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South Australia blows up cheap electricity, jobs, wealth, in ideological anti-coal quest

Today the South Australian government destroyed the smoke stack of the Playford B Plant, one more part of what’s left of the cheapest base-load electricity generators in the state.

For about $8 million a year over three years, they could have kept some coal power going and wouldn’t have needed to spend $400 million on emergency diesel generators they don’t want to use, and over $100 million on a battery that can supply 4% of the state for one hour. They also would’ve paid less than $120 million for two days of electricity last week.

On the upside, they can feel good and pretend to be “world leaders”. Virtue signalling is expensive, eh?

Port Augusta, Northern Power, Demolition, Destruction, Photo, 2018.

….

The plant employed 185 people, the coal mine 200. Other businesses in the town, who knows? People are leaving.

SA, a star in the race away from being a competitive, powerhouse rich state. Creating wealth and jobs in China.

Last South Australian coal-fired power station demolition nears completion

The Australian, Luke Griffiths:

The concrete and brick structure at the 240MW Playford B power station, named after long-serving South Australian premier Sir Thomas Playford and mothballed in 2012, leaves only the 200-metre high stack at the nearby Northern power station standing in Port Augusta, 280km north of Adelaide.

That is expected to be demolished in April or May as part of a decommissioning process undertaken by Flinders Power, an offshoot of former power station operator Alinta Energy.

Before announcing the closure of Northern in mid-2015, Alinta unsuccessfully sought $25 million in subsidies over three years from the South Australian Labor government to keep it operating until this year, to ensure an effective transition occurred, after a rapid rise in renewable energy made it unviable.

However, the Weatherill government, which is ideologically opposed to coal, rejected the offer.

It’s wrecking the town too:

Locals in Port Augusta this week expressed frustration…

Deirdre McKerlie, who works at KD’s Hair Flair, told The Australian that not having a transition plan was “just stupid”. She said Port Augusta hit “rock bottom”, with many businesses unviable and residents moving away.

Premier Jay Weatherill said “Port Augusta is a symbol of South Australia’s transition from old to new…”

Exactly our point.

The boilers were blown up in November.

The rest will be demolished in April or May. SA, living standards thereafter.

SA had two coal power plants: Playford B, built in 1963, 240MW and newer Northern Power Station (1985) and 520MW.

Comment from RB555  2018/01/22 at 12:22 pm

This ETSA PR film from 1954 may be of interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMKPz-kVgcc
Shows the opening of Playford A power station, the first of three powered by Lee Creek coal.
Tom Playford himself appears briefly in the film.
A brief history of the complex is here.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (105 votes cast)
South Australia blows up cheap electricity, jobs, wealth, in ideological anti-coal quest, 8.9 out of 10 based on 105 ratings

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183 comments to South Australia blows up cheap electricity, jobs, wealth, in ideological anti-coal quest

  • #
    Serp

    I guess there is an urgent need to build something else on the site and this is not wanton destruction of an asset which contributes to the national interest.

    717

    • #
      Peter C

      I guess there is an urgent need to build something else on the site and this is not wanton destruction of an asset which contributes to the national interest.

      That would be a fair comment if it were True. But so we have no information about any such urgent need.

      What is urgently NEEDED is reliable and cheap electrical power, We have the means! but not the political WILL. That has to be applied by voters,

      420

      • #
        Peter C

        Serp probably being ironic and having a little laugh at the responses.

        90

        • #
          cohenite

          Maybe. But it is a line the daffy Wetherill would take. The installation is privately owned so presumably they are legally entitled to blow it up. In fact companies like AGL and it’s CEO Vessey are complicit with the delusional policies by politicians like Wetherill and blowing up proven energy sources makes them money due to the subsidization of wind and solar.

          It’s insane.

          20

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Serp writes: “need to build something else on the site

      Being mostly under 10m elevation, it is soon to be underwater.
      Seriously, such places are often expensive to re-purpose because of the need for cleaning, covering, or whatever.
      Perhaps, turning it into a wildlife preserve could be done. A bit of tourist attraction might result.
      The solar project north of town might help the area — if it gets built.

      62

    • #
      Geoff

      Having the SA left do ANYTHING has resulted in the economic destruction of their state.

      The choice is simple. Pay to have them reside in prison. Pay less to have them stare out of a window eight hours a day. Either way, these children need supervision.

      They have made my old state look stupid. The left cannot accept reality. We are faced with some tough choices. If we let them continue they will destroy themselves but we WILL BE INCLUDED. All the while they will tell us its all our fault. Even as a power station is literally blown up, its destruction was “not their fault”.

      180

    • #
      Graham Richards

      The demolition of the Stae of South Australia nears completion. That would be a more appropriate headline.

      180

    • #
      Hivemind

      Not entirely. There was an urgent need – to prevent anybody from restarting the power station.

      130

    • #
      Rick C PE

      Maybe they don’t realize it now, but in a few years they may well have an urgent need to build on this site – a modern clean coal power station perhaps.

      80

  • #
  • #
    TedM

    Make the South Australian power grid stand alone. No interstate connector, no subsidies, no excuses. Make the SA Govt. publish the cost of every aspect of their power system. Then let South Australian citizens weep.

    640

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Agreed. Maybe they coukd ship in a few leftie crazies from California to howl at the sky to celebrate thier independence, and the new 8′ chain mesh fence and border Checkpoint Charlies into WA, NT, and Victoriastan, so they can live la dolce vita ( 3 rd world style….).

      220

    • #
      TdeF

      The change in South Australia is in the thousands of windmills. My question two years ago was, who paid for them?

      So I checked the State budget. Not a windmill. Federally, not a windmill or solar panel. The governments subsidize nothing. So who paid? As Pauline Hanson said, please explain?

      The windmills were built with your money, wherever you live in Australia, you are the bunny. This is the RET scheme. It forces payments, not taxes, on all electricity at retail as almost all power is gas or coal. Your billions in cash is handed to people to for wind and solar. They then charge you again for their power, their free wind power. So you pay double for free wind.

      Worse, it makes coal and gas patently unaffordable, which means they cannot continue. So the biggest, cheapest power stations are forced to close. Wind power then goes up in price with no competition.

      Where do you put those wind and solar panels? South Australia. The highest sun power in the world. Then the governments will pay for all the billions in infrastructure at a State and National level. The Federal politicians get to control what was previously State power.

      All with your money. Without your permission. Even without your knowledge. It is not shown on the bill.

      To be owned by people overseas. $6Billion a year on your electricity bill to make overseas people richer and so that they own what you previously owned. You are left with having to subsidize Alcoa, Port Pirie, Whyalla, manufacturing as no one can afford electricity. You pay for “Free” wind. Again and again.

      Thanks to a Federal attack on the power systems, to make the Federal politicians more important, to make foreign investors richer and to create the world’s biggest carbon tax. All to prevent CO2 rising. All for nothing.

      Political power, financial power, social power. Nothing to do with electrical power. Our National debt alone is now over $500Billion.

      My point is that there is reason to punish the people of South Australia. They have been punished enough. They own nothing. A few diesel generators, a giant useless battery and every shop and restaurant and business and even the government itself has to rent their own diesel generators just to stop more losses. Fairly the power only goes off when you need it most.

      Who to blame? The Federal Government who pretend they had no idea why giant Hazelwood closed. According to very Green Malcolm Turnbull, that was a private matter. Ha. They want Liddell and Loy Yang to close, despite pretending the opposite. Now Turnbull wants us to buy carbon credits overseas, but manufacturing is near dead anyway on his watch and the country is in record debt and now on Australia Day we are told we Australians should go home. Where? This is our home.

      No, don’t punish South Australians. It is not their fault. Weatherill, Turnbull, Shorten, Gillard, Brown and di Natalie. Pliticians who do as they please with hidden massive taxes. The NBN anyone? Control of the telephones, the internet and the electricity centred in Canberra and who cares what the people need? The same with Australia Day. It should be banned, apparently. Soon it will be owned overseas anyway and we will all be deported.

      570

      • #
        TdeF

        Climate change is the excuse, not the reason. No one seriously believes in Climate Change, Global Warming. Reduce CO2? So where is that working?

        Those who spruik Climate Change all make their fame and living from it. Lewandowsky, Flannery, Gore, Hansen, Steffen,Pachauri, … With the exception of Gore, these are names of insignificant people, names which no one would have known without Climate Change.

        250

        • #
          Clint

          TdeF, you appear to have omitted Dollywood. … Geostorm

          And so the brainwashing continues …

          In the near future, climate control satellites malfunction, causing disasters across the globe. The end of the world looms and the only solution is to send Gerard Butler into space. Independence Day and Stargate co-writer/producer Dean Devlin’s directorial debut.

