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Mayhem on the Australian Grid continues — Record prices, factory shutdowns, emergency warnings

Australian map grid.

Generation tonight….

Just another week in the Transition we (Don’t) have to have

With 65 Glorious Gigawatts the Australian grid system has a vast excess (theoretically) of generation capacity, yet it’s so fragile that the loss of an interconnector, normal maintenance and a few coal turbines down — has triggered $100 million dollar price spikes. These burning pyres of money are so savage the average cost of wholesale electricity — across a whole day — is lately in the realm of $200- $700 per megawatt hour over most states for 24 hour periods. For the last week, daily prices have been ten times the “old normal”.

And it comes on the back of the most expensive April in the Australian grid history in every mainland state on the National Electricity Market.

Autumn and spring are supposed to be easy days in Australia with peak demand only running at 27,000 MW.  Because things are lighter, generators do normal maintenance at this time of year, but at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any room for that in the network. In summer, demand is often 5,000MW higher. Where’s that going to come from?

Factories are shutting down for fear of burning through their cash balance

Business in RenewableWorld means being ready to drop everything and switch off the lights, but it might stop storms a hundred years from now, so it’ll be worth it…

Power price surge slugs big users

Perry Williams, The Australian

Soaring wholesale electricity spot prices have sparked warnings of factory shutdowns as big power users struggle with extreme volatility amid a growing number of outages and high fuel costs.

Sell & Parker, a scrap metal buyer in Banksmeadow that supplies to BlueScope Steel, said it had to curtail production over the last three days due to huge price volatility for its electricity supplies.

“Prices are jumping up 45-fold in a matter of minutes and we are being forced to shut down production,” Sell & Parker director Morgan Parker said. “It just kills you to run at those sort of prices.”

The company shuts off its metal shredder, one of only three in the state, during high price events and said it was being handicapped in comparison to international competitors operating in the same business.

Big grid users can hedge against that volatility, but hedges have their own costs (which must surely be rising) and smaller victims with wholesale spot contracts must be sweating on every five minute contract in the late afternoon.

On Sunday the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was already forecasting a drop in wind power on Thursday so severe that will leave South Australia at risk of  rolling blackouts.  The AEMO forecast a rare LOR3 (Lack of Reserve Class 3) though hours later resolved it. It seems the Heywood interconnector that South Australia relies on to get coal fired power from “next door” in Victoria will be limited on Thursday. The combination of low wind and little back up from interstate coal puts the South Australian RenewableWorld at risk of running out of power.

9.7 out of 10 based on 73 ratings

129 comments to Mayhem on the Australian Grid continues — Record prices, factory shutdowns, emergency warnings

  • #
    Richard+Ilfeld

    What Australia has a vast excess of is politics, otherwise described as a monopoly on the use of force without accountability. This it shares with virtually all of the world, as no government, once tasting power, seems to wish to shrink, or even remain static. Only where one has a monopoly on force can failure be an excuse to do one of what one has been doing to cause the failure, as ones ‘customers’ have no choice. The solution is not better government, it is less government. Such success as Mr. Trump had were due to reduction of regulation, and/or shrinkage of the number of govt. spoons dipping into the pot. Less what was done, than what had been done that was [temporarily] prevented; it is the permanence of the Wilsonian woodchucks that allows things to go to hell is a hand-basket so quickly when the strong hand is removed.

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    • #
      Mantaray Yunupingu

      I’m finding it very difficult to get a handle on all this….

      I see no indication that anyone anywhere believes there’s a Climate Crisis, since the airports are packed with desperate wanna-be travellers leaping onto CO2 spewing planes; suburban garages are jammed with fossil-fuel guzzling autos (see every Green or Green-independent MP and their voters’ garages too), and see also the endless whining from every leftist that supply-chain inter-ruptions (ie fossil-fueled transport inter-ruptions) are causing inflation. They all are demanding more diesel trucks ASAP!

      I also see no food shortages, or petrol shortages, or any other shortages in any shop I visit (this week; Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and every town on the Newell and Leichhardt highways in outback NSW and Qld). There are NO blackouts. Everyone is at work as usual.

      What is this “we’s all gonna suffer” stuff based on?

      BTW: Right this minute I’m about 300 ks inland from both Mackay and Rockhampton. The power is on: the fridges and freezers and pantries are full, and my friends will be going to work in about 2 hours. Where IS this flamin’ emergency which the hysterics are screaming about?

      301

      • #
        GlenM

        Passed Middlemount yesterday on the way to Kuttabul.

        20

      • #
        Ted1

        What price are you paying for cabbages and broccoli?

        And diesel?

        60

        • #

          Food and fuel prices are not the resu

          10

        • #

          Food and fuel price increases are the consequence of bad political decisions , not the result of any climate changes !

          170

        • #
          Mantaray Yunupingu

          Ted1 (8.11am). Don’t usually buy cabbages but I’m keen on potatoes. $2.30 a kilo at a RIP-OFF tiny SPAR supermarket nearby and you have to peel and slice them yourself, FFS. Frozen chips with no work required to prepare….$2 a kilo. Saw someplace there’s been floods here and there the past 6 months in Oz, which may have impacted lotsa fresh veg prices. You heard anything along these lines? Also

          I don’t buy diesel either but it’s around $2 a litre up the road. Read someplace there have been various supply disruptions and wars etc causing issues, so this does not surprise me. Average driver does 10,000-15,000ks per year = 650-1000 litres fuel at 50c a litre more than last year = an extra $325–$500 a year= $7-$10 a week = WTF!!

          My advice: A) stop buying cabbage, so’s you can pay for your diesel, B) Eat oven-baked chip, and other frozen veg if need-be…and C)….especially C)… Do not fret about minor BS!

          50

      • #
        Bazz

        Unfortunately, the oil companies are planning how to exit the oil industry. The cost of discovery and development of new fields is excessive so they are getting out.
        The industry is so big that it will take years to wind down.
        The motor manufacturers were given the word and that is why there is a rush to get into electric cars.

