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Australian grid has major near miss: SA Islanded for two weeks

Here in Renewables-World downunder, most people don’t know the grid has barely scraped through the last two weeks. We almost lost an Aluminium smelter, came close to a statewide blackout  and South Australia is (possibly) still islanded from the rest of the National Grid.

The AEMO held a crisis meeting yesterday but this trouble started Friday week ago in what was described as a “white knuckle event” by energy analyst, Paul McArdle at WattClarity. A storm knocked down six large transmission towers on the high voltage interconnector line in Western Victoria which left South Australia suddenly islanded. This time SA had 1,000MW more energy than it could use, so frequency in SA suddenly rose to a near disastrous 50.96Hz and briefly perhaps even higher. (Wait for the official reports). The system teetered but managed to stay running. Prices rocketed up to the usual spike to $14,500/MWh in both Victoria and South Australia.

It would have been nerve-wracking in the control rooms. The Portland Aluminium Smelter in Victoria, which is the largest single user of electricity in Victoria, had a near death experience. Both pot lines shut down immediately. It appears emergency workers only managed to get 50% of the power back up 3 hours and ten minutes later.  The future of the plant hung in the balance — after a few hours without power pot lines can freeze permanently solid. It’s referred to as a “near fatal event”. If those 1,000°C pot lines cool to 700°C the molten aluminium sets solid and that’s the end of the plant.

The smelter is on the SA side of the broken transmission line, so it’s now a part of the extended South Australian network. Though it is largely powered by Mortlake Gas generator — which is also in Victoria, but on the western side of the break.

SA is effectively still islanded without the main interconnector. The only line in or out is the small 300MW direct current”MurrayLink” line, which has been constrained to zero (meaning, left unused, ready for an emergency.)

UPDATE: Remember a DC or direct current line is not able to help with frequency much — it can’t do “FCAS” except in an indirect way to help match generation and load a bit better. Obviously DC power doesn’t run at 50Hz or any Hz or it would be AC.

It presents itself with a situation almost unique in the world – a state grid that is normally powered more than 50 per cent by renewables operating without any major links to another grid. — Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy

The AEMO has scrambled to keep the system running. Because it has no control over rooftop solar power, the agency is instead comandeering the three batteries, and telling 23 different wind, solar and gas generators  that they will be constrained to zero output if South Australia’s minimum demand falls below 800MW.

In this situation, it is causing a headache for the grid operator, and it underlines why AEMO has been pushing for new measures and mechanisms that allows it to have some sort of control over the output of rooftop solar, now totalling more than 10GW in Australia on more than 2.2 million rooftops.

LATE NOTE: Rooftop solar doesn’t help with FCAS either. Another reason the AEMO would be concerned about it dominating the lunchtime slot.

Markets go haywire

Prices in SA have been zero or slightly negative in SA — there are just too many generators there. But what there isn’t is much stability — there are few big turbines. So the gas generators have been reaping in the maximum FCAS (Frequency Control Ancilliary Service) fees.

The share of renewables in the state’s grid has averaged 50 per cent since it became an energy “island”, with rooftop solar providing much of daytime demand, and wind energy playing its role at night time. Prices have been volatile, it’s been negative more than positive.

That has created more problems, however. AEMO has had to intervene to prevent an “excess of negative pricing residues” flowing between South Australia and Victoria, and causing price settlement issues in both states. It has also had to impose a price limit on the frequency and ancillary services market, after the various FCAS markets pushed the price to the market cap for several days running.

This is the result of the few gas generators capable of delivering FCAS in South Australia having no competition from interstate, due to the failed Heywood interconnector, and the lack of competition from local batteries otherwise seconded by AEMO.

— Giles Parkinson, Reneweconomy

Commenters at Reneweconomy are cheering at the thought of lots of renewables and cheap electricity. But they don’t seem to realize that investors might not be as enthusiastic.

Bidding games?

For the next day or so the national system balanced on the brink. Paul McArdle described his bafflement at some of the sudden volatility.  Far away in NSW an LOR 2 situation (that’s a Lack of Reserve) suddenly appeared on Saturday at 5pm without warning, out of nowhere. The margins were extremely tight. The whole state of NSW had a bare 350MW of extra capacity ready to go in a system that was generating 12,000 MW. Apparently in toto with imports NSW was using 13,717MW at 16:55. This is close to an all time high.

McArdle goes on to point out that the sudden loss of capacity was coincident with some very tricky bidding by Colongra Gas Turbines (Snowy Hydro) which suddenly withdrew capacity and then offered it back 28 minutes later after the LOR2 was called. They essentially invited the AEMO to direct them on, he says. Too tricky by half. Were they gaming the system to ensure compensation?

McArdle says he “can imagine that others would use a few different adjectives in relating their own perceptions of this sort of process, and participant behaviour.”

There could be some unintended consequences in fake markets where customers don’t get to choose the cheapest energy unless the wind isn’t blowing.

 

h/t Dave B, Robber, Tonyfromoz, Robert Rosica

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Australian grid has major near miss: SA Islanded for two weeks , 9.9 out of 10 based on 96 ratings

208 comments to Australian grid has major near miss: SA Islanded for two weeks

  • #

    Well spotted.

    The urgent solution is, of course, to ban and dismantle all non-hydro renewables, no matter the cost, as one would clean up after a war or natural disaster.

    Uphill Snowy must be cancelled, no matter the cost. The use of imported diesel for major, long term power back-up must be banned (the carpetbaggers knowing diesel gen is the quick fix for papering over the failures of renewables). Profiteering from the tangles and shocks in the energy “market” must result in jail terms after due process.

    Discard the lot. Solar, wind, wave, Big Battery etc are feeble, antiquated niche technologies. They are flimsy, old-fashioned toys. Okay for hot water, pumping, caravans or remote shacks. Discard now.

    There is no baby here. It’s all bathwater.

    701

    • #
      James Poulos

      See Mossy, this is where I disagree with you:

      If believe if we hasten the headlong plunge into renewables we hasten the realisation by those that believe in renewables that coal and nuclear is the answer.

      The minute access to social media is continually interrupted by uneconomic and unreliable energy networks is the minute the light bulb will suddenly switch on.

      460

      • #
        John

        Good luck with that.

        It will never be the renewables fault. Never.

        330

        • #
          Dennis

          The renewables believers on social media are convinced that fossil fuels are yesterday and renewables are the future.

          One even commented that when the writer has an EV it will be charged overnight from solar panels.

          400

          • #
            Deano

            “One even commented that when the writer has an EV it will be charged overnight from solar panels.”

            I charge up my solar panels by laying my new phone on them for a few minutes.

            20

            • #
              yarpos

              There is an app that displays a solar panel on the display and encourages you to leave your phone lying in the sun – not kidding. The feedback section is hilarious with people giving 5 star ratings and encouraging would be downloaders to do it , some counselling that you get a much faster charge in your microwave.

              30

              • #
                Deano

                yarpos – That’s a ripper! (as I would have said in primary school). It reminds me of the ‘DVD Rewinder’ – except that everyone knew it was just a gag.

                10

        • #
          James Poulos

          Hi John,

          That’s even better if it’s not the fault of ‘renewables’ then they will go back to blaming ‘Climate Change’ and demand more ‘renewables’.

          It’s a lose/lose situation for climate believers.

          They will kill their own Gods.

          90

        • #
          James Poulos

          Hi Dennis,

          And when the day comes they find solar panels don’t charge EV’s over night (oh dear) then they will follow the example of their lesser Gods, one such as their God Agel… and they will simply purchase portable LPG powered generators convinced they are helping the planet, and happily stupid, they will continue to add their share of the ‘green donation’ to their renewable energy provider that maintains the majority of their supply with Gas Fired reserves.

          80

          • #
            Dennis

            James another of the woke people commented in reply to a post from me regarding wind and solar systems being unreliable, as in when the wind doesn’t blow, responded that there is no problem, somewhere in Australia wind turbines will be operating.

            They are clueless.

            141

            • #
              James Poulos

              Yes they are, Den.

              If we had no fossil fuel generators (their ultimate goal) then we would be at the mercy of a large number of very small renewable networks with no ability to draw energy from each other in the event of night, cloud, gales and doldrums.

              20

            • #
              dennisa

              Dennis to Dennis…

              That is the standard response in the UK also, even from a guy on the Climate Change Committee who is supposed to be an engineer, “the wind is always blowing somewhere”, but not necessarily when and where you want it to.

              00

      • #
        Analitik

        if we hasten the headlong plunge into renewables we hasten the realisation by those that believe in renewables that coal and nuclear is the answer.

        Absolutely. It is in (the rest of) Australia’s best interest that South Australia remain isolated for as long as possible with emergency rollouts of more wind and solar, hopefully into the next heatwave, so that the (lack of) ability of the renewables is clearly demonstrated.

        Sorry croweaters.

        30

      • #
        Analitik

        if we hasten the headlong plunge into renewables we hasten the realisation by those that believe in renewables that coal and nuclear is the answer.

        Absolutely. It is in (the rest of) Australia’s best interest that South Australia remain isolated for as long as possible with emergency rollouts of more wind and solar, hopefully into the next heatwave, so that the (lack of) ability of the renewables is clearly demonstrated.

        Sorry croweaters.

        00

    • #
      James Poulos

      But it is going to hurt…

      150

      • #
        Lance

        Black Grid Start will get everyone’s attention.

        Bootstrapping a grid is frightening even if the generation is dispatchable.

        Doing so with intermittent generation is nigh on impossible.

        Let’s just say that no sane person wants to go there.

        210

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Yeah but the climate cult appear to not be sane…..it appears to be a religion, not logic….

          110

        • #
          Analitik

          Black Grid Start will get everyone’s attention.
          Bootstrapping a grid is frightening even if the generation is dispatchable.

          That is why all the grid operators (across the globe) have learnt from the SA 2017 blackout and will now drop large urban segments without hesitation in order to prevent the grid from collapsing completely. Of course the media tends to underplay these events and point the finger at operators and other generators rather than renewables and other distributed generation.

          90

        • #
          yarpos

          Thing is Lance they dont even know there is a “there”

          The Engineering profession in Australia is missing in action or in fear of their jobs and careers,

          20

    • #
      Geoff

      Meanwhile in Victoriastan there is 2GW less demand. Alcoa? No. Can’t see that 2GW in SA Demand. Where did it go? Looks like a general industrial collapse. Has anyone yet noticed outside of a few electrical engineers working in the Latrobe Valley?

