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Electricity Hunger Games downunder —  potential sighting of four hour price bonfire

It’s a grid on the edge

Solar Panels, resting on a river of subsidies. Photo.Like a meteor-shower, the dinner time performance today may or may not be a spectator event. The fun may start at 4:30pm in Qld, NSW, Vic, SA and Tasmania — a full quinfecta at $15,000 per MW/h. The first wave of winter cold is about to wash over the grid, and those solar panels will fail just as people plug in their heaters, ovens, dryers and kettles and there is a four hour spike at $15,000MWh forecast. The graph below is the forecast for NSW, but it is essentially the same tsunami shape and dimension in every single state of the National Energy Market. Right now I presume there are engineers in the control rooms sweating over alternatives and they may well pull it off. These wildly high spikes have a way of resolving at the last minute.  But think for a moment what kind of stakes we’re playing with. Hypothetically, if there was a 12,000MW demand for 4 hours in NSW at $15,000, that’s $720 million dollars worth of electricity. A few days like that would pay for a new coal plant, but no one seems to be listening to that price signal…

Even if they pull off aerial manouvers tomorrow and save millions of dollars (billions even) what’s clear is that the whole grid is flying seat-of-the-pants. The AEMO issued unprecedented warnings about a gas supply shortfall across Vic SA and Tas that have already been cancelled, but the reserves of generation are razor thin and winter has just begun.

Am I wrong — none of this would be happening if Hazelwood was still running? Brown coal was still winning bids at $24/MWh a few months ago.

But don’t miss the other big signal here. The entire Australian National Energy Market for a “Grid” in a forced subsidized transition needs to be totally redesigned. It might have worked fine with reliable generators but even though we add tweak after tweak, something is going horribly wrong. But redesigning a whole new market is another hidden cost of the junk generators being forced on the grid.

AEMO Forecast Electricity prices for June 2. NEM. Graph.

It may not work out this exciting… but that four hour peak is worth millions. | AEMO

The total NEM wide demand expected is a bit over 30GW at peak. Not near the peak highs of summer which have hit 35.5GW on Jan 29th, 2009. Somehow in 13 years we’ve increased our network capacity by 25% but something isn’t working….

Yesterday the Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin across the whole NEM fell below the 15% yellow alert trigger level.

Paul McArdle who lives and breathes the NEM market, says he can never remember seeing a warning like this before:

AEMO has a potential gas supply shortfall event for the VIC, SA, TAS regions for GD 02/06/22.

AEMO will convene a gas supply guarantee assessment conference with contacts that AEMO determines will be able to contribute or response to the potential gas supply shortfall to assess the event.

The event notice can be found here:  http://nemweb.com.au/Reports/Current/Gas_Supply_Guarantee/

It’s going to be an interesting winter.

 

 

 

 

 

9.7 out of 10 based on 55 ratings

127 comments to Electricity Hunger Games downunder —  potential sighting of four hour price bonfire

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Start of the great default and bankruptcies?
    Let’s plug in something that really takes that juice like Electric Vehicles and businesses that switched from using coal to the grid power.

    400

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Let’s plug in something that really takes that juice like Electric Vehicles and businesses that switched from using coal to the grid power.

      You mean like a Porsche Taycan 4S – 71.0 kWh Battery

      Range

      City – Cold Weather 375 km
      Highway – Cold Weather 290 km
      Combined – Cold Weather 335 km

      Battery and Charging

      Battery Capacity 79.2 kWh
      Battery Useable 71.0 kWh

      Charge Port Type 2

      Port Location Right Side – Front
      Port Location 2 Left Side – Front
      Charge Power 11 kW AC
      Charge Time (0->395 km) 7h45m
      Charge Speed 52 km/h

      Fastcharge Port CCS

      FC Port Location Right Side – Front
      FC Port Location 2 –
      Fastcharge Power (max) 225 kW DC
      Fastcharge Time (40->316 km) 21 min
      Fastcharge Speed 790 km/h

      Vs

      Power Consumption Of A Cordless Drill Charger

      A cordless drill charger uses approximately 70 watts, on an average, a cordless drill charger is used approximately 5 hours a day.

      Enter the number of usage hours, power setting (in wattage) and click calculate to find the power consumption of cordless drill charger using 70 watts for 5 hours a day @ AUD $0.23 per kWh. Also know running cost per hour, day, week and for a year.

      90

      • #
        Earl

        And as covered a few days ago Brisbane City Council have started trial of new electric bus system as precurser to potential introduction of fleet of up to 60 buses. Flash charging points will be installed in depots and end of route locations which charge the bus 85 times faster than at-home electric vehicle charging systems. Power to the (bus) People.

        80

        • #
          William

          Electric buses have been lighting up Paris and elsewhere – literally! And I think the pollution the buses release as they burn rather negates all imagined CO2 benefits.

          [Comment would be ok further down but at #1 needs to be strictly on topic.]AD

          50

    • #
      Ronin

      “Let’s plug in something that really takes that juice like Electric Vehicles and businesses that switched from using coal to the grid power.”

      And let’s help the rich folk into the drivers seat with some taxes from the poor honest people who actually pay taxes, Yeah, rah rah rah.

      80

      • #
        OldOzzie

        Enter the electric BMW iX, all five metres and 2500kg of it

        The 50 Sport is $169,900 plus on-road costs, dearer than any X5 except the M Competition. That price includes five years of free juice on the Chargefox network.

        The sprint to 100km/h takes 4.6 seconds thanks to an output of 385 kW and 765 Nm of instant torque. The battery pack is a massive 112 kWh, offering an official range of up to 620 kilometres. About 500 is more achievable, but that’s still enough for a week’s worth of heavy commuting.