        32

        • #
          Mantaray Yunupingu

          Bazz. Hmmmm…..Oil Companies want out(?), and then I read this….The Guardian December 2021….”Exclusive: oil companies’ profits soared to $174bn this year as US gas prices rose”….

          Next Pfizer will be telling us they want out of the vaccine biz? Yeah, sure they do!

          90

    • #

      Richard, agree with less government but the the only way to achieve that is with CIR (Citizen Initiated Referendum and Recall). Switzerland has such a political system which allows citizens (a fixed small percentage of the all citizens) to call for a vote on items in the constitution or acts of parliament and even on budget items. The Swiss have voted to block expenditure on purchase of some planes for the defence (wrong type which does not suit). They have voted not to join the EU. They have voted not to have a basic wage (Swiss citizens have a higher wage than most western countries). In Switzerland taxing is done by states (Kantons) with a small amount set aside for the Federal Government, as was the case in Australia at Federation.
      The only party in Australia having CIR in their policies is ON (One nation). Senator Malcolm Roberts is the one that has promoted CIR and much more sensible policies on energy and resources.

      60

      • #
        Yonason

        “Next Pfizer will be telling us they want out of the vaccine biz?” – Mantaray

        Indeed, they do want out. Making real vaccines the old fashioned way is too expensive. Their “vaccines” of the future will be the same cra**y mRNA technology they are pushing on us for COVID-19.

        It’s a symptom of a far bigger problem, that has been growing worse for decades. People want quality, but few are willing to expend the effort or pay the price for it. Heck, many (most?) are no longer capable of recognizing it, let alone know how to master the skills to achieve it. And worse still, they hate and marginalize anyone who does.

        00

  • #
    Don B

    For the last 25 or 30 years, almost 100% of the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions has come from China, India and other Asian nations. Australia’s emissions do not even rise to the level of trivial.

    China is building a new coal fired power plant every 7 to 10 days, and opening up new coal mines. India is not far behind China in using more coal.

    Australia’s climate madness is beyond comprehension, and unfortunately for some of us, the U.S. is heading towards that same slippery, irrational slope.

    https://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/annual-co-emissions-by-region.png

    210

    • #

      China is building a new coal fired power plant every 7 to 10 days…..

      When I first saw that almost fifteen years ago, I wasn’t sure I should mention it at my home site. I had just started writing all about this, and I saw that, and wasn’t sure if it was true or not. In fact, that one thing alone was the reason I started looking for information, even to the point of using the translator tab on a search engine and looking up Chinese information.

      After weeks and weeks, and many hundreds of sites, I had trained myself to look for information only, and not opinion from blogs etc, but hard core information. I found it was true, and a couple of sites even mentioned (fifteen years back, mind you) that construction would continue for decades into the future, just coal fired plants alone. It was almost unbelievable. And now here we are fifteen years after I started, and that plant construction has hardly eased a beat. Now, after those fifteen years, I ….. KNOW that these plants were not part of a fad that will soon close down when they realise the (dare I even mention how fake this is) reality of renewables, that people who do not know spruik about. No, these plants will be operational for long long into the future. Consider I started back in early 2008. The first plant I saw at that time which had just opened, will still be operational in 2060, and, at that rate of a new plant every seven days, there has been around 800 new plants in that time. (and for some perspective, the Nameplate for all of that is almost 55 times the total Nameplate for coal fired power here in Australia)

      We say building a new one every seven to ten days, but there are hundreds under construction at any one time. It’s just that a new coal fired plant comes on line for the first time (after construction is completed) every seven to ten days. And these aren’t just plants like we have here in Australia. These are plants that are two and three levels of technology higher than our (literally) ancient old clunkers.

      These huge behemoths now are replacing hundreds of small old tech plants, between five and a hundred MegaWatts, averaging 10MW overall, all of them filthy ancient and so old tech, and closing down in their hundreds, although there is no equivalence with plants opening, as they are all up over 1000MW. Not only are they opening up new plants, all of those older and medium sized Units (100MW up to 500MW) are being retrofitted to bring them up to the standards of the newer tech plants, with considerably lower emissions, and considerably higher efficiency.

      This is a necessity in China, as they still have very long way to go before they reach a point where they have equivalence of power generation with the already developed World we live in.

      China brings on line one new large scale coal fired power plant every seven to ten days.

      Here In Australia, Kogan Creek in Queensland was the most recent coal fired plant to come on line, and that was in 2007.

      This is not written by me as somehow an apology for what China is doing, or a plug for coal fired power. This is the reality ….. one that will not change.

      Tony.

      PostScript – It’s sometimes worthwhile looking back at old Posts to see how amateurish I was at the start, but luckily for me I mentioned all these things so many years ago. That China reference to building a new plant every seven to ten days, well that took me a while to Post because I wanted to be certain of the truth. If you are interested, it’s mentioned here in the second paragraph from the bottom at the Post at this link, dated April in 2008.

      320

      • #
        Bazz

        I think the Chinese have realised the whole Global Warming thing is not true as a number of scientists have shown.
        The Chinese are happy to let us go on using more expensive energy while they compete with cheap energy.
        The current global warming is almost certainly just another cycle caused by the sun. The cycle is about 800 years long and it has possibly already peaked. It will be 50 years before we can know for certain.

        50

        • #
          Mantaray Yunupingu

          Bazz. Old aphorism attributed to Napoleon; “when you see your enemies making mistakes, do not inter-rupt them”

          This would apply especially to situations where those making “the mistakes” are your own agents whom you’ve paid to make those mistakes!

          The “Big Guy” gets 10% for his efforts in F*cking everything up, and all the little Guys get their cut too!

          30

      • #
        John Hultquist

        Good point: “replacing hundreds of small old tech plants”

        I’ve seen comments that claim coal facilities are being shut down without mentioning the “replacing” part.
        The USA, AU, and others are shutting down coal and even nuclear and adding solar and wind. What can go wrong?

        Thanks, Tony.

        50

      • #
        Don B

        Thanks, Tony.

