South Australia Heatwave Wind Power Collapse, Rolling Blackouts

Wreck Beach, South Australia.

Wreck Beach, South Australia. By Jacqui Barker [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t AndyG55, JoNova – South Australia, the world’s renewable energy crash test dummy, is once again experiencing horrendous power price spikes and rolling blackouts, thanks to excessive reliance on wind, a lack of dispatchable power capacity, and high demand caused by a Summer heatwave.

Rolling blackouts ordered in Adelaide as city swelters

Widespread power blackouts were imposed across Adelaide and parts of South Australia with heatwave conditions forcing authorities to impose load shedding.

About 40,000 properties were without electricity supplies for about 30 minutes because of what SA Power Networks said was a direction by the Australian Energy Market Regulator.

The temperature was still above 40C when the rolling blackouts began at 6.30pm to conserve supplies as residents sought relief with air conditioners.

Appearing live on Facebook for a question and answer session, Premier Jay Weatherill blamed the national energy market for the outages saying a gas-powered generation plant in SA had not been required to come online. “The rules of the energy market are broken,” he said. “We’ll be asking for changes.”

SA Power Networks said in a tweet tonight: “AEMO has instructed us to commence 100MW rotational #load shedding via Govt agreed list due to lack of available generation supply in SA.’’

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg blamed the blackouts on the SA government’s renewable energy target, which he described as ‘‘madness’’.

Read more (paywalled): http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/rolling-blackouts-ordered-in-adelaide-as-city-swelters/news-story/6308d0d103a2ab4f979391d5d4ca49c5

JoNova notes that electricity prices have spiked to $13,440 MWh, or $13.44 / KWh. Wind power is only producing 7% rated capacity.

The rolling blackouts make a mockery of South Australian government assurances in December, that the state of South Australia has sufficient thermal power capacity to meet requirements.

Update (EW): Fixed the calculation of price / KWh

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240 thoughts on “South Australia Heatwave Wind Power Collapse, Rolling Blackouts

      • This is something to be celebrated. It marks the death of wind and solar power in Australia. Any state which ditches its renewable demands will see all business move to it from all the other states which don’t. The free market will win again

      • Or with more wind power, after all the wind is always blowing somewhere isnt it :-) I know that is incredibly stupid but you watch, someone will suggest it

      • Phil B,

        It marks the death of wind and solar power in Australia.

        Oh how I wish you were correct, however, I think SC and yarpos are closer to what we’ll be hearing.

        It will go something like this…
        >because global warming is much, much worse than we thought,
        >we can’t keep up with the air conditioning needs of the populace,
        >so we must accelerate our implementation of solar and wind,
        >to get a firm grip on the CO2 control knob,
        >to slow down the warming,
        >so that we can catch up and have enough renewable energy.
        >and we must increase taxes now!

        I agree…#cantfixstupid

    • There’s a joke in there somewhere:

      … maybe something like … What’s the definition of a third-world country? … A country that used to powered by fossil fuel, switched to wind/solar, and then degraded to a state that they were in before either. First… fossil fuel, … Second … wind/solar, … third … failure resulting in decay — that’s where the “third” in “third world country” comes from, in this sense.

  1. Sorry South Australians, but you are part of a demonstration of how to destroy an electricity system, and it needed a heatwave during a working day to get the necessary data.

    • Jay Weatherill (Premier of SA) has already been on the media playing the victim and promising to save the SA public from the evil external forces depriving them of power.

    • What’s amusing is that we in Western Australia are on our own isolated grid (SWIS) and we get a fraction of the problems South Australia does, despite them having an interconnector to the east coast grid including the most populous states. Incidentally, the taxpayer-funded Australian ABC is making much of the heat waves in the eastern states, but not a peep about the record cold (coldest February day on record) we had in Perth yesterday. We had to shiver through a maximum of 17.6C, and that was at midnight. The daytime high was 17.3. Not to mention 4 inches of rain that dumped … second wettest day on record. For comparison the average Feb temp max is 30.7C and average Feb monthly rainfall is 8.3mm.

      Climate weirding, I guess…

    • Remember when they blamed a 50 year storm? (A storm that amazingly didn’t register at any weather station, with a peak gust of just 65kt?)

      Then it was DPR Victoria’s fault, for daring to maintain their power station on a non windy day?

      Now it’s the fault of AOME, and Engie, and the free market. As well as the absence of a carbon tax (oddly, such an oversight hasn’t brought about massive load shedding in TAS, DPRV, NSW, Q, NT or WA). And St Malcolm. And Tony A666ott.

      That’s 8 different things to blame, none of which are renewables, or the Weather-dill govt.

      The answers of course are bigger govt, nationalisation of assets, more taxes, forcing / coercing businesses to buy their own electricity generators (how dare they expect the grid to supply them – you didn’t build that).

      None of the answers involve a big new 2GW USC coal plant at Port Augusta.

  2. Make that 90,000+ homes-

    ‘More than 90,000 homes had their power deliberately cut on Wednesday night, as the full extent of the power crisis is finally disclosed.
    Following inquiries from Advertiser.com.au, SA Power Networks spokesman Paul Roberts revealed that more than 90,000 customers were affected by the deliberate cuts — more than double the 40,000 originally estimated.
    SA Power Networks said the cuts were made about 6.33pm under “rotational load shedding’’ orders from the Australian Energy Market Operator “due to lack of available generation supply in SA”.
    It was restored about 45 minutes later.’
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-power-crisis-will-there-be-more-blackouts/news-story/82f848efbc42455b9d7c4e1487b04fa5

    • That is where they need that Smart Meter for. (and of course to control you every moment of the day.

      • oh yeah
        since Victoria got “smartmeters” our supply n charges costs went from 28 a quarter to $125 my last bill.
        attorney general enquiry prior to forced metering stated the ONLY benefit was profit for increasing fees TO power cos
        none for consumers
        he was correct

  3. I understand there was not enough gas to run the gas turbines. So they were not switched on. The Left in Australia has been very successful in stopping new gas supplies.
    Unfortunately the problem cannot be fixed. Two other States in Australia plan to replicate SA’s “renewable energy” system. You cannot fix a problem unless you accept the reasons leading up to the problem. These hard Left politicians are in complete denial.

    • Not enough gas to run the turbines and hence switched off?

      Well no it’s more complex than that and they’re largely talking about a significant amount of thermal generational capacity at the modern, efficient Pelican Point gas fired, cogeneration plant lying idle. Clearly you only set up gas contractual supply to the extent you forsee the need for it-
      http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/pelican-point-power-station-will-cut-more-than-half-its-generation-capacity-early-next-year-threatening-jobs/news-story/dec703384bd7448e1facc1c0d79b2047

      The problem with it lying idle and the increasing closure of coal fired thermal power stations like Port Augusta and soon Hazelwood in Victoria is due to what I might describe as a domestic form of dumping-
      http://www.economicsconcepts.com/dumping.htm
      That’s been Government sponsored to the extent that wind generators in particular are subsidised by RET subsidies and the grid is mandated to take whatever electrons they produce whenever they produce it. Without the cost of fuel you can see how they can predatory price, even to the extent that generators can face negative prices on occasions (ie they have to pay to send power to the grid)

      These fickle generators are essentially freeriding on thermal generators as their insurance companies but they don’t pay any premiums for that. Unfair advantage, guaranteed market for their product and the ability to predatory price and no prizes for guessing what’s happening to their competition. The only way to stop this domestic dumping, that’s not in the interests of consumers long term, is to level the playing field. That means giving the AEMO the power to restrict tendering any electrons to the grid, to the maximum amount a generator can guarantee 24/7, 365 days of the year and their gaming of the system would be over. At best in order to increase their average tender level they’d have to partner with thermal generators and pay them their just insurance premium.

      Now can you understand why these Green power fans keep bleating on that it’s cheaper than thermal power? That’s because they’re naively or deliberately confusing the price of apple electrons and orange ones. Consumers need fruit not queuing and empty shelves.

      • The ultimate answer is a world wide superconducting power grid connecting all the renewable power resources together.
        Thus providing “From each according to their ability, to each according to need.”

