JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Australian grid teeters on edge of blackouts tonight

The Queensland grid is in crisis — the forecast price for nearly the entire next 24 hours is $15,000 per megawatt hour.

I have never seen a graph like this one. It’s a “white knuckle ride” as Paul McArdle describes it. The IRPM (or Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin) is just 8%. “This shows total Available Generation of 31,679MW ready to supply aggregate ‘Market Demand’ of  of 29,201MW at this point … so a surplus of only 2,478MW NEM-wide.” But only last week there was a record day where the grid demand was 32,000MW — the highest winter demand day for years.

Reserves are incredibly thin, not just in Queensland, but also in NSW.

Market Notices from the AEMO are flowing like confetti. There is an Actual Lack of Reserve Level 2 (LOR2) in Queensland as of 6pm to 8pm. There is an LOR2 running for NSW as well, and an LOR1 for Victoria. If things shift up to LOR3 that means blackouts are likely, and LOR3s are forecast — in QLD tonight and in NSW tomorrow night. The margins are thinner than they look. Because extra generation on one part of the grid may be 3000km and an interconnector or two away from where it is needed. The interconnectors have complicated automated rules about flow to try to avoid black-state situations and to minimize prices. It’s not always obvious why they limit flows.

*** UPDATE: The LOR3 forecasts have been cancelled, but the Cumulative Price Threshholds (CPT) have been blitzed, and NSW now joins QLD. This is all new territory for the national market. Perversely, once the CPT is breached, and the “soviet” fixed price conditions are set, many generators withhold auction bids to supply, and then the AEMO has to order them to do so. It’s just a rolling crisis with one bandaid to fix the last cut piled onto the new wound… Paul McArdle tried to keep up with the Yo-Yo-ing of available generation in QLD once the CPT threshold was set on Sunday evening there. It appears the fixed price is $300/MWh, which is curiously, lower than the actual average daily price the market has arrived at every single day in June in both NSW and QLD. To give people some idea of the bloodbath on the Australian grid the average “monthly” price so far in June is $460 (NSW), $677 (QLD), $333 (SA), $284 (Tas) and $306 (Victoria). Thus the wholesale price of electricity for entire states for nearly two weeks is 46c in NSW and 68c in Queensland. And generators will be able to apply for compensation for losses, so there are more dollars to flow long after the crisis is over.

There is almost no unreliable intermittent renewable energy available to use during this peak time

This graph shows how much the entire renewable revolution is helping at this moment in Australia. The graph also shows “Battery storage” so people can see how much it is contributing. To notice the microscopic sliver of red battery power flicker on and off, go to Anero.id and tick-untick the battery box.

Everyone will blame “the failure of coal” but anyone can see that more solar panels and wind turbines wouldn’t solve anything tonight.

Aero.id, Australian NEM, Electricity grid, fuel source, Graph.

There is almost no solar, wind power or battery power available.  |  Anero.id

Coal power is obviously the mainstay of the grid

Those sources from the bottom are black coal, brown coal and natural gas. The light blue is hydro power. Everything else is trivia.

At one point today the total power from our entire wind generation across five states was 409MW at 12 noon out of 8.5GW of “capacity”.

Aero.id, Australian NEM, Electricity grid, fuel source, Graph.

Coal is keeping the grid running.   | Anero.id 

Updating this page…

Qld at risk of blackouts amid price cap

Australian Financial Review

The national energy market operator is having to direct electricity generators in Queensland to switch on plants to avoid blackouts, after the introduction of controlled prices in the state left some generators unprofitable. Despite the orders, Queensland is at risk of potential blackouts later on Monday because of a deficit in supply, the Australian Energy Market Operator signalled, by forecasting a level-three “lack of reserve” notice.

“The wheels seem to have fallen off the energy market,” said power market watcher Paul McArdle at specialist information service Global-ROAM. He noted AEMO has forecast that 1454 megawatts of demand could be “interrupted” at 5.30pm, a load “about the size of Brisbane”.

An extended period of extreme electricity prices triggered a rarely-used cap on wholesale power prices in Queensland on Sunday evening, of $300 a megawatt-hour.

Price caps and emergency rules are in action. Generators are being called up to perform whether they like it or not. But some are short of fuel, and any group ordered to supply can ask for compensation payments. In Queensland a cumulative total of seven days in a row topped $1.36 million so the “price cap” was triggered for the first time.

The renewable wonderland of South Australia is tonight running on fossil fuels:

Specifically, South Australia is currently using natural gas, diesel, and fuel oil to keep the lights on. The price is $272/MWh, with about 2GW being used at 7.40pm local time near the end of the highest peak for the day. Prices are also forecast to be at risk of tripping the cap of $15,000 in the next hour, but they may not. Tasmania is almost all hydropower at the moment but prices are $440/ MWh.

The same interconnectors that allow electricity to flow also allow blistering high prices to flow throughout the system. Apparently, both SA and VIC are at some risk of hitting their cumulative price caps too. Fortunately for WA and the NT they are not connected to the NEM and the high renewable-induced bloodbath prices in the market can’t flow through.

SA, Australian electricity graph, June 13 2022.

SA is running on fossil fuels. That’s natural gas, diesel and fuel oil.

h/t Old Ozzie, Rafe,

 

9.9 out of 10 based on 80 ratings

205 comments to Australian grid teeters on edge of blackouts tonight

  • #
    Philby

    The chickens are coming home to roost. Cut the power to all green alarmists first

    771

    • #
      Lawrie

      This is really the best news for days. Roll on blackouts and let the climate warriors worry that their renewables are indeed useless. The only way to convince politicians is with a bit of 4×2 between the eyes or maybe people freezing in a land of fuel surplus.

      351

    • #
      R.B.

      You honestly think that this is the end result of stupidity of those in real power?

      A lot of people on the tele look like they honestly believe in battling climate change because they are for social justice, but they just want to earn lots of money so as to not live next to the plebs. Those rewarding them want the majority to be in power poverty.

      There’s no gnashing of teeth in the top echelons of power. It’s the sound of glasses clinging.

      260

  • #
    yarpos

    Seems not long ago when QLD was routinely exporting 1GW to NSW. Clearly more wind turbines are needed that will fix it (yes I know that’s stupid, but there are people that actually believe that as an absolute fact)

    580

  • #
    Ed

    The administered price limit of $1,359,100.00 per 2016 trading intervals may have to be raised, because it is looking like the new normal.
    I prefer this tool: https://opennem.org.au/

    110

  • #
    John

    I cannot believe how absolutely braindead stupid these Greens and Teal voters are. Well, we’ve got exactly what they voted for, and we are getting it good and hard. More pain to come….

    622

    • #
      Graham Richards

      I don’t want to see smallish areas affected for an hour or two, I want to see a whole state shut down for a week or two, on a regular basis.
      Maybe then when a Gangreen or Labor/LNP politician ventures out he’ll get what he deserves from the angry public.

      DONT hold your breath for a change of direction. The government has instructions from the UN/WEF/Globalists/Bilderbergers to enforce energy poverty in name of Global Warming. Anyone noticed any global warming lately???

      Even the news broadcasters are talking about Loadshedding, which is the term used by 3rd world countries like South Africa to describe the total failure of the power grid. Duty of care doesn’t apply when government policies fail. Wait for the resultant court cases.

      241

    • #
      Ross

      John, I am just as likely to pile heaps of criticism on the loonie lefties of the Greens and Teals as the next bloke. But, the administration of the the Australian electricity grid has been predominantly under the stewardship of the LNP for the last 20 years. It’s both sides of politics to blame in equal proportions to the public servants in the Ministry of Energy/ AEMO/NEM. It’s been a slow progression of faults for the best part of 2 decades.

      163

      • #
        Ian

        Good to read a comment that looks at the facts instead of churning out prejudices

        315

        • #
          b.nice

          “instead of churning out prejudices”

          Which you do 97% of the time.

          102

          • #
            Ian

            ‘Which you do 97% of the time.

            That is excellent news as it means I’ve nearly caught up with you. Only 12.9999999% to go.Yay

            NB I deliberated on the 12.99 etc as I thought it would be impossible to write crap more than 100% of the time until I looked at your comments and realised how easy you make it look

            112

          • #
            yarpos

            just projecting, its a lefty thing

            21

      • #
        b.nice

        Abbott wanted to build new coal fired, and drop the RET… Blocked in the senate by anti-CO2 cult.

        Morrison offered to fund 3 gas and one new coal fried in NEM… Blocked by leftist/anti-CO2 agenda.

        Turnbull , of course , never a real Liberal

        192

        • #
          Dennis

          It was 4 gas generators the Morrison Government proposed, 2 in NSW and 1 each for VIC and QLD.

          So far only 1 has been approved in NSW for the Hunter Valley.

