Essay by Eric Worrall
The government has provided a risible $224 million budget for batteries to stabilise a 33GW grid which is expected to be 82% renewable by 2030.
Record boost to clean energy spend as global crunch looms
By Mike Foley
October 25, 2022 — 7.30pm
The ambitious clean energy agenda, announced in Tuesday night’s budget, also includes a plan to have renewable energy provide 82 per cent of the electricity network by 2030, which the government promised during the election campaign would also cut power bills by $275 by 2025.
The renewables push could create political risk because any cost blow outs on tens of billions of dollars of clean energy projects would need to be recouped through taxes or power bills. The budget also forecast energy prices to rise 30 per cent.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the budget was “Australia’s road map to delivering cleaner, more affordable energy to households and businesses”.
“The cheapest form of energy is firmed renewables, even more so as global coal, oil and gas
prices spike,” he said.
Up to 400 batteries will be installed under the $224-million community batteries program to help provide small, remote communities with renewable energy. There is also $102 million to fund solar panels for 25,000 apartment residents and low-income households.
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/record-boost-to-clean-energy-spend-as-global-crunch-looms-20221023-p5bs40.html
The budget also includes strengthened provisions for allowing the government to expropriate gas companies, if the domestic market runs short of gas. There is no plan to compensate companies for failing to meet international contracts – they are simply expected to provide gas to the domestic market on demand.
Gas companies in Australia are already struggling with regulatory hostility, such as severe restrictions on exploration and exploitation of new fields, like the state of Victoria’s permanent ban on fracking, which was enshrined in the state constitution in 2021. We can only speculate what difficulties these new expropriation powers will cause for future Australian domestic gas availability.
There is a worse problem.
Earlier this year Australia experienced weather conditions which all but wiped out night time wind generation, across the entire continent (see the weather diagram at the top of the page). Being a blocking southern hemisphere winter high pressure system, it was also very cold in many parts of the country on that night. Such weather conditions are unusual, but not impossibly unlikely.
What would Australia do on such a night post 2030, when most of our dispatchable power generation capacity will have been retired?
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen keeps making speeches in which he flings magic terms like “firmed renewables”, like they are a real thing. But the budget his government has provided for batteries, $224 million, is utterly inadequate for stabilising a grid whose daily demand peaks at just under 33GW. $224 million dollars would buy enough battery capacity to service the grid at peak demand for less than a second, not the hours or days of backup capacity which would be required to make renewable energy halfway reliable.
And we haven’t even considered the additional grid capacity required to service all those EVs everyone is supposed to buy, and the energy required to power the green manufacturing renaissance which is supposed to happen in the coming age of expensive, unreliable energy.
Unless the Australian government reconsiders their renewable energy insanity, “cost blowouts” and economic devastation will be our new normal.
The new Federal Labor Government is on a mission, unreliable electricity supply guaranteed, price in 2023 expected to rise by 50 per cent, gas despite the abundance of gas fields locked away from accessing to rise by 40 per cent in 2023.
And after Labor decided on the RET (Renewable Energy Target) around 2010/11 and State Labor followed with privatisation and other changes to electricity supply asset ownership and management the new Federal Labor Government is planning to become shareholders together with State governments in new wind and solar, storage batteries, a new transmission line grid and close down coal fired power stations earlier than scheduled.
Top of a long list of issues is the severe shortage of trades people and labourers to build these things, but Federal Labor also has a policy to construct more housing using the building and construction industry that is already quoting project starts in 2024.
Small, remote communities in Oz and elsewhere in the world (think mining operations, cattle stations etc) have been using solar arrays, wind turbines & batteries for decades.
As supplemental $-saving power sources for their huge diesel-scolling generators.
Is Bowen’s plan to also supply the diesel gennies?
Because there’s going to be many long spells without electricity for the remote communities he inflicts the wind, solar & batteries, minus the gennies on.
Not likely to supply diesel generators to rural communities because they vote Right, and also because he wants to clear people out of rural areas and move them into rental units in centrally controlled cities. You’ll own nothing and be happy, remember?
The Budget is funding batteries for remote and rural locations. Usually theres enough sunlight to charge them and they are a long way from the existing generation so the lines arent reliable.
Industrial users will need diesel generators to supplement of course as they have done so from the beginning, as they need frequency stability and more MW than solar-battery system can supply efficiently. Townships etc different matter
In some areas the lines are being taken down for the grid supply to more isolated farms as they are way better off with solar and batteries This would be 3 phase 240 V type distribution
And there’s the crux of the problem.
