Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Phil Salmon; Will nobody turn up the solar panels?
Entire Sydney suburbs plunged into darkness as more power outages loom
Suburbs around Sydney suffered power outages on Monday night, as officials warn more blackouts could be on their way.
Homes in Beacon Hill, Frenchs Forest, Narraweena, Cromer and Dee Why were all temporarily without power, Ausgrid said.
Queenslanders were warned they were at risk of a significant power disruption between 5.30pm to 8pm on Monday, but blackouts were avoided.
Meanwhile, NSW is on high alert from 7pm on Tuesday due to a predicted supply shortfall.
The power outages come as Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen warns the system is “under pressure” and said households should ‘brace for a bumpy period ahead’.
“In terms of the immediate situation, it’s being very actively managed,” Bowen told Sunrise on Tuesday morning.
“We managed to avoid any load shedding or blackouts in Queensland last evening.
…Read more: https://7news.com.au/technology/power-outage/entire-sydney-suburbs-plunged-into-darkness-as-more-power-outages-loom-c-7154237
The AEMO government regulator greensplained that the shortages are because greedy power plant operators refused to provide power at below cost.
Power companies accused of ‘unconscionable conduct’ as they withdraw from grid
By Mike Foley
June 14, 2022 — 3.43pm
Power generators are exploiting the chaotic energy market by withdrawing power supply from the electricity grid and waiting until strict rules to prevent blackouts kick in, forcing the energy market operator to direct them to fire their plants back up and triggering profitable compensation payments.
There’s no law stopping power companies from withdrawing their electricity generation from the market, and in the past two days they have reduced the volume available by 2 gigawatts in Victoria, 3 gigawatts in NSW and 1.5 gigawatts in Queensland.
The withdrawals were prompted by the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) decision to put a cap on spiralling prices that electricity generators are charging for wholesale power, which crimped the profit margin of some generators, which are battling coal prices that are soaring because of sanctions on Russian exports.
But the electricity market is tightly regulated and AEMO has powers, designed to prevent blackouts, which enable it to force generators to fire up units and start supplying electricity to the grid. Whenever AEMO does this, companies are awarded compensation.
AEMO was unusually forthright in a public statement yesterday when it said that directly after price caps were imposed on power companies “available offers were reduced”.
A spokesperson for the Australian Energy Council, which represents major power generators including AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin, said its members faced a “complex issue” but were seeking solutions to the power crunch.
“The price cap unintentionally means that some plants can’t recover their fuel costs. Participants are legitimately seeking ways to resolve the problem,” the spokesperson said.
…Read more: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/power-companies-accused-of-unconscionable-conduct-as-they-withdraw-from-grid-20220614-p5ath9.html
If only there was a reliable, dispatchable 24×7 zero carbon energy source whose generators only required refuelling every couple of years, which Australia could refuel from our world class mineral resources, which could shield Australian consumers from volatile fuel prices, and maintain stable baseload during difficult circumstances.