JoNova

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Rafe Champion guest post. Tasmania burning GAS (correction, not oil) in prolonged wind drought

This morning at sunrise the wind across the NEM was average (29% of capacity) with interesting variations between the states. Most of the states were close to balance with some flow of power from Queensland through NSW and Victoria to Tasmania.

My main purpose to track these numbers is to see how often SA depends on coal power from Victoria which is always when the wind is less than average between sunset and sunrise.

The other purpose is to see how much coal and gas contribute between sunset and sunrise to assess the feasibility of getting through nights on the back of hydro, wind and storage.

Across the NEM wind was delivering 14% of power at 29% capacity, with coal 75% and gas 3%.
NSW, wind 13% at 40% capacity and coal 85%. Queensland, wind 7% at 60% capacity and coal 86%, Victoria, wind 10% at 11% (wind drought) and coal 82%. South Australia, wind 75% at 45% capacity and gas 25% (no imported power).

Tasmania, wind 1% power at 3% capacity, hydro 83% and gas 16%.

So the message is that even with average wind across the SE of Australia and better than average in SA, Victoria and Queensland the overwhelming source of power is coal. Imagine the situation without Liddell and Eraring, not to mention all the other coal power stations that are supposed to close as soon as possible due to the rapid growth of wind and solar capacity.

9.8 out of 10 based on 76 ratings

99 comments to Rafe Champion guest post. Tasmania burning GAS (correction, not oil) in prolonged wind drought

  • #
    YallaYPoora Kid

    When will the politicians wake up that intermittent technologies are not solutions to reliable and economic power generation? They are a total waste of money and resources with no effect on reduction of CO2 which was the sole purpose of their existence,

    390

    • #
      Honk R Smith

      They can’t wake up because they are woke.
      The money is not wasted in their view, as subsides for virtue signal schemes that can’t support themselves, are dished out as political payoffs.
      This is the ‘power’ generation system that has proven to be very successful for them.
      No electricity because of lack of wind or clouds?
      Blame Climate Change.
      It’s a Ponzi scheme.

      Maybe politics is like a movie, the more realistic the script, the smaller the audience.
      We need to come up with a better script if we want lights and heat.

      240

    • #
      Richard+Jenkins

      The sole purpose of there existence is poliics. Most politicians, who accept alarmism, are naive and GULLIBLE.
      They do know that, “State of Fear” works.

      120

      • #
        Richard+Jenkins

        My first sentence has an interchangable their. I was pointing there at ugly windmills and panels both of which are killers with huge carbon footprints.
        Visual pollution is even worse when we include the transmission lines.
        How much photosynthesis is lost in solar farms?

        81

  • #
    b.nice

    Fortunately, SA has the ability to go to 100% gas + diesel + interconnects….. and quite often have to go pretty close to that. 😉

    But they are a very small consumer compared to the big 3 states.

    Coal and gas are often over 90% of the NEM, with hydro carrying most of the rest

    120

    • #
      MichaelinBrisbane

      Where does South Australia’s hydro power come from?
      I gather they are only just thinking about setting up a pumped storage scheme drawing water from Spencer’s Gulf.

      40

      • #
        James Murphy

        I don’t think SA has any hydropower, at least none that would register via AEMO. We rely on the least efficient hydrocarbon based generators that taxpayer money can buy, using diesel that has to be imported because we cant refine our own. We then back that up with solar and wind power that works sporadically and unpredictably. It’s like paradise for ex-politicians on the boards of the many parasitic wind and solar companies mining subsidies and tax breaks, and no doubt gearing up to abrogate responsibility when the hardware reaches its used-by date.

        I am guessing the original comment was talking about the whole network, not just SA.

        20

      • #
        yarpos

        They never said SA was using Hydro

        00

  • #
    Lawrie

    I sent your Alex post to Matt the Green Kean at his government email address. It bounced. Mr Kean is obviously not keen to know his mad plan for energy will not work. I will send this to him as well. These incompetent green mongrels must not be allowed to claim ignorance when their ridiculous plans fail. I will also send it to my local member and Matt Canavan. I suggest everyone here sends such information to their local members. Thanks to Jo and Rafe for doing the researching on our behalf.

    190

    • #
      Mark Allinson

      “Mr Kean is obviously not keen to know his mad plan for energy will not work …”

      Why would you assume that his intention is to make it work?

      130

  • #
    Ronin

    “the rapid growth of wind and solar capacity.”

    Nameplate capacity, that is.

    80

    • #
      cohenite

      Wind and solar advocates only quote nameplate or Installed Capacity (IC). The real measures are Capacity factor (CF) and the lessor known Reliability Point (RP). CF is the % of the IC the wind or solar plant produces as averaged over a year. We know that wind and solar average about 25%. So over a year a 100MW wind or solar farm would have produced 25MW. The further problem is that 25MW is produced as randomly as the wind and sunshine. It may be concentrated in a few months with above average CF with the rest of the year having practically nothing as happens in wind droughts and rainy, cloudy weather.

      The RP is the minimum percentage of power that may be relied upon for 90 per cent of the time. For wind farms it is about 5 to 10 per cent: so, for example, for 300MW and a reliability figure of 10 per cent we can rely on 30MW.

      How can you run a grid with those insurmountable limits to wind and solar? You can’t rely on batteries because batteries do not produce power and if your only energy sources are wind and solar with their CF and RP limits how can you get reserve power into the batteries.

      110

  • #
    Ronin

    Rafe, where did you get the oil burning figure, none of the NEM widgets I have show any for Tasmania.

    20

  • #
    Neville

    The Tassie King Island lunacy is running on 100% diesel generation at 8.40 this morning and the clueless battery is still FLAT.
    Yet this is what they want for Australia and these loonies are still telling us that we’re doing this to “take ACTION on climate change”.
    And if Albo and his Greens comrades take over in May we can be sure this will accelerate to meet their much earlier delusional plans for their so called net zero.
    Yet the CSIRO tell us the entire SH is already at net ZERO co2 emissions, but the MSM, pollies, so called scientists etc insist we must take action because of their FANTASTIC EXISTENTIAL THREAT.
    Unbelievable but true.
    Andrew Bolt is correct, these loonies really are barking mad.

    https://www.hydro.com.au/clean-energy/hybrid-energy-solutions/success-stories/king-island

    https://www.hydro.com.au/clean-energy/hybrid-energy-solutions/success-stories/king-island

    270

    • #
      Rafe Champion

      Thanks for the update Neville. There is also a briefing note on the island effect noting the experience at Flinders Island and some others. https://www.riteon.org.au/netzero-casualties/#203

      It is the same story everywhere. No hope of explaining this to the true believers, we have to get the message out to people who have not made up their minds on the matter.

      The thing is to explain the “gap in the fence or the flood protection levee” effect – the stock get out and the water comes in through the gap in the fence or the wall, regardless of high parts or the average height.

      202

  • #
    Neville

    WE have to admit that the S & W idiocy has an exceptional TOXIC history of destroying the environment ( both above and below the ground) but they’re also a bird and other species KILLER as well.
    Some new studies are starting to highlight these killing machines in action, but don’t expect the left wing idiots to understand or care as long as they can stop all fossil fuels ASAP.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/04/24/new-study-wind-solar-energy-now-killing-48-of-priority-bird-species-with-population-level-effects/

    100

  • #
    Neville

    Never forget that even the Bob Brown idiot protested loudly about wind power in his area of Tassie and yet insists these TOXIC disasters be built elsewhere around the country.
    Is there a more obvious case of NIMBYism that you could find anywhere?

    170

  • #
    Simon

    One cherry picked point in time proves nothing.
    The states with the cheapest electricity on average are those which have invested in renewable energy. This is because the marginal cost is almost zero. Fuel has to be purchased which is currently extremely expensive. Coal fired power stations have been comically unreliable this year; explosions, floods, breakdowns, and unscheduled maintenance shutdowns. This has raised the cost of electricity as well.

    351

    • #
      Ronin

      But cherry picking points in time is what the leftards do so well, oh , looky here, we ran nearly all day on renewables, of course when the sun set so did the 100%, the high point during the day means nothing.

      291

    • #
      b.nice

      Yep, I agree, cherry-picking the one two hours a year that wind and solar come close to providing most of SA’s electricity is pretty stupid.

      Especially when there are a lot more instances when wind and solar produce basically nothing and SA has to survive with Gas, Diesel and interconnects.

      But that is what the W & S junkies do.

      Coal has provided, and still provides a steady 80%+ of all NEM electricity.

      Yes, maintenance issues happen when you have to pay huge amounts to unreliable power suppliers, and have to constantly cycle up and down to cater for the unreliability of wind and solar.

      If we were still close to 100% coal, without the infection of unreliables, that coal would be available.

      Of course when you introduce unreliable supplies into a system, that system becomes unreliable. D’OH !

      291

    • #
      Chris

      Actually it does. Because wind and solar only produce when the weather patterns/sun are right and not when it is required it is essential to know how much backup storage is required. It is not cherry picking – but understanding what it will take to cover wind and solar when they are not working – which in the case of solar is every night and when it is cloudy and in the case of wind no-one in charge has bothered to try to understand the problem. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand the grid. If you don’t understand that, your opinion is worth less than others that do understand how it works.

      191

    • #
      R.B

      The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) today published a report into energy prices exceeding $5,000 per megawatt hour (MWh), in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

      On 30 December 2021, the 30-minute wholesale price for electricity in South Australia reached $8,456/MWh and $5,279/MWh for the 7:30 pm and 8 pm 30-minute periods.

      On 31 December at 7 pm the 30-minute price reached $6,368/MWh in South Australia.

      The main drivers to both evenings included high demand due to warm temperatures and customers shifting their demand from rooftop solar to the grid as the sun set. There was limited access to low priced generation as it was extremely calm on both evenings and imports were limited across Murraylink.

      High prices were not forecast. Rebidding of capacity from low to high prices did not contribute to the high price.

      And it’s quarter average was almost twice that of Victoria.

      Tasmania, with hydro that is opposed to by Greens, usually has the lowest. Queensland has had high prices because of failures at coal plants, the result of having to power up and down in response to intermittent energy from renewables.

      161

    • #
      Ronin

      “Coal fired power stations have been comically unreliable this year; explosions, floods, breakdowns, and unscheduled maintenance shutdowns”

      Since you seem to enjoy power outages, you will be ecstatic later this decade when toxic S&W has to shoulder more of the load, because that’s when its shortcomings will be visible to all.

      151

      • #
        Ted1

        With the system geared to increase suppliers’ profits when coal generators stop supplying, you have to wonder if sabotage might be at play with these unscheduled shutdowns.

        10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Simon:

      Where did you get the idea that renewables reduces the cost of electricity to consumers?
      If you mean Wind and Solar then there is lots of evidence that it doesn’t. Germany, the UK, California and even South Australia are all examples of higher prices due to renewables.
      Do try and check your claim.
      (I could add Spain, Denmark and the New England States of the USA.)

      191

      • #
        James Murphy

        Where did you get the idea that renewables reduces the cost of electricity to consumers?

        Illiteracy, innumeracy, a lack of understanding of basic physics, economics, and the taxation system, combined with a very very good imagination.

        That, or over-exposure to the ABC.

        30

    • #
      b.nice

      “This is because the marginal cost is almost zero.”

      That is total BS.. There are huge costs of implementation into the grid.. plus the costs of back-up supply, that must be there.

      I wish the W & S zealots would stop lying through their ***** all the time.

      131

      • #
        Ronin

        “This is because the marginal cost is almost zero.”

        What simple simon really means is, when the toxic S&W is mostly paid for by taxpayer subsidies and the connections to the often distant grid is paid for by ‘someone else’, the actual cost of the few watts emanating from said unreliables is not that much, because ‘someone else’ has to be there to pick up the load & stabilise the wobbles when the wind fails and the sun dips.
        As Warren Buffet has stated, ‘it is not worthwhile without the generous govt subsidies’.

        171

        • #
          wal1957

          Explained concisely Ronin.
          Yet I would say that probably over 80% of the population either have no idea what you are saying or are like Simon and are the ‘true believers’ in the RE fantasy of cheap energy.
          I still think that SA should be used as a guinea pig. Cut the connector, get the popcorn out and wait for the public to wake from their slumber.

          130

    • #
      Leo G

      Coal fired power stations have been comically unreliable this year; … breakdowns, and unscheduled maintenance shutdowns.

      Breakdowns and increasing unscheduled maintenance would be consequences of short-cycle operation forced by increasing renewable generation.

      91

      • #
        Tel

        It is also aging equipment, and every time someone suggests that Liddell get a full refurbishment, the Green activists start wringing hands over stranded assets, and of course LRET transfer pricing ensures it won’t be profitable.

        The end result is minimal maintenance gets done on 50 year old steam pipes. Hardly a reason why there’s a problem with coal as a power source, but anything you build will have some limited lifespan before it needs replacement parts. A nuclear plant would not last 50 years, not safely at any rate. Very unlikely that anyone’s rooftop solar installation will deliver 50 years of service.

        110

        • #
          b.nice

          “A nuclear plant would not last 50 years”

          Wind and solar.. lucky if it lasts even 15 years. !

          90

          • #
            Graeme#4

            I expect around 25 years from my solar panels, but only 15 from my inverter. As long as the system is paid back in 10 years, I’ll be ahead.

            00

        • #
          David Maddison

          A nuclear plant would not last 50 years, not safely at any rate.

          https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/whats-lifespan-nuclear-reactor-much-longer-you-might-think

          The 80-Year Club

          Eleven reactors are already using this research to apply for a second 20-year extension.

          Florida Power and Light’s Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 became the first reactors cleared by the NRC to operate for up to 80 years.

          The NRC also approved Exelon’s Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3 and Dominion’s Surry Units 1 and 2. Several other utilities, including Duke Energy, have announced plans to apply. Xcel Energy is also considering an extension.

          To date, 20 reactors, representing more than a fifth of the nation’s fleet, are planning or intending to operate up to 80 years. More are expected to apply in the future as they get closer to the end of their operating licenses.

          80

          • #
            Graeme#4

            And that’s what’s wrong with the CSIRO and Lazard LCOE calculations – they are based on only 30 years. In 80 years, I would expect to see two entire replacements of wind farms and at least one solar farm renewal. Along with their low CFs, this is what makes wind and solar twice as expensive as coal, gas and nuclear.

            30

          • #
            Tel

            They get extensions because it delivers present day revenue and it delays the ultimate cost of clean ups.

            Thing is, that comes at an expense of safety … at Fukishima the reactor that failed was the oldest reactor on site, and had just been given an extension. Now I understand that a bunch of unusual events happened with a tsunami and failure of backup power but every disaster comes by surprise due to a confluence of unusual events.

            This is the fundamental problem of nuclear reactors … profits come during the life of the reactor but money must be held in trust to allow it to be shutdown at a reasonable time and then cover the cleanup expense. When done properly, it averages out looking good, but no one can be trusted to actually do what they promise.

            10

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Not only are you totally wrong Simon, but South Australia is also a net IMPORTER of energy over one year I.e. it cannot generate sufficient energy to power the state.

      150

    • #
      RickWill

      This is because the marginal cost is almost zero.

      The marginal cost of S&W in Australia is negative: currently about minus $40/MWh. You will find that when wind sets the price in SA it is usually around minus $40/MWh. At that price that can still make money because LGCs are currently priced around $47/MWh.

      However the wholesale price of electricity is an ever diminishing portion of the retail cost.

      These are retail prices as of April 2022 for the mainland States on the NEM:
      VIC 19.77c/kWh
      QLD 19.97c/kWh
      NSW 22.74c/kWh
      SA 31.52c/kWh
      https://www.canstarblue.com.au/electricity/electricity-costs-kwh/

      So despite the high penetration of negative marginal cost generation, South Australians have the highest retail price. The SA price is still heavily subsidised by Victoria which imports expensive intermittency from South Australia that forced Hazelwood to close down. If SA disconnects from the grid, costs in SA go skyward real fast.

      61

    • #
      Andrew Wilkins

      So if there hadn’t been any coal back up, and unreliables stopped generating, people could stand in the dark, unable to power their homes and listen to you shout, “cherry picked!”.
      Yeah, that would be just great….

      20

    • #
      yarpos

      “One cherry picked point in time proves nothing.”

      absolutely , please keep that firmly in mind before typing.r

      10

    • #
      b.nice

      “One cherry picked point in time proves nothing.”

      Right now, SA power is Gas 780MW, Interconnects 500MW, Wind 333MW

      Now what happens to SA if it doesn’t have carbon-based electricity from Gas and Coal/Gas electricity from Victoria.

      00

  • #
    Ronin

    “The states with the cheapest electricity on average are those which have invested in renewable energy. ”

    South Australia for instance, how cheap is their power, or Tasmania, dearest in Australia.

    101

  • #
    Ronin

    Sailing boats use the wind which blows for free, sometimes, but they still have a motor of some sort, to get out of port or off their mooring and to get home when the wind dies.
    The wind might be free but the outlay and upkeep to harness it isn’t, ask any sailor how expensive this ‘free energy’ actually is.
    For wind power, you also have to factor in the transmission line costs for this dispersed dilute generation and because the wind is so variable, the power grid has to be supported and stabilised by none other than the generators they are busting a gut to close down.

    171

    • #
      yarpos

      Its the same logic thats wants to end fossil fuels and disinvest while driving plastic EVs on bitumen roads. They have latched on to a meme, but have no idea of the consequences if the world was stupid enough to listen to them.

      00

  • #
    Ronin

    Back in June of 2018, QLD which has the most coal fired power had the cheapest cost of power and SA which has no coal power was the most expensive, but that was then and there’s been lots of ‘fiddling’ since then.

    91

    • #
      RickWill

      The most dramatic change has been in the last year with fossil fuel prices going north. That has reversed a 4 year trend of falling wholesale price after the price spike when Hazelwood shut down.

      Fossil fuel demand is not going away any time soon so the lack of investment in new supplies is starting to impact the price – as well as Vlad demanding payment in the RUB for what gas and oil Russia is exporting.

      Imagine the US oil importers going to their banks to get RUB to pay for Russian oil – how humiliating.
      https://www.yenisafak.com/en/economy/ruble-gaining-ground-against-us-dollar-3593247

      The Russian ruble is gaining ground against the greenback, nearly returning to its pre-war level, according to data from the Moscow stock exchange.

      Nothing like energy as the foundation for money in the modern world. Both Australia and Russia have that in common. But Australia is in the process of trading its energy wealth for trinkets used to make “green” hydrogen. It takes lots of expensive trinkets to make “green” hydrogen.

      I wonder if “green” hydrogen will ever underpin the AUD. Maybe it will be the CYN by the time “green” hydrogen replaces natural gas.

      50

  • #
    Neville

    BTW I just checked the Wiki co2 emissions data and the graph up to 2018 and it does add up to 100%.
    China + other developing countries + India add up to 65.26% of all co2 emissions, USA and EU 23.34%, Russia 4.76% + Japan 3.56% + International shipping and Aviation 3.3%.
    This adds up to 100.22% from the Wiki countries’ co2 emissions, so close enough. But please check it out for yourselves.
    But don’t forget that the COMBINED co2 emissions from the USA and EU 2018 are actually less than they were in 1990 and 1970.
    Anyone not understand this real world data since 1970 now? And the very obvious implications for Glasgow COP 26 and since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
    Don’t forget that China, India will probably keep emitting until 2060 and 2070. And ditto the “other poor developing countries”.

    80

  • #
    PeterS

    Most of us are dreading the day when Liddell and others are closed down. I actually can’t wait. The sooner the better so that it can hit home and people wake up to the fact that our governments of both persuasions have allowed the demise of once great nation to come so perilously close to self-destruction. Perhaps then things will finally turn around for the better with further closures halted and new ones built. It can’t happen soon enough.

    130

  • #
    • #
      Ronin

      ‘Nut Zero’, beautiful, I’m going to steal that one and use it.

      50

    • #
      Neville

      Thanks Bruce and in that article he refers to a recent report by a Canadian Engineer who calculates the cost to cover full electrification of the USA using S & W + STORAGE would be about 433 TRILLION $ at today’s prices.
      That’s at least 20 times the annual USA GDP, so is impossible as a thought bubble or anything else.
      BTW it would also cost Aussies about 20 times our annual GDP as well or about 26 trillion $.
      IOW just more BS and FRA-D from the stupid con merchants and PONZI scheme promoters.
      Of course the NY Times article didn’t offer any guesstimates for the REAL cost of USA S & W but thought the govt should pay. BIG surprise NOT. World Bank trends show USA annual GDP at about 21 Trillion $ and Australia at about 1.3 trillion $.
      But never forget that Lomborg’s expert team also tell us that the change in temp of the USA + Aussies efforts above would result in SFA change by 2100.
      IOW endless trillions $ wasted forever for ZERO gain.

      https://globalpeoservices.com/top-15-countries-by-gdp-in-2022/

      90

  • #
    SteveD

    I’ve been watching the renew economy widget for the last week or so, specifically NSW coal. Generally it ranges from 3500 MW (day) to 6000+ MW (night).

    Can someone with power station operations experience please explain the mechanics of how a coal power station deals with this load variation? Are they able to reduce coal consumption in the day time? How fast can they ramp up when already running?

    20

  • #
    Graeme#4

    And to avoid Simon’s claim of cherry-picking, the energy supply figures for the SWIS grid in WA for the last 12 months are:
    Coal: 35%
    Gas: 33%
    Wind: 29%
    Large-scale Solar: 2.5%

    80

    • #
      Graeme#4

      RAFE: AEMO also now tracks the WA SWIS grid, so it should be easy to add these figures to the National Grid.

      60

      • #
        ozfred

        Somehow I don’t think that will happen. Would make the eastern states power management (government and commercial) look “bad”

        20

        • #
          Graeme#4

          It’s interesting how WA does very well by being a disconnected state, and even has two large and separate grids. But we still have cheap reliable energy, mostly provided by coal and cheap gas.

          10

  • #
    RickWill

    My main purpose to track these numbers is to see how often SA depends on coal power from Victoria which is always when the wind is less than average between sunset and sunrise.

    South Australia is fully dependent on Victoria for normal operation of its network. That fact became very clear in 2020 when the interconnector was down. The actual cost of electricity in SA almost doubled for the period and the grid scale W&S often refused to generate because they could not bear their share of the FCAS charges. The SA battery made $40M in just two weeks providing FACS at highly inflated price.

    The difficulty for the rest of Australia achieving the level of S&W penetration similar to SA is that there is no Victorian equivalent for the rest of Australia. Maybe if Australia could get a 10GW link to China it would be possible to use the Chinese grid as Australia’s big battery just like SA uses the 600MW link to Victoria.

    Without the Victorian link, SA retail electricity price would be around 50% higher than present.

    80

  • #
    Ronin

    “The states with the dearest electricity on average are those which have invested in renewable energy. ”

    There, fixed it for you.

    80

  • #
    Jim Simpson

    A sensible Energy Policy for Australia (and for that matter elsewhere around the world) would put paid to this nonsense virtually over night.

    Electricity is an essential service. Australia, nor any other developed economy, cannot function without an affordable, reliable, available (24/7), dependable, easy to understand (sensible) market driven Energy Policy that works from the consumer back.

    In the absence of empirical evidence proving the case against CO2, the key elements of such an Energy Policy would require that it;

    1. Is technology agnostic; (i.e., embraces both fossil fuels, hydro, wind, solar, geo-thermal, biomass, wave, batteries & nuclear – all on the table),
    2. Eliminates all subsidies & discriminatory legislation which favours one, or operates against any other technology over another i.e., a level playing field with the choice of technology being entirely at the discretion of respective generators.
    3. Requires contractual obligations via auction (AEMO? or another regulator) to meet guaranteed 99.9% power outputs in accord with clearly defined Quality of Service (QOS) standards.
    4. Imposes substantial financial penalties upon electricity generators who fail to meet their contractual commitments & associated (QOS) standards (force majeure permitting, in the event of natural disasters e.g., earthquakes, floods & bushfires etc).
    5. Requires a substantial bond paid in advance to meet restoration of environment (eg; decommissioning & removal of all infrastructure, land rehabilitation and/or disposal/recycling costs for solar-PV panels, wind turbine blades, etc) as is currently required of mining companies.
    6. Repeals legislation, such as the RET, LRET, SRES plus the Safeguard Mechanism & removes the current ban on using nuclear power for power generation.

    If the power generating industry finds the above principles unpalatable, then simply re-nationalise the power generation industry & return it to whence it came i.e., the responsibility of respective State Govt’s & be done with it. Easy.

    100

    • #
      RickWill

      A sensible Energy Policy for Australia (and for that matter elsewhere around the world) would put paid to this nonsense virtually over night.

      The rot started more than two decades ago when the first intermittent generator was permitted to connect to the grid.

      Many of the costs are now locked in. All the transmission lines connecting to wind turbines have guaranteed returns. The synchronous condensers, for example, have near zero value if they were sold off now. South Australians will be paying for them for decades. The coal plant that were blown up cannot be resurrected without huge expenditure.

      There is no going back now. The best that can be hoped for is that subsidies will end in 2030 and snowy 2 is canned. That will not happen if a Labor government gets elected. They will increase subsidies.

      30

  • #
    Cookster

    I have given up on Australian politicians and business leaders talking sense on maintaining reliable electricity. The only solution is they and the people need to learn the hard way. The fun starts when 2,880Mw Eraring is closed down in two years. And when this happens the entire Australian grid will be destabilised. That includes South Australia.

    90

    • #
      Ronin

      Fear and emotion trumps engineering common sense, if you want a better example of what happens when an expert speaks up and bucks the agenda, just look at Prof Peter Ridd.

      40

  • #
    Klem

    Its laughable to hear power companies and governments say they are keeping power rates as low as they can. It is not in their financial interest to do so.