And taking the 100MW battery in SA as an example, $90million, less than 270MW of batteries.
My information is that the Australian Central Bank has been disbanded. The Cabal there is out of fiat currency. So how are they going to pay for anything???
What will the Australian government do when Atlas shrugs and the gas companies simply close down? I assume that they have plans to nationalise them and run them as government departments…
I’ve told our kids, our Christmas present this year, is a 2.2KVa generator, a 200 litre drum of fuel and a popcorn maker. This idiocy will only end with the lights off for two days, then we’ll get a policy rethink and an “Oh, we didn’t realise that”. Those blocking highs, also happen in the Australian summer. Tragically interesting times ahead. We are needing a dose of reality. No amount of talking gets the message through to these pollies, but irate telephone voters will have their say and hopefully have a positive affect.
Yes. The Australian summer is when electricity demand is highest due to air conditioning. Maybe older people can manage a non a/c day around 40C becuase they grew up that way but don’t count on everyone else
They also remember heatwaves use to be for 5 days not the snowflake 3 day joke it is today.
Yes I remember it well.
Yes, I’me afraid the unreliable renewables push has gone too far to stop now before we get a series of blackouts and brownouts, just to prove to the woke Greenie lot that you can’t muck about with dispatchable energy as they blithely claim has no downside. Us climate sceptics have been predicting this scenario for a decade, especially after similar policies in the US have caused blackouts in California and Texas, and also in the UK and Germany. Why do we have to repeat their stupid and very costly mistakes?
We certainly are not the smart country, despite our prodigious resource wealth that we are squandering like drunken sailors, whilst China enriches itself at our expense.
We are already an energy superpower, that is paying most of our import bills, but the future of this critical industry is being put at hazard for ideological politics over climate change. Wake up Australia! We have been conned, just smell the ordure of mental decay represented by Net Zero garbage. There is no climate emergency, no dangerous warming crisis shown by modern science, only deluded model predictions, no one should bet their super on!
Green energy is a lot like Communism. Now think, do the Communists ever give up just because a few million people died due to some stupid idea or program?
Only a 2.2KVa? That is a bit small. Suggest one around 5KVa and a small housing to keep the noise down so you neighbours don’t know you have one keeping your fridge etc going.
Not familiar with the “KVa” nomenclature for generators. In the US, they’re typically designated as KW. For example, I have an 18KW NatGas standby generator for my home.
A Volt Amp is a Watt
“KVa” is a slight-of-hand to make a generator seem more powerful than it actually is. We all know P=VI, but the is true only for DC. In AC, you need to consider the fact that the waveform is sinusoidal and therefore not constant. This is called the power factor (⍬), so the true power for an AC generator I given by P=V*I*cos ⍬. Nobody wants to say that, though, as a 2200 KVa generator is marketed as 220V at 10 amps; whereas the reality is the one of those numbers (usually amps) is lower.
Expropriation will likely just be factored in to the cost of doing business, just another cost, like the cost of paying bribes in some countries. When the balance tilts away from investment, they’ll just stop putting money into the Australian market.
I have shamelessly subsidy mined the government largesse for my 30kw solar panels. Now just waiting for them to open up a battery subsidy mine. If you can’t beat them may as well take their money.
Anthony Watts installed solar on his house, because of the crazy market distortions in California.
I’d be wary of going big on solar though, Spain showed in 2010 the subsidies which make large solar installations financially viable can be ripped away with a stroke of a pen. Nothing is guaranteed when you are dealing with green politicians, if the Spanish experience is any guide.
Electricity companies get green light to charge rooftop solar owners for exporting power to grid.
This may or may not happen, but my point is the idea is now out there.
Whether it’s inevitable or not (and at present large scale renewable generators face negative pricing) the bottom line with household rooftop solar is they’ll demand manage any feed-in with the solar duck curve and it won’t be worth anything anyway.
Regulatory changes for smarter homes | Energy & Mining (energymining.sa.gov.au)
Ipso facto go all electric with cheap resistance hot water storage-
Comparing Every Solar Hot Water Diverter Available In Australia (solarquotes.com.au)
and naturally use any extra to aircondition the home or whatever else you can shift household demand into. Use it at the source or lose it as batteries will never pay.
On King Island in the Bass Strait there is a 1MW variable resistor that is used to dump excess power from the wind (just over 2MW) and solar (about 250kW) units. It just heats the atmosphere…
I thought the wind turbines could be braked when the generation quantity is too much . Say have 1 or 2 turning and the others braked. But they may only have 1 turbine ?