          When catastrophic climate change endangers Earth’s very survival, world governments unite and create the Dutch Boy Program: a world wide net of satellites armed with geoengineering technologies designed to stave off the natural disasters. After successfully protecting the planet for two years, something is starting to go wrong. Two estranged brothers are tasked with solving the program’s malfunction before a world wide Geostorm can engulf the planet.

          60

      • #
        Dennis

        I was checking the latest GDP figure and discovered a graph of GDP performance commencing 1983. Some might remember that in 1983 Australia was just recovering from the recession caused by the Whitlam Labor years in government, the Fraser Coalition had managed the economy through recession and coincidently, the worst drought for many years came to an end during 1983. Therefore the incoming Hawke Labor government benefited from the growing economy, until they gave us the worst recession for sixty years, circa 1990.

        The Howard Coalition formed government as the “recession we had to have” according to Labor (truth being was created by their deregulation of the banking and finance sector, floating of the Australian Dollar and not making provision for a watchdog, the Australian Prudential regulatory Authority was established in 1998 by the Howard Government), was ending and economic growth returning.

        The graph showed that GDP steadily improved from 1983, peaking at an all time best in the 2003-2008 financial years, and from formation of the Rudd Labor Government inNovember 2007 from 2008 GDP has been in decline.

        And in 2017 has dropped back to 1983 performance level.

        Just another indicator revealing the incompetence and/or deliberate sabotage of national prosperity by politicians.

        190

      • #
        Yonason

        Redistribution of wealth to enrich a few con artists. That’s all this scam has ever been about.

        10

  • #
    TedM

    Then vote in an alternative Govt.

    160

    • #
      sophocles

      Start educating the voters. Draw up a campaign plan and start asap …

      181

      • #
        Dave

        Won’t happen!

        Educating the voters you need a good substantial business sector!
        It has died in South Australia!
        Majority are Public Servants or on benefits!
        It’ll only get worse until it becomes a basket case!

        Jay Weatherill has spent BILLIONS on Renewables!
        And it’s FAILED!

        It is a catastrophe waiting to happen!

        The wages will Stop!
        The Lattes will Stop!
        The Smashed Cucumber Pizzas will Stop!

        Sarah Hanson Young & the rest of the Greens & ALP will be rich and move interstate!

        250

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Dave:

          At some time the farce has to stop, almost certainly when the money runs out. Actually it has run out already with Weatherill running on debt and his latest $500 million to try and get reelected wouldn’t have convinced Bankers to lend long term. Should the GST carve up be changed then whoever is the Government in S.A. is going to have to make unpopular decisions.
          The result will be an end to the green subsidy business. A heavy culling of the Public Service, the bits that haven’t been privatised. No more projects like the World’s most expensive hospital. The developers will have to move interstate because the money won’t be available. Then the housing industry will see numbers of tradesmen moving elsewhere too.
          Housing prices will fall and local Councils will suddenly find that they too have to economise. All those inner city Greens will feel the chill winds of winter and even some of them will realise, too late, that living on sunshine isn’t that good.

          250

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          And the ten senate seats representing the residue of SA’s population will all be held by Greens!

          40

      • #
        Annie

        Accidental knock on red thumb…sorry Sophocles!

        60

      • #
        Yonniestone

        The three P’s Politicians, Police and Professors, control these without any separation of powers and you control everything society does, Australia is/has headed down this path for decades with the unlawful PC doctrine being a final piece in launching what the people see as no choices but the elites see as success.

        To enlighten the people to the brilliant ruse done to them it would require events that shake them to the core while they still have freedom to act, going the route of slow reintroduction to their past will only foster a deep divide in the nation leading to possible civil war or large border divisions, after watching ‘Darkest Hour’ Churchill had to first fight his own country’s leaders before convincing them to fight Germany.

        81

  • #
    tom0mason

    Well done Australia!

    You all and Germany are in the same experimenters crucible, forging a new regressive world, a new future.
    With the power of renewable energy, both of you will soon languish in the backwaters of the industrial world, backwaters of the modern world. Unwanted, uncared for, backward, and forgotten.

    I am saddened.
    My heart goes out to you all.

    211

  • #
    maurie

    We in Australia are so lucky to have a half witted idiot pretending to be a pm so he can be pals with that lunatic imbecile inn SA.

    80

  • #
  • #

    Look on the bright side. All that coal would have had to be mined in hotspots like the Middle East and floated through dodgy straits and sea lanes to refineries in places like Singapore and South Korea before hitting the sea lanes again…right?

    While the diesel only has to be dug out of the ground locally at Leigh Creek…right?

    It must be so. Right?

    290

  • #
    NB

    Amazing what the left will do with the coercive powers of the state. To blow up productive workplaces is just astonishing.
    Only Labor and the Greens could think that blowing up your power supply is a good idea.

    201

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Kind of reminds of the parasite that infects mice that turn the mice suicidal so they are eaten by a cat…..

      Seems the green virus does the sane thing…

      120

    • #
      Raven

      Can’t they just jump up and down at the next COAG meeting and get WA to hand over a larger share of the GST?

      80

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Raven:
        They are being rewarded because the State government is incompetent, so they are trying hard to justify getting more.

        50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I worry about SA….bodies in barrels, now no industry, loopy lefties creating South Australiastan, its really going need to be ring fenced off and left to rot. Oh hang on, we could use it as a huge refuse dump….i can see it now…on the SA number plates…” SA the Refuse State”

    A play on words…they refuse to use common sense too….

    They have maralinga….maybe the radioactivity will light up the sky so they wond need power stations?

    / sarc

    110

    • #
      James

      They have already thought about setting up a nuclear waste dump, in the North of the state. So refuge dump is not far from the truth!

      41

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Its about all this glorious Socialist mess is good for….

        Ah Socialism…..a failure one day, a failure the next..and the next..and the next…

        140

  • #
    RexAlan

    What have they done. Australia was the most relaxed and also the luckiest country in the world when I fell in love with it and came to live here in the seventies. It is now the most politically correct and dumbest country in the world. I wish it wasn’t so, I am truly heartbroken and embarrassed. If I was younger I would be gone in a flash.

    411

    • #
      RexAlan

      Apologies to Jo and everyone else for the rant. Jo works so hard with this site and I would like to thank her for everything she does. She truly is one in a million.

      390

  • #
    Graeme#4

    If it keeps costing SA an extra $100m each week, they could have easily afforded to have kept the power station operating until the end of its life for $25m a year.

    220

    • #
      toorightmate

      Send more GST.

      50

    • #
      Hivemind

      Yes, but you misunderstand. SA didn’t want to keep the power going. They wanted to signal their truly massive virtue. Hence the need to dynamite everything to prevent the conservatives from fixing it when they eventually get back in.

      40

  • #
    Greg in NZ

    “Masterton was one of the hottest spots in the country today, with a high of 33 degrees.” That’s it? 33? Please, turn it up, I like it hot. My vehicle read “35″ where I was, but hey, numbers-schnumbers, what’s a few whole degrees.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/348921/masterton-heat-keeps-holidaying-children-indoors

    “I have noticed that over the past few days – we’re not seeing the children.” Uh-oh, cue spooky music.

    In this eerily Monty-Pythonish time-warp of an age gone by: “Members of the ‘Come sew with me’ club spent the afternoon celebrating the heat by sewing and holding a tea party in Queen Elizabeth Park… ‘We’re just playing with sewing machines all day long, making wonderful things and having a great time. When you’re happy you don’t feel it so hard’”.

    That’s the spirit, girls! Tell the young folk that, these days, ‘n they dooooon’t believe ya. It’s 1909 all over again.

    100

  • #
    PeterS

    More proof that climate scientists are betraying their profession, and at least should be “defrocked”.
    Fake Models – Fake Science – Fake Scientists

    100

    • #
      Mall

      Climate scientist is an oxymoron. They are second rate political scientists whos only role is to support the political outcome required by the IPCC

      30

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Isn’t it criminal to be destroying infrastructure which demonstrably is cheaper to run and more reliable than what’s left: wind, solar, some highly polluting diesel plants and two interconnectors that seem to be receiving rather than giving.

    This plant was a public asset.

    150

  • #

    [...] blowing up their power stations. Richly symbolic! For about $8 million a year over three years, they could have kept some coal power going and [...]

    10

  • #
    Len

    There would have to be psychopaths involved in this behaviour.

