, not just hysterical fear-mongery. The Greens are not being ‘disingenuous’ as you claim, in reflecting and representing those concerns. I note that industry is taking care to restrict the discussion strictly to the fracking process, avoiding issues such as roading needed, compensation to land-owners, water abstraction issues. Most significantly, they will not address the major issue of greenhouse gas production. CCS doesn’t get a look in at all.
    Not ‘hypocrisy’ from the Greens, but representing the concerns of their constituents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. Andy S @6:03 said:

    Are you also against CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) which involves injecting large quantities of CO2 into the ground at high pressure? This is a similar process to hydraulic fracturing.

    What you describe is a pipe dream, Andy. No one believes it will eventuate here, though the industry reps pretend it’s a doddle and will solve the greenhouse gas concern. As for it being similar to fracking, that’s a daft statement – do the proponents of CCS plan to fracture rock, use sand to keep the fractures open, use similar gels and anti-caking agents, algae-i-cides and so on, wen they pump their Co2 into these mythical underground caverns and/or exhausted oil wells?
    Please explain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. Greenfly

    If you actually checked the facts, rather than indulge in polemics, you would find that a geothermal station like Ohaaki actually disharges more greenhouse gas per MW than a CCGT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. Are we against X?

    We’re against anything that ACTUALLY increases the emissions of Greenhouse Gases into the atmosphere.

    I see a lot of unsubstantiated claims about emissions of X, but I see not one single link. Each claim has to be checked and the end result is a fabulous waste of time… because you haven’t bothered to be even MARGINALLY polite and link to a source. I do not have that sort of time.

    If you expect me to accept that fugitive emissions per MW from a geothermal field are greater than a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine including all the emissions incurred in obtaining the Gas you’ll really have to show me where you get your numbers.

    So I hate to be pissy about this but if you claim X is emitting more than it should, supply some link to support your claim.

    The requirement is to reduce CO2 emissions to the point that the natural cycle is able to subtract a bit more than we’re adding. This is not zero emissions, just less than now. It is best accomplished by a tax on CO2 emitted.

    It is not the same as telling/wanting civilization to end. That is the extreme picture that the RWNJ mob likes to frame us with, but it is a lie.

    Continued increases in CO2 emissions WILL bring an end to human civilization… and that process is exactly the one that the burning of Hydrocarbons particularly where other alternatives exist is encouraging.

    For us CO2 emitted in making Iron is not compared to what is emitted making energy as there is little option in making Iron from Ferrous Ore.

    Options for making energy however, are many, and CO2 emission is NOT a necessary part of all of them. Those emissions can be limited WITHOUT greatly limiting civilization.

    Methods of providing energy AND steel AND concrete AND Aluminum that create the least emissions of CO2 are favored.

    …and I accept that fracking to get gas that displaces coal might be useful… IF the fugitive emissions are managed… and could be safe… IF the companies doing it are carefully regulated/monitored.

    and I am a Green.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. bjchip

    Ohaaki has about 2.5%NCG mass flow at an enthalpy of 1100kJ/kg. Read the Geothermal Workshop proceedings. The 1989 one is a good start.Isentropic efficiency of a geothermal turbine is about 87% with a backend temperature of 40degC. The heat rate of CCGTs is about 7000. Everything else can come from the engineers handbook. Do the maths yourself. And don’t change the goalpost. Geothermal wells also need drilling and they can use a lot more energy to drill than oil ones. Ask MRP about their Ngatamariki wells.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. ChrisM – get your units right. What matters is the amount of CO2 released per MWh not per MW. Geothermal plants are usually run at very high load factors – because they can. Gas-fired plants usually follow variations in load and therefore have less daily output (in MWh) per MW than the geothermal plants. This reduces their CO2 emissions as well.

    I expect that over time, the CO2 output of geothermal plants drops, as the heat comes from the hot rocks and magma not from combustion. The CO2 is merely stored CO2 trapped long ago and is therefore limited. I also expect that geothermal plants with reinjection also have less CO2 output as at least some of the CO2 would be reinjected along with the geothermal water.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. The GeoThermal well is drilled once.

    How many wells will you drill to get at the gas – on a continuing basis, and where? Fracked resource tends to drop off quite fast. So a LOT of wells get drilled. Maybe you like drilling holes in the earth. Keeps people employed anyway… but you aren’t paying the piper.