          50

        • #
          Ross

          Ok, this was a quote I found quite recently and I filed it away in my “WTF” folder. “As the world’s largest coal exporter, we have a vested interest in showing that we can provide both lower emissions and reliable base load power with state-of-the art clean coal fired technology”. Anyone want to hazard a guess who made that statement 5 years ago?

          00

          • #
            b.nice

            Someone who was trying to push the absolute economic idiocy of carbon capture and sequestration 😉

            Seriously, just let the CO2 go into the atmosphere where it does all good and no harm.

            30

            • #
              Ross

              Would you believe it was the old grey ghost himself? Turnbull. Apart from the emissions and crazy CO2 sequester stuff ( as you so righty pointed out), the rest actually sounds sensible. Perhaps it was just a huge porky.

              00

  • #
    Hanrahan

    This is no way to run a railroad. Tas ATM has a price of $12,857.64 by far the highest but they are exporting 400MW to Vic where the price is $300.* This is crazy!!!

    I have no objection to interconnectors but over reliance on them allows state greenish premiers to grandstand about RE while buying interstate power. What premier on the hustings doesn’t say: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Well! what’s wrong with generating your own demand in the state, isn’t that JOBS?

    I don’t claim intimate knowledge of AEMO but I think it is being used as the scapegoat for mendicant Premiers who believe in pixie dust.

    * Those prises will likely change by the time I finish this post, but that’s my point.

    260

    • #

      Hanrahan, Wattclarity has an explanation of how the interconnectors are limited with fairly bizarre formula’s. They are obviously trying to minimize the prices, but above all else, they are trying to avoid blackouts.
      Wrqap your head around this: https://wattclarity.com.au/articles/2022/06/interconnector-constraints-and-limits-an-explainer-and-a-few-traps/

      Note, just to screw with your mind “Exporting does not necessarily mean “exporting” “:

      A convention to be aware of here:

      1) an interconnector is said to be exporting if its energy is flowing north or west, and importing if flowing south or east.

      2) In NEMDE and the EMMS, exports (i.e. flow north and west) are written as positive numbers, whereas imports are written as negative numbers. In our ez2view software we strip the +- sign off the number when we show it with an arrow.

      I’m looking for the actual formulas though. I know they are out there…

      20

  • #
  • #
    Graham Richards

    When the power goes down due to obvious stupidly, dereliction of duty of care & all the frozen food in freezer goes off, supplies in the refrigerator spoil are the Generators liable for the cost of such supplies. If not, why not.
    I pay my bills on time for the overpriced electricity’s so why should the suppliers not be held responsible for everyone’s loss of food stuff spoiled due to their failures.

    Can anyone provide an educated comment?

    431

    • #
      ozfred

      WA -power off more than 12 hours – you get $80.
      It’s the 3 second outages that annoy me.

      90

      • #
        yarpos

        An example of the difference between availability and reliability.

        Something can have very high uptimes on paper but have extremely annoying and even dangerous (depending what the system is doing) short duration outages

        40

    • #
      Lawrie

      Having to pay for spoiling and dislocation would certainly sharpen the focus of electricity retailers. At the moment they only have profits.

      141

    • #
      RickWill

      When the power goes down due to obvious stupidly,

      You take out insurance that covers stupidity of others and even your own stupidity if it was accidental. Insurance companies would normally cover losses associated with power outages.

      The insurance companies could eventually refuse to compensate on the basis that power outages become inevitable.

      20

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The intervention by AEMO on the price settings is big news, because according to WattClarity it is the first time it has happened in the state, although it has happened in recent years in South Australia and earlier in Tasmania.

    The price cap was due to expire at 0400 AEST on Monday, but AEMO announced it would be extended for another 24 hours because the trigger point of $1.359 million in accumulated costs remained breached. It’s likely to remain in place for another week.

    But the price cap had another, almost immediate consequence. It caused many generators to suddenly withdraw capacity because they did not think they could make money under the price cap.

    151

    • #
      Broadie

      Yep.

      And the subsidy of wind and solar meant many invested in that technology and have made a fortune out of the mental pygmies who thought having the lights on at noon would save the planet.

      220

    • #
      4Million%RenewablesNow!

      The price cap will last at least one week – very likely more than that. The uncapped QLD and NSW dispatch prices are all at VoLL ($15,100/MWh) or above since this evening and beyond (looking at predispatch prices).

      This is a complete market failure and now the generators are pretty much getting “directed” to dispatch by the AEMO. And even the generator compensation is up in the air since they have to lodge a claim with AEMO in order to get it done which is both unclear and time-consuming.

      As mentioned in this post, the $300/MWh cap is antiquated since the short run marginal cost of gas generation is way above $300/MWh – probably something closer to $500/MWh with the domestic prices which closer aligns with the regional averages we’ve seen.

      130

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Why can’t generators make money under a price cap? I’m sure that cap is not $!0/MWh.

      I could not make sense of your post but if you are correct it sounds like the best argument to scrap the AEMO and go back to state based generation with interconnectors as an aid, not life support.

      Let Premiers live or die by their own policies. I can’t believe SA wants others to pay for another feeder. Blow up your coal fired stations – Live with it.

      180

      • #
        4Million%RenewablesNow!

        A price cap is the abandonment of a free market. Instead of market prices dictating whether or not a generator dispatches energy, now we’re in a quasi-state where above $300/MWh price bids have no economic merit. If you’re a generator and the marginal cost for the next MWh of generation costs you $500/MWh, why would you bid at all? You’d be getting paid $300/MWh for generation that costs you $500/MWh. Because this economic inscentive for market-based bids is gone, the AEMO is directing generators to dispatch and promising to pay them their actual cost by lodging a claim. And where do you think those lodge claim payments will come from?

        The harsh reality of this situation is that this energy crisis is a HUGE price signalling event for increased dispatchable investment in the NEM. It’s a cold, hard dose of reality for all those deny that renewables are unworkable on the grid.

        170

        • #
          Graham Richards

          The government makes the rules on energy & the market does their bidding.
          When government says jump, they all jump in unison.
          So surely if generation costs blow out because of the orders to “jump”
          and generation costs jump from $ 300.00/ MwHr to $15,000.00 /MwHr the difference must be tax deductible. Why should the consumer pay for the Government dumbass policies which will ultimately backfire??
          Spread the pain, make the government bodies, state governments, subsidise their moronic dumbass policies.
          The consumer is the innocent victim so don’t go increasing energy prices to pay for problems beyond control of consumers. REMEMBER “DUTY OF CARE”! Time for mass legal action!

          90

        • #
          b.nice

          “It’s a cold, hard dose of reality for all those deny that renewables are unworkable on the grid.”

          Not many people here think that unreliables should be more than a tiny niche part of the grid power supply.

          There certainly should not be any “target” for unreliable supplies (except a target of “less than 1%”).

          We desperately need to beef up reliable COAL and GAS, and assign all the anti-CO2 AGW nonsense directly into the S-bend filing system

          btw… Great to see you channeling Tony Abbott, who wanted to get rid of the RET. 🙂

          41

        • #
          Alice+Thermopolis

          Neat that AEMO is required to compensate the generators for their losses.

          If the crisis is prolonged, presumably it means the government will be forced to acquire the players bankrupted by its policies? Hey, presto, nationalisation of the ES energy grid by Labor.

          No wonder the new CC and Energy minister, Mr Bowen, sounded less chirpy this morning.

          Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery said Alinta was only running its gas plant at Braemar in the Darling Downs region because of the AEMO orders, as otherwise it could not cover its costs.

          Just the gas cost alone at about $40 a gigajoule meant the plant needed a wholesale price of $440 a megawatt-hour, even before wear and tear, start-up costs, staff and other costs, he said, so at the cap price of $300/MWh, the economics did not work.

          “It’s actually uneconomic to be generating at that price, so yes, you do need compensation and to be directed on otherwise commercially you’d turn off,” Mr Dimery told the Financial Review.

          “We will do what we need to do, even if it is uneconomic to keep the lights on and do the right thing by the market operator in the community.”

          10

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Look up the definition of Monopsony.

        16

        • #
          David Maddison

          Peter, the situation was created entirely by your beloved Big Government interfering in the market place and forcing the purchase of the fundamentally defective products of wind and solar.

          Wind and solar would not survive in the free market except for niche applications like remote telecommunications infrastructure where diesel fuel resupply is expensive and difficult. But that application is insignificant.

          Even in situations where W and S arguably might be worthwhile such as King and Flinders Islands in Bass Strait, they are still not economic compared to the cost of diesel fuel. Attempts at wind generation at Australian Antarctic bases has also been disastrous. (I mean proper cost, taking into account capital and depreciation, etc.).