    100

  • #

    They’re destroying these power stations in a ritual orgy of symbolic beatification because they never got over the Russians pulling down statues of Lenin and Stalin post 1989. Question is, when we finally win after Australia is reduced to a steaming ruin that relies on bartering as a key economic component, will we do the same to the awful wind turbines or will we let them quietly rust as permanent warnings to future generations of the folly of ideology?

    180

    • #
      yarpos

      I doubt anyone will dig up the forty odd tonnes of concrete and reo at the base of each one, so I guess the best you will see is some toppling. Until they work out what to do with the blade material it will probably be deferred as long as possible.

      Was watching a doco on the construction of a massive off shore windfarm in the Netherlands. I have never seen such an energy and resource intensive process, they really have to be kidding that this is renewable. All this for a technology that rarely reached its published operational life, which seems about as real as nameplate capacity.

      130

  • #
    pat

    the MSM, has cheered on such activities:

    25 Jan: MackayDailyMercury: Anti-Adani protesters arrested for trespass
    by Madura Mccormack
    THREE anti-Adani activists are facing multiple charges of trespass after two protests on the Abbot Point coal port railway line yesterday halted trains for 11 hours.
    A 23-year-old Brisbane university student allegedly hoisted herself up a tree with a bed frame that was secured across four lanes of the railway from about 6am.
    ***Police said she came down because of the wind around noon…

    Two other Brisbane students were arrested a few hours later for allegedly climbing atop an Aurizon train and unfurling a banner.
    As of yesterday evening, one of the protesters, a 20-year-old woman from Brisbane, had been charged with one count each of trespassing on a railway, interfering with a railway, and contravene direction.
    The Queensland Resources Centre yesterday expressed “grave concern” for people’s safety due to the ongoing protests.
    The women are expected to face Bowen Magistrates Court on February 20
    https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/anti-adani-protesters-arrested-for-trespass/3318402/

    25 Jan: MackayDailyMercury: Activists put themselves at risk to stop coal trains
    by Campbell Gellie
    FOR the third time this week anti-coal activists, previously known as anti-Adani activists, have stopped trains carrying coal to Abbot Point Coal Terminal.
    Early this morning two women locked onto a drum filled with concrete that was placed onto the train tracks.
    It is a dangerous ploy considering it takes 2km for a coal train to come to a complete stop.
    The two women, Hannah Schuch and Claire Ogden, have been attached to the half a tonne concrete drum since 5.30am.
    The train line takes coal from Queensland mines to Adani owned Abbot Point terminal, however the protest action is against Aurizon.
    The sign on the heavy drum reads ‘Veto Loan For Aurizon’…

    Yesterday, activists climbed onto a train with a sign also telling politicians to veto a loan to Aurizon, however the train they climbed on was owned by Aurizon’s competitior Pacific National which has not applied for a loan.
    https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/activists-put-themselves-at-risk-to-stop-coal-trai/3318814/

    60

    • #
      pat

      one of the anti-coal activists, Claire Ogden, ran for the Greens in 2016:

      PIC: 23 June 2016: ABC: Greens candidate Claire Ogden with campaign team
      Greens candidate Claire Ogden (in black) with Andrew Bartlett and her campaign team.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-23/greens-candidate-claire-ogden-with-campaign-team/7539212

      70

    • #
      Bushkid

      Hmmm, are any of those train lines electrified? Might spark u their day – briefly!

      If any of these dingbats manages to get themselves killed, forgive me, but I won’t mourn.

      While I really do hate to see the country dug up and risks to the GAB and local groundwater, if the denizens of this country want to continue to live in the style to which they’ve become accustomed, we do need that export income. If they’re so determined to have no fossil fuel use at all, then let them eschew – totally – any and every product and benefit derived from, enabled or delivered by any form of fossil fuel. Let them shiver naked in the dark in winder, burn to a crisp under the summer sun with out any more shelter than a grass humpy. Let them walk everywhere on bare feet. Let them catch or gather their own food – but only from unassisted sources.

      50

  • #
    pat

    this is typical of the one-sided indoctrination put out by taxpayer-funded ABC daily:

    AUDIO: 3mins03secs: 25 Jan: ABC AM: Climate change “licked” if 2017 renewable investment level continues: analyst
    By Stephen Smiley
    Last year there was much criticism of the Federal Government for a delay in finalising a renewable energy target.
    The states have also attracted criticism for low subsidies for household solar panelling.
    But a new analysis of the renewables sector suggests that, in 2017, the nation took a big stride forward – and it seems households are a big part of the shift.
    Featured:
    Steve Turner, Sydney home owner
    Tristan Edis, director, analysis and advisory, Green Energy Markets
    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/programs/am/climate-change-licked-if-2017-renewable-investment-continues/9360006

    same page, below above LINKS to “Related”:

    18 Jan: ABC AM: Renewable energy investment hits new high, but ‘likely to fall off a cliff’ under NEG
    By business reporter Stephanie Chalmers
    Investment in renewable energy in Australia rose to a new high in 2017 but there are concerns investment will collapse under the National Energy Guarantee in its current form.
    Annual figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reveal a 150 per cent increase in Australia’s investment last year, to a record $US9 billion.
    It took Australia to seventh in the global ranking.
    Investment in large-scale projects rose 222 per cent as generators scrambled to meet the Federal Government’s large-scale renewable energy target (RET) of 33,000 gigawatt-hours of generation by 2020…

    BNEF’s Australian head Kobad Bhavnagri told RN Breakfast the record rise in investment in Australia shows the industry is willing to step up to a challenge…
    “The renewable energy target has actually become quite an ambitious target over the next few years because we had this big pause of investment in the Abbott years, when policy was extremely uncertain,” Mr Bhavnagri said…

    “A deeper emissions reduction target, or more action by state governments, will be required to sustain investment around the historic average,” said Mr Bhavnagri…

    15 Jan: ABC AM: Renewable energy investment ‘bonanza’ is coming to Australia, experts say
    By David Taylor
    Investment experts say Australia is fast becoming an attractive destination for large-scale batteries and renewable investment, which should ultimately bring down the costs of gas and electricity for households.
    The world’s second-most powerful battery could be built in the Top End as part of a plan to produce more renewable energy for the Northern Territory, following the installation of Elon Musk’s 100-megawatt battery in South Australia.

    The Climate Council has called it a renewable investment bonanza.
    “We will see I think a boom over the next decade in battery storage and also solar thermal, we’re starting to see that play out now in South Australia,” the Climate Council’s Andrew Stock said…

    The American-designed Aurora solar plant in Port Augusta has been contracted to supply all of the SA government’s energy needs once operational.
    In Queensland a French utility company — which partnered with Tesla in South Australia — has begun building an even larger storage system in far north Queensland.
    “What we will see is a virtuous circle developed between ever lower costs of renewables, ever lower costs of battery storage, those will reinforce each other,” Mr Stock said.
    “Smart investors will put their money in those sorts of investments, not in old fossil plants, and we will see this transformation happen.”…

    Independent economist Warren Hogan said it was the well publicised energy crisis, and the high costs of gas and electricity, that has made Australia’s renewable industry far more attractive to foreign companies.
    “The key is probably the price of electricity and energy in the domestic market, is elevated and has remained that way for a couple of years,” Mr Hogan said.
    “So that’s made the economics of these big capital investments more favourable and they are big initial capital outlays.”
    Mr Hogan said the politics of climate change had also shifted just enough to convince offshore investors to give Australia a go…

    30

  • #
    pat

    more typical propaganda from their ABC:

    Dec 2017: ABC: Electricity prices look set to fall as variable wind and solar generation comes online
    By Justine Kearney
    The Australian Energy Market Commission said the price drop will happen as variable wind and solar generation comes online, which is paid for by the Government’s Renewable Energy Target…
    “Prices rose sharply this year by almost 11 per cent on a national basis as consumers felt the impact of Hazelwood and Northern coal-fired plants retiring and the lack of replacement investment, combined with high gas prices,” Mr Pierce said.
    “But we expect these price rises will be reversed over the next two years as wind and solar generation enters the system.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-18/household-electricity-looks-set-to-get-cheaper-from-mid-2018/9266914

    60

    • #
      toorightmate

      I didn’t realize that “Hazelwood and Northern coal-fired plants had retired”.
      I thought they were either sacked or killed in action.

      190

    • #

      So prices rose sharply because someone pulled the plug while there was a lack of replacement investment? The cord was working fine but the parachute was in the mail?

      Things will get cheaper as diffuse, intermittent gen comes on line? Because diesel gets cheaper on a special deal with Exxon or Aramco if you buy more whirlygigs?

      And they think gas prices are high now? As opposed to, say, four years ago? Nine years ago? When?