    TANSTAAFL mate.

    A CO2 tax would tell us the truth in the end anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. In other words, your CCGT has to be supplied with gas, and that gas comes from many wells, and fracked shale gas resource depletion curves are notoriously steep. Oil us worse.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/US-May-Hold-Large-Reserves-of-Shale-Oil-but-is-it-Economically-Out-of-Reach.html

    Thousands of wells, and the companies that are producing are under pressure to do it cheap. Good luck protecting your groundwater if they succeed in getting the regulators off their back.

    Explains some of the real horror stories coming out of West Virginia and PA. The GeoThermal is a one shot up front cost. Then produces whatever CO2 or CH4 as comes up with water. If the gas is captured and separated the one might use the CH4 rather than wasting that energy.

    It CAN be done. It isn’t a goodness, just a lesser badness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. Remember my original comment before all the moving goalposts started was that Gareth Hughes was wrong. Geothermal wells have been hydraulically fractured in NZ. The first one was over 28 years ago. When that well was fractured, earthquakes occurred and earth deformation occurred. Read the old literature before you comment.

    Trevor29 – In one hour at full load, Ohaaki emits 0.48tonne CO2 for every MW. NAP produces a bit less, Ngawha significantly more. Otahuhu produces 0.45tonne. Modern CCGTs produce less. CCGTs load follow because wind is nondispatchable.
    You comment on reinjection just prove you don’t know what you are talking about. NCGs come off with the first flash.

    bjchip – That document you linked to actually says geothermal generation increase has cause the increase in fugitive emissions. What it doesn’t say is the gas burn at stations has dropped. But it all doesn’t matter as Kyoto is dead, just no-one wants to be the first pallbarer at the burial.
    Find out how many wells are at Wairakei. There are hundreds. Also look how many geothermal wells around the country have been sidetracked or redrilled, often because of fish in the hole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. Are you also including the CO2 which was released when the gas that fires your CCGT was extracted from the ground?

    And so we can all look at how many fish are found in geothermal wells, would you like to provide a suitable link please?

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. “Fish” is a well engineering term for tools / junk that gets caught-up in wellbores (it is quite a common occurence). Eg. they decide to go an shoot more perforations in the well, and the perforating gun gets stuck and lodged in the well (unable to be retrieved), and this is referred to as a “fish”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. Yes Chris, I know that geothermal wells give us fugitive emissions and that it is dependent on the site… and I have a fair notion how many wells are used.

    I wasn’t aware that they had to be redrilled all that often.

    Seems to me that creating “fish” would be an extremely expensive thing to be doing if it forces one to drill an entire new well.

    I doubt if the rate of redrilling in those fields is is anything like the rate of drilling required to keep up natural gas production from fracked resources. The depletion rate demands a continuous supply of new wells. This is not something that I am aware of with geothermal.

    Another question that comes to mind here is how much CO2 is/was venting from the geothermal regions without the wells. We know they do, but I don’t know how much. I am willing to assume that most of the emissions are “extra” but “most” is not “all” and it is necessary to be sure of this as well.

    …and if you are happy about the “death” of Kyoto you have been missing a few clues. You didn’t SAY you were happy. Maybe you’re not.

    There isn’t however, any argument you’ve raised that isn’t answered by putting in a whacking great pigovian CO2 tax and returning the proceeds so that it is revenue neutral overall.

    That is what Greens want. We aren’t really in the business of picking the winning technology, we simply want to save our kids (and yours) from a planet wide catastrophe. The best way to do that is to tax the bad thing, not to subsidize other things or pick winners or prohibit things we THINK are bad. Some of us are tempted and a few succumb to those alternative courses, but for the most part we want a single result. Less CO2 equivalent emissions… and if you can show “less” then that is fine with me.

    I don’t think you really get to “less” by fracking. If you do it to get gas and don’t allow much in the way of fugitive emissions and use a CCGT to generate power you MAY beat some geothermals. You’re running a race you’re doomed to lose in the end (the recoverable gas resource is finite), but you are ahead of the next best… and either is better than Coal…. and I am happy enough if your process is limiting the fugitive emissions and shutting down coal plants.

    The ONLY use valid use for coal is to make steel… and we should be recycling steel, not turning it into artificial reefs. The costs of things are all quite wrong if we think that such intentional waste of our resources is “economic”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. “This is what the greens want”..