      151

    • #
      tom0mason

      Maybe SA just needs to deindustrialize faster and deeper, then all of Australia will see the (flickering) light.

      161

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        tomOmason:

        It would be difficult to find enough industry left in SA to make a difference. Apart from the Pt. Pirie smelter (Nystar) that the Government wants to shut down** and the Whyalla steel business being hyped as running on green energy or will be shortly (just send cash) there is little left.

        **lead levels in the blood of residents are supposedly BAD for them. There has been a lead smelter in the town since 1889 with improvements in emission controls so the problem is NOW WORSE THAN EVER.

        50

    • #
      AP

      The problem is that if you ask most people, they will tell you the solution is something involving more government meddling.

      They have been well trained by the ABC. Most of their news items (about everything) include a call for increased government.

      220

    • #

      momoso

      Solar panels and wind turbines work PERFECTLY when part of a correctly designed SYSTEM, designed by engineers.

      Of course you can get solar powered electricity at night.

      Of course you can get wind powered electricity when there is no wind.

      The modern engineering solution is nuclear powered fans for wind farms, to keep those windmills spinning, and nuclear powered LED spotlights to shine on the solar panels at night.

      The proper application of modern engineering solutions can solve every known problem with solar and wind power, except for two:
      – Windmill bird shredding**
      – Keeping solar panels clean and efficient*****

      ** Screens surrounding each wind turbine installation have been proposed

      ***** Putting homeless people to work has been proposed — in NYC the bums … er …I mean homeless people, used to clean windshields of cars stopped at red lights, for spare change, so have proven their ability to clean glass.

      20

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    In another state, on which is always islander. WA hit 50% renewable contribution over summer
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/west-australia-grid-officially-hits-more-than-50-renewables-for-first-time-21842/

    315

    • #
      Ian Hill

      So all the stars were aligned for that to happen. Can it repeat that when they are NOT aligned, for example at night?

      On the other hand fossil fuel electricity generation has no need for stars.

      100

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        you could, of course, read the link. Instead you opt for the wrong interpretation.

        33

        • #
          Ian Hill

          I did read the link. From the article:

          “At the time, 51 per cent of underlying system demand was supplied by VRE output,” the report notes. “This was a result of mild temperatures, clear skies (resulting in high rooftop PV output) and high wind speeds.”

          Like I said, the stars were lined up.

          50

      • #

        How many minutes was that for Peter?

        And how much cheaper is Perth electricity now? Or did it cost us 10cKWh to achieve five minutes of 50% green electrons?

        And did renewables have anything to do with the rolling blackouts in Jan that affected 100,000 in the dark — Did the 130MW Badgingarra wind farm co-tripping with the gas plant make the situation worse?

        211

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          it is in the link

          33

          • #

            Yes, and I read it all before you even posted.

            Tops = 30 minutes at 50% “green” which comes at the cost of 10c/KWH 24 hours a day for ten years plus possible mass blackout.

            Good policy?

            91

        • #
          PeterS

          Even if that 5 minutes was free it would not help. The continuous move to renewables everywhere at all levels of government, state or federal is negligent and IMHO treasonous because I thought the stability and availability of power is a national security issue.

          140

          • #
            Dennis

            Well the provision of electricity is a State Government constitutional responsibility Peter, same with water supply dams and most infrastructure, Federation of States by agreement left the former colonies with most of their powers, otherwise there would have been no Federation. In fact New Zealand remains listed as a Commonwealth State but they opted out.

            The Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme was arranged by the Federal Government but it took them ten years to gain the cooperation and contributions of land and water supplies etc from the States.

            RET was Federal Labor Government, by that I mean the about 30 per cent with special subisidies RET as compared to the original Howard Government post-Kyoto Agreement trial basis only and a much smaller target. But implementation with planning approvals was all done by the States responsible for electricity supply and on behalf of the people managers of State assets power stations and grid. The AEMO is a cooperative of States with the Federal Government.

            Federal Government is too often blamed for things beyond their direct control.

            30

            • #
              PeterS

              The states didn’t sign up to the Paris Agreement, the federal government did. In any case both state and federal governments are on the same bandwagon of more and more emission reductions. If the PM really wanted to stop too much focus on renewables all he has to do is mandate a tax on renewables to make them uncompetitive and provide subsidies to coal fired power plants to make them more attractive for investors. Of course he won’t do it because he is scared of the left. If he is not scared then perhaps he believes totally in the CAGW crap.

              40

    • #
      AndyG55

      The point that MATTERS is how often so-called renewables provide next to nothing

      There MUST be RELIABLE back-up for all that time.

      So you need to pay for the provision and upkeep of BOTH systems

      We can see from German statistics just how UNRELIABLE wind and solar really are.

      (Below 16% of nameplate for at least 50% of the time.. rather pathetic.)

      Would you buy any piece of equipment that only worked 16% of the time.. at random ?

      I suppose you might, certainly more functional than your mind. ;-)

      81

      • #
        Ian Hill

        Would you buy any piece of equipment that only worked 16% of the time.. at random ?

        Describes my old lawn mower perfectly. I now use an electric one, but seeing as I live in SA that may be going the same way soon! :)

        40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      PF, you posted this twice, so I’m also replying twice.
      How are the cherries Peter?
      Now let’s look at the real facts for WA power. For the last 12 months, the energy mix was:
      Coal: 47%
      Gas: 40%
      Wind: 10%
      Solar: 0.3%

      10

    • #
      Kratoklastes

      Renewables are such a good investment that the biggest large-scale solar plant developer (Downer) just quit the industry.

      Not to worry though… a bunch of anti-capitalists who failed Year 9 Maths will find a way to finish all the develop,ents and run them profitably (if profits are measured in units of ignorant self-righteousness).

      30

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Lest we forget….none of this due to matters beyond our control.

    This situation in SA is result of the climate cult, as is the individual states, and we also have in the seats of power and positions of control, many who appear to hate deplorables….

    In short, its now only a matter of time before we have a significant grid down event.

    490

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I await a significant grid down event, with much interest.

      As I type this, some of the younger engineers of my acquaintance are placing all of their bets on the “Internet Of Things”, “IOT”, as being the savior of us all.

      90

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Now thats funny….IoT is going to primarily be a 5G thing, but RF needs power, and as my inlaws who live on the south coast found out, no power no cell service.

        What do they teach in engineering schools these days…lollipops and rainbows?

        60

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          I suspect that they refer to 7G rainbows, because they want to be seen as being ahead of the curve, whatever that means.

          But don’t blame me. I still carry a hammer in my tool bag, in case I run out of pixie-dust.

          40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Rereke:

        Does that mean they expect to save people from a blackout by cutting off their electricity?

        What happens with a big Supermarket when the power is (automatically) cut to their freezers? Do they throw out $100,000 of stocks and say “Oh Well, it’s a small price to pay to save the planet” OR do they start up their reserve generator(s)?

        60

      • #
        D. J. Hawkins

        I can’t imagine what engineering course of study would lead them to this conclusion. E.M. Smith, over at his blog, “The Chiefio”, caustically suggests that IoT stands for “Idiocy of Things”, and I quite agree. I’m not interested in someone hacking into my home network via the refrigerator, thank you very much. In the Catholic tradition, St Patrick is the patron saint of engineers. I gently suggest the witlings placing their faith in IoT adopt St Murphy instead. At least that way, all their surprises will be pleasant ones.

        21

  • #
    PeterS

    I would also add another aspect to the growing instability to our power supply needs, at least in certain suburbs of Sydney. The recent storm in Sydney has exposed the lack of tree management. Surprise surprise trees tend to grow and grow. So much so we now have countless trees overhanging or too close to power lines and communications lines. As a result whenever we have even a mild storm people lose their power and in some cases internet connection. Not sure who is to blame for this. Local councils? In any case, a lot of people will have to put up with more frequent and longer interruptions as the trees are allowed to keep growing without extensive pruning if not removal. We live in a society where governments at all levels don’t give a damn, and the people don’t give a damn about them not giving a damn. Australia is collectively an insane asylum.

    360

    • #
      Dennis

      Insane without a doubt, here is what the Paris Agreement emissions reduction is about …

      “To achieve Australia’s 2030 target of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels, emissions reductions of 395 to 462 Mt CO2-e between 2021 and 2030 are required.”

      CO2.

      90

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Why choose the number of 395 to 462 Mt CO2? Why the precision? Why can they not express it in round numbers? How do we ensure that we are not counting CO2 molecules, twice, or worse, missing a few? Mind you, this is the Paris Agreement, so a fair amount of CO2 was probably “popped” in the process.

        60

        • #
          Dennis

          I answered to a public company board with the chairman a senior banker and he hated reading reports or capital expenditure applications made complex by not rounding figures.

          Bureaucratic nonsense.

          30

    • #
      RickWill

      One definite change with trees in the last 50 years is their rate of growth. The task of managing trees requires accelerating effort.
      https://phys.org/news/2017-11-urban-trees-faster-worldwide.html

      “While the effects of climate change on tree growth in forests have been extensively studied, there is little information available so far for urban trees,” said Professor Hans Pretzsch from the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield Science at TUM. The study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports, systematically examined the growth of urban trees worldwide for trends resulting from changing environmental conditions for the first time.

      Urban trees are benefiting not only from higher CO2 levels but from urban heat. The linked article determines rate increase of 20% over the last 50 years.

      120

    • #
      yarpos

      Council doesnt get a vote in my area of VIC. The distribution company’s tree management contractors just come along and trim with extreme predjudice.

      00

      • #
        Annie

        Had a visit this very afternoon; nice chappie. Most of their people ok but we had some real vandals a couple of years ago who did astonishing things to a blackwood; very ugly sight afterwards. :( Just theoretical now as said tree blew over in the recent gales!

