Claim: Renewables Could Meet 100% of Aussie Demand at Certain Times by 2025

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Griff; My question, what are we supposed to do for the rest of the day?

Renewables could meet 100% demand in Australia at certain times of day by 2025, report says

Energy market operator notes penetration of renewable generation reached record high of 57% twice in 2021

Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo
Tue 31 Aug 2021 03.30 AEST

Renewables will meet 100% of consumer demand for electricity at certain times of the day by 2025 if large-scale wind and solar development continues at current rates, the Australian Energy Market Operator has said.

Aemo’s annual grid reliability snapshot, to be released on Tuesday, notes the penetration of renewable generation in Australia reached a record high of 57% twice in 2021 – in April and again in August.

If Australia’s power system is engineered appropriately, based on current trends “there could be up to 100% instantaneous penetration of renewables at certain times of the day throughout the year by 2025”, it says.

As a consequence, Aemo predicts, all mainland states will experience minimum operational demand during the next five years, which is the lowest level of demand from the grid during daytime. Declining minimum demand can create engineering challenges in the grid.

Read more:

Why would anyone think this is a good thing?

Electricity consumers will be paying for:

  1. Fuel consumed by fossil fuel generators
  2. Capital & maintenance costs of fossil fuel generators – enough to provide 100% backup, for windless nights.
  3. Subsidies to keep fossil fuel generators open, to compensate for reduced profitability and “engineering challenges”.
  4. Large capital & maintenance costs of renewable systems.
  5. Capital costs of big batteries, to try to keep the grid stable for the five minutes or so it takes to spin up fossil fuel systems.
  6. Inefficiencies running the fossil fuel systems on idle, then ramping them up and down unpredictably all day, as clouds cover the solar panel or the wind unexpectedly changes.
  7. Outages when the needlessly complex power grid malfunctions and fails.

Does anyone think there is any chance this will be cheaper than simply running the fossil fuel system all day? How can anyone believe this is any more than pathetic virtue signalling?

The renewables might not even reduce CO2 emissions. All the renewable systems carry an enormous burden of fossil fuel which was consumed during fabrication and installation. Renewables need much more extensive grids, which have to be maintained by trucks. Light aircraft are frequently hired to fly power line engineers slowly along the power lines, so they can be inspected through binoculars. And as noted above, keeping power plants idling, then spinning them up and down at random, is a very inefficient way to run a fossil fuel power system.

By the time you add up all this, its possible total emissions will actually rise, above what they would be if we simply kept the coal plants.

It could have all been so different. Australia has world class deposits of Uranium, vast empty spaces, and is geologically stable. We could have stuck with fossil fuel, or built enough nuclear power to go zero carbon without the pain of paying for less than useless renewables.

4.8 33 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 31, 2021 2:03 pm

Instead of 4-day work weeks it will be 2 or 3 day work weeks depending on the the weather. What you you do without electricity on your own time is your (policy) problem.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 31, 2021 4:57 pm

Wait… You think we will still have JOBS once they finishing destroying our economy with the CCP virus?

I’m glad to see unbridled optimism is still a thing…

Rick W Kargaard
Reply to  MarkMcD
August 31, 2021 6:24 pm

A benevolent China will care for you.
(sarc) as if that is really needed.

Joe - the non climate scientist
Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 1, 2021 8:51 am

The famous Texas freeze of Feb 2021. Texas lost 40% natural gas electric generation for approx 12-15 hours and 20% loss of electric generation for approx 60 hours. This was only in Texas.

In the meantime there was a loss of 70% -90% for 12 days of Electric generation across the entire north american continent. That is 12 days over the entire NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT,

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joe - the non climate scientist
September 1, 2021 10:59 am

Most of the outage should be attributed to the windmills not working. I didn’t hear of any fossil fuel powerplants shutting down in the Southwest Power Pool, yet the SPP was experiencing rolling blackouts, although nothing like what was happening in Texas.

Oklahoma had about 250 working windmills at the time the storm arrived, and only about 22 of them were working during the arctic weather in February 2021.

August 31, 2021 2:04 pm

Who needs electricity when there is paid protesting to be done out in the streets.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 31, 2021 7:31 pm

If they provide umbrellas and signs with the cheque, I’m IN!