        With electric cars, people are usually more interested in range than consumption, as the electricity itself is usually much cheaper than petrol. However, an efficient system extends the range, and means you get more kays per minute of top-up. The iX will charge at up to 200 kW and can add 150 km in 10 minutes in ideal conditions (depending on the state of charge of the battery when you plug in, the ambient temperature and other variables).

        10

        • #
          yarpos

          I wonder if there are any long term structural issue looming with the weight increase of the average car. I assume things like multi story carparks are designed with hefty safety margins for floor loadings. When the average car weight goes up 25% and you add chargers in each bay I guess those margins are cut.

          50

  • #
    Thomas A

    And Albanese intends to increase renewable electricity and close more coal produced electricity. Well, I guess, if you’re going to do something, it’s best to do it well…even if that means intentionally crashing the electrical grid.

    480

    • #
      Sambar

      Albos answere to the elctricty suppy problem is to distract the populace with another push to become a republic. You know keep people realy focused on the important issues.

      370

      • #
        Erasmus

        Yes, we now have an administration of such poor quality at both federal and most state levels it resembles the goat rodeo Biden one.

        380

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      Anthony Albanese is on record saying coal will continue to be used. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-23/labor-backs-2050-global-carbon-emissions-targets/11991912 (2020). With a Labor majority in parliament, he doesn’t have to negotiate with the greens. Let’s see how he goes.

      101

      • #
        William

        No Mike, Labor has a majority in the Lower House. Albanese needs all of the Greens, and two votes from PHON, Lambie Network or David “High Horse” Pocock to get things through the Senate so their will be negotiations, and from what I have seen of Albanese over the years, he will agree with all of their demands and take things further to the Green Left.

        It is going to get ugly before the inevitable crash.

        250

        • #
          William

          there will be …

          30

          • #
            Sceptical+Sam

            Sensible policy will get through the Senate without the need to deal with the ratbags.

            The Liberal/National coalition will ensure that happens.

            the Greens and the rest are on the sideline – provided the PM follows sensible policy directions.

            03

  • #
    red edwards

    Something to help out those woke people freezing in the dark this winter. . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdR6WXggiKQ

    60

  • #

    How and when is the predicted $720 million billed out to customers?

    111

    • #
      Robber

      Each retailer decides whether to buy on average or spot prices, and then separately decides what to offer customers on typically 12 month contracts. In NSW, the 12 month average wholesale price per AEMO is $119/MWhr, prior year $65. But May price was $320/MWhr.
      There have been reports indicating some retailers have been advising their customers to switch, indicating they may have made poor choices on spot versus longer term deals.

      110

      • #
        William

        Not reports indicating retailers are advising customers should switch, but actually recommending to them that they do.

        70

    • #
      Lee

      If putting aside potential black outs, if the network, enviro and retails costs represent 70% of the price that the consumer pays and the wholesale price is 30%, does the movement in the spot price really cause that much difference? Obviously when it goes from average $25 up to $300 average, there is some difference, but perhaps not a bloodbath?

      20

      • #
        yarpos

        What price would get your attention Lee?

        We are at the early stages of whats planned and this is happening. It assuredly up from here.

        20

        • #
          Lee

          I’m really not sure what sort of prices industry and residential will tolerate. Your thoughts? And I’m not sure what wholesale rate it would need to get to for it to push business/people over the edge. My attention is certainly on it, I watch the prices constantly, I’m just not sure if the real problem is the network.

          20

  • #
    Rick

    Have I missed something here or is there an elephant in the room? Why is it that the price of electricity suddenly starts jumping around (usually upwards) every time there is a bit of load on the grid?
    It can’t cost more to produce a bucketful of electrons just because the system ramps up a bit. That’s what it’s designed to do, and surely the old economics trick of “economies of scales” must kick in somewhere along the line.

    170

    • #
      yarpos

      Something like supply and demand.

      After a cyclone those $13 a kilo bananas didnt cost anymore to produce either.

      100

      • #
        Lee

        I’m really not sure what sort of prices industry and residential will tolerate. Your thoughts? And I’m not sure what wholesale rate it would need to get to for it to push business/people over the edge. My attention is certainly on it, I watch the prices constantly, I’m just not sure if the real problem is the network.

        10

  • #
    Robdel

    The quicker we get to an energy crisis the better. The sooner the nett zero aim will hit the teals and the rest of us and the scales drop out of our eyes.

    410

  • #
    Graham Richards

    As usual the MEDIA will all comment on another “ look over there , nothing to see here” event . The Queen’s anniversary springs to mind or maybe some more gender bending stories!
    What has the price of oil or gas got to do with our electricity grid when we’ve e got more coal and/or uranium than you poke a stick at.
    Governments on both sides of the aisle are intent on committing suicide. I & the vast majority did not vote for this outcome. Those that did vote for it will be the first to scream discrimination when the bullet hits them!

    330

    • #
      el+gordo

      Its okay, even though the Nats have been wooed to the Green persuasion we still have Dutton to champion the cause.

      Energy poverty is not a pretty sight, so as we head into winter the Jubilee won’t distract us.

      50

      • #
        Ian

        “Its okay, even though the Nats have been wooed to the Green persuasion we still have Dutton to champion the cause.”