        00

  • #
    PeterS

    Well if PM Morrison is serious about reducing our emissions even more so there is really only one option to do so in a significant and efficient manner. Nuclear. The amount of renewables required would be too costly as well as making matters worse in terms of instability to the grid. Coal is out of the question even with HELE plants as really significant reductions in emissions are not possible, especially if the long term target is 0% or close to it. Similar story with gas. So nuclear is simply the only solution if we are seriously about reducing emissions significantly, just as is the case in UK. Of course most of us here haven’t fallen for the whole emission reduction hoax but that’s no longer the point. Both major parties have joined the madness of believing in CAGW so emission reductions are now a given whether we like them or not. So PM Morrison do us a favour and start pushing for nuclear and stop being a hypocrite. Better still stop the madness of emission reductions in the first place and promote new coal fired power stations but that’s a lost cause now.

    231

    • #
      PeterS

      Just to clarify things. I’m not suggesting we give up the fight against the reduction emissions madness. We should keep pushing hard as possible. If the public wake up to our sentiments we should see at least one of the two major parties change their tune in a hurry.

      151

    • #
      sophocles

      Nuclear is eminently sensible but … there’s one thing you’ve overlooked Peter: the pollies will still get it all wrong.

      They have this (sometimes fatal) attraction for White Elephants. It’s probably part and parcel of their requirement to build monuments to themselves and the more money wasted the more attractive the monument is to them.

      230

      • #
        PeterS

        Actually I haven’t neglected that point but I see what you mean. I stated many times both major parties are insane, stupid or don’t give a damn about doing their bit to help the people of this once great nation. We are being let down big time. So you are right, even if we did go nuclear they will stuff it up, just as they did with the NBN and submarine contract. It’s also interesting to note the cost of building a few nuclear power stations is far less than the money they are spending (with our money) on those other two major projects. Yet the benefits flowing from going nuclear are far greater if they got it right. Apart from being more reliable and stable power we would have spin-offs that open up new industries and jobs. Looks like Mark Latham is right. Our political masters are more interested in de-industrialising our once great nation. With “friends” like them who needs enemies?

        120

        • #
          BoyfromTottenham

          And don’t forget the dozen or so desalination plants that we built a few years ago. White elephants all (except maybe WA).

          101

      • #
        Ursus Augustus

        There is a reason they “get it all wrong”. Pretty well none of them is technically literate themselves and they have to seek ‘advice’ from ‘experts’ which in turn they lack the technical literacy to fully understand especially in terms of potential what ifs (this changes or goes wrong etc). It is as if they look at the land and see a map with no topography let alone local geographic and ecological features.

        They just have no proper instincts in these matters and have no idea just how much detail examination, analysis and planning is required to successfully assess potential projects let alone implement them, e.g. Pink Batts. a fairly simple, straightforward concept, would do the then required economic stimulus job and deliver some energy savings to individuals and hence the community etc. Look how that turned out.
        In similar vein, WW1 is an exemplar of the decision makers being stuck in some bubble of vacuous incompetence far from the front line.

        By comparison the Romans, over 2000 years ago, had the practice where many successful politicians cut their teeth as ‘military men’ coming up though the ranks to eventually lead legions and then returned to their political life in the Senate well rounded (in terms of the times) in both realpolitik and public administration and how infrastructure projects actually worked. A large dimension of the military experience was in what we would call civil engineering and Senators had a good understanding of how to oversee construction of roads, bridges, aquaducts, sewage systems and new settlement town planning etc as well as managing logistics etc. The delivery of such benefits to themselves and conquered peoples was a basic reason why the Roman models was so successful for half a milennium or more using the basic technological capacity of the times with knowledge, discipline and clear purpose.

        Our politicians and public servants by comparison are bye and large comparatively stay at home, latte sipping la de da’s who barely know crap from clay, and then only in a theoretical sense, still having to rely on ‘experts’ to tell them which is which on a case by case basis.

        Compounding that is the msm who are typically of even less technical understanding, utterly addicted to snorting melodrama and relentlessly debauch themselves in continuous orgies of groupthink-talk that are all the rage in la de da land.

        280

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Ave, Ursus.

          The thing is, those of us here who “know stuff” will be responsible for rebooting the country after it collapses.

          As such, I’d suggest immediate jail time for any CAGW weenie after that event….

          130

        • #
          Sapel Mirrup

          Thanks great bear. Excellent and accurate summation of the key factors.

          The waters are muddied, I’d say deliberately, by creating a frenzied, busy, muddled environment around the PM’s and Cabinet’s daily schedules. Thus,unless they took a technical interest before entering upon their Parliamentary careers, they simply now don’t have the time to become literate since much of their day is filled with meaningless bureaucratic discourse and spending emotional energy on worrying about their party’s popularity and how to maintain it, caring more about optics and pandering to loud-mouthed interest groups rather then to finding real solutions to problems which affect the viability and stability of the nation.

          How often do we hear the words, “We need to have a conversation about xyz..” The media use this phrase to slow everything down that is foreign to their personal ideology, to keep kicking the can down the road. If no agreement is forthcoming, then “we need to have another conversation…” etc. etc. For many issues, the time is long past for a conversation. Some of these matters should have been seriously addressed two decades ago. Now is the time for statesmanlike, resolute, active decision making that is properly informed by the likes of proven expert engineers, who don’t seem to put that much of an appearance in the consultation process, it seems.

          20

    • #

      PeterS mentions this:

      Well if PM Morrison is serious about reducing our emissions even more so there is really only one option to do so in a significant and efficient manner. Nuclear.

      Here I would just add that we need to be very cautious in thinking that this could be an effective answer.

      True, it actually is a very good option, but the time frame involved is humungously long term.

      If we were to start the process now, it would take a minimum (absolute best case scenario) of at least ten to twelve years to have a Nuclear power plant delivering power, and they are not even initiating the talks needed to move in that direction anyway, and my thoughts on that is that just that of itself, the talking about it and then making decisions and then investigations, committees, political will etc etc etc would take ten years or so before we get to the start of the ten to twelve years process. So, here we are looking at 20 years plus before Nuclear power starts to deliver power.

      That’s way too far off into the future to even consider.

      We perhaps might use China as an example, a Country where they are starting out on Nuclear power. Even there it is barely in fourth place when it comes to implementation, far behind coal fired power, then hydro power and then maybe wind power. In the last year, barely two new Nuclear power plants came on line. Nuclear power makes up only 4.4% of their total power generation. Now, contrast that with new tech coal fired plants being constructed in China. There were around 27 new ones (large scale 2000MW+) which came on line last year, still averaging one new plant every two weeks. Coal fired power makes up 69% of all generated power in China, much the same percentage as here in Oz.

      In the last year alone China added 350TWH of NEW power generation, (and here, for sake of comparison, Australia’s total power generation is 204TWH) so China added 1.72 Australia’s to its grids. China’s total power generation from every source is 7325.3TWH, Australia multiplied by 36. (and the population factor is 57)

      Nuclear power in China is a bit player, slowly increasing, but nowhere near the rate of increase of all other power generation sources.

      It’s the same everywhere there is nuclear power. If a Country has it already, it is delivering and delivering well, but as to NEW nuclear plants, you still wouldn’t need to take off your shoes to count those new ones.

      Nuclear power is an option, correct, but we are in this situation now where we need shorter term solutions.

      Tony.

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        Lance

        Tony, as you well know, short term solutions are:

        Combined Cycle Gas Turbine
        Open cycle gas turbine

        Doable in 1 to 2 yrs per station.

        Subcritical or near critical coal plants. 5 to 10 yrs each.

        Nuclear : 7 to 15 yrs each, depending on lawsuits and such.

        One salient issue is the installation of connecting transmission lines and substations for each plant. Some of the components take 2 yrs to obtain.

        Remember the 6 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

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        PeterS

        Not as long term as you think Tony if you compare to the time, effort and funds required to build the necessary renewable power generation systems including the connections to the grid and backups. Backups are the key since if we want to move to 0% renewables then without backups we are dead in the water. IMHO deploying nuclear would be not much different overall but certainly cheaper than renewables. Having said all that using new generation coal power stations is better overall but as I said before it doesn’t provide 0% emissions. The drive to 0% or even 50% is all they care about at the moment yet the only viable and effective solution that can provide it is nuclear. Don’t you see the hypocrisy? I personally don’t give a damn whether we go nuclear or coal. Both offer reliable, stable us efficient means of base load power. What I do give a damn about is we as a nation have to adopt one or both, not neither. Since it’s neither at the moment this nation has gone insane.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          PeterS:

          The problem is that variable input from renewables destabilises any reliable generation process.
          In Ireland they tried wind and CCGTs as a way of getting reliability and low emissions. The problem was not when the wind didn’t blow, but when it did. The CCGTs had to be throttled back, resulting in lower efficiency (higher costs and emissions) and problems with thermal stress cracking.

          Yes output from coal and nuclear also can be reduced but can they recover fast enough when the wind drops? Ultimately the solution IF you want renewables has to be diesels as is now happening in SA**.

          As for nuclear, which process? The old Gen 3 plants are very expensive (outside of China) and out dated. Modular types would be better, but which process? I know Thorium is the magic word but I stress no one has run one of the proposed types for any length of time yet. Thorium can be (and is) used in most nuclear processes when bomb making materials aren’t the goal.

          ** Dual fuelled Gas fired, i.e. they start on diesel and when hot enough switch to running on gas. Cheaper and more reliable than those ‘peaker’ plants (Open Cycle GTs) so wonderful in the minds of the Greens.

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          • #
            PeterS

            I’m no expert on nuclear reactors but surely we can find a suitable solution. We are not the first nation in the world to use nuclear – in fact we are one of the last. In any case it’s moot since both major parties are not willing to go down that road. Yet they want to reduce emissions to as close as possible to 0% without due consideration to cost and stability. I suppose they truly believe in the CAGW story and are too focused on avoiding an alleged global warming catastrophe. We are being sold out by our own political masters.

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          • #
            Chad

            IF you want renewables has to be diesels as is now happening in SA**

            G3….
            …SA has over 3.4 GW of “Fossil” fueled generation, …of which the vast majority ..2.5+GW …is GAS fueled, and is effectively their .” Base load” generation.

            10

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              Chad:
              There is (at the moment) gas fired steam boilers kept in service to get over the expected summer peak. The modern (replacement) plant may be called gas but it is a dual fueled diesel as above. Yes that is the base load supplier.
              Then there is the delight of the green WOKE, the Peaker gas turbines. These are just that, except when burning diesel as they did when first installed. Quick to fire up, expensive on gas, costly generation of electricity and lots of maintenance down time. These Open Cycle Gas Turbines may (or may not) be available when wanted (I’ve seen claims of over 80% maintenance times) so it is not appropriate to call them base load.