      • Robert,
        Like fusion power, what you suggest is currently beyond our technological and engineering capabilities. Sure, “ultimately” both will be within our grasp, but right now I’m sure that does not comfort the people in SA, not to mention the billions in this world who live in energy poverty. There is a saying in engineering: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” In much the same way, good intentions often led to the imposition of evil. So while we wait for the perfect “ultimate” solution, can we please implement good solutions that work now?

      • Robert, the current transition temperature with moderate amounts of pressure is 55Kelvin. Gee, only minus approx. 360 degrees F. Only a few years from deploying in a world-wide grid? I seriously doubt it.

      • Just to be clear superconducting transmission isn’t strictly a technological problem. Cable works with liquid nitrogen (77K) cryogen which is not a problem even on an industrial scale and long length cables are available. The problem is the current cost of the wire – metal conductors are typically around usd40/kA/m (cost to move a kA a metre) while superconductors are around 3X that.

        There more important question is whether it makes sense shipping all that energy around, as is suggested.

      • Robert,

        We have had a recent example in all Europe. During weeks most of Europe was under a high pressure system at very low temperatures in the Eastern part. Most countries had 10% or less of nameplate power from wind (average land/sea wind is ~30%), only Ireland and Finland were at 100%.
        If the countries with momentary high wind should supply the rest of Europe with sufficient power, every group of countries must install about all wind (~90%) power capacity needed in whole Europe at any moment, where the groups are concentrated around wind zones. Then you have to transport this 90% from North Europe to Portugal and from Ireland to Romania, where each country under way takes its own needs, but a combination of countries anyway must let pass near 100% of European use, as next time wind power production may be reverse…

        Solar is even worse: winter production is average 10% of summer production and peak hours are after sunset…

        At this moment, Europe is working at a scheme that every country has the possibility of importing/exporting 10% of its own needs… Still a very long way to go to 90%…

        Have a look at the current production, use and distribution of power in a large part of Europe, with the CO2 emissions per kWh for each country:
        http://www.electricitymap.org/

        Specific for Germany, there are lots of actual and historic data:
        https://www.energy-charts.de/power_de.htm
        If you push “Alle Quellen” (all sources) you will see the different producers of what was used.
        At periods, wind + sun produced less than 2.5 GW, while they have 90 GW installed capsacity…

      • Here in the US the solution will be to install a vertical turbine above Congress. It’s the most consistently reliable source of hot air in the country.

        Well, that and hooking up generators to the skeletons of the Founding Fathers, whose rate of rotation is their graves is bound to increase monotonically.

    • there was enough gas
      they simply had to BE told by one section to turn them on
      bureaucracy at its best

      • No the AEMO has already stated that with the wind drop there wasn’t enough time for Pelican Point to fire up anyway as it was designed as a base load plant (cogen gas) and half of its capacity lies idle now because of ‘dumping’ I referred to previously. We have a series of fast start gas peaking plants but they would have all been cranking in response to the price spikes.

    • ” . . . you cannot fix a problem unless you accept the reasons leading up to the problem.”

      Nor can you fix stupid.

      • As I understood it the gas turbines were not fired up because no one foresaw the need to contract for a suitable gas supply (firm/demand/peak etc). No gas to supply energy = no kw produced.

  4. The Labor government in Victoria are just as loony. Who votes for these morons? Maybe Hillary supporters have dual citizenship?

    • Dead Chicagoans. Sorry about that; those votes were supposed to go to Hillary but leaked out to Victoria instead. We’ll have it fixed by the next election …

  5. I’m not sure what they are referring to by the term “rated capacity” of wind turbines. There is the “nameplate capacity” which is the max amount of power the turbine can produce (excessively high winds cause the turbine to be shut down, typically). Average power for onshore turbines usually ranges somewhere in the 20 to 30% range, depending upon location (and year, season, etc).
    7% would seem to be operating at between a third and a fourth of normal power output. One of the requirements of a power grid is to ensure that power is not lost, insofar as that’s possible. Back up power requires that reliable generators (usually open cycle gas turbines) be available for backup. However, that requires operating a plants that often produces no power, which increases the
    per kWhr costs for the grid. I have heard of cases where operating the fast-reacting open cycle turbines on an idling (backup) basis costs as much as running a closed cycle gas generator at full power.
    The economics of always-available backup generation capacity is the Achilles’ heel of wind/solar.

    • Gas turbines do consume a lot of fuel, even at idle. The good news is they can be started and run up to full power rather quickly so I’m not so sure why an open cycle turbine would be running if not required. That’s the whole point of a peaking turbine-powered plant.

      Think of how quickly you can get airborne in a jetliner from startup to takeoff.

      • rbabcock,
        “how quickly you can get airborne in a jetliner from startup to takeoff”
        Mere seconds to achieve full thrust power from idle. The time lags you might experience at an airport are not due to unresponsive jet turbines. Mostly they are due to power down during refueling, or APU (auxiliary power units) spooling to power computer/navigation system computers and preflight inspection/maintenance.

        Military aircraft can go from cold start to airborne in very short notice because the timeline was deemed important.
        suck – squeeze – bang – blow (the basic jet engine functions) go pretty fast.

    • The fixed costs of backup plants continue whether they produce power or not.

      Should ‘renewables’ make sufficient penetration, you reach a point where intermittent usage of the backups doesn’t make enough money to cover their fixed cost. Assuming the people won’t accept periods of no electricity, maximum penetration of ‘renewables’ is maybe 30%.

      Additionally, the assumption is centrally sourced electricity. As outages continue, people will move to secure their own sources, independent of the central supplier. With higher cost and more pollution.

      • You are correct Gamecock
        I have seen evidence of various companies in Ontario Canada securing their own power with backup generators. Many businesses have already installed gen-sets and not small generators they seem large enough to run these plants full time. I was wondering what these businesses know that I don’t.

    • “The economics of always-available backup generation capacity is the Achilles’ heel of wind/solar.”
      ___________________________________________

      Politicans maybe think

      “electricity consumers / consumption is the Achilles’ heel of wind/solar.”

      • Well spotted. The next piece of indoctrination you should expect is that it is naive to expect the lights to go on just because you flicked the switch.

        In the past, the ACT had a scheme where you pay extra to get ‘green’ power. In the future, everybody will get green power. But you have to pay extra ‘green’ to actually get power.

  6. And now the Federal government has to pay an extra A$20m. for shipyard backup power generators so that they can build ships in that state.

    • Yes, NSW Australia. NSW is 85-90% coal-powered + the huge Snowy Hydro (~2,200MW) and a few minor wind and solar farms. In fact, the region where I live, the Hunter Valley, has Australia’s two largest coal-fired plants, Eraring (2,880MW) and Bayswater (2,640MW) + the smaller Liddell (2,000MW) and Vales Point (1,320MW) (both Eraring and Liddell are near where I live, Lake Macquarie).

      The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) released this ‘reserve notice’ today, Thursday 9th Feb for possible ‘load shedding’ for tomorrow.

      NOTE: LOR3 is the highest level

      • Does that mean you are having blackouts? And if yes, wouldn’t a few more coal plants solve the problem?

      • That is the forecast by the AEMO. In 18 hours time, we will be able to evaluate if the thermal generation capacity was actually insufficient. Renewables proponents are praying for the AEMO projection to come through.

        With South Australia, the AEMO could not forecast as accurately due to the high penetration of intermittent generators.

      • The AEMO are saying there is a possibility of ‘load shedding’ tomorrow, which may mean black-outs in some areas.

        The four power stations I mentioned above are part of the National Electricity Market (NEM), The NEM spans Australia’s eastern and south-eastern coasts and comprises five interconnected states that also act as price regions: Queensland, New South Wales (including the Australian Capital Territory), South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania. 76% of the NEM is coal-fired. For more info, see the PDF below.

        http://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/PDF/National-Electricity-Market-Fact-Sheet.pdf

      • LOR 3 means that if the demand exceeds the 90% percentile of the range of the forecast there could be a shortage baed on plant currently listed as available. The role of LOR notifications is to advise the market participants to either make more generation available or activate DSR.

        Note that if the *median* forecast value proves to be correct, the system will have enough reserve (not counting outages).