      Just as well it’s all being paid for by some Target thing and not by taxpayers and consumers.

      100

  • #
    Asp

    That is astounding in the worst possible way.
    One would have thought that there would have been a little hesitance is continuing with this ‘Rubicon’ style of bridge burning for virtue signalling purposes given the recent experiences with lack of base load power generation.
    There was an ‘obsolete’ coal powered generating station in NSW that relatively recently sold for $500,000 that has now been valued at $700 M due to its ability to supply power when the demand outweighs the supply by a wide margin. Reality strikes back!
    South Australia has been and is the driest state on the driest continent, and can ill afford token shows of political correctness.
    The fact that the Opposition has not found any political traction in the face the farcical ‘government’ of the state incumbent government is beyond belief.

    130

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      Does the Liberal opposition wish to gain any traction over the Labor Party? And beyond the perks of office, why would it? They offer, as an energy policy, only more ‘interconnectors’. Completely unserious.

      20

    • #

      South Australia has been and is the driest state on the driest continent, and can ill afford token shows of political correctness.

      I thought your northern territories had less atmospheric H2O than any other. Alice springs, none zero! Drink beer, try to pee, all gone! :-)

      30

    • #
      el gordo

      Talking about the driest place on earth.

      ‘Based on a more than 500-foot-long ice core extracted from the thick sheet and containing a snowfall record dating back 2,000 years, the researchers found snow accumulation levels had been rising since around 1900. And the increase is most marked in recent decades, up through the year 2010. It’s a finding that aligns with the notion that climate change, by increasing the atmosphere’s retention of water vapor, is increasing precipitation.’

      Washington Post

      20

  • #

    South Australia should have a special license plate,’1860 Or Bus, Virtue Signaling A Dreary Future’ … it’s easy to feel sorry for your people, even from 10,000 miles away, but then, that is the cost of being the canary in the coalmine.

    60

  • #
    Lucky

    All those hundreds of millions of dollars,
    actually it is not so bad – for South Australia.

    Remember we have in Australia -Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation-
    thank you Team Turnbull and the Grants Commission.
    This is a Marxist economic technique whereby money is taken
    out of Western Australia and given to South Australia so they
    can make their economy worse and get more money.

    150

    • #
      joseph

      A small price to pay for a free electricity demo . . . . . .

      60

    • #
      Bushkid

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t competition between the states one of the “cornerstones” of our constitution? By imposing “equalisation” via GST distribution, isn’t that disadvantaging productive states to prop up mendicant ones? That’s not competition, that’s socialism.

      90

  • #
    Lance

    The Government of Australia has set the path of current day energy and economic policies.

    The Government of Australia was elected by Australians.

    “Every nation gets the government it deserves”. Joseph de Maistre, 1811.

    “The Government you elect is the Government you deserve”. Thomas Jefferson

    Elections have consequences.

    “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” Jessie Potter, Oct. 1981

    The present slate of officials have proven beyond doubt that energy policy and economic systems are beyond their abilities. It is past time for them to be dismissed from office before worse damage is inflicted.

    170

    • #
      Tel

      Your voting may harm others.

      110

    • #
      GD

      “Every nation gets the government it deserves”. Joseph de Maistre, 1811.
      “The Government you elect is the Government you deserve”. Thomas Jefferson

      When we elected the Coalition government in 2013 with Tony Abbott as leader, we got the government we chose and deserved. Then Malcolm Turnbull and the bedwetters in the party decided it didn’t matter what we chose, it was what they wanted.

      Since then the Liberals have hung onto power with a one-seat majority, whereas Tony Abbott delivered a ninety-seat majority. Two million voters have walked and are voting elsewhere.

      We don’t have the government we chose in 2013 and we don’t deserve this.

      260

      • #
        Lance

        Turnbull & Co. have definitely not been beneficial.

        The reality is that the bedwetters and greens will continue their path of destruction if they remain in power.

        Surely several of them could be voted out of office. One would hope so.

        Absent that, when things truly get bad enough, the political pendulum will swing in an extremely conservative direction.

        What political types fear the most is loss of power, position, influence, and becoming a “nobody”.

        Until the political class feels the wrath of the people, things won’t change.

        That’s my point.

        I’m not belittling Australia. Simply pointing out that when Govt stops working for the people and instead works for international approval and failed ideologies, things go wrong in a hurry.

        That’s how Trump got elected. 8 yrs of Obama’s incompetence and trillions of wasted dollars, wars we didn’t need and wars extended we could have won, an economy in the Sh**er and fascist leftists at war with local police was enough to cause a sea change. Whether that’s good or bad, History will judge. Push the people far enough and radical changes happen.

        71

        • #
          Hivemind

          “Surely several of them could be voted out of office.”

          The problem is that if we vote the Turnbull government out of office, we will get a Greens/Labor government, which will implement even more extreme, hateful policies than we already have.

          30

    • #
      yarpos

      Noble words in a small echo chamber. You seriously think voting in our system will change anything? Tell us how that would work.

      30

      • #
        Annie

        Nothing will be easily sorted while Australia has this crazy system of preferences in elections. Lots of different candidates plus all their preference promises equals a voter’s nightmare. Most people don’t seem to have the time, energy or inclination to work it out. A familiar face and/or name (seen ‘im on the telly, like) will suffice. We can see the result. Personal disaster for the many rather than the few may be the only way to open people’s eyes.

        30

        • #

          I procure and resell finely honed pitchfork; My brother Ed, deals only in well oiled torch. For you my special friend! A very good price for large lots! Grinn!.

          10

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          I agree Annie. I’ve yet to find a way to put several candidates equal last and still cast a valid vote. I can in the Senate, but not the house.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          30

    • #

      “Every nation gets the government it deserves”. Joseph de Maistre, 1811.
      “The Government you elect is the Government you deserve”. Thomas Jefferson
      Elections have consequences.
      “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” Jessie Potter, Oct. 1981

      I procure and resell finely honed pitchfork; My brother Ed, deals only in well oiled torch. For you my special friend! A very good price for large lots! Grinn!.

      10

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    This is off topic a bit but I think Jo will not complain.

    It’s January 25th here which means it’s now January 26th there in Oz and if I’m not mistaken, it’s Australia day.

    So from the states to you, Happy Australia day and have a great celebration in spite of your troubles.

    Be sure you have the sound turned up.

    180

    • #
      GD

      Thanks for posting that, Roy. Slim Dusty was the grandfather and pioneer of country music in Australia. Whether or not you like country music, it’s hard not to like Slim.

      90

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I’ve been a country music lover since I was a kid when my grandfather gave me a radio. I could listen to anything I wanted to and I explored the dial, soon discovering a country music station. I have no idea why I liked it but it’s been that way ever since.

        I first heard Waltzing Matilda so many years ago I can’t begin to remember where or when but it’s exactly the kind of music I’ve always liked and after finding out it’s more beloved by you Aussies than your official national anthem I decided to look it up and find out what all those “foreign” words mean and I ran across that rendition on YouTube.

        I’ve pulled that up now and then to listen to and finally decided to look into Slim Dusty a little. When I ran across the video of his state funeral my jaw hit the floor. This man is not just the father of country music in Australia, he’s an icon for Australia. We have lots of famous and very much loved country singers, including Hank Williams, who, if any one does, defines what country music is all about all by himself. But a state funeral, no. Those aren’t tossed around lightly.

        You have yourselves a national treasure in Slim Dusty.

        Here’s another of his best in my opinion — The Pub With No Beer.

        30

      • #
        GD

        When I ran across the video of his state funeral my jaw hit the floor. This man is not just the father of country music in Australia, he’s an icon for Australia.

        Absolutely! Slim Dusty is a national treasure. ‘The Pub With No Beer’ is an Australian country music classic.

        The clip you linked to is extra special with the composer joining Slim on the makeshift stage in an outback town.

        20

    • #
      Annie

      Thanks Roy.I hope there’s still some resilience in enough Australians to get past this bad phase…I sometimes feel I can hardly recognise the Australia we first came to in the mid-eighties.

      10

    • #
      Hivemind

      Yes, it is. And HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY to everybody.

      (to be renamed “End to the Stone Age in Australia Day” next year).

      40

  • #
    Turtle

    They’re living in an Ayn Rand novel and they don’t even know it.

    61

  • #
    Don B

    There are 1600 coal power plants in 62 countries either being built now or will shortly be built.

    Those 62 countries want dependable, inexpensive electricity. When will Australian voters come to their senses?

    160

    • #
      GD

      When will Australian voters come to their senses?

      It’s difficult when both major parties are sucked into the CO2 scam, with the Greens siphoning another ten percent of votes supporting the scam.