Network-use costs are factored into all consumers “energy” charges. And not talking about the “service” charge.
They represent about 50% of the normal accumulation-metered bill but is basically a fixed add-on allocated in proportion to actual energy use.
It is built into the cent/kWh that retail providers advertise and with which they calculate a bill.
So consumers who use more actual energy (metered kWh) pay more network-use charges. Not entirely fair but good enough for many, many past years.
It is smeared across the entire consumer base but solar customer do not pay enough even though they should to profit from their exports.
Even worse, the peak network period when most of use-charges are really applicable, occurs when the sun is not working (on night peak).
Their solar exports during the day offset their imports on night peak so they are twice not paying their share of these charges.
As numbers of solar “prosumers” increase this unfairness accelerates and poorer consumers will be left paying these fixed total network-use charges.
The proportion of these costs will eventually represent more than 50% of non-solar bills unless network providers can seriously reduce their ask.
Something has to be done and we are seeing even the ABC worrying about poorer consumers – such a dilemma for them – climate verses victims.
So if you believe the current solar charging rules will continue – think again.
I have been known to say, “What the government giveth the government can taketh away.”
Not “can” – “will”.
It is not their money.
It is my money, my paid taxes, plus the taxes paid by others..
Used without our permission for schemes we would never permit, if asked.
Do you have pride when you take our money?
Correct its not their money, it’s my money. And what I get back in subsidies is a fraction of the taxes I pay. If the Government is foolish enough to give me back some of my money, I would be an idiot not to collect.
Get subsidy mining, it won’t make you rich but it is satisfying to get some of my taxes back.
Cold, hungry people scratching around
Mr. varius: Nice tune! Scratching around because there isn’t even a bug to eat!!
Energy Minister Chris Bowen says renewables are the cheapest source of energy, obviously everyone wants cheap energy so Chris (Bachelor of Economics) reasons as everyone wants it the laws of supply and demand mean is must get more expensive … duh.
Wind and solar cannot exist on the grid, without the other generators to counteract the ups and downs and absences of wind and solar, or an enormous capacity, MW/MWh, of battery systems would be required.
At about $500/kWh, delivered as AC, with a useful life of at most 15 years, that would totally bankrupt Australia
Most battery systems have estimates of 0.11 to 0.17 USD (0.18 to 0.26 AUD) per delivered kWh plus the cost of the original source to recharge it. TCO of system which probably has an inverter fail & replaced before the batteries are replaced.
Your $500/kWh may be part of the upfront battery cost of capacity. If using cycles of 50% to 80% then you can do that >5000 times (LiFePO4). 10kWh battery, but usually cycle from 10% to 90% SOC, charge efficiency in that restricted range may be 99% (1% loss), inverter efficiency may be 93% (1% + 7.5% extra needed for input), grid losses (YMMV but some occur whatever the source), battery lose % charge per month, CPU&IO for monitoring & features use more power …
The complication would be trying to have enough capacity to cover 80%of usual demand for several days & cover daily/weekly/seasonal needs.
Grid scale battery storage is “now and forever always and ever” too expensive for a few days of cloudy and rainy weather.
If batteries were free, it would still be too expensive. The site prep, labor, enclosures, overcurrent protection, switchgear, fire suppression and more costs $200 kWh, $200,000 mWh, 100 hours of storage $200,000 x 100 =$20,000,000. A typical conventional generating station is 1,000 mW=$20 billion for <5 days of storage, BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED! Wake up, it’s never going to happen, forget it, get over it, move on! ($40 billion with batteries).
Megawatt = MW, not mW.
Megawatt-hours = MWh, not mWh.
I never said it was cheap, I gave a guide to current costs of a few hours & said multi-day is more complicated.
More expensive having a BESS sitting idle waiting for a rainy day. Even when idle: Finance/leases; admin; battery losses (?%/month); cooling & monitoring; some inverter & battery degredation by years not just usage (depends on temperatures); grid connection & wires ready for loads still charged for per day (less avg usage means it costs more per actual usage). Co-locating BESS with wind/solar or some users can reduce some grid/transmission costs. There’s no multi-day systems to have any cost estimates.
Do I hear “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!
Ask (Minister for Climate Change and Energy Minister) Chris Bowen if the energy from renewables is able, entirely by itself, to power the industrial processes, mining, refining, steel, aluminium, concrete, glass/ceramics production, etc. required to manufacture the renewables generators, primarily wind & solar? The clear answer is “no”, which pulls the ‘rationale’ rug from under their feet in one fell swoop.