        SA had the full LRC the next stage. There is some debate about the SA situation regarding available gas. If the generators that had not planned to run that day had not ordered gas a day in advance they would not have been able to run. This will be revealed in the AEMO market report.

        Note that in similar situations in the past (usu known plant failures), gas was directed from the AGL TIPS plant to the other plants, since TIPS can also run on bunker oil and usually has a number of hours of oil in reserve. While this would increase the AGL cost to run, at A$14,000 per MWh, they would have recouped the additional cost easily.

        If SA wants to continue its renewables policy, then it needs to consider remunerating capacity, which is common in the US and increasingly common in Europe. The NEM had a scheme which was inefficient (Reliability Safety Net) that was only really supported by SA. SA had also proposed a capacity market prior to NEM commencement because SA was concerned about loss of the interconnector (pre-NEM there was only one).

        The CIGRE TB 647 contains a good explanation of the issues, including the NEM situation, from all angles and from many markets around the world.

      • Morning Andy, yes Munmorah (1,400MW) was shutdown in 2012. Also, up to 1989 Vales Point produced 2,400MW. Liddell is Scheduled to close in 2022.

        @ asybot – the Hunter Valley is also known for it’s huge coal reserves.

      • The problem in NSW is that they have been building no new coal fired plants for many decades. the only plants I can recall them building have been gas powered, and wind. Gas is expensive to operate, so they only built a few. And wind, well SA had 7% output from it’s wind plants, I expect NSW will get a similar amount since most of Australia is very still.

        I think NSW has also been decomissioning the older coal fired plants, too. Deliberately reducing their reserve capacity to the bare bones. If need be, they can always cut the interconnector to SA. I wouldn’t want to be living in SA right now.

      • “@ asybot – the Hunter Valley is also known for it’s huge coal reserves.”

        You can’t mine coal in the Hunter Valley anymore. The horse breeders have taken priority.

      • @ Hivemind – did you forget a sarc tag? The port of Newcastle just set a record for coal exports. That coal came from it’s mines.

  7. I live in the glorious state of Victoriastan, we also have a glorious leader like that of our poor cousins in South australiastan , but ours is much smarter and will increase our electricity supply to 50% all hail the great one .
    When we finally shutdown the evil brown coal burning station called Hazelwood we will show the world our dominance in the green energy market , and our children will be able to play in fields of Daisy’s all day long .
    Or living in Victoria with the imminent closure of Hazelwood and the threat of 50% renewables in this state it’s either try to become a climate refugee and make my way to America or have the portable generator on standby .

    • yeah a shitload of birdshredders for the horsham to geelong sort of area coming soon
      cost of billions
      right in areas of rare(ish) bird habitat too.

    • …make my way to America….

      Robert, you will be welcomed by most of us, but be sure to get a travel agent who knows how to avoid the Migra. Current preferred routes involve overland travel from Mexico. And whatever you do, don’t go near California. Best wishes…

      • Juan , California and South Australia have much in common , no intention of going near either .

    • Come right on but be prepared to struggle with the language barrier for a while. Keep in mind too what Mark Twain said, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress.” That fact, judging from some of the commentary I find on an Australian climate blog, should make you feel right at home. Oh, and our possums are a hell of a lot uglier than yours. No ‘roos either. Plenty of rabbits but the jackalope is a mythical creature.

      • You might need to apply for a permit to keep exotic animals, depending on the city/state. Especially if any of them would be considered “deadly” (venomous snakes/spiders and the like).

    • Robert, just jump over the ditch to where we have 80% renewables mainly hydro, decent geothermal with more where that came from – enough to handle any number of EVs, and wind that doesn’t dominate, but that gets at the higher end of the range of availability because we’re a couple of long Islands sitting NS when the wind is all moving WE. Come and enjoy energy without even the cosmic guilt.

      And we speak english unlike those North Americans.

      • I see the urban dictionary gives a definition of “fush” that isn’t appropriate for this site (a variant on “crush”) so I should reassure other readers that “fush” in this context is the way Aussies pronoun “fish” (we Kiwis of course pronounce it correctly). I should add that marriage to sheep isn’t really condoned.

    • Our clown of an Energy Minister stated at a press conference that renewables drive down energy prices. I wrote to her asking where that had happened anywhere on the plant ….. crickets.

      • If the govt owned and subsidised Pizza Hut, brought in a law that at random Dominos had to supply Pizza Hut pizzas, provided cheap loans, printed money to double the number of pizza outlets and occasionally flooded the market with so many pizzas that competitors had to pay people to take them away, then one assumes yes in the very short term the average price of pizzas will go down.

        It’s hardly a surprise that studies have shown the same result for competitors of RealElectricity.

        The problem comes when competitors go broke. Then prices start soaring as a poorly run, inefficient monopoly finds instead of dumping at negative prices there is now periods of vast under supply, peak time price spikes. People want pizzas during big football games; no one wants to work that night. There goes the price. They are unable to meet orders.

        That’s what happened in Germany, the People’s Republic of Cali and everywhere else. It’s not only predictable, but inevitable.

        But SA has interconnects. Consider the true disaster looming:
        – the interconnect assumes, by definition, that Victoriastan produces excess electricity; that ceases to be true when Hazelwood closes in March.
        – the Senior Labor Figure will roll out the SA model nationally in 30 months; Oz had no interconnect to the outside world.

    • Yep, me too. I’m in Victoria too. I am definitely going to investigate a portable power generator to keep my laptop going. And I dare say after a few power outages, I won’t be the only one. That will be good for the environment with everyone inefficiently burning diesel to power the most basic of electrical items. Daniel Andrews has really outdone himself this time. The stupidity is hard to swallow. And yet, the local papers say nothing!

  8. Romania, a fifth world country located in Africa, also located in time in the far past of the Dark Ages…

    Romania is still a member of the European Union and as such, specific money robbery and money laundering schemes are applied by the oligarchic mafia. Eco-communism, eco-fascism, eco-terrorism and eco-slavery are flourishing in such countries.

    Let me detail that a little with some things related with ‘wind power’. Romania has quite a bit of wind power production, something like 8% (I suspect that being exaggerated to steal more green money, but let’s ignore that) of the total electric energy production. It has a propagandistic communist ‘installed power’ of useless wind fans of about 3000 MW.

    On the other hand, Romania has two nuclear units of 1400 MW. Less than half of wind, isn’t it? Well, those produce about 20% of total electric production of the country.

    Let me repeat that: 3000 MW wind produces 8%, 1400 MW nuclear produces 20%.
    You can quickly realize that the cube power of the wind speed is a bitch and that if you want to compare declared MW you’ll have to divide the wind ones with more than 4. I’ll be generous and let it be 4.

    Now, let’s see the costs. It’s quite hard to determine the total robbery with wind turbines, but for nuclear it’s very simple to find the costs: even exaggerating things one could find out that they cost 3 billion (in some sources, 2.2 billion for two units). For wind robbery, some googling revealed that cost/MW is something like 2 million euros. So, for all the useless fans, the cost would be 6 billion robbed euros.

    Instead of throwing money in the wind and in the pockets of the oligarchic mafia, Romania would have today at least other four nuclear units. More, in fact, because the 3 billions are exaggerated and besides, when you build many units the price goes down.

    That would mean having more than 60% of the country electric energy production, nuclear. The rest would be hydro and Romania could afford to close all other power plants: coal, gas, wind, solar and so on (I’ll let aside the fact that some – not wind and solar, though – also produce heating water).

    So each time I see a huge chimney spitting out black smoke, I send good thoughts to the members of the eco-oligarchic mafia. It’s because Romania is using ‘green energy’ instead of nuclear.

    This is only a little bit of the humongous eco-robbery that goes in the country, they have many eco-schemes to rob poor people and give to the rich.

    • Confused?
      Province of Dacia later renamed Romania conquered by the roman emperor Trajan, the country of medieval warrior ‘Vlad the Impaler’ in literature and number of horror films renamed as the ‘count Dracula’, or more recently country of the notorious East European dictator Ceausescu is to be found along river Danube on shores of the Black Sea.
      Google map is your friend.

