JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Jeopardy: What happens when your single largest generator is uncontrolled and coordinated by clouds? Watch Western Australia

Western Australia is a giant experiment: Even the Energy Experts are saying solar is  jeopardizing the grid — it’s “dumb”

Solar Panels, Western Australia.

Watch this space — blackout coming, 3 years and counting…

Western Australia, WA. Map.The Western Australian grid is a separate island from the rest of the nation. It’s roughly a 2.5 GW system for 2.5 million people. WA is getting into trouble faster than nearly anywhere else. Solar PV is now up to …. something larger than 850MW (which is the size of the coal fired generator). The ABC doesn’t tell us what the real figure is (according to the AEMO it’s around 1300MW, and growing at 120MW a year). There are no interconnectors to rescue WA, just the taxpayer or hapless electricity consumer.

Unreliable solar is now the largest single generator in the Western Australian grid. It’s not only bad because there are no other states to dump the excess energy on, or to save the state, but despite the vast size nearly everyone lives within 100 kms (60 miles). So when the sun peaks for one it nearly peaks for all. When the clouds roll over, especially when those nice north-south aligned fronts roll in, it covers most of the infrastructure in minutes.

This could be fun (but not for Western Australians).

Now he tells us?

The rise of solar power is jeopardising the WA energy grid, and it’s a lesson for all of Australia

Daniel Mercer, ABC News

It is a cautionary tale for the rest of the country of how the delicate balancing act that is power grid management can be severely destabilised by what experts refer to as a “dumb solar” approach. “We talk about ‘smart’ this and ‘smart’ that these days,” said energy expert Adam McHugh, an honorary research associate at Perth’s Murdoch University.

“Well, solar at the moment is ‘dumb’ in Western Australia. We need to make it smart.”

Adam McHugh’s an “Energy Expert” at a uni, so his solution involves more centralized control and more dumb money. Apparently, we need to control people’s solar panels, and install “smart” batteries. Jo thinks we don’t need smart batteries, we need smart politicians, and smart academics. We need a smart grid — one that isn’t trying to control the weather, just to keep the lights on.

Now High and Low-demand days are both risky: “congrats”

It used to be that peak summer and winter were the headache days for the AEMO, now they get to worry about fine days in spring and autumn too. Some “achievement”.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which runs WA’s wholesale electricity market (WEM), said the islanded nature of the grid in WA made it particularly exposed to the technical challenges posed by solar.

AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said these challenges tended to be most acute when high levels of solar output coincided with low levels of demand — typically on mild, sunny days in spring or autumn when people were not using air conditioners.

As random solar drives out the cheap reliable coal, the WA grid is headed for the intractable bind where solar destroys the thing that allows people to afford and run solar.

In other achievements we gained random unneeded electricity and lost “flexibility”:

“We’ve never worried about a system around low demand. You’re always worried about the highest periods of the summer.

“What we’re recognising now is that the flexibility we need in the system is one [issue] that we have to think about — how do we integrate solar and storage better? And these are new problems that we have to solve.”

Death by duck curve?

Duck Curve

The Duck Curve ocurrs in the middle of the day and gets fatter as more solar is added. The ramp up in the evening gets steeper  and more expensive.  This is the advanced Californian Duck Curve (above), but the WA one will be following…

Rolling blackouts possible within three years

In a “clarion call” earlier this year, AEMO said that if nothing was done to safeguard the grid, there was a credible danger of rolling blackouts from as early as 2022 as soaring levels of renewable energy periodically overwhelmed the system.

At worst, AEMO warned there was a “real risk” of a system-wide blackout.

It’s not just the voltage at risk, the state finances are too

The glorious State machine is driving it’s own state-owned energy company out of business.

The onslaught of renewable energy in WA has cut a swathe through the finances of state-owned electricity provider Synergy.

In September, the utility handed down a massive $657 million loss for the 12 months to June 30, the biggest reverse ever recorded by a government enterprise in WA.

So federal rules that steal money from non-solar consumers (through the RET scheme) helped people buy solar which dumped the cost on non-solar owners. This forced the price of electricity up, making even more people choose solar in order to afford electricity. Now running the grid — which most solar homes are totally dependent on — is more inefficient, which costs more, and either state taxpayers will pay, or non-solar electricity consumers will.

The Government is taking this seriously, they say, they’ve “launched a series of reviews”:

While Mr Johnston said he would be guided by the recommendations of the Government-appointed energy transformation taskforce, he acknowledged there were a few obvious changes that could be made to improve WA’s electricity system.

One was removing antiquated regulations that acted as a barrier to investment in storage capacity, such as community or grid-scale batteries.

How about we remove antiquated regulations that stop consumers from buying electricity from wherever they want to? How about we stop destroying the free market? How about we start charging solar customers fairer prices for the grid stability, both in voltage, frequency, and in back up power that they so depend on? This won’t seem at all fair to solar consumers who were sold something under false pretenses, so how about we figure out who’s accountable for making those decisions?

How about we  immediately stop people adding more solar power problems to the grid unless they go “off-grid”?

h/t Dave B, Steve, George, Bemused.

REFERENCE

The AEMO page on Western Australian Grid: The Statement of Opportunities for the WEMS 2019, see , fig 8, page 26 for the solar capacity.

No doubt some readers will find some interesting data there. Someone’s got to watch WA.

“This PV capacity is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 7.6% (122 MW per year), with higher uptake expected in the early years of the outlook period, to reach an estimated 2,500 MW installed by 2028-29.”

 

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Rating: 9.6/10 (62 votes cast)
Jeopardy: What happens when your single largest generator is uncontrolled and coordinated by clouds? Watch Western Australia, 9.6 out of 10 based on 62 ratings

139 comments to Jeopardy: What happens when your single largest generator is uncontrolled and coordinated by clouds? Watch Western Australia

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I’d be buying a genny if I lived in any other state than QLD .

    170

    • #
      a happy little debunker

      After the 2011 debacle over water storage are you really gunna trust your electricity supply?

      120

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      We’ve got a genny and I don’t want to use it for this. An awful hassle.

      And when we did have a big blackout, caused by a big windstorm, I couldn’t get petrol for it because all the servos in town were shut by the blackout.

      90

      • #
        yarpos

        Put a small electric fuel pump on a block of wood and pump fuel from a car tank to a container. Put an enclosed switch in the 12v line near the battery to avoid any sparking near where fuel is flowing.

        20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I already do….and a backup camping fridge….

      And i have the capability to build a flash boiler / steam engine genset ( from scratch )should things drag on, so im good…

      81

    • #

      I’ve been considering that for a long time, but there’s the issues of connecting it to the home and setting it up so that the mains gets disconnected when the genny starts up. The costs involved and regulations to enable it make it a really difficult decision.

      So what’s WA going to do, install generators everywhere like SA, or batteries? The former negates any thought about abating CO2 and the latter introduces another unreliable and massive potential point of failure to the system. Both add phenomenal cost over their lifetimes.

      150

      • #
      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Talking to non technical friends on thecweekend, they just dont get the technical issues involved…the media vomits up the lies it usually does about battteries and wind, i tried hard to say the whole grid needs to be nanaged carefully…lasted about 10 secondsxand subject was changed.

        The likely way most people will learn, will be when blackours start. The way the Elite will learn os when the bulk of the population go hunting for them….

        I suspect its not going to be pretty….