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          • #
            Tony K

            I’m going to suggest that no matter which option is discussed here, nothing will occur until we have more politicians with the balls to even look Australian climate change believers in the eyes and tell them renewables are a waste of time, money and effort. Currently, the ABC does a fantastic job (sigh) of keeping the Kelly’s and the Abbot’s marginalised. The politicians as a whole, have spent 30 years playing on climate change fears and using it to their advantage as best they can in all aspects of public and media awareness. It’s going to take them at least 10 years of concerted effort to extricate themselves from this mess before they even start to try put a realistic energy plan together. Australians believe renewables are the future. They have solar panels on their homes! They must be on the cusp of a golden age of free, unlimited energy, right??? Even a full scale grid black will not convince them otherwise at this stage. We’re at the point now where it is going to take significant and ongoing grid disruptions over several years to convince a majority of people that renewables don’t work.
            A return to a time of cheap, readily available and reliable electricity will not occur quickly.

            10

            • #
              PeterS

              Yes, the buck really stops with the voters. Until they suffer things won’t change and we will continue down the road of more renewables to reduce our emissions and pretend we can change the climate. Stupid is as stupid does.

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    Mike Jonas

    Interesting. Here we have a near-total disaster, and Reneweconomy people cheering. How can this be? Is the clue in their “This is the result of the few gas generators capable of delivering FCAS in South Australia having no competition from interstate …”? It seems they are arguing that more facilities are needed to rescue people from renewable energy’s failures and then everything will be OK. To my mind, that’s just backward thinking. Surely the relevant way of thinking is that the first requirements of power supply are sufficiency and reliability – when you’ve got that it’s OK to add some renewables.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Surely the relevant way of thinking is that the first requirements of power supply are sufficiency and reliability – when you’ve got that it’s OK to add some renewables.

      That’s exactly the approach adopted by the UK. They closed down their coal fired power plants a long time ago and went to nuclear. Now they are adopting renewables to some extent. Some warming alarmists are clamouring we should follow UK’s approach to adopting more and more renewables neglecting the fact the UK already had a sufficient and realisable base load power source – nuclear. We also have one base on coal but it is slowly but surely being allowed to deteriorate. We are then left with the worst of both words – less reliable base load and more unreliable renewables. Both major political parties are insane.

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      • #
        Dennis

        The UK also have an interconnector via the channel tunnel to French nuclear power stations.

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        • #
          PeterS

          Yes that too. We don’t. If we did we would be far better off. Of course the left here would not have a bar of it. Yet the Labour Party in the UK are happy with it. Go figure. Can we conclude our ALP+Greens is the real number one enemy here? I think so.

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          Graeme No.3

          Also one to The Netherlands and another to Ireland (although that mainly props up their Green project). There is also talk of one from Norway and even one from Iceland. (The last 2 with approval from the Greens and disapproval from those who can do arithmetic).
          Imports are almost a constant in the UK. For all that the grid is getting more and more unstable as the remaining coal fired plants are shut down** and gas fired isn’t coming on stream. Nuclear may not save them, even if the next one starts up in time.

          PM Boris has just announced that the UK will be carbon neutral by 2050 and that fuel burning cars will not be sold after 2035, so all electric cars. Also that houses will not be allowed to have gas heating and must convert to electricity (about 3 times the cost). That means a huge increase in demand for electricity. Obviously Boris means to be far, far away by 2035.

          **The unspoken item in the UK grid is Drax, subsidised for burning imported wood as a “renewable”. That supplies 4%, more than wind on occasions.

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            John

            You obviously don’t understand how renewables work. See, burning biomass isn’t like burning coal. It doesn’t add any net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere if you chop down a tree and burn it. Because, umm, that tree might grow back again, or something like that.

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            • #
              Kalm Keith

              It’s like mowing my lawn.

              Every time I mow it gives a chance for the grass to renew.

              Renewable vegetative activity, should get me a gold star from somewhere.

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              • #
                AndyG55

                My mowers in the shed, KK.

                Any time you feel like a bit of exercise ;-)

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                That last outing netted 62 kg.

                Approx one quarter was leaf material from the reserve across the road.

                Can I get carbon credits for that?

                And that’s the only time I’ve weighed it.

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          • #
            BoyfromTottenham

            G#3, if indeed the UK sticks with banning the sale of (new) IC cars, rational folk will ensure they have a reliable IC car after this date, simply by buying a new IC vehicle or looking after their existing one. This sensible reaction of course will reduce the sales of EVs (significantly IMO) and probably cause the government to rethink its policy even before the ban comes into force. If I am still around, I look forward to enjoying the resulting fustercluck!
            PS I think there is enough evidence now that socialism & central planning doesn’t work, but free markets do. If EVs were as good as they say, governments wouldn’t have to ban IC vehicles, just let the market sort things out. We should know by 2035 or even earlier. Sooo much simpler.

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              Graeme No.3

              BoyfromTotterham:

              The result of their various uncoordinated and downright lunatic plans should be enjoyed from a distance.
              They want to ban gas heating so the demand for electricity in colder months will at least double. The thought is that people should switch to air conditioning – call them by the American name heat pumps – because they are more efficient. But that efficiency figure was a laboratory one where heat at a standard temperature is transferred to a room at the same temperature. Imagine in winter time when it is 0℃ outside (which it might well be with global cooling) and people want to move heat into their houses. But that’s OK people will just have to install underground piping so they can extract heat from the earth, about half an acre of backyard should be enough.
              Or the reverse in summer should they want to move heat from their houses out to the hot outside. The Urban Heat island would really be noticed.

              Then they want to switch everybody to EV’s which will increase demand just as the sun goes down and before the turbines start generating (if they do). It means replacing all those connections to boost the capacity (who pays? Guess) but will they deliver at that time?
              Perhaps they could, but won’t, coordinate the digging of the roads and install the new bigger pipes necessary to deliver the hydrogen intended as a stopgap replacement for natural gas (if the process is every economical, which it won’t be).

              The authorities in the UK have never met a stupid idea they dislike if it is labelled green.

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    • #
      RickWill

      I have had long discussions at renew before I was banned. The majority view heavy industry as inappropriate for Australia because it provides base load and that is inconsistent with intermittent generation.

      They fundamentally believe that intermittent generators are the end game – solar, wind combined with hydro, pumped storage and a few batteries. Any load that makes this form of generation impractical needs to go. They strongly support the concept of load management. All loads should be under the control of the grid operator so demand can be adjusted to the supply.

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      • #

        Rick, I see what you (we) are up against here:

        They strongly support the concept of load management. All loads should be under the control of the grid operator so demand can be adjusted to the supply.

        You also mentioned Industry as well.

        Think of all the Heavy Industries which have closed in the last twelve years across this vast AEMO coverage area for power generation, not just in South Australia, but across Australia as a whole.

        And yet that Base Load, the absolute minimum power consumption every single day, has not only remained stable at 18000MW average but is in fact slowly increasing on a yearly basis. That is also despite the fact that new technologies across all power consuming equipment and devices has become less power consuming.

        There is hardly the tiniest percentage of people who are even aware of that Base Load, the single most misunderstood term in ALL power generation.

        There is no way known on this Earth that they can ‘manage’ that Load, because they do not even know that it exists in the first place. The fact that barely 20% (if it’s even that high at all) of that Load is Industry also escapes them.

        The Base Load is just that, the Base, because everything else is always UP from that, always has been, and always will be.

        The daily average on a year round basis is 23240MW.

        I would like to see them ‘Load manage’ that.

        Tony.

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        • #
          Lance

          The “Load” is whatever happens to be connected to the Grid.

          Load management is “after the fact” emergency measures.

          Once upon a time, there was enough spinning reserve to compensate for load spikes.

          Not so much, now. More so, AU has effectively “uncontrollable generation”.

          The political answer is to “manage the load”.

          The practical answer is to “manage generation”.

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      • #
        BoyfromTottenham

        F@scists.

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      • #
        yarpos

        So, they want North Korea then?

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  • #

    [...] As your correspondent reported last week, most of SE Australia was isolated from the SA power grid due to the loss of some transmission towers. Jo Nova updates the situation. [...]

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  • #
    joseph

    I know, OT but thought perhaps someone here might find it of interest . . . . . .

    https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1514-jo-nova-on-the-australian-bushfires/

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    PeterS

    Mark Latham was spot on when he mentioned today on Allan Jones’ show our push to more renewables while countries like Japan, China, India and many more are building more and more coal fired power stations (and in some cases nuclear to boot) is a course of the de-industrialisation of our once great nation. We can blame both major political parties for being on that course.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Starting point was 1975 and the Whitlam Labor Government signed the UN Lima Agreement (protocol) effectively the beginning of the end of most manufacturing businesses in Australia and also signed by other developed nations.

      Interesting to note that one of the beneficiary nations is developing nation China.

      In short, dismantling of the tariff system of import duties, imposition of more red and green tape government regulations and compliance costs for businesses, industrial relations legislation that, changed a number of times from worse to better and back to worse, handicapped businesses in favour of the unions and then carbon tax followed by the transition to renewable energy and electricity pricing rising up and up.

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      • #
        Dennis

        The late 1980s UN Agenda 30 – Sustainability added pressure by banning logging for the timber industry in what were many State Forests that became State National Parks, commercial fishing industry handicapped by National Marine Parks bans on fishing, etc.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        A good outline of a bad situation.

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        PeterS

        Yes, it’s really no wonder Australia is heading for a crash and burn scenario. There is some hope voters will wake up before that can happen and vote accordingly to bring in a third party to stir things up. The next federal election will reveal whether we are getting to that point or not.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          My concern is the UN flunkies who have undermined the country thus far, will use the crash to implement martial law ….for our “protection” of course. After that it will get ugly as anyone who opposes them will start to “disappear”…..

          Think it cant happen here? Whod have entertained the idea of a rank fantasy of clate change(tm) being promoted to the status of a secukar religion, and have cross party support of thugs of all varieties?

          I guess it will ultimately make sceptics “freedom fighters” in the end. It might get interesting. Very hard for the incumbents to win in asymetric “warfare” in the battle for the minds of people…asymetric warfare is the thing most armies fear the most.