        If the Nat’s really have been wooed to the Green persuasion even with Dutton championing the cause , the Libs will lose again. Primary votes were Libs: 3,263,848; Nats: 503,583; ALP: 4,449,783. And if the Nats really do join with the Greens in voting against coal fired power there will be an 14 seats to potentially vote with the ALP. If that should happen Dutton is lost

        21

        • #
          el+gordo

          Dutton will savage the government with ridicule and satire. A charismatic quality rarely found in politicians.

          The CWA and NFF were behind the removal of Barnaby, leaving the moderate faction in charge. Pathetic.

          Dutton should win the next election in a canter.

          40

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The lack of a strategic plan, to give certainty for generation modes like coal, gas etc, is the major problem.
    What we have is short termism, and boondoggles designed to shore up a political base, combined with the a market driven approach to setting prices.

    As with the French Nuclear example posted yesterday, the ineptitude on display here is staggering

    1021

    • #

      Give us a real free market Peter. Let us choose who generates our electricity and stop predatory cross ownership of competing fuel types from removing my choice to buy cheap clean environmentally safe power.

      510

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        How would that work? Would it be like crypto? Or social media? Those are the only examples of a totally free market currently. But then, we depend on electricity, not so for social and crypto

        224

        • #
          yarpos

          Governments getting out of the way would be a good start. “Certainty” is a nice public service idea, that business rarely enjoys.

          150

          • #
            Terry

            The fluctuations of a free market meeting the energy needs of consumers, or the certainty of energy poverty delivered by meddling, ignorant, incompetent bureaucrats receiving monies under false pretenses to control things they do not understand.

            How to choose?

            I know, let’s vote Teal/Greens to ensure the latter, and to demonstrate just how much we care for poor people.
            Greens: “We love the poor sooooo much, we think there should be many more of them.”
            Teals: “Hold my beer Chardonnay…”

            30

        • #
          Richard+Ilfeld

          IN the Us we evolved from a free market that worked very well, to a regulated utility market, that also worked very well, to grid management and alternative power subsidies, which are destroying the reliability and low price.
          In the US we had essentially a monopoly telephone provider. We went to a free market more or less, without losing 24/7 dial tones, universal interoperability, and price choice. In both evolutions the first issue was universal access, while maintaining reliability and moderate price; hence the rate regulation, & profit regulation. But universal service of a public good by a private provider with a reliability mandate constrained to a degree the miscreants in government. Once you abandon reliable and universal service at predictable cost as a goal; you are headed for a cliff. A true market without regulation will not provide universal service at reasonable cost; but will provide plentiful and reliable service to most at moderate cost. Governments hate this: rationing the necessities of life is the mothers milk of authoritarianism.

          80

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Peter it would work the same way that people opt in for the green energy option I would imagine , so my tariff for instance picking the coal option would be the cheapest because there would be no need for extra wires and extra forms of generation because it wasn’t windy or overcast or dark . South Australia are a good example of this and it stood out yesterday . Zero wind , overcast skies then dark and the battery was flat meaning 100% of the state was being powered from Gas , Diesel and Brown coal . For complexity it doesn’t get much better or more expensive than running a system that has massive wind , Solar and battery costs plus all the extra poles and wires to just sit there generating nothing while your then looking for other forms of generation to cover a common weather event . So you need three different forms of backup for the existing three different existing forms of power generation . What if we could get it all from one or two guaranteed sources that weren’t weather dependant , do you think that would make power cheaper or more expensive .

          60

        • #
          b.nice

          “Or social media? Those are the only examples of a totally free market currently”

          Total BS! Social media is highly restricted and censored by the far-left. !

          30

        • #
          Mike+of+NQ

          Crypto is not a free market, it is a play thing or a giant Ponzi scheme played by gamblers extorting an invention of mind, to the gullible. Like all Ponzi schemes, some will win but most will eventually lose. Social Media is worse, it is influenced by just about everybody from billionaires, to big business, to governments, to institutions to employees playing god. It even weaponizes people against other people in its promotion of cancel culture.

          40

        • #

          Crypto relies 100% on electrical power. Take down the Grid and you cannot access your Crypto money. Take down the Grid and with it the internet and who gives a hoot about Social (Gossip) Media. Both Crypto and Social Media rely on electrical energy.

          20

    • #
      b.nice

      It is great that PF now realises that those extra coal fired plants should have been built in each eastern state, (2 in NSW) years ago.

      That would have been the only planning that made any sense.

      The question he needs to ask, and to do it honestly, is .. why weren’t they built. !

      Who or what got in the way?

      Who or what has stopped the gas fired power stations advocated recently by the Morrison government being built?

      Who or what is now stopping the logical choice of building extra coal fired power stations, now? (and promising to shut old reliable ones down instead)

      350

    • #

      There is no free market that operates as part of the pricing of electricity in Australia. The pricing of electricity in Australia is a complicated mess with more regulations and red/green/multi-coloured tape than you can poke a stick at.

      Get rid of the Net Zero commitment and let’s get back to an Electricity Grid run by Engineers with a true free market.

      QED

      250

    • #
      Ronin

      “The lack of a strategic plan, to give certainty for generation modes like coal, gas etc, is the major problem.”

      There IS a strategic plan at least for coal, the plan is to shut it down, ASAP.

      60

  • #
    mike+reed

    Hi There
    So the problems of interest rate rises can be likened to kindling wood being being used in building and starting a fire .Next you need to add a little inflation -more kindling.Now its time to add some real volatile fuel -not kindling this time no! What about instant fire starter like methylated spirits -all now thats needed for a
    perfect economic fire is diesel /petrol increased prices and now lets burn the house down with runaway electricity and gas bills.
    Okay the above fire is a metaphor for real life.However I now can’t think of a way now to put this “fire” out !! Any suggestions?? I suppose this is the crash and burn
    we have been talking on Joe’s website for some time now.So the way to wake up the sheeple will be this hard lesson in ridiculous belief in climate change and dumb renewable energy.
    Cheers Mike Reed

    210

  • #
    b.nice

    Climate change??