        190

        • #

          Regular blackouts will be the only thing to wake people up to this folly. We already live with constant planned and unplanned blackouts and have contingency plans in place, but when these blackout start hitting those in the burbs, only then people will start to scream.

          I look forward to watching the government scramble to make excuses.

          180

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Greta a day late…..How dare they!!

          Presumably when she gets to dry land, she will need to take a donkey overland…..about all the horsepower she might truly need, truth be told….

          I’m bored with this very very clumsy and amateur theatre now…..and I wonder when the ABC wont be spruiking what is now completely laughable climate nonsense , and get back to actual news?

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-02/greta-thunberg-late-cop25-climate-meeting-madrid/11758518

          “Greta Thunberg is running late to the COP 25 climate meeting in Madrid, Spain, after hitching a ride with an Australian couple travelling the world by boat so she would make it on time.

          “Ms Thunberg broke the news of her late arrival to the conference of the parties on Monday: “We’re speeding towards Europe!

          “”Estimated time of arrival right now is Tuesday morning [local time]. We’ll be arriving at Doca de Alcantara, Lisbon. We are all looking forward to see you there!”

          “The first day of the conference, slated to run until December 13, saw UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres declare “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”.

          20

      • #
        yarpos

        I had generator wiring put in last year , from memory it was about $600. Manual changeover , quite simple to operate.

        10

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Also the over voltage problems with too many solar panels must be causing grief to some appliances / computer equipment surely?

    140

    • #
      Seb

      The thing is that virtually no solar homes are actually using their solar energy independently … They all have to be connected to the grid, so the grid can take excess solar energy when there’s too much and make up the difference when there’s too little. If people tried to connect their panels directly to their appliances then those appliances would be screwed.

      100

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        The inverters should provide a regulated output voltage , and as lings asbirs not too high the sppliances should be ok. Fridges are a problem as a lot of them ned 7x rated current to start and a lot of inverters arent rated for that. The whole mess is designed to be grid connected.

        110

      • #
        yarpos

        I think Robert was talking about many solar insrallations competing for feed in and driving voltage high. They do but only to a point.In my little town voltage is 240 at night and 250 on a sunny day

        40

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Yes Yarpos that’s what I was trying to point out , I know know why I’ve burned out so many battery chargers and blown up so many pumps .
          Pumps usually blow the capacitor .

          20

    • #
      Revo

      I have been recording the supply voltage at my location in NSW (east coast) and am finding that during weekdays when demand is low the voltage climbs to over 250 volts (the Standards specify that the max. voltage on a 230V system is -6% +10%). Our area has a reasonably high take-up of solar with many houses putting on 6kW solar panels with more continue to be added. Checking the characteristics of a few solar inverters it appears that they are supposed to trip if the voltage gets above 255 Volts and so the economic justification based on feeding power back to the grid will probably not be achieved.

      110

      • #
        ivan

        Revo, I think you will find the 250v+ that you are seeing is the output from the solar panel inverters feeding the grid local loop. Steam powered generators don’t do that.

        60

        • #
          Revo

          Ivan, It certainly is the output of the inverters because the voltage increase correlates closely with the sun’s intensity, ie high on a sunny day and low on a cloudy day. I am not far from the distribution transformer that provides supply (less than 100 meters) and I suspect that houses further away will probably see a greater voltage fluctuation due to line impedance. Although I have solar hot water heating I could not justify solar PV without a reasonable Feed-in Tariff and so have decided not to install them.

          100

  • #
    Slithers

    How about we spend a few billion and build an interconnector to SA and another few billion and build an interconnector to the NT. Then all Australians can benefit from the peak hour generation in each state. Economy of scale, good time zone differences, green job creation, a ready market for the Portland aluminum smelter, what could be simpler!
    Sarc/ off

    190

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      What could be simpler? Not building interconnectors.
      Having forced up the cost of electricity with renewables, the SA “government”** wants someone to pay for an interconnector to the back blocks of NSW, where no-one wants those sudden surges or those long periods of no supply, nor the inhabitants of SA who can figure out that supplying an outlet (with money) which eliminates periods of low prices, thus forcing up the average cost.

      ** It must be admitted that public opinion thinks that several members of the local Cabinet might get a job as a sales assistant at one of the retail chains still operating in the State. Usually they are rated as slightly below the Pandas in the zoo who eat quantities and haven’t reproduced in over 10 years.

      140

      • #
        Maptram

        And lets not forget, because of time zone and daylight saving differences, interconnectors with WA could increase the time spread of problems in the eastern states

        70

    • #
      Latus Dextro

      Cheaper to pay every solar owner to disconnect from the grid and buy themselves a battery?
      An ad hoc solution to an ad hoc experiment.

      100

    • #
      yarpos

      I really want to see the NT Singapore interconnector project take off. That should absorb a fair bit of excess wealth.

      20

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Apologies, O/T:

    “Melbourne is only forecast to reach 15 degrees on Sunday, which is nine degrees below average for December. If the temperature stays below 15.5 degrees between 9am on Sunday and 9am on Monday, it will be the city’s coldest first day of summer in 164 years of records.”

    http://www.farmonlineweather.com.au/news/melbournes-wintry-start-to-summer/530590

    BoM, forecast December 2: http://www.bom.gov.au

    170

  • #

    What if the waste, inefficiency and frustration were the whole point?

    And if there were alternative power sources that did NOT involve waste, inefficiency and frustration? My guess is that there would be no interest shown.

    The whole point of rooftop schemes, wind, Big Battery, Timmy’s Geothermia, wave gennies etc etc is that they cost heaps and work like vintage Trabants in mud. Let me count the ways…non-hydro renewables are diffuse, intermittent, expensive, feeble, unreliable, perishable, incompatible antiques. Oh, and you have to import them, probably from a country which made them using our coal. And you have to import the diesel and the gennies, just in case. (Got yours yet?) And oh, renewables totally mess with the grid.

    So they’re perfect for purpose!

    What? You think Globalism will come into full flower if there is a large and expanding middle class full of those pesky aspirationals who expect lights to come on every time they flick a switch? That’s so totally 1920s.

    370

    • #
      Seb

      star comment
      Why would you need electricity for more than 4 hours a day? That’s just greedy.

      270

    • #

      Did someone mention third world?

      Changes in climate policies, new technologies and growing physical risks will prompt reassessments of the values of virtually every financial asset. Firms that align their business models to the transition to a net zero world will be rewarded handsomely. Those that fail to adapt will cease to exist. The longer meaningful adjustment is delayed, the greater the disruption will be.

      To develop the essential climate risk management skills and techniques, the Bank of England has just set out its supervisory expectations for the governance, management and disclosure of these risks by the banks and insurers in the world’s leading international financial centre. And the Bank will be the first regulator to stress test its financial system against different climate pathways, including the catastrophic business as usual scenario and the ideal—but still challenging—transition to net zero by 2050 consistent with the UK’s legislated objective.

      The above is from the address given by the Governor of the Bank of England at the same UN summit where Greta got so much attention.

      I don’t know why management-speak is so much creepier coming from a triple passport-holder. But when you are presiding over the comedy of negative interest rates and a whole world gone sub-prime I guess a good Bilderberger like Mark Carney needs all the verbal claptrap he can muster.

      Stress-test the Bank’s financial system against different climate pathways? Sure. Why not? By the time anyone works out what that means there’ll be a whole new glossary of buzz-words to serve up before the lobster sandwiches and Cristal.

      It can’t be stressed enough. The cosmopolitan people who centralised production in a vast Communist slave state (currency down!) and who centralised consumption in what was supposed to be the opposite of a Communist slave state (currency up!) are beginning to show their hand. Actually, it’s more a claw than a hand.

      140

  • #
    George4

    “Solar Surge” special report on ABC TV news tonight looks at the challenge of so much solar in SA.
    https://iview.abc.net.au/show/abc-news-nsw
    20:24

    100

    • #

      That was bizarre. They started talking about WA but ended up mostly with SA. It was the usual sales job for the solar industry “look how much money this man is saving”. No mention of who is paying, or of the costs of storage (only the subsidy).

      290

      • #
        Chad

        And poorly researched as they refered to the remaining coal generators in SA !

        160

      • #
        George4

        Definitely a sales job.
        They are talking about getting people to use hotwater heaters and pool pumps in the middle of the day, and incentivising it with cheap rates.
        Sounds awfully complicated to add another off peak daytime rate, then what happens when it is cloudy, that makes the situation very complicated.

        80

      • #
        yarpos

        They did something similar with a story that was about warm waters off Tassie but 2/3 rds ended up being the GBR. Using library video i guess if Tassie didnt look scary enough.

        10

    • #
      Bill in Oz

      Nothing about WA or SA now
      ABC has delete it !

      10

  • #
    Gerry, England

    Star quote ‘And these are new problems that we have to solve.’

    And these problems have been created by utter stupidity to combat an imaginary problem.

    280

  • #

    This is typical. We rush headlong into renewables with no thought as to what the consequences are, and no understanding that they are intermittent and no replacement for baseload coal or gas fired power. Then it kills off the baseload backup that fossil fuel provides…

    First, need to immediately cut feedin tariffs to around 4c per kW, making solar not as economic for householders/industry if they attempt to supply back to the grid, and making batteries more of a choice for some. This also cuts the price of power.

    Secondly, remove any subsidies immediately from solar installation in WA.

    Third, all solar installed needs to have a backup and storage associated with it. This will kill off most of the solar, but seriously should have been implemented years ago. I keep on hearing fables about “storage” but there is little of it around as its very expensive to set up, and due to its only small generation time I believe it is costly. When will we see the true costs…

    230

  • #
    observa

    How about we immediately stop people adding more solar power problems to the grid unless they go “off-grid”?

    Howsabout we level the playing field decreeing that unless any tenderer of electrons to the communal grid can reasonably guarantee them 24/7/365 along with FCAS (ie short of unforeseen mechanical breakdown) then they can keep them? End of unreliables dumping game normally the ACCC would be all over like a rash as they either had to install storage to lift their average tender or partner with thermal and pay them their just insurance premia. Then we’d see the true cost of each form of generation instead of the giant lie solar and wind fans have been promulgating. Of course those with rooftop solar now could install batteries for just such a purpose but then they wouldn’t have any to put into the grid needing it all themselves but they already know home batteries don’t stack up. So home solar works on the jack system. Stuff you jack I’m alright but that aint no way to run the good society is it now watermelons?

    190

  • #
    graham dunton

    If many of us are right, in the analysis of the domestic solar.p, systems, the duck curve featured should reversed and presented as the dead duck curve. Then the disposal of dead ducks, is a Chinese specialty. You can even start writing the menu, and guessing that universal order number? the winner will get a years supply for free….

    50

  • #
  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    I’m bemused. A state owned and run generation and distribution outfit, is overwhelmed by individuals, making their own decisions?

    I mean, they had a monopoly and could make or change the law to protect their little fiethdom.

    Surely this is exactly the outcome those of a more independent or libertarian streak would have wanted, like those who comment here.

    Lastly, this has to surely meet the criteria for a slow motion car crash, and yet those stars of power have done nothing? Buy done nothing, I’m sure they rejected all requests for price increases at the consumer level, safe in the knowledge that they were not under a dividend requirement from their shareholder (only one – WA State Government).

    Sandgropers, take to the streets, demand better, unless, of course, all you voted for this.

    121

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Magnificent.

      Thirteen lines of EIW and I’m envious of your skill.

      I’m reminded of that other inspiring effort by Julia, I think;

      I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
      When hope was high and life, worth living.
      I dreamed that love would never die,
      I dreamed that God would be forgiving. etc.

      Sadly VH never heard this song but undoubtedly he was right onto climate change.

      EKK.

      40

    • #

      Peter, bemused? If only you knew what a libertarian was. Two layers of government have created this mess out of a perfectly good network. All the results (price increases, risk, blackouts) were all predictable long in advance. As consumers, our choices are 1/ monopoly provider charging 28c, about twice as much as is probably needed if they just used coal power plus gas. OR 2/ solar panels with varieties of forced theft payments from hapless other customers who don’t realize they are subsidizing their neighbours panels. What part of collectivist stupidity don’t you understand?

      If I had a choice I would tick the box saying “buy coal power and pay less” but the government has made that illegal.

      The MCGowan govt simply raised the price of electricity, set by dictat, to as much pain as he thought the electorate would bear. But it forces more people into solar, which then makes the problem worse. Rinse repeat, hock the state…

      200

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Yep – exactly my point Jo.

        As to poor people, our current economic theory says that the status of poor is given to those who don’t try hard enough. A libertarian view would therefore say that being poor was a matter of choice, and that is certainly what the federal government thinks.

        But no one is complaining loud enough to be heard in the halls of power, which is why I’m saying take to the streets, look how successful Greta has been, and she started off on her own. Either that or go off grid (and the WA government will help you there too, especially if you live outside the white man’s SE corner)

        25

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Yeah now there are 2 sides to this.

          I knew this nice person who grew up poor.

          Her greatest criticism of govt and its welfare programs, was they were written by middle class folks – who didn’t understand the reality of being poor.

          So if we assume most of the people who write policy likely don’t actually understand the issues they are writing for ( electricity market being a perfect example ), well its going to be a mess. What do we see – a mess.

          40

  • #
    RickWill

    The genie is out and will be impossible to get back in. With 30% of premises now having solar, combined with all the gretaphiles who do not own roofs, distributed solar owners, supporters and advocates presents a massive political force.

    The mistake was made years ago in allowing intermittent generators to connect to the grid. It has come way too far to go back. The responsibility to manage the grid stability will fall to the owners of the transmission and distribution networks. The technology to do that is now well proven. The costs will be levelled across all those connected.

    Any indication that the access to the grid will be limited will encourage householders to get in while they can. It will accelerate the degradation of the grid stability.

    If the network providers cannot stay ahead of the situation and blackouts ensue, then solar owners will opt for batteries so they can ride through those circumstances. They have sunk funds into the solar so that capital is not considered in the battery equation.

    Ambient intermittent generators connected to the grid do not make economic sense but the decision that started the ball rolling was made more than 20 years ago.

    180

    • #
      ianl

      Yes, Rick

      On the rare occasion that I revisit here, you are one of the very few with real understanding of the actual situation.

      Of course wind and solar cannot maintain current power demand. The clear answer is to reduce demand. This is already happening. Australians have no idea how to fight back. So docile … and well known by UN and international activists.

      The gun held to the back of our heads has been fired. The bullet is already halfway down the barrel.

      61

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        The problem for the globalists, is most Australians have a strong streak of mongrel through them.

        Once they are riled up, stand back.

        Australians don’t generally give you a warning…. which may also why our SAS unit is the best in the world.

        40

      • #
        yarpos

        We are indeed honoured by your presence

        20

  • #

    It’s worth keeping in mind that there is no post-oil agenda. There is a post-coal agenda, where Australia gets to be biggest loser.

    All this renewable clutter is meant to degrade, confuse and frustrate. But it is also meant to cement oil and gas into critical positions at the expense of competitors, especially the super-competitor, coal. “Transition to zero carbon” is actually Newspeak for permanent gas and diesel generation at high expense.

    Not easy coming to terms with the idea of corporate capitalism funding communism and fighting its wars, but that’s exactly what has happened and what is happening now. On the lower level, that means Big Oil gets to plunder at the expense of Australia’s most critical resource. On the higher level, it’s all helping to shrink the middle class and soften us up for the new feudalism sustainability. When the absurdity of zero interest meets the absurdity of green investment, you know it’s time to flip to a new game. Trotsky and Wall Street can hardly wait.

    Stop Globalism. Do tradition, privacy, family, property. Do coal.

    150

  • #
    New Chum

    This won’t seem at all fair to solar consumers who were sold something under false pretenses, so how about we figure out who’s accountable for making those decisions?
    Was it Skeptics or Delusionals?

    50

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The Politicians will say in court that they took the best advice available to them.

      All that remains is to track down the chain to the source of this “badvice”.

      Most likely there won’t be a chain.

      Most WCs are push button now.

      KK

      90

    • #
      yarpos

      What false pretences are you thinking about? They think they are saving money and i doubt grid stability was part of what they were sold.

      20

  • #
    • #
      RickWill

      Serious – If 130ppm of CO2 can cause all the extremes weather across globe, think of what an extra hour of daylight can cause.

      The people of Queensland and WA recognised the harm associated with the extra daylight so strongly opposed it.

      70

      • #

        Given that QLD only has six hours of daylight all the time and the likes of Victoristan and NSW have at least eight hours (during daylight savings), how come QLD is suffering from global warming? And here we are freezing our nuts off at the start of summer, with snow in the mountains. Daylight saving must be causing cooling.

        70

  • #

    Umm, when the grid fails, so does all the grid connected rooftop solar power.

    The only ones with power will be those off grid rooftop solar with batteries. They’ll be okay, but it will still be useless, as their home will be the only one with power, and nothing else in the wider community will have power, so they won’t be able to shop, hence no supermarkets, no food, no petrol for their cars as the pumps won’t operate, no water to their homes as that also is electircaly operated, no sewerage, no work, no nothing. Just battery operated power in their home to watch TV, oh wait a minute, no transmission, no phones, no nothing, just the satisfaction of their own virtue signalling.

    Tony.

    220

    • #

      The only benefit thy main have is to be able to run their fridges and freezers. But for how long?

      60

    • #
      RickWill

      If southern WA goes black, they will end up doing what SA has done; diesel generators, batteries and synchronous condensers. This is all proven technology at grid level in Australia now.

      Facilities that cannot do without power, like hospitals, will already have emergency generators. Telephone exchanges have battery back up. Not sure about cell towers but providing UPS to them would be trivial.

      If outages are frequent and associated losses significant, insurers will drive reliability. If a loss event is reasonably foreseeable then it is uninsurable.

      Most chaos is caused by loss of traffic lights/management and that is challenging to solve at individual locations.

      Any State government in Australia knows that if they preside over a blackout, their political future is limited.

      110

      • #

        Rick, I agree whole heartedly,

        If outages are frequent and associated losses significant, insurers will drive reliability. If a loss event is reasonably foreseeable then it is uninsurable.

        Surely the most Insurance claims would come from places like Coles, Woolies, and other major Supermarkets etc.

        Even a minor blackout in that area necessitates (demands actually) that ALL food in cold storage is thrown out, and that’s a huge cost. Do that for a suburb and you’re looking at half a dozen of those large Supermarkets, and the cost for that would be astronomical. Next time you’re in Woolies, look at how much food and drink there is in all the cold storage shelves and cabinets, and that’s just in ‘front of shop’.

        Insurance Companies would be screaming blue murder if it was to become a regular occurrence.

        The same might apply with financial transactions, now also all electronically controlled.

        Add these areas up and you’re looking at a lot of emergency generators.

        Tony.

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          All that would happen is that supermarkets etc would start installing backup generators like hospitals etc do now. The cost would be far less than the eventual premium increases. This would then likely carry on to many other businesses and soon enough the air would be replete with black soot, smoke and noise from diesel generators running 24/7 during all the blackouts.

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          • #
            James

            My local supermarket here in USA has a generator. They are also a petrol station, so you can still buy fuel. The only time they really need that generator is once every 10 years when we get an ice storm. Last time was 2013. I bought my own generator shortly after this storm.

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          • #
            yarpos

            The Foodworks supermarket in my nearest town of any size has a generator, as does the Chemist. Sadly none of the pubs have got on board yet.

            10

        • #
          Lance

          Perhaps if those who sustain losses might file a class action lawsuit against the unreliable providers, the AEMO, and the Govt, as a “foreseeable and preventable fault caused entirely by their failure to properly operate a public utility”.

          I’m uncertain about AU law. The fact remains that AU once had a reliable grid and now it doesn’t. Totally because those regulating the grid have Zero, F.A., idea how to operate a grid. They are unfit for purpose and a visceral threat to the well being of the Citizenry.

          If there were any justice at all, there would be a Bounty upon the lot of them.

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          • #
            RickWill

            From a government perspective, the ballot box is a more serious threat than any risk of litigation.

            AEMO have proven themselves protected from legal action over blackouts. AER is chasing the owners of wind farms in SA that were influential in the SA blackout. There may be some potential for class action over losses in SA if the wind farm owners failed to do something but it is a long, expensive road.

            The government presiding over the SA blackouts is no longer there. I expect that will be the fate of any State government presiding over a blackout in their State.

            AEMO are on reasonable ground because they have evaluated and stated the risk. Insurance companies already see the rising risk of blackouts and will be excluding coverage or hiking premiums. The big supermarkets may self-insure so they would be evaluating the benefit of emergency power supply.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Actually Tony you raise a fair point – the amount of businesses claiming for losses would be huge, the insurance companies will go out of business or declare power loss uninsurable…

          Perhaps the silver lining is that the insurance companies may hold a blow torch under the collective rear ends of govt to “encourage” them to maintain profi………er….network reliablity…..

          Also, domestic rooftop solar *will* fail to provide power in most cases. I am not sure whether houses are allowed to run off the grid as long as the main isolator is switched off, maybe someone knows?….That will be a very rude awakening – people thinking rooftop solar will keep them running ( as shown in some tv ads ) but may not in reality. Then wait for the public outcry.

          So – blackouts means no business, no financial transactions, no phones ( dontcha love the blind, 3 legged dog called the NBN ), no cooling, no heating, no nuthin.

          If a few “3rd world experience” days or weeks dont wake up dopey australians, nothing will…..

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            That’s what people fail so utterly to realise, that rooftop solar power is just a PART of residential power consumption only, and that the wider power consumption is huge, and they don’t realise it …..

            because (a) no one has bothered to actually tell them,

            because (b) those who should be telling them don’t actually know,

            because (c) they have not even bothered to find out.

            When there is an ‘underlying’ absolute minimum power consumption of 18,000MW every day, that power needs to come from somewhere, and it needs to be there ALL the time. (2000MW to 2200MW in WA)

            Rooftop solar power is now jeopardising that.

            When you have more than 2 million (now) homes with panels on the roof, and there’s (around) a total Nameplate of 14000MW. (yep, fourteen thousand MegaWatts) And yet here we are, almost at peak Summer insolation, and at Midday, when it is at its maximum generation, all that rooftop solar can barely manage 7000MW tops, (WA included) and would barely manage 2000MW across the day, and that’s at its Summer best.

            Tony.

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            RickWill

            Houses are not permitted to run grid connected systems once the grid supply is lost unless they have islanding breaker. Rooftop solar system that do not have “islanding” capability are supposed to be tested annually for their anti-islanding capability. That means the inverter must turn off when grid power is lost.

            With increasing numbers of rooftops with solar and some with self-clocking and batteries, there is potential for inverters to supply and clock independently of the grid if there is enough connected generating capacity to supply the load in the islanded portion of the network. I doubt this aspect has been thought through because distributors have not really anticipated the rapid uptake of rooftop generation.

            This is the sort of thing that will drive requirements to have the inverters centrally controlled. There is enough of them to overwhelm the largest generator in the network so they must all be clocked via a control signal rather than using the supply wave form.

            There are also harmonics produced by the rooftop inverters that will need to be dealt with as their output increases relative to non-harmonic generators. The grid scale subsidy farmers are usually required to filter harmonics on site. Rooftops with grid inverters are not required to limit harmonics as far as I know.

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            • #

              Have you noticed how intricate it has all become.

              The old days – Power plant – transmission lines – sub station – consumers.

              These days they have filled each of those three gaps with so much more, and then they want to take away the power plant.

              And they expected it all to keep running as smoothly as it once did.

              It’s such a wonder that the AEMO (their people, not their upper management) and their engineers keep it running so smoothly, when so many meddlers want to impose their own ideology.

              And when it finally does crash, it’ll be those engineers who get the blame ….. from those exact same meddlers and their string pullers.

              Tony.

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              • #
                OriginalSteve

                That flooding class action…engineers go nailed….the management it appears got off…wonder if the same with power…..

                Engineers = political scapegoats?

                20

              • #
                RickWill

                I usually worked at the heavy consumer level and we were always keen to add dirty loads that used industrial scale electronics for cost and efficiency reasons. We were required to speficy exactly what we planned to add and the authority would assess it for all its implications on the grid; one time more than 12 months of modelling. Their prime concern was what it would do to other customers. For example, I found out old style TVs were sensitive to the 5th harmonic.

                The grid operators now have limited control over what gets added. Politics has taken priority and the grid providers are there to respond to the needs. Most of that is reactive now. The inertia issue in SA is a classic case.

                Basically the grid has become much more like a country road than a super highway. If the farmer wants to run his muddy tractor across the highway to use the road bridge to cross the creek through his property, so be it. LED lights are absolutely filthy loads but they are such low demand that they are, so far, easily integrated. They are a politically driven addition.

                I have centred this image on the harmonic filters at BSL:
                https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-23.9320569,151.3438836,170m/data=!3m1!1e3
                This sort of gear was once the domain of the consumer. And I know grid scale intermittents are required to provide harmonic filters but small generators and consumers are not burdened by these details.

                So harmonics, voltage control, frequency control and storage will become primarily the domain of the owners of the distribution and transmission assets. We will see those cost skyrocket as more of the filthy loads and generation are added. Already there is talk of automatic tap changing transformers being located at the LV distribution level so solar panels can supply the network without risk of over voltage.

                I have used the lowest cost quasi-sinusoidal inverters running my fridge and freezer from the battery and those old style loads handle the dirty supply. If I connect certain electronics, they will fail almost immediately. They were not designed for anything but sinusoidal voltage. The low cost pure sinw wave inverters have next to no iron in them. They run tiny transformers at high frequency and get quite hot so have cooling fans that limit life to about 5 years.

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                yarpos

                There is a term in French where people ended up building complex and unweildy system, the call it a Usine a Gaz (Gas Factory) refering to the web of plumbing in those places that is impentrable to laymen. Our grid is steadily heading this way , one step at a time with more and more distributed complexity being added. Cost and reliability will not be enhanced by this trend.

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      • #

        Blackouts have their advantages.

        When traffic lights fail here people usually get to work faster. Perhaps that has changed with our large population growth and congestion, but it was the rule for years. Humans are so much more efficient at using intersections than dumb chips. And so much smarter than right turn arrows at good visibility intersections where robot chips make us wait for a whole cycle even though there is no oncoming traffic.

        Plus, quaintly, Perth drivers stop for orange lights (unlike Sydney). So there is a lot of gap time in intersections as lights switch (but presumably less accidents).

        When our congestion gets to Parramatta Road level I presume WA drivers will learn to run the lights.

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        • #

          Not in Victoristan, I’ve been about when traffic lights are out in Melbourne and it becomes chaos as no one is prepared to take the initiative.

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          • #
            RickWill

            Ditto – nothing moves when traffic lights fail in Melbourne.

            As a group Melbournians are the least courteous of any drivers in Australia. They will enter an intersection to block the adjacent car. I have often seen intersections completely blocked in all directions despite one of the cross roads being free on the departure sides from the intersection. Melbournians rush to fill a gap to prevent the merging car getting in front of them. If you leave a reasonable gap to the car in front on the freeway it is an invitation for a car to fill it. I find it best to follow trucks on the freeway because most drivers do not like sitting behind a truck so a reasonable gap behind a truck is not viewed as an invitation to fill it. Despite the poor visibility I can always brake faster than the truck. If he crashes into stopped cars he will still take a while to stop and they usually manage to hit the brakes before they actually crash.

            Recently heard a young Melbourning complain about an increase in the fine for talking on the mobile phone while driving. She wondered how she would afford to pay it next time she was caught.

            Just about every Melbourning driver complains about the low threshold between the stated speed limit and the speed that offers the voluntary tax payment. A friend only takes real care with posted speed limits when he is out of points.

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              yarpos

              I visit Melbourne every couple of weeks and dont find it that bleak driving wise. I was coming down the hill into Lilydale yesterday and was admiring how everyone one was merging smoothly, one from each lane in turn, and kept things moving. Must have been a god day.

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              • #
                Annie

                What?! The Almighty took a hand in good behaviour? I think most people do drive as carefully as they can. The trouble comes from a few hoons/id1ots who are selfish.
                The only times I’ve seen traffic lights out in Melbourne was years ago and people were very sensible and taking turns.
                Mind you, we weren’t warned about ‘Melburnian Driving’ for nothing when we first came to Australia! It can be hair-raising, especially on the three-lane 80k roads, with people whizzing by on either side of you, and tram infested streets in the CBD. However, after a few months of Melbourne driving, we then visited friends in Sydney…oh my! Dreadful.

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              • #
                yarpos

                We found relating to trams one of the main driving challenges when we moved from Sin City in the 80s

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  • #

    Umm. The only ones not contributing to the problem will be those off grid rooftop solar with batteries.

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      PeterW

      Incorrect.

      When your problem is an unstable grid, stable consumers are not contributing the problem.

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    • #

      Gee Aye, and can you name one person within 100 km of Perth who is “off grid”?

      Everyone with subsidized batteries wants to be on grid so they can sell back the electricity to forced customers, to help pay off their “investment” that wasn’t needed when we had cheap reliable electricity.

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    • #

      It seems reasonable to say that people not using the grid or connecting to the grid in any way are not hurting the grid. So if you are totally off grid, or if you are camped way out, or if you are on the grid but blacked out, then you can’t hurt the grid. Nomads and mountain climbers are off the hook, as are all-night fishermen in boats. But I’d even venture to say that my modest in-only system here can do no damage to the grid.

      It’s reasonable to say that those not connected in any way with a system can’t affect that system…but there is no point in saying it.

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      • #
        Chad

        . But I’d even venture to say that my modest in-only system here can do no damage to the grid.

        Err , no !
        If you have a RT solar system but still use the grid when insufficient/no solar is available, then you are still adding tto the fluctuating demand on the grid,..and hence part of the problem….
        Reduced daytime demand.
        Even if you had battery storage for nightime use, you are still reducing grid demand, although also reducing the am/pm peaks also.
        A “grid” supply is only viable with a cerain level of demand , and a reasonably predictable variation in that demand

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        • #
          yarpos

          Reducing demand does not create instability or uncertainty or unpredictable variation as long as it is permanent or at least long term. Impact on overall demand is a Furphy as there is only a tiny subset of the residential base that has the ability to actually go off grid rather than just mouth the words. The worlds full of gunnas.

          00

  • #
    pat

    WA? what is WA? read all:

    2 Dec: SMH: Heat, drought, and bushfires drive summer blackout risks
    By Mike Foley
    Heat and bushfires, coupled with the risks of an ageing fleet of baseload power plants, are once again combining to raise the risk of electricity blackouts this summer.
    Victoria and South Australia are more likely to experience disruptions to power supply than NSW, which is within the energy market operator’s range of acceptable risk. Tasmania and Queensland have negligible chances of power outages…

    “This risk is primarily driven by increased vulnerability to climatic conditions such as extended periods of high temperature, corresponding with low wind or solar availability and unplanned generation outages,” according to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s report, the Energy Adequacy Assessment Projection (EAAP), which forecasts blackouts risk for the next two years.
    The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a more than 80 per cent chance of above median maximum temperatures from December to February…

    In January this year up to 200,000 Victorian households were hit with power outages as Melbourne sweltered under its hottest day in five years, and ***units failed at the coal fired Yallourn and Loy Yang power stations…

    AEMO said the risk of blackouts in NSW and Victoria should drop slightly in 2020-21 as more renewable energy and battery storage enters the network.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/heat-drought-and-bushfires-drive-summer-blackout-risks-20191130-p53fni.html

    18 Nov: AFR: Push to fix reliability standards to stop blackouts
    by Mark Ludlow
    Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has been challenged over his plans to change reliability standards to avoid potential blackouts, with Victoria laying the blame on ***ageing coal-fired power stations…READ ON
    https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/push-to-fix-reliability-standards-to-stop-blackouts-20191119-p53by3

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      The SMH also has this story:

      http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/exxonmobil-shelves-victorian-gas-import-terminal-plan-20191201-p53fri.html?btis

      I extracted two bits which I’ve not seen from any economists, SMH or ABC reporters or politicians:
      ” Manufacturers have begun openly blaming gas costs of up to $12 a gigajoule – more than three times above historic prices – as they close factories in Victoria and New South Wales. ”
      and
      ” Mr Richards said some manufacturers struggling with high gas prices were reluctant to enter into 10-year gas contracts because they did not know if they would be able to remain in business that long. ”
      Seems some realism is creeping out into the open.
      Cheers
      Dave B

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  • #
    Robber

    Meanwhile an amazingly low week for Vic wholesale electricity price – average $57/MWhr, almost back to the good old days before Hazelwood closed of $46/MWhr.
    Q2 & Q3 averages were both $98/MWhr, while Q1 was $154/MWhr.

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    • #
      yarpos

      I was having a look at Nemwatch today and SA and VIC were at minus one cent and Tassie was at $460 and importing. The “Battery of the Nation” crowd must have been having apoplexy. These sort of settings dont seem to be indicative of a healthy system to me.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    This is good news.

    The deficiencies of unreliables can’t be hidden by interconnections with other states to either dump or receive power.

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    pat

    on 4RPH Brisbane community radio this morning, a tech program was promoting lots more solar, including for renters, where possible, in order to achieve CHEAP, SUSTAINABLE energy. calls for more govt assistance…not taxpayer assistance. can’t find audio.

    community radio across Australia today…being repeated. anti-gas, anti-coal; early bushfires in NSW & Qld have been linked to CAGW by a range of scientists:

    29 Nov: The Wire: Drought causes emissions to stabilise
    Produced by Steven Riggall
    Greenhouse gas emissions from farms dropped nearly six per cent over the past year due to the effects of drought, leading to Australia’s national emissions to stabilise for the first time in years.
    Emissions in other areas continue to climb, with methane leakage from gas production continuing to the be the biggest contributor to Australia’s emissions profile.
    Featured in story
    Verity Morgan Schmidt – Partnerships and Policy Director, Farmers for Climate Action
    Bruce Robertson – Energy Finance Analyst, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
    Dr Ian Wright – Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University
    http://thewire.org.au/story/drought-causes-emissions-to-stabilise/

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    pat

    2 Dec: ABC: Sydney news: NSW RFS on high fire alert as flames forecast to hit Katoomba, union blames job cuts for prolonged power outages
    Updated 3 minutes ago
    Here’s what you need to know this morning.
    Fires burn at Sydney’s doorstep
    A series of cold fronts moving across the state have put firefighters west of Sydney on high alert today…
    The RFS said the bushfire was spreading due to strong westerly winds.

    Emergency fire burning on south coast
    The RFS said residents from Durras to Bawley Point were told to evacuate as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.
    But Greg Allen from the RFS said windy conditions could complicate their efforts.
    “Although temperatures may not be as high as we’ve seen over the last few days, the winds will be quite strong for most parts of the state,” he said…

    Energy union blames jobs cut for blackouts
    The United Services Union (USU) said Ausgrid had cut more than 300 jobs in the last two months after the regulator took money out of the business earlier this year.
    Troy Dunne from the USU said more job cuts were expected in the next few years.
    “There will be a further 400 to 500 roles made redundant in Ausgrid,” he said…
    Almost 2,000 Ausgrid customers have been warned it could be another 48 hours before their power returns…
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-02/nsw-rfs-contain-blue-mountains-fire-homes-still-without-power/11754770

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    How many solar panels must WA install before WA prevents WA’s first heat wave?

    “almost one in every three houses has a solar installation.”
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-01/rise-of-rooftop-solar-power-jeopardising-wa-energy-grid/11731452

    02 Dec 2019: Perth has not endured a heatwave in almost four years, but that could be about to change

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-02/perth-has-gone-three-summers-without-heatwave-but-its-warming-up/11753340

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    • #
      Maptram

      One way or another there will be a heat wave.

      From the locations I look at, the long term climate maximum temperatures are always between 0.1°C and 1°C higher than observed temperatures. Observed temperatures are normally recorded half hourly, but the climate data maximums don’t show a time. However I notice that airports often show observed data at times other than half hourly. I presume that, at airports the BOM provides data for aircraft as well as for weather and climate details. Yesterday, at Mangalore Airport, observed temperatures were as follows:

      2:35 pm 12.0 °C
      2:53 pm 13.4 °C
      3:00 pm 12.7 °C

      In the Climate Data Online details, the highest temperature recorded was 14 °C, no time shown. I presume that somewhere in the 7 minutes between 2:53 and 3:00 pm the temperature must has risen to 14°C and dropped back to 12.7°C. Or some other reason. Perhaps also relevant is the fact that the record lowest maximum for 1 December was 13.6°C in 1969. When the BOM is predicting a hot summer, it would not do to have the 1st day as a record low would it?

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  • #
    pat

    29 Nov: Morningstar: Cuba found to be the most sustainably developed country in the world, new research finds
    by Matt Trinder
    The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive six-decades-long economic blockade.
    The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s “human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits…

    Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.
    The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990…

    ***Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in the new system…
    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/cuba-found-to-be-the-most-sustainably-developed-country-in-the-world-new-research-finds?fbclid=IwAR23HOm7lpzuTrZ3x4sDZEyC2F9A_GA_fM0Dsj2gb0xr-S46ByJH17pWcsQ

    70–80% hydropower in Venezuela:

    Wikipedia: 2019 Venezuelan blackouts
    Nicolás Maduro’s administration attributes them to sabotage…

    Most of Venezuela’s power comes from one of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world, Guri Dam in Bolívar State, Venezuela on the Caroni River; as of 2019, 70–80% of Venezuela’s power comes from Guri. Venezuela has a history of electrical blackouts dating at least to 2010; Juan Nagel wrote in Foreign Policy in 2016 that the problems resulted from “massive government corruption… and the country’s disastrous energy policies”. Univision also reported that the problems in the energy sector resulted from corruption and “lack of maintenance and investment”. A report from Transparency Venezuela said that maintenance was abandoned for twenty years beginning in 1998. The aging infrastructure made the problems worse, and critics were silenced; a union leader for state power workers was arrested in 2018 by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service for warning that a blackout was likely…

    According to a March poll by Meganálisis, 84.3% of Venezuelans reject the electrical sabotage theory. A poll by Hercon Consultores of 1,000 voters surveyed between 26 March and 4 April 2019 found similar – that 87.5% of Venezuelans reject the theory.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Venezuelan_blackouts

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  • #
    pat

    2 Dec: Reuters: ‘War against nature must stop,’ U.N. chief says before climate talks
    by Isla Binnie
    MADRID – The world must stop a “war against nature” and find more political will to combat climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday, the eve of a two-week global climate summit in Madrid.

    ???Around the world, extreme weather ranging from wildfires to floods is being linked to manmade global warming, putting pressure on the summit to strengthen the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on limiting the rise in temperature…

    “We simply have to stop digging and drilling and take advantage of the vast possibilities offered by renewable energy and nature-based solutions.”…

    “I don’t even want to entertain the possibility that we do not agree on article 6,” Guterres said. “We are here to approve guidelines to implement article 6, not to find excuses not to do it.”

    ***Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has accepted an invitation to become U.N. special envoy on climate action and climate finance from Jan. 1, Guterres said.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-accord-guterres/war-against-nature-must-stop-u-n-chief-says-before-climate-talks-idUSKBN1Y514H?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

    Splits widen over global climate goals as UN summit gathers
    Financial Times – 5 hours ago
    As delegates from nearly 200 countries convene in Madrid for the annual UN climate summit, the gap between the countries willing to reduce emissions and those who are not has become more apparent…
    Teresa Ribera, Spain’s environment minister, said her country’s last-minute decision to host the talks was essential to prevent the collapse in …

    2 Dec: BBC: Mark Carney appointed UN envoy for climate action
    Bank of England governor Mark Carney has been appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
    Mr Carney will take up his new post once his term as governor ends on 31 January 2020…
    Mr Carney said the UN climate change conference “provides a platform to bring the risks from climate change and the opportunities from the transition to a net-zero economy into the heart of financial decision-making”.
    “To do so, the disclosures of climate risk must become comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and investing for a net-zero world must go mainstream,” he added…
    The special envoy post is a pro bono position that is undertaken essentially for free – the UN will pay Mr Carney $1 a year once he steps down as governor of the Bank of England.
    Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the last person to hold the post. He worked with the UN on climate change-related issues from 2014 to 2019…

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      pat

      segment 30min to 37min10sec (paraphrasing)
      BBC’s Julian Marshall: manmade climate change is happening. there can be no plausible alternative explanation for the increasing droughts, rising floods, wildfires & intensifying storms that are affecting so many parts of the world. UN says blah blah…
      can those temps be brought down? can govts commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. COP25…lengthy interview with Teresa Ribera (Socialist Worker’s Party), Spain’s environment minister.

      AUDIO: 52min59sec: 30 Nov: BBC Newshour
      Present Julian Marshall
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172wq51yrm23q7

      Wikipedia: Teresa Ribera: Party: Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party;
      Ribera is also a member of several advisory councils, including the Global Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN), the global climate change advisory council of the World Economic Forum, and the Momentum For Change initiative of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)…
      In October 2018, she was awarded the Climate Reality Project Award in the category of ‘Public Personality’ granted by the (Al Gore) Climate Reality Project…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_Ribera

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  • #
    pat

    total BS. note this is about the “environment” or, at best, “the state of the environment”, not CAGW or CC.
    on 2GB today, Alan Jones read the opening lines and later told IPA’s Gideon Rozner that he believed the constant media hyping of CAGW was influencing people! hellooo.
    I repeat: “environment” is not CAGW:

    2 Dec: SMH: Environment is prime worry for the first time: poll
    By Matt Wade
    The environment has for the first time surpassed healthcare, cost of living and the economy to be the number one concern for Australians.
    The Ipsos Issues Monitor (LINK), which asks a representative sample of Australians to select the three top issues facing the nation, found 32.1 per cent rated ***the state of the environment*** among their biggest worries in November – the highest share in the decade-long history of the survey.

    The result follows devastating spring bushfires in NSW and Queensland and worsening drought conditions in many regional areas. These events ***have been widely attributed to climate change caused by global warming***…

    Ipsos social researcher Daniel Evans attributed the environment’s No. 1 ranking to two factors – widespread publicity of climate change agitation and protest, including by prominent members of the business community, and events in October and November linked to climate change, especially bushfires.
    “There’s been both activism … and there’s actual events attributed to climate change,” he said…READ ON
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/environment-is-prime-worry-for-the-first-time-poll-20191201-p53fu5.html

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    • #
      pat

      Gideon Rozner re-tweeted the following from Kevin Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein:

      TWEET: Therese Rein, A Dangerous Woman. Gwanma. Entrepreneur. Founder Ingeus. Former FLOz. Human Rights Medallist. Co-Chair National Apology Foundation
      Hey @ScottMorrisonMP, Parts of NSW on fire at least in part because your party has blocked, and also not initiated, effective climate change policies. = sins of commission, and sins of omission. Time to repent.
      29 Nov 2019
      COMMENTS ARE FUN
      https://twitter.com/Therese_Rein/status/1200598477610180608

      Therese Rein re-tweeted today:

      TWEET: David Ritter, CEO at @GreenpeaceAP (AP stands for Aus Pac)
      Bushfire survivors are outside Parliament in Canberra this morning.
      They’ve literally brought some of the wrecked fragments of what was once their house, on which they’ve painted:
      “Morrison your climate crisis destroyed my home”.
      #Climate Emergency
      FUN COMMENTS, INCL “Should have gone to the Chinese embassy instead.”
      https://twitter.com/David_Ritter/status/1201266810231746560

      Ritter re-tweeted the following – it was a Greenpeace protest?

      TWEET: Brett Mason, Now: Chief Political Correspondent Was: Chief International Correspondent @SBSNews Australia
      Bushfire survivors join a Greenpeace protest outside Parliament House in Canberra… @SBSNews
      posted 3h ago
      FROM REPLIES:
      SeditiousSarah:
      Bret is it true they were moved away by the police?

      reply: Not a Canberra Bubbler:
      Yep. It’s true Sarah.:
      https://twitter.com/BrettMasonNews/status/1201267817066065920

      this may be 2 Dec Australian time:

      TWEET: Brett Mason, SBS
      “Maybe we’d still have a carbon price if you had your shit together and you actually worked cooperatively!” @RichardDiNatale tells Labor Senators #auspol @SBSNews
      1 Dec 2019
      https://twitter.com/BrettMasonNews/status/1201288934157742080

      31

  • #
    PeterS

    Another interesting experiment is in play. I live is the so called “leafy suburbs” of Sydney and we are getting regular power outages lasting anything from a few seconds to days. Over the last month we’ve had several of these. Most are due to wind speeds somewhat higher than normal bringing down trees or tree branches over power lines. Of course this is nothing new but given I’ve been living in the same area for decades the outages are far more frequent than ever before. It is only going to get much worse as trees keep growing. It will be interesting to see how bad it has to get before the relevant agencies and companies pull their fingers out and rectify the situation by pruning or even removing trees.

    81

    • #
      George4

      I saw that some massive trees fell in KuRingGai council car park and squashed some cars.
      Maybe all the damage and people going 4 days without power will moderate their tree preservation orders.
      Ausgrid are probably very restricted in what they can prune or remove.

      60

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The other hidden aspect of the insistence that trees must never be harmed is what goes on under.

      Sewer and stormwater drainage systems are eagerly sought after by those trees.

      KK

      60

      • #
        beowulf

        Yep and the idiots that plant streets with gorgeous little fig trees that grow into ginormous figs with roots that can split solid rock, lift a road by 2 feet, and tear out the foundations of a building 40 yards away. Don’t plant Liquidambars for the same reason, but on a much reduced scale — mainly drain wreckers.

        Still waiting to see how effective the new restrictive root-bags are on the new trees planted around Civic Park (was it Laman Street?). By artificially restricting root spread are they not creating unstable trees for the future too? Those figs that they had to tear out were only about 50-60 years old. I have a photo of the area from the 1950s with no trees and a colliery train line running through Civic Park.

        I know the eucalypts in leafy Ku-ring-gai and St Ives are self-sown, but anyone who plants a eucalypt in a built-up area is planting future trouble. With their notoriously small root ball-to-canopy ratio, many eucalypt species fail in storms time and again, being up-ended with or without a saturated root zone. Seems to be mainly the higher-rainfall species that topple most readily. Plant something with a tap root that is less fire-prone instead.

        Those leafy northern suburbs will come under attack from fire soon enough again. It’s been 25 years since they last burnt fiercely in Jan ’94. Plenty of time for ground fuels to build up again if they haven’t been adequately hazard-reduced. If I were living with a lantana-filled eucalypt gully behind my home in weather like this, my stomach would be doing somersaults every time I heard a siren or smelled a burning candle.

        71

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          That coal train went under Laman street and out through the Junction and up to the glebe.

          Used to hitch a ride on the running board of the guard’s van.

          And Varleys engineering used to be in Civic Park.

          In those days there were serious restrictions on planting anything that might intrude on wires or drains.

          KK

          40

        • #
          yarpos

          Sounds weird, around here (Black Saturday)country the tree lopping is aggressive and widespread. They probably wont change until they have a body count sadly.

          10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      PeterS:

      Eve since the State blackout S.A. Power Networks has had gangs on the streets clipping them back from the electricity supply lines.

      30

  • #
    mike reed

    OK household ,state Gov ,Fed Gov debt levels at an all time high! ,Energy costs for business and households at all time highs(energy poverty increasing with more disconnections from the grid),Companies moving off shore,Reserve bank reigniting mortgage debt bubble in Sydney and Melbourne .I would just love someone to explain
    how these economic indicators will keep our 30 year recession proof economy going now-maybe it’ll be some magic -we all like magic but no one likes the reality of the hard future “truth”where this economic reality has its end game -Recession
    Cheers Mike Reed

    50

  • #
    Peter Quinby

    In our part of SW WA we use a kind of controller for bore pumps which figures out that your stream flow has stopped by monitoring the power factor (PF). When your PF drops below a defined threshold it turns off the pump and restarts it in a pre defined period of time. For the last two or three years we have had to regularly rest the parameters of these controllers because the voltage goes up and down (and with it, the PF) as the increasing number of solar panels in an area kick in, and out, and in, and out…. So my irrigation fails due to a bogus lack of water triggered by solar panels in the surrounding area, which I subsidise through my power bill.

    80

  • #
    Peter Quinby

    “rest the parameters” should be “reset the parameters” – battery in cordless keyboard is in it’s death throes.

    40

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    As the man says, a simple solution ;
    if you wanna go solar, go off the grid ! ! !
    Don’t stuff up the rest of us. Leave us be.
    We don’t want your renewables at any cost ! ! !
    GeoffW

    00

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    As the man says, there is a simple solution ;
    If you wanna go solar, go off the grid ! ! !
    Don’t stuff up the rest of us. Leave us be.
    We don’t want/need your renewables at any cost ! ! !
    GeoffW

    10

  • #

    Interesting … I live in Perth’s upmarket northern estate of Balga. On Tuesday night at roughly 5.40pm I was preparing dinner and suddenly there was a power failure. It lasted somewhere between five and 10 seconds but took about 24 hours to reboot computers, reset digital clocks, lighting timers, remote door bells, scrambled TV HD set top box, etc. I’ve lived in Perth all my life and have never experienced a power blackout lasting less than 10 seconds. They’re usually half an hour or several hours, depending on how long it takes to repair a fallen power line somewhere.

    I heard some loud voices from neighbours over the next couple of minutes so I’m fairly sure I wasn’t the only one that lost power for a bit under 10 seconds – and I’m not aware of anything on my property that can cut all power for a short time and then decide to come back on again. Besides, I had a computer and one low energy light bulb turned on, and that’s it, so I was hardly stressing my fuse box. Tuesday was above 40C in Perth and 5.40pm is about when everybody gets home from work and heads straight for the air conditioner button.

    I phoned Western Power Wednesday morning and they said they were unaware of any power failure in my district the night before, but took my address and said they’d look into it. The person I spoke to agreed that the most likely explanation for a power blackout lasting less than 10 seconds was load shifting causing a technical glitch somewhere. It was a blistering sunny day, but maybe not enough for the solar panels to keep everybody’s A/C units running at the same time.

    All a bit of a mystery, and I’m hoping it’s not a taste of things to come.

    20

  • #
    John PAK

    Mt Piper near Lithgow provides ~15% of NSW electricity. If this or another big unit suffers a break-down this summer there will be on-going rolling black-outs to huge regions. As others have already pointed out, grid-connect home solar trips out when it detects a grid failure so the effect will be >15% loss of power. The back-lash against solar and wind will be swift and decisive. A new coal generator will be commissioned and people will start being more rational about electricity generation. I imagine W.A., which behaves like a separate country, will be in a similar condition.
    It would be smart to build a few small jet-engine based generators in the interim. Combined cycle units are very fuel efficient and can be brought on line from a cold start in a few hours rather than a few days. Au has enough gas in the ground to run the nation for decades but it will take a grim reality to spawn some common sense.

    20

  • #

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