    Jeez if you are serious about global emissions then do something about China.
    There is absolutely nothing NZ can do that will make one blind bit of difference to global emissions. Our contribution is around 0.1% of CO2. China is fast accelerating away from the rest of the world

    I would hazard a guess that if we shut down the entire NZ economy, the Chinese would fill the CO2 “savings” in a matter of days.

    We have more urgent and important things to worry about right now. One is the impending financial meltdown that will be precipitated in Europe.
    What we need is a reliable, affordable and locally sourced energy source that shields us from price volatility.
    One way to achieve this is to use our own natural gas resources.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. “There is absolutely nothing NZ can do that will make one blind bit of difference to global emissions.”

    Rarely do we read such pish as this, here on Frogblog, even with photonz1 on board.

    “There is absolutely nothing NZ can do that will make one blind bit of difference to global nuclear proliferation.” – Andy S

    “We have more urgent and important things to worry about right now. One is the impending financial meltdown that will be precipitated in Europe, so we can use that as an excuse to do all manner of environmental destructive things – drill baby drill! Mine, all mine!” – Andy S

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. I am surprised that you consider it pssh.
    Does anyone in the world care what NZ does?
    Does anyone care about NZ’s position on nuclear proliferation?

    Of course not. Most people don’t even know where NZ is

    When the Eurocrash happens, and it will, it will really really hurt.

    Very few people will even remember what the hell “climate change” is all about. They will be doing their utmost to simply survive

    The Greens are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  44. “Do something about China” ? Did someone hit you with a stick so your brain stopped working?

    China has repeatedly made the point that it would cooperate if the rest of the world got serious, and they ARE working pretty hard on nuclear… but a lot like the rest of the world (apart from Sweden), it wants the USA to “go first”.

    The whole world is playing stupid games, straight out of a 3rd grade playground argument. The USA is not about to give up its economic advantages, Goldman Sucks won’t let it and Just Pay Morgan would probably collapse. Yet it HAS to do so.

    This is “The tragedy of the commons” writ on a global scale. In the end our LITTLE contribution is more important as an example… but our small size does not make it right for us to sh!t in the drinking well just because the big boiz are doing it.

    “Someone has to start somewhere. We’re here” (me) – NOT in China. We can do something about HERE, not China… and we’ll have to apply CO2 based tariffs to goods coming here from countries that aren’t doing their share. So maybe we get to have a manufacturing economy after all.

    It isn’t about shutting down our economy, it is about changing it to make it more sustainable and healthier. Not filled with cheaply built Chinese throwaway rubbish. Such an economy is lot less expensive than the alternatives and we have a lot of energy already… 70% renewables last I looked. We can push that close to 100% without hurting ourselves real badly… and THAT ends our dependence on foreign oil. While manufacturing things locally solves a myriad of other problems. We just don’t have so much cheap rubbish.

    For us to drill pump and burn does nothing for our sustainability or our manufacturing sector or anything else. Our oil will get sold to the highest bidders and we don’t have the dosh to bit as high as everyone else, so we’re stuffed anyway. A few people get rich, the rest of us get buried.

    That IS the National way.

    We know all about the financial crisis. We know the banking system and our monetary definitions are FUBARed and how. We know why there aren’t jobs here in NZ and we know what to do about that… and it has nothing to do with drilling and mining and fracking the country.

    Fixing THOSE problem with more of what caused them is not a viable option…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  45. Trevor29
    Stop changing the subject or what has nowadays has morphed into trolling. Such tactics might be good in debating moots and give you kudos with your acolytes, but it why engineers regard most art graduates as prats.
    The original headline post by Gareth says Nic Smith made an incorrect statement about geothermal wells being fracced and Gareth was only too willing to put him right. I say Nic is actually correct and it is Gareth that was wrong, and I will provide easily verifible facts.

    All Gareth has to do is ask a question in Parliament, “Was hydraulic fracturing by overpressure (the process commonly called fraccing) done on geothermal well WK301 between 26th June and 24th July 1984?”

    Either put up or shut up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  46. If we AND Oz say to China and some other local nations that it is time to do something, here’s what we are doing, they’re going to think hard about it.

    Because Oz provides a lot of minerals and we ship a fair lot of food, and unlike the USA, the Chinese have a very pragmatic and reality based government, and the ARE worried about climate change.