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          • #
            PeterS

            If and when it does go pear shaped of course draconian measure will need to be put in place. Otherwise continual chaos will make matters worse. So let’s try and not get to that point. That requires a return to common sense and logic on the part of our political leaders. That requires voters to wake up and think before they vote an stop voting the same way as before in the hope of expecting a different result, which is one definition of insanity.

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        • #
          yarpos

          Vote to bring in a 3rd party? There seems to be a chicken/egg problem there

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Frankly I don’t know why the Portland aluminium smelter continues to do business here. The risks are too high and the electricity too expensive.

    In fact they wouldn’t be still here at all after the last pot freezing event during Turnbull’s time but he gave them a generous taxpayer funded subsidy of $80,000 per worker per year for four years x 2000 workers.

    Really, with our electricity supply and cost plus many other issues, why would any manufacturer remain here?

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    • #
      Dennis

      Twenty two years ago I decided not to proceed with a management buyout of a manufacturing business I was employed by for over twenty years that consistently produced operating profit three times industry average (Dunn & Bradstreet) and only double the average during the circa 1990 recession. The business plan confirmed that for all the reasons we now understand manufacturing industry was not going to survive longer term in Australia.

      Therefore, the costs involved in closing factories and removing/disposing of very heavy machinery, and making good the premises, would wipe out the profits gained over my estimated ten to twelve years. And in about that time frame the new foreign owners reached the same conclusion and no longer manufacture products here.

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    • #

      Heartbreaking when you think what goes into the building of a business, the risks, the training, the adaptations,the decades of re-investment…

      And the oafish plutocrat Turnbull thinks a pot of other people’s money = all that.

      These people are my neighbours on the other side of the forest. When you see how they work you realise that once an operation like this is gone it is gone forever. No green jobs or subsidies or re-training is worth what we are throwing away when we lose real skills, and the traditions and community built around those skills…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPNkoqKTUDc

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    • #
      hatband

      $640 million reasons every 4 years?

      It’s a great lurk for the Company, but what’s Australia gaining from the deal?

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      Chad

      I used to believe that a country could not be truely “First World” status without both primary Nuclear power generation and Primary industries such as Steel, and transportation manufacturing ( Trains, cars, trucks etc)
      I fooled myself that Australia was an exception due to Lucas heights Offsetting the lack of Nuclear power generation.
      However, with the total loss of the Motor industry and the inevitale demise of others … it is very clear that Australia IS NO LONGER A FIRST WORLD NATION,
      …and is in danger of becomming a leading example of a nation self destructing !

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      • #
        PeterS

        I’ve come to that conclusion a long time ago, namely that Australia is heading directly for a crash and burn scenario. It can still be avoided but it requires a drastic change in the voting behaviour. The next federal election will show whether we have reached that point or nothing has changed and the road to destruction is continuing.

        00

        • #
          Chad

          Well, i wont be holding my breath waiting for a dramatic political solution.
          The next election will be even more heavily influenced by media hype and Green propoganda supported by the poison in the Education system.
          A whole new breed of 18 -21 yr olds will try exercising their new found powers at the ballot box.
          I predict a slow , inevitable , slide back into near 3rd world conditions with decaying infrastructure and failing leadership.
          Just look to the Ex Colonial countries in Africa, for a vision of the future Australia !
          We are already part way there..

          20

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    GO WOKE, GO BROKE

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  • #
    Robber

    Wind turbines at Macarthur (420 MW) and Portand (148 MW) in western Victoria have produced zero power for February to date due to the interconnector grid collapse. In south eastern SA, Lake Bonney (280 MW) has also been shutdown for February. Appears the grid may be restored by the end of the week.
    meanwhile Mortlake gas generators in western Vic have been operating at a constant 460 MW for the past 12 days, presumably just enough to keep the Portland smelter operating, whereas during January they were providing variable peaking supply only.
    Oddly enough, the Feb average wholesale prices for SA and Vic have been around $38/MWhr compared to $83 and $143 in January.
    The wacky wreckonomics of wild winds.

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    • #

      Robber,

      There are six of those wind plants fully off line, Macarthur and Portland in Victoria, Canunda and the three at Lake Bonney in SouthAus.

      The total Nameplate off line at zero is 892MW across those six wind plants.

      What I have noticed is that (a lot of the) others in SouthAus are also constrained to minimal output as well.

      Now, keep in mind how I mentioned in the Unthreaded comment I made earlier that I hardly even noticed that these wind plants were off line.

      That’s because, wait for this, those SIX wind plants contribute just ONE PERCENT of the total generated power on the AEMO grid, around 6GWH of power a day, you know, the same power delivered by Bayswater in 2 hours and 15 minutes….. SIX wind plants!!!

      Tony.

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    So now the fossil fuel generators get first bite of the cherry and unreliables get the scraps which is opposite of the way it was .
    looks like even the subsidy farmers are doing it tough in Australia right now .

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    • #
      Dennis

      The politicians feeling the electoral heat at long last?

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      • #
        yarpos

        Heat from who? this will pass , the public is oblivious because effectively nothing has happened

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        There are faint signs. The fact that Barnaby generated (pardon the pun) so much media attention may make some politicians wake up. The Federal Gov. is “investigating” a coal fired plant in Qld. possibly one in NSW and a gas fired one in Victoria, but all those would require approval from the State Governments.

        As The Australian points out today, the Federal Govt. really is a coalition with the Nationals split in 2, and the Liberals split into the inner city Wokes and the outer suburban Blokes. Morrison will be balancing on a high wire while juggling and trying to play the bugle. The Media will be delighted with the confusion.

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        • #
          Dennis

          I understand that gas fired power stations have been approved now by Vic and QLD, the latter for SEQ.

          The Federal Government agreed to underwrite the private sector businesses finance.

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      RickWill

      robert
      The grid scale intermittent have been under increasing pressure for a couple of years. As the RET gets closer to being achieved, the price of LGCs has been falling. That means the intermittent generators are less inclined to ride through negative prices.

      The coal generators now bid some output at high negative prices. Enough to make it uneconomic for the intermittents to ride through it. So intermittents are voluntarily curtailing to avoid high negative prices. The coal can still make money by operating at minimum controllable output at negative prices in the knowledge that they can sell significant volume up near the cost of gas generation during periods of peak demand.
      https://www.energycouncil.com.au/analysis/negative-price-records-set/

      The increase in negative pricing periods has been noted previously[i], but the latest quarterly energy dynamics[ii] assessment by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows record levels of negative electricity prices in Queensland and South Australia

      .

      Rooftop solar is essentially uncontrollable. In most circumstances it sends out all that it is capable of. With ever growing rooftop capacity, it is eating away at the output of the grid scale intermittents.

      One take away from the current circumstances is the importance of the 650MW battery that Victoria is to the SA grid. Take that away and the SA intermittents lose their market. This gives a sense of what the situation would be like if the whole NEM tried to achieve 50% of its energy from intermittents. It would need something like 13GW of battery capacity with unlimited storage capacity; imagine the cost. And that it to get to just 50%.

      There may be an increase in price of LGCs due to the interconnector failure because it is limiting the output of intermittent generation thereby limiting the creation of LGCs.

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      • #

        As Rick mentions here, that is 13GW of batteries. The Hornsdale battery is 100MW, so that’s 130 of those. There’s $12 Billion right there.

        And for 13GW of batteries, you need that same amount of existing power to charge those batteries, keeping in mind that you either use the power from those power plants as it is being generated, or divert it to charge the batteries. You can do one or the other, not both at the same time.

        Tony.

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        • #
          Analitik

          Rick added “with unlimited storage capacity” rather than settling for the 72 minutes of full output from fully charged, so the $12 billion is merely the start.

          Or if you accept say (a piddling) 12 hours of storage for $120 billion then you need to add in the early replacements needed due to the inevitable frequent deep cycling if the batteries were indeed to firm the renewables even just for still nights. Again, the upfront battery cost is only the start.

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      • #
        Analitik

        While we’re discussing the Hornsdale battery, much ballyhoo has been made about it’s ability to respond to FCAS events more quickly and cost effectively than gas plants. Funny how there has been ZERO mention of it with the current situation, eh?

        In the real world, 100 MW and 84 MWh (30% is reserved for grid firming) is a toy.

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    Kalm Keith

    This post provides an important jumping off point to discuss the Politicization of Electricity production and distribution.

    It isn’t working; and given the number of similar “near misses” that have occurred it is amazing that the people running the system are still in charge.

    The effect of pricing extremes and supply variability means that not even mum and dad small businesses can survive in 2020.

    What chance does an aluminum smelter have.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/02/400mm-of-water-dropped-from-gods-water-bomber-and-puts-out-australian-fires/#comment-2274256

    We need Government in it’s truest sense.

    KK

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    robert rosicka

    Jo you should have included this actual footage of the towers moments before they fell over .
    Little bit sarc .

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b–kczcf4AI

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    Climate Heretic

    The electricity system should be treated as a National Security Issue. Those who do not treat the electricity system as such should be taken to task.

    That means get rid of the subsidies from wind and solar and build coal plants for the time being. In the long time research and build molten salt reactors.

    Without cheap abundant electricity there will be no manufacturing basis and we will be left at a disadvantage to others.

    Regards
    Climate Heretic

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      Graeme No.3

      Without cheap reliable electricity we won’t have much small business nor much commercial either.
      Supermarkets and Shopping Centres will all have to have generators or go out of business, which they will do if our Wokes push through a No-Carbon law or laws.
      And there is the matter of how the economy will go with a huge jump in Unemployed who are not known for spending much.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I guess dopey australians will have to get off thier rear ends and get involved in politics if political process starts trashing the economy.

        Once people start being thrown out of wirk, hopefully they will get as cranky as the french do in such situations, and pound on the govt until they reverse policy…

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    • #
      Dennis

      The problem is that the Commonwealth of Australia federal government does not have the constitutional powers, that is with the states, Federation of States.

      It took ten years to gain the support and cooperation of the states to proceed with the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme.

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    Jonesy

    How is it I am reminded of the gameplan used by Enron every time there are these price excursions during a crisis.

    Smartes men in the room indeed!

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    Bill In Oz

    Jo Thanks for this post.
    1 : I live in South Australia yet, apart from a brief report that there were pylons down in Vic. there has been nothing in the local media about this stuff up ! NOTHING !

