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AEMC wants input on how to save Australia’s Electricity Grid — Due Monday Feb 6th

AMEC logo, Review, Australian Electricity Grid.AEMC is the Australian Energy Market Commission. It’s “the rule maker for Australian Electricity and gas markets”. They make the National Electricity, Gas, and Energy Retail rules. There are a lot of government bureacracies. AEMC sound more influential than most, and they are asking for consultation, but by Monday. There will be a chance to comment in March, but I know some readers have material already written that is relevant. Sorry about the short notice.

AEMC invites consultation on ways to deliver a reliable supply of energy at the lowest cost

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the Interim report.

 AEMC invites consultation on ways to deliver a reliable supply of energy at the lowest cost

Submissions are due by 6 February 2018. Stakeholders are also welcome to meet with the project team (please contact Sarah-Jane Derby on 02 8296 7823 or sarah.derby@aemc.gov.au).

There will be further opportunity to provide input when we publish a directions paper in March 2018.

The final report, including recommended actions, will be published in mid 2018 for consideration by the COAG Energy Council.

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AEMC wants input on how to save Australia's Electricity Grid -- Due Monday Feb 6th, 9.1 out of 10 based on 47 ratings

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103 comments to AEMC wants input on how to save Australia’s Electricity Grid — Due Monday Feb 6th

  • #
    Ian McDermid

    We all know what the answer is shut down the wind farms and build HELE coal fired power stations. The next phase is to implement thorium based neuclear power stations. That is the sensible way but the left will froth at the mouth.

    531

    • #
      Gymmie

      just fire a bunch of lazy, stupid and uninformed technical illiterate politicians

      310

      • #
        Ceetee

        Personally I can’t believe how you diggers across the Tasman arrived at this point given your embarrassment of riches of energy. This is not to say that we here in NZ are blessed with intellectual nous in dealing with energy supply, it’s probably a case that happenstance saves us, the stupid from themselves. We had the King of stupid still venerated today here, who took his left wing arrogance to a seat of learning in the UK and displayed it and the baying dogs of dopiness cheered him on. They still do. They just don’t get it. I guess that’s what socialism is, a mechanism whereby we demean real debate and thought with fake intellect and feelings.

        420

    • #

      I suspect that this is nothing more than the usual request for input that will (surprise, surprise) confirm that Australia wants and needs more ruinable energy; afterall, ruinable energy is now cheaper than coal, gas, hydro, nuclear, diesel etc.

      280

    • #
      Geoff

      Not sure what this enquiry is supposed to find out?

      AGL are currently seeking State Government approvals for a LNG import off-take at Western Port. (Yes Victoria is going to import methane).

      Loy Yang A is doing a boiler refit. It cannot be done in Australia. I assume those with such capability are no longer working in the valley, are retired or dead.

      Loy Yang B has been sold to Alinta.

      What is apparent is that everyone wants the Federal government to pay for stuff. AEMC reports to COAG. The states then get to fight over the allocation of Federal Government funding.

      With all these inquiries no doubt any funding will be spent on more enquiring. No doubt a herd of consultants who know lots about the politics of power but not much about building power stations will recommend a long term inquiry and terms that can extend the enquiring. Expect submissions from the CSIRO and the universities.

      300

    • #
      Paul Aubrin

      “We all know what the answer is shut down the wind farms and build HELE coal fired power stations”.
      It can be required indirectly. For example by asking that generators provide frequency control services, either of their own or bought from other generators.

      A condition for reliable generation to be available is to provide a long-term stable regulatory environment for stability and reliability services.

      80

    • #
      CameronH

      I have read that the subsidies involved with the renewable energy scam is now running at $4-$5 Billion dollars a year. This is enough to build two 1000 Mega Watt HELE plants each years. These plants would produce electricity at about $30 per Mega Watt Hour.

      40

  • #
    PeterS

    It depends on how they define “lowest cost”. Before they even consider any proposal they first have to create a level play field. That means remove all subsidies and schemes, such as the RET scheme. Then and only then can one truly discuss the lowest cost and most reliable form of power generation, which of course would be coal and gas. Otherwise, they could argue the lowest “cost” would be renewables.

    310

    • #
      PeterS

      In other words, in the parlance of trading this might be a bull trap being set up by those who want to kill off our coal industry, so keep both eyes open and avoid being conned. Whether they are doing it to destroy our nation or because they are ignorant and don’t know what they are doing is self-destructing is another topic of discussion. The point is I would be completely and pleasantly surprised if they take on seriously the suggestion we build new generation coal fired power stations. I just have complete distrust and doubt that is the case. I hope I’m wrong though, for the sake of our nation’s future.

      200

      • #
        Dennis

        As we learnt a few days ago, a spare generator from Loy Yang Power Station in Victoria is being sent to Siemens Germany for reconditioning. Last year there was discussion that Loy Yang A & B would be closed as Hazlewood was closed down.

        I have noticed that the PM has wavered on so called renewable energy by acknowledging that when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine …… And confirming that Australia does need more reliable generators to secure energy for the electricity grid.

        Could there be a political about turn underway, at least in part with the 2019 federal election in mind?

        Another thought, following the first contact by telephone between our PM and the POTUS last year and apparently some harsh words spoken late last year the Minister for Foreign Affairs sent the POTUS a letter complimenting him on the economic turnaround the US is enjoying. And soon the PM and “premiers” will travel to Washington to meet the POTUS. Are the winds of change underway, is the Australian Government feeling pressure from the US to abandon the UN based scams?

        240

        • #
          el gordo

          Yes, if the POTUS doesn’t talk about it, then it will go away.

          This may take a little while to sink in, our politicians are clueless.

          120

        • #
          PeterS

          Perhaps. Will have to wait and see. I have wondered if certain influential people actually do realise the seriousness of the situation and are trying silently to rectify it without alarming the left. I have even considered the possibility that Shorten is such a person and if he wins the next election will surprise everyone by announcing the building of government owned new generation coal fired power stations. One can dream nice things even if it’s only ever going to be a dream, right?

          90

          • #
            Ted O’Brien.

            There is no point whatever in governments building coal fired power stations. That only further corrupts the market, without fixing anything.

            What governments must do is recant all policies which are founded on the notion that CO2 is harmful.

            Then the market can fix itself.

            81

        • #
          Another Ian

          Dennis

          Might be interesting to keep track of the time in transport each way and the time to do the rebuild

          40

    • #
      yarpos

      It will be the “levelised” cost , through a model that will allow them to obfuscate reality and tweak it till renewables look cheaper and totally ignore duplication and over investment they create

      60

  • #
    Lance

    Pretty certain the AEMO does not “actually want” input, but rather want to obfuscate the issue with endless dialogue.