I’m pretty sure his answer would be “yes”. But he probably wouldn’t give any details, in my opinion because he doesn’t understand the issues.
Chris Bowen told us that they must provide regular reports on the progress under their new legislation for zero emissions. So is the report going to be a quadrant graph showing renewable power capacity installations verses energy unit costs? Looking forward to that.
At the best price I can find for LiFePO4 cells from Alibaba, I get that to be 197 seconds of battery storage for all of Australia’s typical consumption
(The ‘x97’ bit was interesting, God does have a sense of humour)
“The government has provided a risible $224 million budget for batteries to stabilise a 33GW grid which is expected to be 82% renewable by 2030.”
It is not a provision to stabilise the grid. It is, as they say,
“Up to 400 batteries will be installed under the $224-million community batteries program to help provide small, remote communities with renewable energy“
Why not go nuclear power instead?
Australia = nuclear prohibition (only submarines allowed)
Rather than harvest a local natural resource, Uranium, that could power Australia with REAL clean energy, they prefer that Africa and China do all their polluting for them.
What’s the difference between getting all your gas from Putin? or getting all your solar panels from China.
Eggs and baskets come’s to mind.
How many nuclear power stations would $224M buy?
You are trying to compare apples and oranges. Nuclear power would work batteries won’t.🤷♂️
How many batteries will it buy? How much renewable energy will they generate as promised by the Aussie government?
0 kwh. Batteries don’t generate power.
“Why not go nuclear power instead?”
These are small batteries for remote off-grid communities – average cost $500,000 each.
So create second class energy supply to remote communities and when the battery system dies I am sure they will rush the technician from the city to repair it in several days time 🙂
The more interesting part not discussed is do they get the electricity at the same cost as those in the city? South Australia now has the most expensive electricity in Australia and it has the highest renewables percentage … so you can guess what happens next under user pays.
Remember that village in India where Greenpeace installed solar power & batteries there to supply their electricity.
Solar & batteries were so not up to the job that after a couple of months the villagers rioted, demanding that they get “PROPER ELECTRICITY”
Something to look forward to with the expensive batteries as well Nick?
Solar power shut down in far north SA – ABC News
It’s just more lefty feelgood cash splash virtue signalling with no thought whatsoever as to how they’re going to get already scarce technicians to live in such inhospitable environments appropriating their culture.
That’s less than than half a million $ a battery.
The £45m battery at Adelaide could only power three wards at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge for 24 hours on a single charge. How much power is a half million dollar battery going to provide?
Presumably each remote community is going to need multiple batteries, so thin gruel indeed.
Mr. Stokes: Once again, you prove to us that there is no point so small or niggling for you to not make, so long as it distracts from debunking some enviro shilling point or other. Renewable won’t work if no backup (I can quote you on that), these are back up systems to stabilize a remote “grid”. The point that you are here to miss, is that it won’t work in remote areas any better than anywhere else. It won’t work to supply remote areas or stabilize a grid. Won’t work.
So what is the point of the article? I quoted the lead sentence. It is obvious nonsense. What else is there in the article?
”So what is the point of the article?”
To show people what the folly is of this insane net zero plan.
At least you understood that those batteries will do absolutely nothing to stabilise the grid.
Perhaps you are still capable of rational thought. !
Only “$63.9 million for new, large-scale batteries to stabilise the grid..”
which of course will do absolutely NOTHING !
Of course those batteries will do nothing to stabilise the grid. They won’t be connected to the grid. These are off-grid remote communities.
Nick there is a case for utilising renewables and batteries in remote PRODUCTIVE areas where the cost of transmissioning and its maintenance brooks large and that is already happening commercially.
What these feelgood leftys in Canberra mean with remote communities is the ‘sit down’ money settlements-
Rioting erupts in Yuendumu – YouTube
Two teens charged over stabbing murder in Aurukun as extra police are flown in to Cape York – ABC News
Welcome to the Hippy Dreamtime folks!
Next election the ALP will get dumped with sky-rocketing power bills and inflation, because expensive energy, expensive everything.
In general the price of something reflects the energy taken to get it to you or in certain cases how rare it is and desirability gold and diamonds come to mind, although I think the supply of the latter is tightly managed.
And electricity won’t be??
Albo is the man with the plan-
Anthony Albanese considering electricity market intervention as federal budget forecasts surging prices – ABC News
“Next election the ALP will get dumped”
Not so sure about that.
There has to be an alternative to vote for. with alternative policies.
Not sure the Libs are up to that.