      The two minor parties that seem to have any informed idea about our energy problems are mocked and ridiculed in the MSM even before they raise their heads above the parapet.

      120

      • #
        el gordo

        This is all true and unless Talcum pulls a rabbit out of the hat the country will lurch to the left, join Beijing’s belt and road, leaving the right with rump status into the foreseeable future.

        Any suggestions?

        00

  • #
    Dennis

    BEN PACKHAM
    Electric car drivers pay about $5000 to $10,000 more each year in all-up costs than drivers of equivalent petrol or diesel cars.

    The Australian

    80

    • #
      yarpos

      Hard to believe really apart from depreciation expenses as they are so expensive at the moment. Maybe my coffee hasnt kicked in but I find it hard to think where other costs relative to standard ICE cars comes in, at least in terms of real owner spent dollars.

      Depends what vehicle life they choose I guess , then replacement batteries come into play.

      Anyway, its all moot, because autonomous car are here and we will just use cars as a service instead of owning them, dontcha know.

      50

      • #
        Bobl

        Not hard to believe. Diesel is say 40MJ per litre and a turbo diesel engine is around 38% efficient so a typical diesel extracts around 15 MJ per litre so at street price, say $1.25 at my station thats around 8.3c per MJ. Electricity is around 28c per kWh and storage and conversion efficiency is around 70% so that tallies to 2.5MJ per kWh at the drive chain. That’s 10.9c per MJ so Electric vehicle fuel cost are 20% higher than diesel MJ for MJ.

        Here’s the kicker though, that Tesla model S ev “tank” holds just 212 MJ worth of motive energy and can be filled at a maximum rate of 3MJ per minute on supercharge while my I30s 45l diesel tank holds 630MJ of locomotion and can be charged at the rate of over 600MJ per minute on a high rate pump. In the time it takes you to fill up your model S on supercharge I can be over 100 km away toward my destination.

        50

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Bob,

          I know why the average guy on the street doesn’t understand what you just explained. But why do the people who have the necessary understanding of what it take to keep a city or a nation running not understand it? And I can only conclude that they do understand it and they don’t care what happens. They’ve jumped on the PC bandwagon and they hope they can somehow pull off an escape for themselves before it takes them down along with everyone else. And being in power, probably they can.

          Jo said it all with this one line, “On the upside, they can feel good and pretend to be “world leaders”. Virtue signalling is…” exactly their game.

          Forgive my change, Jo. But it’s the obvious truth.

          Australia, you’ve got to fight this.

          50

  • #
    TdeF

    On windmills. Surely the point, the only purpose is to reduce CO2.

    Worldwide, there are 350,000 big windmills. At a conservative $3million each, just for the windmills not the infrastructure, this is $1Trillion. A blot on every landscape.

    CO2 is completely unaffected. It is not affected by the massive growth in CO2 output in China. It is not affected by electric cars. It is not affected by Australia’s windmills and solar panels. Its path is completely independent.

    At what point would a scientist say these things have nothing to do with CO2. Whether CO2 causes warming of the planet or not, we do not control CO2. Climate Change is the excuse for government control of electricity. It was never the reason. As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, it is crap. Socialism dressed up as environmentalism.

    Why are windmills only built in rich countries?

    What have the windmills done for us? Sorry, what good have they done? Nothing.

    Blow them up. Sell them. They are useless.

    What part of this is not obvious?

    Electricity is now a basic human right for quality of life.

    On this Australia day, we need to take the country back from politicians. They are the problem. Get rid of the RET.

    280

    • #
      Dennis

      You will of course know that Prime Minister Tony Abbott attempted to have the RET abolished along with subsidies but it was defeated in the Senate and at the same time the existing RET created by Labor when they were in government was reconfirmed.

      An interesting news item several days ago regarded a son of the PM who has benefited financially from investing in so called renewable energy. One of many astute investors.

      170

      • #
        beowulf

        Dennis, I’m assuming when you used the word “astute” you were being highly sarcastic.

        For a fuller understanding of the dirty dealings of young Alex Turnbull you need to get youself over to STT and search Infigen. There is a remarkable series of “coincidences” that have helped Alex along the way.

        https://stopthesethings.com/

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        • #
        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Thanks but I didn’t get to the item about Turnbull Jr, I got caught up on the wind turbine article.

          That’s enough bad news for one day. The truth about windmills has been buried too long and needs exposing.

          VLF pulsing is bad news for humans and animals alike.

          KK

          70

    • #
      GD

      On this Australia day, we need to take the country back from politicians. They are the problem. Get rid of the RET.

      Hear, hear!

      However, as ‘yarpos’ stated earlier, ‘You seriously think voting in our system will change anything?’

      What can we do?

      70

    • #
      Bobl

      This is of course wrong TDef CO2 is not unaffected, building the windmills increases CO2 emission which is never recovered by the electricity they make from wind. The windmills make and bring forward CO2 emission and therefore CO2 levels rise. What you probably meant to say is that they make no difference to temperature.

      Over the lifecycle net CO2 emission is increased by the unreliables so they are a failure in every way, they don’t even do what we put them there to do. All they ever do is increase and bring emission forward. They are pointless sop to political correctness.

      We are indeed paying through the nose to increase CO2.

      As it is with EVs with 80% of electricity coming from coal, and an end to end efficiency of around 14% diesel cars emit less than half the CO2 of an EV MJ for MJ.

      Proof: Coal contains around 29Mj per kg, producing up to 3.6kg CO2. Diesel produces 40MJ per lt for 2.6kg CO2 emission per litre. But diesel engine is 38% efficient getting 14MJ at the drive chain for that 2.6kg CO2 emission while the EV gets around 4MJ at the drive chain for that 3.6kg CO2.

      Dividing through the EV emits (0.8x 3.6)/4 =0.72 kg per MJ (allowing for 20% hydro) while the diesel emits 2.6kg/14 = 0.18 kg CO2 per MJ. So the “dirty” diesel emits 1/4 the CO2 of the EV.

      MJ for MJ EVs can never beat ICEs because hydrocarbons deliver around 50% of their energy by oxidising hydrogen to water. Only 50% comes from oxidising carbon. That is burning hydrocarbons produces almost twice the energy per kg of CO2 emission as burning pure carbon. EVs use carbon as a fuel source while ICEs use hydrocarbons

      Chemistry is clearly not the forte of EV loving greens…

      40

      • #
        TdeF

        Bobl, you presume CO2 concentration is not an equilibrium system maintained by the massive ocenas which have 98% of all gaseous CO2. Putting more CO2 in the air does not increase CO2! I know that sounds crazy but that is how equilibrium systems work. Look it up.

        A quick idea is to ask yourself why the CO2 level exists in the first place. Who sets it? What sets it? Only then do you realise why you cannot change it, except perhaps in the very short term. Our human contribution is inconsequential. We are insignificant. Amazing but true. We are the ants on the golf course.

        40

  • #
    manalive

    A bit off-topic, from The Australian today:

    The European Union will provide 578 million euros ($A1 billion) to build a power link between Spain and France to carry excess Spanish renewable energy and ease one of Europe’s worst network bottlenecks, an EU source says … (Reuters via The Australian).

    That sounded like the usual’ renewables’ spin and sure enough on checking the AleaSoft website Spain was a net importer of electricity from both Portugal and France during 2017, in fact there was practically no electricity flow from Spain to France during 2017, nor 2016.
    We hear a lot about Spain’s wind and solar, according to iea.og wind supplies 18% and solar 5% of electricity generation.

    150

    • #
      Another Ian

      No doubt it will be deemed a huge success – if (probably overlooked in the publicity) its main feature is that it can run French nuclear power back to Spain

      100

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Again, TdeF has produced a fantastic view of the issue. Dennis puts detail from another direction and then the other great comments fill the picture.

    I may be biased and an old white male, but I have paid taxes, worked my butt off and tried to look to the common good.

    No matter how I look at it, the one word that keeps coming up is:

    “SCAM”.

    I know that this word is going to alienate a lot of people, after all, the greens are just trying to save the planet, but maybe to get people in we could first call it a

    SCANDAL.

    That’s certainly less threatening than scam and the media, if they could be enticed to participate, could draw in a lot of interest in a juicy scandal.

    My point is that the general voting public is completely in the dark as to what is going on and the media, whether print, radio, TV or internet goes nowhere at all in getting the true picture out.

    This comment has been prompted by the great range of comments here on this site.

    It’s a shame that so few get to read them and come to understand just how badly and contemptuously they have been treated.

    It is a SCANDAL.