      • Hi Adrian
        That comment was meant for those who might be somewhat confused. I come from country that use to be the next door, that kind of sarcasm (located in Africa, fifth world country, still in the depth of dark ages) was and still is often used by my own compatriots to refer to their own country or whatever was left of it.
        I’m also aware that Adrian is frequent name in Rumania, presumably going back to Roman Emperor Trajan’s adopted son Hadrian who inherited his crown.

    • “vukcevic on February 9, 2017 at 4:22 am
      Confused?
      Province of Dacia later renamed Romania conquered by the roman emperor Trajan, the country of medieval warrior ‘Vlad the Impaler’”

      – that named because lifelong he fought the Turks and cept his country free of them.
      He could not save his country from corrupt politicians following him.

      • Hi Johann,
        Ahh.. the Ottomans, the house I was born in, and the numerous generations before, still bears marks of their dreaded cannon shells.

        “THEY rose to where their sovereign eagle sails,
        They kept their faith, their freedom, on the height,
        Chaste, frugal, savage, arm’d by day and night
        Against the Turk; whose inroad nowhere scales
        Their headlong passes, but his footstep fails,
        And red with blood the Crescent reels from fight…..
        Great Tsernogora ! never since thine own
        Black ridges drew the cloud and brake the storm
        Has breathed a race of mightier mountaineers.”
        Lord Tennyson to people of MonteNegro (Crna Gora)

      • Johann,

        Vlad fought with and against everybody, with the Turks, Hungarians, Saxons, his brother, against the Turks, Hungarians, Saxons, his brother.
        About the only cause he really cared about was his own.

        Though people claim that when he was in charge you could leave a gold chalice in the middle of the road and nobody would touch it. If you did you might find that it was Vlad’s and you would end up on a stick
        He was very, very keen on impaling.

        Don’t know what his views on wind power would have been.

      • Vlad Dracula had a thing about displaying the corpses of his enemies (and the odd political rival) on stakes in front of his castle walls, as a warning to others. It earned him the epithet “the Impaler”, and his blood-soaked reputation inspired the legend of Count Dracula, the original vampire. No doubt the classic means of dispatching a vampire–a wooden stake through the heart–came straight from Vlad’s taste in exterior decorating.

    • Roman: Very nice comment, the sarcasm is absolutely appropriate, that spells out the problem with wind power. I am saving it for future reference.

  9. Media reporting minor explosion at EDF’s Flamanville nuclear power plant in northern France about 10am local time. Local newspaper reported there was a possibility of some injuries.
    Apparently plant is also used for fuel reprocessing.

  10. I’m currently in Sydney and they’re expecting temperatures tomorrow and the next day to be record breakers.
    Up to 44 deg C or 112 deg F. They’re even talking power outages here!
    The news here is ALL about how stupid the South Australian Government is regarding power (or the lack thereof) and how people will be without air conditioning in the expected heat and that BUSINESSES are leaving in droves. The price of power is astronomical in their State.

    They have a coal fired plant, but they’ll soon be closing it down! They’ve had 3 blackouts in the last 3 months, one was total and lasted up to 48 hours.
    Folks, this is gonna be ugly.
    joannenova.com.au is covering the story very well.

    Lesson to Warmists….Wind Turbines are NOT THE ANSWER!

    • I seem to recall Joanne nova playing a big game of ‘whose is biggest’ with people who told her the warming fraud is just that. She I assume continues to wave the flag of “but it’s really real, everybody.”

      Pfft. Lukewarmers are as dumb as their crisis creating masters.

      • Not sure of what you’re trying to say Christov, fairly sure she believes in climate change just not so much man made climate change so what’s you’re point if you have one ?

    • Just to add to this. We live in the southern city centre of Tuggeranong in the Australian Capital Territory, better known as Canberra. We spent the last weekend before returning our 15 year old to school at a wonderful adventure park in New South Wales called Jamberro. There and back we drove past Lake George which besides having a tendency be full or not, has a Wind Farm on the far side, opposite of the roadway.

      On said trip there and back we did not witness one Wind Turbine turning over the course of that weekend. It
      was hot.

      Renewable energy. God bless it.

      /sarc.

      • ACT is going 100% renewable :-) I was reading on a renewable fanboy site someone commenting how unbelievers would be a special kind of stupid pounding out their notes on computers powered by 100% renewable power. The special kind of stupid required to believe that the real power delivered would consisently be from any renewable source seemed to not register on the writer.

      • The renewables crowd seems to have forgotten the ‘when’ in “You wanted it when?” Whenever ‘when’ is used they forget to add ” just not NOW!”

    • Sydney’s max today was 30.9C and forecasts in coming days are 38C, 39C, 30C, 25C, 24C, 27C and 31C. I wouldn’t worry too much about Sydney power outages.

      I’m currently in Perth on the other side of Australia and a few hours ago this city had its coldest February day since 1897.

      The Perth Metro weather station maximum was 17.4C and Perth Airport was 17.1C. Their previous record cold February days were 19.0C in 1914 and 19.8C in 1991 respectively. The cold record wasn’t broken, it was utterly smashed.

      Ten days ago, Perth Metro had it’s 4th coldest January day since its predecessor Perth Regional Office opened in 1897, and Perth Airport had its coldest January daily maximum since the station opened in 1945.

      The south of WA had its coldest winter since 1990 and September was the coldest on record.

      There’s a good chance that the maximum temperature across Western Australia today was the coldest February day ever recorded in the state.

      Three days ago, Adelaide’s Kent Town central weather station had its equal 5th coldest February day since the site opened in 1977.

      The South Australian blackouts were because the windmills couldn’t keep up with an Adelaide maximum of 42.4C. The hottest day ever in Adelaide was 46.1C in 1939.

      If the South Australian government doesn’t let fossil fuels ensure a sustainable energy supply, it risks a future claim for damages from all of its citizens.

      • Funny thing about climate, it “changes” from latitude to latitude and longitude to longitude. Wonder if the greenists and warmists have a model to track that! ;)

    • A number of mining operations have already been hit with interrupted power and the high costs of diesel backup. It’s time for other consumers to see the problem up front and personal and not just reading about some corporate operating problem.

      • When your job could involve you being a mile or so underground, a power outage could mean no lights, no air pumps, and no elevator back to sunlight.

  11. Wow, how the heck does a government in South Australia, Australia’s Hottest, driest State, get caught flat footed bu a ‘heatwave’ in mid summer? In my time 40˚C was to be expected in our summer but these days its ‘record, deadly heatwave probably caused by climate change’. Its like getin caught flat footed by freezing weather in antarctica in winter.

      • Scott, Read M Seward’s post again more carefully. He put that in quotes as if it were said by the local alarmists. He isn’t saying that he thinks the statement to be true, in fact his first clause in that sentence indicates that 40C temps aren’t out of the ordinary there historically. If you do an internet search, you could probably find hundreds of statements by alarmist ‘scientists’ and politicians (but I repeat myself) stating that the heat wave is due to climate change.

      • Owen, an ABC presenter on the Drum said yesterday the heat was caused by climate change. No-one else on the panel challenged that assertion. My MP was advised of this skullduggery within 10 minutes but I don’t expect a response because CAGW/CC and the ABC are unchallengable subjects amongst Oz pollies.

  12. We will…

    rub the names of these thieves,

    from our books, from our monuments, from our memory.

    Scientitic integrity has been raped by drop-outs, wanna-bes, and has-beens who never were, and never will be, heroes of anything but their own wholesale theft from the world around them.

    I get up in the morning hoping to read in the paper some of these bastards have died and been put out of all our misery. The craven accession to the theft by the profiteers who run the publicity cycles for it are on par with molesting children. When someone’s entrusted with a little education they’re supposed to make civilization a better place

    not try to fraudulently hook every human being they can catch up to a legal theft machine, and denigrate those who don’t agree it’s right.

    May you in Australia be blessed that humiliation and shame strike down on these people who have prostrated your, and our in America’s governments.

    We will not rest
    until we have buried the promulgators of this fraud’s names, into the sh**-pits of complete erasure from our records except that they were prodigious, rooting, grunting pigs: thugs dressed as government employees pretending to be scientists, and their servile lap-dogs who helped them run every respectable science away from the global atmospheric and climate fields.

    We feel for you there as we know that our own government employees and the profiteers from their thefts, are the ones who basically- started it all.