    If that isn’t the case, and they are being truthful, perhaps they might consider:

    1. The purpose of the AU Grid is to serve the People of AU, the economic, security, and industrial backbone of AU

    2. Reliability of generation, transmission, and distribution is paramount and negotiable within narrow limits of security.

    3. Generators of power must be held accountable to their guaranteed, legally liable, ability to actually deliver power and not some irrelevant scheme of “installed capacity” as an excuse for failure to actually deliver.

    4. There must be an actual “Load Flow of Record” analysis done that simulates the realistically conceivable grid conditions of loss of generation, loss of interconnectors, loss of voltage, frequency instability, peak load vs ambient temperature compared to system capacity, and other relevant and historically repeated actual events. No one can predict random storms, earthquakes, etc, but history is a grand teacher is what has already happened. Those scenarios warrant modeling.

    5. Generators must be ranked by installed capacity, capacity factor, voltage stability, frequency stability, fuel type, unsubsidized cost / MWh produced, Subsidized cost/ MWh produced, overhead and operating cost/ MWH produced, etc.

    6. All generators ought be required to legally and bindingly bid for generation supply at least 12 hrs in advance of predicted grid load. And, held accountable for absolute delivery by obligation to the spot market at no additional cost to the ratepayers.

    7. Distribution purveyors at the secondary level ought be held to account for outages caused by transformer and protective relaying overloads whenever any outage exceeds 4 hours in duration.

    8. Participants in the Grid System ought be part of a Critical Infrastructure element of National Security and be required to meet written standards of performance, ability, and resilience.

    9. All generation ought be required to include a line item billing element that includes the cost / kWh for backup power or spot power required to fulfill any failures to meet contracted obligations for delivery of guaranteed power.

    10. Generation that cannot provide and absorb reactive power or otherwise stabilize system voltages during a low voltage condition ought be penalized in their allowable rates.

    11. Ratepayers on Residential or Guaranteed Supply Contracts ought have legal recourse for losses incurred through failure of contracted delivery of power (absent acts of God).

    I’m quite certain there are many other elements wholly missed or poorly conveyed.

    But the issue at hand is Reliability, Responsibility, Credibility and Survivability for a Nation. Not excuses for failure to perform during easily and historically predictable situations of record.
    This isn’t a game. The “shelf life” of Civilization is between 3 and 7 days. After that, it is anarchy. People will kill each other over water or a ham sandwich. It is also a matter of economic and national security and ought be treated as such. It is NOT a game of ideology. It is a business of Results and Obligations.

    391

    • #

      Lance makes 11 good points here, all of them good, and pertinent, but the only thing he mentions that is actually going to be addressed is the following (my bolding here)

      Pretty certain the AEMO does not “actually want” input…..

      I have made submissions to two Governments now, one to the Federal Government and one to the Queensland Government, and both of them sank without trace. It only accentuates the old adage which I always thought might have been a furphy, but it absolutely correct.

      Never set up anything unless you already have all the answers. The only reason that they ask for submissions from the public is to give the impression of ‘inclusiveness’.

      That was sheeted home to me when I attended the Rockhampton round of the Queensland 50% Renewables tour around the State. It was perhaps the most controlled meeting I have ever attended. They all spoke from the set pieces they had, and I did get one question in, pointing out a glaring mistake in the information they had on their own overhead projection slide. I got umms and ahhs, a very puzzled look which almost descended to panic, before the moderator saved him and artfully moved on to the next question.

      After the meeting concluded, I asked one of the two delegates, the same one I picked up with the slide, if he had seen my submission, and his reply was that they don’t look at the submissions. They have people to do that for them. So, you don’t even get past the bureaucrat stage, let alone get considered.

      The Federal submission for wind power, well all that received was an automated response indicating they had received my submission, and a thank you from one Senator, not indicating he had read it, but that I had made a submission in the first place.

      Not one thing in either submission was even addressed in all that time for both Inquiries.

      You can make the most rational observations which can be made, but their minds are already made up I’m afraid, and you can colour me ‘cynical’, but I have learned that now.

      Tony.

      620

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        “The only reason that they ask for submissions from the public is to give the impression of ‘inclusiveness’.”

        I get this at lot at work. (Engineering department, local Council).
        You are 99% correct with this belief. On the rare occasion it does make a difference if enough people point to the same objection. In fact the CEO got involved in the last case which caused (yet another) restructure from the directors down, an extremely costly exercise which will be unfolding for the next couple years.

        150

      • #

        Excellent discussion, what I hoped. Small point, AMEC is asking for input, not AEMO.

        101

        • #
          Peter C

          What is the difference between AEMC and AEMO?
          IS it like IPCC and COP?

          51

        • #
          GD

          Given that TonyfromOz and other contributors here have had the experience of well-prepared submissions automatically being ignored, would it be worthwhile to garner enough voices by way of a petition, i.e. change.org?

          Rather than a small number of easily-ignored submissions, perhaps a submission lodged en masse could be more effective.
          Even if it is ignored by the AMEC or whoever, it would provide a ready-to-go document for future submissions.

          Additionally, an abstract of the submission would useful for bombarding individual politicians with the facts and figures.
          While being too close to the deadline for this AMEC Interim Report, is this an idea worth pursuing or am I dreaming?

          80

        • #
          Lance

          Agreed. My bad. Got in a rush. I’m more familiar with US acronyms than AU acronyms.

          Your AEMC is similar to our FERC. Your AEMO is similar to a US ISO (Independent System Operator / Grid Operator).

          I’ll endeavor to more more careful.
          “Americans and British are one people separated by a common language.” Winston Churhill

          50

      • #
        Geoff

        What is required is an answer to your submission. This must be enforced by law with a criminal conviction if no written answer is given.

        While there is no real interaction with the people, democracy is ‘seeming’ not doing.

        If you do not want to listen and respond do not have an inquiry.

        90

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Exactly Tony , why ask for opinions when they’ve already made their mind up ?

        60

      • #
        Phillip Bratby

        I have made many submissions to consultations in the UK, and all have been ignored. In the UK a consultation is a legal requirement – in essence it is a box-ticking exercise.

        100

      • #

        Yep. It’s about burning incense to the Public Good and acceding to all the fashionable pieties of transparency, inclusion, consultation etc…before following all the pre-determined political imperatives imposed by the globacrats and crony capitalists. Green Blob involves riotous waste and a huge tangle of regulation. The AEMC are there to deliver all that, and so far they’ve been doing a good job.

        These people are actually representatives of TMWI and their only responsibility is to maintain and expand TMWI. (TMWI is the acronym of that august institution, The Mess We’re In.)

        Give them only your ridicule.

