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

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lars P.

Welcome to the third world!

toorightmate

Lars P,
Can you do say this with sketches please.
The poor souls can’t read.

Phil B

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

SC

I imagine that they will just replace their wind capacity with yet more solar.
#cantfixstupid

yarpos

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

Boulder Skeptic

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

Bill Marsh

3rd world residents don’t pay $13.44 kwh., They’re in an entirely new world

Robertvd

Nothing new
The shocking price of Spanish electricity
http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/01/01/inenglish/1388590410_230748.html
The government says the main problem is the enormous electricity deficit – the difference between the sum paid by electricity companies to power generators and the amount they recoup from their customers. This has occurred as a consequence of subsidies to promote renewables, including high feed-in tariffs to power generators.

Robertvd

http://www.thelocal.es/20170124/electricity-prices-reach-record-high-across-spain
The wholesale price of electricity is going to exceed €100 per megawatt hour (MWh) at peak time of 9pm on Wednesday, according to market operator Omie, – which calculates the price of electricty per hour – a level not reached since March 2014.
With much of Spain under the cover of thick cloud over the last week, its solar energy production has dwindled at a time when people are reaching to turn up the radiator dial and apparently, there hasn’t been wind either, so the turbines haven’t been producing at maxmum levels.

The article about Spanish electricity is from 2014. Things this winter are a bit different. My electric bill runs about 82 euros a month, the apartment is large, but I use natural gas for heating.

“Fernando Leanme February 9, 2017 at 3:53 am
The article about Spanish electricity is from 2014. ”

The link I followed is January 2017, not 2014.

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.

Ron

Q: How did socialists light their homes before candles?
A: With electricity.

John

EU, are you paying attention?

Flyoverbob

Why? South Australia isn’t part of the EU!

rapscallion

We know that, but the SA is only following the madness that passes for power generation policy in the EU(SSR)

schitzree

And soon, nether will Britain. ^¿^

RayG

Neither is California but my state has joined the lemmings, too.

Sun Spot

Germany is parts of the EU and after the bamboozled other EU countries into green-hell energy sources they quietly built massive coal/lignite generation (sneaky)
https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm (german coal)

Johann Wundersamer

Already sent links of spain and australian papers to
http://m.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/technik/a-1133827.html
If EU cares is another question.

Many EU markets are already responding with capacity remuneration and DSR schemes.

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.

Robertvd

How to destroy an economy.

rocketscientist

The “social cost” of stupidity…

Hivemind

Pay attention. This isn’t rocket science, it’s brain surgery. Step one is find a brain, if you can.

yarpos

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.

Bulldust

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…

Andrew

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.

observa

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

Robertvd

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

ozspeaksup

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

Peter

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.

observa

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.

Bill Marsh

The answer will be yet more wind turbines

Mike

…or burning greens, and socialist politicians for their thermal value…

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.”

Paul Penrose

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?

RayG

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.

HAS

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.

ozspeaksup

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

observa

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.

Wrusssr

” . . . you cannot fix a problem unless you accept the reasons leading up to the problem.”
Nor can you fix stupid.

NW sage

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.

observa

Some excellent analysts at Wattclarity keep a watchful eye on the national grid and the supply/demand price fluctuations if you’re interested in the big picture for Australia- http://www.wattclarity.com.au/

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

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

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

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 …

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.

rbabcock

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.

rocketscientist

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.

Gamecock

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.

Matt Bergin

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.

Johann Wundersamer

“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.”

Hivemind

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.

Graeme

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.

Sylvia Marten

Build more trubines I say (LOL)

co2islife

Can anyone identify a location that is well supplied by coal-burning power plants that is experiencing rolling blackouts? The energy production of a stationary wind-turbine is 0 kW/hr.
Eisenhower Warned Us About Climate Scientists
https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/climate-science-on-trial-eisenhower-warned-us-about-climate-scientists/comment image

BruceC

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.
http://www.wattclarity.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017-02-09-at-12-57-NEMWatch-MarketNotice.png
NOTE: LOR3 is the highest level

co2islife

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

Analitik

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.

BruceC

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.

AndyG55

Easy, NSW should just turn off the interconnect to South Australia.

AndyG55

Didn’t NSW shut down Munmorah power station a couple of years ago?

Hunter Valley isn’t that a farming region like wines etc.? Probably conservative and sane!

BruceC

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.

Hivemind

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.

Hivemind

“@ 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.