    UAH May, a scary +0.17ºC

    Let’s all panic !

    160

    • #
      el+gordo

      It has paused but not fallen, that is concerning.

      25

      • #
        William

        Paused for abour 25 years now, that is longer than any rise. Cooler temperatures are on the way – probably already here but no matter how cold the last two years have been, somehow they were both u[ there with the record hot years.

        130

      • #
        yarpos

        Depends on your timescale expectations I guess.

        30

        • #
          el+gordo

          They’ll say that natural variables have momentarily created the pause, we need it to fall significantly.

          20

        • #
          Geoff Sherrington

          William,
          Using UAH data for Australia and working back from end of May 2022, there has been no warming trend for 9 years 10 months. This is calculated by using a linear least squares fit that draws some criticism but is good enough for government work. Do it yourself.
          Geoff S

          60

      • #
        b.nice

        Whyis it that some people seem to think the great huge energy sink of the oceans will lose heat quickly. !

        00

  • #
    Dave

    Amazing

    Take out COAL POWER generators then add wind and solar!

    Even the dumbest of Greens could see this coming.

    Unfortunately the rich Teals & Greens & Pollies will be the only ones able to afford electricity.

    And Bowen is making expensive EV’s cheaper so more RICH people can buy them.

    Australia has gone mad.

    390

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Even the dumbest of Greens could see this coming.

      No they couldn’t – given my Brain Washed Youngsters and their Friends (Teal/Steggall Voters) and Education Saturated Climate Change Grandkids, Logic does not prevail

      I am regard as a repetitive nuisance by the Family with my “When the Sun don’t shine and the Wind don’t Blow, you can’t restart a Network without Spinning Baseload”

      290

    • #
      OldOzzie

      Aided By the Stupidity of the Sydney Moaning Herald Editorial Staff

      EDITORIAL = Focus on renewables the only solution as energy bills continue to rise

      After the shock of the doubling in petrol prices at the start of this year, many households are about to discover that their energy bills are rising too.

      The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) last week announced that the default electricity price will rise by an average of at least 8.5 per cent in NSW or $119 a year, in south-east Queensland 11.3 per cent and South Australia 7.2 per cent. In Victoria, the Essential Service Commission has raised the tariff by about 5 per cent. Price increases for small businesses will be even higher.

      These high power prices will add to the burden this winter on many families who are already struggling.

      Some might be tempted to link these price rises to the growth of renewable energy and the Albanese government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.

      Peter Dutton, who is expected to win the Liberal leadership on Monday, said last week he was worried about the ALP’s target because, “we want to make sure that people can afford to turn the lights on”.

      Yet this reveals a misunderstanding about what is driving the current jump in power prices and how to fix it.

      The AER in announcing the price rise said it was due to, “reductions in thermal generation resulting from unplanned outages and higher coal and gas prices”.

      In other words, prices are rising because ageing coal-fired power stations are breaking down, causing shortages, and the war in Ukraine has sent global coal and gas prices through the roof.

      The coal-fired power industry is slowly “going broke”, to quote former chairwoman of the Energy Security Board Kerry Schott.

      Companies have already announced that they will shut down about 20 per cent of coal capacity by 2030 and regulators say it could easily be 60 per cent.

      The dramatic shift in our energy grid out of coal and gas will create huge challenges, but renewables are not the cause of the problem. They are part of the solution.

      42

      • #
        ozfred

        As long as private (and profit seeking) companies are the ones responsible for electricity generation, they will interpret the rules and regulations in such a manner to maximize their profit levels. The question remains whether this is a short term or long term analysis. And if they do not do this, the owners (shareholders?) could claim breech of fiduciary responsibility (maximizing return on investment).
        Though I doubt government owned non-profit companies would provide less expensive power. Why that is, is a question for a different forum.

        30

      • #
        Pete of Charnlop

        At 12 noon today, the NEM wind farm fleet was down to 7.4% of nameplate rating for a paltry 2.4% contribution, overall. Meanwhile coal was thumping out a 50% contribution – 21 times greater than wind. But somehow this is all the fault of ‘aging and unreliable’ coal generation. Idiots!

        Spend some time going over the stats in openNEM.org.au and ponder the prices for a moment. eg, if wind and solar are so cheap, why then are they billing at prices almost as high as coal and gas? For the week of May 23rd – 29th, the average price was: Renewables $308 MWh, Gas $384MWh, and Coal $342 MWh.

        It is also clear to see the relationship between falls in renewable outputs, rises in gas output to compensate, and then the commensurate rise in wholesale price per MWh.

        We’re being gamed, big time!

        The NEM dashboard is also predicting another $15,000 per MWh period beginning 5pm today. That’s $15 per KWh – wholesale!

        30

        • #
          Pete of Charnlop

          Further, I note that on May 27th, NEM-wide wind power dropped to 3% of total nameplate rating. THREE PERCENT! And coal is unreliable?

          30

  • #

    As I have read previously, the Eastern States Gas Market problem is a problem of the Eastern States own making. WA has a Gas reservation system whereby there is Gas set aside for domestic consumption with the rest exported (LNG). This Gas is not priced at World Market prices but is set cheaper for domestic use.