        40

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        Note the word I’ve bolded:

        Submissions are due by 6 February 2018. Stakeholders are also welcome to meet with the project team . . .

        I do not interpret the request as asking “the public” about the issue.
        They might include Elon Musk in the Stakeholder Group. More likely they want to hear from companies that want to build subsidy farms of wind and/or solar, and “green” groups interested in reducing all to the same low level of misery.

        70

      • #
        Lance

        Tony: This might be “old news” to you, but on the off chance it has some merit

        http://www.rba.gov.au/information/foi/disclosure-log/pdf/101115.pdf

        “Prices in the NEM are determined every five minutes, and averaged over each half hour period to get a spot price. Generators bid how much electricity they are willing to provide, and at what price, for each five minute interval. The Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) then accepts the bids – starting from the lowest priced bid – up to the point where supply equals demand in that interval.5

        Because wholesale prices are set by the market, but retail prices are regulated for the next 12 to 36 months, state regulators must estimate the cost of wholesale electricity that will be faced. Though the approach varies by state, this is typically achieved by estimating both the longrun marginal cost (LRMC) of generation, and an expected ‘market price’ for electricity.
        Outside consultants often seem to be commissioned to produce these estimates.
        The price paid for all electricity in those five minutes is that of the highest bid accepted. Electricity retailers typically enter into a variety of futures contracts to limit their exposure to significant price swings.”

        Apparently, the Wholesale price and Retail price of power are handled quite differently. Retail prices seem to bear the brunt of spot price peaks caused by wind intermittency because of the way the NEM calculates them and regulates them.

        I suppose it is “one way” to do it, but it hangs the consumer out to dry if generation capacity and costs are not stable. In other words, the pricing scheme at present was based on coal/gas baseload plants and did not anticipate the variability imposed by renewables. If I’m mistaken, please advise as time permits.

        40

    • #
      Melbourne Resident

      I like point 6. Only pay them their initial bids. Then it will become realistic. The South australian strategy of the wind farm is to bid zero, then get paid the highest rate from the last bid. If that can be fixed, everything else should fall into place.

      00

  • #

    I would be pretty certain here that they might not want to even consider anyone who made a submission arguing for new HELE USC coal fired power plants.

    The submission would be accepted, but the howls would be so loud against it, and any data about it would be shredded unmercifully.

    Consider this. They (those speaking out against any submission alone these lines) will argue that the cost is just too high.

    Any proposed new plant can be built alongside an existing plant, as per the (now defunct) proposals for new USC plants at Mt Piper and also at Bayswater, so, in other words at a brown field site.

    You could do it in the brown coal fields of Victoria, and use the German plants as a form of blueprint. You could do it at the existing black coal sites in NSW and for those older plants in Queensland, and use the Chinese models as a blueprint.

    The advantage of doing this is something that those speaking against proposals like this do not take into account. Those existing plants are constructed on the coal fields themselves, and the plant owners (and here it would need to be the State entities, and not private owners) already ‘own’ the coal they are using for the plant, so there’s no real need to buy coal, and have it railed into the site.

    Construct a new plant utilising two Units, each Unit of 1200MW, now already in current use in China.

    So, we have a Nameplate of 2400MW. Using a ‘conservative’ Capacity Factor of 87.5%, considering some older plants here in Oz are already achieving this, then that means an annual power generation of 18,408,600MWH. At an also conservative current cost for electricity generation of $60/MWH, that’s an income each year of $1.105 BILLION per year.

    Admitted, the CF will reduce marginally across the years, but a plant of this nature has a prospective life span of 50 years, so even I can guess that costs would not be as high as the income, even paying back the Capital. They could subsidise it at a Federal and State level like they already do for every renewaable plant.

    At least they are beginning to talk about it. Any new plant would be at least ten years away from now, and by that time, they would be needing to replace virtually every renewable power plant already in existence here in Australia.

    To build any renewable, and they would need a significant amount to equal the power generation of just ONE of these coal fired plants would cost horrendously more than this one coal fired plant, deliver less generated power overall at a higher cost, and not last as long.

    However, even rationally stated like this, it would be hard pressed to even be considered, and if it was, the howls of derision would be politically unacceptable.

    We can say what we like here, but really, they just do not want to hear it. It would take years to turn around opinion now, if at all.

    Tony.

    540

    • #
      Lance

      Agree with you, wholly.

      Regarding USC and HELE plants: Any time a plant goes into supercritical territory, metallurgy becomes paramount. Piping must be measured in length at installation and then daily/hourly afterwards because once it enters into nonlinear expansion vs. temperature, catastrophic failure is imminent. Subcritical plants are less efficient, but also less subject to nonlinear materials realities. It is a tradeoff. But the results of a steam explosion are “memorable” to say the least.

      Others have supported thorium salt reactors. Again the issue is metallurgy. Fluoride salts are highly corrosive and liquid salts in general have the peculiar habit of solidifying at the point of contact with anything below their melting point, which for ThF4 is 1110 C. That also means the reactor must be heated to 1200 C by other means before it becomes functional. High Chromium steels, Hastalloy C or high nickel alloys are capable of that temperature. If another thorium salt is used, perhaps ThCl4 or ThBr4, the melting point can be 770C or 273C. I’m not against the cycle, just asking how to accomplish it reasonably given the corrosive nature of the salts and the metallurgy involved. Interesting problem.

      251

      • #
        TedM

        Tony and Lance: This is good stuff. Really informative. Love reading your contributions. I’m sure that I’m also speaking for most of the readers (read thumbers excepted) of this excellent blog.

        260

      • #
        Lance

        If one were to embrace the concept that a thorium cycle is really just a hot fuel source, and retain water as a working fluid, and avoid accelerated corrosion / metallurgical issues, ie: “just heat up the water”. Well then, one might place the thorium or thorium salts inside Hastalloy or Ziconium spheres, kind of like ping pong balls. Place them in the lower drum of a boiler system and then insert one or more U235 or Pu239 rods to sustain a reaction. The seed rods could be inside a eutectic alloy sleeve that would melt if the drum were to go overtemp and blow out the bottom into a “catcher” and thereby halt the reaction. If all were stable, the “ping pong balls” would simply be heating surfaces for the working fluid. Maybe this is stupid, but I’m trying to visualize how one might engage a thorium cycle while minimizing the practical issues of metallurgy and corrosion as well as creep fatigue failure while allowing for operational safety. It is a complicated problem. Someone will solve it because they “must”. The things we think of in the Loo, eh?

        30

    • #
      PeterS

      Excellent and well informed points as usual from Tony. The conclusion though is the same as mine simply by observation of a combination of propaganda being perpetrated throughout our community including our left leaning education system and MSM, and the gullibility of most people who most likely will have to learn their lesson the hard way.