BruceC

@ 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.

yarpos

NSW is at risk today, long string of hot weather

Robert from oz

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 .

Flyoverbob

Sounds like a business opportunity! Tallow candle factories!

ozspeaksup

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.

Juan Slayton

…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…

Robert from oz

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

JustAnOldGuy

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.

Robert from oz

As long as I can bring my pet drop bear ,snake and spider collection .

drednicolson

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).

HAS

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.

Robert from oz

Will I have to marry a sheep and eat fush and chups?

HAS

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.

yarpos

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.

Andrew

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.

Richard

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!

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.

ReallySkeptical

“located in Africa”
???

Eric H

Would assume he is being sarcastic….

NW sage

The other Africa!

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.

As Eric pointed out above, it was sarcasm. I know where the country where unfortunately I live is located.

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.

richard verney

The point about costs, and the inefficiency of wind is well made.

Lot of interesting stuff on the Hadrian Roman’s blog, well worth a visit if you are interested in matters computational.

Johann Wundersamer

“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)

GregK

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.

drednicolson

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.

K. Kilty

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

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.

From Guardian – 27 July 2016
Flamanville: France’s beleaguered forerunner to Hinkley Point C
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/27/flamanville-france-edf-nuclear-reactor-hinkley-point-c
Something to be taken into consideration by the UK government.

Griff

It is at one of the 2 existing reactors, not the building one.

Sara Hall

In good weather, we can see Flamanville quite clearly from here in Guernsey and we get most of our power via undersea cables from France & Jersey. I’ll check our local news later to see if the electricity supply could be affected by the explosion.

latest:
EDF has confirmed that one reactor has been taken offline adding there is no nuclear risk.
“It is a significant technical event, but it’s not a nuclear accident,” a representative of the local prefecture said, adding that the accident occurred outside of the ‘nuclear zone’.

Sara Hall

No alarming post in the local news, but with easterly winds forecast for the next few days, it’s understandable that there might be some concern here. http://guernseypress.com/news/2017/02/09/explosion-reported-at-flamanville-nuclear-plant/

Johann Wundersamer

No nuclear components involved;
so
” with easterly winds forecast for the next few days, it’s understandable that there might be some concern here.”
is never in consideration.

Scott

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!

Christov

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.

Robert from oz

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 ?

Aussiebear

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.

yarpos

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.

NW sage

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!”

Mike

Punch the politicians lights out to keep your own lights on…

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.

2hotel9

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! 😉

Johann Wundersamer

So you need energy to cool Adelaide and to heat Perth.

Resourceguy

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.

drednicolson

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.

M Seward

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

“Probably caused by climate change”. Any your evidence is?

OweninGA

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.

brians356

Yes, irrefutable evidence: 97% of climate scientists say so. Ipso facto it must be true.

4 Eyes

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.

Henry

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.

rocketscientist

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.

Robert from oz

Bravo , Henry , Bravo .

Dave Mitchell

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.

ozspeaksup

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.

Robertvd

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.

Bill Murphy

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.

Gamecock

“This is an appalling situation for the long suffering people of South Australia.”
Democracy – you get the government you deserve.

Richard

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.

ozspeaksup

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

John_C

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.

CD in Wisconsin

Eric: You Aussies are also sitting on one of the highest thorium reserves in the world. Our U.S. Geological Survey has your reserves at third in the world behind the India (no. 1) and the U.S. (no. 2) as of 2011.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occurrence_of_thorium

Herbert

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.

“producing 7% rated capacity”
That alone should shut down the Industrial green/eco complex

BruceC

In actual fact, it was only 5.7% of nominal capacity at 6:00pm on Wed 8th Feb 😉
http://www.wattclarity.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/South-Australia-Summer-Capacity-vs-Actual-Supply-Feb-8.png

That;’s a future I am not looking forward too…it sucks.

Griff

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.

Aussiebear

@Griff
Or when the wind is not blowing because of the heatwave?
Did you not miss that point?

Ian W

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.

jj, too

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…

David Smith

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.

Jordan

“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.

Johann Wundersamer

Inabality of thought is a consequence of Griffity, not of heatwaves.

H. Charles

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.

Steve T

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

chadb

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.

MarkW

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.

brians356

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…

drednicolson

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.

Gerald M

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 !

tadchem

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.

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.

michael hart

If they didn’t have enforced over-reliance on wind then it would have already been running.