August 31, 2021 2:04 pm

On an intermittent/renewable basis at the cost of the environment, critical and quality of life services.

Bryan A
Reply to  n.n
August 31, 2021 7:23 pm

By 2025, renewable wind energy will be able to supply 100% of demand on Tuesday August 32nd at 13:27am …The rest of the time…mmm…not so much

Tom Halla
August 31, 2021 2:07 pm

Considering the cost of backup for wind and solar, the most cost effective means of maintaining a stable grid is to omit building the wind and solar.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 31, 2021 5:21 pm

Or sustain the fake and deceptive myths of reliables and the handmade tales of renewables through separate but socially congruent constructs.

August 31, 2021 2:17 pm

The article mentions a new gas plant and Snowy 2.0…

There’s also hydro, batteries

And of course this is just by 2025/6 ….

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 31, 2021 8:32 pm

No long after the Hazlewood Power Station in Victoria was shut down during the drought years the Snowy Hydro dams water levels were very low and the hydro power stations could not deliver much electricity and not as often as needed.

Australia is of course a mostly dry climate land with wet seasons in Northern Australia but plans to harvest that water run off that mostly goes out to sea have been shelved by politicians for many decades past.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 1, 2021 12:31 am

What happened to that pumped storage scheme between open caste mine pits?

There are lots of solutions and this is about 2025, when gas fired is still part of an evolving renewables roll out

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 5:21 am


Reply to 
Eric Worrall
 September 1, 2021 12:31 am
What happened to that pumped storage scheme between open caste mine pits?”

An open “caste” mine? I think you may have offended a few million Indians.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 7:23 am

I was under the impression that “Hydro” was considered damaging to the environment and was thereby considered as “Non-Renewable” due to the massive concrete requirements and necessary valley flooding so was therefore forbidden. When did the envirowhackos wake up and approve hydro?

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 3:49 pm

The principle behind Snowy two point zero (its a numeral not a letter) is to use cheap power at night (when there is surplus) to pump water up hill. The when the power cost is a premium during the day to then make money (to justify the huge cost of the scheme) by hydro generation. Recycle and repeat.
It is a financial model which if the parameters don’t fit (eg as Eric said – dry years or the night price goes up via some situation) the model collapses.
Taxpayer provided ‘stability’ to grid – maybe.

Reply to  YallaYPoora Kid
August 31, 2021 5:07 pm

They want to replace regular cars with electric ones. Those are going to have to charge at night.
Also as solar becomes a larger fraction of power generation, there’s going to be less extra power at night.

Cheap power overnight will not last long if the climate warriors get there way.

Reply to  YallaYPoora Kid
August 31, 2021 8:19 pm

Niagara Falls hydroelectric plants, both the Canadian and American plants, use the same basic idea, a reservoir that gets filled at night to help with power generation during the day when demand is highest. But this is because water use during the day is regulated, to make sure the waterfalls look good for the tourists! ( I kid you not!!!!)

Reply to  PCman999
August 31, 2021 8:46 pm

Makes sense of the old adage: “Make hay while the sun do shine!” They don’t even have to pump the water uphill.

Tourism probably bring about as much money into the local economies as the power generation does (before Covidiocy, of course).

Reply to  YallaYPoora Kid
August 31, 2021 8:34 pm

Yes, but the renewables business investors have a wealth creation plan using cheap unneeded wind energy to power the pumps that pump the water uphill.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 3:58 pm

Stupid comment, griffter.

Backup batteries cannot make wind and/or solar reliable. The Hornsdale power reserve in Australia was the world’s biggest back-up battery when it was built in 2017. Hornsdale can provide a total of 70 MW for just 10 minutes or 30 MW for 3 hours. That’s TINY. What it does is buffer a wind farm so that when the wind dies off it gives the utility just enough time to bring a Natural Gas fired turbine on line. To store enough energy to prop up a wind or solar farm the size of one nuclear power plant (1000 MWe) for one single night would require a battery about 90 times bigger than Hornsdale but Hornsdale cost over $70 million US dollars. Even a battery 90 times larger than Hornsdale costing $6.0 billion wouldn’t be big enough to buffer the wind or solar farm through a single day of calm or cloudy weather, let alone a week.