    Clearly the local media are keen to keen us South Australians uninformed, ignorant & in the dark so they can keep on feeding us all bull $hit !
    2: The little I read about it came from Tony in Oz via this Blog post.
    Thanks a lot Tony for your efforts. But with so much happening they have been swamped. So this post is again very necessary !

    3: In ~1984-5 I lived Melbourne and our next door neighbour was an engineer employed in the team building the Portland Aluminium smelter. We talked about this job a couple of times over a beer/wine. He was clear that the smelter was being built in Portland at the direction of the Labor Victorian government. And the transmission towers & interconnector that powered the plant from the Latrobe Valley to Portland were built by the SEC at the behest of the Labor Victorian state government. It would have been cheaper & more sense to build it at say Crib point or Hastings on Western Port Bay. But the State labor government had decentralisation policy and so the aluminium plant was built 250 Ks West of Melbourne at Portland.

    4: There were 7 big inter connector pylons blown over in the Western District East of Mortlake, in that storm. It seems pretty clear that with privatisation ( as in SA in 2016 when pylons blew over and lead to our ‘system black’ ) there has been a reduction in necessary maintenance by the grid operators in their efforts to reduce costs.

    5 : The added complexities of privatisation and the forced ‘renewablisation’ of our electricity supply, have made it lmost impossible to understand what is going on. But if the unreliable wind plants are being ‘burnt’ by lots of household solar power being fed into the system, because it cannot be ‘refused’ frankly, let them burn ! It is great! It will break the ‘deadly alliance’ that has developed between unreliable solar & wind power operators …

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    Maptram

    When I look at the Bureau of Meteorology temperatures for the Deniliquin Airport (AWS) site, the maximum temperatures recorded in the Climate Data Online Site are always higher than the maximum observed temperatures, by at least 0.1°C, frequently 1.0°C and sometimes higher. However minimum Climate Data Online temperatures are usually lower than observed by about 0.1°C, sometimes the same, and sometimes more than 0.1°C lower.

    I wonder what the BOM explanation for the differences would be

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  • #
    TdeF

    There is no end of Climate Change confirmation bias.

    The towers were uprooted because of climate change. Apparently they would have been slightly nudged before climate change? I suppose the biggest snowfall in Baghdad in a century was not due to the blast of arctic air but Climate Change which has made Iraq colder as a consequence of Climate Change (or Global Warming). And the world was cooler in the middle of the 20th century because it was warming?

    The incredible opportunism of obvious Climate Change beneficiaries is amazing. Even Macquarie Bank has announced getting into Green energy because the profit opportunities are fantastic. So all this is obviously driven by the rivers of money flowing to Green energy, no matter how ridiculous the proposition. And no matter that total CO2 is still climbing steadily with no connection at all to ‘emissions’ like bushfires or volcanoes. And no one points out that electric cars release more CO2 than hybrids.

    As for a National Grid in the first place and AEMO, they have been created solely to allow Canberra to control State electrical power, which used to be an exclusive state resource like minerals, at least until South Australia started blowing up power stations. And Danielstan in Victoria forced Hazelwood to shut. And NSW sold Liddell for $0 without any assurance that they would be maintained for their reasonable lifespan. AGL wants desperately to shut Liddell early and has refused a cash offer of $250Million. They will make a fortune if Liddell is off the grid.

    And everyone who supports (Man Made) Climate Change and reducing (carbon dioxide) ‘emissions’ is always a clear beneficiary of the river of Green money or a child like Greta in a politcally left education system. Anyone who objects is a ‘denier’ or a fascist and their money is taken from them forcibly anyway, which is only fair apparently.

    At what point did this stop being a democratic country? At the point where governments could force private citizens to pay for the Labor Party’s NBN and 90% of their electricity bills to the Green climatebaggers. So all electrical and communications are now controlled by Canberra. That will teach the conservatives to privatise electricity and telephones! And the handouts for simply owning windmills or solar panels are the biggest cash giveaway in Australian history. For nothing. Even the City of Canberra had $35million in free cash as the owner of windmills. Whose money is that?

    And the Canberra Federal government can claim a budget surplus because it is all off budget. We are all being robbed by illegal legislation to pay for their private political fantasies and Green votes. All this stuff, the NBN, AEMO, Clean Energy, the RET is against the very principles of democracy and the core idea of our Westminster constitution. This is not taxation, it is robbery. And it all hands all power to the unaccountable bureaucrats in Canberra, as is intended. We are being run by Deep State. Just like the US and the EU. We need a Trump, not a patsy. We need our democracy back.

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      Dennis

      No doubt about it, you are right.

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      robert rosicka

      TdeF we stopped being a democracy when the news cycle went 24hrs and the ABC went radical green .

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        TdeF

        And no one is being held to account, because the ABC are greedy too. Always wanting more money and demanding they do as they please. Sell the lot.

        10

    • #

      TdeF mentioned this:

      And Danielstan in Victoria forced Hazelwood to shut.

      Look at this.

      This is an exercise I have not done before.

      As you all know, I detailed (at this link) the closure of that Hazelwood power station, showing the plant’s last 31 days of operation, and how this 53 year old plant delivered 15% more power in those last dying 31 days than EVERY wind plant in Australia.

      However, I never worked it out with respect to the money that plant generated in those last 31 days.

      Now what this goes to is the VOLUME of generated power, the total power from a coal fired plant when compared to a wind plant.

      At the cost for electricity at that time, March 2017, and for just the State where Hazelwood was located, Victoria, the plant across those last 31 days generated 916GWH of power, so 916000MWH. The cost averaged (the RRP for that Month) out to $90.63/MWH, so for those last 31 days, just from the sale of electricity alone, Hazelwood made a total of $87.1 Million.

      Okay the total Nameplate for wind power in Victoria RIGHT NOW is 2116MW, so 500MW HIGHER than Hazelwood. Across the last 31 days (this is RIGHT NOW and for January 2020) wind power Victoria has generated 443GWH of power and at the (JAN 2020) average cost of $142.95, all of those wind plants in totality made from the sale of their electricity a total of $63.326 Million.

      So Hazelwood, a clapped out ancient clunker made more money in 31 days TWO YEARS ago than all those Victorian wind plants are making right now, $24 Million more in fact.

      The point here is that if you have a plant which generates a huge amount of electrical power, then no matter what the price, they will always make a boatload of money more than a wind plant with a considerably lower Nameplate, and even less total generated power. So, the margins for a coal fired plant are a lot better than they are for any renewable. They can actually afford lower prices for generated power.

      Tony.

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        TdeF

        Absolutely right. So the framers of the Renewable Energy legislation force any energy retailer to pay $1 in penalties if they buy $1 in cheap coal power. This is for absolutely nothing! As intended, it forces the cheapest, lowest cost and biggest supplier out of business. It means wind and solar cream the market too, killing the profitable times for coal. And there is no money to even maintain the coal power stations and that’s all they need.

        Mature windmills are still receiving $0.5Million each simply for operating. And they are collecting the world’s highest electricity prices when they do. And still with no debts, they need this huge ‘subsidy’.

        The $35 million in cash gifted to the city of Canberra is not taxation money legitimately collected by a government for the common good and the ordinary business of government. It is money stolen from our electricity bills given to a public body for nothing. Party time! No one’s money. That is highway robbery.

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        • #
          TdeF

          And they get to write off their absolute windfall profits against depreciation on their expensive windmills, for which we paid! So they pay no tax on their profits and outright gifts and declare a loss. It’s party time. No wonder Macquarie and AGL and the rest see the bonanza in replaceables. Then they get to do it all again when the windmills collapse.

          And it’s so hidden so well, I can only ask this. If electricity in Victoria has risen 900% and most of the electricity is still coal based, where has the 800% gone? Why is our electricity the most expensive in the world if it comes 90% from the same coal power station?

          Would our Federal government rob us? They are only allowed spend taxation money surely? This gifting $6Billion a year to Climatebaggers has been illegal since Magna Carta. No government is allowed legislate enrichment of their friends. The RET would collapse in the High Court. It is illegal.

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            TdeF

            We have another example of government greed in Victoria. Jeff Kennett funded the freeway to the airport and then the tunnel with a deal with citylink. One condition was that the existing train line could not be used in competition, so we have ridiculous prices to park, the worst I have encountered in the world. Worse, the debt has been paid back in tolls.

            However the deal expired two years ago and Danielstan keeps it going and splits the profits. Now we are paying the original contractor to drive on our own freeway? Why? And the Liberal opposition says nothing. Nice theft if you can get it, splitting the proceeds.

            Governments need to remember they are not our bosses. We only let them tax us for our common good. It is not their job to work out ways to steal money from us through third parties for their own pet projects or hidden income. As for legalizing that we have to rent our own roads from a third party, that is crooked. And pay cash gifts to solar owners for useless lunch time solar. And to pay debt free windmills for simply turning because wind is better? We are being robbed every day. And don’t get me started on councils levying rates on parking spaces and renting our beach front to organizations while we are not allowed use it. The money just vanishes. Tens of millions.

            And if the windmills are all paid off and wind power is cheaper, why is the electricity 9x as expensive in Victoria as it was with coal? How do we, the people, benefit from this largesse with our money. This is not privatization. We do not own any windmills, but we paid for them. Except for Canberra who built their own windmills and we have to pay them.

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              TdeF

              And what’s the point of budget night when so many huge expenses are not even reported? Off budget. Hidden incomes. Money to friends. What has happened to Turnbull’s $444Million gift without even asking to Lucy’s Green friends? For what? Who cares? What do we get? And the papers say nothing. Par for the course in Australian government.

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        Chad

        Sorry Tony, but that is NOT a valid asessment of the financial situation.
        You have again totally ignored the cost of fuel used to generate that power.
        Both the cost to mine and prepare the coal to the burners,..
        .. and the royalties payable to the State for each ton of coal used.
        ……which you will recall was the cause of its closure..
        ……it became unprofitable due to the cost of coal !

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          Chad

          Also you underestinated the “income” of those wind plants from the LGCs
          Untill you see the whole picture , or at least the biggest obvious parts, you wont be able to understand why so many wind plants have attracted business investors.