    Turnbull, when PM, apparently had set up a similar system up for the Eastern States (why it wasn’t set up for the whole of Australia, I don’t know), however, this facility has never been switched on. Why not? Not that I was ever a TurnBull***t fan but it seems to me that a Gas reservation system would assist with the current problems in the Eastern States.

    In the long run, just stop building anymore Renewables and build HELE Coal Fired Plants. Going Nuclear will be a very rocky road and is a much longer term objective IMHO.

    Also, I would like to see a line item in the first LaBore Gov’ment Budget that shows the dollar amount of the subsidies being given (stolen) for all these Renewables. The State Governments should do this as well. Be transparent with the Taxpayer for a change.

    [wee edit. LVA]

    61

  • #
    Jack01

    It’s amazing how politicians are getting away with pushing this renewable nonsense despite the near 100% chance of complete failure. Solar + battery storage might work for a small model 5W solar car, but politicians (with a non engineering background) have convinced many that this can somehow be extrapolated to an entire electricity grid. Real engineering and science gone out the window.

    190

  • #
    Ross

    Today will definitely be the worst day for those ridiculous power prices. It’s bloody cold in the southern states , it’s relatively cloudy even with a frost and there is no wind. So, nada, zilch, zero from your intermittents. But the good news for those sweaty engineers – the wind returns tomorrow (3/6/22) and is likely to blow for a week. If those “ unreliable” old coal smokers stay on line today AEMO may be saved.

    70

    • #
      yarpos

      We will see more and more of this , the reliability of the grid not designed in but dependent on a roll of dice.

      90

    • #
      Robber

      Good old “renewable” SA: This morning at 7.30am, solar zero, wind 204 MW from a nameplate capacity of 2,100 MW, battery 24 MW, diesel 158 MW, gas 1265 MW, spot price $996/MWhr.
      Back in 2016 they demolished the 520 MW Northern Power Station that burned Leigh Creek coal.
      No regrets?

      40

  • #
    William

    As long as the wind doesn’t blow to strongly for the week Ross, and at the right time!

    80

  • #
    Earl

    But faster is better and shaving 25 minutes off the settlement period for the electricy spot price “provides a better price signal for investment in fast response technologies, such as batteries, new generation gas peaker plants and demand response.’

    And the most important part:

    “Price signals that align with physical operations lead to more efficient bidding, operational decisions and investment. Over time, this flows through to lower wholesale costs, which should lead to lower electricity prices than in a market with 30 minute settlement. Wholesale costs make up around one third of a typical electricity bill.”

    All this new thinking kicked off in he November 2017 rule change which was implemented in 2021. Not that much across the electricity market but to me this sounds like fail, fail, fail. Maybe, like daylight saving, we should just put the 25minutes back in??

    https://www.aemc.gov.au/rule-changes/five-minute-settlement

    70

    • #
      Earl

      Sorry, further digging and due to covid rule change didnt occur until October 2021. Nice power point.

      40

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      This is the key to the problem. Coal fired power stations cannot operate profitably on 5 minutes notice or on 30 minutes notice for that matter. Get the bidding period out to a week or a month and the problem solves itself.

      70

    • #
      Pete of Charnlop

      Earl – wow, I just did a plot of the coal-gas-renewable prices from Jan 2021 to present. Everything bolted skyward as of Oct 2021! That preceded the Ukraine invasion by nearly 5 months…

      20

  • #
  • #
    rowjay

    Brown coal will end up saving the east coast grid – the destruction of Hazelwood was a particularly stupid act if the maintenance of a stable grid was a priority.

    Power stations that burn black (bituminous) coal may be trouble here with supply if not tied to long term contracts. The 1960’s NSW Govt in their wisdom designed Liddel and Bayswater power stations to burn high ash black coals (20 – 25% ash) because they could not envisage this poor coal quality ever having export potential. Export cargoes were rejected if the ash content was above 15%. Fast forward to now and the export market is buying nearly any bituminous coal at ridiculous prices paid by desperate users. No-one is desperate enough to buy exported brown coal when up to 50% of the cargo is water.

    50

    • #
      rowjay

      For those who may be interested, here is a Thermal Coal Primer. It will help explain why some coals can be exported, and others not – its all about energy content and cost of shipping, as well as the tendency for lower rank wet coals being liable to spontaneous combustion.

      Coal is a solid fossil hydrocarbon made up plant material and non-combustible impurities that have been initially deposited or accumulated in a peat swamp. The peat then undergoes a preservation process that breaks down the plant material into organic matter that comprises moisture, non-combustible impurities, volatile matter and fixed carbon. The volatile matter and fixed carbon contain the energy source which is released on burning the coal, the energy content units being reported as calorific value (CV).

      The preservation process can continue if the peat is subjected to increasing temperatures (due to burial) to form a progression of coal types, described as coal rank. This coalification process expels moisture, carboxyl groups (including carbon dioxide) and methane as rank increases – the non-combustible impurities remain but increase in mass% as the other components (such as moisture) are reduced. The coal rank chain is as follows together with an indication of typical moisture contents:

      Peat (60%) -> Brown coal (50%) -> Lignite (40%) -> Sub-bituminous (20 – 40%) -> Bituminous (8 – 20%) > Anthracite (less than 8%)

      Chemical composition changes of the combustible coal content also take place as coal rank increases. This is best illustrated by their typical calorific value (excluding moisture and non-combustibles) as follows:

      Peat 2,600 kcal/kg -> B-Coal 2,800 kcal/kg -> Lig 4,000 kcal/kg -> Sub-bit 5,500 kcal/kg -> Bit and Anth 7,800 – 8,000 kcal/kg

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    Ronin

    ” Somehow in 13 years we’ve increased our network capacity by 25% but something isn’t working.”

