WA “Solves” the Solar Energy Duck Curve by Raising Evening Electricity Prices

The Solar Duck Curve
The Duck curve. By ArnoldReinholdOwn work based on data from caiso.org, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Alan; In a desperate attempt to contain the damage government subsidised rooftop solar energy has done to the grid, West Australia is trialling a pricing scheme which offers cheap electricity around midday, when nobody wants it, then slams on high prices when solar energy begins to fade in the early evening.

WA electricity prices would be slashed during the day, doubled during peak under new Government trial

By Daniel Mercer

Electricity prices would be slashed by more than two thirds during the middle of the day under a trial aimed at encouraging households to soak up excess solar power flooding into Western Australia’s biggest grid.

But customers would face paying almost twice as much for their power at peak times in the evening, as the State Government tries to shore up supplies and reduce costs in the system.

Amid forecasts the number of installations could almost double by 2030, the Government will run a trial that provides incentives for customers to shift more of their use to the middle of the day.

Under the trial 400 customers of State-owned electricity provider Synergy will pay just eight cents for every unit of power they draw from the grid between 9:00am to 3:00pm, compared with a flat rate of 28.8 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh).

Opposition energy spokesman David Honey labelled the changes bad policy, arguing time-of-use tariffs tended to disadvantage poorer households while benefiting wealthier ones.

“What WA Labor doesn’t understand is that there are many West Australian families that simply cannot change the times that they use energy,” Mr Honey said.

“The working poor who don’t have swimming pools and lots of freezers simply do not have large energy consumption that can be shifted to other times of the day.

“Likewise, West Australians that cannot afford batteries and solar panels miss out.”

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-16/wa-government-power-market-trial-to-protect-grid/12986348

If only West Australia had invested in nuclear power plants, which produce reliable zero carbon power 24×7, instead of trying to coerce people with higher costs, demanding people change how they live, to fit their lives around their useless green energy system.

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crosspatch
December 15, 2020 10:02 pm

So what they are telling people to do is to install home battery storage and charge it during the middle of the day and then draw on it in the evening.

Cool-engineer
Reply to  crosspatch
December 15, 2020 11:00 pm

Ya, they want the consumers to pay for the solution to their stupidity instead of doing the right thing and fix it themselves (i.e., stop the stupid green tyranny)

Uzurbrain
Reply to  Cool-engineer
December 16, 2020 11:42 am

I wonder if those pushing this idea realize that the very low price during the day will also discourage the average home owner from investing in a rooftop Solar collector, decreasing the number of systems.

MarkW
Reply to  Uzurbrain
December 16, 2020 1:31 pm

They’ll just increase the subsidy, or do like California and make such systems a requirement for all new buildings.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  crosspatch
December 15, 2020 11:36 pm

Exactly.

The cost of adding PV to your home then increases dramatically. In addition to the inability for the firies to extinguish fires in your home, you intentionally add a potential firebomb to your home. One that can’t be put out.

But the ‘planet’ will be saved, so it’s all ok!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 16, 2020 1:05 am

All the while people who can’t afford to install solar/batteries subsidies those that can.

LdB
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 16, 2020 1:49 am

That is the basics it will target the poor but the leftards don’t care because they are self guilted zealots.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 3:29 am

This seems to be a reasonable suggestion being trialled in UK:

fred250
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 16, 2020 3:36 am

poor half-runt

The idea is to CHARGE the car battery, so it can be driven…….. not discharge it. !

You still haven’t figured even that much out yet, have you, poor fella !!

ghalfrunt
Reply to  fred250
December 16, 2020 3:55 am

you did not watch the video did you. The box takes as much power from your vehicle as YOU allow when YOU allow it.
It always ensures you have a charge in your vehicle that you select for the next day. It ensures you use off-peak electricity (cheap) to charge your vehicle. It sells your vehicles power to the grid at peak times only. Vehicle batteries have 50+kWH a reduction of a few 10% at approx 18:00 to 22:00 at night is not going to affect you badly, but in any case will be fully charged by 06:00 .

Not difficult to understand is it?

Meab
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 16, 2020 9:13 am

Don’t be stupid. EV batteries degrade with every charge/discharge cycle. Charging and discharging it every day, even partially, will reduce its lifetime. If you have to replace your EV’s battery even just a year or two early because you used it to compensate for unreliable renewables your savings disappears.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 16, 2020 9:25 am

Is it too difficult to understand that EV batteries consume and store electricity on a DC basis whereas electrical grids connected to homes and all multi-family residential complexes require AC electricity supply and feedback into the grid. And any customer feedback into the grid must be phase-synchronized with the grid’s AC frequency.