        Quiz time:

        A) Asians are so dumb they don’t even realize they are destroying the planet on which they live.
        B) Asians are very bright, and think the Western fear of carbon dioxide is irrational beyond belief.

        (I vote for “B”).

        30

    • #
      Lawrie

      It is not beyond comprehension if you factor in who benefits from us destroying our grid and economy. For too long the useful idiots were taught that we had to save the world but that China, India and Africa were exempt and did not have to save the world. The useful idiots then bought useless windmills and solar panels from China, and trains from India. We are fools for electing other fools yet have no option apart from a few good men and women who are sitting on back benches in every parliament.

      Communism is alive and well and is winning everywhere in the West.

      130

  • #
    Simon

    Price is the mechanism by which demand is set to match supply. Demand is flexible. Cheap commodities are usually wasted. Coal based economies are also struggling, look at India in an almost unprecedented heat wave and unable to import the coal that it needs to run its generators. No single source is reliable, which is why you need distributed diversity.

    155

    • #
      James Murphy

      Yet again you’re being deliberately (I assume) obtuse. Next you’ll tell us that a a big battery is a source of power, and is “distributed diversity”…

      No source is 100% reliable, however, in the past, we did not have to shut down industry except when there were some extremely unusual events, not just normal variations in weather.

      The system is on the verge of failing, and throwing more “renewables” at it won’t solve the problem, unless you think the problem is people having access to electricity..

      430

      • #
        Bazz

        Agree, one thing never asked or answered is;
        Where and when do you get the energy to recharge these batteries ? Off the grid ? But ut is overcast the next day and there is no wind ! Hmmm.

        100

    • #
      b.nice

      But you need to be able to rely on each part of that diversity most of the time.

      If you have a supply system that is running smoothly, then you introduce a lot of unreliable operators into the system…

      …. that system will eventually collapse, or cease using the unreliable operators.

      That is how thing work unless the unreliable operator is propped up by mandates and subsidies.

      290

    • #
      b.nice

      Simon…. always wrong.. surely it can’t be just bad luck. 😉

      https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/coal-production-surges-28-in-april-in-india/

      “Demand is flexible.

      only to a degree.

      There is baseload that absolutely needs to be covered.. you cannot use unreliable supplies to do that.

      or you could force demand “flexibility” by introducing blackouts and non-supply.. or enforcing shut-downs of people using that supply.

      270

    • #
      David Maddison

      Simon, India is a mostly tropical country.

      It doesn’t have “unprecedented heat waves”. Almost every day is a heat wave.

      360

    • #
      b.nice

      “which is why you need distributed diversity”

      Yep, we do need extra coal fired power stations in the Eastern state, glad you realise that.

      Wind and solar are not reliable enough to contribute to a reliable diversified supply..

      They are actually a hindrance, as is being shown in any place where they have caused a heavy infection of the grid.

      Germany has also seen the absolute necessity of having reliability of supply, and are diversifying to include more coal in their energy mix.

      https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/germany-reactivates-coal-power-plants-amid-russian-gas-supply-threats/

      180

      • #
        Richard C (NZ)

        Mayhem on the US grid too:

        Power Grid Operators Warn Of Potential Electricity Shortages Amid Transition To Clean Energy

        WSJ explains grid instability and increased risk of power shortages this summer comes as fossil fuel power plants are “being retired more quickly than they can be replaced by renewable energy and battery storage.” Power grids are racing to retire conventional power plants fueled by natural gas, coal, and diesel to green forms of energy, such as solar power and wind. There’s also the retirement of aging nuclear power plants.

        Things are not working as planned in the green economy as power grids are becoming unstable by the retirement of fossil fuel power plants with unstable renewables. The transition isn’t as smooth as climate change modelers once suggested as grid stability worsens, and millions of Americans could be subjected to blackouts this summer as cooling demand soars during heatwaves as grids won’t have enough power to meet demand.

        https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/power-grid-operators-warn-potential-electricity-shortages-amid-transition-clean-energy

        There was a plan?

        60

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      The elephant in this particular room is reserve capacity- but under modern capital that is a no no, as idle plant does not make money. Thus idle capacity has to be subsided q.v. the gas plant proposed for the hunter.

      The golden days of coal was when everything was state owned and run, nowadays if you can’t skim 10-20% it’s not worth doing.

      More than renewables this is a system failure of the current economic model.

      /energy companies are making out like bandits, a point not taken up in the narrative presented here.

      130

      • #
        b.nice

        “reserve capacity”

        Which wind and solar definitely are not.

        We really do need those extra 3 HELE coal fired power stations.

        The old ones are struggling with maintenance issues because:

        a) they weren’t designed to be run up and down to make way for other erratic supplies

        b) the economics of running them as “back-up” for wind and solar makes absolutely no sense.

        c) co-payments and carbon penalties make them more expensive to run

        d) the possibility that being shut down in the not too distant huge because of idiotic anti-CO2 nonsense make cost cutting more

        No they are not making out as bandits.. they are just trying to make a small profit while being constrained by stupid government green policies.

        Unreliables will always cause massive grid cost increase.. so yes, installing them on a grid will ALWAYS lead to system failure.

        Unreliables are the root cause of all the current electricity supply issues.

        340

      • #
        rowjay

        The godzilla in the room is the reserve capacity of wind turbines that are unavailable on average 70% of the time and solar panels idle on average 80% of the time. These are the world leaders in subsidised idle plants.

        290

      • #
        Ted1

        [email protected]#3.6

        Energy companies are indeed making out like bandits.

        According to the rules imposed by AGW scamming governments.

        Banditry is apt terminology.

        120

        • #
          Tel

          AGL made a loss in financial year ending 2021 and their share price now is less than half what it was 5 years ago. That’s not the kind of banditry I would invest in.

          Maybe you guys should be specific about who really is making money in this situation?

          120

          • #
            Ted1

            AGL is doing what AGL should.

            It’s AGL + Government that = Banditry.

            It would help if AGL could point this out.

            60

      • #
        Binny Pegler

        The golden days of coal was when everything was state owned and run – It still is, the ‘privately owned’ power companies. Are ‘privately owned’ by the various state governments.