    It’s not hard to work out which component isn’t working, how many coalies have we built in 13 years, that’s right, zip.

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    OldOzzie

    I failed to convince Coalition colleagues on energy: Joyce

    Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says he failed to convince his Coalition colleagues on energy policy and Australians are “paying the price” of a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

    Joyce says he never personally supported a net zero emissions target negotiated last year, but agreed to it because it was the majority position of the party.

    “When it came back to the room, I said I still don’t support the 2050 target. But if that’s the decision of the room, that’s the decision I take,” Joyce told 2GB.

    “We’ve sort of gone off on this tangent that we don’t need coal-fired power we don’t need baseload power. And of course that’s like saying you don’t need a roof, that you can live all right in your house if you just wear a coat.”

    Now he was longer in cabinet, Joyce said he could “try to bring the Australian people to the position in which I tried to bring cabinet to, which is, you have got to be a realist in climate policy”.

    Host Ben Fordham put to Joyce that he “failed to convince your Coalition colleagues of the importance of what you were trying to say”.

    “That’s completely correct, you’re 100 per cent,” he replied.

    “Every time you pay your power bill, you’re paying for the 2050 target. Every time you pay for your petrol price now, you’re paying for the 2050 target. Every time you buy your groceries now, you’re paying for the 2050 target.”

    Joyce said Treasurer Jim Chalmers should activate the gas trigger to limit exports.

    “If we’re going to run out of gas, yes, he should because otherwise, otherwise you start paying global parity prices for gas>

    He again called for the development of nuclear power as well as the continued use of coal-fired power.

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      OldOzzie

      Chalmers not prepared to pull gas trigger yet

      Treasurer Jim Chalmers is not prepared to pull the trigger on gas to force more supply into the domestic market, but has not ruled out such a move in the future.

      Asked on Sky News if he was prepared to look at curbs on gas exports, the treasurer said: “I’m not prepared to commit, at this point, to pulling the trigger.”

      “That is a subject of some discussion and deliberation,” Chalmers said.

      “But we need to be upfront … whether it’s the trigger, whether it’s the price caps, whether that’s other policy levers at the disposal of federal and state governments, this is not the sort of challenge that you can flick a switch and solve overnight.”

      The Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism was established in 2017 to ensure sufficient domestic supply and can force LNG projects to limit exports.

      “It involves a whole range of considerations around contracted prices and spot prices. It involves a heap of considerations around impact on the energy market,” Chalmers told ABC RN Breakfast.

      “But also, it involves a heap of consultation and a heap of processes which are understandably put in there to make sure that a decision like that is taken in the best interests of the Australian people and their economy. And so, we wouldn’t take a decision like that lightly.

      He said the current crisis was the consequence of a cold spike, international pressure from the war in Ukraine as well as nine years of energy policy “chaos” under the former government.

      “We do have a very dangerous spike in gas prices at the same time, as we’ve got substantial increases in electricity prices and petrol prices as well. And so there’s no use tiptoeing around this or pretending away this challenge,” he told Sky News.

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        ozfred

        I wonder if the gas can simply be reserved but no one wants to buy it because the price is too high?
        Exports should only be allowed if the domestic reservation amount is actually sold.

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        Tel

        If they try to block gas exports on existing signed contracts, they will very quickly be in the High Court paying compensation to exporters and their customers. Cheaper to simply pay for more coal to be built.

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      rowjay

      Export of natural gas was approved because there was enough undeveloped gas resources in NSW and Vic to cover domestic usage. This was the long term plan, but unfortunately, the domestic population was convinced that developing these resources was bad. So it sits in the ground. On top of that, it is now almost impossible to build a gas pipeline to prop up the east coast supplies. Its a perfect storm and totally self-inflicted. Dumb. Stupid.

      On top of that, we are told that gas in the ACT will be cut off by 2035. This will mean that peak electricity usage will be DOUBLED in winter – just at the time when the fickle wind and cloudy days limit generation!

      To quote a popular WUWT contributor – “you can’t make this schist up if you tried”.

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        ozfred

        Could the domestic reservation amount be reserved but not sold (cause the price is too high)?
        Exports should be allowed only if the domestic amounts are “sold”.

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    OldOzzie

    Get ready for even higher gas prices (and here’s why)

    Prices are on the rise amid a global energy crunch, and it threatens to heighten pressure on households, businesses and the country’s $2 trillion economy.

    Gas prices globally are soaring as major global importers desperately seek alternatives to Russian supplies. The surge in demand is a boon for Australia as one of the largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, but prices are rapidly rising locally too – putting sustained pressure on households and businesses.

    Is there a global gas shortage?

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine uprooted the global energy market. About 40 per cent of the EU’s gas imports come from Russia, although the proportion is almost 100 per cent in some of Russia’s immediate neighbours. The bloc has moved rapidly to impose sanctions on Russian exports and diversify away from Moscow – but there simply isn’t enough global supply to meet demand.

    Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of gas, but much of its exportable surplus is contracted and must remain onshore (to prevent government controls from being enforced). The odd cargo that is not contracted is fetching significant returns on the spot market, a boom for exporters such as Woodside.

    What is happening in Australia to cause surging gas prices?

    While gas prices were surging in Europe, gains were modest in Australia in late March and early April. Recently, however, prices have rocketed, and the Australian Energy Market Operator this week was forced to impose a price cap after wholesale prices in Victoria of more than 50 times normal levels.