All this in/storage/out AC-DC-AC electrical conversion is costly and not very efficient (less than 90% round trip when also accounting for battery bleed losses and battery thermal management losses) . . . and if, implemented at a nationwide level, would represent perhaps the largest single waste of electricity since the invention of the heated filament light bulb. At a fundamental level, it is consequently not even “environmentally friendly” despite what many claim.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 5:14 am

The grid problem is having to have generating capacity available to provide maximum load (even if there were no renewables). This costs them money.
Reduce the peak load and electricity prices could fall.
let’s assume 5kWH sucked from 1 EV per night.
let’s assume 5 million EVs plugged into this system (future)
that would provide 25GWH
Looking at UK peak at 45GW Min 25GW so average this out and you need 10GW to fill in the troughs so you will be able to provide peak demand for 2 hours replenishing the batteries will be during the slack period
“Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, which is nearly 17 years of use if driven 12,000 miles per year.”
A 5kW drain on this will only very very minimally affect life span.

Greg
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 7:33 am

Presumably they got the name “Octapus” from it being a beast which can bind you hand and foot and empty all your pockets at once !

Despite what they claim, this will INEVITABLY eat into the finite battery life and battery is a significant proportion of the vehicle cost.

Nissan may have worked with Octapus to ensure you don’t loose you battery warranty but it will come back to cost you in shorter battery life. The pennies you get for feed-in tariffs will NOT compensate the massive hit you take on battery life.

It is patently obvious that all this inefficient conversion , charging, discharging and reconversion to 240V is a waste of energy. I’d guess you are losing about 25-30% there alone.

This is the kind of technically aberrant process which only makes sense if you think burning natural gas is leading to imminent destruction of all life on Earth, which is BS.

As always distorted risks and priorities lead to damaging and inappropriate “solutions”.

If this pair is so concerned about the future of the planet they could start by eating a bit less. I haven’t seen a pair of thighs like that in a while !

MarkW
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 7:54 am

I love the way ghoulfont just dismisses the “minimal” decrease in an already pathetically short life span.

It’s not like he’s spending his own money.

MarkW
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 7:58 am

PS: There was an article about how solar and wind lack the capacity to protect the grid from frequency problems.
Now ghoulfont suggests that we add millions of battery backups, completely unregulated and also incapable of providing any frequency support to the grid.

If I didn’t know better, I would think his goal was to crash the entire grid.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 10:57 am

“Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, which is nearly 17 years of use if driven 12,000 miles per year.”

That exact same statement appears on a handful of websites…but not Consumer Reports. None provide a reference or link. Consumer Reports has an FAQ about EVs and doesn’t say any such thing https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/your-ev-questions-answered-electric-vehicle-faq/#batteries .

It’s a made-up statement. Are you peddling out of bias and desperation or out of ignorance and laziness?

MarkW
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 16, 2020 5:11 pm

Anybody who knows anything about batteries knows that miles driven is a meaningless statistic when it comes to batteries. What matters for them is charge/discharge cycles.

Even if the 200K mile claim was real (it isn’t), the only way one could get even close to that number would be to assume that every charge/discharge cycle would be to and from perfect charge levels, involving perfect charge/discharge rates, at perfect temperatures, etc.

That would maximize how much power you get into and back out of the batteries.

Then from the cars perspective it assumes perfect driving conditions, at perfect temperatures, never ever using things like A/C, heat, fan, radio, head lights, never deal with hills or wind, etc.

In other words, totally bogus and only those who desperately want to be lied to would believe them.

MarkW
Reply to  fred250
December 16, 2020 7:56 am

Government takes a system that works well for everybody.
Government breaks said system.
Government imposes ever more costly solutions trying to get the system it broke to work again.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
December 16, 2020 8:19 am

Yes, eventually there is such a pile of bandaids covering the patient it smothers and dies, which is maybe the goal.
So much easier to just not muck it up in the first place
But then politicians cannot be seen to be “doing something”, anything, regarding a problem real or manufactured.

If a politician enacts a policy tree, and no one sees it enacted, was the policy actually enacted?

MarkW
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 16, 2020 7:53 am

What about those who can’t afford such gimmicks? Is the government going to start giving them away as well?