    The higher the power rates, the more revenue they generate.

    They say wind and solar are cheaper than coal and oil for power generation but I haven’t seen my power rates go down, have you?

    70

  • #
    Honk R Smith

    I think there is a reality we are refusing to face.
    Renewable energy is and will be a technical failure.
    A slow and insidious failure that delays remedial action.

    HOWEVER …
    IT IS A MAGNIFICENT POLITICAL SUCCESS.

    How do we have a debate about engineering with a faction (well funded and internationally organized) that can produce dozens of young women to publicly disrobe and and pour red die all over themselves and hysterically call all who disagree polar bear killers.
    We can’t.
    We have already lost.
    All we can do is prep for the inevitable catastrophic collapse, that media and politicians will tell us is not happening.

    40

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    Geoff Sherrington

    It is ever hard to understand why engineers in particular have abandoned their claims to neutral professionalism.
    It is quite clear that intermittent electricity production does not compete with ff and nuclear on a national scale, even on a state scale. It is not as if we are arguing shades of grey. All competent, neutral engineers should be honourable and honest and should tell governments over and over that they are flogging dead horses. But they are silent, so far as the public can tell. Likewise, learned societies used to be vocal when stupidity infiltrated policy.
    Who is putting frighteners on our professionals? Is this not unlawful?
    There are horrible consequences of large scale electricity outages. People will die. Those like the modellers at AEMO who push 75% renewable penetration must be aware that accusations of murder will arise. The best I have seen them offer is that they are required to do their predictions and coatings keeping in mind government policy like net zero carbon by 2050. This, to me, is a lily-livered copout. They should be WARNING everyone not to go down that path to 75%.
    They do not seem to know that those who push for such idiot outcomes are but a tiny part of the population. They think they are mainstream, but they are a rump. That will become clearer with the public outcry that will follow the first big, serious, fatal electricity blackout here.
    Blind Freddie can see the beauty of Australia going back to the electricity design of 2 decades ago, fossil fuel giving the lowest cost, most reliable electricity in the world. Bugger all this fakery about a global warming crisis that isn’t.
    Stand up to speak and act with truth and professional ethics. Geoff S

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      Serp

      All the professional bodies have long ago been captured by scoundrels; the thin end of the wedge was the advent of economic rationalism forty odd years ago and it’s been all downhill since until we’ve landed in a world where even the teachers are illiterate and innumerate and ESG bizarrerie is become the norm. Time to heed the geriatrics of the WEF and cull the herd eh.

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        Rafe Champion

        Not fair to blame economic rationalism for the corruption of professional bodies, economic rationalism was commonsense writ large in economic policy – more about bringing vested interests and political factions under control than empowering them.
        Economic rationalism was the free enterprise component of the rise of classical liberalism to challenge the intellectual dominance of leftwing thought. Sadly the economic rationalists were slow to appreciate the need to fight on the cultural front to challenge the left in the education system, in the arts and the press.

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          Len

          In the Building Updates I receive the Australian Architects Institute are on board with all the global warming hoaxes. Producing houses without access to gas for cooking etc. Antonnio Gramsci’s long march through the Institutions.

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      Kalm Keith

      What you are asking is for electrical engineers to go outside their work structures, bypassing the management group above them to tell the world the truth.

      They know that they would then be fired for breaching company policy while the rotting continues.

      Why do you think people like President Trumble installed American figureheads in our national organizations; it was to control the engineers.

      If you want to fix this you must challenge those figureheads and the person who installed them.

      One outstanding example of this unresolved corruption is the $444 million dollars which Scomo signed a cheque for. That money is in the great big barrier reef somewhere and should be recovered.

      Doctors face similar issues when reporting on CV19 issues; they could be personally crushed by the system without any change.

      The problem is corruption at the top and they’ve had fifty years of practice in “getting away with it”.

      Restoring some semblance of integrity to the nation’s superstructure is not going to be easy.

      KK

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        Kalm Keith

        Wind and Solar electricity generation produces Direct Current, when it’s at work.

        These small, irregular bursts of green energy must then be converted to useable Alternating Current and “distributed” to the point of use which is often some considerable distance away.

        All of the costs of rectification, d/c to a/c, and transportation are hidden from public view in the complexified production/marketing structures created by devious political intrigue.

        The engineering, costing, reliability and even the greenness of the green energy says that we must revert to modern coal fired generators and eventually to nuclear.

        Green, at heart, is unfortunately very, very Dark.

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      Ronin

      “It is ever hard to understand why engineers in particular have abandoned their claims to neutral professionalism.”

      They will end up being ‘cancelled’ and out of a job if they buck the ‘system’.

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      The power of fear and propaganda should never be underestimated. We must bear this in mind constantly over the next few years as the world moves into this downwards spiral.

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    OldOzzie

    A Mostly Wind- and Solar-Powered U.S. Economy Is a Dangerous Fantasy

    The proposed transition to “net zero” via wind and solar power is not only not easy, but is a total fantasy. It likely cannot occur at all without dramatically undermining our economy, lifestyle and security, and it certainly cannot occur at anything remotely approaching reasonable cost. At some point, the ongoing forced transition… will crash and burn.

    [I]t doesn’t matter whether you build a million wind turbines and solar panels, or a billion, or a trillion. On a calm night, they will still produce nothing, and will require full back-up from some other source.

    If you propose a predominantly wind/solar electricity system, where fossil fuel back-up is banned, you must, repeat must, address the question of energy storage. Without fossil fuel back-up, and with nuclear and hydro constrained, storage is the only remaining option. How much will be needed? How much will it cost? How long will the energy need to remain in storage before it is used?

    There should be highly-detailed engineering studies of how the transition can be accomplished…. But the opposite is the case. At the current time, the government is paying little to no significant attention to the energy storage problem. There is no detailed engineering plan of how to accomplish the transition. There are no detailed government-supported studies of how much storage will be needed, or of what technology can accomplish the job, or of cost.

    It gets worse:…. Ken Gregory calculated the cost of such a system as well over $100 trillion, before even getting to the question of whether battery technology exists that can store such amounts of energy for months on end and then discharge the energy over additional months. And even at that enormous cost, that calculation only applied to current levels of electricity consumption…. For purposes of comparison, the entire U.S. GDP is currently around $22 trillion per year.

    In other words: we have a hundred-trillion-or-so dollar effort that under presidential directive must be fully up and running by 2035, with everybody’s light and heat and everything else dependent on success, and not only don’t we have any feasibility study or demonstration project, but we haven’t started the basic research yet, and the building where the basic research is to be conducted won’t be ready until 2025.

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    Ronin

    More lies from the S&W junkies, rooftop solar would provide more jobs than a coal fired power station.
    Have you ever driven past a wind or solar farm and seen the carpark full of workers cars, nup, me either.
    My solar installation was done in less than a day.

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    John Mac

    A lot of valid comments in the above replies, but also some erroneous comments. As an old engineer that has worked in the Snowy and another power authority I am not silent, I have sent information to politicians across the country, federal and state, I HAVE NOT HAD ONE REPLPY!! One of the above hit the nail on the head – DIRECTLY – CORRUPTION big time across the whole RE industry, here and overseas. Politics is as bent as hell and aided by funds from Russia supporting anti fossil fuel groups. Pollies are also weak and gutless, bad combination for the country.
    Our pollies – all of them – do not want to see! None so blind!! That is the problem, none of us can get anyone in a position of power to listen to simple strictly correct engineering data that proves these system WILL fail.
    I am putting a solar supply and a battery in mt=y new house in Vic. The power in Vic will dissolve into rotating black-outs within 2 years. As a pensioner I cannot afford to loose food.

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      Ronin

      Good on you John for sticking it to the mutts, they are beyond pathetic, and sadly I think the only recourse is to act for yourself to have either batteries and inverter, or a quiet generator just big enough to run a frig, a tv and some LED lights.

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    yarpos

    Been having a to and fro with two supermarket chains about their false advertising statements “our stores will be powered by 100% renewable power”

    I explained to them this is an impossibility in the Australian grid and at best the may have contracts that support “RE” but the power actually running their stores at any point in time has very little to do with “RE”

    Their responses ranged from comical to pathetic, and shared a common disconnect from reality. One kept referring me to their website commitments which was the very thing I had told them was flawed. All of this was to be expected I guess, just thought I would try and see if I could get a rational response.

    On a related note have others noticed the Coles zero everything TV advert. The talk about zero waste, zero something else and then nett zero. As they talk nett zero they flash up and image of a proud employee standing with wind turbines in the background. The blades are stationary.

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    the sting

    My following question may have already published somewhere , if we tally up all the subsidies etc. received by renewables , then divide that by the actual amount of electricity produced in one year , what is the the cost per kilowatt of power actually delivered by ”free ” renewables ?

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