    • Lets not erase them from memory, as that will only allow the failed ideas to return. Keep their names forever etched in infamy so that they will stand as reminders of what charlatans and frauds can so easily accomplish with the acquiescence of a willingly ignorant mob.

  13. The Australian federal defence minister, Christopher Pyne, has just indicated in parliament that a budget provision of $20m will be made to provide South Australian shipyards with standalone backup power, in the form of large diesel generators. This is to protect the integrity of upcoming large build programs of warships and submarines. In the federal parliament he said “Power in South Australia is more akin to what you would expect in a backpacker’s hostel in a third-world country”.
    South Australia recently shuttered its last coal fired power station because ‘it could not compete with wind’. Presumably, despatchability and reliability were not deemed to be important criteria in making that particular decision. If South Australia is the ‘Canary in the coal mine’ for the case for renewables, it might now be safe to assume that the coal mine has closed and that the canary has died from heat stroke.
    This is an appalling situation for the long suffering people of South Australia. Elderly and sick folk are being exposed to life-threatening temperatures (42 deg C, 108F). Businesses are having to turn away customers and are losing refrigerated and frozen stock. Prospects for business investment from out of state are in the toilet, and this at a time when South Australia has some the highest electricity prices and unemployment in the country. The state government is the architect of the current power system, which now comprises about 45% renewables (wind). They have the audacity to blame the national regulator for this latest calamity. On Wednesday 8th February, the national grid regulator called on South Australian generators to contribute more power to the grid when demand was spiking around 6pm. Unfortunately, nobody responded and so load shedding had to be instigated. That’s the problem with wind power – you can’t despatch it if the wind isn’t blowing. The people of South Australia deserve much, much better than this, and sadly, more hot weather is on the way.
    The only good thing to come out of it is that the federal government is now painfully aware of what can result from such idealogical tomfoolery. In federal parliament today, the Liberal (conservative) treasurer waved a lump of coal under the noses of the Labour opposition (similar ideology to their state counterparts) and said – “Don’t be afraid, it’s only a lump of coal”. Theatrics aside, the federal government has now suggested using funds from the clean energy fund – previously reserved for renewable boondoggles – to build modern clean coal-fired power stations. Water melon heads are exploding, so perhaps there is hope.

    • koutsantonis also said coal was more expensive than wind
      i almost choked in rage.

      http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/sa-power-crisis-will-there-be-more-blackouts/news-story/82f848efbc42455b9d7c4e1487b04fa5?utm_source=The%20Advertiser&utm_mediam=email&utm_campaign=editorial

      Steven 2 hours ago

      @Craig Labor’s Paul Keating created the National Electricity Market.

      Market implies free enterprise, and with free enterprise you can only have a privatised market, otherwise it is not a market, but a “command and control” price scheme that only Socialist and Totalitarian States use.

      So if you must blame someone, blame Keating, however on this he was correct.

      The reason the market has failed, is because renewable energy has distorted the market through massive subsidies (wind farms get between $300,000 to $500,000 per tower per year in subsidies and other direct taxpayer assistance for just “being there” – senate inquiry 2015). The market is being distorted at the wholesale level, which makes coal-fired and gas-fired generators out-priced. As the Senate inquiry found in 2015, the subsidies paid to the wind farms is also recovered at the retail level, as retailers are forced to pass the extra costs onto consumers. That is why the wholesale price is extremely low, but the retail price is excessively high.

      • Big Government is our biggest problem.Big Government and a sound market economy cannot coexist. With Big Government Freedom is a thing of the past. Direct taxation gives Government total power. Slavery was never abolished it just changed the way it looks like.

    • RE: ” it might now be safe to assume that the coal mine has closed and that the canary has died from heat stroke.”

      But expect the official death certificate to read: “…heat stroke from CO2 induced record high temps.” and no mention of incompetent grid management.

    • “This is an appalling situation for the long suffering people of South Australia.”

      Democracy – you get the government you deserve.

  14. I have been very critical of some of your posts here, Eric. But this is a good one to highlight the madness and idiocy of the SA governments ideologically disasterous foray into only depending on renewables. This topic really deserves more space on this blog, as the Victorian government is about to follow suit. The obvious solution for eiither state if they want to rely on the main on renewables is to install lots of gas capacity. And what are they doing? Nothing! Which means the people of Victoria will be hot and unproductive as the air con won’t work and they can’t work due to lack of power! And guess what the brainless Victorian government has done? Banned fracking onshore! Good luck! There is also a damaging report somewhere about the prior blackouts in SA that definitely fingers their reliabilty on renewables. That would be worth highlighting in a post.

    • I’ve written a few posts on the lunatic situation in South Australia.

      South Australia is sitting on a huge deposit of Uranium ore, around 23% of the world’s known reserve, if they want reliable zero emission power they should build a few nuclear plants.

      Unfortunately the current SA government in my opinion seem to be ideologically committed to opposing every energy supply option which has a remote chance of working.

      • When your ideologically sound power supply supply scheme turns out to be pretty damned useless in practice, do you admit that you were wrong and try to fix it using established technology, or ‘double down’ and assert that the problem is only that you have not yet gone far enough along the path to a green Nirvana?

        How often do you see politicians of any stripe admitting their errors when they are in a position to remedy them?

        Behind the money and the political grandstanding there still lurks the need to save the planet (or, at least, to signal one’s virtue in that regard). Saving the planet is great, but many people will not strain their brains with sober consideration of the available evidence. “97% of scientists” is good enough! It is an unfortunate characteristic of the vast majority of humanity that when you point out serious defects in a person’s thought processes, resistance hardens and you make an enemy.

        The (truly shit) science will eventually self-correct, but in the meantime we will all be treated to a slow-motion train wreck.

      • The left ALWAYS doubles down on failure. In the immortal words of General “Ragin’ Cajun” Honore, they are stuck on stupid.

    • disagree with your thinking onshore frakkings good
      .
      we have sufficient normal onshore gas and offshore
      if we werent selling it for miniscule sums to china etc
      and charging ourselves massive price per ltre lpg
      areas like mine where we ONLY have artesian water to survive with
      sorry i dont want to risk in any way our only water

      • Unless your drill & pipe contractors are stupidly venal yet extraordinarily crafty, and your regulatory personnel & agencies the same, you’re not putting your aquifer at risk drilling a well for fraccing any more (probably less) than drilling a well for water. Your water wells connect to the aquifer, contamination may be introduced through the intentional connection. Fraccing wells are sealed off from the aquifer long before the well is completed and fractured, failure to do so spoils the well. (Hence the stupidly venal – cheaping out on sealing the bore means you wasted all the money spent for the well (site, labor, materials, clean-up when you’re caught). If you are only getting your water from natural springs, I suppose the risks might be comparable.

  15. The SA Labor government is now bereft of excuses.Last September the excuse was a “one in fifty year” storm. There have since been monthly incidents , power price spikes especially.
    Nothing to do with renewables tripping out when surges or dips in supply from wind farms occurred. The latest (Third) report from the regulator, the Australian Energy Market Operator( AEMO) notes that a built in protection feature at some wind farms caused the supply to trip out on voltage dips.
    Now there is the entirely unexpected appearance of extremely hot weather in South Australia in mid summer!
    The highest temperature ever recorded in Australia was in SA in 1960 at some 50.7 degrees Celsius (123.3 degrees F).This was at Oodnadata in the north of the State close to the Simpson desert, but SA in summer at Adelaide can be seriously hot.
    The SA government defends the latest fiasco by accusing AEMO of failing to have suppliers call on the second station at Pelican Point to meet the shortfall. Pelican Point is a gas fired power station.
    The citizens of SA now see what 40% renewables and absence of fossil fuel base load power means.

  16. Load shedding is triggered infrequently, when there is an imbalance between electricity consumption and supply — mostly at times of peak demand in heatwaves when air conditioners spike power use.

    This is a consequence of heatwave, not wind power.

    • No Griff it is a consequence of having insufficient power supply. The temperatures are not unusual nor are they infrequent. Reliance on non-dispatchable power generation that cannot be guaranteed to meet maximum demand is crass stupidity; it is putting ideology ahead of people’s lives.