Australia is now building a bigger battery near Geelong. One of the modules, a Tesla Megapack, caught fire during testing, burned for 3 days, and was totally destroyed.

Snowy 2.0, a pumped hydro storage scheme, won’t come on line until 2025, and when it does it can only supply 2 GW of power for 7 days. Not anywhere near enough to get Australia through the dark winter months when solar produces little and there’s no excess solar to recharge the upper reservoir. You would likely need 10 to 20 of these pumped storage schemes to get through the winter, and that, griffter, would use up ENORMOUS amounts of fresh water because of evaporation. Water that Australia doesn’t have.

The simple fact is, unreliable renewables can’t provide 100% of power through the entire year. You dishonest promoters of unreliable renewables are already causing severe energy crises and it’s only getting worse.

Reply to  meab
August 31, 2021 8:24 pm

Thanks for putting numbers to the green insanity. We need a $6 Billion dollar battery to backup up a GW for 1 night – or buy a 1 GW nuclear reactor with that $6B and have steady, reliable power for 30 or so years – then do a bit of refurb and go for another 30 years!

Reply to  meab
August 31, 2021 11:39 pm

Nobody seems to consider the problem of recharging the discharged batteries.
And if the wind doesn’t blow for 2 days?

Gunga Din
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 4:41 pm

Griff, what’s the point?
The whole “CAGW” scare is bogus. From the “C” to the “A” to the…, without proving the “A” is not just “N” (natural), what’s the point of wasting Millions and Billions and Trillions of TAXPAYER’S money?
It’d be nice if the Green Dreams of “free” energy became true.
But it is far from being free, of cost or “carbon”.
Somebody is raking in the “Green” from the scare, but it’s not the people.
PS Don’t bother mentioning Henri. Al Gore already tried to blame Katrina on GW Bush. Political/Ideological “science” is not science.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 8:03 pm

Greens hate gas, so what’s left Snowy 2 and batteries?

Reply to  Lrp
August 31, 2021 8:37 pm

Greens hate whatever is decided to power the economy of a nation, they are economic vandals who oppose free enterprise and prosperity.

Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 8:29 pm

Did you know that what now called Snowy 2.0 was an original part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electricity Scheme that was abandoned because it would not have been cost effective?

Karl Baumgarten
Reply to  griff
August 31, 2021 8:48 pm

Face it griff, nuclear is the only hope the renewables crowd has left, and your crown has blown that chance by denigrating the only source of energy that could replace lots of fossil fuel derived power. Face reality, you and your cronies have failed even with massive subsidies that could have been put to good use.

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 1:43 am

You do realise that batteries can only supply power for an hour or two?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Paul Homewood
September 1, 2021 9:21 am

Griff and his Climate Fascist ilk are willfully ignorant of such inconvenient facts.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
September 1, 2021 10:15 am

Paul, you just need to use the batteries to recharge the batteries!

August 31, 2021 2:20 pm

Intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine may meet the needs at “certain times of the day by 2025”, but does that bode well for businesses, hospitals, and electronics that need electricity on a continuous uninterruptible basis?

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  Ronald Stein
August 31, 2021 2:36 pm

You will still be in COVID lockdown so there won’t any businesses left to need power.

Rud Istvan
August 31, 2021 2:35 pm

Perhaps they think the idea of reliable affordable electricity 24/7 is vastly over rated?

August 31, 2021 2:35 pm

Look on the bright side: The great thing about a short-term, specific-timeframe, nonsensical progostication such as this is that it can be shown to be wrong in only 4 years.


AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
September 1, 2021 9:24 am

The bad thing about it is that when it has been shown to be wrong, they will simply move the goal posts ahead another 5 or 10 years and repeat the nonsensical and meaningless prognostication…

Ron Long
August 31, 2021 2:36 pm

Eric, good h/t to griff, because, after all, he is an expert on where the sun doesn’t shine.

bill Johnston
Reply to  Ron Long
August 31, 2021 2:44 pm

Now that’s gotta hurt.

Reply to  Ron Long
September 1, 2021 12:30 am

I am always so pleased that Watts readers respond to issues I raise with detailed technical knowledge, citing science papers and delightful reasoned argument and how they never rush to the lowest common denominator, with a bunch of first grade comments.