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        • #

          Chad, as I so carefully stated in the text, my bolding here

          …..so for those last 31 days, just from the sale of electricity alone, Hazelwood made a total of $87.1 Million.

          Tony.

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            Chad

            But Tony..
            They did NOT “make” $87 m ,..
            .. that is just their “gross income” before cost of production.
            and the Wind farms “gross income” is much higher than you calculated if you include the LGCs,..and their cost of production would be much lower.
            its very obvious that “Financially” the wind farm operators are winning (they are simply businessmen), .. but we all know from a practical grid supply viewpoint, they are a disaster and drive up the total cost to the consumer ..
            So really you are better to just point out their lousy performance, limited life expectancy, intermittent , unpredictable behaviour etc etc , rather than post misleading financials which may be jumped on by the greenies .

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    Zane

    Return on investment is not a concept most green types have any familiarity with. Money comes from a giant fairy tree in the government garden.

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    Graeme Bird

    If we cannot split our grid up into many grids, that can act both alone and in concert, how can we function under bombing raids? Or under blockade conditions? You don’t see these kinds of discussions in the defence white papers. The Americans are a disgrace in terms of their defensive capacity. 100 small nuclear bombs may not cause as much trouble as all that. But just two or three detonated high in the air will produce an electric pulse that will take down their grid. They’ll be eating each-other in six months. And there is no good way to intercept a nuclear weapon thats maybe 100 kilometres in the air.

    So irresponsible not to overcome this grid vulnerability. A good offence relies on a great defence and vice versa. But here we have this massive offensive capacity (at least for the Americans) and almost no ability to function, if they themselves are subject to a nuclear attack at home.

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      Kalm Keith

      I understand that the Russians have developed ultra long distance UMVs , unmanned vehicles, which can deliver nuclear atmospheric exploding devices to Australia from deep in the Urals.

      Effectively we have no defense against this so we need to avoid antagonizing Russia.

      KK

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    OriginalSteve

    Oooh look…bad bushfires in 1994…..clearly before climate change(tm) got going….

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-peek-into-sydney-s-past-revealed-in-kitchen-renovation-20191122-p53d2n.html

    “One line said: “We have just had four days of the worst bushfires in the whole of NSW possibly worse than Ash Wednesday fires of Victoria about six years ago.”
    ……….
    “The NSW fires were the 1994 eastern seaboard fires, widespread from Bega to the Queensland border and inland as far as Bathurst. About 80 separate fires encouraged by extreme hot, dry and windy conditions threatened many areas.
    ………..
    “Of the bushfires, he adds: “It was raining ash and the embers were floating on top of the pool in the backyard next door. The fires were 30 to 40 kilometres away.”

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    AP

    Whats the bet that most renewable spruikers completely miss the fact that just because there is an oversupply (due to government subsidies and promotion) it:
    A) doesn’t mean the electricity can be sustainably supplied at that price; and
    B) doesn’t reflect the full cost to taxpayers and consumers (due to the hidden costs of the subsidies)

    Ultimately over the long term wind and solar (in a market without interference) can not exist without wholesale prices of $90 and $200 per MWh respectively.

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    WXcycles

    Frankly, it’s a pity we didn’t have such a national disaster to uproot the political status-quo and remove the dunderheads.

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    pat

    it will only get worse, if we keep on the path we are on.

    behind paywall:

    11 Feb: Montel: Germany may need 45 GW of backup capacity by 2030 – study
    by Maria Haensch
    Germany could need up to 45 GW of backup capacity by 2030 to ensure there is enough supply to meet demand as the nation exits from coal and nuclear power, said a new study from the energy economy institute of Cologne University (EWI).
    The country’s normal workday peakload could rise from around 82 GW today to 114 GW by the end of the decade ***due to the electrification of the heating and transport markets, said Timm Kehler, managing director of gas industry lobby initiative “Zukunft Erdgas” that commissioned the study.

    Depending on the scenario, the needed backup capacities to guarantee security of supply in times …
    https://www.montelnews.com/en/story/germany-may-need-45-gw-of-backup-capacity-by-2030–study/1086442

    Clean Energy Wire is described as “Journalism for the energy transition”:

    11 Feb: CleanEnergyWire: Gas industry calls for capacity market debate as Germany exits nuclear and coal
    by Julian Wettengel
    As Germany plans to exit both nuclear and coal power generation over the next years, gas plants will become more important as a secure backup for renewables at times of low winds or little sun, said (LINK) gas industry initiative Zukunft Erdgas.
    The government must discuss mechanisms to incentivise additional construction of new plants, such as capacity markets, the lobby group said.
    “We must now discuss framework conditions for investments in new power plants so that the additionally required gas-fired units are connected to the grid by 2030,” said Timm Kehler, head of Zukunft Erdgas. German energy company Uniper’s CEO Andreas Schierenbeck said Germany needs a consensus on how to ensure future supply security.
    “Until that is clear, nobody will construct power plants.” Zukunft Erdgas presents several mechanisms “to optimise the energy-only-market” in a separate paper, such as auctions for a “strategic capacity reserve”, a focussed or comprehensive capacity market, or simple direct payments to operators per installed capacity they keep in standby mode…

    A study by the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) (LINK PDF GERMAN) at the University of Cologne accompanying the press release looked at the current German power market design and laid out issues that could endanger supply security, concluding that more research is needed. “It is unclear whether the energy only market alone will be able to incentivise the expansion of controllable power,” said Simon Schulte, manager and head of gas markets at EWI…
    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/gas-industry-calls-capacity-market-debate-germany-exits-nuclear-and-coal

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      pat

      11 Feb: REnews: ABB kit enhances German grid stability
      Hybrid static compensator installed for TenneT at a substation in Borken
      Swiss company ABB has installed a hybrid static compensator (Statcom) for transmission system operator TenneT at a substation in Borken in Germany to provide grid stability as the volume of renewable energy is ramped up.
      The company said Statcom strengthens and stabilises the German power grid by providing reactive power compensation and dynamic voltage support to keep the grid stable at the required voltage…

      A huge amount of reactive power is needed to balance and stabilise the national grid with the increased use of clean power, ABB said.
      This is because as more centralised fossil power generation close to consumption areas is phased out and replaced by more intermittent sources of energy – wind and solar – there is a greater need to transport electricity and thus to do more to maintain overall balance and stability, the company said…READ ON
      https://renews.biz/57889/abb-kit-enhances-german-grid-stability/

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    pat

    10 Feb: REcharge: America’s first offshore wind farm faces shutdown after cables ‘not buried deep enough’
    Block Island will have to have cabling work later this year after wrong choice of procedure during build phase, claims Rhode Island official
    by Andrew Lee
    Work will need to be done sometime from the autumn to lengthen and rebury part of two cables serving the Block Island wind farm off the state’s coast, after they became exposed in the approach to a popular swimming beach, a hearing of the Rhode Island Senate’s special task force on fisheries was told.

    Senators sitting on the taskforce demanded that the state’s ratepayers are not left liable for any costs involved – and that the US’s emerging offshore wind sector learns from “mistakes” made…
    Orsted said in a statement sent to Recharge: “We expect the work to begin in fall 2020, and be completed by Memorial Day 2021…READ ALL
    https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/americas-first-offshore-wind-farm-faces-shutdown-after-cables-not-buried-deep-enough/2-1-753419

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    Crakar24

    Friday Jan 31 1400 ACDT the Royal Adelaide hospital having suffered several complete power failures in the past lost external power forcing operations to be completed under torch light.

    Friday Jan 31 1430 AEDT a storm caused SA to become isolated from AEMO. This information has not been disseminated to the people of SA

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    Rollo

    “AEMO is required to keep frequency in the range 49.85 Hz and 50.15 Hz,”.. according to the AEMO

    So how did it get to 50.95? Was it a case of keeping the grid running regardless.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Yep. There was almost certainly damage caused by the frequency excursion but keeping the grid up is the paramount requirement. The costs of another black start would overwhelm the damage that was caused.

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      Graeme No.3

      Rollo:

      I am told that they keep the voltage regular but after my solar inverter shut down for a day, I checked the history and it claimed a voltage peak of 273.3 V. (Fronius type set according to the agents at 258V maximum). This was around December the 26th. after the fires. Others in Woodside confirmed that they had had solar shutdowns also, even on different lines (when there is power problems some parts of the town shut down but others continue).

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      Choroin

      Rollo

      > So how did it get to 50.95? Was it a case of keeping the grid running regardless.

      When a very large Load is disconnected from a grid, the resistive force within large generators is equally reduced and the instantaneous driving forces spin the rotors up quite quickly – thus the freqencies approach the upper danger zone. As SA doesn’t have many core generators (frequency regulating with much easier centralized control) remaining, when it’s grid needs to run independent, the intermittent renewables unreliable’s which can’t be centrally controlled with ease start to pump too much energy into the remaining core generators. Basically, it’s like the unreliable’s start attacking the stability of the reliables, causing their rotors to spin up way too fast before electrical input forces can be balanced; and by ‘balancing’ we’re talking about some poor bloke at a panel, just guessing which parts of the solar and wind to turn off abruptly, which isn’t at all an easy or quick operation, like simply turning a few dials at a single centrally controlled core generator (in reality quite automatic and reactive).

      If SA only had a few core generators and under 5% renewables unreliable’s, this wouldn’t be a problem; the frequencies would be easily controllable even during events where large drops in Load occur.

      but, I guess, Current Year.

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    Drapetomania

    What would be great one day..is a possible collective work of many, trying to find the real costs of “renewables”.
    I would love to know..
    1/Large-scale Generation Certificates and how they supposedly penalise fossil fuel generation to make the market more equal.
    2/Does any renewable/”clean” energy ever last long enough to become carbon neutral.
    3/If renewables are so cheap compared to fossil fuels, why are India/China and even Japan building coal burning plants.
    I asked one web site devoted to the promotion of “renewables” these questions and I was ignored on most of the questions but was told it was too complicated to work out the real world costs of energy production to compare anything…which sounds like bs..

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    • #
      PeterS

      Since when do governments give a real damn about costs? All they are interested in is to win the next election. We now have both major parties committed to reducing our emissions with little or no regard to the cost, not just in terms of dollars but also in loss of jobs, reduced growth and other side effects of a implementing a failed policy on energy.