    • Griff,
      Heatwaves are often the result of large, stationary high pressure systems. In such a weather system there is little wind available anywhere over the range of the high pressure. You won’t find any useful wind until you get to the periphery of the system…often a thousand miles away from the center. Wind power won’t work sufficiently in a ‘heatwave’ situation. Just when you need it the most.
      So while your premise ‘This is a consequence of heat wave, not wind power.’ sounds good on the face of it, it is quite backward in its logic.
      The consequence of a heatwave is the lack of wind power to deal with it. You can put up more turbines, but you will get very little increase in output during a heat wave. Please note that solar PV typically drops during heatwaves due to high temperatures of the substrate and hazy skies due to increased humidity and undispersed aerosol pollutants. A double whammy during times of increased demand…

    • The heatwave is the cause of the spike in demand. The load shedding is a consequence of wind power not being able to supply that demand.
      Stop being daft Griff.

    • “This is a consequence of heatwave, not wind power.”

      My inability to get home is a consequence of distance, not my decision to sell the car.

      My frozen pipes are a consequence of cold temperatures, not my decision to leave them uninsulated.

      My broken ankle is a consequence of gravity, not my decision to leap over the creek.

    • The wind power was designed to protect life and property against the heat wave. The other major cities in the world that rely on coal and hydro and nuclear power don’t have entire subcontinent sized regions simply go out.

      That’s for the people who let their “leading voices” tell them magic makes the sky hot when you use fire.

    • Heatwaves in SA are associated with low winds, usually around only 50-100 out of 1500 MW at times in the afternoon/evening of a least one day of a heatwave. The 1500 MW of wind power has a “capacity credit” of around 200 MW in SA … but it is the 50 MW wind lulls that controls what happens when more wind power is added, i.e. doubling wind power would only give an extra 50 MW towards peak demands on non-wind sources.

    • Griff
      February 9, 2017 at 3:53 am

      Load shedding is triggered infrequently, when there is an imbalance between electricity consumption and supply — mostly at times of peak demand in heatwaves when air conditioners spike power use.

      Griff you are a pathetic troll. “Infrequently” shouldn’t happen, it is the job of the distribution network to ensure that demand can be met by having sufficient power generation in reserve. The reason this is failing is that there are too many unreliable renewables being used. Once upon a time this was done by keeping around ten per cent surplus on hand (conventional generation) which amounted to a ten per cent cost for the insurance of supply. Now, with renewables there has to be a complete duplicate system backing up to provide the insurance, therefore the cost is double (probably plus a bit because the management of fluctuating wind is more difficult)

      What are renewables providing in this scenario? Don’t tell me they’re green because you have to have a back-up system running inefficiently in the background all the time or suffer brownouts/blackouts – not acceptable.

      SteveT

    • An imbalance of supply and demand can be met two ways – increase supply or decrease demand. If your grid cannot provide enough power from wind during a heat wave you have two options
      1) alternative supply
      2) rolling blackouts
      Since Australia has gone ahead and nixed option 1 they have implicitly chosen to cut off people’s air conditioners during times when the young and old are most likely to die without air conditioning. So next time you hear about how people who like fossil fuels are going to cause people to die – remember it is the people who nixed option 1 that actually are choosing to kill babies and old people.

    • Funny, they didn’t have this problem before they started replacing reliable coal plants with unreliable wind and solar plants.

      PS: I love the attitude. The problem is with the consumers actually wanting to use power.
      If only they could learn to live without power their problems would be solved.

    • Griff,

      Most people will sometimes parade their knowledge. But you’ve found a niche – parading your ignorance. Brilliant!

    • Griff,

      They had the opposite in Germany mid-winter, when the sun didn’t shine at peak hour (after sunset) and there was hardly any wind blowing due to a high pressure area as large as most of Europe… Lucky the Germans still have lots of dirty (brown)coal reserve at 100% of demand…

      If you have too much installed intermittent power and have not enough backup on line and must rely on imports, you are asking for troubles…

    • Differences in air pressure and air temperature make wind. If wind turbines are smack dab in the middle of a high pressure air mass, they are sitting useless because all the wind is at the boundaries. And since wind travels from high to low, warm to cool, that same area will heat up because the warm air has nowhere to go. Meteorology 101 stuff, Griff. Try again.

  17. Die kranken Menschen dieser Kirche sind widerlich gegen eine normale, menschliche Person!

    The sickening people of this church are disgusting to any normal, humane person!

    I know I speak for many People when I say we are sick of liars, liars, liars! About everything !

  18. Funny thing about ‘weather’ – it has effects. A stationary high pressure system brings warmer temperatures and calmer air – at the same time. It will ALWAYS increase the demand/supply ratio for electric power.

  19. This posting is a bit off…

    Nowhere in The Australian’s story, and I read the whole pay-walled story, were windmills or green energy blamed for the outage.

    What is blamed is that an existing gas-fired power plant was not brought online to handle the additional demand, and that’s why there were outages.

    In other words, according to The Australian, government incompetency in running the power grid is the problem, not specifically green energy in this case.

  20. This is the kind of stupid Democrats in America want to ram down the citizens throats. Good thing the Democrat Party has been losing seats, at every level from municipal to Federal, in our government. And thank you, Evil Marcellus Shale!

    • Not just Democrats, there is a bunch of alarmist republicans in DC right now trying to lobby the president and congress to do a “free-market carbon trading scheme”. They think if they label it “free-market”, they can fool the conservatives into buying it.

      • That pack of RINOs has been onboard with shutting down coal and taxing rain fall water for twenty years, nothing new is this latest backstabbing of America. Democrat Party is the primary enemy and cloaks the activity of many fellow travelers.

    • Mike,

      Gracias para eso.

      No sabía que el Reino Unido obtiene casi la mitad de su energía de la CCGT*. Tiene sentido, con sus depósitos de gas del Mar del Norte.

      *Combined Cycle Gas Turbines

  21. How long will it be before the government down under declares you should irrigate using Gatorade because it has electrolytes?

  22. Well, here is another direct quote from the article:

    “Widespread power blackouts were imposed across Adelaide and parts of South Australia with heatwave conditions forcing authorities to impose load shedding.

    About 40,000 properties were without electricity supplies for about 30 minutes because of what SA Power Networks said was a direction by the Australian Energy Market Regulator.

    The temperature was still above 40C when the rolling blackouts began at 6.30pm to conserve supplies as residents sought relief with air conditioners.

    Appearing live on Facebook for a question and answer session, Premier Jay Weatherill blamed the national energy market for the outages saying a gas-powered generation plant in SA had not been required to come online. “The rules of the energy market are broken,” he said. “We’ll be asking for changes.”

    SA Power Networks said in a tweet tonight: “AEMO has instructed us to commence 100MW rotational #load shedding via Govt agreed list due to lack of available generation supply in SA.’’

    AEMO has instructed us to commence 100MW rotational #load shedding via Govt agreed list due to lack of available generation supply in SA.
    — SA Power Networks (@SAPowerNetworks) February 8, 2017

    In a later tweet, the company said power was back on and returning to homes.

    AEMO has called end to load shedding, we are restoring power. Should take 10 to 15 minutes. Approx 40,000 customers affected about 30mins.
    — SA Power Networks (@SAPowerNetworks) February 8, 2017

    State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis was quick to lay blame, tweeting: “Every South Australian has a right to be angry. We had spare capacity in the SA generation market and the market didn’t turn that generation on.”

    Power shedding tonight was avoidable. There was sufficient local generation to meet our demand tonight, but AEMO didn’t instruct it on! Why?
    — Tom Koutsantonis (@TKoutsantonisMP) February 8, 2017”

  23. I have to admit, I am confused. Texas has managed to integrate enough wind to produce more than 15% of last year’s electricity from it, cannot balance with hydro, and has lowered electricity prices by ~30% since 2007 while massively expanding their transmission infrastructure. They are planning on adding more wind and solar this year – wind because it is lower marginal cost than existing coal, and solar not because it is cost competitive over the course of a year, but because it is basically guaranteed to be producing at max power during the “hundred hottest hours,” and so would be competitive even with no subsidies.
    All this in an independent electricity zone with roughly the same number of customers and electricity demand. Seriously Australia, can’t you just copy Texas? You have more wind, more solar, hydro to balance with, abundant natural gas, and a larger footprint grid over which to balance your supply.
    By the way, if you know that your grid has massive use in the summer and that wind doesn’t blow when its hot you might want to either, I don’t know, 1) keep online your plants that you already built or 2) install solar.
    Amateurs.