I mean, if they did that, I’d be sure they actually had arguments and instantly be converted to skepticism!

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 2:27 am

Griff, responding to an issue would be a great deal easier if you gave some <detailed technical knowledge, citing science papers…> to get our teeth into.

And no, the guardian is not a reputable source.

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 3:06 am

griff, … tch, tch, tch,… your “3Rs” again!… The “aRithmetic” shortcoming striking again!

Will you please tell us what is a “lowest common denominator”?

(I give you a clue: there is only one of the kind, and is the same for every set of integers you can think of… and “set” includes a pair but also any collection with cardinality different from 2… Go figure!…)

Last edited 1 year ago by Joao Martins
Ron Long
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 5:52 am

griff, I am a scientist with multiple degrees, have been the President of companies in 4 different countries, and am financially “well off”. I got where I am because of my ability to utilize science successfully. Want something concrete, here it is: geologists show 50 meters higher and 150 meters lower sea levels as normal cycles, with the variance due to multiple events, one of which, underappreciated, is continental drift, and several of which are solar and orbit cycles. Where is the CAGW signal measurable against this normal variance? Take your time with the answer.

Ron Long
Reply to  Ron Long
September 1, 2021 2:25 pm

Looks like griff has left the building.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 6:18 am

First, let’s see your scientific papers outlining the amount of each renewable that will be needed, the percent of backup that will be needed and it’s cost, and most important the amount of downtime expected for each. It would include additional capacity for charging EV’s and for conversion to electric heat pumps and hot water heating.

The fact that you see few scientists dealing with the issues in established journals should tell you something. If the goal is to be met, much engineering will be needed. Scientists should be leading the way in developing the necessary criteria for a successful implementation.

The lack of published papers about this should scream at you regarding the lack of will among scientists to be the bearer of bad news about both costs and viability.

That you continually want to be the town crier advocating the move to 100% RE energy speaks a lot about your “faith” but little about your knowledge.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 9:27 am

The “issues you raise” have nothing to do with actual science, so why do you imagine they should be treated in kind?

Geoffrey Williams
August 31, 2021 2:38 pm

Their aim is to close down all fossil fuel power generation.
They won’t be able to do it. Renewables will never be able to stand alone.
They will continue with the help of the MSM to make false claims (lie) to the public.

Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
August 31, 2021 7:30 pm

how many more million diesel backup generators will be needed?
Or maybe the California route of temporary natural gas powered generators?

Reply to  AndyHce
August 31, 2021 8:44 pm

Diesel generators like the Labor SA Government purchased and installed when first the so called renewable started to cause grid destabilising, and later the VIC Government after closing the Hazlewood Power Station which was 25% of grid supply in VIC purchased diesel generators to stabilise the grid, Mornington Peninsular first to be supplied.

Reply to  AndyHce
September 1, 2021 12:27 am

Fuel cell

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 2:30 am

Fuel cell

Is that a misprint?

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 4:11 am


Dave Andrews
Reply to  Fraizer
September 1, 2021 7:51 am


This is a good game!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  AndyHce
September 1, 2021 9:34 am

Yeah, that’s the ticket…some really big temporary gas-fired “generators.” Like 1GW each. Build a whole bunch of them, and then the “intermittency” problem disappears.

To save resources, you can just skip the construction of wind and solar power completely. This will also have the bonus of making the grid more stable, easier and cheaper to manage, and much more reliable. It will even substantially lower the cost of electricity. Win-win-win!

When the temporary gas-fired “generators” reach the end of their useful lives, you just replace them with more temporary gas-fired “generators.”

Reply to  Geoffrey Williams
August 31, 2021 8:42 pm

If it was no serious it would considered a sick joke that our governments have subsidised so called renewable energy until the failing electricity grid became an increasing problem, and now the politicians want to subsidise the remaining coal fired power stations that they effectively undermined operating profitability to encourage the owners to keep them generating well past the planned closure dates, accountable period of 50 years but if well maintained capable of many more decades.

Meanwhile the elected representatives who have apparently forgotten that they are elected to serve and look after constituent’s best interests by local government, state and nation and continue to maintain the ban on nuclear power generators and Uranium.