    KK

    150

  • #
    IainC of The Ponds

    This is reminiscent of the “fat foot effect”, where the driver of a car, convinced his foot is on the brake, lurches forward instead of stopping, then presses ever harder on the accelerator and smashes into a wall. The SA government resolutely believes it is pioneering the State into a better electricity supply system, but systematically and relentlessly makes the opposite decision to that which would be beneficial, time after time. If they purposely set out to destroy the SA electricity reliability matrix, they could not do a better job. I thought I understood human psychology, having had 2 children, but obviously I know nothing.

    60

  • #
    Jonesy

    Forgive them, Father. For they know not what they do…

    Maybe, Australia’s first thorium reactor could rise from the ashes of the northern powerstation.

    70

  • #
    IDecimus

    This will end in tears

    40

  • #
    David Maddison

    I won’t be watching the videos, even the picture of the falling smokestack is sickening.

    This destruction is on par with the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the equally uneducated Taliban.

    121

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Ah yes David I agree but then again a video would be admissible evidence before the tar and feathering begins .

      81

  • #

    Shh!

    Don’t tell anyone!

    There was a huge spike again in power costs for Victoria and South Australia yesterday at 3PM.

    Yeah yeah! Another failure of one of those d@mned unreliable coal fired Units taking out a whole whack of power, necessitating a raft of very costly gas fired Units to come on line at a moment’s notice, causing a huge spike in wholesale power costs.

    Well, no!

    I went looking for it, and no, all those coal fired units in Victoria were supplying at their maximum, all ten Units just humming along nicely, thank you very much, generating 4600MW into the grid.

    Perhaps one of the big gas fired Units, say Newport. Well, no to that as well.

    Wind. Ah, who cares? That doesn’t generate enough to fail on that scale at a moment’s notice.

    Hmm! What could it be then?

    Just on the off chance Tony, check them all out, and look closely, as you may have missed something.

    Lo and behold, there it is. Who would have thought.

    The biggest Hydro plant in Victoria, Murray One. 1500MW of beautiful glorious renewable power.

    Murray One is two large power plants, one of ten Units with a Nameplate of around 950MW, and a second plant of four Units with a Nameplate of 550MW, so 1500MW in all.

    There it was, humming along nicely, supplying as it usually does, around 1300MW into the Victorian grid, which also supplies SouthAus via those two Interconnectors.

    Then at around 3PM, there was a sudden and instantaneous loss of around 750MW and that lasted around an hour and a half, before it was back up again to 1350MW.

    At precisely the same time, power costs in Victoria spiked from $105/MWH up to $2273/MWH and then back down to $92/MWH one hour later. In SouthAus, the same spike at the same instant, $142 up to $2472, and back to $116 one hour later.

    Oh dear!

    What’s the bet you won’t read about this anywhere at all,

    Not a failure of an unreliable coal fired Unit, but a loss of huge power from one of their precious renewables.

    Tony.

    Oh, and in case anyone thinks I might be making it up, here’s the link to show you. Hydro Thursday 25Jan2018 When you get there click on MW, than under the graph, UNTICK the Total, Subtotal, and every State except Victoria. Murray One is the browny coloured line. Then go to the AEMO dashboard, and most of you now now that one, and you can see the spikes for Vic and SA.

    190

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Tony, I found Murray two on the map and if M one is near that there will be substantial transmission costs as well as the “reliability” problem.

    Nevermind, there are lots of taxpayers and businesses that haven’t gone broke yet.

    60

    • #

      Good old Guthega still comes on line every day for around 6 hours or so, umm, SEVENTY THREE years after if first opened in 1955. It was the first of the power plants in the Snowy Scheme, and is the highest power plant in Oz. After it opened, they must have sat back and had a bit of a think really. The problem, as you alluded to is that it’s where it is, and to get the power out entailed a lot of infrastructure.

      So, a decision was made to keep the dams as originally planned, (16 of them) but to have the actual power stations (seven of them) where the infrastructure would not be as complex (as at Guthega) to get out of the Mountains. Murray One and Two are 51 and 49 years old respectively, and the most recent plant, Tumut Three is 44 years old.

      Couldn’t ave built any of it these days. The Greens would see to that.

      Tony.

      150

      • #
        Dennis

        2016 Federal Election

        Coalition 42.0%

        Labor 34.7%

        Greens 10.2%

        30

      • #
        manalive

        Whew, that’s 63 years Tony, I thought for a second I was ten years older than I thought I was.

        30

        • #

          Yeah! How did I miss that?

          When you look at that Snowy Scheme, you can’t help but marvel at what was done. Now, that really WAS engineering at its finest, and none of it with the equipment they have these days.

          I know I have mentioned it before, but for those of you who have even the most passing of interests in something like this, go to your local library and get hold of a book by Brad Collis titled Snowy. The making of modern Australia.

          Tony.

          70

          • #
            toorightmate

            And so much of the hard Yakka on the Snowy was done by the wonderful migrants who came to our shores.
            Not an indigenous person to be seen.
            Those migrants were a bit different to the lazy mob we now have hanging around Lakemba sponging on the fair dinkum Aussie taxpayer.

            40

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day Tony,
        Many thanks again for all your posts, and well caught on this set. Have you any feel for how long they can keep producing this amount of power before they do a Tasmania and run the dams dry?
        Cheers,
        Dave B

        20

  • #
    David Maddison

    They could have at least mothballed the plant, destroying it costs extra.

    80

    • #
      yarpos

      If they did that a future government could re-establish it, lower prices and prove the stupidity of their actions. Much better for the ego to burn bridges.

      70

  • #
    RickWill

    I have prepared a brief submission to the AEMO ISP Consultation document. Text follows:

    This email is in response to ISP Consultation document.

    The author is a retired electrical engineer who gave evidence on behalf of large customers at the Industry Commission hearings on Energy Generation and Distribution. He also served as the customer representative on the first Electricity Market Systems Committee.

    Additional Question
    The National Grid evolved through efforts of the Industry Commission under the direction of Treasurer Paul Keating. The primary outcome was removal of inefficient State monopolies having sole rights to supply electricity across property boundaries from power generation, transmission and distribution assets they owned and operated. It enabled low cost generators already connected to the grid to receive a market price as well as giving consumers choice over suppliers. The State grids already existed and there were already power flows across State borders. The State grids had evolved from the need to transmit power from centralised generators located on coalfields in each state to the load centres some distance from the generating sources. Locating power stations on coalfields generally evolved through the 1950s and 1960s in Australia and overcame the comparatively inefficient transport of coal using road, rail or barge to power stations located at load centres.

    With growth of new large scale power stations on the coalfields, the States encouraged electricity intensive industry by offering electricity at prices sufficient to recover the marginal cost while dramatically increasing employment opportunities. Construction of aluminium smelters being most notable with the development and expansion through the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

    In the 21st century wind and solar generating sources have been added to the national grid. These generators collect energy from ubiquitous sources available in abundant supply across Australia. The means of collection of this energy offer little to no benefit of scale. PV solar collectors are the same size and have similar solar insolation whether they are located on a residential rooftop or on a field in a remote location. All wind turbines are subject to the Betz limit on their ability to extract energy from a given airflow irrespective of size. There is some benefit of scale with wind generators in terms of the elevation energy can be extracted with larger turbines. Geographic diversity of these generating resources has shown to offer little benefit. A single weather pattern can affect the whole eastern side of the continent in the same way.

    For the majority of consumers in Australia, the cost of transmitting, distributing and billing electricity is higher than the wholesale price of electricity. This means that any grid connected wind and solar generation is severely hobbled by the high cost of transport compared with collecting and generating at own premises.

    The first and foremost question for the ISP should be-
    Will there be a national grid with wind and solar having a high market share?

    The answer becomes quite clear using South Australian experience as an example. Despite having heavy reliance on the grid connection for on-demand generation from Victoria and the large subsidies from other States through LGC and STC payments, SA still has the highest cost electricity in the developed world. This is with wind and solar only achieving 39% of market share. The high cost of electricity at consumer premises has encouraged them to make an economic choice to generate their own on their premises. Electricity intensive business have become uneconomic and have closed down. These factors are reflected in the minimum demand in SA of 500MW now occurring in the middle of the day on mild days, typically in September. Having divested most of its heavy industry, SA’s peak demand is now dominated by air-conditioning demand and can reach 3000MW or some 6 times the minimum demand. SA will soon eliminate base load. Within 3 to 4 years in SA there will be times when the large scale wind and solar generators have zero demand in that State network. All the investment in those assets will have declining return. SA has reached the point where the cost for grid assets such as battery storage and emergency fossil fuelled generators can no longer be recovered from consumers but is being recovered from general revenue and increasing state debt. The network is uneconomic and solar/battery technology gives low energy intensive consumers a choice.