    A trading block that includes a fair representation of world manufacturing food and mineral production, can probably put a fairly substantial twist in the knickers of the US RWNJ alliance for denial.

    Enough? Not by itself. With an Economic collapse of the Eurozone however, it could be decisive.

    One of the problems for NZ is that it abandoned doing things itself and put its entire reliance on foreign trade and “comparative advantage” and that was a really stupid thing to be doing, no matter how close Muldoon took us. Muldoon’s real mistake was not taking control of our monetary system first. It SHOULD have been possible for NZ to tell the international banking community to go piss up a rope.

    We need to make it possible to do that again someday soon too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  47. China has repeatedly made the point that it would cooperate if the rest of the world got serious, and they ARE working pretty hard on nuclear… but a lot like the rest of the world (apart from Sweden), it wants the USA to “go first”.
    You mean like using fraking to generate gas that displaces coal and hence reduce co2 emissions.

    And no… Fish in wells doesn’t require drilling a new well, but does require a work over (if “fishing” can’t retrieve it)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  48. bjchip
    I don’t know what parallel universe you inhabit but your comments about China are rubbish.

    They are currently in a immense expansion programme, mainly centred around coal. What isn’t coal is massive dams flooding their major river valleys. http://www.powermag.com/business/4257.html
    Their wind generation is just an excuse to tie up the rare earths. You will note that though they say wind is going to quintruple, all the article is about is their coal and hydro. They aren’t even building the grid to where they say they will put their windfarms.

    I was in one of the Japanese turbine factories earlier this year (it was only a secondary site yet the floor area was the size of three rugby fields)and the place was full of rotors for Chinese steamers. Each of the units there will produce more power than all the windfarms in NZ, even if the wind was blowing, which it usually isn’t. They are shipping the turbines out as fast as they can, yet still have years of backorders on the books.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  49. Andy S said:
    “What we need is a reliable, affordable and locally sourced energy source that shields us from price volatility. One way to achieve this is to use our own natural gas resources.”

    Gas resources are finite. They WILL run out. Before they do, you have to find new fields, but there are no guarantees that any promising areas will yield gas. As more and more fields are used up, the chances of another successful find drop further and further. Therefore even if gas is reliable now, it won’t be in the future.

    Gas prices are tied to overseas prices directly or indirectly. If we have a big find, we will almost certainly export the gas, probably as LNG. If not, we can export smaller amounts via processing into Urea or Methanol. In addition, there are fuel-substitution options, so gas can be used instead of oil or petrol ifwhen oil prices sky-rocket. So gas won’t shield us from price volatility.

    Renewable resources have a high up-front cost, but after that the cost is low and doesn’t change much. And they are not affected by what happens overseas. Therefore renewable resources provide a long-term reliable, cost-effective and local energy source. However an integrated approach is needed to harness renewable resources – wind, wave, tidal or solar sources on their own are not going to provide a stable supply. They need to be used in conjunction with hydro, geothermal and biomass resources and possibly storage systems, with as much diversity as practical.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  50. “Each of the units there will produce more power than all the windfarms in NZ, even if the wind was blowing, which it usually isn’t.”

    Now who is in a parallel universe? Wind farms in New Zealand have a capacity factor around 40%, and generate power typically well over 50% of the time. It is rare that they aren’t generating power. New Zealand’s available wind resource could sustain over 20GW of wind farm if we should choose to build that much.

    And I will take your accusation about changing the subject as meaning that you were NOT including the CO2 released with the extraction of the gas from the ground.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  51. We cannot get the Chinese to do anything hard if we aren’t doing what is actually pretty easy for us.

    What the Chinese are building is more of everything. In political negotiations it has ALWAYS been made clear that the Chinese would change their ways if the West were making a serious effort. They made that clear repeatedly.

    In response the USA did nothing except continue BAU, and arranged to push more of its manufacturing capacity over the feel-good cliff so the Chinese could do it all. NZ didn’t actually take on its share of the load, nor Australia, nor anyone else. Lots of empty words, and the Chinese were asked again to go first despite the massive differences in per-capita wealth and living conditions. They did and are doing, exactly what they said they would.

    They perceived rightly that this is not something the WEST is serious about, and that if the commons is going sour quickly they’d best get theirs while they can. Pragmatic people running that country. I think they are wrong, but they were always ready to negotiate.