August 31, 2021 2:43 pm

Not if knuckle heads like this are doing the deliveries:
Didn’t know fiberglass was that strong…

Burgher King
Reply to  Rhs
August 31, 2021 3:53 pm

The locomotive engineer has a new nickname. Blade Runner.

Chris Hanley
August 31, 2021 2:58 pm

“We could have stuck with fossil fuel, or built enough nuclear power to go zero carbon without the pain of paying for less than useless renewables …”.
At the mere suggestion of nuclear power poor Katherine would have a fit of the vapours and need the smelling salts.
The entire subject is taboo in Australian political circles while “there are about 445 nuclear power reactors operating in 32 countries plus Taiwan [?], with a combined capacity of about 400 GWe. In 2020 these provided 2553 TWh, about 10% of the world’s electricity …
… About 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 19 countries … notably China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates”.

Meanwhile The UK Sunday Telegraph reports: “Up to 15 applications from nuclear-related bodies are understood to have been rejected by Mr Sharma’s COP26 Unit in the Cabinet Office”.
They are not serious.

August 31, 2021 3:14 pm

I saw it this way.
100% wind/solar = 0.0% baseload contribution.
If they are going to allow intermittents to go to 100%, then by definition all other sources go to 0.
They have to throw away all of their baseload, their most fuel efficient generation option.
If anything throttles to 0, then it is not baseload. And with wind/solar the need to throttle down and then throttle up is an everyday occurrence.

Baseload is now history, and rapid response generation needs to cycle from 0.0% to 100% and back for the entire country. And you have to maintain frequency and voltage stability while doing it.
This is the “Duck Curve” from Hell.

Good Luck, mates.

August 31, 2021 3:24 pm

Bashing square pegs into round holes. Renewable carpetbaggers producing electricity on the east cost at the the same time (give or take an hour or so) and all producing zero electricity at the same time.
What genius permitted this folly to even get to the starting line.

August 31, 2021 3:31 pm

All this water being pumped back up hill….
where would it have been going before Snowy 2.0……?
Pumped Hydro is Hydro without the magic ingredient…..Gravity.
Snowy 2.0 is all about pumping gravity back into the water.
I have said many times before.
There are many many many ways to make electricity. Solar windmills and pumped hydro are right up their with the dumbest.
Buy hey we are saving the planet

August 31, 2021 4:02 pm

Australian Public Service Announcement circa 2025:

We are pleased to announce that between 11 am and 2 pm on Wednesday and 11 am and 3 pm on Thursday electricity use is unrestricted. Enjoy this emission-free gift from Mother Nature. Please be aware that rolling blackouts remain in effect at all other times.

Reply to  stinkerp
August 31, 2021 8:47 pm

Remember the ACT is now fully renewable energy supply, please don’t ask how much electricity is supplied from NSW coal fired power stations to the ACT, after all the ACT Government has invested in wind farms that theoretically could/might/maybe supply all of the ACT needs.

John Bell
August 31, 2021 4:07 pm

Dump truck (big!) uses no fuel in mining – electric battery powered.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  John Bell
August 31, 2021 6:21 pm
  • “Researchers in Switzerland and a construction supply company have developed an electric dump truck that can consume less energy than it produces in certain situations.”

There’s that phrase again, “in certain situations.” That seems to be the caveat of everything green. Let’s just hope the job doesn’t require hauling loads anywhere but downhill.

Bryan A
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
August 31, 2021 8:55 pm

I was gonna say.”Certain Situations” must = going downhill empty

Reply to  Bryan A
September 1, 2021 11:40 am

It works in one mine at the top of a big hill besides that it’s practically useless except the headline grab

Reply to  John Bell
August 31, 2021 7:36 pm

Their version of digging a second hole to fill in the first, then repeating endlessly.

Reply to  John Bell
September 1, 2021 12:26 am

Chilean mines now have solar power installations…

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 2:40 am

This might be interesting, if we knew a little detail.

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 7:54 am

-In the Atacama and used as supplement of grid power since these operations run 24 hours per day for efficiency; they also use diesel generators at times-

One reason they are some of the world’s largest mines in Chile is to get the copper to market for EVs, solar panels, and grid expansion with chargers. The other reason is that similar mine permits are blocked in the U.S. and Canada or delayed for multi decades in the same style as pipeline permits.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 8:08 am

Not everybody has a conveniently located Atacama Desert in their backyard.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  John Bell
September 1, 2021 6:25 am

Try these for a grin! 45 tons is a literal drop in the bucket!