          160

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Then why does Western Australia not suffer from these problem, it has government regulation.

            113

            • #
              b.nice

              You have been told many time, try not to continue with your ignorance.

              WA is not affected by drops in wind because it still have plenty of COAL AND GAS to cover peak demands, with plenty of surplus.

              Let’s not forget that those peak demands are only about 20-25% of NSW, Vic or Qld so well less than 10% of the eastern NEM

              At the moment,in WA Coal:1020MW, GAS: 1385MW… and wind a very pathetic 84MW

              131

              • #
                Ian

                I didn’t realise that there are so many,51. gas fired power plants in WA generating 4696MW. This provides a lot of flexibility compared with the 4 coal fired plants generating 1677MW. The 17 wind farms generate 1020MW and the single hydroelectric power plant which uses turbines not pumped storage, generates 30MW

                24

              • #
                yarpos

                ” The 17 wind farms generate 1020MW” it would be safe to say rarely, if ever

                the usual nameplate thinking , treating those things as real generators

                41

              • #
                b.nice

                A Lot of those gas fired stations are not grid connected , but used for mining and ore processing.

                That is why they are generally pretty small.

                These get their gas from the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

                With so much reliable gas available, its totally logical to use it.

                It should be that way with coal and gas in the eastern states (like it is with gas in SA)

                They need to get drilling for gas, build a new coal fired power station or 3 and get most of the unreliable supplier off the grid.

                30

              • #
                b.nice

                “17 wind farms generate 1020MW”

                Currently at 53MW ie only 5% of rated capacity.

                Good thing they have all that COAL and GAS available, hey

                21

              • #
                b.nice

                Wind in WA now at 24MW (2.5% of nameplate)

                10

            • #
              Graeme#4

              Not so much regulation as legislation. In fact, a lot of WA energy is generated by private companies. But because the grids are not interconnected, they get along nicely on their own, mainly because of the gas reservation scheme. This means that if we look like running short of energy on our grids, we can easily fire up gas peaking generators that use cheap gas, so our wholesale price is t impacted very much. While there are some renewables, they don’t contribute very much, mainly there for show.

              60

        • #
          Graham Richards

          I sense the return of “waffle,waffle, & more waffle” when the dumbass policies fail!

          40

      • #
        Broadie

        Let Premiers live or die by their own policies.

        And herein lies the reason we should have various levels of government competing to provide the foundation for innovative and industrious people.
        The over arching Public Private partnerships on both national and international level have failed. This is Fascism not a free thinking democracy. We are being ruled not governed. This is a very simple technique repeated through history, ‘The Siege’. The supply chain has been captured and restricted, you will comply or submit like Richard Marles or you can watch your freezer die from poor quality power or thaw in the absence of any.
        And, forget about charging your Tesla or filling the extra tank on your fully optioned Toorak Tractor.

        60

    • #
      RickWill

      It caused many generators to suddenly withdraw capacity

      No wind or solar plants withdrew capacity. The cap gives them a handsome margin.

      This is a delicious situation. If the W&S “capacity” was actually useful then there would be no need for the price cap. W&S can still make money at minus $47/MWh.

      All Australia has to do is produce more coal and gas than can be exported and the price of these fuels gets closer to the actual cost of extraction, which is peanuts. There is no export market for lignite so this is the fuel that the focus should be on to keep Australian electricity prices low.

      60

      • #
        ianl

        No wind or solar plants withdrew capacity

        Oh yes they did – after 6pm with no wind across 3 States, they withdrew capacity.

        The prime question that has been asked and asked over the last thirty years of the climate zealots is: “What do you do at night when the wind drops ?” The answer is now obvious: “Close the grid down”.

        No point installing more windmills on the silly basis that the wind is always blowing somewhere. This wind drought is too widespread and of long duration for that to work. And pumped hydro – where will all the storage dams be located ? (Watch the green NIMBY’s at work then).

        Loss of power in winter, and especially during a period of quite intense cold, is very dangerous, as hypothermia kills people. But we are now under the control of zealots, who blame the coal-fired generators even as they destroy them with deliberate policy. These people are deranged, not stupid, and have deliberately chosen to subject us to this risk

        50

    • #
      Ross

      What that basically indicates PF, is that the system is being “gamed” because it is so stupidly complex. Those price caps have also been implemented in overseas countries and usually the end result is the smaller power supply companies become non profitable. Then, there is pressure to bear on raising those caps as a result.

      61

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Surely there must come a time when blackouts of electricity – an essential service – cause financial loss, injury and or death.
    Does anyone here know how responsibility for deaths will be treated by our legal systems?
    Will deaths be swept under the carpet as a sad by-product of the angelic need to reduce CO2, or will they not even be admitted or publicised?
    My personal preference, as one in the high risk group, is that they should be treated as homicides, with Police investigations and Coroners’ findings reported, with recognition of culpability and accountability sheeted home to identified individuals.
    Usually we cut some slack for those who make decisions causing deaths, like sending kids off to wars. Then, indivisuals are protected because they are acting for the agreed, common good of the populace.
    This climate change business is not like that. There is no agreed moral imperative. There is no clear prediction that failure of electricity supply is necessary to protect us.
    Surely, we need a Register of Responsibility, so that individuals who make Laws and Regulations that lead to harm are identified in advance and have signed their prior agreement to being investigated if their decision causes deaths.
    There is a parallel with our new PM gifting nearly a billion dollars to the French because some unidentified bureaucrats made a bad decision or two. We, the people, were not consulted, yet we are expected to foot the bill. What are the odds that individual decision-makers will now be asked to contribute to the French, from their own pockets? Surely matters have gone too far, so that the innocent individual is being impoverished because some bureaucrats are proving to be negligent and/or incompetent.
    Geoff S

    531

    • #
      Serge Wright

      I was thinking along the same lines tonight. As well as deaths, there is potential compensation for loss of business or personal injury. Most likely you would need to prove negligence on behalf of the government, AEMO or providers and possibly even the universities and institutions that provided poor advice could be in the firing line. Ultimately, we know that RE reliability is a folly and at some point deaths, injury and loss of business are inevitable and there will be court cases and finger pointing at all levels of government. If we could blame the media and the Greens for false propaganda and pin a few billion dollars of damage in that direction, that would be the perfect outcome 🙂

      171

    • #
      David Maddison

      It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

      Thomas Sowell

      191

    • #
      Earl

      We have already been down that road courtesy of the Labor pink batts installation scheme of 2009.

      70

    • #
      yarpos

      A billion to not build a submarine. A couple billion not to build a road in VIC. Payments to wind farms not to produce power. Payments to wind farms when other people produce power. $400 mill to “save the GBR.

      There is big money in doing nothing these days.

      171

  • #
    Serge Wright

    I looked at NEM watch tonight and needed to do a double take. Wind and solar only pumping out ~700MW or ~2.5% of the 32GW at 6:30pm and batteries putting out just 1MW, which might as well be 1mW and prices over $7100 per MWh. This is all caused by low wind speed, which crashed across the entire NEM courtesy of a high pressure system. The amusing irony here is that in the new era of fantasy RE, where we are told we need to transition to stop nasty storms, when we actually need permanent storms to keep the winds blowing. If RE were to stop storms as claimed, then we would all be sitting in the dark permanently.

    Now over to our new masters of the ALP to sort out the mess and we already know their answer will be to add more stationary turbines to sit alongside the current stationary ones and use our taxes to implement the non-fix, just to rub in a bit more pain :(.

    491

  • #
    Lee

    I’m literally reading this eating popcorn.

    374

    • #
      GlenM

      Here in NQ I have rooftop solar and 2 6kva generators. In case one fails( extremely unlikely). I guess I feel pity for the majority who have to put up with the present state of affairs, but my contempt for our politicians and the creeps in the renewable sector is boundless.

      342

  • #
    John

    In Victoria right now we have batteries + solar + wind supplying 1% of our electrical supply. Welcome to the future.

    471

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Any teal will tell you the solution. Victoria plainly needs 100 times as many batteries, solar panels and wind turbines.

      And there is no time to waste. Those coal fired power stations aren’t going to blow themselves up.

      71

  • #
    OldOzzie

    ‘You can’t jump off the pier’: Alinta CEO on power reforms

    Coal must absolutely be included in the “capacity” market system being proposed for the National Electricity Market until at least 2029 to avoid blackouts and price spikes for consumers, said Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery.

    Mr Dimery appealed to governments including Victoria to “listen to the experts” and allow coal and gas to be included in the capacity mechanism being proposed in the overhaul of the current market to allow for a smoother transition to low-carbon energy.

    The capacity mechanism last week emerged as the key measure being proposed by governments to overhaul the existing “energy only” market and ensure that on-demand generation is available when it is needed to complement wind and solar power.