      120

      • #
        What Class?

        The enquiry into the BoM was a blatant and complete whitewash. WE must remember that when we look forward to this new venture. I’m thinking it will be more of the same.

        101

  • #
    Chad

    Remove all subsidy, rebate, discount, and penalty schemes to enable the true cost of power to be seen.
    Reform and simplify the wholesale bidding systemfor supply and FCAS to prevent the rediculous price peaks.

    190

    • #
      Dennis

      Yes, first step including abandoning the RET.

      110

    • #
      PeterS

      Agree with all. However, for all that to happen one of the major parties when in government will have to do a complete turn around on climate change and break away from the Paris agreement. I can’t see that happening any time soon, if ever. So the only thing left to do is not to vote for either.

      60

  • #
    Lance

    Missed one element. Maintenance costs of transmission and distribution.

    These costs exist regardless of how or where the power is generated.

    Every MWh transmitted and distributed uses the transmission and distribution system. Every generator must share in the cost of maintenance. Otherwise who pays for the poles, wires, transformers, fuses/cutouts, reclosers, lightning arrestors, trucks, people, tools, wages, etc, that must be financed in order for the system to be maintained? Solar and Wind generators must incur a cost for their usage of the overall system of conveyance. They cannot be exempt from those costs. Every MWh not generated by a regulated utility must bear the proportionate cost of transmission and distribution, else the utilities are unfairly burdened in cost recovery.

    Like the song says “@ss, Cash, Gas or Grass, Nobody Rides for Free”.

    110

    • #
      What Class?

      ‘Every generator must share in the cost of maintenance.’
      Which they will itemise on their bills with a healthy margin.

      30

  • #
    Alice Thermopolis

    AEMO INTERIM REPORT 19 December 2017

    Interesting paragraph from page one of the Executive summary:

    “Centrally-planned or mandated solutions can provide higher levels of certainty of having a reliable supply of energy but, compared to a well-functioning market, are unlikely to deliver an efficient level of reliability at efficient cost. Unlike market participants, central planners do not have the same financial incentives to make efficient decisions and do not have to bear the risk of poor decisions, and so their incentives are often to over-invest.”

    But will/does it apply to RE “mandated solutions” and the PM’s $4.50+ billion Snowy Hydro 2.0?

    “Snowy Hydro chief executive Paul Broad says independent analysis has confirmed that the Snowy 2.0 project is the “least cost” option for ensuring reliable and secure power supply in the electricity market of the future, and revealed that the project will generate “very healthy” returns of 8 per cent.” (AFR, 2 February, 2018)

    So we apparently have to spend $4.5+ billion to “avoid wasting RE and minimise power prices”; that is, to dig Australia out of a “power crisis” created by government.

    Alice

    120

  • #
    RickWill

    I sent this email last week and posted in MidWeek Unthreaded last week:
    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 privately owned 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 as well as the Snowy Mountains Scheme 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 in respective States; 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 delivery 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 reliable supply 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 has given low energy intensive consumers a choice.

    To repeat, 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, solar, hydro and bio-fuels and is beginning to experience demand constraint on wind generators. Wind generation demand constraints have 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 but predominantly through interconnectors to Norway rather than in Germany.

    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 resulting in accelerating unit cost. The grid in South Australia is in terminal demise. That is despite the reliance on other States as on-demand sources and sinks of power and income from excess LGCs and STCs produced in the SA region.

    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 and 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 and solar 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 these on-demand generating assets already exist. As the market share of wind and solar rises, the LCOE has to be increased by the same factor as the degree of overbuild plus the cost of associated storage to be able to produce 8760 hours a year. The degree of overbuild increases as a function of market share. Ultimately the overbuild required to achieve the lowest overall generating cost depends on the cost of storage to buffer the intermittency. 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 to make them economically viable. The current subsidies for wind and solar are twice the wholesale price of electricity from coal fired generation just a decade ago before wind generators achieved a destabilising level of output. Without subsidies all existing grid scale wind and solar generators would be uneconomic. There will be no point where grid scale wind and solar achieves an economic return without subsidy because generating power locally or on premises using the same technology will always be lower cost due to the high cost of electric power delivery in Australia.

    This is a link to the attachment I sent that has some reasonable time based modelling using historical generating data:
    http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017%20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf

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      RickWill

      As an aside to this input, I found out yesterday that the remaining aluminium smelters in Australia are really struggling. They are already closing down potlines and reducing staff numbers with a view to producing higher purity and higher value alloys in order to achieve premium prices that can bear higher electricity prices.

      With energy intensive operations now being enemy of the state I expect there will be more announcing closures this year.

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      Lance

      The paper you reference on “buffering volatility” is extraordinarily important.
      It is also very unique to Norway and Germany.
      They are co-located and Norway has extensive, existing, hydro plants.

      It is not clear that other geographic locations have the available topography or existing hydro electric infrastructure to even discuss that as an alternative method of grid stabilization. Further, it is not clear that even if other locations had available sites that they would environmentally be allowed to use them.

      Point is: Intermittent sources require buffering to be stable providers of power. The elements necessary to that buffering are rare. Outside the confines of Germany and Norway, it is not at all clear that hydro is even a possible concept except in the delusional mind. Beyond a 20% to 30% generation penetration, intermittent sources of generation destabilize the overall grid. Unreliables are not a solution to anything except the fantasies of hucksters, liars, and the willfully ignorant.

      Short answer: None of the hydro talk is a solution for AU or anyone else for that matter except in a theoretical sense.
      Batteries and such are not solutions either in an economic sense. No one would countenance spending $200+ to store something that has a rational cost of generation of $0.05.

      When will there be “no bag limits” and “unlimited license” for things that are irrational on their face?

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      What Class?

      That’s easy for you to say.

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        RickWill

        The appreciation of the intermittency problem as shown in that chart is more easily gained by time based modelling using actual historical generating data based on scheduling intervals. AEMO have a huge amount of historical data available now that they can scale for different regions with a view to meeting the NEM demand from intermittent sources. They should end up with the same result that Sinn achieves for the German grid; basically an impossible dream.

        AEMO should be able to reproduce a similar curve for Australia from their modelling. That curve immediately shows that there is no option but a requirement for 100% on-demand generation; a point I made in my submission.

        So far I have no acknowledgement of the email to AEMO. At least with Finkel there was acknowledgement and my report remains on file. I used AEMO data for the time interval modelling I did for my Finkel submission:
        http://www.environment.gov.au/submissions/nem-review/willoughby.pdf

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    Ron Wilmshurst

    It seems to me that AEMC really want to build an enormous bureaucracy to control the whole energy system. Jo suggests we might have to get permission for a new aircon, maybe just a new light source. Don’t laugh, that’s where we’re heading!