Reply to  John Bell
September 1, 2021 11:07 am

uses no fuel in mining

Saweet! A perpetual motion dump truck!

Oh wait, it only works that way when it’s moving loads downhill.

August 31, 2021 4:56 pm

I see a business opportunity here – we need ‘instant read’ meters for household so when the ‘renewables’ supply hits 100% we can all make sure we turn everything on to take advantage.

I’m sure there will be no impact on the grid of momentary multi-MW surges around the country… right?

Reply to  MarkMcD
August 31, 2021 5:11 pm

And a lot of stepper motors forced to take a knee hearkens back to the Green missing energy engendered by a green estimation of supply, demand, and Her Choice, but now her Choice with virtuous intent.

Bryan A
Reply to  n.n
September 1, 2021 7:36 am

They’re called “Smart Meters” and when pared with Smart Lights, Smart Sockets, Smart Thermostats and Smart Appliances the vast majority of your electric usage can be controlled and regulated during peak times any time

Reply to  MarkMcD
September 1, 2021 12:26 am

Indeed… computer systems which are fed that data and operate accordingly, moderating operation across a large area are already envisaged, especially for car charging…

Demand management systems, where feed of supply to devices requiring frequent but not continuous power is managed already operate in the UK – they will switch down or off e.g. aircon across hundreds of sites to reduce demand. Please do look that up: it is a complex thing to describe in a short comment!

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 6:30 am

Listen to what you are saying. DEMAND MANAGEMENT! Do you think politicians might ever apply this to residences and small businesses? I do. So you’re advocating moving from a 24/7/365 supply of electricity to something less. It won’t go well for you when that happens!

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 11:12 am

moderating operation

Demand management

power is managed

to reduce demand

In summary, the energy you enjoy now will be rationed according to what some governmental agency decides you should be able to live with.

So, to obtain electrical power when you want it rather than when some agency decides you need it, you’ll have to install your own wind, solar, batteries, inverter, etc.

Nothing like society regressing back to the early 1900’s rural setting where farmers had windmills to pump water and generate electricity that was stored in batteries.

Progressive == Regressive.

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 11:44 am

Nothing like having some else decide when you can have power.
We used to call them rolling blackouts and they were a sign you were a 3rd world nation but hey Griff and the UK can go there again.

August 31, 2021 5:17 pm

Photovoltaics, wind turbines, lithium batteries, rare-earth elements fueling climate change… starving ecologies, raping Gaia with virtuous intent. #MeToo No blood for Green.

Peter K
August 31, 2021 6:21 pm

It’ a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze blowing, here in Central NSW. Right now the fuel mix is:- Solar – 24%, Wind – 2%, Coal – 74%. Wishful thinking by the AEMO.

Peter K
Reply to  Peter K
August 31, 2021 6:39 pm

Perhaps the AEMO are talking about “Name Plate” ratings.

Reply to  Peter K
August 31, 2021 8:50 pm

Be fair, if the wind was blowing at each turbine installation and all solar panels were in perfect conditions ……… lol

Bryan A
Reply to  Dennis
September 1, 2021 7:39 am

You forgot…
And the Sun were at a constant location in the sky (unmoving)

Reply to  Peter K
August 31, 2021 9:22 pm

Peter – correct
The guardian article is essentially saying for a FEW MINUTES on Sunday afternoon when the sun comes out, Australia can produce more Solar Electricity than Coal Electricity
However Monday morning in winter is still dark at 7:00AM when everyone is having showers and breakfast
This morning @7:00AM
Coal provided 16.5GW
Wind provided 1.9GW
Solar provided 1.2GW
The above is an example of what occurs two times a day 365 days a year. It is not even an extreme example.
It is clear Australia would need more than ten times existing wind and Solar.

Additionally, I don’t think there are actually enough roofs left.