    Much of this spike can be attributed to the soaring price of coal, which is the dominant source of electricity generation in Australia. Russia is also a major exporter of coal, and sanctions on Moscow have resulted in soaring global coal prices.

    As coal increases in price, the cost of producing coal-powered electricity in Australia rises. To compensate, some Australian energy generators have increased gas power generation, increasing demand for gas.

    This demand has been exacerbated by outages at coal power stations. As much as 30 per cent of Australia’s coal generation was offline last month as a result of faults in ageing generators or much-need maintenance.

    The recent cold weather in Australia has also fuelled demand, as much of Australia’s east coast uses gas to heat homes.

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      OldOzzie

      What is happening in the wholesale market?

      The soaring price of coal and gas means the cost of producing electricity in Australia – the so-called wholesale price – is surging, and it shows little sign of abating.

      It is placing a significant burden on Australian retailers, who will buy wholesale electricity to meet customer demand.

      Retailers will have long-term contracts with generators and have purchased hedging instruments, so there is a buffer for end users from the wholesale price.

      Australia’s largest energy retailers, such as AGL Energy and EnergyAustralia, will be able to cope with the squeeze better than smaller players because they have deeper financial clout and access to better hedging. As a result, several small retailers have been forced from the market.

      What does this mean for households and businesses?

      Prices are rising, and it has significant implications for Australia’s $2 trillion economy.

      The Australian Energy Regulator last week set the default market offer – or safety net for customers who haven’t shopped around for a better deal – for 2022-23, which forecast an 18.3 per cent price increase in NSW and 12.6 per cent rise in Queensland.

      Australian businesses, some of the country’s largest users of gas, will also bear the pain of higher prices. Many of these will be in long-term supply contracts, but those on expiring deals are reporting renewed offers in excess of 10 per cent more than they paid.

      Some businesses have warned they will either have to close or pass on the additional costs. Should they raise prices, it would stoke inflation – already high amid a global supply chain bottleneck – pressuring the Reserve Bank of Australia to again lift interest rates.

      Does the government have any control over prices?

      Australia is not short of gas, but the government does have the capacity to limit exports.

      In 2017, the Turnbull government legislated the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism in response to concerns that Australian producers were not supplying enough gas to the domestic market, driving up prices locally.

      The mechanism gives the resources minister the power to control exports if there is a supply shortfall.

      If invoked, LNG exporters would be required to free up enough gas for the east coast or have export limits imposed.

      Will more renewable energy lower prices?

      The Labor government has pledged to drive a massive increase in renewable energy generation, which would in turn lower demand for coal and gas power, and therefore prices.

      However, new renewable energy projects can take years to develop, and often require new transmission lines to be built to connect the zero emission into the grid.

      Europe has committed to a massive increase in renewable energy generation, but has acknowledged in the short term the region will need to use more fossil fuels.

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    Ronin

    Wind is supplying a staggering 4% as of 09:00, also are coal generators really paying the International spot price for their coal, most large power stations are located right on or near coal mines, the coal is contracted to the generator, not export , so we are being lied to again, why are they struggling to muster 30 gigs, a bit of cold weather and the market hits the moon.
    How many generators are down but not for maintenance.

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    Chad

    SMH reporting that Origin’s Eraring power plant is running desperately short of COAL !
    Apparently their supply from Centennial’s nearby Mandalong mine is restricted due to some equipment problems cutting output. .?
    That won’t help power supply or prices at this time , will it. ?
    But I don’t understand why a power facility like this would not have a waterproof supply contract with compensation clauses for alternate supply . ?

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    • #
      Chad

      I should have said …
      …”any rational business would have a BULLETPROOF , fixed price, supply contract for their primary consumables “

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        mareeS

        Chad, the coal chain in the Hunter Valley is at capacity. Rail and road haulage capacity is fully booked, no spare slots to move coal to domestic generators in short-term situations. The Port of Newcastle is also at capacity for loading and shipping for export, as I imagine Qld ports are. There is no more “give” in the supply chain for situations like that facing Eraring at present.

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    Earl

    This is now getting serious on EVERY level. Wife just mentioned a friend said this morning they had received a letter from AGL suggesting they go to another power company and since we are with AGL she asked whether maybe we should look into it too. I responded with fact that AGL is a designated Retailer of Last Resort so we have nowhere to go as we are already with a final provider. Upon now checking I note its the Victorian government essential services commission list of last resort retailers and not a national body. On further searching haven’t been able to find a Queensland equivalent
    just one that gives financial aid.

    How is it that Victoria can have AGL as a last resort provider and therefore getting customers while they (AGL) are suggesting Queensland customers leave? Not looking good people.

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    • #
      Ronin

      AGL is a large generator of last resort but they have been kicked in the nuts recently by that Cannon brookes pelican.

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    Dipole

    To stagger meal times,and demand, how about introducing winter daylight savings time for, say, NSW only ?

    (I will hide under my avatar now)

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    KP

    So, we should be buying Russian gas and on-selling it to our export customers so we have gas at home..

    Simple, practical, economic & makes sense! The only thing missing is appeasing the Yanks. They’re going to do it with oil and have ship-to-ship transfers to pretend it isn’t sanction-busting, so the sooner we get onto it the better!

    I do hope to see Canberra go dark and cold BEFORE we do, it wouldn’t be nice to see them lit up and partying while our power was turned off. Too much like Animal Farm..