    • re:”and has lowered electricity prices by ~30% since 2007″

      My bill does not bear this out.

      ALL your other ‘facts’ and assertions need vetting too, I think.

      e.g., the time we’ve had high electricity demand wind has only provided in the single digit percentage of total electric demand.

  24. SA is a look into the future. Despite some of the worlds highest solar availability, high winds, very large nuclear resources, lots of gas, potentially lots of oil shale, it can’t supply reliable energy, solely because of socialist government energy policies.

    To take a related example, a company recently discovered one of Australia’s largest copper resources in remote farmland in SA Southeast. The company was forced to limit the size of the planned mine to a fraction of the resources available, so the surrounding sparse farmland wouldn’t adversely be affected. The mine plan doesn’t even take up 0.01% of available farmland in the area, in an area of previous copper mining. This is in effect saying the company cannot make a profit, to suit socialist principles. Mines only really become viable if they have size and economy of scale. Most of the farmers in the area would actually benefit from the mine from various flow-on and downstream effects.

    SA is out of control.

  25. Isn’t the capital in the area affected by the blackouts? If not, I wish it was. Once it actually begins to inconvenience the politicians it will come to an end.

    • TomB, it has to be the

      [finance] capital in the area affected by the blackouts getting to inconvenience the politicians

      till that will come to an end.

  26. While extreme conditions, such as heat, cold, storms, etc, can at times tax any power grid, it is clear why this event occurred: over reliance on an inherently unreliably power source…ie wind. See this link and carefully read the whole thing (parts of it have already been linked to in earlier comments).

    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2017/02/initial-analysis-sa-load-shedding-wed-8-feb-2017/

    The fundamental importance of reliably dispatchable power sources is the key cognitive disconnect of those who think that there is any real value to most solar/wind installations. The only way to relieve this inherent problem is storage (not usually viable or technically possible), OR, the provision of reliable backup..ie thermal plants. Since hydro is usually used by default if available (inexpensive), and nuclear plants are designed to be base load, that only leaves gas/oil/coal. To be available in the time frame such as this event (ie a few hours), they generally must be at least kept hot, if not rolling. This means that anything more than a trivial amount of solar/wind “contribution” is inherently uneconomical. There is no escape clause to this reality.

    • First Solar, Inc. (Tempe, AZ, U.S.) on February 8th, 2017 announced it has been awarded the PV module supply contract for the 140 MW Sun Metals solar farm in North Queensland (QLD), Australia.
      ________________________________________

      So both, the australian as the corean utilities live on their respective products as on subsidies from taxpayers.

  27. My cynical thought is that the sort of thing going on in South Australia might not result in any long-lasting cure. Despite the early 2000’s blackouts in California, the Democrats and greens were not permanently out, only out for a term of a useless RINO, Schwartzenegger. The greens never learn and never forget.

  28. Queanbeyan-Palerang Council opposes Jupiter wind farm at Tarago

    http://www.goulburnpost.com.au/story/4456751/council-opposes-jupiter-wind-farm/

    The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is set to oppose the construction of the Jupiter wind farm at Tarago saying the green energy site would be an eye-sore on the region.

    The NSW department of planning will likely have the final say on the project, but the council’s opposition is another hurdle for EPYC who have been trying to get it off the ground since 2014.

    QPRC’s planning and strategy committee will meet Wednesday night and is expected to conclude the energy farm proposed is too intrusive, would increase traffic and interfere with fire-fighting operations.

    • RWTurner, you know JoNova talked about – price spikes –

      “Look at the price spike and the forecast for tomorrow:”

  29. $13.00/kWh? Wow, my electricity price is typically $0.13/kWh. At that price, it would only cost about $700 to charge a Tesla Model S.

    • Great point about electric cars. There is no reaaonable dispute that renewables have led to higher electricity prices and less reliability. Now add in a large shift to electric cars and tbe system breaks down completely.

      Ratepayers and auto users will pay more and more of their income for less functionality. That will result in reduced living standards. Aka sustainability

    • There has to be something wrong with that $13 / kwh figure. Our rate is also closer to 13 cents /kwh. At $13/kwh my $100 monthly electric bill would be $10,000. Nobody could afford that.

      • David S – Yours was the 135th comment, and the first one to question the $13/KWh figure. While Eric correctly quotes JoNova’s figure of $13,440/MWh, JoNova does not have a link to the number. Also assume that is Australian dollars, so it would be more like 10 US dollars. Johann Wundersamer(above) shows $143.98/MWh, which seems more reasonable. At A$1.31 to US$1.00, this would be about about US$0.11/KWh. This is probably wholesale price, so it is still pretty high.

        If the WUWT blog is retain it’s excellent credibility, it behooves all of us to give numbers the “smell test” before making comments.

      • To have a spot price rise this high is quite possible. It rises to the level of the most expensive bid required to clear the market. Most electricity will however be traded on contracts that are nowhere near this.

      • “JoNova does not have a link to the number.”

        Actually, she does.. Just above her graph. https://www.aemo.com.au/

        The $13,4440/MWh was correct at the time she posted it., as her screen capture shows.

        Not as bad at the moment the heat wave is travelling east, so NSW and Victoria are going to get rather warm.

      • “If the WUWT blog is retain it’s excellent credibility, it behooves all of us to give numbers the “smell test” before making comments.”

        Yes, you probably should .old engineer, else your credibility will suffer further..

        JoNova was absolutely correct about the spot price on that day.

        https://www.aemo.com.au/

        She gave a direct screen capture, which I checked immediately

        Johann Wundersamer has shown that screen capture just above.

      • re: There has to be something wrong with that $13 / kwh figure.

        To believe the screen capture referenced below, that must the ‘marginal’ cost of the last additional kWh added into the system by some generation entity who offered on contract that last kWh at that price; this would not reflect the cost of ALL kWh input into the grid of course. JUST the last few kWh input into the system for the time period indicated.

        We run into similar situations here in Texas where the last top kWh draws top-dollar when supply is short.

      • AndyG55- Ouch! Certainly deserved that. But I still find it hard to believe that spot prices for one half hour can be 100 times the normal price. Even after doing a web search of electricity spot prices I don:t understand it. Did every supplier get A$13,440 a MWh for one half hour for the electricity they supplied? If so, some companies made a bunch of money off the consumer’s misery.

      • re: “Did every supplier get A$13,440 a MWh for one half hour for the electricity they supplied? ”

        Of course not.

        In an open market there are “asks” (asking prices) open at that top MARGINAL cost. IF all other lower cost “asks” are met (have been bought), and one is willing to buy at THAT top ‘ask’ price then YOU PAY that top rate but ONLY for whatever quantity was “for sale”

  30. If this keeps up people in this region are going to start purchasing potable generators.

    The kind that run on gasoline or diesel.

    Forcing people to burn fossil fuels themselves is hardly the way to cut their usage.

    • We have edible generators? Ah, yes, oxen. Converts biomass to work directly.

      :-) Oh, you meant _portable_. :-)

    • Burning fossil fuels is good. Far too much CO2 has been sequestered. At 170 ppm, most terrestrial plants would no longer be able to photosynthesize. Life on Earth depends on freely available atmospheric CO2.

      Life in the oceans may survive a bit longer, but life on land would quickly extinguish without atmospheric CO2.

    • That is precisely what HAS been going on, for at least 20 years. Smart people everywhere have seen this mentally retarded sh*t coming since the early 1990s.

  31. A tiny note. Who and why did the Australian people replace tony abbot who has his feet note ground and his service is to the Australian people. Money? Whose?

    • Turnbull’s unfounded ego….undermining Tony Abbott from the very beginning

      and the constant bombard of fake news about Tony Abbott from the ultra-left ABC and the far-left MSM.

      • Nick Stokes is not an apologist for the South Australian Labor Government.
        Or wind farms.
        Note all wind farms were up and running at their peak capacity for the conditions on that day.
        The SA government will ramp up wind farm building to provide extra capacity in the months and years ahead ensuring that they stay in Government.