        11

      • #
        yarpos

        Once again showing you have no idea about running real high availability systems.

        10

    • #
      Ted1

      Price. Supply and demand. Ah, yes.

      Marxists believe they can set the price and the product will just turn up. Until it doesn’t, that is.

      They closed the Hazelwood power station and wondered why the price skyrocketed.

      They closed one generator at Liddell and this happened. Note that “this” was average $200 for 5 weeks, which included a daily price of up to $750+ and hourly prices in five figures. Five figures, not four!

      Never forget those five figure prices are in play until the crash comes. Then no price will keep the lights on.

      What will the price be when they shut the rest of Liddell and Eraring? And how long will they stay at that level?

      Until the industries that can’t compete at these prices have gone out of business. That is how long.

      What, then, for 4% unemployment?

      “…prices surged two-thirds higher in the first quarter”.

      There’s an awful crash coming if that is not turned back.

      210

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        State owned electricity generation and distribution systems built by the state, operated by the state, and you paid the state for the product. – Marxist?

        Remember the reason that the state built, operated etc, is because the cost vs profit ratio over the short term was not attractive to capital.

        Capital the bought those state assets and are in the business of running them into the ground. Trevor St Baker is the poster child here, paid cents on the dollar for Vales Point, and has made out like a bandit ever since

        But renewables!

        110

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Right now the poster child state for renewables are paying through the nose for electricity, it stands out like a sore thumb and the reason Peter is because ?

          40

        • #
          b.nice

          “running them into the ground”

          So you are saying they should be doing more maintenance, taking them off-line more often.

          Nope, silly child, they can’t do that.

          Circumstances dictate that they have to run them that way.

          There is not enough reliable electricity supply left, as leeway, for then to do the necessary work.

          And of course having to ramp those old girls up and down to cope with the erratic fluctuations of wind and solar only adds to the problems.

          The blame is totally on the moronic implementation of unreliable supply generators..

          40

        • #
          Ted1

          When accusing Trevor St Baker of banditry you are ignoring the other party to the deal, and the circumstances.

          Trevor St Baker is sitting pretty on one of the most extraordinary deals we are ever likely to see because he and Brian Flannery could see what nobody in authority could see, that Vales Point was indispensable in the medium term.

          The alternative at the time was to close and demolish it. Without it we would have already been in the realm of four and five digit prices. Which are just not sustainable!

          20

      • #
        John in Oz

        Speaking of prices, my supplier has just announced a feed-in tariff of 1c for my solar system.

        Apparently the sunshine hours wholesale prices are so low due to the copious amounts of solar power being generated that they have to almost not pay for its input to the grid.

        70

      • #
        b.nice

        “But renewables!”

        Suck up massive subsidies, while providing nothing but erratic supplies.

        They basically just TAKE.. as is the leftist way.

        70

    • #
      b.nice

      “No single source is reliable, “

      Utter BS.

      When we had just coal fired and plenty off it, prices were cheap and blackouts were only ever from local distribution issues.

      It is the infection of unreliables in the grid, and not looking after and expanding what we already had, to keep up with demand, that has caused these problems

      150

    • #
      R.B

      Almost unprecedented? As in if it hadn’t happened before then it would have been?

      HEAT WAVE IN INDIA
      Record Temperatures
      Heavy Toll of Life
      CALCUTTA, June 7.
      An unprecedented heat wave has
      taken heavy toll of life in South
      India. Numerous fatal cases of sun-
      stroke have been reported, and many
      persons have perished as a result of
      village fires, the thatched roofs hav-
      ing ignited.
      Thermometers in Hyderabad have
      registered a record shade tempera-
      ture of 124 degrees, and tempera-
      tures of 118 are common over a wide
      area.

      HEAT WAVE IN INDIA (1935, June 8). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 9.

      Doubtful that heat wave was unprecedented even if records of such heat were.

      The demand for electricity has soared, leading to a coal shortage for power plants and subsequent outages for several hours a day in many parts of the country. The country has canceled hundreds of passenger trains to make way for more cargo trains to transport coal to the plants as stocks ran low.

      so importing the coal was not the problem. Transporting it around the country was.

      00

    • #

      ” look at India in an almost unprecedented heatwave “….. Simon couldn’t resist the hyperbolic rhetoric with the deft clause ‘almost’ and he must know the heatwave in India is not close to a record hot spell …….R.B’s assessment is correct : India with its huge population is producing and importing ample coal supplies despite Covid 19 strictures impinging on trade The logistical difficulties concern nationwide transportation of the fuel to areas where it is needed

      ” Distributed diversity” reads like obtuse cultural Marxism jargon

      00

  • #
    Mantaray Yunupingu

    Simon. Indian electricity production is about 60% fossils (52% coal) and 40% other (google this if you like). The “other” is very slow and very expensive to build up, while “Due to low electricity demand during the COVID pandemic, State-run Coal India, which accounts for 80 percent of domestic coal output, had its coal production fall for three straight years that ended March 2022.”

    You can see the problem…. and the solution. Closed coal mines etc are being rapidly reopened.

    Do not fear for our Indian mates as they will soon be much cooler (though I read that only about 13% of the afflicted have air-con)

    It’s wonderful that you are compassionate and caring but try not to fret. Old King Coal will soon be riding to the rescue. Great news indeed!

    210

  • #
    David Maddison

    You know what they’re doing to attempt to save the grid in Vicdanistan, with no expense (to the taxpayer) spared?

    Dictator Dan is giving away free or highly subsidised energy efficient refrigerators to commercial organisations.

    https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/victorian-energy-upgrades/save-with-these-energy-efficient-products/fridges-and-freezers

    And for domestic consumers there’s replacement of existing electric hot water heaters with heat pump units.

    https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/victorian-energy-upgrades/save-with-these-energy-efficient-products/hot-water-systems

    And don’t forget heating and cooling systems for domestic consumers.

    https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/victorian-energy-upgrades/save-with-these-energy-efficient-products/heating-and-cooling

    There’s probably lots of other FREE STUFF on offer in Vicdanistan as well!