    So I am not disturbed by what they are doing now… it is not my job to make THEM do something I can’t get MY OWN government to do, and the only way I could move MY government would be to have a genie who could grant magical wishes.

    That government won’t change without a revolution… I expect it will be ripe for one in about 8-16 years. Sooner if circumstances get worse faster than my expectations. Here in NZ it is a bit less bad, we still have a reasonable approximation of a democracy. The Right is still working to remove it, but has not yet succeeded in shutting up the dissenting voices.

    However, the Chinese are building Nukes just as fast as they can, just as with their coal plants and Hydro dams, and some of those rotors could go into nuclear plants because steam doesn’t care how it is made (was there a breakdown of the destination plants by power source?).

    In the real universe, which isn’t friendly to industrial strength hubris, the only way to get people to protect the commons is to create a law and a means of enforcing it. The big guy on the block is the USA, and he ain’t going to do a thing because he’s lost control of his own government… taken over by Goldman Sacks the Planet and Just Pay Morgan. .. ably assisted by the Koch Brothers and the RWNJ alliance for greater stupidity.

    So it IS up to the rest of the world. The bankers have fixed the Europeans up quite proper, and it will be a half a century to get them out of trouble, longer if people are dumb enough to keep listening to bankers.

    Then there’s us and Oz, and the rest of Asia. I re-iterate my point. Someone has to start somewhere. We’re here.

    Not so sure about you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  52. Trevor 29
    Please stop displaying your ignorance.
    Wind isn’t dispatchable. Find out how much power all the windfarms in the country were generating on 10th and 11th August (hint it was less than 20MW and sometimes they were consuming power)So for that period, if we had say ten times as many windfarms in the country, we couldn’t even run Hamilton. And there is not enough water in the Waikato to make up the difference. The same happened on 13th 14th August.
    bjchip
    You also are still displaying your ignorance. Steamers have a very high temperature/ pressure front end to their machines. Typically, it is about 640degC 120bar. Nukes are down around 30bar/300degC at the front end. The two types of machines are totally different and anyone with nous can pick the difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  53. ChrisM said:
    “They are currently in a immense expansion programme, mainly centred around coal. What isn’t coal is massive dams flooding their major river valleys.
    http://www.powermag.com/business/4257.html
    Their wind generation is just an excuse to tie up the rare earths. You will note that though they say wind is going to quintruple, all the article is about is their coal and hydro. They aren’t even building the grid to where they say they will put their windfarms.”

    They don’t need to build more grid to the new wind farms. The wind farms are distributed generation and their output will replace some of the output from the hydro, gas or coal plants nearby, so the power lines from those plants will also carry the output of the wind farms.

    The article also mentions solar power – only a small proportion but ramping up. It states that wind and solar power are both limited by technical and economic concerns and intermittancy, i.e. similar limits that apply elsewhere, but they are working hard to increase the share generated by both wind and solar – harder than we are.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  54. Trevor29
    Can’t you remember more than one report at a time? China announced that its windfarms were going to be in inner Mongolia and the far Western provinces. The data was for additional plant, not replacement build. And stop that stupid mantra about distributed generation. That was only a Tee shirt slogan for politicians. Bob Thompson picked it up so the government could milk Transpower and defer investment. What was originally intended was for everyones gas powered hot water generator to also produce electricity to help the grid. Those are the divices Meridian took a financial bath over.
    The headline for this blog lest we forget, is “Smith gets it wrong over fraccing”. Trevor29, bjchip, and Gareth who is lurking there, lets discuss that. Whats the matter? Cat got your tongue? Surely Gareth has had enough time to get in touch with Brian to discuss the test. If he can’t, I can help by giving him the names of NZGA executive who remember it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  55. ChrisM

    I POLITELY asked you if your source could/did differentiate between the rotors. DID I SAY THAT I KNEW? I asked so that you could tell me. You did. You also proved that you aren’t very bright even though you know LOTS about the power industry.

    I don’t oppose fracking for frivolous reasons… I oppose it because my kids need to have a climate that still works and I can’t trust anyone in the power industry to actually dispose of ANYTHING safely unless they are watched. I am not into it the way Gareth is. I never said it is impossible to do safely. I even stated elsewhere that it may be useful… sometimes.