Bryan A
Reply to  waza
September 1, 2021 7:41 am

Just put the panels Outback 😉

Last edited 1 year ago by Bryan A
August 31, 2021 6:35 pm

This links to US data but it gives you an idea of slow startup for coal,

There are 2 main types of Gas powered generators, CCGT & OCGT.
Combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) uses a gas turbine to drive a generator plus the cooling & exhaust gases are used for a steam turbine to increase efficiency. It’s cheaper running cost than OCGT but requires longer times to startup (eg. 2hrs), ramp down (eg. 1hr).
Open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) just has the gas turbine vented to the outside. It’s cheaper to build (upfront cost), cheaper to sit idle but dearer to run, quicker to start (5 to 11 minutes) then can ramp quicker than CCGT or Coal, less spinning mass.

Generating electricity using coal is designed to be started at the beginning of the season & not turned off until many months later. It’s less efficient turning on&off day-to-day, they like 30mins to ramp from 30% to 90% of nom capacity, but have large spinning mass to keep frequency stable (smooths & reacts to sub 10s ups&downs), steam regulation allows it to have slightly higher capacity for several minutes while they increase the fire.

The more a generator sits idle or solar/wind output is curtailed (wasted power) then the higher the average $/MWh vs ideal conditions.

A large mix of generation is required for redundancy & mixed performance characteristics in different scenarios. The ups & downs of demand & supply have to be handled from the millisecond upto the whole year. You have to have supply match the demand every millisecond, every minute, every hour, every day, every month. It’s not very forgiving.

Having extra spare capacity reduces the generator revenue & increases costs. Currently, there’s more money to be made with an unreliable supply with more time lacking enough supply & less time with oversupply. That’s why the generators need to be responsible to each create their own mix of sources (or contracts with partners) to provide some guaranteed supply. Don’t assume the problem belongs to someone else to fix as they can do now.

Last edited 1 year ago by tygrus
August 31, 2021 6:48 pm

Backup components such as hydro, batteries, Snowy 2.0 etc. do not add to the energy output of the system.
They simply store some energy provided by the actual base load providers such as coal, gas (and nuclear if available).
As such, any backup component is not adding anything to the grid capacity at all.

Ian Smith
August 31, 2021 7:00 pm

That’s like saying you only need collision damage insurance for an average of a few milliseconds a year.

Reply to  Ian Smith
September 1, 2021 2:43 am

Nice one!

August 31, 2021 7:36 pm


Energy market operator notes penetration of renewable generation reached record high of 57% twice in 2021″

How about it meets energy requirements 24/7/365, then I’ll take notice. Until then it is just fluffing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Streetcred
Reply to  Streetcred
August 31, 2021 8:51 pm

As a lawyer might describe that claim – advertising hyperbole and puffery or put simply BS.

Reply to  Streetcred
September 1, 2021 12:22 am

The point here is the progression from 57% twice currently to 100% often and 77% usually and that within the next 5 years.

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 11:46 am

ROFL never going to happen every state is struggling with unreliables as they now are destabilizing every states grid.

Last edited 1 year ago by LdB
August 31, 2021 8:27 pm

Renewables, would you buy a car that could only be relied on 2.1 days in every 7.0 days to start, and with no way of accurately predicting what days they would be?

August 31, 2021 8:53 pm

I want to know which car would be the safest, electric vehicle with lithium ion batteries or one with a tank of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cell?

Or diesel followed by petrol fuelled?

William Haas
August 31, 2021 9:30 pm

There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. Hence all efforts to decrease CO2 emissions will have no effect on global climate. Conserving on the use of fossil fuels is in general a good idea because the Earth has a finite supply but is using renewables worth the cost. Renewables can be hit or miss so it is important to maintain a reserve power generation capability that can carry all of the load when required. .

Reply to  William Haas
September 1, 2021 12:20 am

There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero

There is not!

I notice you don’t cite any…

Renewables are intermittent, but perfectly predictable on the necessary operating timescale.

Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 2:48 am

<I notice you don’t cite any…>…Griff

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 6:36 am

You don’t actually read the WUWT site very often do you. I mean really read it with understanding. There are plenty of references, some very recently that could help your understanding.

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
September 1, 2021 3:53 pm

Reply to
William Haas
September 1, 2021 12:20 am

There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero

There is not!