    Come to Vicdanistan, land of free stuff and unicorns.

    I suspect that somewhere a genuine expert has told Dan that no matter how many windmills and solar subsidy farms he builds, NOTHING will replace proper coal and gas power generation.

    Even the large shedding of load due to the closing of the automotive and other industry has shed enough electrical load to save the grid or Dan.

    140

  • #
    b.nice

    that will leave South Australia at risk of rolling blackouts.

    This is inevitable sooner or later.. So the sooner it starts, the sooner things “may” start to get fixed.

    Australia has plenty of really high quality coal.. Stopping its use for power generation is tantamount to national sabotage.

    300

    • #
      wal1957

      that will leave South Australia at risk of rolling blackouts.

      Correct.
      And the sooner that happens the sooner the mostly asleep population will wake up to the fact that unreliables are not fit for purpose. In the new car market unreliables would be called a ‘lemon’.
      A very expensive and unreliable LEMON!

      110

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Wouldn’t it be dreadful if there were a major blackout during the last 2 weeks of the election?
      Might make some people question the moronic rush into renewables.

      50

      • #
        Serp

        Unfortunately voting has already started and there is no ability within the secret ballot system to have one’s ballot retrieved and amended.

        40

  • #
    b.nice

    “South Australian RenewableWorld at risk of running out of power.”

    I guess that they just need more diesel generators. 😉

    180

    • #
      David Maddison

      I saw figures once showing the cost of diesel electricity is something like 20 or more times more expensive per kWh than coal electricity. Diesel is a valuable transport fuel that should be used for that purpose, not electricity production when Australia is so rich in coal.

      290

  • #
    b.nice

    The rush for minerals needed for “net zero” is causing environment destruction alrready.

    And it has barely started

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/05/09/abc-miners-ripping-up-the-wilderness-to-feed-the-green-revolution/

    Tasmania they want to mine the wilderness, and are polluting rivers.

    Darwin.. open cut lithium is already affecting local rivers

    Mining on King Island for Tungsten.

    Seems we have to destroy the environment now, to save it from a fantasy in 100 years time .

    270

    • #
      David Maddison

      Not only destruction of the wilderness in the name of Leftist fantasies, there is a lot of slave labour mining for lithium and cobalt in Africa as well.

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        James Murphy

        I’ve seen figures that around 40% of African cobalt is sourced from slave labour and/or child labour. Whether is is correct or not, I don’t know, but this, on top of the environmental damage, and slave labour in China, is one reason why I buy almost no electronic gadgets, and keep them until they die, not just until a newer model comes out.

        Maybe I’m a hypocrite or a fool for not eschewing modern technology altogether, and maybe my efforts mean absolutely nothing in the scheme of things, but I don’t think I am the only one with at least some consideration for where all this “affordable” high tech gadgetry really comes from.

        120

        • #
          b.nice

          LOL,

          My washing machine is over 40 years old. Aussie made. Simpson 144.. Replaced the timer mech with a refurb about 10 years ago.

          My preamp in my audio system is about the same age (Bryston 1B)

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          • #
            James Murphy

            I haven’t had your luck with appliance longevity, but am happy to replace parts – when I can work out what needs replacing!! thanks to the internet, it’s not too hard to find manuals and the like.

            60

          • #
            David Maddison

            I also have an Australian made Simpson washing machine over 30 years old. The only things that have gone wrong are a stop valve which failed to close so I bought a new one from EBay and fixed it myself, and -somewhat my own fault- tried to remove the tumbler and the bolt had corroded and it broke off so I had to drill and re-tap the hole. Other people I know with highly electronic Chinese made washing machines seem to replace them about every five years…

            70

            • #
              b.nice

              Tried to find a washing machine mechanic to fix the old Simpson when the timer failed.

              Said it couldn’t be fixed, and charged my $120 for the service call.

              Found a refurbished timer on eBay, and installed myself.. for $50.

              Lesson learnt !

              90

              • #
                R.B

                I fixed an old washing machine by buying a replacement pump. Redrew the rubbed off markings on the dial and the sharehouse had a cheap machine for years

                but

                I know of a case where a man fixed a machine that ended up electrocuting his wife and son.

                10

            • #

              My Korean made one is 10- almost to the day.

              11

    • #
      Just+Thinkin'

      James Delingpole wrote a book entitled “Killing the World to Save it.”

      I bought this book when he did a presentation with Jo in Perth in 2012.

      A great factual read.

      NEVER trust a greenie, especially when they are trying to “save” something.

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  • #
    PeterS

    Then vote accordingly in the coming elections in the attempt to make a difference. It might not work but at least we must give it a try. Those who keep voting for the majors are part of the problem, not the solution. Those who watched Outsiders last Sunday know exactly what to do: https://majorslast.com/

    60

    • #
      Serp

      I hope to see the day when the entire country votes informal as a massive howl of protest.

      30

    • #
      Bushkid

      Do your research on the “freedom” parties and independents though.

      While most of them are fine, some of them are actually supporting “renewables”, specifically wind and solar. I don’t want to scare anyone off voting for the little parties or genuine independents, but please do your research first.

      There’s no point supporting a party/candidate who might be fine in one area, but who will consign us to ever more electricity trouble because they are on board with “renewables”.

      10

      • #
        Lucky

        Right. I have looked at their websites and found that while some of those parties are small, they are not for small government, and are big on ‘saving the planet’ with renewables/unreliables.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Apologists for the Green Morrison will disagree but just as Trump did, Morrison could and should have got out of the Paris Agreement and just got on with the job of providing Australia with cheap, reliable coal, gas, hydro and -gasp- hopefully nuclear energy.

    When Trump disengaged from Paris, there were dire predictions of doom and gloom, but guess what? ​Nothing bad happened! In fact only goodness and prosperity for the US. Even the US emissions of CO2 went down, not that it matters.

    In Australia, the huge waste of resources on wind and solar schemes would be prevented and Australia could go back to being the rich prosperous country it once was if Morrison was to do his job as leader, learn the truth from genuine climate and eneegy experts, and get out of Paris.

    The anthropogenic global warming fraud has only one purpose and that is the destruction of the West by the Left Elites and their army of useful/useless idiots.

    220

    • #
      Just+Thinkin'

      David,

      Mr. Morrison has shown on many occasions that he
      is part of The New World Order/One World Government movement.

      One day 97% of Australians are going to be saying, “What happened?”
      And YOU know who they are; you see them every day.

      120

  • #
    Steve of Cornubia

    “Business in RenewableWorld means being ready to drop everything and switch off the lights, but it might stop storms a hundred years from now, so it’ll be worth it… “

    That’s appalling, but in fact understates the absurd proposition which actually goes something like this:

    “Business in RenewableWorld means being ready to drop everything and switch off the lights, but it might REDUCE STORMS BY SOME UNDISCLOSED PROPORTION, POSSIBLY VERY LITTLE, a hundred years from now, so it MIGHT be worth it… “

    100

    • #
      Serp

      Very similar to the advertising pitch for covid vaccines as if generated by the same evil consciousness.

      40

  • #
    Neville

    We should never forget that we live in the very best of times + the SAFEST time and Human life expectancy and wealth have soared since 1950, then 1970 and now to 2022.
    This is all the more unusual because our population has also soared over the last 72 years and 52 years.
    Human population in 1950 was under 3 billion and 3.7 billion by 1970 and today 7.9 bn.
    Human global life exp in 1950 about 45.5 years, 56.5 years in 1970 and 73 years in 2022. THINK about it and YET deaths from extreme weather events have dropped by 95% over the last century.
    We can say with 100% accuracy that we are living in the safest period ever for Humans and there’s DEFINITELY no climate EMERGENCY or EXISTENTIAL threat. In fact the reverse is true.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/life-expectancy

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    • #
      Neville

      To be honest we’ll never stop storms or floods or droughts etc EVER and to think we could is just delusional nonsense.
      But we can say that our ADAPTATION to these extreme weather events should be our focus today and FOREVER.
      Lomborg’s team and other experts are observing that last year was a very low count for Human deaths from extreme events and hopefully we should expect to see an even higher percentage drop for deaths in the future.
      Of course R&D, technology + data + adaptation will improve as we progress over the next 100 years, unless we’re too stupid to understand our past 200 years.

      60

  • #
    Ronin

    All this drama and we haven’t even got close to the permanent shutdown of Liddell and Bayswater and Yallourn.

    140

    • #
      David Maddison

      I wonder if they’ll be blown up as a spectacular misledia event like the one in SA, or just immediate conventional demolition like Hazelwood, making sure early destruction is so massive there is no possibility of change of mind?

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    • #
      RexAlan

      After 50 years of burning coal to generate power, Liddell power station wind-down begins.

      Liddell has already shut down one of it’s four turbines.

      This is an ABC story so they spin it at great news.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-01/liddell-power-station-closure-wind-down-coal/100957890

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      • #
        b.nice

        Yes, Liddell is getting old, but there is plenty of coal and the the distribution infrastructure is still there.

        A new replacement should have been started years ago.

        Same with Hazelwood.. replace old infrastructure first.. then shut down and take the old one apart.

        50

        • #
          yarpos

          Pretty much what the Chinese have been doing for many years. Closing down inefficient and polluting coal plants (Greens cheer!) and replace them with new efficient and cleaner coal plants (Greens studiously avoid noticing)

          40

          • #
            b.nice

            Yep, they close down 20-40 of those little very old low capacity, high polluting urban coalies, and replace them with a single new HELE with many times the total output capacity.

            Greens get all excited about China closing large numbers of coal fired stations.. D’OH !

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  • #
    David Maddison

    For the next Federal Election Australia has the choice between a green and an extreme green.

    Morrison is responsible fpr the current energy deficiency because he is responsible for keeping us in the Paris Agreement. Without that, the states wouldn’t have the excuse to waste money on solar and wind subsidy farms.

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  • #
    Neville

    BTW the King Island tiny system is a disaster at night + most days and the Diesel generator is the saviour most of the time.
    And if S & W can’t generate enough power on King Island it would obviously be a DISASTER for Australia forever.
    And the clueless forever FLAT battery is a sick joke.

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

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    • #
      KevJ

      Is there any form of charting or logging to show the relative data from each power source over a given time? Or is WYSIWYG the only solution..?

      10

  • #
    Ronin

    If you can’t keep up the wind power IN the Roaring 40’s, no hope anywhere else.

    60

  • #

    Perry Williams, The Australian

    Soaring wholesale electricity spot prices have sparked warnings of factory shutdowns as big power users struggle with extreme volatility amid a growing number of outages and high fuel costs.

    I am confused by this comment ……
    I wonder which industrial users are on “spot price” supply terms ?
    In my experience of industry ( i do have some ), most industrial consumers are like domestic users, with contracted energy supplies on fixed rates, for fixed terms.. the larger the consumer, the better rates/ longer contracts, etc etc.
    Anyone in that situation would not be immediately concerned with spot price fluctuations.
    Of course their contracts may include “Demand Management” clauses to restrict consumption during supply shortages,….but that is not the same as direct cost increses or variations.

    40

  • #

    On a related vein…
    The Sun Cable solar project in the NT has expanded even further from its original 9 GW proposal to now be a 20 GW solar array, backed up with no less than 42 GWh of battery storage !
    Whilst you adsorb that scale of infrastructure, throw into the brain fug the fact that its proposed output is planned to be a whole 3.2 GW to supply Darwin (800MW) and Singapore (2.4 GW) via a 4500km undersea cable.
    https://suncable.energy/australia-asia-power-link/
    Needles to say the costings have also expanded to be a $30bn forecast for fundraising ,..which has been kicked off with a “massive” contribution from Twiggy’s FFI, and MCB’s private investment arm……of $210 million !!
    Anybody detect a faint smell of financial opportunism around this ?

    50

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      As Ponzi’s scheme attracted more “investors” he had to pay out more in “dividends” thus attracting more “investors”, until the original supposed source of finance became unbelievable.