    It is highly improbable to impossible that a national grid can supply high market share from wind and solar generation at a competitive price compared with on-site or local generation given the high cost of transmission, distribution and retailing in Australia. In this regard, mainland Australia is different to most other countries in that solar and wind energy resources are reasonably abundant throughout the year in all regions.

    Modelling
    The system modelling that was featured in the Jacob’s Group report that underpinned the Finkel Inquiry is highly flawed. The wind and solar generating profiles on pages 30 and 31 are absurdly optimistic. The solar profile shows the output to be at 100% from 8am to 6pm IN JUNE. It is stated in a footnote that this data comes from AEMO assumptions although the link is no longer active. The wind profile for SA shows one brief period below 10% and the average capacity factor is taken as the model input. The worst case should be catered for and that is ZERO for at least hours at a time as the AEMO actual data demonstrates. Using capacity factors for intermittent generators supplying into an on-demand system is naive and produces meaningless results. The only valid means of modelling is using 30-minute scheduling intervals or smaller to match generation to demand. AEMO now has historical wind and solar generating data to input to a system model that has time intervals rather than averages.

    In 2015 wind generation provided 41.3PJ out of a total of 1666.9PJ supplied or 1/40th of the energy required. Wind generating installed capacity is 4360MW. The capacity factor works out at 30%. This is essentially the unconstrained capacity factor. In 2017 wind generators in South Australia are already being demand constrained. Endeavouring to increase the market share of wind will result in more frequent demand constrained situations. So a 40 fold increase in wind (or combination of wind and solar) will not be sufficient to meet demand as the demand constrained capacity factor is lower than the unconstrained situation. In fact, interval modelling based on actual generating data for wind will show overbuild of the order of 2 to 3 times depending on the storage available. Overbuild for solar is of the order of 4 to 5 times. Anyone operating an off-grid solar/battery system has a clear appreciation of the required overbuild. It follows that the wind generating capacity to meet the existing NEM demand will be of the order of 500,000MW providing there is also substantial storage capacity; essentially 100 times more than exists now. The astronomic cost of such a system can never be met. Long before that stage all heavy industrial users that were attracted by low cost electricity will have shut down and any current consumer with a roof or spare sun exposed space will have solar panels.

    With regard to power system modelling I commend the attached paper titled “Buffering volatility: A study of limits of Germany’s energy revolution” where modelling is based on time interval data rather than averages. Germany has achieved a 26% market share for wind and solar generation and is beginning to experience demand constraints. It has occurred in Germany at a lower level than SA because they do not have neighbouring States as obliging as Victoria able to sink or source a large proportion of the SA output or demand. The German electrical system has some similarities to Australia in terms of access to perched and pumped hydroelectric.

    Permitting large scale wind and solar into the NEM has guaranteed its eventual demise. The NEM evolved by the need to transfer electrical energy from coalfields to population centres. There is ample wind and solar in any location in Australia to meet local needs. Already the lowest cost option for domestic and commercial electricity consumers in South Australia are solar panels and a battery. There is nothing that can be added to the grid that can alter that situation now. Any additional hardware means higher cost and higher cost means lower demand. The grid in South Australia is in terminal demise. That is despite the reliance on other States as reliable sources and sinks of power and income from excess LGCs and STCs.

    The ISP Consultation document makes reference to the Levelised Cost of Energy. These often stated comparative numbers have no significance when comparing intermittent generation with on-demand generation when the system operates predominantly on demand. In fact there are times in Australia when no wind or solar generators are producing. That means the entire demand has to be met with on-demand generation from fossil fuel, hydroelectric or battery. In terms of the NEM at the present time, the only benefit of wind and solar is a slight reduction in fuel burnt or conservation of perched water. The on-demand generators still need to be available at short notice. The wind generators can only provide an economic benefit if their LCOE is lower than the marginal cost of fossil fuel saved or perched water retained providing the other generating assets already exist. As the market share of wind and solar rises the LCOE has to be increased by the degree of overbuild plus the cost of associated storage to be able to produce 8760 hours a year. Referencing LCOE for comparisons of intermittent and on-demand generators shows little understanding of on-demand systems. Clearly if there was some relevance to these numbers there would be no need for wind and solar generation to enjoy such large subsidies.

    This is a link to the paper I attached:
    http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017%20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf

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      Kinky Keith

      Rick,

      That is brilliant.

      Apart from having to go back and read the bits about constrained and unconstrained, it tells the story.

      There is only one problem.

      It tells the TRUTH and we know that the TRUTH can’t be allowed anywhere near the public.

      All we have in the public media, at present, is the big lie and you can tell from the construct of their analysis of costing and functionality of renewables that they are going to resist the truth at all costs.

      A great effort!

      KK

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    pat

    o/t but Happy Australia Day to everyone.

    Fake News alert!

    25 Jan: AnchorageDailyNews: The case of the phantom tsunami: Why an Alaska buoy showed a big wave that wasn’t there
    by Zaz Hollander
    Tuesday’s massive earthquake beneath the Gulf of Alaska, and much of coastal Alaska’s tense wait for a tsunami, created more than one internet sensation.
    Larry, the mellow disaster-scare narrator in the Kodiak Island village of Ouzinkie, got lots of well-deserved attention.
    But in the moments just after the quake, a small buoy out in the Gulf of Alaska briefly stole some of the drama.
    The buoy at station 46410, a deep-ocean data collector, predicted a tsunami that wasn’t.

    Anybody logging onto the National Data Buoy Center site for a short interval could see that the buoy showed a red spike and a 10-meter water displacement.
    That’s about 35 feet.
    The “DART” buoy — that stands for Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami — is one of 37, about a third of them off Alaska and the West Coast.
    The buoys measure how the entire water column moves up and down, not necessarily wave height.
    Tsunami scientists call the buoy reading an anomaly that reflected the seafloor undulations from the quake.

    But to the average coastal resident getting increasingly desperate for information early Tuesday, it wasn’t hard to imagine a 35-foot wave looming in the North Pacific.
    And so buoy 46410 and all that moving water got shared — in text messages, phone calls and on social media.
    People in water-savvy communities around Prince William Sound — Homer, Cordova, Valdez — picked up on the reading…

    ***Some in the news media picked up on the “wave” too…

    He (David Hale, National Weather Service Boston) urged the public to wait a few minutes after a big quake if the buoys are close to the epicenter to let the seafloor settle.
    And be careful about sharing information.
    “In social media, there’s a propensity to repeat things as fact because it is out there,” Hale said.
    https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2018/01/25/the-case-of-the-phantom-tsunami-why-an-alaska-buoy-showed-a-big-wave-that-wasnt-there/

    ***Some in the news media picked up on the “wave” too??? like all of them, including plenty that mocked President Trump:

    23 Jan: HuffPo: Donald Trump Tweets About ‘Fake News’ As Alaskans Flee Tsunami Warning
    ‘Just more of this BS.’
    By Chris York
    As residents of Alaska were woken in the early hours of this morning by a tsunami warning, on the other side of the country, President Trump was tweeting about “fake news”.

    Americans along the West Coast were told to get up and head inland to higher ground after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck 160 miles southeast of Chiniak.
    Just under two hours after the warning was issued, the President was apparently watching TV and deciding CNN isn’t actually “fake news’ – so long as it is praising him…

    At the time of writing and three hours after the tsunami warning was issued, Trump has yet to tweet about it or release a statement…

    Emergency sirens sounded in Kodiak, a town of 6,100 people on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, one of the closest settlements to the epicenter.
    Videos posted to social media appeared to show people evacuating the area and warnings from officials.

    “This is a tsunami warning. This is not a drill. Please get out to higher ground,” said the announcer on local public radio station KMXT. “If you are on the flats, get up on one of the hills … Just go high.”…

    Japan’s meteorological agency said it was monitoring the situation but did not issue a tsunami alert.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/donald-trump-tsunami_uk_5a671ec8e4b0dc592a0c498e

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      pat

      guess Japan had other things on its mind:

      25 Jan: AFP: Freezing Tokyo sees most ambulance calls for 80 years
      Tokyo’s ambulance service has experienced its busiest day in more than 80 years, officials said Thursday, amid icy conditions as the Japanese capital shivers through its coldest temperatures in decades.