    Mr Dimery said coal could easily be excluded from participating in auctions for new capacity to leave the way clear for only low-emissions technologies.

    “The nature of the capacity market is such that if the government wants to incentivise low-emissions technologies, they’d run a capacity auction for that particular capacity for 20 years and exclude coal from competing for that,” he said.

    “But we won’t get that in and operating by 2030,” he added, pointing to the delays in the construction of the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project of an example of how long it takes to install replacement dispatchable capacity.

    The NEM reforms are intended to come into operation after 2025, if not sooner, with federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen last week underscoring the urgency of the work to help address the current energy crisis in the eastern states.

    “We’re now in 2022. What can possibly be constructed on scale to replace 60 per cent of the current energy supply in Victoria in three years?” said Mr Dimery.

    “If it’s out there … show me, tell me how you’re going to do it. Otherwise we’re gambling with energy reliability, energy security and energy pricing to consumers, and I don’t think that’s a wise bet.

    “You can’t just jump off the pier with this stuff, you’ve got to ease your way into it.”

    Mr Dimery was speaking just ahead of departing for Europe, where he will hold talks as part of Alinta’s investigations into switching Loy Yang B to run on biomass, rather than brown coal.

    He could not provide details of the plans due to confidentiality arrangements, but said government support would be needed to set up the supply chain for the biomass fuel.

    “The big issue to solve really will be supply chain: that would require government support. There’s no way we’d be able to economically establish a supply chain just for Loy Yang B in the Australian context.” he said.

    So we get BioMass from Overseas and the Australian Taxpayer will subside the transportation. also leaving Australian Energy at Risk to Supply Chain from Overseas – DUMB

    420

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    “more solar panels and wind turbines wouldn’t solve anything tonight”.

    “more solar panels and wind turbines wouldn’t solve anything tonight”.

    131

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Imagine, three towns on the East coast of Australia spread over about 100 km.

    The first one is using standard coal fired generators to produce electricity.

    The second one, 50 km lower down is using a nuclear generation system.

    A further 50 km down is the town using only “renewables” to service its power needs.

    The absolutely predictable engineering “cost of delivery” of electricity to the users front door is as follows;

    Most expensive: renewables city.

    Then a bit cheaper is Nuclear city.
    But, the happiest residents are in the city with the Coal fired generators because their bills are the lowest.

    Notice, this coal fired electricity city does Not want “Interconnectors” or other woke engineering rubbish!

    They just want affordable power.

    312

  • #
    Bill+In+Oz

    I read this story in the ABC this evening.
    But real explanation from them about why the grid was in such jeopardy !
    Doing that would blow the infallibles out of the water.

    But really I think “JUST LET IT FAIL !”
    Let the grid “GO BLACK !
    All those folk sitting in the dark
    Getting very very angry
    Is just what we need !

    292

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Yes. Except for those who will suffer unjustly.

      It really is time for the teals to contact their constituents to stop using power. Oh and to stop breathing out CO2 at the same time.

      51

    • #
      Serp

      We’ll bring in international troubleshooters to achieve the black start by dynamiting oil wells as per Red Adair.

      30

  • #
    LG

    I have a question regarding gas power plants, and there seems to be a lot of expertise here in regards to energy generation so hopefully someone can shed some light: Which sort of gas plants are used for peaking, is it Open Cycle or Combined Cycle? Because in my mind a Combined Cycle could not be used for peaking (at least not at their full efficiency) because in addition to their turbine they generate additional electricity by using the turbine’s exhaust heat to heat a boiler. And obviously a steam boiler cannot be heated quickly, thus if the plant is being turned off and on constantly the only way to generate electricity would be directly from the turbine. Is this correct? Thnx

    100

    • #
      Hannibal

      Yes LG – OCGTs are much better for peaking, CCGTs can operate base load, though historically, here in Aust at least, could not compete against coal so have run more as a shoulder operating plant. Base load for their technical minimum and then a bit more flexible depending on fuel price and electricity pool prices for the balance of their generating capacity up to max.

      110

      • #
        LG

        So if the wholesale price gets driven right down by unreliable for a time, CCGTs either have to stay operating at their minimum making a loss/wasting fuel, or shut down completely and be unable to start again quickly when unreliables stop generating and need to be backed up?

        70

        • #
          Hanrahan

          No. CCgas switches off. Unlike a thermal boiler there is little or no penalty on restarts.

          I was reading of a big GE CC turbine that maintained efficiency down to 30% rated. You can see the attraction of gas, especially if producers are allowed to frack tight gas seams.

          60

          • #
            LG

            But CCgas uses a thermal boiler to generate electricity from the exhaust heat, right? Or is that not how it works?

            30

            • #
              Hanrahan

              I had a typo: No. CC OC gas switches off. Unlike a thermal boiler there is little or no penalty on restarts.

              60

              • #
                Graeme No.3

                Except with thermal stress cracking issues.

                And I wonder what you mean by “efficiency”. GE OC units are 40% efficient (in terms of fuel) when run continuously but more like 35% in on/off operation.
                CCGTs are 60-62% efficient now (up from 55-56% 20 years ago) but they don’t like load following (like nuclear) as experience in Ireland shows. They hoped (read bureaucrats & politicians dreamt) that they could combine wind – unreliable but what they wanted – with the lower emissions & cost (due to higher efficiency) of CCGTs. What they got didn’t work much like some place in the Southern Hemisphere.

                70

          • #
            Hanrahan

            a big GE CC turbine that maintained efficiency down to 30% rated.

            I read that to mean the unit maintained fuel efficiency even when throttled back.

            As for stress cracking, I have never heard of it as an issue with aircraft. They always stop the engines at the terminal.

            00

        • #
          Hanrahan

          Good question, so I checked.

          In an OC generator the alternator is mechanically driven as it would be in a CC system. So what’s the point of heat recovery?

          Wiki says this which is just the basics:

          Efficiency
          By combining both gas and steam cycles, high input temperatures and low output temperatures can be achieved. The efficiency of the cycles add, because they are powered by the same fuel source. So, a combined cycle plant has a thermodynamic cycle that operates between the gas-turbine’s high firing temperature and the waste heat temperature from the condensers of the steam cycle. This large range means that the Carnot efficiency of the cycle is high. The actual efficiency, while lower than the Carnot efficiency, is still higher than that of either plant on its own.[8][9]

          The electric efficiency of a combined cycle power station, if calculated as electric energy produced as a percentage of the lower heating value of the fuel consumed, can be over 60% when operating new, i.e. unaged, and at continuous output which are ideal conditions. As with single cycle thermal units, combined cycle units may also deliver low temperature heat energy for industrial processes, district heating and other uses. This is called cogeneration and such power plants are often referred to as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

          50

      • #
        Graeme#4

        I believe that in WA, gas is reasonably competitive with coal. The WA SWIS grid normally averages 40% gas, 40% coal, and there is is a plentiful supply of cheap energy.

        20

        • #
          Graeme#4

          A quick check of the current WA SWIS grid gas usage shows around 1/3 CCGT, 2/3 OCGT. Currently gas is supplying 45% of the power. Just idling along with plenty of gas generation waiting in reserve.

          20

    • #
      Hanrahan

      “Peaking” is predominately OC. They spool up nearly as quickly as a jet engine because they ARE jet engines. It’s hard to find exactly what I was looking for but it seems HV transmission [I assume 275kV] stops at Charters towers. It’s 135 kV going west to The Isa and to Darwin but there is a lot of OC gas. Nearing Darwin they would likely be gas fired but in that great expanse including The Alice is liquid fuelled. They have been talking of the Copper Sting Project to get better power west, but it is still just talk.

      CC gas, because it has heat recovery, takes longer to reach nameplate. But they are still aircraft style jet engines.

      In the early 1970s they used RR RB211 turbines, the same used on the Jumbo jet. One was installed outside of Mackay with turn-key operation from Townsville control room. I assume there was one in Collinsville because I used to talk with a RR tech who would service it.

      90

    • #
      Robber

      You can see at OpenNEM how SA uses both open Cycle and Closed Cycle Gas to balance the unreliables. Closed Cycle powers down to a minimum during the day to balance the grid with the variable solar and wind, while Open Cycle only powers up for the peak demand periods.

      30

  • #

    Jo mentioned this in her Update:

    …..but the Cumulative Price Threshholds (CPT) have been blitzed, and NSW now joins QLD. This is all new territory for the national market. Perversely, once the CPT is breached, and the “soviet” fixed price conditions are set, many generators withhold auction bids to supply, and then the AEMO has to order them to do so.

    I sort of wondered how long it would take before the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ principle kicked in.

    You generate electricity …… therefore you have an obligation to supply electricity if and when it is needed, no matter if you lose out.

    You also have to feel for Premier Bjelke Palaszczuk though. (Yeah! Sure you do Tony)

    All the other State leaders and energy Ministers and politicians all can point to those power generating Companies, and say you guys better be able to deliver, or else. (Umm, or else ….. what?)

    Here in Queensland they can only do that whilst holding a mirror in front of them.

    You see, they, the Queensland Government (oh so very proudly, they say) own nearly all the coal fired plants in the State, umm, making the Queensland Government the largest CO2 emitter in the State. (Oh dear!)

    Incidentally, and I hate to keep harping on this Queensland 50% renewables by 2030 thing, but here’s a very interesting little factoid.

    When that Inquiry was first started up in 2016, Coal fired power delivered 73% of all the generated power in Queensland.

    Here we ow are, six years later, and ever so much closer to that 2030 date, and do you know the percentage of delivered power from coal fired power in Queensland across the last 12 months in the year.

    Umm ….. 73%.

    Talk talk talk. That’s all they’ve got.

    Tony.

    431

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Tony, I must object. “Bjelke Palaszczuk” is a slur on the guy who enabled the coal mines and the generators at Gladstone to power their draglines. He also had built a 275 kV transmission line inland to be safe from cyclones.

      Australia needs another Joh.

      233

  • #
    mundi

    I don’t think people realise how insane this whole thing is…

    At my work we have been running our diesel generators 24/7 and having tankers showing up every day to refill our tanks.

    The generators were put in so we can keep our factories going when the grid goes down, but now we are using them to supply power to the grid and have basically already re-couped all of our install costs. Maybe we should be in the energy game?

    We are break even at about $900/MWhour.

    310

    • #

      $900/MWh to break even?

      Is that the real cost of running the diesel gens?
      How big is that generator? Can I ask for more detail…. please.

      200

      • #
        Lance

        mundi isn’t specific on the genset, but if it is a CAT 3516 engine, fuel consumption is 550 L/hr at 2 MW. If it is a CAT C175-20, fuel rate is 1035 L/hr at 4 MW. Output is max at Standby for 500 hrs/yr . Prime/Utility duty applications are about 70% of max power and fuel consumption with no more than a 10% overload for 25 hrs/yr, or the generator windings overheat. The 3516 is the largest engine that can be containerized for shipping as a prefab genset. The C175-20 would be tricky to ship and transport. Oversize radiators ( 8 row ) for high ambient situations are large and expensive.

        For the CAT 3516 at Prime rating, fuel is about 385-400 L/hr, 1.5 MW load, at AUD 2 /L this is about AUD 533/MW.
        For the CAT C175-20 at Prime duty, fuel is about 725 L/Hr at 3 MW load, AUD 483/MW

        Now add in lubricating oil at 106 L, with oil change every 1000 hrs ( 40 days ) at about AUD 500 per oil change.

        Then add in labour to maintain the beast and monitor it 24/7, then add in overhead and overhaul costs. Don’t know that item. Guessing about AUD 1500/day or $100 / hr, regardless of generator output.

        You’re looking at bare fuel costs of about AUD 500 / MW. So, $600 + per hr. This is just a guess. This allows nothing for the owner’s profit for acquisition, shipping, transport, installation, site preparation, insurance, fuel delivery contracts, switchgear, synchronization controls, step up transformers, spare parts, etc.

        It isn’t difficult to envision $750 + per MW. Mundi isn’t out of the ballpark for total costs.

        100

        • #
          Lance

          Correction on Lube Oil. Misread my own notes.

          Lube oil for the C175-20 is 674 L. or about $3000 per oil change each 1000 hrs.

          The 106 L is the displacement of the engine itself.

          Apologies for my mistake.

          Also, if there are more than one genset, then paralleling controls are necessary in addition to synchronization controls. As well, I didn’t account for storage tank costs, fuel biocide costs, and bulk tank fuel/water separation machine costs, nor the financing of the genset at AUD 2M to 3M per unit. They all figure into the overall costs.

          Mundi isn’t kidding. It can easily be AUD 900/Mw in total costs. The biggest one is fuel, but the other costs cannot be ignored.

          90

          • #
            Bozotheclown

            There is a finite life on diesel or petrol gensets and relatively short compared to serious players.

            00

    • #
      Ross

      Which is why, when any state in the past needed quick power urgently they first installed banks of diesel generators. Tassie during the millennial drought when their water supplies ran out ( + interconnector to Vic busted) and South Australia. They are readily available, can be leased and then returned when not needed. They are a public servants wet dream. Not only that, but they are probably getting bigger and better all the time, like all machinery.

      51

  • #
    Kevin T Kilty

    There seems to be a general feeling on this thread that the grid needs to go dark in order for our elites and their brainless handmaidens to embrace sensible policies. “Let’em sit in the dark. That’ll learn ’em!” The opposite is just as likely. Voltaire, I think, said “the first building torched in a food riot is the bakery.”

    Beware.

    140

    • #
      Honk R Smith

      I’m not expecting sense.
      I do expect the inevitable.
      I’m American, so our sit may not be as far gone as Oz.
      Joe is doing his best to catch us up.
      I also expect them to say, “some have to die”, to save the planet, and “it was necessary to lie.”
      Even greater ethical hypocrisy and logic contortions inbound.

      181

    • #
      David Maddison

      Kevin, something major has to happen.

      In the complete absence of anyone in power or influence that has any clue, and/or is prepared to speak up, all we’ll hear is that it is because there were not enough unreliables built in the past.

      They’ll say that we have to suffer now (because of the fault of previous governments) and just wait for more unreliables and Big Batteries to be built.

      I see no other way but major grid collapse, major social and economic chaos and likely significant numbers of deaths.

      I guess in desperation the government, with the help of smart electricity meters, and dictatorial laws (both already implemented), they’ll ration electricity to homes so enough power is available to keep running hospitals, fuel distribution networks (gas, gasoline and diesel), government departments, (of course) and police and military who will be used to enforce dictatorial policies as We, The People, are systematically starved of energy.

      I imagine that domestic electricity rationing via smart meters will be either by a) being allowed a certain number of kWh per day or b) power only being available certain hours, like in many Third World countries or c) random power availability depending upon if the wind is blowing or sun shining.

      130

    • #
      yarpos

      I expect early reactions will involve working out how to point the finger at coal and gas. There will be all kinds of convoluted arguments and mental gymnastics to achieve that.

      They will skillfully ignore the previous 70 years of reliable grid operation (like they ignore the medieval warm period)
      They will never enquire why WA doesnt face similar issues
      They will never stop to think , “what’s changed in the last 15 years”
      They will ignore the available lessons from SA, UK, Germany and California (clearly they didnt do it “right”)

      I suspect it will take repeated failures, repeated poor investments and a lot of public unrest before reality can be dealt with. Maybe this is one case were fear of the short election cycle may help us?

      10

  • #
    John Hultquist

    Will not next month be (on average) a degree or two cooler?

    If the electricity is off long enough that my ice cream starts to melt, I get unhappy.
    How’s that for a First World issue?

    130

  • #
    David Maddison

    No matter what the facts are, don’t forget that the Left are driving this and in Leftist post-modernist ideology, there is no such thing as objective reality. Reality is whatever you think it is.

    The Left think the reality is that we need more wind, solar and Big Batteries, and that, tragically, is exactly what they’ll deliver to us. No matter what the human or financial cost.

    Even if people die, even if businesses and the economy collapse, even if there are food shortages due to food wholesalers and sellers losing all their cold storage. They simply don’t care. Supposedly “saving the planet” is worth it, as long as nothing happens to the Elites.

    We have gone beyond Nineteen Eighty Four. This is a situation akin to the Morlocks and Eloi.

    221

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      The biggest surprise will be the rapid onset of chaos. Anybody who has suffered a loss of power for more than a day or two through storm damage will tell you how long it takes for life as they know it to disintegrate.

      The main game for the teal minded will be in limiting the duration of power outages to short periods. Otherwise they will not even get the opportunity to bleat their insane demands for 100 times as many wind turbines and solar panels.

      51

    • #
      lyntonio

      It’s not the Morlocks, it’s the Morwogs that emerge from their burrows following sundown, and convert the batteries into flatteries.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    A fundamental law that no one (most present company excepted) seems to understand is:

    More unreliables = higher consumer cost.

    I keep asking proponents of unreliables for examples of exceptions but I have not been provided with any.

    150

  • #
    Rafe+Champion

    Tuesday morning approaching 7, the wind is back to normal across the NEM, a bit above average at 34%CP and delivering 13% of demand for power. It is uneven, in SA it is twice that while NSW and Tas are in drought. Tasmania is burning diesel and the price is $8,900.

    Coal is providing 54% of power, gas 16% (70% total), hydro 16%.

    NSW 84% fossil power, Qld 93%, Vic 64%, SA 25%,Tas 3%.

    HYDRO WARNING. During the last couple of months during wind droughts hydro has been spiking frequently during peak periods of demand, it was up to 80% of capacity yesterday morning. This is not sustainable, the lakes and dams will get down to critical levels if this persists. At the moment it is running at 50% capacity, delivering 16% of demand across the NEM, much the same as wind and gas.

    160

    • #
      Rafe+Champion

      PS. Next to no wind in WA lately.

      50

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Yep. Most of the WA coastal wind farms were either zero or close to it. Have recently started producing 48MW. Wow!! Some genius suggested running long expensive transmission lines to WA, to use WA’s wind during the other states’ wind droughts. That wouldn’t work very well right now.

        50

        • #
          ozfred

          Even within WA, there are differences in wind levels based on geography. The south coast wind farms are generating a bit more than the larger ones north of Perth.
          And since WA does actually have the FF backup capability (and operating) the long term of about 20% wind (and increasing) does reduce the need for maximizing the coal fired generation. Mid May did experience a decline in the wind generation.
          Look at the AEMO fuel mix pages rather than current generation…

          10

  • #
    Shannon Pace

    Hi Jo,

    Would love to see a presentation/paper/whatever, that explains to simpletons like me how our grid/market used to work, and how it doesn’t work now, thanks to renewables?

    Some real world examples would help.

    Always love reading your content.

    Thanks,

    110

    • #
      Robber

      Shannon, a simple explanation. In the days of reliable power, across the grid coal would supply a flat 16,000 MW 24×7, the so-called base load.
      Then to meet the morning and evening peak demands, hydro and gas would power up and down quickly.
      But now we have solar that delivers in the middle of sunny days, forcing coal generators to cutback output significantly, putting more stress on the system.
      And then unpredictable wind can power up at any time of the day or night unrelated to demand, again forcing coal generators to vary output.
      OpenNEM and Anero.id provide charts that show daily generation by State.

      100

      • #
        Old Cocky

        There are really 3 electricity market segments.
        1/ “base load”, where a minimum amount is required all the time, so response times are largely irrelevant.
        2/ Regular peaks (daily, weekly, seasonal) where response times are a factor, but are on the order of hours to days (or weeks in the case of seasonal peaks)
        3/ Short term demand spikes.

        Different technologies are better suited to each market, but the AEMO seems to be structured to bias towards very short time intervals. This disadvantages the technologies best suited to the slow response market segment.
        This facilitates local minima rather tham global.

        00

  • #
    David Maddison

    Burning diesel for power generation is normally something only done for remote isolated communities, for emergencies or in Third World countries with poor electricity generation infrastructure.

    Because the cost per MWh from diesel is much higher (I once read something like 20 times the cost of generation from coal), it is utterly insane in an economic sense.

    Plus, it must be causing shortages and therefore higher prices in diesel for legitimate purposes like transport.

    120

    • #
      Rafe+Champion

      They are burning diesel in Tasmania at present, and the price in Tas is near $15,000 compared with 2-300 on the big island. They are also exporting to the big island.
      Strangely, SA is (marginally) importing.

      40

  • #
    Nick Chalmers

    Surely there is some residual local manufacturing left that we can throw on the pyre to keep warm. I notice we still have a candle industry exporting $4.5 million p.a. We could throw that on too, although I worry we may need to retain an emergency supply for lights.

    70

  • #
    Robber

    Ah, the wonders of unreliables, saving the planet. /sarc.
    In Qld last night at 7.30pm according to OpenNEM, solar zero, wind 61 MW, diesel 276 MW, coal 5,390 MW, gas 1,900 MW.
    Yes, solar provided 40% of demand at midday, but it must be 100% backed up with reliable generators.
    Oh, they do have some batteries that provided 74 MW for about one hour.

    100

  • #
    Pete of Charnlop

    I note that openNEM.org.au has quietly dropped the wholesale prices for WA. I am guessing that showing the price difference between the East and the West was a political problem. Either that or it showed that, despite the huffing and puffing about “expensive fossil energy” in the East, the West was producing average wholesale prices for ~ $60MWh and doing it with roughly the same 70/30 fossil/renewable mix. Someone is telling porky pies!

    I have graphs of the last 12 months for NEM and SWIS – all good. 🙂

    80

    • #
      Robber

      AEMO reports current wholesale electricity prices for WA – daily variations from $40/MWhr to $130 peak.
      Weighted average price for last 7 days $68.28/MWhr.
      Compare that with prices for the NEM for June, all above $330/MWhr, with Qld highest at $550/MWhr.

      30

      • #
        RickWill

        All the coal stations in WA are on the chopping block whether it is a Labor or Liberal government.

        The difference with WA is that they can currently produce more gas than they can use and export. The east coast is simply not able to produce enough gas to meet internal needs as well as exports. Been the case since Gladstone LNG came on stream about 6 years ago.

        WA’s situation may change when they shut down the coal and become fully reliant on gas.

        61

        • #
          Pete of Charnlop

          “WA’s situation may change when they shut down the coal and become fully reliant on gas.”

          That may be the case, but for now the rhetoric in the East is that the current power issues are all the fault of ‘unreliable coal’. Quite plainly that isn’t the case. Last night fossils were producing 97.2% of QLD generation!

          Midday 13.6.22 – the entire NEM windfarm fleet was producing 4.7% of nameplate rating. THAT, my friends, is what failure looks like!

          60

        • #
          Graeme#4

          All 1570 MW of WA’s coal power plants are located in Collie, a Labor stronghold. And Bluewaters is a modern power station, so not likely to be shut down any time soon. However, Muja is older and appears to be gradually running down with little maintenance.
          The lower gas price is I believe mainly due to the fixed gas price under the domestic reservation scheme, and has nothing to do with gas exports. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          40

  • #
    Neville

    Probably the most important question to ask our experts.
    What difference would it make if S & W farm generation were ten times the size of our present S & W grid?
    And then ask how many tens of billions would that ten fold increase cost?
    We know that Solar disappears every night and wind is also very UNRELIABLE, so how much storage would we need and where would we get that storage and what would it cost?

    40

    • #
      Graham Richards

      There must be a planet somewhere in the universe that has a a good, reliable, inexpensive energy grid. If anyone knows where let me know please. I’ve given up on finding, besides reliable energy, a politician with more brain cells than a goldfish.

      40

    • #
      Graeme#4

      The figures have been done for other places around the world, which we can use to determine our own requirements. First you need is accurate records of the total amount of renewable energy available on a daily basis for one year. Then you use this information to determine:
      1. How much extra renewables you need to increase the renewable energy to meet the required demand.
      2. How much backup storage you require to fill in the “holes” in the renewable energy over one year.
      3. How much additional renewables you require to recharge the backup storage after it has finished filling in the “holes”.
      4. How much extra renewables you require to fill in “holes” occurring while you are still recharging the backup storage.
      (This is without considering how much extra renewables plus backup storage is required if all vehicles are EVs.)
      The backup storage works out around 10TWh. You can debate this figure, as it’s very dependent on how many days’ storage is assumed to be required.

      50

    • #
      RickWill

      What difference would it make if S & W farm generation were ten times the size of our present S & W grid?

      You do not need to be an expert to do the maths. Wind bottomed at 400MW today and demand peaked at 29GW when there was no sun. So a 10-fold increase in installed “capacity” would only achieve 4GW.

      In fact, Finkel determined that about 83GW of W&S would be enough to do the job. That is approximately 10X the current 8.5GW of installed wind. It misses the mark by 600%.

      The increases in wind capacity needs to go up 68X present level to 580GW for wind to meet the demand today. And today is not likely to be the worst condition.

      50

  • #
    Furiously+Curious

    What are the chances of pulling the plug on inner city areas to stabilise the grid? That would probably be in negative territory? We can but dream.

    50

    • #
      Chad

      If we are going to pull the plug on anyone, make it the ACT who pretend they are 100% renewable only supply.
      Next time we are critical levels of power after sundown with no wind, cut off those civil servants and Pollies for an overnight shiver fest…….Canberra being one of the coldest cities around !

      80

      • #
        Annie

        Cut off all the greenie/teal voting areas first; just give them what they think they want for all of us.

        50

      • #
        Pete of Charnlop

        Easy there, Chad! I live in the ACT, but I didn’t vote for the numpties in charge around here.

        I bought a 3KVA generator 2 years ago but I might need to get my 1940’s Lister CS diesel generator up and running sooner than anticipated! 600RPM of putt putt goodness!

        10

        • #
          Bozotheclown

          Pete, remember to shutter your windows and outside lights while on the “putt putt”.

          If they can see the positive results, neighbors will want to tap into your largess.

          00

  • #
    RickWill

    Labor are blaming the LNP for the current energy mess. They are confident they can fix it with more wind and solar.

    In the past 24hours the power demand peaked at 29GW. At the same time, wind was giving 5% of rated capacity. Solar was giving nothing.

    That means that on a day like today, the NEM needs 580GW of connected wind to do the job. That would do the job today but there are bound to be worse circumstances with higher demand and wind doing less so still not covering the worst case.

    I am hoping that Australia’s new energy minister can do basic maths and draws obvious conclusions. It aint going to work!

    The clowns who did the sums for the Finkel report worked on 35% capacity factor for wind. So to serve a demand of 29GW they determined 83GW would be enough. The gap is a mind boggling 500GW. They were out by 600%. You have to wonder where they got their economics degrees and why they did not consult an electrical engineer.

    All the Finkel sums are based on the magic of the diversity fairy, with wide geographic spread of generators, meaning the average capacity factor was all that mattered. Most people know that the peak winter demand across Australia occurs when there is no sun and often little wind but then Finkel wanted the woke solution and his economic consultants delivered for him. Reality is a b……

    120

    • #
      Graeme#4

      It’s unfortunate that most organisations seem to have used EIA’s original LCOE calculations for energy source cost comparisons. These original figures included the 35% CF for wind, and even then it was wrong for the U.S., which has an average CF of 33.7%. I believe Tony worked out Australia’s wind CF as 29%.

      20

      • #
        RickWill

        which has an average CF of 33.7%. I believe Tony worked out Australia’s wind CF as 29%.

        These are unconstrained capacity factors and are meaningless to grid generation that needs to meet a demand. The guaranteed CF for both wind and solar is ZERO. It does not matter how much installed capacity there is, the guaranteed output is ZERO.

        The only way that wind and solar can offer a guaranteed output is to have a gas, coal or nuclear backup. Batteries have very limited energy available. Hydro is ultimately energy limited as well.

        110

        • #
          Graeme#4

          Agreed, but to prove that relying on renewables to achieve net zero won’t work, we need these figures as starting points for the calculations. We know it’s impossible, but this has to be proven to the rest of Australia.

          30

          • #
            RickWill

            The only fact that matters is that the guaranteed output is ZERO – this is the starting point. Hence it needs 100% dispatchable capacity from a stored energy source as back-up.

            This situation will only change when the sun is shinning 24 hours per day and/or the wind is blowing 24 hours per day. Neither can be guaranteed.

            70

    • #
      crakar24

      Finkel is an electrical engineer!!!

      00

  • #
    Neville

    Even the Boris Johnson loony is belatedly starting to abandon some of his NET ZERO lunacy.
    His silly wife Carrie will not be pleased and probably nothing will save Boris anyway.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10908407/Weakened-Boris-Johnson-abandons-Carrie-inspired-green-push-favour-UK-self-sufficiency.html?mc_cid=2888e0b46f&mc_eid=dcbe0ef09b

    60

    • #
      RickWill

      As history unfolds, South Australia’s black-out may be viewed as the first omen that warned the world of the impending disaster. Or will Texas stake that claim. Or the next large grid to fall over.

      I have a feeling that Germany going dark may be the catalyst for a change in direction but they seem to have well-managed demand management.

      Maybe UK will go dark later this year or early next year. California is a candidate as well as New York.

      Right now Labor is doubling down on stupid.

      As a matter of interest, my off-grid battery went flat yesterday so I switched to grid supply. The battery can supply the load for 48 hours and the solar panels need 2 hours of full sunshine over 48 hours to supply the load and losses.

      Using those numbers to scale, with 205GWh consumed yesterday in the NEM would correspond to 205GW of solar panels and a 410GWh battery and that would still not meet the demand.

      My submission to the Finkel enquiry was based on actual solar plant data at Broken Hill and actual NEM demand in June of the previous year. I determined 250GW of solar panels and 750GWh of storage capacity would do the job for that June.

      30

  • #
    Hannibal

    With all the mainland regions of the East Coast Grid now having exceeded the market Cumulative Price Threshold (CPT), (and Tassie is now having a good run at it to join in the fun) the Administered Price Cap(APC) has kicked in. This sets the price to $300/MWh. Note. The Dispatch pricing engine still calculates the pool price as if it was not in APC which determines how long the APC stays in, ie not until the calculated prices drop again below the CPT.
    Unfortunately based on current gas and diesel prices none of the generators that use gas or diesel can operate profitably at that price, gas gens need >$450/MWh at the moment and diesel prob >$600 (without checking the numbers).
    Those generators then withdraw from the market, bidding themselves ‘Unavailable’. This forces AEMO to step in and ‘Direct’ them on, triggering compensation to more than cover the Short Run Marginal Price of their expensive fuel.

    How long will this situation remain in place ? Anyones guess, but more periods where less than 350MW of wind is generating from 6000MW installed capacity will certainly extend it. Some of the coal fired units suffering forced outages will return, but they are all under stress and suffering from low O&M spend. Speculation within the traded market is that there will be a Market Intervention / Suspension, but with politics involved, this could make things worse in the long run….who knows….

    100

    • #
      yarpos

      Tassie seems to have left the NEM party this afternoon with Basslink at zero and prices about a third of the mainland.

      00

  • #
    Hannibal

    PS. Likely that the only reason that lights didnt go out yesterday was the coincidence of a public holiday across NSW, Vic, SA

    90

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Meanwhile – US Official Admits Russian Energy Sales Outpacing Pre-War Levels

    US energy security envoy Amos Hochstein has acknowledged that Russia might be making more revenue from fossil fuels than before its February invasion of Ukraine. Washington has responded with waves of sanctions aiming to crush the Russian economy.

    Hochstein made the comments during a hearing for the Senate Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation. In response to a question about whether Moscow was making more money now off its fossil fuel sales, Hochstein said, “I can’t deny that.”

    In May, the International Energy Agency said that Russia’s oil revenue was up 50% this year. Hochstein said the White House did not anticipate the spike in oil prices, noting that the demand for oil in 2022 is “far greater, stronger than anyone predicted.”

    Over the past three months, the US and its Western partners have heavily sanctioned Russian energy imports and attempted to pressure the rest of the world to do the same. Beyond Europe, however, the effort has largely been unsuccessful, as countries like India have boosted Russian oil purchases.

    40

    • #
      RickWill

      I watched a TV show on 7 last night that covered how Indian scammers were taking people in the west for a ride. There were some really sad cases where retirees in poor health were stripped of their savings. Their lack of skepticism beggars belief.

      There are two take aways:
      1. India is willing to scam the west and looks for every opportunity to do so.
      2. There are people silly enough to willingly transfer funds from their bank accounts into other’s account without a second thought – no doubt these people have been easily seduced by the climate scammers in the west.

      50

      • #
        yarpos

        1. Quite the generalisation
        2. The median IQ isnt that high, its just a numbers game finding a sucker

        20

  • #
    Neville

    The tiny King island hybrid generator proves AGAIN that nothing makes a difference without FOSSIL FUEL back up.
    Most of the time their Diesel generator is the only reason they have reliable electricity and S and W are hopelessly UNRELIABLE.
    And if S & W can’t work for tiny King I, it can never work for Australia.

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

    71

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Yes and my follow up question remains why they need a battery in that system. Maybe for when the diesel generator runs out of fuel?

      30

      • #
        RickWill

        why they need a battery in that system

        The battery will reduce the variation in the demand so the diesels can operate at a steadier output. Batteries probably reduce the number of diesels required to run and the starting frequency. The batteries could meet the demand for an hour or two without any diesel although it seems the diesels have flywheels to provide system inertia so at least one would need to run.

        The lowest cost option will be something like they have. I expect Hydro Tas engineers did the sums.

        Power on King Island could well be the lowest cost power on the east coast right now; even with high diesel prices. If they only had diesel then it would easily be the most expensive.

        The system they have, will be what the grid would look like by 2030 if Labor have any chance of getting to 60% intermittents by then. Gas will be the fuel rather than diesel. Green hydrogen production might be used instead of the resistor. The diesel flywheels will be replaced with synchronous condensers.

        The system cost $18M for 2.5MW peak demand. Scale that up to say 30GW peak demand and the spend becomes $18M x 30,000/2.5 translating to $216bn. So far the spend on the NEM has been about $80bn and that gets 30%. So the next 30% will cost $136bn. The cost increase is not linear because the overbuild gets greater as the penetration of intermittent generation increases.

        The capital cost of new coal plant is around USD2/W – considerably less for upgrading an existing site. So AUD100bn would get 37GW of new coal fired plant.