    You are representing an industry that has (unlike any other industry) been dumping its waste for free for more than a century, and for reasons of profit is refusing to change. You are representing an industry that is responsible for absolute devastation of parts of the USA, riding roughshod over the rights of the people who happen to have the poor judgement to be living over “their” resource.

    You KNOW you are fucking over our children, and their children and you don’t care. Just so you get your job done and get paid. It’s what you do and I don’t doubt you are good at it too.

    “Goal 1: Develop Clean Energy
    The 12th Five-Year Plan will change the power generation structure in which new and renewable energy resources figure prominently.”

    Funny how that THIS part of that powermag remained unreported by you.

    You aren’t a very nice person mate, I have been known to be not real nice myself at times. You want to mix it up? You’re on. There is NOT a good excuse for this crap here in NZ. Not because you can’t extract Gas from some of the rock, but because NZ should not be burning Coal OR Gas. We have massive untapped potential here, and we’re already at 70% carbon free power… so what’s the deal?

    The philosophy that sees the earth as a resource to be exploited comes into collision with that which sees it as a place to be preserved and turned over to our children as nice as when WE came into it.

    There is a requirement for a Green, even me, and that is to embrace SUSTAINABLE options, and fracking for Gas is not a sustainable option at all. It might, for a very little while and at no small cost, serve as a bridge between the Coal based rape of the planet to something sustainable. The question of whether it makes sense depends to some extent, on the gas we already get from our normal fields. Which was regarded as a boon when discovered and a benefit but which was used and abused and now that it is depleting, has left us helpless and dependent of finding more, always looking for more, to sustain the unsustainable.

    Leave it in the ground. If our kids decide they need it THEY can dig it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  56. ChrisM – yes I can remember more than one report at a time, but I do not remember the report about wind farms in Mongolia – probably because I never read it and I can’t see any links from you to it, so I don’t see how you can expect to have read it.

    I said that it is rare for wind farms not to generate some power, so you came up with two dates – which agrees with what I said. It certainly doesn’t prove what you said – that the wind isn’t usually blowing. Get real! If the wind wasn’t usually blowing, then the power companies wouldn’t have built the wind farms.

    And yes I know that wind power isn’t despatchable. I never said that it was. I said that the output from wind farms would replace the output from nearby hydro, gas or coal plants so the same lines could carry the output from both. This DOESN’T mean that those plants will be shut down and replaced by the wind farms, only that the output of those despatchable plants can be reduced while the wind farms are generating. See page 4 paragraph 2 of the article we both linked to.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  57. Andy S asked:
    “if you can find another way to make these products without fossil fuels in the next 20 years then I’d be interested to hear about it.”

    News Flash! Charcoal can be used in blast furnaces to make iron. It doesn’t need coal or coke. This exciting development was discovered very recently – about 25 centuries ago. The use of coke was pioneered around 1709.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blast_furnace

    Whew – I might be able to continue buying knives.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  58. Err… So you’re now threatening violence against people who produce fossil fuels?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  59. Er… Spam… we’re on a blog… and we are either polite in our debate or we exchange insults and flames. Where do you think you are? Are you trying to prove that “homo sapiens” is an oxymoron in your case as well?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  60. I think I’m othe official blog of the Green party, not some cesspit on the web.

    Sure if you want to flame and insult, that is your choice. But I won’t engage with you, and that is my choice. But threats of violence cross a line, and I would like to see people doing that being banned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  61. bjchip so I hurt your feeling, Oh well, never mind.
    The only reason I ever came here was because Gareth was falsely gloating about an error he thought Nic had made. As nothing has been done to correct that, I guess Gareth hasn’t learnt the meaning of hubris.

    There is a huge amount of information out there not on Google. It’s in those old fashioned things called books. A lot isn’t even documented but in people’s heads.You go to the manufacturer’s factories and it is really eyeopening. Skim reading a few reports written by advocates who have never worked on a power station that agree with your prejudices doesn’t make you an expert, just a prat. Oh and by the way Trevor29 , charcoal production was deforesting all of England before coke came around. I am so glad the Greens are supporting clearfelling forests.