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    Hivemind

    Even if the request for submissions is insincere, witness the very short time period for submissions, we need to make the strongest possible case for reform. Something along the lines of new principles for reliable and affordable power delivery.

    [Hivemind, their request is dated Dec 19th, just before the Christmas rush. But I only discovered it recently. - Jo]

    1) The first priority must be for power to be reliable. Always on, meaning no more hospitals going into a partial powerdown because there isn’t enough being generated. No more state-wide, or large-scale power shedding because of “distribution problems”.

    2) The second priority must be for affordable power. Australia’s power prices have doubled as a result of Government policies designed to force coal-fueled power stations out of business.

    3) The third priority must be for costs to be accountable to the consumer. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) has created enormous costs on power companies, which are passed on to consumers, concealed in their power bills.

    Several measures would alleviate these problems:

    1) Any “renewable” power provider must simultaneously guarantee power availability. That is, any wind or solar farm must provide for alternative generation when there is no wind or sun.

    2) Any dispatchable power provider must be properly remunerated for the costs of providing capability when that capability isn’t being actively used. That is, coal, gas, oil and hydro generators must be paid not just for the energy actually drawn, but for the costs of keeping plant maintained and staffed with trained workers.

    3) Every electricity bill must contain a statement of the cost that is attributable to government policies such as to the RET and other under the counter subsidies. This visibility is critical in allowing consumers to make viable decisions regarding public policy.

    4) The current practice of paying all power providers at the price won by the highest bidder in the bulk market has to end. In future, each power provider must be paid only the price they themselves bid.

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      Hivemind

      The request for comments was released on 19 December. Christmas break until (typically) mid January, means stakeholders had all of 2 weeks to prepare a considered reply. I always wonder why these people even bother; if they don’t want responses, don’t request them in the first place.

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        John F. Hultquist

        Is there a requirement that agencies request/take public input?
        Not that they intend to pay attention to it.

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      Kinky Keith

      Thanks Hivemind, that clearly outlines the key issues but your recommendations couldn’t be adopted.
      They would neutralise the two main political points: keeping the power users unaware of the pricing inputs and structure and force “renewables” out of the game because they are not competitive in any legitimate way.

      This would not be acceptable to our overlords.

      KK

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      Hivemind

      ” I only discovered it recently. – Jo”

      Understood, Jo. I didn’t intend any criticism, I was simply pointing out that there was virtually no opportunity for stakeholders to read hundreds of pages of report and prepare a proper response over the Christmas break

      [ No worries. They could have sent me an email after all. ;- ) - Jo]

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    Ban diesel for grid power on national security grounds.

    Ban feed-in, solar and wind on national sanity grounds.

    Modernise every aspect of coal, from mine to generation.

    Ban yourselves for not being able to work this out.

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    Extreme Hiatus

    “AEMC invites consultation on ways to deliver a reliable supply of energy at the lowest cost”

    I read this invitation via the link. There are no stated caveats about the ‘Climate Crisis.’ So coal and natural gas is the logical answer. The most illogical answer is so called ‘renewables” because they deliver an unreliable supply of energy at the highest cost.

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      Curious George

      The purpose of ‘renewables’ is to save the planet from the doom predicted by doomsayers, who are always right (even though most predictions are wrong). But there is a solution: Reduce demand to zero, and you will be rewarded by a zero cost. You can’t get anything cheaper than that. True, you have to become hunter-gatherers (by “you” I mean readers, not a political and ‘intellectual’ elite). That will result in a much lower population density, and without doubt Al Gore’s large family will provide a useful guidance.

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    Kinky Keith

    Simple.

    Put Electrical Engineers in charge of the system.

    Politicians haven’t done too well.

    And that’s an understatement.

    KK

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      Put Electrical Engineers in charge of the system.

      Put Elephant power engineers, Like Tony from OZ, in charge of stomping out flaming political ducks!
      All the best!-will-

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    NB

    Lol. I guess there is a shortage of people within the industry to ask.
    I imagine BHP will invite submissions on how to operate mines, and Google will seek public opinions on algorithm design.
    Maybe the AEMC could seek submissions on how to do their job.

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      Dennis

      I would enjoy making a submission on governance if the Office of Prime Minister & Cabinet advertised for submissions.

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    Dave

    Have a close look at the qualifications of the executive leadership team

    They are all economists or lawyers or both!

    Don’t include any detail about electricity at all.

    All submissions will be NOT read. They already have the agenda!

    Their MISSION STATMENT:

    “To improve consumer outcomes from the strategic development of energy markets, through rules and advice.”

    Nothing about cheap reliable electricity to ALL consumers in Australia!

    Just a bunch of QUANGOS

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      toorightmate

      The gender spread is OK.
      I hope the handicapped and indigenous people are also represented on this austere group.
      The group wants submissions; only because someone said “we must be inclusive”.
      The whole charade hides behind the pretence that CO2 is harmful.
      The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

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      Kinky Keith

      You have highlighted the core issue.

      Politics.

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        PeterS

        Yes the core issue is politics. The only way it can be changed is for enough Australians to vote accordingly at both ballot boxes. Otherwise, we just have to wait for the lesson to be taught to all the hard way with disastrous medium term consequences. They are the only two options I’m afraid.

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    Perhaps I should just send them the link to my Base Load Series.

    When the AEMO coverage area requires 18000MW while nearly everyone is sound asleep, someone might actually realise what that means, that they just CANNOT do without coal fired power.

    Hydro ramps back to its lowest delivery of the day at that time, averaging barely 400 to 500MW (2.7%) and even wind power is hard pressed to make 5 to 7% on average at that time, so at best, 10% on renewables as no form of solar power will ever deliver one watt of useful power at that time.

    It’s easy to say that they will just ramp back on consumption, but seriously, they cannot ramp back that far, and it has stayed at that level of around 180000MW for the last eight years, ever since this ‘thing’ with CO2 first entered the public consciousness.

    It’s not a case of closing down coal fired power. They are actually at the stage right now, where existing coal fired plants need to be replaced with new coal fired power plants.

    It’s actually that serious.

    No one I know has the slightest inkling of that 18000MW. They look at me like I’m cr@zy to even believe it in the first place.

    Until someone in a position of REAL influence actually points that out, then they can say all they want to, have all the Inquiries they want to, spruik up tiny little no count renewable plants at enormous cost that just roll off the tongue, point at ‘poles and wires’, complain about gouging retailers, make political points, and so on.

    Put it on the front page of every newspaper, and explain it, and then see what happens.