      40

      • #
        ozfred

        Even if the investment ends up “bankrupt” perhaps 800kw for Darwin would still provide power?

        00

    • #
      yarpos

      Oh well a 20GW array is only about 7GW effective so its about what they originally talked about. Its easy to obfuscate nameplate vs actual. Are these updates real updates or Elon Musk updates?

      00

      • #

        7 GW is optimistic (35% CF ?)….. more like 5 GW (25% CF) .
        And that is on a good day …full sun !..less in winter .
        That doesnt leave much to spare for those grey days
        And 42GWh of battery will not carry them far past i overnight supply !
        Even Singapore …the intended customer…has openly said it is unlikely to agree a supply contract as the power price will have to be high to justify the investment. !

        30

  • #
    Robber

    At 6pm last night, SA electricity demand of 1,721 MW was supplied by Vic imports 35.7%, diesel 14%, gas 34.4%, solar 1.7%, wind 8.7%, battery 6.4% (100MW). And the spot price $10,400/MWhr. And the average price in SA yesterday, a mere $746/MWhr. Month to date $258.

    60

  • #
    Neville

    Why are we so stupid today when you consider their obvious FRA-D using simple LOGIC and REASON?
    Dr Finkel tells us we Aussies can’t make a difference EVEN if we stop all our co2 emissions today. BTW that’s just 1.1% of all Human emissions.
    And the CSIRO tell us the entire SH is NOW actually a co2 NET SINK, while the NH is the co2 NET SOURCE.
    And the COMBINED EU + USA co2 emissions are lower today than 1970 and China + all developing countries co2 emissions have soared over the last 30 years.
    The extremists can yap all they like but they can’t alter these very simple facts and data.
    Yet somehow this seems to be beyond the understanding of some of the most educated scientists on the planet?
    How do we explain this using simple logic and reason?
    And why do our Pollies + our MSM etc also refuse to follow simple logic and reason and verifiable real world data and evidence?

    40

  • #
    David Maddison

    So, when the Australian electricity grid inevitably collapses (soon!), will the demands be for even more wind and solar subsidy farms or will common sense prevail and people will demand proper power generation by coal, gas, hydro or nuclear?

    Sadly, the Soviet-style bureaucracy we now have in Australia means that even if there was a decision to build a proper power station, it would take 15 to 20 years before it came online.

    90

    • #
      David Maddison

      The damage done to the Australian electricity grid is now probably so severe that even if a rational government was elected state or federally, which seems not to be possible, it would take an infeasibly long time to fix things up. Infrastructure, like civilisation, is easy to destroy but hard to rebuild.

      140

      • #
        b.nice

        Even if green tape was totally removed, it would still take a while to build those extra, much needed coal fired power stations.

        Chinese seem to be able to do the constructions pretty quickly though…

        70

    • #
      ozfred

      Please remember that the Australian electricity grid is composed of TWO major pieces and rather more somewhat smaller pieces.
      And there is something to be said for prevailing westerly winds on the western coast.

      00

  • #
    Neville

    Just to try and make it easy for everyone here’s the Human co2 emission numbers since 1990.

    In 1990 World co2 emissions were 22,674 Million tonnes.

    In 2017 world co2 emissions were 37,000 Mill tonnes or an increase of 63.5%.

    In 1990 EU co2 emissions were 4,400 Mill tonnes.

    By 2017 EU co2 emissions had decreased to 3,500 Mill tonnes and a decease of -19.5%

    In 1990 USA co2 emissions were 5,000 Mill tonnes .

    By 2017 USA co2 emissions had increased to just 5,100 Mill tonnes, an increase of 0.4%.

    So combined EU + USA co2 emissions had decreased by -19.1% by 2017.

    In 1990 China co2 emissions were 2,397 Mill tonnes.

    By 2017 China’s co2 emissions had increased to 10,800 Mill tonnes, an increase of 353%.

    And “other developing countries” co2 emissions increase would be similar increase to China by 2017.

    Here’s the link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

    30

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Manufacturing under threat as gas prices spike

    Manufacturers on the east coast are considering shutting down plants as prices for natural gas surge, sharpening the threat of the sort of broad crisis in energy prices that has hit economies overseas.

    Wholesale gas prices in Victoria have tripled or quadrupled from typical levels to more than $30 a gigajoule, while prices in Sydney are north of $22/GJ even before colder winter weather drives up demand to peak levels.

    The spike in prices comes as more gas is used for electricity generation because of multiple outages in coal-fired power stations across the National Electricity Market, which has caused wholesale power prices to surge.

    Prices are also being drawn higher by strong international prices for LNG, which soared last September and again after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, and have remained much higher than normal as energy importers seek to avoid Russian supplies.

    Aditya Jhunjhunwala, director of Causmag International, which uses gas to make magnesium products in NSW’s Riverina region, said his operation, which buys gas priced against the spot market, was incurring “huge losses” at prices that he said were sometimes four times normal levels.

    “We are paying over one day what we would normally pay over four days for purchasing gas,” Mr Jhunjhunwala said. “And we cannot call on customers and say that the gas price has increased four times, can we please put prices up by 30 per cent? It doesn’t work like that.

    “We don’t want to consider [closing plants], but if it continues we will be left with no alternatives because how will we keep paying these gas invoices? Who is going to fund these invoices?”

    Blaming the exporters

    The surge in prices has caused most harm to those industrial gas buyers who purchase directly from the spot market and so are not paying contract prices through an energy retailer.

    But they will also flow through to contract prices if they continue.

    Gas buyers are partly blaming Queensland’s LNG exporters for the higher east coast domestic prices as they seek to capture more of the super-high overseas prices for gas.

    “Netback” prices for LNG exported from Queensland, which signal the equivalent domestic price that exporters are receiving, are at $38.09/GJ for this month, according to the national competition watchdog.

    That is similar to spot prices in Victoria on Tuesday of $38.42/GJ, and higher than those in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane of between about $26/GJ and $36/GJ.