    Before you make a total Richard of yourselves, I have spent my time in renewable energy except for a short time on steamers 25 years ago. I also have been to Dinorwig and even the windturbines behind Lawrence Livermore in the early 80s. I wasn’t impressed by them then and nothing since has changed my mind. I don’t consider myself an expert – power generation and transmission is too broad and deep a subject for anyone but a bullshit artist to really know about – but I can understand the experts in most areas.

    The low carbon generation system you want with all the back up power needed will not only be eyewatering expensive and environmentally destructive, it will be of third world quality. Having the grid collapse does not just mean that the light switches don’t work, people die. That is how embedded a secure and stable generation system is in our life.

    Anyway, Mummy says I must leave you and go back to playing with the big boys. e nono ra.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  62. @trevor – sorry, I did not mean for you to think I was making that comment to you. It was directed at bjchip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  63. @Spam – that’s all right – I thought you were making a joke.

    Trevor

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  64. Spam, that changes nothing at all, because I didn’t make any threat. I made it clear that I’m tired of trying to be polite to him. Since he uses jargon to feel superior and has no idea what WE know he has managed to make a complete ass of himself in support of the operation and well-being of an industry which has as its goal the end of human civilization…

    It just can’t recognize that that is what it is aiming at. Doesn’t want to talk about it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The low carbon generation system you want with all the back up power needed will not only be eyewatering expensive and environmentally destructive, it will be of third world quality. Having the grid collapse does not just mean that the light switches don’t work, people die. That is how embedded a secure and stable generation system is in our life.

    Why need it be done so that all that power needs MORE backup than the hydro we already have ??

    Why can’t we also have demand control? It isn’t what WE are used to but it was certainly something that our civilization has never had trouble dealing with.

    We know the Wind works when it works, but here that is often and when it works there is no need to drain power from the hydro lakes.

    The untapped hydro resources of tide and Cook Strait remain untapped.

    You assert “environmentally destructive” and I see no basis for that assertion at all. You need to back up that claim.

    You assert 3rd world quality, and that IS what can happen if no improvements are made to the grid and no distributed generation is built and no provisions for controlling load are also included.

    With the proper incentive, like a CO2 tax upwards of $100 a tonne, the economic landscape would change, and we’d see a more successful integration of clean power.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But the worst part here is that it isn’t “The low carbon generation system you(we) want” … it is the low carbon generation system that we HAVE to have, because we can’t afford any other. We can’t afford to be building “steamers”.

    ChrisM completely ignores the consequences of emitting more carbon. He argues solely to be allowed to frack the planet to get more fuels to burn to emit more carbon. He is arguing for an industry that makes US into vampires sucking the blood from our children. I don’t think he is evil, but he is only willing to discuss fracking with Gareth, who wasn’t even born when the thing he is chiding us for not remembering took place. The thing that not even a leader in the specific industry actually remembered.

    Did we get SOMETHING wrong? I am sure we did. That is the nature of political BS and Gareth probably won’t make this particular error again, but the larger picture remains unchanged and ChrisM can’t discuss it.

    What makes him annoying, is that it is something he is afraid to face. He can’t even hang around to talk about it. Just Gareth and Fracking.

    Too bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  65. Spam, that changes nothing at all, because I didn’t make any threat. I made it clear that I’m tired of trying to be polite to him. Since he uses jargon to feel superior and has no idea what WE know he has managed to make a complete ass of himself in support of the operation and well-being of an industry which has as its goal the end of human civilization…

    It just can’t recognize that that is what it is aiming at. Doesn’t want to talk about it.

    Yet you wrote:
    You aren’t a very nice person mate, I have been known to be not real nice myself at times. You want to mix it up? You’re on.

    Instead of clarifying (or correcting me / denying it at the time), you rationalised it, which reinforces my view that I was correct in my interpretation in the first place.
    Er… Spam… we’re on a blog… and we are either polite in our debate or we exchange insults and flames. Where do you think you are? Are you trying to prove that “homo sapiens” is an oxymoron in your case as well?

    ..throwing in a completely unprovoked insult towards me as well.

    Not that I’m holding my breath for an apology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  66. Spam.. just so we understand each other, you can pretend to be as thin-skinned as you like and you may WISH you could shut me up with false claims of threats, but that isn’t going to happen here. I’m reasonably convinced that some of the concerns about fracking that are being tossed around are overblown, and I think it may have a limited place… somewhere else… but it isn’t needed here… and the principle issue with fracking has to do (for me) with the consequences of burning fossil fuels.