    I’ve often said that closing them down for just one day might be an answer, but that of itself is so awful to even consider in every respect that it will never happen, will never be allowed to happen.

    They’ll just stumble onwards like lemmings blindly running off the cliff.

    Tony.

    PostScript: Incidentally, I do know that the lemmings analogy is actually false.

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      Robber

      That reads like a good submission right there Tony. Worth adding something on costs from Dr Finkel’s report on Levelised Costs of Electricity in 2020, given their report is to be about reliability at lowest cost:
      Supercritical coal $76/MWhr
      Combined Cycle Gas $83/MWhr
      Open Cycle Gas $123/MWhr
      Solar thermal with 12 hours storage $172/MWhr
      Wind $92/MWhr (Dr Finkel did not report cost with backup, but add some gas or a really big battery or new hydro so it becomes dispatchable, and cost is likely to be above $150/MWhr).
      These are all for new build in 2020.
      So then you point out that before the RET gave “intermittent renewables” a subsidy of $85/MWhr through sale of special “certificates, coal stations were delivering for many years at a wholesale price of $40-50/MWhr.

      What we must urge them to do is publish their calculations of wholesale and network cost trends for several scenarios, including one that is based on no more subsidies, a true free market. The current government’s “National Energy Guarantee” is pathetic when it states that “it could lead to a reduction in residential bills in the order of $100–115 per year over the 2020–2030 period.” “A reliability guarantee will be set to deliver the right level of dispatchable energy—from ready-to-use sources such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries—needed in each state. It will be set by the AEMC and AEMO”.

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        Whilst ever power comes out of ‘the hole in the wall’, people will believe it is all equal.

        A wind power plant like that huge thing at Macarthur is the equivalent of Bayswater.

        The proposed Solar plant for Port Augusta is the equivalent of the brown coal plant in Gippsland.

        The big battery is the equivalent of, well, any coal fired plant.

        And in fact, any renewable is infinitely better than any coal fired power plant.

        Those renewables add their pitifully small amount of power to the grid (occasionally) and ‘viola’, power still comes out of the hole in the wall, no matter what, so people have this totally unfounded false sense of security.

        You would have thought that the failure a couple of weeks back of one of the Units in Gippsland would have been a lesson that could be learned from…… Say, maybe we really can’t do without coal fired power.

        Nup!

        It was just reversed, and used as a negative for coal fired power, used to highlight that it was somehow unreliable. Those remaining ten Units in Victoria now run flat out, delivering their maximum power while ever they are ‘on’. You flog an ancient and dying horse long enough and pretty soon it will fall over. Then ….. no horse at all.

        Tony.

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    Serp

    Not so long ago Peter Costello when asked whether the Future Fund invested in Renewables responded that the returns are “too high to ignore”.

    It’s not only the Future Fund, courtesy of Greg Combet’s short dismal term in government union superannuation funds are up to the neck in such investments.

    Until the RET is removed engineering logic will not get a hearing (as Tony from Oz has experienced).

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      truth

      Future Fund’s an equity partner with AGL in its renewable energy investment fund PARF…to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars….maybe more by now….so the sick joke’s on us….especially as AGL’s parent organisation is the State Grid Corporation of China…owned of course by the Chinese Communist dictatorship….for whom our American AEMO boss’s husband works as an energy consultant in Northern China.

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    “the rule maker for Australian Electricity and gas markets”

    The only rules necessary and desirable for any market are those innate.

    Innate rules for market are essentially those of contract; of people keeping their word and being required to make good to to pay a penalty if they don’t.

    All rules and regulations in addition to those are intrinsically damaging to the real interests of the market which rest in the producers and the consumers.

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      Ron Wilmshurst

      Does anyone have a handle on the costs of managing the market? We seem to have not just one but a series of bureaucracies, all generating reams of rules but few electrons. What fraction of the end cost of power is required to keep these bodies afloat?

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    Dennis

    I came across an interesting and detailed coverage of recharging EV from solar and grid, lots of detail that might interest people;

    https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/charging-electric-cars/

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      toorightmate

      I like the bit about charging at night with solar panels – you beauty!!!
      I WANT TO SMOKLE WHATEVER IT IS THAT THEY ARE SMOKING.

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        auraly

        I think you misunderstand night charging. They expect to charge from the (largely fossil fueled) grid at night and “pay back ” the electrons through the day. If I understand Tony above, night is when the grid is most under stress and they want to add demand by charging all commuter cars which can’t be charged in the day. What can possibly go wrong?

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    Ve2

    Having a survey?
    Don’t be stupid, the findings have already been written.

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    Robber

    It’s not clear that AEMC wants contributions from “plebs”. They ask for contributions from “stakeholders”, and current stakeholder submissions are included as appendix to their interim report. Seems to be very little about costs. And the Commission’s views seem clear: “The Commission agrees that renewable resources should have some role in mitigating the nature of its variability. Currently renewable generation is very “plug and play” and has no need to contribute to the costs or implications of the variable nature of the generation”. “The Commission considers demand response will play an important role in contributing to the reliability of the power system”. “As noted the Finkel Panel recommendation of a generator reliability obligation is still within scope of the Review. However, following the Energy Security Board’s advice on a National Energy Guarantee, the Commission has decided to put on hold consideration of a generator reliability obligation”. “Government interventions remain a key concern for private investors and create a real risk of unnecessarily high costs for consumers. The Commission has recognised this as an emerging challenging in the reliability framework”.

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    Let me show you something ridiculous.

    Dear old 45 years old Liddell Unit Two has been off line for more than six Months now. On Thursday it coughed ans spluttered its way up to 300MW in six hours and then crashed back to zero in seconds. ….. Quick hit the off switch, we have a problem.

    Right now, Saturday, it has slowly struggled up to 300MW over the last six hours and is holding at around 300MW for the last two hours. Testing would be my guess.

    If it does come back up and makes, say, 420MW of its original design rating of 500MW for the remaining time Liddell remains open, until AGL closes it in 2022, just that one Unit will deliver around 2.8TWH of generated power, and at current average cost for power in NSW, that’s an income from the sale of its power alone of around $180 Million Plus, just from that ONE ancient Unit alone. Let’s hope it’s enough to pay back what it has cost them to get it back n line eh!

    AGL also owns the Macarthur wind plant in Victoria, with a Nameplate of 420MW, the same as that one unit at Liddell will be generating.

    That one Unit at Liddell will have delivered two and a half times the power of that wind plant when it finall shuts down for good in 2022.

    Please don’t try and tell me wind power can replace coal fired power. The most modern wind technology cannot even half equal a 50 year old relic.

    Tony.

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      PeterS

      I thought the reason they are closing coal fired plants is because they are uneconomic to keep running as a business in private hands thanks to the huge subsidies the renewables are afforded. The only way to turn that around is for Australia to get whacked in the backside real hard to wake people up and stop believing that renewables are the way. I don’t see any other effective option. Hoping for power companies or mainstream governments to do the right thing by keeping existing coal fired plants going and/or building new ones is a waste of time. They simply do not believe what we keep telling them. They are not listening. Hence the only recourse we have is to stop voting for the major parties, something the majority of the voters are not willing to do for a number of reasons. Hence the big whack will be necessary. It’s going to hurt real hard but it’s the only way now, unless one wants to dream that Turnbull or Shorten will experience some sort of aha experience – and even if they did I doubt they have the guts to do anything about it.

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    John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia

    The answer: Loading coal

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    Hanrahan

    Who thought it a good idea to ask if there was a navigator on board AFTER you floundered on a reef?

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    cedarhill

    It’s really simple. Mandate all renewable energy other than hydro be sold to Germany and no imported energy be used. That would force all those hydrocarbons lying around to be used along with what ever amounts of fissionable fuels are mined.
    After all, the EU, and Germany, really do need the renewable energy. Oh, and ship it there in ships built in AUS consisting of all batteries.

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    pouncer

    Is it not the case that our upcoming Monday is the FIFTH rather than the 6th?

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    We should first identify the basic problems.

    1 Heavily subsidised wind and solar power does not benefit the consumer. It also does not benefit the environment because nobody has yet provided convincing evidence that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming. Therefore, all subsidies and other advantages – like free backup – enjoyed by wind and solar power should end.

    2 The market structure, based on an assumption that electricity is a “commodity like any other” is fatally flawed. “Market commodities” have price elasticity and an alternative good must be available. Electricity does not have price elasticity because its value is far greater than its price. And there is no alternative good – you can’t run a computer on gas. For a reliable and economic supply, we need to have a reliable supply of kWh at the lowest possible price and a guarantee that sufficient MW will be available to meet peak demands. Changing the market into a two commodity market kWh and MW) would make a big difference.

    3 Because generators control the price when there is a shortage and they also control the amount of generation available they are often able to game the market. Which they do. So the two commodity market, while being a substantial improvement, would not eliminate gouging.

    4 In a properly run power system each new increment of generation is selected on the basis that it will lead to the lowest overall cost of generation. No Inducement to do this exists with the current market.

    5 A single buyer market where a central entity – as free as possible from government control – manages and optimises power generation, contracts with each existing generator on a long-term basis based on paying an annual sum to cover capital costs, operation and maintenance and profit and paying for fuel at cost is a much better option. When new generation is needed international tenders are issued that described the need – base load or peaking for instance – and whether or not there are preferred locations. The tender is awarded based on the offer that provides the lowest cost of generation. Doing this taps into a genuine and very competitive international market for the construction and operation of power stations. It also allows the system operator to select the most suitable generation at any moment in time. A market like this will guarantee power at the lowest possible cost and it will guarantee security of supply.

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    I sent in the following submission which will bounce off the AEMC steel-political plating as will all the others.

    Australia’s challenge is like India’s challenge. It is 24/7 electricity for all.
    2/2/2017

    Recent government policy changes in regard to electricity generation and supply in Australia have suddenly induced a situation similar to that which has for many years existed in India, due to a historic lack of power generation creation.
    India is now taking steps o correct the faulty situation in their country and Australia would be well advised to follow India’s enlightened lead.
    India will increase coal imports from Australia in the future as Australia is seen as a reliable supplier. Quite independently from that, if the Adani mine in Queensland goes ahead it is an integrated project and will be its own main customer, so India’s efforts to increase its coal production will not reduce the viability of the Adani project.
    India is committed to caring for the environment but it is also committed to economic development and improvement of living conditions for its whole population. That means a huge increase in coal-fired power stations as well as coal’s role in making steel. As coal is the most economic and available power source for India.
    The Indian government wants a 24/7 reliable energy for all its people. Solar and Wind-Turbines, so-called ‘renewable’ sources will not provide this and India knows that. Some 300 million Indians will move from rural to urban living in the next couple of decades. They will be on then proper power grids. India’s base-load power will be provided by coal not by solar, wind or costly batteries.
    India will expand its renewable energy sector in a modest way but, as the minister says, ‘renewables’ have never provided base-load power for anyone. Here he is absolutely right unlike many deluded Australian politicians who mistake propaganda for science.
    India also will expand nuclear power and keep its gas power stations at roughly their current level. Nuclear Power is of course, exactly, the power source that Australia should chose also, but again Australian politicians mistake propaganda and fear-mongering for science on the subject.
    The massive urbanisation in India means a surging demand for steel. The India government knows that coking coal exports from Australia will increase particularly strongly. Thermal coal goes to power stations, while coking coal makes steel. Already nearly a third of India’s coal imports are of coking coal.
    India’s intentions could not be more clear. Every Greens spokesman and climate-change jihadist who argues on the ABC that India is turning away from coal is distorting and actually inverting reality. Far from coal being a “dying industry”, as Geoff Cousins argued in a recent ludicrous article, the International Energy Agency forecasts Indian coal imports more than doubling by 2040. Doubling is not reducing.
    India does want to crank up India’s domestic production of coal but its coastal power stations are geared to take imported coal and that will continue. The imported coal is of a higher quality than Indian coal and pollution is reduced.
    Now, if you ever again hear anyone on the ABC claim that India is moving away from coal, or that Australian coal is not essential to get hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty, you will know they are talking pure nonsense. Again it is important to separate propaganda and distortion from real science and fact.
    No one more consistently misrepresents what is happening all over Asia and the World than the Green lobby, whose future is invested in Alarmism and exaggeration. The general ignorance of Asia and the World, among journalists allows these claims to be aired uncritically, especially on the ABC.
    In India, the first challenge of the Indian government is to make sure that all Indians get 24/7 reliable power. India will expand the total energy output significantly in future years with nuclear and coal as these are its best options..
    India always has been are a very environmentally conscious and Eco-friendly country thanks to the tenets of its Hindu religion. They have been for so for generations. India is one country that has respected and even worshipped Nature. India will give renewed thrust to its small renewable energy programme within rational bounds of technical reality. India is scaling it up massively, from 34 giga­watts to 175GW over the next six years. It is, in fact, the world’s largest renewable energy roll out in the history of mankind. However it is kept within the bounds of practicality which is not base-load power. This is the sort of approach which Green propagandists misuse to pretend that ‘ renewables’ will replace coal in India. Nothing could be less true.
    Gas power, will remain roughly where it is in the proportion of power source. But India will be expanding the coal-based thermal power. That is the base-load power which makes possible all modern grid systems. All ‘renewables’ except Hydro are intermittent. ‘Renewables’ have not provided base-load power for anyone in the world.
    Solar Power works when the sun is shining, Wind works when the wind is blowing, hydro works when there is enough water in the rivers. For the grid to work, it needs coal. India will expand its nuclear power but this is a slow process and although nuclear will increase in absolute terms and as a percentage of India’s power overall, the expansion of coal is an irreducible part in development.
    India does have certain development imperatives which it expects the world to accept. All Indian investment in coal is either for supercritical power stations or ultra-super critical power stations. These produce about half the greenhouse emissions per unit of power as do older coal-fired power stations, in case one is interested in the production of the plant food and life-giving gas CO2.
    India refuses to accept lectures from the West on India’s environmental or social responsibilities. India is dealing with its own immediate problems which are remarkably similar to Australia’s own recently self-induced problems. The people of India want a modern and safe way of life. They want jobs for their children, schools and colleges, hospitals with uninterrupted power. This needs a very large amount of base-load power and this can only come from coal.
    People should reflect on the justice of the situation. Europe, America and Australia have messed up the world and the planet with the catastrophic and false ‘science’ or shibboleth of Global Warming which is not occurring outside of falsified data, invented data and adjusted data. The World is saying to India (and Australia), “We’re sorry but you poor people can only have power for eight hours a day. The rest of the time you must live in darkness and poverty. This is ridiculous and criminal
    India is fortunate that some countries like Australia and Canada have entered into serious agreements and India can rely on an uninterrupted flow of coal and fuel.
    India is the fastest growing substantial World economy, with a growth rate above 7 per cent in a period of anaemic global economy. This growth will be central to global economics. India will hit double-digit growth next year or the year after and stay there for a decade thanks to reliable power. By contrast Australia faces declining growth due to self-induced unreliable power. The development, and the economic opportunity this offers for Australia, is enormous, beyond anything that has yet entered the Australian imagination. A similar change of mind in Australia would save the Australian economy and way of life. In the next couple of decades, there will be 300 million people moving from rural to urban centres in India. As India improves productivity in agriculture, the population will shift to manufacturing and services. Energy consumption will go up in agriculture itself with greater use of technology. There will be increased energy use in infrastructure. The government wants decent homes for every Indian by 2022; that means millions of homes will be built. Indian government officials point out that India’s per capita energy consumption is still below that of the US in the middle of the 19th century and says that it will increase for decades.
    India will not commit to a year when its greenhouse emissions will peak. This is “immaterial”, on scientifically rational grounds. On China’s commitment to such a year, Indian scepticism is very robust. India has seen the reliability of that data. It is important to judge what is optical and what is real.
    India is pro-Australian and wants the warmest relationship, but is utterly unimpressed with lectures from Australians about global warming. Australia’s power consumption is coming down now anyway. South Australia is leading the way in Climate Insanity, ridding its economy of industry and jobs and reducing the State to a semi-rural wasteland. Victoria will soon be following under its present deluded administration. Its economy is not growing, manufacturing is moving overseas, the Southern Australian economy is moving to services because industry is being strangled by the highest power costs in the World. Australia used to have jobs for everyone and a society satiated with energy. It was easy fatal for Australia to nominate a peak energy use year, in accordance with CAGW delusion. There are 250 million Indians without energy now. With wise policy, India has years and decades of sustainable growth ahead.”
    India has seen the Light and it would be wise for Australians to listen.