    But analysis by consultancy EnergyQuest said the rise in domestic prices did not appear to be because of any increase in LNG export volumes. EnergyQuest linked the rise in gas prices more to greater call on gas for power generation because of the coal power outages.

    “Overall, domestic gas prices have been on an upward trend for months due to high international prices, and any disruption to domestic production, such as electricity generation outages, pushes domestic prices even higher,” it said.

    ‘Rome is burning’
    But Garbis Simonian, managing director of NSW gas wholesaler Weston Energy, questioned whether all the coal power outages were genuine, and whether some units were being kept offline to force up the wholesale power prices and, therefore, the gas price.

    About 6000 megawatts, or about 30 per cent of the National Electricity Market’s coal power generation capacity, is offline, exacerbated by faults and maintenance required on ageing infrastructure, further driving up wholesale electricity prices on the east coast.

    “There is too much coal-fired capacity being turned off,” Mr Simonian said, calling for inquiries to be made into the outages, and urging government to take action on energy transition reforms proposed by the Energy Security Board last year.

    “Everything is on hold, but in the meantime Rome is burning. Everyone uses electricity and gas, We want something done about this, otherwise it will be catastrophic.”

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  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    So the solution is for the state to own and operate what is effectively a monopoly, it can then set the mix, the price and all the rest. Just like it was back in the day.

    It must be no coincidence that the problems inherent in aging coal infrastructure only happened after it was sold to private industry.

    07

    • #
      Tel

      The solution is for the Commonwealth to allow LRET to expire which is scheduled to happen in 2030.

      Literally all they have to do is nothing at all.

      They could end it sooner and that would be even better, but I accept that the effort of actually doing something might be too much for them.

      It must be no coincidence that the problems inherent in aging coal infrastructure only happened after it was sold to private industry.

      Complete load of cobblers.

      NSW first started along the road of electricity privatization back in 1999, which was more than 20 years ago. They sold off the generators in 2012, which was 10 years ago. Here’s an idea … how about you look stuff up, instead of make stuff up? No no, really give it a try, you can learn a lot just by paying attention.

      70

    • #
      b.nice

      “It must be no coincidence that the problems inherent in aging coal infrastructure only happened after it was sold to private industry.”

      More fantasy nonsense from PF.. guess what.. with age, plants get older. !

      All this ramping up and down due to the infection of unreliable supplies certainly isn’t helping.

      Also, because of the closures, there is no longer the leeway needed for proper maintenance.

      And because of more scheduled closures and political anti-coalmongering, the will to spend the funds for continued maintenance is also low.

      All this is totally the cause of the far-left anti-CO2 agenda.

      60

  • #
    William

    Just had a bot text from Kylea Tink asking for my vote. No, she hasn’t got it but how did she get my phone number and know that I live in her electorate??

    50

  • #
    Sunshine Rainbows

    The situation is out of control in the spot market. April and May are the maintenance periods for generators but there have been a number of baseload trips that have really reduced supply. What do you expect when you have an ageing fleet of coal units, minimal maintenance capex and virtually no generator reserve margins. There are constant LOR1 and LOR2 market announcements because our baseload capacity is so precariously low.

    The reduced coal supply has dropped gas generators in the bidstack that are subject to our fantastic domestic gas supply. Most of our southern state gas generators rely on a single gas plant – Longford – for supply. That’s another issue altogether but it is never a good idea to rely entirely on a single ageing basin when there are other options out there (but impossible to develop due to political forces). VIC gas prices have been settling at around $35 recently. Now consider a typical gas generator heat rate of $12 MJ/MWh. What do you have? A gas generator cost of $420/MWh when we usually expect sub-$150 spot electricity prices this time of year.

    Renewables output has also been absolutely abysmal recently. There was practically ZERO Victorian wind generation yesterday! I actually mean “virtually nothing!” One day prior it momentarily had 1.5GW. That means in the span of a day, we lost the equivalent of a coal generator and no-one bats an eye. The wind farms go off on their merry business with their semi-scheduled generator status in the NEM. South Australian wind also dropped to zero during the evening peak yesterday. Perfect timing!

    Now have a look at solar forecasts for tomorrow. We’re going from a NEM-wide total of 2.4GW (today’s peak) to a forecast of 1.2GW tomorrow. That’s a 1.2GW reduction! Again, no talk about these pseudo-renewable outages.

    Another cause for the chaos in the NEM was the tripping of the Ravine-Yass transmission line which drastically reduces VIC imports into NSW. When state baseload supplies are low, a single transmission trip can cut you off from 100s of desperately needed megawatts.

    30

  • #

    I think the increasing world thermal coal price is playing a greater part than “outages” in driving the increasing AEMO wholesale prices.

    Coal fired power is stepping up every day.

    10

  • #
    Olde Reb

    Globalism is when financiers control, not only territory, but also own all major industries—including power companies. Monopolies are good—competition is bad. There went service and price.

    30

  • #
    Yonason

    “… wind and solar farms […] are among the cheapest forms of power generation…” – WSJ

    If by “cheap” they mean “lousy,” then yeah.

    30

  • #

    […] On Sunday the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was already forecasting a drop in wind power on Thursday so severe that will leave South Australia at risk of rolling blackouts.  The AEMO forecast a rare LOR3 (Lack of Reserve Class 3) though hours later resolved it. It seems the Heywood interconnector that South Australia relies on to get coal fired power from “next door” in Victoria will be limited on Thursday. The combination of low wind and little back up from interstate coal puts the South Australian RenewableWorld at risk of running out of power.Jo Nova Blog […]

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  • #

    […] On Sunday the AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was already forecasting a drop in wind power on Thursday so severe that will leave South Australia at risk of rolling blackouts.  The AEMO forecast a rare LOR3 (Lack of Reserve Class 3) though hours later resolved it. It seems the Heywood interconnector that South Australia relies on to get coal fired power from “next door” in Victoria will be limited on Thursday. The combination of low wind and little back up from interstate coal puts the South Australian RenewableWorld at risk of running out of power.Jo Nova Blog […]

    00