    Socialist Morning Herald don’t know what to do with their propaganda, their favourite politicians in power, Russia winning, renewables not cutting it and inflation running riot. They pushed the collapse of Russia as the West won’t insure Russian ships, but failed to note that any sanction like that just gives rise to new competitors who cripple the old monopolies. I expect all those anti-ship missiles are meant to make sure Russia can’t self-insure.

    Martin Armstrong must be fascinated by all this, he predicts the effects without knowing the cause.

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      Ronin

      Labor would have been smarter to have let this election slide for the next 2-3 years, not a good time to assume the mantle.

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      • #
        b.nice

        On the contrary, I think it is a perfect time for Labor to “assume the mantle”

        It is the leftist agendas that have put us in the precarious position we now find ourselves in.

        Its good that they get to face the music. 🙂

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    Ronin

    I just locked in my Origin electricity account for 12 months, it will be interesting if this actually works.
    At least they didn’t tell me to go away.

    10

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    Ronin

    UK is using 67% gas, wind 2%, must be costing them $$$$$$$$$$

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    Mayday

    At 1150Hrs today this is how the fuel mix was keeping the East coast of Australia Electricity supply running;

    South Australia running on 61% Gas

    Queensland running on 70% Black Coal

    NSW running on 75% Black coal

    Victoria running on 74% Brown coal

    The Labor Party, the Greens the Teals and most of the media want to remove the above coal and gas from our electricity grid ASAP.
    The lights wont be staying on for much longer unless some common sense takes place.

    Source : https://aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/data-nem/data-dashboard-nem

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    Mayday

    Remove COAL from the energy mix and you have over 70% of ALL NSW, over 70% of ALL Vic and over 70% of ALL Queensland with no power, right at this moment.
    https://aemo.com.au/energy-systems/electricity/national-electricity-market-nem/data-nem/data-dashboard-nem

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      Graeme No.3

      Reluctant as I am to start a Conspiracy theory but I wonder about the coincidence of high gas prices, scheduled maintenance and some problems with coal supply and maintenance shutdowns, all with the incoming Government wanting to get rid of coal-fired plants. It could be ‘one of those things’ but (to use the IPCC’s favourite words) could, might, perhaps a way of educating the Government about reality.

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      • #

        We don’t really need a conspiracy though. Just look at the incentives. Ask whether AGL earns more or less money if they destroy the Coal Gens? The battle over it was between two teams who were both saying destroy the coal gens, but one was saying “don’t do it too fast” and they wanted to separate out the coal generators into a different company. Cannon-Brookes thinks they should be owned so they can be destroyed faster.

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          Graeme No.3

          That strategy is based on there being a never-ending supply of money from The Peasants.
          A little history, the Peasants Revolt in England, the Fronde in France, the Civil War in the UK, the abrupt removal of James 2 in the UK (not really directly but the default on debts by Charles 2 was never forgiven), the (first) French Revolution etc. and I suppose that the Magna Carta was also about taxes as much as liberties.

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    John+PAK

    I predict that the crunch will come when Sydney endures rolling black-outs after another coal unit fails. People will drop their political ideologies and ask for another coal unit to be built. I’m buying a battery bank to charge up from the off peak circuit to keep fridges cold and maintain water pump pressure.

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    OldOzzie

    AEMO Fuel Mix Mix Summary (2 June 2022 – 12:15)

    Total breakdown of fuel used – Black Coal/Brown Coal/Gas – 73% Solar/Wind 16%

    Battery 0 MW 0%
    Biomass 25 MW 0%
    Black coal 10.2 GW 45%
    Brown coal 3,865 MW 17%
    Gas 2,548 MW 11%
    Hydro 2,144 MW 9%
    Liquid Fuel 88 MW 0%
    Other 0 MW 0%
    Solar 2,955 MW 13%
    Wind 730 MW 3%

    Dispatch Overview

    and

    Price and Demand

    with

    7-DAY OUTLOOK

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    Ronin

    Eraring running out of coal, 2880 Mw possibly gone from the grid.

    30

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    wayne job

    In Vic we have we have a shale formation right across the top and into SA. Full of gas and light oil so we could have all the petrol and gas that we need for a very long time.
    Unfortunately when dictator Dan heard of it he banned fracking!!!

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    Rupert Ashford

    Don’t know why the panic, Jo. Mr Cannon-Brookes says it will “only” cost each of us AUD100K to convert our houses to energy efficient, renewable-dependent abodes that run on Unicorn farts. Nothing to see here…

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    Mayday

    At midday today, the black and brown coal generators down the East coast of Australia were running at 14.065 GW output.
    Has anyone got any idea on how many million solar panels you would need to buy to replace 14.065 GW of coal fired electricity?
    As the Greens and Teals say we have to get rid of coal by 2030.
    I predict China will be lifting the additional taxes on imported Australian goods soon as the mother of all solar manufacturing contracts is appearing in the near future. To help pay for the 20 Billion to 30 Billion dollar grid upgrade, solar home owners will be paying to export their electricity. Large solar farms owned by corporations will be exempt from these exported power fees. During the “transition period” portable power generators will be in more demand than toilet rolls at the peak of the Covid pandemic.

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    Saighdear

    Meanwhile, at https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/australia/new-south-wales/thredbo/ski-trails-thredbo.html we see snow being made. After the recent snowfall on top of a base of artificial snow made the previous week ( when energy was more abundant) yet more snow is being made…. kind of beggars belief. “every little helps” they tell us over here in the UK. were they referring to every Little Guy ( who throws the switch) I wonder ?

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    robert rosicka

    Right now South Oz is being powered by 90% fossil fuel again , battery 1% and wind 9% .

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    […] It’s going to be an interesting winter.Jo Nova Blog […]

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