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    I have just put in a submission to the AEMC.

    You can find it at http://www.bryanleyland.co.nz/power-industry-stuff.html

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      Robber

      Well done Bryan. You have clearly laid out the critical issues and proposed a cost effective solution.
      I believe that AEMC is failing to deliver on its charter:
      “The AEMC’s work program is focused on”:
      – “keeping the lights on as the market transitions to new technologies including battery storage and renewables”
      “energy at the best price for consumers”
      Their efforts seem focused solely on the consequences of market transition, without regard for “best price”.

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      Robber

      I have included the following points in a submission to AEMC.
      1. AEMC’s charter is to “keep the lights on” and provide “energy at the best price for consumers”. Heavily subsidised wind and solar power does not benefit the consumer in terms of reliability or price.
      2. The baseline for affordable and reliable electricity is shown in the historical data tables provided by AEMO. Average wholesale prices for 2007-2016 varied by State from $42-53/MWhr. For 2017/18 financial years, average prices varied from $82-104/Mwhr. (with SA the highest in each case)
      3. Electricity is not a market “commodity” because there is no alternative energy solution for businesses or consumers. Paying all generators the same price – the spot price – for every kilowatt hour they generate when they control the amount of generation available leads to gaming the market to maximise their profitability. This is directly counter to AEMC’s and the Government’s objectives of affordable and reliable electricity.
      4. Dr Finkel reported the levelised costs of electricity generation in 2020:
      Supercritical coal $73/MWhr
      Combined cycle gas turbine $83/MWhr
      Solar thermal with 12 hours storage $172/MWhr
      Wind (without backup) $92/MWhr
      Open cycle gas turbine $123/MWhr
      – It is unclear why Dr Finkel did not add a calculation for wind with backup, but that cost is likely to be of order $150/MWhr.
      – All these cost estimates are for new plant, so while we have existing plant we should be able to enjoy wholesale electricity prices more in line with historical prices ie less than $60/MWhr.
      – Note that solar and wind installations also receive an additional payment of about $85/MWhr through the sale of renewable energy certificates, further adding to the retail price of electricity.
      5. As the sun goes down and the wind drops, base load coal/gas stations must be ready to meet demand or there will be an increasing number of blackouts as SA has already experienced. The closure of Hazelwood reduced the availability of baseload capacity and therefore decreased system reliability. The alternatives of batteries and new hydro have not been demonstrated to be cost effective.
      6. Current and proposed government renewable energy targets and supply plans are reducing electricity network reliability and increasing costs to consumers and industry. It is unacceptable to increase reliability by further increasing electricity costs. For each scenario considered by AEMC, the report must include the projected average wholesale electricity cost in $/MWhr. Australia must return to affordable and reliable electricity.

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    Robber

    Must be an election coming on in SA.
    Tens of thousands of South Australian homes will get free solar panels and batteries
    At least 50,000 South Australian homes will be given solar panels and batteries in a scheme by Elon Musk’s Tesla and the SA government.

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    Rob Leviston

    Just wondering, was this fake news, or incorrectly reported?
    Monday, being today, is the 5th Of Feb, not the 6th!

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    DonA

    Just what hope is there when this sort of thing is going on?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/14/al-gore-launches-renewable-energy-action-plan-in-victoria-australia.html

    Think I’ll go and eat worms.

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