      • Dear, oh, dear. It is not a simple question of capacity. The grid system is very complex and its stability mechanisms are designed around steam driven turbines and cannot be changed easily or economically, even if the technology is available – and much of it is. There are also market regulating mechanisms in play in South Australia. The process in SA is driven by politics with little or no understanding of the technical challenges or market mechanisms and with inadequate resources simply because despite the sky-high price of electricity in that state and massive public subsidies, wind and solar are not yet economic options and won’t be for many years yet.

  32. Experience is an excellent teacher for those who wish to learn. If you are going to use unreliable sources of power you better have a backup. If the backup is less expensive or tolerably more expensive then some people will want to rely on it completely.

    Presumably somebody somewhere is crunching the numbers as I type. Of course if you have a planet to save all bets are off.

    • As a follow up this quote is interesting “AEMO has instructed us to commence 100MW rotational #load shedding via Govt agreed list due to lack of available generation supply in SA.”

      Imagine how happy residents and business owners will be to find that they are on “the agreed list”. It’s always nice to know when a government considers you to be expendable. It tends to stay in the mind when it comes to the next election.

    • “Indeed, Marxsen told the audience that in the age of the internet software changes could be downloaded by the manufacturers without the market operator knowing. He likened it to an update of an Apple iPhone, where the user has no idea what is being changed.
      This, he made pains to point out, wasn’t an attack on wind, but a recognition that we are in a new world, so we need new ways of dealing with that.
      Indeed, culture as well as technology will be critical components of managing the grid in the future. If power engineers, like many in the mainstream media, refuse to believe that wind and solar can play a dominant role in the grid, then the task will be difficult.”

      Don’t worry technical folks it’s just a software update problem and we’ll be issuing another patch real soon.

  33. Buying your own generator may soon become an urgent necessity if this green insanity continues. I would be very interested on people’s views on the fuel type you should choose, presumably diesel is soon for the deep six.

  34. Well, I’m going to point out again that there was extra generating capacity available. It wasn’t turned on when it should have been.

    “Appearing live on Facebook for a question and answer session, Premier Jay Weatherill blamed the national energy market for the outages saying a gas-powered generation plant in SA had not been required to come online. “The rules of the energy market are broken,” he said. “We’ll be asking for changes.””

    • Philip,

      I have been working in a chlorine factory where we were obliged to go down from 132 MW to 42 MW as fast as possible (10-15 minutes) if a load peak was expected. The reward: cheap power for the 42-132 MW part, the punishment: huge penalties (hundredthousands of euros) if not down in time.

      It is near impossible to predict what will happen in the next 15 minutes of grid capacity. I did make some graphic algorithms to aid the operator to decide when to go down, based on previous (working) days, weather, temperature, time of the year,… but that was sometimes a near-disaster as there were sudden peaks which were simply unpredictable.

      The national grid operator in Australia has made something similar, even based on the previous 6 years (!) of power usage. The main unknowns in this case were:
      – it was the first time in years of such a huge heat wave.
      – real wind yield was only half the predicted one.
      – power use was much faster climbing than in every half hour prediction.
      – besides a few power stations in repair, 89% of all fossil power was up and running,
      – Interconnections to other states were running at full load, even at the edge of safety.
      – two big fossil units were in fact mothballed as uneconomic, one could be run in a few hours, the other one needed a several weeks, but later it was revoked to half a day. They were asked to bid (it is a “free” market…) the day before, but apparently they asked too much money. No wonder if you have to shut down, because of oversubsidised windfarms…

      So what broke the energy market in reality: heavely subsidised wind that can go under the price and has zero obligation to regulate the grid in any way: here is my power and pay me for that. No matter the market price for that moment is zero or even negative, no matter that they can fluctuate from 0% to 100% capacity in minutes… Others may try to regulate frequency, balance production and demand, compensate for dips, stand still if there is overproduction…

  35. On the other side of the picture, I’d like to see these proponents of renewable energy spend a winter in Canada, particularly on the western Prairie provinces, depending mainly on wind and solar for their heat and light. They’d be screaming for a return to fossil fuels, even lignite coal, within a week.

    • And to keep the power reserve the NSW Tomago aluminium smelter has been asked to shut down their 6 pot lines and the manager aint a happy chappy at the cost. Welcome to Green jobs.

      Meanwhile in SA with a power ‘hiccup’ we get half truths from the Govt re Pelican Point-
      http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/blame-game-over-rolling-blackouts-as-south-australia-promised-dramatic-overhaul-of-energy-grid/news-story/6f659cfefcead66d2599f3449f1cb2d6

      “Mr Butler said there was no supply problem in SA, because the state had enough generation to meet demand.
      Instead, he said the load shedding would have been avoided if the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had directed the gas-fired Pelican Point plant to operate a second generator.
      Pelican Point was ordered to fire up the generator on Thursday afternoon, which meant that the state avoided further rolling blackouts on Thursday evening.”

      As the AEMO pointed out it takes 6 hours to fire up a base load gas plant like Pelican Point so no time when the wind died except to demand manage with rolling blackouts. Yes they can order PP to generate any time but at what cost to users, when they’ve already been put offline by subsidised, mandated wind energy dumping of unreliable electrons. The bankruptcy of their stance is not fooling anyone-

      ‘State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said on Friday AEMO had “serious questions” to answer before a Senate inquiry today, but refused to reveal more about the “dramatic market intervention” he has promised.
      Mr Koutsantonis said only that it would require taxpayer expenditure and would be released “very, very soon”.
      “We’ll make that announcement when we’re ready. We’re not going to come out and speculate about it, obviously we want to make sure we have a plan we can give South Australians that they can look at, that they can hold up and they can understand exactly how we will impact into the market and what the impact will be on them,” he said.’

      Watch that secret space folks but one thing’s for sure, it will involve fossil fuels and taxpayer dough to try and mend what they broke.

  36. How would you like to be responsible for managing this variability in a period of peak summer aircon demand during a heat wave-
    http://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2017/february

    That graph illustrates the point I make about dumping. From it you can easily draw a horizontal averaging line through the oft quoted 30-32% of installed capacity and from that you can see the obvious for the owners should they rightly be limited to only tendering power to the grid they can guarantee 24/7 all year round. It’s immediately apparent in that level playing field they can’t sell what they generate above that 30-32% line and they’d have to partner and pay thermal generators to make up the differences below the line to achieve that average. The gaming of the grid would be over for wind, just as it would be for large scale and rooftop solar unless they can fork over for storage. It is the great deception of renewables in a nutshell.

  37. And this years ‘I know nuthink!’ Sergeant Schulz award goes to our illustrious Treasurer-

    ‘The Weatherill government was warned eight months ago about the conditions that led to this week’s South Australian blackouts.
    A confidential internal briefing paper said forecast low reserves of electricity generation were likely to lead to such power cuts.
    The report notes there are “low reserve conditions in South Australia for summer 2016-17”, with a corresponding graph showing peak power generation reserve shortfalls between January 30 and February 14.
    The report warned that given the closure of South Australia’s last coal-fired power station last May, “there are times when maximum daily ­demand is projected to exceed supply from scheduled generation in South Australia”.
    “At these times, the region will rely on imports (via interconnection) and wind generation to meet operational demand,” the report by state Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis’s Department of State Development says.
    “Under lower wind conditions, there would be supply shortfalls in the state if additional imports from Victoria were not available. The level of imports will be subject to the availability and capacity of the interconnector, and the coincidence of high demand in Victoria.”
    The report from last June, ­obtained under freedom of information laws, notes that in South Australia between 2004-05 and 2014-15 there had been an average annual growth in wind power of 44.1 per cent, while rooftop solar had grown an annual average of 89.2 per cent between 2008-09 and 2014-15.
    “Wind and rooftop PV actual generation capabilities are highly dependent on weather conditions at any given time,” the report says.
    The Treasurer yesterday said he was unaware of any such warnings, though the ­report was ­released by his ­department. “I haven’t seen the forecasts,” he said.’

    (Michael Owen, SA bureau Chief, The Australian 11/2/2017)

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