Robertvd

And who is paying for this existing gas-fired power plant that can’t run 100% capacity for most of the year. But the maintenance cost for this plant will be the same and you can’t shut it down. This is a lose lose way of doing business.

2hotel9

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!

OweninGA

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.

2hotel9

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.

Resourceguy

That defines a nonstarter.

UK looks pretty close to capacity today too…
http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

richard verney

And it is forecast for more cold. Perhaps it is a good thing that the weekend is coming up.

Gloateus Maximus

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

Tom in Florida

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

TonyL

Brawndo.
It has what plants crave.

Don’t give them any ideas!

Ed Fix

Welcome to the 21st century. It’s gonna look a lot like the 19th.

AleaJactaEst

and the start of the 19th, not the end……

Philip Schaeffer

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”

chadb

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.

Bruckner8

Like I usually say in these cases, the people must want it this way or it would be different.

Interesting point; I wonder, is SA populated by a majority of masochists?

Thingodonta

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.

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.

Johann Wundersamer

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.

observa
dearieme

When we lived in Adelaide we didn’t have a/c. Have Aussies all become sissies?

Johann Wundersamer

dearieme, before you, without a/c, in australia lived
– Ned Kelly https://www.google.at/search?client=ms-android-samsung&ei=-pqcWITRF4LbUevZsfgC&q=mick+jagger+australia++movie+&oq=mick+jagger+australia++movie+&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.
– and prior the aborigines / whom I think to prefer australia WITH a/c /

Ethan Brand

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.

Up here in Canada, we have the same problem in Ontario, except we haven’t crashed the grid…yet, but our 7000 wind turbines do not generate any more than about six percent of Ontario’s electrical energy requirement….

Duane how much did you pay for your power. I paid ( with taxes) $146.45 for 1252 kW.h. and for any Aussie reading this ? Q, What would that be in SA? Thanks.

iamthor

Actually in the last Ontario Energy Quarterly Report, wind only produced 4.1%. Nuclear 61.9%. Hydro 20.9%. Gas 12.3%. Biofuel and solar less than one%. You can find that information on this link under Power Data.
http://www.ieso.ca/pages/power-data/default.aspx#report

Johann Wundersamer

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.

Tom Halla

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.

john

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.

Johann Wundersamer

RWTurner, you know JoNova talked about – price spikes –
“Look at the price spike and the forecast for tomorrow:”

RWturner

$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.

Johann Wundersamer

comment image

troe

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

David S

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.

old engineer

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.

HAS

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.

AndyG55

https://www.aemo.com.au/
Follow the spot price

AndyG55

“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.

AndyG55

“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.

AndyG55

That $143.98 is the current spot price, at the end of the solid price line, not the peak spot price.

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.

old engineer

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.

HAS

In NZ the highest bid required to be accepted to meet the demand sets the spot price, but it looks as though that varies across countries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_electricity_market gives an outline of the system down here.
https://www1.electricityinfo.co.nz/ gets you information on what’s going on.

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”

BruceC

old engineer, the +$13,000/MWh lasted a lot longer than half an hour, it went over a four hour period.
BTW, notice the period between 17:30 – 19:30. At 18:00, SA’s 1482MW wind generation was producing a colossal ………….. 84MW.
http://www.wattclarity.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/image5.png
http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2017/02/initial-analysis-sa-load-shedding-wed-8-feb-2017/

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.

myNym

We have edible generators? Ah, yes, oxen. Converts biomass to work directly.
🙂 Oh, you meant _portable_. 🙂

myNym

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.

2hotel9

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.

Roger

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?

AndyG55

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.

Cranky Old Crow

The people didn’t replace Abbott … he was replaced by the Turnbull in teh party room.

Chris Hanley

Paging Nick Stokes, Mr Stokes are you there? … Mr Stokes … Mr Stokes …

stan stendera

+100

angech

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.

angech

Sarc

Interesting report by an engineer involved. See DJR96 comments on this article:
http://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-says-wind-farm-changes-mean-sa-blackout-wont-repeated-43631/

observa

“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.

jmorpuss

The biggest problem South Australia has is keeping up the demand for power Olympic Dam has. BHP Billiton and the South Australian government should have had a better plan for the growth in demand the mine would place on grid power. http://www.news.com.au/finance/markets/bhp-to-suck-up-states-power/news-story/a365050c12b9fd76cfc4df099ec3baf3

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

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.

Philip Schaeffer

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…

Edward Katz

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.