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’’.
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