        It might be argued that the new coal plants will consume a lot of coal. However it will be far less than the coal that China will need to build the replacement solar panels, wind turbines and batteries for the next 10 to 20 year cycle life of the hardware used in the utopian grid.

        20

        • #
          Forrest Gardener

          That’s as good an explanation as I have seen. I am yet to see the diesel generator turned off or the battery turned on but I believe they have been. Then again I don’t watch the graph continuously and I have very little expertise in generators or AC power.

          00

  • #
    Hannibal

    Apologies for any repeated info… I only just had a chance to go back through the replies and see that most has already been said in different ways across the thread

    60

  • #
    Zane

    No wind in Victoria this morning. Daniel Andrews has switched the fan off.

    60

  • #
    Hannibal

    Q. What has been the point of the highly renumerated so called Energy Security Board ??

    30

  • #
    Rick

    “… the high renewable-induced bloodbath prices in the market can’t flow through to NT and WA.”
    Yeah riiiight. Just wait until some pointy headed public servant realises we’re not getting properly screwed and introduces a “compensating levy” on us to make sure “everyone is paying their share…”
    Kind of like the global oil price parity ripoff that keeps us paying way over the odds for our own oil and gas – with no benefit to us whatever.
    We might not be connected to the national grid, but you can bet we’re soon going to be charged like we are!

    20

  • #
    Neville

    Michael Shellenberger asks the most relevant question.
    Why do we need to DESTROY the environment to save it? Also why would you use TOXIC UNRELIABLE S & W energy? DUH?
    This video takes just 5 minutes and a transcript is available at the link.
    And he includes a lot of DATA and evidence and hopefully makes us THINK?

    https://www.prageru.com/video/do-we-have-to-destroy-the-earth-to-save-it

    51

    • #
      David Maddison

      Excellent video.

      Incidentally, Prager U have to run a lot of their videos from their own servers due to YouTube censorship and shadow banning.

      30

  • #
    DLK

    “There is almost no unreliable intermittent renewable energy available to use during this peak time”

    so the political solution will clearly be more ‘renewables’, then.

    60

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      And price controls. The price of electricity has been ‘frozen’ at $300 per MWh in Vic & SA until tomorrow. (Just announced)
      $300 used to be the first bid of OCGTs to supply, but with the increased cost of gas and diesel they may not be happy.

      40

  • #
    Gbees

    We’ve already had voltage drops at our home. NSW Central Coast.

    30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Stock market loses 5%. Don’t worry, it’s all part of the plan…

    60

  • #
    RicDre

    Australian “Green Transition” Electricity Grid on the Brink of Failure

    Essay by Eric Worrall

    The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned of potential widespread load shedding in Australia’s most coal-dependent states – Queensland on Monday and NSW on Tuesday – because of the lack of supply, or more pointedly, the lack of will to offer supply under the newly imposed price cap.

    ”’

    AEMO says the risk of load shedding was made worse because some gas and diesel generators were not interested in providing power under the price cap. It said it would take action to force them online.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/06/13/australian-green-transition-electricity-grid-on-the-brink-of-failure/

    40

  • #
    wal1957

    AEMO says the risk of load shedding was made worse because some gas and diesel generators were not interested in providing power under the price cap. It said it would take action to force them online.

    The truth is that the generators are willing to supply power, BUT they cannot afford to operate at the prices designated. This is not the fault of the generators as implied in the statement above by the AMEO.
    The AMEO are “spinning” the facts.

    100

  • #
  • #
    OldOzzie

    Vox: Stop telling kids that climate change will destroy their world

    As I’ve written about before, climate change is going to be bad, and it will hold back humanity from thriving as much as we should this century. It will likely cause mass migration and displacement and extinctions of many species.

    What it won’t do, however, is make the Earth unlivable, or even mean that our children live in a world poorer than the one we grew up in.

    “There might not be a world to live in when she grows up. What use is school without a future?” one page describes Thunberg as thinking. Even as a setup for Thunberg’s rise as an activist, I’m not thrilled about that message. Some kids might hear that and be inspired to speak before the United Nations, but most kids are going to hear that and be scared and disempowered.

    That pessimistic message seems to be sinking in for the young. A 2021 study funded by the campaign and research group Avaaz polled 10,000 people between 16 and 25, and found that over half thought that humanity was “doomed” because of climate change.

    There’s something twisted and cruel about people who seem to go out of their way to tell kids that they are all doomed.

    30

  • #
    Rafe+Champion

    Two years ago, energy on the brink of collapse, we just needed to lose another coal station.

    The punch line is at the end of the story.

    The proponents of wind and solar power apparently either cannot or will not appreciate the logic of refutation. A single (true) fact can refute a universal proposition. One first black swan refutes the notion that all swans are white. The proposition that we can run the grid on RE is refuted by a single period when there is not enough RE to run the grid.

    How often are we prepared to have the power supply fail? Infrastructure like drains and flood levies are built to withstand events of various frequency – 10 years, 20, 50, 100 years. Facilities like major bridges and dams presumably have to be designed to handle just about the most severe events that can be envisaged and the electricity supply should have the same evel of reliability. It can’t be allowed to fail three times in a month which is what would have happened in SE Australia in April 2020.

    And every night the wind in SA is below the average capacity factor, near a third of installed capacity.

    100

    • #
      Philip

      That is a brilliant article in the link, you should read it. Very concise account of why wind fails, and what we are seeing right now, all through the crystal ball of simple mathematics.

      00

  • #
    Rafe+Champion

    24MW of wind in WA.
    LOL!

    50

  • #
    Earl

    “Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be” so here is a little bit of Dejavu from the recent past of 2015 and 2017 when the electricity network was being criticised because it was “gold plated” (Australian network valued at $75bn compared to US network valued at $100bn) to help the understanding of just how old and multi-layered this saga has been in its development. Some 7 years later and instead of working to find solutions and a more secure power future all they have managed to do is layer on the green power problems/short comings. The depth of total failure is now the measurement for western civilisation advancement.

    10

  • #
    Philip

    Still no wind in NSW though Vic and SA have picked back up.

    Excellent to hear all the experts and people in the field saying the only way to improve it is investment in wind and solar.

    10

    • #
      robert rosicka

      SA have gone from 100% running on fossil fuel to 94% running on Wind and solar within a week , this should be enough warning for the rest of the states . Yes you can shut down coal because on paper you have enough capacity with wind , solar and batteries but what happens if it’s not windy , overcast and your battery is flat ?

      30

  • #
    Philip

    Listening to expert opinion all day and never heard any one say there is no wind and its causing problems. Not once.

    30

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    A public servant was at home in his rented apartment having a disturbed evening. With frequent but short blackouts due to the electricity crisis, he couldn’t work from home, couldn’t even use his computer, the internet nor TV for entertainment and was bored. Idly he glanced at a shelf and saw an old brass lamp with he had picked up cheaply some time ago and never touched. He decided to give it a polish and suddenly (and I bet you know what’s coming) there was a flash of light, a cloud of smoke and a genie appeared. “Oh! Master” the genie said “you have released me from the lamp. I grant you 3 wishes” “Anything I want?” “So long as it is within my powers, otherwise all your wishes won’t come true”. Thinking swiftly the man said “I want to be wealthy” There was a short blackout but when the lights came back on there was an official looking Certificate from the bank saying he owned 5 tonnes of gold in their vaults (worth the genie told him was just over $300 million before asking what his second wish was?). He said “I want to go into politics but I need a partner with strong political influence”. The genie thought briefly and said “you have a choice between Penny Wong, Annastacia Palaszczuk, or Zali Steggall.” Naturally he chose Zali. There was another short blackout and when the lights came back on there were smooth, muscular arms around him and a voice saying “where have you been all my life?”. There was another short blackout Mod keep it clean. When the lights came back on Zali was still there, so was the Bank Certificate and the Genie who asked “and your last wish?” And Zali murmured in his ear “100% renewables” so the lucky stiff said “Please fix the electricity grid with all renewables”. Another short blackout happened and when the lights came back on Zali had gone, so had the Genie, and when he looked at the Bank Certificate it was blank but for a scrawled message “that’s impossible”.

    10

  • #
    John-Paul

    This is so unbelievable!
    We have retired 5.7G Watts of Coal power over the years.
    Some plants were old, but many could have been refitted or repaired if the desire was there.

    The current government will blame everyone else; it’s 10 years of policy indecision, it’s lack of investment in renewables, it’s because we didn’t buy a big enough Tesla battery…

    50

    • #
      Philip

      yep. Wall to wall, that is the coverage, that is the message. Also the war in Ukraine is to blame. BUt nothing to do with closing coal. The news even followed with the nexct story being in WA theyve decided to close a coal station in 2029 and it’s a good thing. As you say it is unbelievable. We live in times of high propaganda.

      40