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    Choroin

    South Australia still has industry left?
    I guess some corporations take a very long time to smell the coffee.
    Though these remaining industries are probably legacy, having made a bad domicile decision before the green virus took hold.
    I bet investment into new plant works in S.A., has been next to decimated … other than Elon Musk and other green hyenas, ofc.

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    pat

    3 days of failure attempting to post a comment re the following. will now shorten it even further and try one last time.

    there is an article in The Australian on 10 Feb by Rosie Lewis, which states -

    Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles has failed to say whether he supports new coal-fired power plants or coalmines, as the Victorian CFMEU backed high-efficiency, low-emission coal and nuclear energy over renewables.
    The union also said the transitioning of coal-fired power station workers and their communities towards a modern nuclear power industry was realistically achievable, but a “‘just transition’ to ­renewables is not”.

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        Congrats Pat good find , this union is labor thru and thru but times are a changing it seems and now the blue collar worker and commonsense have nothing in common with the labor green coalition .

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      Choroin

      > the Victorian CFMEU backed high-efficiency, low-emission coal and nuclear energy over renewables.

      lmao. Yeah, it’s like D-Day for the Labor Party.

      To green or not to green, that is the question.

      aka, deciding whether to commit political suicide or not because they stopped giving a _ about their own voter base a long time ago.

      I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. It already seems to have occurred in the UK as the latest election and the Brexit voter demographics seems to have illuminated, however our problem now is that our so-called ‘rightwing’ parties in the West seem to have been dragged critically leftwards by Overton window creep, and Business Councils (like the BCA) are begging for carbon trading/taxation so as to get in on the con$; meaning so-called conservative parties cannot save us from this national industry killing virus which will see us destroyed competitively (not to mention basic grid stability).

      ‘Deniers’ are quite well politically homeless at this point.

      I’m only voting every election now based on who I DON’T want to run the country the most, out of a list of candidates/parties who I don’t want running my country/state.

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      Maptram

      Before the last election the CFMEU demanded that labor candidates support the Adani mine. Shorten didn’t sign but also couldn’t agree with the Greens position so he was between a rock and a hard place.

      10

    • #
      Cookster

      Labor has killed off most blue collar jobs through unrealistic union demands which ignore global factors. So this meant Labor core support moved to the bureaucracy, teachers, academics etc. The inner city. It is ironic that one of the last bastions remaining of blue collar workers are now demanding that base-load coal power and not unreliables is the future rather than the doomed to failure reliance on wind, solar and storage. Maybe the CFMEU can have a word to the still confused “Liberal” NSW State energy minister?

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    robert rosicka

    OT , just seen this question asked on a face book post .
    If all developed countries were required to chip in and build a road one kilometre long and to work out how much each distance each country would build the road they would go by CO2 emissions from that country how much of that road would Australia build ?
    The answer I seen was one seventh of one millimetre from Australia.

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    • #
      PeterS

      So that means we’ve done more than enough on our part. We deserve a accolades not criticisms from the left. Of course the truth be known the left hate Australia and everything it represents and so want to destroy it. Too bad we have people like Morrison who turns a blind eye and in some respects is aiding and abetting the left.

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  • #
    Ian Pundt

    I am told that they keep the voltage regular but after my solar inverter shut down for a day, I checked the history and it claimed a voltage peak of 273.3 V. (Fronius type set according to the agents at 258V maximum). This was around December the 26th. after the fires. Others in Woodside confirmed that they had had solar shutdowns also, even on different lines (when there is power problems some parts of the town shut down but others continue).

    Residential Window Tinting St Louis

    10

  • #
    frednk

    To connect generators to loads you need transmission lines. If they get blown over the generator and load are no longer connected. It is true for all generator sources.

    At least this time we don’t have Chris Uhlmann blaming the wind turbines,

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      yarpos

      of course Fred, that isnt the real problem, its what happens next. Try a restart on wind turbines and see how you go.

      30

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        Choroin

        Yarpos: Yep, it never ceases to amaze me how many people still don’t understand that grids NEED core generation plants to act as the beating heart of the system. The damage that out-of-sync high-power AC frequencies can cause on grid infrastructure is amazingly misunderstood by most people, but far more on the left – but hey, what can we expect from people who think a trace gas responsible for the entire biosphere is a toxic gas with the ability to drive the entire climate?

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  • #
    Cookster

    The problem is we have supposedly educated people in Australia still seemingly unaware that wind and solar power are not capable of replacing base-load power sources. For example, a work colleague I spoke to yesterday is convinced we will see more bushfire emergencies in the future (a new normal). But when I asked him what we can do about this he suggested build more wind farms? My colleague is dangerously ill informed but this is why we get politicians who think its popular to announce more renewable energy or close down coal powered plants such as Victoria did with Hazelwood.

    So whose fault is this sad state of affairs? The media and politicians that’s who. But ultimately Jo, neither the media nor politicians could take this stand if the science was not corrupted. The sad state of climate science is the rock upon which the great big scare campaign is built.

    It is through your site Jo that I became aware of climate sensitivity and also that the scary computer model projections are dependant upon assumptions on climate sensitivity which are still highly debated. And yet I constantly read comments on news blogs from left leaning people claiming it is basic high school science that I deny. If it was basic high school science there would be no reason to kill our economy in a futile attempt to change the global weather.

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      PeterS

      Yes the MSM and the rest including our education system are all ignorant of the facts and steering the public into believing renewables will save the world and help our economy. However, that’s a poor excuse. People have a brain and free will so they should use their critical thinking skills to assess whether what they are being told is true or not, and vote accordingly. Otherwise, we run the risk of falling over a cliff collectively like sheep under one of various possible scenarios, one being like Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Russia.

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        Kratoklastes

        People have a brain and free will so they should use their critical thinking skills to assess whether what they are being told is true or not, and vote accordingly.

        The first 4 words of that blockquote are true. The rest is a combination of wishful thinking and outright fantasy.

        Free will is an illusion. Our thoughts emerge from inside a 2lb wet ball of fat, over which we have almost no conscious control. Don’t think of an elephant: you lose if you think of the game.

        • The median adult in the OECD does not have the ‘critical thinking skills‘ required to understand the label instructions on prescription medicine (and <5% understand the package inserts, or the average credit card contract or software EULA). People are extremely weak on being able to identify when written material contains 'subtle rhetorical cues' (according to OECD's PIAAC studies – the largest study of literacy, numeracy and problem solving competencies that exists);

        How people vote does not matter: the political class puts into action, the preferences of core funding and fundraising constituencies for the party that obtains power. After that, policy is driven by the current infatuations of the key factions of the party (who also decide who will be candidates – ‘the best person for the job’ from the perspective of the party); after that, policy is driven by mechanisms designed to influence party adherents in marginal electorates. The preferences of the polity as a whole, finish fourth at best.

        To ice the cake: ask yourself what proportion of the total eligible population, votes first-preference for the party (or coalition) that obtains power. Compare that with the total number of all who vote for someone else, vote informal, refuse to turn up, and refuse to enrol (that last one is the morally correct choice, for those playing at home).

        The number of people who explicitly vote for the party in power, is ~30% of the eligible voting age population. (I have numbers for every national election for the US, UK, Australia, NZ, France, Germany, and Canada: that ~30% number is relatively stable – “prefer someone other than the people in power” is always the absolute majority of the population).

        inb4 “abstain” or “not enrol” == “apathy”.

        Not true, and a typical political marketing trope aimed at convincing the Mrs Jessups of society that people who recognise the grift are actually the bad guys.

        The job the the political class in a democracy worth its name, is to promulgate policies that cause individuals to voluntarily, actively express a preference in favour of those policies (and sicne preferences are expressed ordinally, we can say precisely zero about the relationship of a second preference to a first).

        The default should be “Nobody wins”, until that active preference is expressed to such a level that it will, a priori, swamp the ‘nays’ (66% seems about right). You also can’t get an estimate of the ‘general will’ by forcing people to pick.

        If offered two set menus that represent slightly-different versions of a feces-contaminated sandwich, the rational response is to choose neither. And anybody who understands how policy is actually framed (how we end up in wars; how we wind up with rich politicians and fragilised infrastructure), should refuse to participate rather than routinely selecting from one or other set of professional grifters.

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    • #
      yarpos

      Baseload? pfffft! what a tired old paradigm. Until you need it of course.

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  • #
    yarpos

    Sleepless this morning and was wandering around the web at 5AM VIC time. Had a look at NEMwatch and SA has 1.2GW demand, I guess this is their real baseload before behind the meter solar wakes up. They were chugging along with %80 reliable power and 20% wind + a tiny trickle on the turned down connectors.

    Price sitting at $300 at 4:30AM SA time. We have so much to look forward to in VIC as we seem intent on repeating SA’s missteps.

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    • #
      Choroin

      Spare a thought for we poor Tasmanians.

      Now that Tassie is connected to the NEM via BassLink, all of our hydro capacity is getting sucked up to fill the void, draining our dams quicker, and then when the dams are low they yell: CLIMATE CHANGE !!! REDUCED RAINFALL !!! Even though the rainfall on the west coast where all the dams are has actually been slightly increasing throughout the 1900′s and early 2000′s.

      Not only has this caused electricity in Tassie to skyrocket, it’s linked our electricity price trajectory to that of Vic and by default SA.

      The NEM was supposed to make electricity more affordable, but all it has done is make the grid even more unstable because states which are captured by the Green virus the most are able to hide much of their dirty grid laundry among the generation ability of other more stable States … and now the more stable States are losing the plot.

      I find this issue to be one of the most depressing realities for the fate of our Nation. It really feeds my cynicism and has changed my opinion of human nature remarkably.

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  • #
    Analitik

    UPDATE: Remember a DC or direct current line is not able to help with frequency much — it can’t do “FCAS” except in an indirect way to help match generation and load a bit better. Obviously DC power doesn’t run at 50Hz or any Hz or it would be AC.

    This is not strictly correct. With a frequency controller system, a DC interconnector can provide FCAS but the trade-off is that the power output is then reduced. Remember that the Hornsdale battery operation is primarly providing FCAS since it’s power output and storage capacity are too small to effectively arbitrage generation/demand.

    BassLink has this capability while MurrayLink does not but this is due to implementation rather than inherent limitations of DC interconnection.

    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Security_and_Reliability/Congestion-Information/2017/Interconnector-Capabilities.pdf

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