I notice you don’t cite any…

Renewables are intermittent, but perfectly predictable on the necessary operating timescale

Let me fix that last statement so that it speaks the truth…

Renewables are intermittent, but perfectly predictable on the necessary operating timescale and require reliable fossil fuel backup generation to be available 100% of the time AND utilized about 70% of the time

Lawrence Ayres
September 1, 2021 12:29 am

Katherine Murphy is a card carrying member of the woke brigade with an abysmal knowledge of all things renewable energy and science generally. Her lack of knowledge is only surpassed by that of the chief of the AEMO who is so well paid that doubling or tripling of electricity prices does not bother her. They both firmly believe that the world will end if the temperature rises another degree, they both are apparently ignorant of the fact that the Medieval, Roman and Minoan warm periods both existed and were hotter than present. Neither women are influenced by facts nor do they worry that Australia is already noncompetitive and will be even less competitive if renewables intrusion is increased. In summary both women are talking rubbish but unfortunately dummies listen to them including lawyers who masquerade as parliamentarians.

Reply to  Lawrence Ayres
September 1, 2021 12:47 am

But it’s nice to get a political analyst to present information on a technical topic. It helps highlight how scientifically illiterate pretty much everyone in that field are.

Reply to  Lawrence Ayres
September 1, 2021 10:21 am

Those periods were regionally warmer… without the rapid rise in temperatures and not impacting a global tech based civilisation living in coastal cities and vulnerable to an increase in extreme weather events.

If you don’t recognise that N hemispere summer has seen the new normal of heatwave, fire and flood, well heaven help you…

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
September 2, 2021 7:14 am


Are you really James Dyke senior lecturer in global systems at Exeter University?

If so you are wasting your time trying to push your new book ‘Fire,Storm and Flood:the Violence of Climate Change’ on this site.

September 1, 2021 12:55 am

I’ve found that twiddling thumbs is a great pastime while waiting for any shutdown of any endeavor to end. I’ve heard that people used to whittle, but that’s dangerous so it’s lost popularity.

September 1, 2021 1:09 am

The new CEO and Managing Director of the AEMO is Dan Westerman. This is listed in his bio

Prior to joining AEMO, Daniel held a variety of senior executive roles with London-listed electricity and gas utility, National Grid Plc. Most recently he served as Chief Transformation Officer and President of Renewable Energy, where he led the company-wide transformation program, and grew a large-scale renewable energy business in the United States.

God help Australia

Last edited 1 year ago by Analitik
Bryan A
Reply to  Analitik
September 1, 2021 3:59 pm

So basically he is actively steering the country of Australia into a generation source that he is highly invested in … certainly no conflict of interest there

September 1, 2021 8:52 am

And of course everyone will ignore “at certain times”

AGW is Not Science
September 1, 2021 9:09 am

Claim: Renewables Could Meet 100% of Aussie Demand at Certain Times by 2025

The footnote for this headline, in fine print buried as deeply as possible, will read something like “For a few minutes at 3 A.M. on a Wednesday during fair weather.”

September 1, 2021 11:26 am

I am a lettuce grower, open fields. I am requesting my state government to compel the local supermarket to buy from me.

The deal I want is the following. I ship whatever I want whenever I want. They take as much as they can sell, the rest goes to compost, and the state pays me for that. They stand down their regular suppliers when I ship, and because this costs the regular suppliers, they raise their prices for when they do get to ship.

It seems like a very reasonable proposition to me. After all, I am saving the planet and thinking of the children.

I figured out actually that in addition to saving the planet, on one day last week or maybe it was the week before I would have shipped them 100% of their lettuce requirement.

But for some reason these denialists and climate wreckers are refusing to sign. I think they and the politicians are in the pay of the greenhouse lobby.

Disgusting, isn’t it?

michael hart
September 1, 2021 3:24 pm

…yes, and this iron lung we supply you with will only stop working a few times a day.
Bon voyage.

September 2, 2021 12:49 pm

Sigh .. electricity is about 15% of total energy consumption. You are getting nowhere with this colossal money pit of an idea. It really bothers me that people can actually be that stupid.

September 8, 2021 4:33 am

So-called renewables will never replace fossil fuels.

Read the book that explains why

The moral case for fossil fuels

%d bloggers like this: