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Report on Aug 25 blackouts shows how fragile our grid is (and the real cost of cheap solar panels).

 When cheap solar is expensive

Badly installed solar PV makes Australia’s grid fragile

On August 25 last year there was nearly a system blackout when, improbably, three states of Australia were islanded by one lightning strike. Within seconds, trips were switching, two smelters were load shed to save the grid from collapse, and across the Eastern Seaboard of Australia frequency and voltages surged or fell everywhere. In Sydney 45,000 homes lost power for a couple of hours. Shops had to close. Trains were stopped. Passengers were stranded. Traffic signals were not working on major roads. There was chaos. Industrial users shut down in a mass of 725MW of load shedding.

The AEMO final report on that day has just come out and shows us just how fragile our grid is. This was not so much a freak accident, as an accident waiting to happen.

It turns out that another cost of cheap rushed solar panels is that many drop out with voltage spikes, suddenly going offline and leaving another hole to fill. The numbers are amazing — of panels installed in the last 2 years as many as one-third in South Australia dropped out when we needed them and about 1 in 6 failed in Queensland.

If smelters are offline, hundreds of thousands of dollars are burning, and millions is at risk…

...

Obviously the  true costs of installing solar panels properly are higher than advertised. When we add up the lifetime cost of solar does it include loss of earnings of unrelated businesses?

 August outages underline risks to the reliability of the national grid

Perry Williams, The Australian

The Australian Energy Market Operator said several generators failed to respond as expected including “counter-productive responses” that could have been limited or prevented if sufficient frequency control settings were enabled in each region.

While Tesla’s giant battery was praised for helping to stabilise frequency, four ­unnamed wind farms in South Australia reduced their output to zero because of incorrect settings while solar rooftop systems also crashed out and were unable to assist in boosting supply to either Victoria or NSW.

AEMO detailed how 15 per cent of sampled solar systems ­installed before October 2016 dropped out during the event. Of those installed after that date, nearly a third in South Australia and 15 per cent in Queensland failed to meet standards.

...

For the next hour frequencies rocked all the way from Queensland to Victoria

...

Spikes and struggles on the line between SA and Victoria

Crash Test Dummies are here

Australia’s shift to renewables is ramping up:

The rapid switch to renewables is having a profound impact on the grid, with solar generation jumping by 38 per cent in the three months to September while wind grew by 16 per cent, displacing gas from the grid’s power mix.

From the AEMO report:  There has been a decline in system resilience.

This event demonstrates the extent of the decline in system resilience, and its correlation with the reduction of continuous primary frequency control over the past several years. Restoring primary frequency control is essential to reversing the decline in resilience. AEMO considers that action to address the resulting risks is required as soon as possible, recognising that a longer-term mechanism to appropriately incentivise the provision of primary frequency control is necessary, but will take some time to develop.

 We didn’t need to worry much about frequency stabililty back when the grid didn’t have so many renewables.

I found these conclusions interesting: (p86)

  • There was a delay in synchronising the QLD and NSW networks due to the lack of frequency control available in QLD.

There was not even enough synchronous power in Queensland to enable people to reconnect the two states.

 

  • The power system in QLD was not in a secure operating state for the entire 68-minute period of separation from NSW. While AEMO took all reasonable steps to return the power system to a secure operating state, during this period AEMO could not procure enough contingency raise FCAS to cover the loss of the largest generator (Kogan Creek) or contingency lower FCAS to cover the loss of the largest load (Boyne Island smelter) from within QLD. Re-connecting QLD with NSW enabled the FCAS requirements for QLD to be met from other regions. The actions taken by AEMO were appropriate and in accordance with the NER and published procedures.
  • This event saw a loss of supply into the VIC/NSW/TAS region of the NEM of 1,030 MW, resulting in 997.3 MW of uncontracted load interruption.

Electricity nerds may like to read the gory details of how the faults unfolded:

Events of 25 August 2018 On Saturday 25 August 2018, there was a single lightning strike on a transmission tower structure supporting the two circuits of the 330 kilovolt (kV) Queensland – New South Wales interconnector (QNI) lines. The lightning strike triggered a series of reactions creating faults on each of the two circuits of QNI at 13:11:39. The QLD and NSW power systems then lost synchronism, islanding the QLD region two seconds later, at 13:11:41.

At the time, 870 MW of power was flowing from QLD to NSW. QLD experienced an immediate supply surplus, resulting in a rise in frequency to 50.9 Hertz (Hz). The remainder of the NEM experienced a supply deficit, resulting in a reduction in frequency.

In response to the reduction in frequency in the remaining interconnected regions:

  • The frequency controller on the Basslink interconnector immediately increased flow from TAS to VIC from 500 MW up to 630 MW. This created a supply deficit in TAS, causing the disconnection of 81 MW of contracted interruptible load under the automatic under-frequency load shedding scheme (AUFLS2) to rebalance the TAS power system at 13:11:46.
  • The SA–VIC interconnector at Heywood experienced rapid changes in power system conditions that triggered the Emergency APD Portland Tripping (EAPT) scheme. The scheme responded to those conditions, as designed, to separate the SA region at Heywood. This occurred some 6 seconds after the QNI separation at 13:11:47.

At the time of separation at Heywood, SA was exporting power to VIC. This meant there was a supply surplus in SA immediately after separation, causing frequency to rise. In the remaining VIC/NSW island, the resulting supply deficit caused frequency to fall below 49 Hz, triggering under-frequency load shedding (UFLS) to rebalance supply and demand across those regions. A total of 997.3 MW of supply was interrupted in VIC and NSW, comprising 904 MW of smelter load in both regions and 93.3 MW of consumer load in NSW.

The SA-VIC interconnection was restored at 13:35 on 25 August 2018, and QNI at 14:20. The interrupted TAS load commenced restoration at 13:40 and the NSW and VIC smelters were permitted to reconnect at 13:33 and 13:38 respectively. All NSW consumer load was restored by 15:28.

This event created three separate frequency islands on the mainland NEM and highlights the present challenges of controlling frequency in the NEM, and the potential consequences of the reduction of primary frequency control over a number of years.

...

The SA interconnector went down only 5 seconds after  the Queensland-NSW one.

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Report on Aug 25 blackouts shows how fragile our grid is (and the real cost of cheap solar panels)., 9.5 out of 10 based on 55 ratings

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168 comments to Report on Aug 25 blackouts shows how fragile our grid is (and the real cost of cheap solar panels).

  • #
    Spetzer86

    So which coal fired power station would they have to blow up next to prevent this situation from being resolved?

    360

    • #
      Geoff

      Yallourn is next on the list. It will be announced in March.

      210

      • #
        Annie

        Is it time for yellow jackets protesting at coal-fired power station closures?

        261

        • #

          Yes Annie. I’ll be in that. Marchons, citoyens et citoyennes!

          200

        • #
          • #
            Yonniestone

            I’ve been in for four years and would appreciate a full showing of the silent majority, after all the negative comments on the look or social calibre of our unsavory lot I’m sure the respectful self righteous will lead the vangaurd against all foes.

            Oh did I mention the urine and faeces throwing screaming lefties protected by the fully equipped riot Police that you will also face down who can and will shove, hit and pepper spray you for no apparent reason?

            Anyway a yellow vest will make a big difference…….probably.

            100

            • #
              Annie

              The Met Police in London were bad enough when I went up for the pro-hunting meeting in Parliament Sq.

              31

            • #
              Annie

              We didn’t face the leftie nastiness you’ve just described Yonnie. What appalling bullies they are. What do the police think they are up to?

              30

            • #
              Annie

              You mentioned something a while back but gave no details. What group are you talking about and how do you operate?
              There is some serious nonsense going on politically re. our power supplies.

              40

              • #
                Yonniestone

                Hi Annie, I’m referring to what’s known as the Patriot Movement that’s composed of a few groups with the same goal which is to get Australia back on track with political açcountabilty being high on the list, forget all the MSM lies about us as I wouldn’t be associated with anyone that matches their descriptions.

                Many would be surprised at the awareness and knowledge our group has regarding the UN operations and the fallacies of the global warming agenda which makes us a bigger target for the Marxists subversives in our society that have positioned themselves into positions of influence.

                Regarding Police I believe that while most are following orders those orders are coming from Spring Street and circumventing the rule of law as the Police are now regarded as a personal force by the Andrews government to be manipulated and utilised to suit their political agendas.

                50

            • #

              It was never about global warming but about subverting democracy for a left elite take over .Tactics of 3rd Reich, 1930′s, Saul Alynsky’s Rules for Radicals. Rule 8. Keep the pressure on, never let up. Rule 9 The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.The main goal of Alinskyites is to cause social instability through subversive and divisive rhetoric.

              A crucial method is to control the outcome of the education system by lowering the standards of education so that it creates a dependent class. Infiltrate to subvert important institutions, media, law, and use political platforms to overload a society with social spending programs and class warfare to the point that hatred and division cause social panic. Once you’ve created a problem propose present yourself as the answer and use wealth transfers and the trumping of rights as the method to bring about a rhetorical ‘equality’.

              80

              • #
                Yonniestone

                An erudite reminder Beth that cannot be repeated enough, while the Left can appear resourceful their weaknesses lie within their manifesto which outlines the methods to use democracy against itself so they can gain ground in its infrastructure.

                The big lesson for Western Civilization is while Marxists hate it’s existence they love its money, cut off the supply and you have harmless mouthpieces don’t and you have dangerous mouthpieces that will directly effect your life and destroy everything you stand for.

                40

  • #
    PeterS

    I find it amazing that both major parties continue believing we must keep reducing our emissions. If and when the ALP+Greens take over things will get much worse in so many ways much quicker hopefully waking people up in the process rather than the slow and painful death by a thousand cuts afforded by the LNP. We as a nation need a huge whack on the backside to get us back on the right path if we are to have any hope of avoiding a crash and burn. The ALP+Greens will provide that huge whack very nicely. The huge assumption is the future leader of the LNP has any value, which I seriously doubt. Put on your crash helmets.

    470

    • #
      Robdel

      I agree completely. The sooner we get to a real crisis, the sooner will the public wake up from their apathy.

      370

    • #
      Allen Ford

      It’s the elites, pollies, bureaucrats and intellectuals who need the waking up, for it is they who have created this mess!

      150

      • #
        PeterS

        Yes you do have a point but the voters thus far are supporting their decisions by voting for them in a big way. Imagine if both major parties supported the idea that taxes needed to be increased by 50% across the board. Does anyone really think either of them would win major government? If one of them did it would prove the vast majority of the voters are fools and deserved to be taxed to death but I somehow doubt that would be the case. I suspect in such a situation (at least I hope) there would be a hung parliament and the minor party(ies) who end up holding the balance would force the tax increase to be scrapped completely. The same sort of thing should be occurring with the CAGW scam and hoax where there is sufficient evidence for all to see that is the case. I reserve judgement of the people until after the results of the next federal election.

        110

      • #

        See the Nature of the beast. History of Technocracy New World Order, from Columbia University 1930s to Trilateral Commission UN Agenda 21 at about 20.00 As Figueres said not about the environment Its about energy bases totally new global world economic order and micro control of you. Members Jimmy Carter Clinton, Gore, Soros, Podesta, most of the Heads of World Bank, IMF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpZu3PSekEk

        50

      • #

        See the Nature of the beast. History of Technocracy New World Order, from Columbia University 1930s to Trilateral Commission UN Agenda 21 at about 20.00 As Figueres said not about the environment Its about energy bases totally new global world economic order and micro control of you. Members Jimmy Carter Clinton, Gore, Soros, Podesta, most of the Heads of World Bank, IMF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpZu3PSekEk

        20

    • #
      MudCrab

      Yes.

      There unfortunately seems to be some misguided idea that by embracing ‘green issues’ parties like the Liberals can win ‘green votes’.

      This goes against all logic. If you like ‘green issues’ you already vote ‘green’. Attempting to move your core policy to match green parties simply reinforces to green voters that their party already had the correct idea and they were correct to support the green parties in the first place.

      The people who’s votes you are changing are the existing core voters. If they wanted to support green policies they would have voted green in the first place.

      It is this complete lack of understanding that made DelCons exist and put One Nation back into Canberra. You do NOT grow your supporter base at the expense of your core. Never. It would be like putting a net behind goal in AFL because you want to try and steal supporters from the A-League. It will never work. A-League fans think you are stupid and existing AFL fans will hate you for pointlessly changing their game.

      If people like Morrison can’t understand this they should start shifting their office out of the ministerial wing now.

      230

      • #
        PeterS

        100% correct but unfortunately for the LNP they refuse to understand any of that. In fact it has gone the other way and there are a growing number in the LNP who believe very strongly in the CAGW story. Both the LNP and ALP+Greens should be eliminated from the political landscape as they have both gone too far. The reality though is we are stuck with them and hence we are destined for a crash and burn scenario. Then we ought to get a new party with the right sort of leadership but I fear if we get to a crash and burn scenario that new party might instead be from China.

        80

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        They’re not worried about being reelected, it’s the Money.

        It may be hidden out of sight, but it’s there.

        40

      • #
        AndyG55

        I have said several times, that for the LNP,,,

        there are no votes to be gained by cow-towing to the greenie climate change meme.

        121

        • #
          Yonniestone

          You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth, old Chinese proverb, quoted by W. Churchill.

          50

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Working quietly and dilligently, spreading the word, its slowly working. The MSM thinks its won, but it hasnt. The fact they are hyping stories to childish hysterics tells me they are losing.

            When the power goes off, what weve told them will take on a life of its own…..

            All it takes is a few key people to refuse publically to kowtow to the hysterical hyenas of the left, and people never forget.

            Alea Iacta Est.

            30

  • #

    I can barely imagine life in Australia if we ever got to 50% renewables, let alone 100%. But I guess that’s what has to happen before people wake up. Or will we have 100% renewables with backup gas etc to make it look like we’re coping?

    210

    • #
      Sambar

      Not in Victoria Bemused. We are running out of gas for domestic use, so have to import it. All we need is extra comsumtion by generators to hasten our return to dung burning.

      230

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Ah…it sounds just the like the trajectory Zimbabwe took…from being a net exporter of food to being an economic basket case and having to import food,. due to the corrosive and stupid antics of Socialism…..

        er…Up the Getupworkers……

        200

      • #

        I know it all too well, living in South Gippsland where, if you want gas heating and cooking, it’s all bottled gas and the price rises just about weekly.

        140

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      . . . the public wake up from their apathy.

      Meaning what?

      23

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Meaning what?

        Come on man. Wake up.

        Meaning the great Australian apathy.

        Where’ve you been? What’ve you been reading?

        90

        • #
          C. Paul Barreira

          Fine, “wake up from their apathy”. Then what? Make rational decisions? The public still fails to understand, let alone acknowledge, any connection between the scam of climate change (as presently defined), renewable energy sources and the price of electricity. It has not happened and nothing suggests that it will, at least not until the scammers recant. Don’t hold your breath waiting.

          For a guide consider this post on Powerline.

          Or this. The propaganda for the scam is immense and shows no sign of fatigue.

          40

      • #
        shannon

        Meaning Australians are so lay back they’d think a “funnel web” wouldnt crawl over them without ..giving warning !!
        We have become very complacent and overall ..”stupid” !

        20

    • #
      Bobl

      We’ll, I won’t care, I’ll be long off grid before that happens.

      10

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Here’s a quiz; no conferring. To the nearest whole number, what percentage of the world’s energy consumption was supplied by wind power in 2014, the last year for which there are reliable figures? Was it 20 per cent, 10 per cent or 5 per cent? None of the above: it was 0 per cent. That is to say, to the nearest whole number, there is still no wind power on Earth.’

    Matt Ridley (wuwt)

    290

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Oh noes – WERE ALL GUNNA DIE!!! ( again…4th time this week…..apparently…hey…anyone seen my car keys?)

    People running, while shreiking, in ever decreasing circles, hair curlers flying off in all directions…..

    Tut tut, MSM – 2/10 must try harder…..must be a slow news week…..

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/conservation/what-happens-when-the-last-resort-on-the-darling-river-dries-out-20190110-p50qo3.html

    “The toll on wildlife from this summer’s extreme heat and drought continues to mount in the state’s far west as kangaroos and other animals struggle to find water days after as many as a million fish died in the region.

    As politicians, industry and environmental groups traded blame over the massive fish kills at Menindee, the Herald captured shocking images of roos and sheep stuck in the all-but dried up channels between the lakes and the nearby Darling River.”

    ………….

    Also worrying will be if further wildlife loss succumb from heat exhaustion, he said. The mercury at Menindee is forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology to hit 41 degrees or more for at least six days from Friday. Three of the days could top 44 degrees, or almost 10 degrees above the January norm.”

    But this is the laugh of the day ….

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/victoria/great-ocean-road-at-risk-from-surging-sea-20190110-p50qjb.html

    “ut Mr Rosengren and Mr Miner found that the 2017 erosion was not caused by “extreme or unusual” conditions. “There was no single, large scale event that stood out,” Mr Rosengren told The Age. “There is something general and widespread in time at Mounts Bay.”

    The findings raise the prospect that rising seas due to climate change are now proving a real problem for vulnerable coastal locations.

    Mr Rosengren said rising sea levels contributed to the erosion at Mounts Bay.

    “You’re witnessing the effects of a complex of processes of which sea level is one,” he said.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) current projection for sea level rise, based on high emissions, ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, is almost 90 centimetres by the year 2100, relative to an average sea level for the period 1986-2005.

    That projection will be updated, most likely upwards, in the IPCC’s special oceans report due for release this year.

    Other peer-reviewed studies have forecast a much steeper rise in sea level by 2100.”

    Get a govt grant to pay to re-route the road, if you can link it to a climate fairy story perhaps?

    Oink…..

    171

    • #
      PeterS

      As most of us here already know the so called threat of rising sea levels due to man-made global warming is a hoax and a scam. See Accelerating Rate Of Sea Level Fraud

      150

    • #
      Jonesy

      Gotta say, fish kills in a river flowing at 190Ml/day. Something else other than blue green algae. Could be the last of dead water pumped out of a lake.

      131

    • #
      Sambar

      So, original Steve, you need to point out to the media a poem by Banjo Paterson, Saltbush Bill. Always worth a read, and of course talking about droving during a drought.
      The poem, like all of Patersons is worth a read in full. If you haven’t got the time, the relavent line, ” when kangaroos in their thousands starve, it’s hard on the travelling sheep”

      80

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      A road built on sand dunes just a couple of metres above the high tide sea, and not many metres from its high tide edge, and clever ones are surprised that a big sea threatens its existence?
      The author is right to say there’s nothing special in this threat.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      50

  • #
    Mark M

    Further evidence solar panels can not stop doomsday global warming:

    “A little over a decade ago, when just 5.2% of our power was from renewables …

    Since 2017, 19 new windfarms and 30 new solar farms have been registered and in early December the two millionth Australian household went solar.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/31/2018-australian-government-energy-more-hopeful-story

    It’s official: Bureau of Meteorology confirms 2018 was a scorcher

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/it-s-official-bureau-of-meteorology-confirms-2018-was-a-scorcher-20190110-p50qh7.html

    90

  • #
    robert rosicka

    The AEMO use the terms “credible” , “unplanned event” , but maybe they should start using “Murphys” law to plan their future needs .

    80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      In today’s Australian is a story “How the Russians hacked the US Grid”. Certainly there seems to have been a prolonged attack but how do they know it was the Russians? Were the Americans hacking them?

      Leaving that aside we can be reasonably sure our grid is un-hacked. Why waste effort on smething that will fall over by itself?

      130

    • #
      Hivemind

      Is a credible, unplanned event better described as “easily forseeable”?

      20

  • #
    Jonesy

    Look at that noise! I would hate to be the engineers trying to stabilise that bloody mess. Frequency control is virtually non existent.

    170

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    This is a predictable result of the creation of the current grid, along with the aversion to the so called gold plating of the infrastructure. The original plan of a grid with N+1 resilience was dropped in favour of the least cost solution. Like everything, it is more complicated than just ‘Renewables’ or ‘Solar’. N+1 is a design practice which minimises risk due to single failures in a complex system.

    613

    • #
      AndyG55

      No, it is NOT more complicated.

      Renewables destabilise the grid.

      And all the EXTRA infrastructure to cope with the intermittency, and erratic behaviour of wind and solar is adding significant cost to electricity prices.

      232

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        What extra infrastructure? To connect to the grid, energy must be synchronised to the system, voltage, frequency and so on. That is the responsibility of the generator, no matter who they are, and they pay for the necessary equipment. This applies to traditional power plants down to individual rooftop systems. To the cost, most of the extra cost is down to maximisation of profit by private energy companies. look at the balance sheet for Transgrid for example.

        329

        • #
          AndyG55

          OMG, you ignorant twerp.

          The number of transformers etc that have had to be updated to manage the intermittent and feed-in requirements is enormous.

          And no the Solar equipment on individual dwelling are subsidised by the public,

          The companies have to pay for most of the changes required to the infrastructure.

          Added infrastructure, added cost

          TWO supply system, one erratic and unreliable and the other one required to provide 100%back up and control the ERRATIC, UNRELIABLE behaviour of the parasitic non-supply.

          Of course it is going to cost more.

          323

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Do you think he can understand what it is that you’re saying, Andy?

            His ignorance works like a prison. It keeps him inside the fold of the green-left.

            No matter what the facts are, he cannot do anything but revert to his brainwashed beliefs, such as: “most of the extra cost is down to maximisation of profit by private energy companies“. He offers not a skerrick of evidence to support his nonsense.

            How does one get through to people like that? Facts won’t do it unfortunately.

            281

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              From the SMH
              Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor on Sunday used a combination of company statements and analyst forecasts to claim the three largest power companies – AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia – would see their collective profits almost double in the five years from 2015 to 2020.

              From Business Insider
              Profit at AGL, Australia’s largest electricity generator, have surged by 194% to $1.59 billion as power bills to consumers keep rising.
              Underlying profit after tax was up 28% to $1.023 billion, in the upper half of AGL’s guidance range, reflecting strong earnings growth in Wholesale Markets.

              two skerricks for you from the ignorant one

              512

              • #
                PeterS

                That’s why AGL was so much in favour of Turnbull to continue the massacre of coal fired power generation systems and promote renewables. Trouble is nothing much has really changed since his replacement.

                190

              • #
                MudCrab

                Sorry Peter, but is this meant to be in reply to something else.

                What does the projected profits of AGL et al have to do with the existence or not of infrastructure. Are you somehow suggesting that these companies do not know how to milk a market?

                120

              • #
                AndyG55

                “would see their collective profits almost double in the five years from 2015 to 2020.”

                That’s from “carbon” certificates, futz !! The people’s money.

                You don’t seriously think that these companies haven’t figured out how to game the system, do you!

                WOW. futz is dumb as well as naïve.

                121

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor…..etc

                Come on. That’s not evidence. That’s a politician desperately trying to shift blame.

                If AGL is gouging how come its Dividend Yield (as of today’s date) is a mere 5.56%? How come that Origin Energy doesn’t pay a dividend at all? And, of course, Energy Australia is a private company – so where is its so-called “company statements”?

                You continue to lock yourself up in the Marxist green-left prison of your own making. One of your goalers is none other than the commercially failed Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald – another of the lefty propaganda sheets that exist in this country.

                110

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                And, if you read a real newspaper (The Australian) you’d have seen “Cut and Paste” on 10 January or, if you missed that, “Last Post” today that pointed out:

                …..National’s senator John Williams revelation that renewable energy certificates guarantee a return of $700,000 per wind turbine, per annum, before a watt of electricity is generated. Guess who pays for this nirvana? Paul Nolan, Lota, Qld”.

                Horses. Water. Drink.

                120

            • #
              PeterS

              The other thing is the extra cost to the companies would have to be passed on to the customers leading to much higher power costs. Hardly a sensible thing for a nation to do; rather it would be a perfect way to crash and burn a nation’s economy while the really significant emitters of CO2 are left to keep producing more emissions by way of adding many hundreds more coal fired power stations. Apart from increasing taxes by say 50% I can’t imagine a batter way to commit economic suicide than to support more renewables and allow our existing coal fired power stations to be closed down one by one.

              141

            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              Classic bait and switch – the power companies are making record profits, and are convincing you that it is those pesky renewables. You maximise profit by keeping costs down and pushing prices up. By painting renewables as the witch to be burnt, no one is looking at those record profits. Do you see that?

              418

              • #
                AndyG55

                Yep you attempt a classic bait and switch .. and fail.

                In a vain attempt to “make believe” that renewables are not an expensive problem on the grid.

                172

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                It is a fact that renewables are only a tiny part of the total generating capacity. So their costs will be a tiny part of the operating costs for the industry. The profits come from, as you correctly point out, gaming the system, but the renewables are a smokescreen. As I said profit comes from keeping costs down, and prices high. The industry would have you believe that coping with renewables is costly, and thats why your prices are going up, but the balance sheets and annual reports say otherwise. But your would rather run around chanting ‘burn the witches!’ More fool you

                318

              • #
                AndyG55

                “So their costs will be a tiny part of the operating costs for the industry. ”

                Again, WRONG.

                Their percentage of the cost is far greater than their percentage of the supply

                They are a burden on the electricity supply system, requiring massive infrastructure updates and control systems.

                They also do not reduce atmospheric CO2 by even the tiniest amount, because REAL electricity supplies are forced to operate inefficiently. (not that it matters, because enhanced atmospheric CO2 has absolutely zero detrimental effect on the planet)

                They are a pointless waste of space, time and money.

                131

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Bulldust – I’ve worked for a distribution company, the problem is load balancing – show me any line item in any annual report for transformer upgrades

            616

            • #
              AndyG55

              “the problem is load balancing”

              That is certainly a very major problem, and it is brought on wholly and solely by the advent of erratic, unreliable supplies such as wind and solar.

              Glad to see you finally admit that fact, albeit unintentionally. :-)

              There are also the issues of frequency stability and synchronicity, both of which require more and more expensive grid infrastructure to maintain within set bounds, as the percentage of erratic, unreliable non-supplies are forced into the network by grossly uneconomical subsidies.

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            • #
              Yonniestone

              I’ll waste my time and say this once, “50Hz doesn’t give a #@%& about your imagined load balancing.”

              Also annoying people on the phone while updating your Grindr profile is not work.

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          • #
            Rob Leviston

            Have a look at the 600 tonne behemoth that they have just shipped to Lismore, Victoria!

            50

        • #
          RickWill

          Peter asked:

          What extra infrastructure?

          Distributed rooftop solar is now seriously taxing the distribution networks in all states. South Australia and Queensland are in the most serious situation with both states now having more 30% of rooftops with panels. This year SA rooftop solar met 70% of the grid demand through the middle of the day on Sundays in November. All that distributed power has to have a path to the commercial and industrial load centres. That means massive increase in the capacity of distribution networks to cater for the generation rather than for the load. By 2022 rooftop solar in SA will supply all the grid demand on weekends through the middle of the day.

          The load curve has its evening peak but meal times have some variation across neighbours that spread the demand over a couple of hours. By contrast all solar in a neighbourhood peaks during the middle of the day. There is no spreading of the generation. The system needs to be designed for that short peak in generation. All distribution assets owners have system enhancement costs dialled into their investment plans and are guaranteed a return on investment. Popular press wrongly portray the asset owners as gold plating their networks. They are simply meeting the objective of integrating this massive increase in distributed generation.

          Transmission and distribution costa already make up 60% of a residential electricity cost and that cost will continue to increase to cater for the massive midday output of solar systems. Of course it is incredibly wasteful because the peak lasts about 4 hours out of 24, meaning substantial overbuild to cater for the low capacity factor. The situation applies to remote subsidy farms where the transmission network is designed to handle at least 5X the average output.

          This little clip shows how midday prices have changed in Queensland over the last decade:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tCujISUDk0
          The so-called duck curve is becoming more pronounced as solar output takes over from scheduled generation at lunchtime. In fact Queensland had negative wholesale prices at midday on some days in June 2018 due to low air-conditioning demand and good solar output.

          Investors in solar subsidy farms in Queensland are getting very concerned about the drop in the price of LDGs as this is an essential source of income because the rooftop solar is driving wholesale prices negative when their output is at a maximum. So income from LGCs is rapidly becoming their key source of income. Without an increase in the RET, the price of LGCs will tank, which will hit solar subsidy farms hardest due to the tanking wholesale price from concurrent rooftop output but will also put many wind subsidy farms in the red.

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          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Good outline.

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          • #
            Robber

            Fitz asserted: “It is a fact that renewables are only a tiny part of the total generating capacity”.
            5.5 GW of wind capacity, 8 GW of solar, only a small part when average demand is 22 GW? Big impact when wind is blowing hard and sun is shining, forcing other reliable generators to reduce their utilisation.
            All that investment, but all intermittent, so average delivery is wind 1.7 GW, solar 1.8 GW, but effectively guaranteed a return on redundant capital.

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            • #
              Peter Fitzroy

              nah, you are wrong. Renewables are 14% of the total energy demand of 256563 GWh (you need to quote Gigawatt hours to be fair.) Of the 37205 GWh down to renewables 15318 GWh is hydro and 12199 GWh for wind and 6209 GWh for solar. These are from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), and they do not match anything you have posted. My assertion stands. The point is that you are being scammed if you believe that renewables are the reason for your high energy costs. If you remove the Hydro component then wind and solar combined are only 7% of the total. I do wish you lived in a more fact based universe

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              • #
                el gordo

                The high price of wholesale gas is distorting the market, its used as a backup. The other thing worth considering is that 40% of the power bill is through poles and wires, and they are into major upgrades at the moment.

                70

              • #
                AndyG55

                At the moment, wind and other are producing 1329 out of 25035 GW

                That really is a pretty pathetic 5.3% of only the electricity

                Renewables produce ZERO of the other energy supplies needed to run the country.

                Futz caught mis-truthing, yet again.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                “I do wish you lived in a more fact based universe”

                Then you will have to learn to face facts instead of living in denial of basically everything to do with electricity and energy supply.

                Facts seem to be irrelevant to you, pftuz.

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              • #
                Hivemind

                “you need to quote Gigawatt hours to be fair.”

                No, that’s the mistake that the AEMO made in their 2018 report, using averages instead of peak delivered (not total capacity), that predicted that there was enough power to survive the summer without widespread blackouts.

                40

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                AndyG55, what are you trying to say. I gave you figures in GWh and you are quoting GW. Instantaneous Load and generation values follow a 24 hour cycle, and also follow the seasons. Supply is managed on that basis in real time. Spot pricing is done in 10 minute blocks with all generators bidding. Of course you can only bid what you have at that time, which means that the solar plants do not bid at night, but can significantly underbid during the day. This is all known and managed.

                Those major upgrades mentioned by El Gordo are to meet the statutory service requirements known as SAFI, which mandates quality of service and outage time.

                I’ve given you facts and you react with bombast.

                25

              • #
                Graeme No.3

                Peter Fitzroy:

                2 comments;
                the bids can now be for 5 minutes.
                Renewables were reported 2 days ago as providing 18% of generation. Presumably including hydro.

                You are also forgetting the RET Certificates which have to be bought by the retailers, and the cost passed on (plus some margin?) to consumers.
                Then there is the disruption by the renewables which decrease the revenue normally received by conventional producers (largely coal fired) while they still have to keep running to supply frequency stabilisation and quick supply so forcing their price up.
                The grid operators are roughly 50% of the cost and any extra capital they invest is guaranteed an 8% return p.a. (i.e. the Government allows them to charge the consumers for that.
                Then there are certain practices by State governments e.g. Qld. where $700 million of debt was transferred onto the (State owned) electricity suppliers, who have to pay off the debt, pay the interest and maintain the dividend to the State Government. Other rorts are grossly exaggerating the capital of the State owned enterprises and demanding a higher payout. Other State governments collect mining royalties on the coal e.g. Victoria which triple the rate forcing Hazelwood to shut down.
                And the State Governments collect extra GST on the higher bills.

                It is all based on the assumption that citizens have an endless supply of money available to pay.

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          • #
            jeff

            That means massive increase in the capacity of distribution networks to cater for the generation rather than for the load.

            But much of the rooftop solar PV generation is used in the home, then the excess is returned on the same network, just in the reverse direction of the usual flow.
            I can’t see how this will require a massive upgrade to the network.

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            • #
              Kinky Keith

              The detail of this situation was discussed a few months ago and I was given to understand that more localised controls were needed to allow higher percentages of home solar to work.

              KK

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            • #
              RickWill

              Jeff stated:
              But much of the rooftop solar PV generation is used in the home, then the excess is returned on the same network, just in the reverse direction of the usual flow.
              I can’t see how this will require a massive upgrade to the network.

              The size of solar systems are increasing and some localities now have 50% of the rooftops with solar panels. In Victoria you can get a 6kW system for no upfront cost and 4 years to pay off the $2500 remaining after subsidies. There is not much consumption in a house at lunchtime where the kids are at school and parents at work; typical of new housing developments. Rooftop capacity is growing around 150MW per month in Australia. Although the average output is not much, the peak will be close to installed capacity when the sun is high in the sky on a balmy day AND all the rooftops in every area of the NEM could be singing to the same tune. That is a totally different situation to having the toaster and jug on in the morning pulling 4kW for 5 minutes or the oven in the evening averaging 1kW for a couple of hours if roast is on the menu. Think how air-conditioning demand has grown to become the dominant peak demand in Australia. Rooftop has potential to tax the grid far more than air-conditioning but as reverse power flow.

              My system is 8 years old and is rated at 3kW; relatively large at the time. The linked chart shows my best export month in 2018:
              https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgnpY3HlgWIaUHlKr
              Even with a 3kW system I am sending a lot into the grid and it peaks at lunchtime like every other rooftop in the eastern states.

              This planning report raises the reverse power flow issue on page 20:
              https://www.ausnetservices.com.au/-/media/Files/AusNet/About-Us/Regulatory-Publications/Distribution-Annual-Planning-Report-2018-2022.ashx?la=en

              Increased penetration of Solar PV and other forms of generation have resulted in significant reverse power flow at light load conditions in some parts of the network. The full impact of bi-directional power flow is yet to be observed however, it is envisaged that network augmentation may be required in future to cater for this emerging change in power system behaviour.

              This is what the SA demand and solar supply looked like on a weekend in November 2018:
              https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgxTbiGs9ZlZ85uZW
              800MW of the 1145MW demand was being supplied by rooftop solar at midday. South Australia has 34% of homes with solar so a lot more roofs to get panels yet. By 2022 rooftops will supply the entire demand for a few hours each day on weekends. The gas generators on-line to maintain stability will be paid extra to stay connected because the wholesale price will be negative and any wind connected will be sending to Victoria or generation restricted.

              Designing and managing the system to cater for these massive swings from houses being loads to being generators and back to being loads on a daily basis over a few hours has become far more complex than just managing one way power flow. Part of the push for batteries by the networks is to even out this peaky generation as well as avoiding lunchtime wholesale price collapse.

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          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            so the profit increased (as I said), their expenditure decreased (as I said),their revenue increased (as I said) and their performance against metrics decreased (as I implied) – what is your point?

            Mind you, Transgrid only does 66KVA and above, and yet, they seem to be happy to take power from anyone, without having to install all sorts of extra equipment.

            Again I do not see any negative impact from renewables.

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            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Again I do not see any negative impact from renewables.

              Of course you don’t.

              That’s because your analysis is flawed by your Marxist green-left zealotry.

              So why are the shareholders’ dividends less than optimal?

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              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                how so?

                23

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Read page 20, The Markets” in today’s “The Australian”. Look at the Dividend Yield column.

                Come back to us with your analysis of average dividend paid by publicly listed energy companies and compare it with return on capital. Would you assert that Origin Energy’s dividend yield is optimal? You like zero?

                Then tell us how well Energy Australia performed. And, in doing so, let us know where your figures come from.

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              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Follow the Money.

                40

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Come on Peter Fitzroy.

              Where’s your analysis?

              Cat got your tongue?

              Or have you finally realized the nonsense you speak is making you look very foolish?

              30

  • #
    a happy little debunker

    Last time Tassie’s connector ran at 630mw – the cable ‘burned out’ and we had to buy dsm generators to get us over a 6 month hump.

    And how the Mainlanders laughed and laughed and laughed…

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      South Australia has already installed “diesels” – actually open cycle gas turbines using the only available fuel at the time, but with the intention of switching to burning gas when it becomes available.
      Since current government policies are
      1. ban new gas production,
      2. export most to prop up the dollar
      3. maintain minimal stocks of diesel so that in the event of any disruption overseas there won’t be any backup.
      So, look forward to more blackouts, and soon people won’t be laughing.

      And the new power station being built in SA (in place of Torrens Island) will be diesel motors running on natural gas. They can fill in drops in renewable generation with fast response, but are more robust so likely to be more reliable than OCGTs. They also cost more to run and don’t reduce emissions.

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      • #
        Bobl

        The problem is economic, you now have a rather large compliment of expensive reliable diesel generators to house and maintain to run uneconomically to back up an unreliable renewable supply. It’s better over the whole of life to use the reliable generators for supply and solar plus batteries for the backup. On the other hand Solar would be too expensive as a backup, better to have n+1 diesel. The zero sum game returns you to fossil fuels because that’s the most economic play for the reliability you need.

        The problem with most of the climate activists and especially those so-called scientists is that they comment on energy without a scrap of knowledge about energy which is the domain of electrical engineers.

        A 20% reliable energy source is next to useless if what you need is 99.97% reliable electricity where what counts is how much energy can be supplied reliably 99.97% of the time.

        On this basis wind has a capacity of near zero and solar about 3% of nameplate. Both represent a CO2 cost at least 5 times HELE coal if operated at 99.7% reliability.

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  • #
    Robber

    Come on folks, let’s go green and fragile.
    Consider the shutdown of Bayswater Power station in NSW, consisting of 4 generators each of 660 MW registered capacity.
    Yesterday Bayswater delivered 2,000 MW through the peak demand periods, an 80% capacity factor, dropping back to 1200 MW overnight.
    What would it take to replace Bayswater with “renewables”?
    Let’s build some wind towers – we will need nameplate capacity of about 8,000 MW allowing for a 30% average capacity factor at a capital cost of about $15 billion. That’s about 2,500 towers, and if we spaced them in a row 300 metres apart they would stretch for 750 kms. Multiple charging points for all those EVs? But wait, what happens if the wind doesn’t blow for a day? To supply 2,000 MW x 24 hours = 48,000 MWhr, would require 370 of SA’s “big” batteries. Or we could install a 2400 MW gas peaking station, or Snowy 2 that could deliver 2,000 MW and run for 7 days at a cost of ???.
    What about rooftop solar? To replace Bayswater requires 14,700 MW nameplate solar capacity allowing for a 17% capacity factor. With each rooftop 5 kW, that’s 2.9 million rooftops at a cost of about $25 billion. And once again for when the sun isn’t shining, add backup through gas, batteries or pumped hydro.
    Now add additional network costs and new frequency control systems.
    Total cost? Affordability? Doesn’t matter, just feel virtuous doing your bit to “save the planet.”

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Those 370 big batteries would only cost $55 billion BUT wouldn’t be enough for backup.
      Firstly they would all have to be fully charged when wanted.
      Secondly fully discharging them would leave you with 370 empties suitable only to be thrown away.

      And I presume that gas peaking will be supplied by 48 typical OCGTs. And the supply of gas? Why not 5 by 500MW Closed Cycle plants which would use 43% less gas? Oops, they don’t work with intermittent wind generation as worked out in Ireland where the variable demand stuffed their efficiency, leading to higher gas usage (hence emissions**) higher costs and much more down time for maintenance.

      **for the trolls who think “peaker plants” are the solution.

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  • #
    Ruairi

    The warmist high priests anoint,
    The renewables that can quickly disjoint,
    And collapse a sound grid,
    In their desperate bid,
    To achieve a power crash tipping-point.

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  • #
    Neville

    Meanwhile in the UK consumers are paying way to much for clueless S&W and could have used gas and nuclear and achieved the same co2 emissions at a much lower cost and had very reliable base-load power as well. Will these donkeys ever wake up?

    https://www.thegwpf.com/consumers-grossly-overpaying-for-electricity/

    BTW Jo what do you think about Lord Monckton’s claim that there is a serious maths error when calculating climate sensitivity to the increase in GHGs?

    Have you or David had any involvement in his team’s work and study? Just asking? And why can’t they find suitable reviewers to attempt to understand the maths?

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/10/the-credibility-gap-between-predicted-and-observed-global-warming/

    70

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Its the Donkey Syndrome – the tech outstrips the average punters ability to understand it , hence leading to bad decions and/or ignorance.

      People are also used to reliable power – I think soon they might be squinting when they look at Dangerous Dan and his pinko commie mates in Victoriastan, thinking…..

      Once the punters lose jobs becasue the power is flaky, things will change rapidly. We need to get the workd out now, becasue the Elites propaganda machine is very good, it will be fired up by Dangerous Dan and people will be placated and told to “fight the good fight” to fight climate change…and the sheep will go back to sleep.

      We actually need to make sure they know the truth.

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Hi Neville,

      Lord Monckton is a great promoter of the need to question that global warming is possibly caused by human activity.

      The problem with the CAGW Religion is that because it is government sponsored people are led to believe that it is true.
      The core issue is Human Origin CO2. There is no known mechanism by which CO2 of any origin can trap and hold energy while it is part of The Earth’s Atmosphere.

      It Must immediately equilibrate with adjacent gas molecules.

      The entire gas parcel then expands and floats up to a higher, colder location where the gas parcel shrinks and gives out radiant energy which heads out to deep space.

      The so called models are based on a supposed link between CO2 and Atmospheric Temperatures.

      There’s No Such Connection and the Models are a total Nonsense.

      Consequently, the talk of how much CO2 gives how much extra atmospheric temperature increase is nothing but politically inspired deception of the masses.

      KK

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  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    Neville, there are maths errors closer to home. The Clean Energy Regulator’s website shows the official formula for calculating renewables operators eligibility for LRET certificates, but the worked example of a hypothetical 100 MW (nominal) generator clearly shows it being eligible for two certificates per Megawatt fed to the grid instead of the one certificate per MW stated in the RET legislation. I have mentioned this several times over the past 6 months or so, including directly to politicians, but no response, not even to tell me that I am mistaken somehow. If I am correct, and this formula is wrong, then renewables generators are being overpaid by about $1 billion a year and rising. Does nobody care? Will someone please put me out of my misery?

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    • #
      Robber

      Don’t understand your calculations about RET certificates. From the CER site:
      Through the scheme, large renewable power stations and the owners of small-scale systems are eligible to create certificates for every megawatt hour of power they generate—creating the ‘supply’ side of the certificate market. Wholesale purchasers ​​​of electricity, mainly electricity retailers, buy these certificates to meet their renewable energy obligations—forming the ‘demand’ side of the certificate market. Wholesale purchasers of electricity then surrender these certificates to the Clean Energy Regulator in percentages set by regulation each year. One LGC can be created for one MWh of eligible electricity generated by the power station.

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Interesting,

      We have to assume that two very public figures understand the need to keep the debate on Renewables Subsidies under control.

      The current leaders of the two governing partis, Libl and Laba, have indicated by their actions that they intend to maintain and extend the investment in Renewables.

      Nominally, those responsible for the situation of double dipping you describe are: William Shorten and Scott Morrison.

      There’s a lot of money floating around out there that needs a good home, and they are going to make sure that our nightly bedtime stories don’t send us off to sleep with nightmares about government sponsored misdeeds.

      Ssssshhhhh. Don’t worry.

      KK

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  • #
    jeff

    The numbers are amazing — of panels installed in the last 2 years as many as one-third in South Australia dropped out when we needed them and about 1 in 6 failed in Queensland.

    And then a graph (fig 59) of dropout in QLD on Aug 25 is shown.

    The report seems to say that lack of frequency control response was a big problem.
    And that traditional Synchronous generators did not help with control, and rooftop solar in SA and QLD and the SA battery did assist.

    Distributed (behind the meter) PV
    Approximately 3,096 MW of the total installed capacity of 6,278 MW of distributed (behind the meter) PV across the NEM was generating at the time of the event. Similar to large-scale PV, the distributed fleet of solar PV generally contributed to assist frequency management in QLD and SA over the course of the event by reducing output.

    Synchronous generation
    Synchronous generation was providing 96% of the total generation in the NEM at the time of the event.
    The responses observed from synchronous generation during this event indicated that, unless enabled in the market for frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), many generators either no longer automatically adjust output in response to local changes in frequency or only respond when frequency is outside a wider band (dead-band) than has historically been set. This lack of response resulted in significant technical challenges controlling power system frequency during this event, delaying the resynchronisation of QLD with NSW.

    40

    • #
      Kneel

      “And that traditional Synchronous generators did not help with control..”

      Not surprising, really – you gutted any chance they have to even make money, let alone a decent profit, so they will only supply what they are contracted to supply and naught else.
      That said, they cannot do anything other than supply any needed synchronising power – if they are too far of frequency or phase, they’ll eventually either sync up or trip off. Of course, they’ll be paid for this generation, even if all it is doing is pulling another generator into line.

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    • #

      Thanks Jeff. It would be good to get to the bottom of this. Both SA and QLD had largely high frequencies after the event which ought to be helped by generators switching off.

      The problem that nearly caused a black system presumably was in SA with the wild spike up and down which was short but clearly breached the ideal frequency zone.

      Did the solar faulty drop outs drive the down spike initially which tripped Heywood to cut off SA? Then afterwards solar PV that switched off might be useful in rebalancing the system.

      In other words, “Solar PV” can be both the cause and the solution. Some faulty but 2/3rds not faulty.

      But you may be right that another graph would be more useful straight after that point.

      I’m open to suggestion.

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      • #
        ivan

        Jo, I think the big problem is down to how all the renewable energy producing equipment supply power to the grid.

        Solar panels require an inverter to turn their DC into AC and where they are grid connected the grid supplies the synchronising frequency, drop off the grid and the frequency runs free (usually higher) until the internal electronics brings it down to something near 50 Hz (they are not crystal controlled so the 50 HZ is only approximate)

        Wind generators have to rely on frequency converters to maintain synchronisation with the grid with the grid being the master. the frequency control has to be electronic, if it was mechanical via blade pitch they would tear themselves apart because of blade flutter induced by lots of small pitch corrections to try and keep the low mass generator speed constant.

        The upshot of this electronic frequency control is, if you lose the stabilising influence of the rotating mass steam powered generators it takes a while for the electronics to stabilise (they might, depending on configuration, even lock on to one of the unstable units and that is when all hell breaks out until someone can switch then off).

        30

  • #
    BoyfromTottenham

    Yes, Robber, I agree that the legislation says that they are eligible for one certificate for ‘every megawatt generated’ (which is sloppy drafting in my opinion), but the text and the formula that I referred to explains that eligibility for the certificates is actually based on net power sent to the grid, not gross power generated. If you look thru the CER website you will find a page titled ‘LRET certificate formula’ or the like, and the worked example that I mentioned. This worked example clearly states that this hypothetical generator is eligible for 90 certificates ( I.e. two certificates per net MW) when it sends only a net 45 MW to the grid, after deducting various generator and transmission line losses. However if my understanding of the intention of the legislation is correct, the generator should be eligible for only one certificate per MW ‘delivered to the grid’, not two as the worked example shows. If the legislation meant that generators got certificates based on gross power generated as you suggest, there would be no need for the formula, would there?

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    • #
      Robber

      As I read that calculation, they are entitled to 45 certificates for the 45 MW they used internally as well as the 45 MW sent to the grid. Same as rooftop solar – calculation is on whole production from “renewables”.

      60

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        So, no double dipping, just normal rorting.

        40

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          It occurs to me there is another agenda at work for setting up panles – control.

          Smart meters can not only control your power consumption, but also your production out to the grid.
          If you have a large central power generator, its a lot harder to switch off power production, but if you can set it up so that any particular house can be shut down, and the householder is none the wiser if they are even generating power, you can blame the solar panels….

          It also allows the Elite to control every house – if youre a bad boy and dont tug your forelock to the green nazis, they may shut off your house…..

          Old Intelligence maxim – compartmentalize for control….

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Islamic financing then? Charging interest is forbidden, asking for repayment of double isn’t

          40

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    MSM slow news day…hysteria No. 2

    “IPCC” must be the MSM’s “Word of the Day” daily competition…..

    Has anyone told them to heat oceans from the air contact, it would make the air we breath so hot to dump that much energy into the ocean we’d all likely be dead anyway?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-01-11/ocean-warming-accelerating-faster-than-thought-science/10693080

    “he rate of ocean warming today has accelerated significantly since 1991, and is increasing much faster than previously recorded, according to a new study of ocean temperature research.

    Key points:

    * Missing historical data has meant that previous ocean-warming estimates were conservative
    * The Argo temperature measuring network now provides extremely detailed ocean heat records
    * Warming oceans could rise an extra 30cm by 2100 as they expand
    * Higher sea-level rise and more extreme tropical cyclones are just some of the consequences forecast as ocean temperatures increase.

    “Argo — a global system of satellite-linked ocean temperature measuring devices — has allowed researchers to better calculate our ocean warming trajectory.

    “The results published in Science today show that previous ocean warming data has significantly undercalculated how steep that trajectory is, according to study co-author Zeke Hausfather from the University of California.
    “Our best estimate is that the rate of warming since the 1970s is about 40 per cent faster than was reported in the estimates published in the last IPCC report,” Dr Hausfather said.
    In the period between 1991 to 2010, the ocean warmed, on average, more than five times faster than in the 1971 to 1990 period, according to the research.”

    “When water heats up, it expands. Under worst-case-scenario projections, the expansion of the oceans due to warming will add around 30 centimetres to sea-level rise by 2100.”

    “That’s on top of the sea-level rise that will be caused by melting ice caps.

    “This latest analysis, headed by Lijing Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, looked at four different studies published since 2013, that used improved statistical and analytical methods to estimate historic warming.
    Each of these studies independently came to the same conclusion, according to Dr Hausfather.
    “There’s been four different estimates of ocean-heat content published since the 2013 IPCC report,” he said.
    “They all show more warming than previous projections.” “

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    • #
      Another Ian

      “They all show more warming than previous projections.”

      All the “more wronger” then

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      More ocean warming?

      Could there be two modes of heating besides atmospheric?

      It’s a known and very obvious fact that the Earth’s core is cooling.

      Core temperature is, in Donald Trump’s way of speaking, very very, extremely hot!

      The crust provides some insulation so that the temperature loss from the core is low, maybe 4 watts per square metre.
      Our bodies, by comparison, give out say 25 watts over roughly the same surface area.

      So there is some energy transfer to the ocean.

      Then we have the rends in the ocean floor where magma pushes out at rates that probably equate to the heat flow of a thousand steelmaking blast furnaces.

      Man is indeed puny compared with nature and being led by the ignorant or greedy makes us even more vulnerable.

      KK

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      • #
        Slithers

        So all that CO2 lives a double life!

        The effect on the troposphere temperature increase as calculated by the total CO2 emissions.

        The effect on the Ocean surface temperature warming as calculated by the Total CO2 emissions.

        Oh and don’t forget the ocean acidification also caused by the total CO2 emissions.

        Methinks they cannot lie straight in bed(sic)!

        20

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Steve that study is crap.
      Why ? Well the reasons are outlined already by Keith.
      Water heats from below not much from above.

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    • #
      dinn rob

      for a survey of popular myths of climate change: https://plantsneedco2.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=371

      40

    • #
      RickWill

      This story is a beat-up. The paper arrives at a heat input of up to 0.8W/sq.m. !

      Spend just a few seconds to appreciate how insignificant this imbalance is. We have this “massive” thermal imbalance of 0.8W over a 2000m deep column of water 1 meter square. Over a year that “massive” heat source will increase the temperature of the column by an average of 0.003C. So if this imbalance persists for the next 1000 years the oceans would end up being 3C warmer. It has to be significantly higher power input than 0.8W to get anywhere near scary within a hundred years.

      I have a model that predicts future warming based on the rise in ocean temperature since 1950 relying on the single assumption that all the measured warming to date is entirely due to the increase in CO2. The model also extrapolates the recent linear increase in CO2 until doubled 1850 level then stops increasing:
      https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgnXLo5LnjuHhohGM
      or continues at current rate till it triples:
      https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgndJfO2SWEmL3C2o
      or continues at current rate till it quintuples:
      https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgnZ_eYO8tDv9Ufro

      In all cases the present day thermal imbalance is 0.8W/sq.m. If CO2 is constrained to only double from the 1850 level of 285ppm then the thermal imbalance peaks at 1.4W/sq.m around 2070 when the CO2 levels out. That locks in a balmy 0.8C increase in average ocean temperature.

      The chart that shows CO2 getting to 855ppm has a maximum imbalance of 1.4w/sq.m and the 5 fold increase in CO2 has a maximum imbalance on 1.8W/sq.m. Even in this improbable case the temperature manages only a modest 1.8C rise over 3 centuries.

      If CO2 is the sole driver in the increase in ocean temperature since 1950 then we should see the thermal imbalance increasing till 2070 providing CO2 continues to increase at the present rate. So Zettajoules may be a big scary number but Earth is a big place. It would take something bigger than Zettajoules to cause scary warming of the oceans; maybe Yottajoules could do it.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        There is actually no rational scientific mechanism by which enhanced atmospheric CO2 can cause the ocean to warm.

        Firstly, enhanced atmospheric CO2 does not warm the atmosphere.

        Secondly, a warmer atmosphere causes more evaporation, not more warming.

        Finally, evaporation actually cools the surface of the oceans.

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  • #
    pat

    then there’s this little problem – once again reported only in a local paper, despite the message being relevant to millions of Australians:

    8 Jan: Narrabri Courier: Fire prompts solar power warning
    If you’re not sure, get it checked
    Narrabri Fire and Rescue is suggesting that homeowners consider having their solar power checked after firefighters located a burnt-out solar panel isolator at a home in Balonne Street on Sunday afternoon.
    Narrabri Fire and Rescue Station Commander, Shane Bradford said the cause of Sunday’s incident was still being investigated but said the Station has received ‘numerous call-outs’ about solar panels in the last 18 months.
    “The word of warning is – if you’re not sure, it’s advisable to get a qualified solar electrician to make sure you don’t have a recalled product attached to your solar panels,” said Commander Bradford…

    “The owners were on-site and quite distraught with the amount of smoke coming off the house,” said Commander Bradford who attended the incident. Fire fighters quickly located the burnt-out, solar panel isolator that was connected to a string of panels mounted on the roof of the home.
    https://thecourier.net.au/news/fire-prompts-solar-power-warning/

    100

  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    Temperature in Athens overnight a balmy -23C
    Nothing to see here folk move along, move along……………

    140

  • #
    RickWill

    This is the latest from CSIRO:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwiyj43P1OTfAhUCWX0KHSLcDdcQFjABegQICRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.csiro.au%2F~%2Fmedia%2FNews-releases%2F2018%2FAnnual-update-finds-renewables-are-cheapest-new-build-power%2FGenCost2018.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1SZZNcFIJTX30plMf3a8_u
    The link downloads a pdf file.

    The table on page 28 has the comparisons. It shows wind and solar lower cost than coal and wind and solar with 2 hour buffer also lower cost than coal.

    To achieve this result, coal investment is encumbered with a 5% risk premium because coal combustion is a source of CO2 and it will likely be priced in the future. A 5% annual premium the investment is a huge burden when considering the life of coal generating plant.

    At least there is some recognition that storage has to be priced into the cost of intermittents. At 6 hours of storage, coal is ahead again. That means there is no prospect of going 100% intermittents being an economic proposition.

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    • #
      PeterS

      How silly can CSIRO be by neglecting to take into account the fact that roughly a thousand extra coal fired power stations are to be built over the foreseeable future around the world. We could shut down our inconsequential number of coal fired power stations today and the impact to the climate will be of course insignificant. People need to wake up to the insanity being perpetrated by the scientific community in the West, and they will be one day. The only question is will it be soon enough to avoid a crash and burn in our economy? I doubt it.

      70

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Hang on now…there is a shortage of pixie dust here in Oz, so the green power schemes wont function….

        50

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        I don’t even bother to read anything put out by the CSIRO or the various spokes groups commenting on electricity or CO2 related stuff. Tainted propaganda.

        Untrustworthy, the example given of Renewables being cheaper than coal fired. Sure, if you ignore the engineering imperatives of frequency control, subsidies on purchase of rooftop, and appalling economies of scale for all renewables.

        What governments think of the need to provide the basics to all citizens is amply demonstrated by the plight of the people of Menindee.
        Water , buy some at Cole’s.
        Electricity, get batteries at Bunnys.
        Petrol for your car: pay through the nose when it arrives back from the overseas refinery.
        Gas: if you’re lucky there’ll be a bit left for you to fill up the tank after the exporters have filled all contracts cheaper than what we get it for.

        Government? Or something more sinister.

        KK

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    • #

      Thanks Rick, I’m looking at Fig 2-2 page 7 – comparison of capital costs of storage. Batteries and PHES is often $1000/KWh (Kilowatt!)

      Though a few bars are very low.

      Modeled on 2 and 4 degree scenarios. Looks very dependent on a lot of assumptions

      Given the CSIRO and AEMO have an ideology that supports renewables it is hard to believe they could produce anything dispassionately neutral and useful.

      Is there any recognition in this report that other studes show that renewables make baseload suppliers 30% more expensive? That’s a LCOE that should be added to the intermittent generators not the baseload guys.

      I think actual bids for supply are more useful. The companies involved have to account for all the costs. Though the renewables ones are bidding with “invisible” subsidy help. But we can see in the bids that brown coal is insanely cheap at $30/MWh and nothing else gets close.

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      • #
        RickWill

        Section 4 is the first time I have seen any acknowledgement from this mob that an LCOE cost for intermittents that does not have a buffering element is meaningless. The section is headed:
        Focus topic A: LCOE and the need to extend methods to include system balancing costs

        Comparisons of LCOE are given for 2 hours of firm capacity as well as 6 hours. I would expect the 6 hour buffering would allow about 40% market share with baseload generation humming along without much variation on a daily basis. It is also worth noting that “firmed” solar is lower cost than firmed wind at both levels. The cost of 6 hour firm wind exceeds the cost of coal even with the coal hobbled by the risk premium. I have always determined that the cost of buffering wind is much higher than buffering solar because solar rarely goes missing for more than two days while wind can be zero or close to it for maybe 10 days.

        This is a big step forward in understanding of reality. It fundamentally acknowledges that anything above 50% market share for intermittents is going to get really expensive really fast.

        There is no allowance for curtailment in the capital cost for intermittents; rather they are just working on ambient capacity factors. This is absurd when curtailment is already a fact of life. On this topic, the new solar farms in Queensland are quickly realising their investments may be duds. The rapidly growing rooftop generators in Queensland are killing the lunchtime price for electricity in the cooler months. In fact wholesale price in Queensland went negative in June this year (Queensland becoming SA faster than I thought). There will not be any solar subsidy farm happy to pay to send out electricity. This highlights the problem of dealing with average capacity factors and average prices when there are reasons for certain patterns; like the sun rising in the sky each day. The abundance of solar generation has made lunchtime electricity prices very cheap or even negative.

        This report has a small dose of reality that earlier reports lacked. Given time we may see this mob realise high market share of intermittents will result in wholesale price up around $400/MWh. At present they are using silly “learning” trajectories to arrive at beyond optimistic costs. The cost trajectories are based in USD so that only holds for Australia if the exchange rate is comparable over the next 30 years. Unless USA gets back on its destructive path of the Obama years, there is a better than likely prospect of the AUD sliding much further.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      They ought to do the calculation for coal with 0% risk premium

      There is no proven risk from enhanced atmospheric CO2, it is all based on erroneous models and anti-science CON-jectures.

      I hope they have added the cost of dispatchable back-up supply to wind and solar.

      71

  • #
    John Robertson

    Coming soon in a dark humid room,lit by candles.
    “Mommy how did you read at night when you were young?”
    “Electric lights dear”.
    “Mommy, what does Air Conditioning mean?”.

    Oh well eventually we will realize our tolerance of fools and bandits,combined with a reluctance toward telling others how to live their lives,brought us to this state.
    Protecting fools from the the consequences of their actions has only created more fools.
    People dead set on stupid actions, must be banished to a prechosen site were they may demonstrate the utility of their “great ideas”.
    Where they must suffer the results personally, even to death..
    I am so tired of these do-gooders,who always want our money spent on their passion.
    No more,them first front and centre.

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  • #
    pat

    Brian the Engineer comment #19 -

    it wasn’t Athens that recorded -23C:

    Updated 9 Jan: Reuters: Athens gets snow as Greece shivers in record cold spell
    by Michele Kambas
    ***In northern Greece, where an all-time low of -23 degrees Celsius (-9 Fahrenheit) was recorded in the city of Florina, highways, rail and bus services were disrupted…
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-weather/athens-gets-snow-as-greece-shivers-in-cold-spell-idUSKCN1P20NR

    btw, very few articles on the freezing weather in Europe & surrounds mention any temperatures at all:

    10 Jan: UK Express: Greece FREEZES OVER: Europe battles CRIPPLING cold weather as 16 pronounced DEAD
    ATHENS is the latest country to be gripped by a crippling sub-zero wave of cold weather blitzing mainland Europe, with hundreds of European flights cancelled amid 16 reported deaths from chilling weather conditions across the continent.
    By Joe Gamp
    Greece has been subjected to –23C temperatures as Athenians woke up to snow on Thursday and discovered the city’s ancient monuments covered with snow. The country is the latest to the feel the bite of subzero winter conditions as Europe is battered by a devastating winter storm…
    Greece’s neighbour Cyprus has been drenched by heavy rain and snow – while parts of Istanbul have also received snowfall.

    Heavier than usual snowfall in the Alps has promoted ski resorts to close over 1,000 miles of ski slopes and around 450 lifts due to the dangerous conditions.
    Hundreds more flights are due to be delayed or cancelled this week…

    Dutch airline KLM was forced to cancel at least 159 European flights to and from Amsterdam Schipol airport.
    BBC weather has issued a red weather warning for south-eastern areas of Germany and Austria, as the Alps reported over 10ft of snow had settled, claiming the lives of many in the area…
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/1070306/greece-snow-athens-cold-weather-warning-europe-deaths-freezing-temperatures

    50

  • #
    pat

    10 Jan: AP: Parts of Austria, southern Germany sink deeper into snow
    Heavy snowfall continued Thursday in parts of Austria and southern Germany, with several places cut off and the bad weather expected to persist. Snow was causing problems in other parts of Europe, even in Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

    Austrian police said that a 16-year-old boy from Australia was killed in an avalanche in St. Anton am Arlberg as he was skiing with his family on Wednesday.

    In neighboring Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old man was killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains. A 7-year-old child was killed in Aying, near Munich, by a falling tree. German news agency dpa reported that police believe the tree was weighed down by snow.
    That brought to at least 17 the number of weather-related deaths reported in Europe over the past week…

    Several railway lines in the Alps were closed because of the snow, trucks and cars got stuck for hours on a highway in southwestern Germany and schools were closed in parts of Bavaria ETC ETC…
    https://www.apnews.com/54547606bd5144b99d837439a1f8af5b

    10 Jan: ClimateDepot: Climate scientist retires, then declares ‘I am a skeptic’ – Offers to debate – Rejects ‘denier’ label: ‘We don’t live in medieval times’
    Dr. Anastasios Tsonis, emeritus distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Authored more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and nine books:
    ‘I am a skeptic not just about global warming but also about many other aspects of science…Climate is too complicated to attribute its variability to one cause. We first need to understand the natural climate variability (which we clearly don’t; I can debate anybody on this issue). Only then we can assess the magnitude and reasons of climate change.’
    ‘If science were settled, then we should pack things up and go home.’

    ‘It is my educated opinion that many forces have shaped global temperature variation. Human activity, the oceans, extraterrestrial forces (solar activity and cosmic rays) and other factors are all in the mix…We should be skeptical of claims that the science of a complicated and unpredictable system is settled.’…ETC
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2019/01/10/climate-scientist-retires-then-declares-i-am-a-skeptic-offers-to-debate-rejects-denier-label-we-dont-live-in-medieval-times/

    50

  • #
    pat

    praise in Dec:

    19 Dec 2018: CleanEnergyWire: Significant drop in energy use pushes down German emissions in 2018
    Germany’s energy-related CO₂ emissions dropped by more than six percent year-on-year as the country consumed “significantly” less energy in 2018, but with a greater share of renewables than last year, said energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). Increased fuel prices, mild weather and better energy efficiency were the main reasons that pushed German energy consumption to the lowest level since the early 1970s. While consumption of energy produced from renewable sources increased slightly, all fossil sources contributed less to the country’s energy mix than in 2017…
    Germany’s total energy consumption of 12,900 petajoules in 2018 (-5 percent) still depended almost 60 percent on oil and gas, most of which has to be imported…
    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/significant-drop-energy-use-pushes-down-german-emissions-2018

    shock in January:

    9 Jan: Bloomberg: Germany’s Industry Shock Raises Specter of Economic Recession
    by Carolynn Look
    A dramatic plunge in German industrial activity late last year raised the risk that Europe’s largest economy will slip into recession.
    Production fell for a third month in November and posted its worst year-on-year drop since the end of the financial crisis, with weakness in everything from consumer goods to energy…
    Moreover, struggles among carmakers in adapting to new emissions-testing procedures have failed to fully wear off…

    10 Jan: UK Express: Europe IN CRISIS: Are France and Germany on BRINK of major RECESSION?
    GERMANY and France, Europe’s two major economies are facing a collapse in industrial production, but are the countries on the brink of a recession?
    By Amani Hughes
    Germany is on the brink of a recession after a shock plunge in industrial output. Industrial production in Europe’s financial powerhouse dropped by 1.9 percent in November and by -4.6 percent year-on-year – the biggest drop since the 2008 crisis. And Germany’s exports fell by -0.4 percent month over month in November, the government reported on Wednesday.

    The country has the largest economy in Europe, so a detrimental decrease in its economy, can have a knock-on impact on other countries, such as France, Italy and Greece.
    Greece is still struggling to recover from its debt crisis and Italy is likely already in a recession…
    The collapse of Germany industry was so steep and so sudden that Vistesen said he believed the data was inaccurate.
    He told clients: “The crash in the year-over-year rate is far in excess of anything remotely believable, at least using survey data as a yardstick.”

    Not only is the Germany economy faltering, but French data pointed to a slow down in production as well.
    Data showed a 1.3 percent fall in industry output in November, which left production down an annual 2.1 percent, the most in four years.

    The fall could in part be attributed to the yellow vest protests as consumer spending was affected by the numerous road and shop closures triggered by the demonstrations…
    Experts predict another contradiction (contraction?) in the fourth quarter because of the ‘yellow vest’ crisis and its rising impact on domestic demand…
    https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1070176/Germany-news-recession-finance-Europe-German-economy-forecast-Angela-Merkel-eurozone

    10 Jan: UK Express: Germany recession ‘NOW LIKELY’ – Berlin hit with SHOCK economic forecast
    By Levi Winchester
    One of the major stumbling blocks for the German economy is understood to have been disruption to levels of car production.
    New pollution tests that were introduced back in September are thought to have dented finances after some car models were not given enough time to approve new registration, forcing manufacturers to throttle production…

    50

    • #
      pat

      to be fair – the rebuttals:

      10 Jan: EuroNews: Reuters: Germany is not heading towards recession – Altmaier
      by Michael Nienaber
      The German economy is not heading towards recession, but the government is discussing fiscal measures to support growth, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier was quoted as saying on Thursday…
      “For nine years now, we had moderate and healthy growth rates without overheating and the economy will continue to grow this year,” Altmaier said…
      Altmaier called for lower corporate taxes to help companies, but he admitted that he had yet to convince Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.
      “It makes sense now to set incentives for growth,” Altmaier said. “The economy needs a tailwind in order to be stronger in the future, to create jobs and growth.”
      https://www.euronews.com/2019/01/10/germany-is-not-heading-towards-recession-altmaier

      8 Jan: Bloomberg: Germany Isn’t Floundering, Despite the Data
      The car industry’s regulatory problems are still the biggest reason why the country’s economy isn’t growing as it should.
      By Leonid Bershidsky
      The German government reported a 1.9 percent month-on-month drop in industrial production, the biggest since August 2015. Much of that decrease is explained by a 4.1 percent decline in consumer goods production, a catastrophic-looking number not seen in the last seven years. That slump was likely determined by a huge drop in auto sales. The car industry generates 20 percent of total domestic industrial revenue, and new car registrations in Germany tumbled 9.9 percent in November from the year-earlier period.

      This development dwarfs other factors that determined the dismal industrial growth numbers in November, a convenient gap between a public holiday and the first weekend of the month and unusually warm weather that necessitated less energy production. It stems from something called the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), a new European emissions test that became obligatory in September. It’s a more stringent test than the old one, and uses actual driving data, rather than laboratory simulations. German companies were woefully unprepared for this. They had to stop offering dozens of models because of certification and retrofitting issues…

      The WLTP fiasco has laid bare serious problems within the German auto industry. For too long, it has enjoyed political protection while treating environmental standards as no more than a regulatory nuisance; some companies, such as Volkswagen AG, have paid billions in fines after being caught cheating their emissions tests. But the problem goes beyond VW case: All German carmakers should have seen stricter regulation coming…READ ON
      https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-08/germany-isn-t-floundering-despite-the-industrial-production-data

      it’s still CAGW policies re vehicle emissions which have caused a downturn in the auto industry.

      40

  • #
    Hivemind

    Am I allowed to say, “I told you so”, yet? I predicted blackouts of industry and consumers in August. The only sensible response industry can make is to leave Australia, which has started.

    130

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yup…kangaroos, numpties and ” Neighbours” will all thats left….

      Sad but true…reverting back to a subsistance economy a la 1788….

      70

  • #
    Slithers

    How do they justify such rubbish!

    From http://www.csiro.au
    GenCost2018.pdf
    2.2….

    Unlike Battery storage which is modular and SOMEWHAT indifferent to the project site!

    My capitals and !

    So I can install a huge solar farm and battery storage system out beyond the Black Stump with no hope of ever connecting it to the grid, but the capital cost of that useless installation can be used to compare with other generating systems. The cost of placing it handy to a major grid substation or erecting significant power lines to the grid need not be considered in this relative cost analysis.

    Who in CSIRO puts their name to these pronouncements and are they accountable?

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The Cause….Comrade….the Cause….

      When madness runs rampant through previous esteemed institutions, thier internal collapse cant be far behind.

      How can a house divided, stand?

      80

  • #
    Hanrahan

    At the time, 870 MW of power was flowing from QLD to NSW………

    NSW was constantly importing this much, often > 1 G. Tony told us that they had a number of gen sets off-line for maintenance but that never explained, to me, why this high importation was so constant. Thermal generation seemed to drop as demand dropped, not stay constant thus reducing their imports.

    It always looked as if they were playing ducks and drakes with certificates, working a sc@m, if you will.

    But the big picture lesson to be learned is that relying too much on interconnectors introduces another risk factor. Each state should meet most of it’s own demand.

    80

    • #
      Another Ian

      Hanrahan

      IIRC this power only reaches into northern NSW and doesn’t spread over the whole state

      40

      • #
        Hanrahan

        IIRC this power only reaches into northern NSW and doesn’t spread over the whole state

        The way I read this article disproves that. Destroy one part of the grid, the whole grid falls over.

        40

      • #
        AndyG55

        And yet NSW is more often than not feeding to Victoria, at a somewhat reduced amount than is being fed from Qld.

        Queensland is basically carrying the Eastern states (including SA)

        70

      • #
        beowulf

        Ian, by supplying a goodly chunk of the northern NSW demand, that QLD power frees up Hunter Valley power to be shunted south to Sydney or wherever. It doesn’t matter that a given electron doesn’t make it all the way from Rockhampton power station down to Wagga, it’s the knock-on effect throughout the grid that counts.

        As you say Hanrahan, NSW is almost constantly importing 1GW — give or take — from QLD. As I write this at 9am on a mild Saturday morning NSW is sucking 720MW out of QLD and a lot of NSW power stations are sitting back taking it easy. I’m guessing QLD power must be cheaper than the local NSW product. At present QLD is also feeding power via NSW to VIC, TAS and SA.

        The relative cost structures of the mines supplying the steaming coal must play a large part in the cost of the power — which is why VIC’s brown coal power was so cheap. A lot of the Hunter power stations are supplied from underground mines which I imagine would have higher production costs than shallow QLD open cut deposits. Certainly all of Eraring and Vales Point coal is from underground sources and much of Bayswater and Liddell was too in my time. When Vales Point is revamped and updated their plan is to rail coal down from Gunnedah about 350km away by rail, as I think their local mines are just about worked out. That’ll be a high cost operation.

        60

        • #
          Hanrahan

          The way you say that, and I’ve always believed this, NSW makes more profit on the arbitrage than Qld does generating. But Qld has the jobs and the royalties. :)

          50

  • #
    Hanrahan

    The butterfly effect is thus proven.

    50

  • #
    Antoine D'Arche

    Guys working at the coal fired local power station tell me I would be scared by the how often and by how much things nearly fall apart. I believe them.

    60

    • #
      AndyG55

      A friend of mine works at Ausgrid, he has said they have to work much harder than they used to, to keep the grid stable.

      Erratic back supply and load from solar rooftop is one of the main issues. Can change from feed-in to feed-out over very short periods, causing all sorts of frequency and synchronisation issues.

      Often on a knife edge of total failure.

      40

  • #
    Greebo

    I have only two questions:1: Is there a given definition of “Fragile”, and; 2; If so, who defines it?

    Seems to me that obfuscation is a serious problem….. as always, when politicians are involved.

    30

  • #
    Albery Moray

    Stumbled across this [snip] web site today by accident. Thanks for the laughs. :)

    [If you think so then say why. You don't get to make such a claim without supporting evidence] ED

    11

  • #
    Terry Hill

    Wow, so many comments, so little time.

    Did a quick search for direct current (DC) (1), batteries (7), Microgrids (0). Why such a narrow focus. Shame on u.

    11

  • #
    Robber

    Summer heat test for the AEMO grid. This evening the peak demand forecast is 31 GW due 35C plus hot weather in Vic/SA. Previous high this month was 29.8 GW on Jan 4.
    What’s the betting that there will be some “demand management”?

    50

    • #
      Robber

      It’s only lunchtime, demand per AEMO is 26 GW, plus about 5 GW of rooftop solar, only 0.65 GW of wind, and prices are at $185/MWhr in Vic/SA, above $100 in other States, with evening peaks forecast to be over $10,000 in Vic/SA with peak demand 31.2 GW.
      With more hot weather tomorrow, AEMO has forecast capacity reserve requirement of 967 MW for Victoria, the minimum capacity reserve available is 717 MW, with peak grid demand 33.7 GW.
      AEMO is seeking a market response. Nothing to see here except a stressed grid. Some users will probably be paid to reduce usage, and the rest of us will pay.

      20

      • #
        Robber

        The AEMO roller coaster is climbing toward the late afternoon peak, and 30 minute prices are above $250/MWhr in NSW/Vic/SA.
        Wind is currently delivering 0.9 GW, large solar 1.2 GW, hydro 3.2 GW, black coal 14.8 GW, brown coal 4.1 GW, and gas 5.2 GW.

        10

        • #
          AndyG55

          Looks like Tassie is reaping in the funds from its hydro.

          Hope they have plenty of water left afterwards.

          No problems down there, the diesel gens are still in place.

          SA $320, Vic $340, NSW on $299.6, Qld $107.. Tassie minus $70 !!!!!

          20

        • #
          Robber

          Very interesting – couple of hot days, and no evidence of the duck curve?
          Demand just seems to climb from 4am low to 6pm peak other than in Tassie. How odd. Where has that midday rooftop solar gone?

          20

  • #
    Lance

    No surprise at all. Thermal synchronous generators have 4 tools to apply with respect to stabilizing the grid.

    1. Automatic Voltage Control. ie, “tap changers” to switch voltage up or down in 2% steps, not more than 20% total swing.

    2. Load shedding. Dump the load and stabilize the grid. Works for everyone but the clients.

    3. Automatic Frequency Control. ie, throttling a turbine genset by opening and closing poppet valves at the steam chest to increase or decrease turbine torque as reflected by the alternator field stator or rotor winding voltage feedback and line frequency.

    4. Reactive power injection or absorption. Tweaking the excitation of a designated swing unit alternator rotor/stator to inject or absorb reactive power to stabilize grid voltage.

    Unreliables, in the large, cannot do any of these things. Specially designed inverters can mimic some degree of voltage or frequency stability, but not enough to affect the outcome. Inverter supplied power cannot effectively compensate for reactive power injection or absorption.

    When the “non dispatchable”, “non synchronous”, generators exceed the capacity of the synchronous, dispatchable, generation, the probability of blackout grid conditions approaches 100% because no recourse is available in sufficient quantity or timeliness, or controllability to compensate for instability exceeding the predetermined required responses of the system. In other words, if the response plan wasn’t already in place, it is already too late and the ramping rates of non dispatchable generators don’t play into any rationally solveable trip conditions.

    Once the non dispatchable generators exceed 45% or so of grid load, there isn’t any way to back them up in a reliable way. The dice are in play.

    Two things collapse a normally stable grid. Voltage collapse and Frequency Collapse. They happen in seconds to minutes. With either situation, the amperage demanded by the load approaches infinity as either variable approaches zero. Alternative generation (unreliable non dispatchable generation) can’t help with either situation, especially in the time window required. If this is inaccurate, prove it wrong with an actual load flow analysis.

    One may wax on about how things might be theoretically different given some fantastic scheme of “yet to be provided” batteries, smart grids, and so forth. But. Imaginary solutions do not apply to real time problems and ought not be relied upon prior to their proven existence.

    Precisely and exactly, what is the written “black start” procedure from the AEMO? One might think that would be of inestimable interest.

    How does one know the probable success of something that has never been tried and hopefully never will be?

    Shall we roll those dice and see what happens? Apparently, many governments think we should. I’m not so certain of that. What do they do if the game goes wrong? Apologize?

    Many things are in play. How sad the actual power engineers aren’t consulted at least as often as the politicians and salesmen seen to be.

    30

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