    I don’t claim to be perfect, just human, and I am angry with the garbage being thrown up as argument here.

    You guys can’t find enough wool, even in this country, to keep me from seeing through you. Thing is, I AM angry. I see no reason to put up with people who are tools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  67. Spam

    * We are crossing posts.

    Falsely accusing me of offering a threat of physical violence IS a provocation.

    It is a lie. It is a lie about me. I doubt that you’d respond much differently were I to lie about you.

    You compound your provocation by trying to argue that the point that this is a blog, where words are exchanged, leaves it somehow unclear as to whether physical violence was threatened. I’m going to skip that bit… crossing posts leaves me uncomfortable. More, I am going to give you the benefit of doubt about your motivation… because what I INITIALLY said would be a physical threat on the street and you might have mistaken the meaning honestly. So I do apologize for that insult. You didn’t really deserve it.

    Then…. since then you have proven that you do of course… but I’m trying not to notice.

    Lets see if we can settle this down a bit so as to stay somewhere near the topics of interest?

    Somthing about fracking and fossil fuels, and I have to include Climate Change as well… because CO2 release is the end result of the fracking, no matter if the process is safe or not… and whether Gareth is overreaching with his position on this topic…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  68. This IS of course, a blog. It is a place of words and occasionally ideas… it is a political blog and we let all manner of people participate. This does not however, help with the heat to light ratio. People who offer insult can expect insult in return.

    The people here, except for the MPs who are providing the grist for this mill, are not all Greens (though I am) and are not (unless one happens to answer you here) formal representatives of the party responding to your questions.

    Gareth MIGHT respond, and if he did he’d be more temperate than I am. He has to follow rules that I do not. We can be quite rude within the rather loose constraints of this blog. I don’t usually indulge my anger, but one can get away with quite a bit here.

    The nature of this blog is fuzzy. It is hosted by and formally managed by the Greens. It is however, open to anyone and inhabited by people who are mostly busy doing other things. The party does not have anything to do with what the replies we make.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  69. ChrisM – I am aware that over-harvesting trees will lead to deforestation (and has in places). However harvesting trees at a sustainable rate is certainly an option if we are desperate to make more steel. But charcoal doesn’t need to be made from trees – any biomass cooked up in a lack of oxygen will do – branches, wheat stalks, cabbage tree leaves, whatever. And don’t forget that the gases given off by this process contain useful things too.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  70. Geothermal can be used to back up other generation as well, although it isn’t as easy to ramp up and down. Pumped hydro storage can also be useful to meet demand peaks when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining if necessary. In New Zealand, I doubt that we will need to built pumped hydro storage for peaking purposes in the South Island (although these is one suggestion that would quadruple our total hydro storage). Adding reversible pumps to a few of our existing South Island hydro stations would allow excess wind or solar power to be stored for later use, but this probably isn’t cost-effective. The North Island is short of hydro capacity and has more peak demand, currently met by 3GW of fossil fuelled generation. To meet this need without the fossil fuels is likely to require a mix of solutions including perhaps burning a bit of biomass in the middle of winter.

    However all solutions start with the easy stuff – build more wind farms and geothermal plant so we can cut back on the amount of fossil fuel we need. Yet under National’s ETS, even this isn’t happening although a number of options have been consented.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  71. Any idea on how much charcoal is required to smelt steel?

    We know, for example, that massive amounts of land are required to make a relatively small amount of biofuel. Rainforests are being chopped down to support biofuel production, which is mandated in NZ’s fuel policy.

    Is the destruction of rainforest to support biofuel production something that the Green party supports, and if not what steps is it taking to stop it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  72. The amount of charcoal required to smelt iron depends on a number of factors including the composition of the ore being smelted. However the big variable is whether the carbon has to provide just the reducing agent or whether it also has to supply the heat for the reaction. If the heat is supplied from electricity from renewable resources, then only a fraction of the amount is required. In fact since carbon is much lighter than iron, the weight of carbon required is much less than the weight of iron produced. However if the charcoal also has to produce enough heat for the reaction, then the required amount is much higher.

    The amount of biomass required will also depend on how the biomass is turned into charcoal. Again it is the source of the heat for this process that makes the big difference. Here solar power can be harnessed directly.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  73. Interesting. I need to read up more on fracking. I would like to know where you learned most of this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>