DMacKenzie
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 7:41 am

Well you could also run a refrigeration system to make an ice bank, that you then use as a “cold” battery for air conditioning when the electricity price is high in the evening. Its hard to get cheaper than a an insulated water tank with coils in it for energy storage.

MarkW
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 16, 2020 9:26 am

It might be cheap, but it sure isn’t efficient.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 9:08 am

And isn’t this tacit admission that massive battery storage installations such at the Tesla “Megapack” battery installation at the Hornsdale’s windfarm site in South Australia just isn’t proving to be cost effective?

I guess the WA energy “experts” have come to realize that forcing distributed, point-of-use battery installations (for those customer’s that can afford such) is a better path, economically for them, than installing large centralized, point-of-generation battery complexes for leveling the power demand-vs-capability curve.

Who knew?

MarkW
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 16, 2020 9:28 am

Especially when you can con others into buying and maintaining the batteries for you.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 10:41 am

Use refrigeration equipment to freeze water. Use the ice to cool your house in the evening. There are many ways to skin a cat. Unfortunately, they all cost money.

That hurts poor people, but it fulfills the first commandment of leftist politics to impoverish, humiliate, and demoralize the lower classes.

ferd berple
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 2:56 pm

install home battery storage
=============
the price differential needs to be huge to pay for this due to the capital cost and limited lifetime of the battery.

Typically business does not invest unless there is at most a 2-3 year payback, because there are too many unknowns further out. But in the case of batteries you are looking at 10-15 year paybacks. The cost of capital eats up any potential profit and it government policies change (as they will) you could lose everything.

Streetcred
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 4:11 pm

I’ve just had a battery system for my home quoted by one of the ‘big’ players, a state government quango, AUS$15k ! At current costs, it would take me more nearly 20 years to break even … if the battery can last that long !

Armin
Reply to  crosspatch
December 16, 2020 5:11 pm

Generators are still a lot cheaper …

Your neighbours (or is it neighbors in AU?) may not like it 🙂

Dennis G Sandberg
December 15, 2020 10:57 pm

crosspatch,
and double, triple, quadruple, the solar “investment”?

Warren
December 15, 2020 11:04 pm

What’s a fair mark-up?
It’s said the Mexican Drug Cartels work on roughly 5000%.
But did you know there’s an industry that consistently beats them?
It’s the AU Victorian electricity industry with a base-load power mark-up exceeding 6000% all year.

nottoobrite
Reply to  Warren
December 16, 2020 1:50 am

A wonderful opertunity for investment, a new transport system for politicians, bullet proof bomb proof with a shape,colour sceam that tells you to get out of the way. As an important person is inside. Idiots

Streetcred
Reply to  Warren
December 16, 2020 4:18 pm

Consistent with pricing “what the consumer can bare” … a common economic concept in Australia. In Queensland the electricity generators are owned by the state via its various electricity quangoes setup up as a means to pre-tax consumers … the generators collude to force the wholesale price up … and the state government fills its coffers.

MarkW
Reply to  Streetcred
December 16, 2020 5:13 pm

That would be “what the consumers could bear”, though bare might be appropriate since with the higher utility bills, they will no longer be able to afford clothing.

Peter Tari
December 15, 2020 11:17 pm

The uneven output of solar panels during a day is a real problem. The only viable solution to this problem is not changing of tarif scemes but to develop a solar panel which is working during the night.
I do not intend to be sarcastic.
As we well know from the radiation budget scheme of Trenberth, the downward infrared radiation of the sky is more than twice of the solar radiation.
Please, utilise it.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peter Tari
December 16, 2020 2:21 am

Yes Peter. Spot On

Somebody *really* does want to start rubbing some noses in this pile-o-shyte and make it abundantly clear what a complete crock the notion of Green Houses Gases actually is

Monkton?
Get off that clapped-out broken-down old feedback feedback feedback nag you’re riding (upside-down & backwards, surely its now as painful for you as it is us) and that you completely misunderstand (that’s OK, feedback systems are *pigs*) and write us all a book. or website

Paul Aubrin
Reply to  Peter Tari
December 16, 2020 2:49 am

You cannot use what Trenberth labels “back radiation” to produce any power, it exists only when there is a “forward radiation”. You could imagine to use directly this “forward radiation”, actually the heat contained in the upper cap of the ground : heat some fluid in an isolated tank during the day and take advantage of the temperature difference at night.

Clive08
Reply to  Peter Tari
December 16, 2020 3:01 am

Spain had solar panels that worked at night. They ran diesel generators shining lights on the solar panels. I’m sure a Labor government in Australia would do that.

Brian Johnston
December 15, 2020 11:41 pm

Daniel Mercer needs to be brought up to date.
1. Wind turbines do not produce 50Hz energy. They cannot boil a jug.
2. PV solar cannot power the grid. Not enough capacity
3. Electricity cannot be stored in a battery. Generation must match demand.
Mexico has refused new wind turbines. May have switched off existing.

Wind turbines are are massive swindle. The energy produce is dirty useless harmonics which through smart meters is fraudulently added to consumers power bills.

Reply to  Brian Johnston
December 16, 2020 12:33 am

Unfortunately all three of those statements are wrong

They can be made right by adding
…directly without an inverter
… over a 24 hour period without storage
… effectively at grid scale.

In the end it all boils down to holistically levelised energy cost and ultimately EROEI.
It can all be done technically, but the social, environmental, political and energy cost of doing it all is beyond prohibitive.
I have sat here for the last ten years watching all the mistakes I predicted, being made, and all the consequences I tried to warn people about, happening, and all the solutions I calculated in ten minutes would not work, being built over a decade, and failing, with a hopeless resignation born out of years of management.

Sometimes you just have to let people make a pigs ear of things before they will listen to you.

By 2010 any decent engineer, and most certainly Exxon, knew, that renewable energy was an expensive, unreliable, environmentally destructive way of achieving no overall carbon emission reductions whatsoever. They all embraced it to keep the greens of their backs.

Didn’t work.

By 2010 any decent engineer knew that ultimately at some point there was only one technology that would replace fossil fuel when that got to expensive and scarce, and that was (some form of) nuclear power.

By 2050, I will be dead, and the public will probably realise this.

Ah well, I have a new chainsaw and the seventh tree in the garden this year has fallen over, so I can pollute the world with 2 stroke mix, and the stench of burning wood. And think of all those lovely dioxins I am bequeathing to future generations. But its green, innit?

Fossil fuel usage will end when it becomes way more expensive than nuclear, and as its price rises so too will the price of renewable energy. You don’t build windmills with fat concrete bases out of sunshine.

Let the market take care of it.

nottoobrite
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 16, 2020 2:01 am

Leo.
Right on, the blame game is not you ( Leo) but us. The way “forward” is to elect an idiot to a decision making possion and then cry.

Editor
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 16, 2020 2:09 am

Sometimes you just have to let people make a pigs ear of things before they will listen to you.“. Not quite right. If those same people retain political power, then they will never listen to you. The pig’s ear will be followed by the whole pig, and still they won’t listen. Get them thrown out or experience life as in Venezuela.

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 16, 2020 9:24 am

Yes. Engineers actually understand what the Thermodynamic Laws are about. They know that whatever you do these laws MUST be obeyed. Otherwise you get into a right old mess.
Many others subconsciously think that the magic of technology can somehow produce perpetual motion machines upon which we can indulge ourselves with feelings of virtue.

December 15, 2020 11:45 pm

instead of questioning why the government wants to restrict CO2 emissions in the interests of nicer weather, as usual, the government lashes wildly about damaging the finances of the average citizen in a blind attempt to avert the disaster that the government itself is bringing upon society. Coercing citizens with higher costs, demanding people change their lives and robbing them like the Sheriff of Nottingham, to fix the problems caused by an ill-considered ‘Climate Change’ boondoggle is a good way to get people to reconsider their vote next time round.

MarkW
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 16, 2020 8:03 am

As long as the government can heavily tax 49% of the population in order to buy the votes of the other 51%, they will be able to stay in power.

Lrp
Reply to  MarkW
December 16, 2020 8:41 am

That’s the meaning of representative government, right? It represents the right of the unproductive 51% to rob the other 49%.

Joel O’Bryan
December 16, 2020 12:32 am

Declaring a climate emergency and then sending billions of dollars to cash-strapped UN agencies will solve this obvious climate crisis. This is what solving climate change looks like. Energy poverty. Embrace the suck middle class. You voted for the morons driving this bus off a cliff.

DiggerUK
December 16, 2020 1:28 am

Business and industry are usually the largest consumers of electricity. That will always make them the biggest beneficiaries of price subsidies.
Now those businesses and industries will receive an even greater boost, from 0900 hrs to 1500 hrs is when they are at their busiest.

The poor shmucks working for them can pay the extra only when they’re not at work…_

Laertes
December 16, 2020 1:55 am

And what things can be transferred to day hours? Normally people work then, and anyone working not from home (in normal times) can’t simply “transfer” everything. Even if at home 24/7, you can do the laundry, cook, and that’s it.

You know why in Medieval Age peasants went to sleep when the sun was down? Because candles gave poor light and were expensive. Neo-feudalism, soon in Australia: nu-serfs working only in daylight hours while the elite nobility class still flies private jets from New Zealand to UK whenever they get a little uncomfortable in their mansion and can’t stand their wife. But Neil Gaiman apologized so it’s ok.

Because going back to Dark Ages is so progressive.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  Laertes
December 16, 2020 3:05 am

Laertes: Your summary of greenies’ ludicrous proposals is beautiful, succinct, and spot-on, with a pungent, satiric punchline. Bravo!

It needs wider publication, with hopes that it can sink in before the Dark Age dystopia is upon us, and the neo-feudal elites manipulate the nu-serfs into blaming it on somebody else.

Keep up the good work.

LdB
December 16, 2020 1:55 am

It was a trial the problem with implementing it is obvious and they already ruled out bringing it in but it would have given them real data with real families to see how bad the impact is.

Craig from Oz
December 16, 2020 1:57 am

Western Australia?

Why do they need electricity? No one lives there. Perth is a Ghost Metropolis remember. Tim Tim Flannery predicted it!

griff
December 16, 2020 2:58 am

This is frankly nothing new: look up ‘time of use’ charges for Australian electricity and see peak period charges afternoon and evening … going back some years…

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 8:24 am

BS

4x price does not go back some years

Trying to make your crap intermittent power work somehow Griff

Fail, as always

MarkW
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
December 16, 2020 9:31 am

Just a few weeks ago, griff was assuring us that solar power matched power demand perfectly.
Now here he is trying to defend a scheme designed to paper over the fact that solar power doesn’t match power demand well.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 9:30 am

Using it to try and get around the failures of solar power is however new.

If you want to try and distract, you need to take some lessons from Nick.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  griff
December 16, 2020 10:22 am

Agree and its a legitimate way of spreading demand to match generation.

The real question is will the price paid for the less valuable midday electricity be less to fulfil this load matching.
The reality is that solar energy is worth less and that should in a rational world limit its uptake or rate of installation.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill Treuren
December 16, 2020 11:33 am

Bill,
I think autocorrect got you
“Worthless” has no spaces

Pflashgordon
December 16, 2020 3:39 am

Require that all citizens at or below median income work at night and sleep during daylight hours. Problem solved.

December 16, 2020 3:52 am

Typical Leftist idiots

The answer is very simple
1) Remove all incentives for solar power installation, force people to pay full price will dramatically drop the takeup.
2) Feedin tariff needs to be dropped to 4c per kW hr, break contracts or whatever but this is a realistic price for people to feed in. End the gravy train and like 1) this dramatically reduces takeup. It will encourage some of the well heeled to invest in batteries which will do some soaking up, but in reality this will have little effect.
3) Since the govt will not invest in any backup and only has coal fired power it needs to subsidise businesses to install diesel generators and pay a feed in which reflects the rough cost of generation. In reality businesses will use them to avoid high power costs, turning them on when power costs spike, but if necessary the feed in price can be raised in times of high peak demand to encourage industrial users to generate for the grid.
4) Assist businesses with substantial heat loads and steam generation to adopt cogeneration. The VISY Mill in Smithfield NSW does this and there are loads and loads of them in the US. With domestically reserved gas in WA this should be a no brainer. Again with the pricing for feedin as per 3) we could easily have these businesses generating more power for the grid in times of need.

Of course, the other answer is to do what any sensible govt would do. Ban any further solar installation, organise for feed in to be cut off in times when there is an excess of power and bingo grid stabilised and no further issues, except irate panel owners. But this is the easiest way to fix a govt created crisis.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  Aussie
December 16, 2020 4:03 am

Aussie December 16, 2020 at 3:52 am
Typical Leftist idiots
The answer is very simple
1) Remove all incentives for solar power installation
2) Feedin tariff needs to be dropped to 4c per kW hr, break contracts or whatever but this is a realistic price for people to feed in. End the gravy train and like

—————–
The guaranteed feed in price for new nuclear build in UK is:
EDF has negotiated a guaranteed fixed price – a “strike price”– for electricity from Hinkley Point C of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices),[26][82] which will be adjusted (linked to inflation) during the construction period and over the subsequent 35 years tariff period. The strike price could fall to £89.50/MWh if a new plant at Sizewell is also approved.[26][82] High consumer prices for energy will hit the poorest consumers hardest according to the Public Accounts Committee.[

so that is 12c per kwh

No one was willing to build new nuclear generation without this pricing and without massive subsidies on build cost.

MarkW
Reply to  ghalfrunt
December 16, 2020 9:33 am

Progressives do everything in their power to make building nuclear as expensive as possible.
Progressives then point to the fact that building nuclear is expensive as a reason not to do it.

Rainer Bensch
December 16, 2020 3:59 am

But customers would face paying almost twice as much for their power at peak times in the evening, and during the night when charging of all the EVs will change the duck curve to something else…

bluecat57
December 16, 2020 5:28 am

So they Columbused demand and supply for market pricing.

TheLastDemocrat
December 16, 2020 6:58 am

There is nothing wrong with the pricing plan. Itself, it is a great idea.
This is like matinee ticket price at the theater.
We line-dry our clothes when the sun is out.

Residential electricity pricing plans are available in many areas where none of the electricity is from solar or wind.

MarkW
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
December 16, 2020 9:33 am

The pricing plan wouldn’t be necessary if they weren’t forcing solar panels on the population.

Vuk
December 16, 2020 7:09 am

Ice age cometh on the river Volga
https://youtu.be/ZXxw_gszLw0

Fran
Reply to  Vuk
December 16, 2020 11:27 am

Beautiful

Cam_S
December 16, 2020 7:15 am

Falling power use due to coronavirus risks system overload and blackouts, experts warn

Falling demand for electricity caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could leave Western Australia’s main electricity system at risk of a solar power overload within months, experts have warned.

Industry figures say the slump threatens to reduce the demand for electricity from the grid to a level where output from the region’s 300,000 household solar panels could overwhelm the system, potentially triggering rolling blackouts.

At issue is the sharp decline in demand for electricity from the grid during the day as ever-growing amounts of output from rooftop solar panels displace production from coal and gas-fired power stations.

Read the rest here;
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-18/covid-led-drop-in-energy-use-risks-system-overload/12150030

MarkW
December 16, 2020 7:51 am

The article didn’t mention, but I’m willing to bet that WA is still paying the same amount for power from these unneeded solar panels. Probably more than the 8 cents per kW that they are charging.

Alan
Reply to  MarkW
December 16, 2020 3:06 pm

Depends upon when you installed them. Historical feedback can be in the high 20 cents, the current is around 7 cents

Streetcred
Reply to  Alan
December 16, 2020 4:31 pm

In Queensland historic solar feedback rates AUS$0.43 !

sendergreen
December 16, 2020 8:34 am

They want you to be pressured to do your biggest energy draw homework … cooking in the mid-day … perhaps survivable in three seasons but deadly in summer.

Green Van
December 16, 2020 8:46 am

This is incremental progress. Pricing that matches the scarcity of the product is a good thing, at least it’s honest. That a fundamental necessity would be scarce in a first world country is shameful, but the other option under solar friendly policy is California style net metering which gives perverse incentives for more solar.

n.n
December 16, 2020 9:44 am

Progressive prices a la Obamacares, where promissory notes were delivered, and will be reused/recycled/secured with the Biden/Harris administration.

John F Hultquist
December 16, 2020 9:47 am

Just for referance:
This is for a small area Public Utility District (PUD) in central Washington State.
Main source of electricity is hydro.
We have two lines on our bill:
Facilities Charge … $22.50/month
Electricity charge………………….$ 0.0950/kWh

Both increase a bit with other prices.
However, this is what we pay 24/7/365.
House is 100% electric, with a modern air-source heat pump, and
a catalytic wood stove.

n.n
December 16, 2020 9:49 am

Choose scarcity, force progress, then compensate for profit. This solution closely follows the welfare (i.e. public smoothing) function, social justice adventurism (e.g. wars without borders), catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform, and redistributive change model used by certain secular sects in public and private domains. One step forward, two steps backward.

Tomy
December 17, 2020 5:00 am

How entrirely unprecedented! Electricity companies charging different rates, at different times. Shock Horror!, It must be a greenie, Marxist plot! (walks outside to check off-peak hot water power meter). Apparently, this nefarious plot has been going on for decades. Eeven before renewable energy.

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