      The Tokyo fire department, which runs the ambulance service, said it had responded to 2,826 calls on Wednesday following rare and heavy snow that sparked chaos in one of the world’s most populous cities…

      As a cold snap grips Japan, the mercury in Tokyo dropped to minus four degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit), the coldest in 48 years, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency.
      And the government warned the glacial conditions in Tokyo would continue.
      “The weather agency has issued a low temperature warning for Tokyo for the first time in 33 years … The cold weather will continue until Saturday,” deputy government spokesman Kotaro Nogami told reporters…

      A rare heavy blanket of snow in Tokyo on Tuesday left thousands of travellers stranded and scores injured…
      COMMENT: by BowlBound: Be grateful for global warming. Just think how cold it would be without it.
      More global warming, please.
      https://www.yahoo.com/news/freezing-tokyo-sees-most-ambulance-calls-80-years-093715662.html

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    pat

    reply comment in moderation re:
    25 Jan: AFP: Freezing Tokyo sees most ambulance calls for 80 years

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    yarpos

    Just musing over comments up thread about the worth of voting and the impact of nutbag governments.

    Over on the Powerline blog there is an item about the California govt considering a) declaring coffee a carcinogen requiring a health warning b) making the provision of an unrequested drinking straw a crime with a $1000 fine or a 6 month jail term.

    The article also describes warning signs (read by nobody and declaring items addressed by nobody)stating that bits of the building you are entering may be hazardous to your health.

    This is the sort of thing Californians want/have become accustomed to/have given up fighting that their nutbag legislators come up with.

    Maybe just a little window on what SA and other parts of OZ can look forward to.

    There is a lot of talk about splitting inland Ca into another State leaving the urban coast to its own devices. At first I thought no way , but of the raging nutbaggery continues who knows? the flyover Californians just may revolt.

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      el gordo

      ‘…an unrequested drinking straw a crime with a $1000 fine or a 6 month jail term.’

      Perhaps we could casually point to an exotic weed as the root cause of social change in California and South Oz.

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        Annie

        I hope everyone in California makes a point of requesting drinking straws, on the grounds that glasses are often unhygienic as too many people hand them around holding the rims…yuk.

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          Annie

          Also, having seen cutlery laid by people holding knife blades, fork tines and spoon bowls (yerrgh!) I get a clean napkin and give them a good polish before use. Even better is to request clean cutlery that has been placed using only the handles. Glasses get a polish up around the rim too after inspection. If they actually look grubby I ask for fresh ones. I’m always amazed at the lack of understanding of basic hygiene requirements in apparently otherwise sensible people.

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            If they actually look grubby I ask for fresh ones. I’m always amazed at the lack of understanding of basic hygiene requirements in apparently otherwise sensible people.

            A while back, such never ever happened in any facility organized for ‘service to customer’! The new ‘organization’ needs be crushed\destroyed!

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    yonniestone

    Power went out here Ballarat Victoria at 4:30 pm looks at being restored at 7:30pm nice touch for an Australia day in the NWO, thanks unelected elites.

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      yonniestone

      A generator A generator my kingdom for a generator!

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        yonniestone

        We have a battery radio going for entertainment very retro, to charge the phone I use static power so taking my shirt on and off quickly six times gets me ten minutes, this blackout will be over in a friction of the time renewables kick in……

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          yonniestone

          Power back on now, phew was wondering how to save the fridge food, just about to go to the servo for ice for the coolers, a strongly worded email to the AMO is in order?

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    pat

    25 Jan: ClimateChangeNews: Megan Darby: France, Germany, US among 166 countries late on UN climate dues
    Four out of five countries missed the agreed date for contributions to UN Climate Change, including some who claim to be leaders on climate change
    Under Donald Trump, the US is actively refusing to fund international climate efforts. The majority of member states support cooperation in principle but have been slow to pay.

    China, Brazil, France and Germany are among those failing to honour the agreed timeline for payments, a UN Climate Change statement (LINK) on Thursday revealed.
    The body’s executive secretary Patricia Espinosa focused on the positive, thanking 31 countries who paid their 2018 share by the due date of 1 January…

    Punctual contributors included the UK, Canada, ***Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    While Espinosa did not explicitly call them out, the statement implies 166 out of 197 parties to the UN climate talks are behind on their payments…

    Negotiators approved a budget of €57 million ($71m) for 2018 and 2019, to support the climate talks process and implementation of the Paris Agreement.

    Countries are expected to contribute according to a UN formula based on relative wealth and development status. Despite Trump’s stance, the formula implies the US will fund 21% of the core budget…
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/25/france-germany-us-among-166-countries-late-un-climate-dues/

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    PeterS

    So what would happen if more and more power station owners started destroying their coal fired power stations in the name of renwewables to save the planet from catastrophic global warming, even if it were real? Wouldn’t the federal police have to step in and arrest all those involved for obvious reasons?

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      yonniestone

      Interesting thoughts, I would think the actual financial owners or investors of the plants are private eau entrepreneurs and are only contractually bound to Australian government, that said if the sitting government are actively endorsing renewables through contract ending incentives the private plant owners cannot be held legally responsible for ending contractual obligations when the second party gives permission to do so.

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      RickWill

      All the owners need to do is neglect the maintenance and come to an agreement with insurers on compensation that does not involve rebuilding when the machinery has a dramatic failure. Maybe enough money to remove the plant and clean up the site. It is not unusual to cut maintenance costs toward the end of life of plant.

      The majority of people in Canberra would applaud the closure of another CO2 belching generator. They do not have the nouse to connect the dots when the power goes out. In fact most people living in Canberra believe their power supply all comes from wind and solar generation. The Territory Government is proud to tell them so:
      https://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/987991/100-Renewal-Energy-Tri-fold-ACCESS.pdf

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        Kinky Keith

        We shouldn’t get too worked up about the decommissioning of a plant that began its working life in the 1950s.

        The real issue is that a replacement for it wasn’t begun 5 years ago.

        That’s the real problem. No power plants, no dams and no concern for the future.

        KK

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          PeterS

          Correct. Just as the rest of the world is building hundreds of new coal fired power plants for that very reason and others, so should we. For whatever reason Australia is the only country hell bent on going the other way. Even Germany is building at least one. Japan as we all know is building dozens of them, china and India many dozens more. The sooner we come to some critical point the better. Then perhaps voters will wake up and refuse to vote for any party that doesn’t instigate policies to make the building of new col fired power plants not only financially viable but also our number one priority. Otherwise, we can kiss goodbye Australia. As for the push for electric cars – that’s an idiotic plan bordering on insanity given our increasing cost of electricity and unreliability.

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    pat

    25 Jan: Bloomberg: Off-the-Shelf Nuclear Plants Could Soon Help Power Electric Cars
    By Rachel Morison
    As Britain’s old coal and nuclear stations shut from 2025, the nation faces a tough challenge in keeping a future fleet of electric cars powered and meeting the nation’s clean energy goals when renewable sources like wind and solar aren’t available.
    “In the next decades, we are going to need previously unthinkable levels of new low-carbon electricity capacity for charging electric vehicles and to replace coal and gas,” said Matt Rooney, the author of a report (LINK) on small reactors for the Policy Exchange research group. “There is no other low-carbon energy which can match nuclear power for scale and reliability.”…

    The intermittent nature of solar and wind rules them out of providing all of Britain’s electricity. While battery storage is good as a short-term, small-scale backup, the amount of equipment needed to fill “week-long gaps” in Britain’s energy needs would cost as much as 1 trillion pounds, according to the report…

    The U.K. government pledged 56 million pounds of funding for research and development of small nuclear reactors in December. But policy makers need to move quickly and endorse a design now to enable deployment in the 2020s, Policy Exchange said.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-25/off-the-shelf-nuclear-plants-could-soon-help-power-electric-cars

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    Curious George

    56 M pounds! That’s a lot of nuclear reactors – very small ones ;-)
    Seriously, I doubt that the research and development will be completed before 2020.

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      Dennis

      The big question remains: Considering that research and development of transport vehicles is continuing with all of the major manufacturers looking at a range of options of which EV is one technology and there are several other options being tested. So far it has become clear that a transition to EV would not be better for us and overall not cost effective.

      For governments to step in now dictating a time line for an end to internal combustion engine vehicles and imposing standards that cannot be achieved or achieved cost effectively, and subsidising EV and related infrastructure to support EV, socialism masquerading as environmentalism, ignores the advancement of societies based on market based capitalism over past centuries and will surely result in governments adding to the mistakes and unnecessary costs they have already created with so called renewable energy focus, etc.

      But do the politicians care?

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    Just Google: “no cattle have been slaughtered yet”

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    Rupert Ashford

    So can we again expect an approximate breakdown of 50-50 btw Labor and LNP in the next election from the Port Augusta area? Put you $$ where your mouth is and stop crying if you are actually enabling this idiocy.

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