Aussies have to be the most stupid, assiduous virtue signallers this side of Prince Harry and Meagain Markle. I think it is a compensation mechanism to hide our provinciality.
These desperate climate changers remind me of an old joke-
Dear Dorothy Dix. When I was 18 I couldn’t bend it with two hands. Now I’m 80 I can bend it with two fingers. Do you think I’m getting stronger?
Dear Dorothy Dix: I am a sixteen year old girl who has just had her first date. My 24 year old boyfriend took me to a club. I had never drunk alcohol before. He bought me three gin slings, a brandy Alexander and two beers. I drank them all. Do you think I did wrong?
Dorothy Dix: Probably.
Mr. observa: I was trying to make something of “unfirmed renewables”, then it hit me- infirm renewables?
It’s a very unpleasant place to be-
Albanese government staring at ‘unpleasant choices’ amid deepening energy price crisis (msn.com)
Leftys are in limp mode when even Aunty starts talking about the lack of Viagra.
I have a battle in progress.
My logic prevents me from approving the installation of a smart meter for electricity to our apartment.
I made an agreement to not have a smart meter some years ago.
The existing meter has had no reported problems. It cannot be turned off remotely, but that is a plus.
Recently, our clever surveillance helped spring a guy trying to slip in a smart meter on a pretext of routine maintenance. There was a sign next to the meter saying do not change, that he removed or as we say more directly, stole.
Now they want to come back in November for another try.
Those who dislike the smart meter concept, in Victoria at least, are free to ask for the older model option.
We have been battling the smart meter installers for years. They seem to have given up for now but it took many phone calls and arguments at the front gate. They had the audacity to tell me that it was law. I told them it wasn’t and to f**k off.
You will be smartly managed and be happy-
Smart meters | Australian Energy Regulator (aer.gov.au)
PS: Dontcha love this bit-
What if my bill is higher than it used to be after the smart meter is installed?Older analogue meters sometimes under-record customer household electricity use. The smart meters will provide greater accuracy and may initially give the impression of a higher bill.
Trust them they’re from the Gummint and they’re here to help.
”may initially give the impression of a higher bill.”
Ha ha ha. More comedy gold! Who writes this shit??
The real change has to come from the voters who, through ignorance or mental deficiency, keep electing the buggers. Did no one think, for example, that the constitutional ban on fracking might turn out to be stupidity?
And if all of the CO2 that ever was and ever will be emitted by Australia was eliminated, the impact on global temperatures would be nil.
Australia and the Southern hemisphere are already a carbon sink, according to the CSIRO.
When I pointed this out to our previous PM he disagreed with me (but uses the CSIRO as one of his prime sources when justifying planet-saving green projects).
Looks like communism. They wreck the energy system then take over private companies while making ridiculous claims of cheaper electricity.
There is something wrong with the electoral laws and enforcement when government can go so far off the rails with confidence.
What they are calling for is impossible so a crisis is inevitable, hopefully while Labour is in office. Conservatives can turn around, Labour not so much.
The interesting questions are what the crisis will look like and when will it come? A price spike is probably more likely than repeated, protracted blackouts. The power engineers may already know the answers but they are keeping silent. One wonders why?
82% renewable generation would likely need at least 100 GW of capacity, plus enormous storage. A recent Calif study got 85% with a 3 times peak demand overbuild. No cost given.
Tesla’s grid batteries now sell for $650/kWh of capacity, facilities and transmission not included. So a few hundred billions of dollars there.
It cannot be done so it will not be done.
You do understand that residential-solar energy is estimated?
No “real” meter that measures this component of the total.
Smart meters are not really clever enough to be able to upload individual consumer data.
Statistical models are being used to estimate total local use and exported quantities.
These models are tuned by inverter size and a selection of fully monitored sites.
Of course, local to exported ratio varies wildly between consumers. And on vacation?
You can bet the solar companies that do this modelling have selected “solar friendly” tuning.
This technique almost guarantees they can cook the books.
So not so impossible if you drink the kool-aid or believe the propaganda.
I would have thought the Renewable Energy shills would have reconsidered after South Australia or Texas, but faith in wind and solar seems as ingrained as faith in socialism—this time it will work!
If it was 224 billion, it still would not be enough, but at least it would show they were somewhat serious and had some understanding of the enormity of the situation. As it is, 224 million just shows how uncaring and/or stupid they are. They must be counting on the average voter being just as stupid/ignorant.
“They must be counting on the average voter being just as stupid/ignorant.”
Unhappily, I suspect they are justified in that.
Certainly in the UK, I suspect, too, in Australia [and other states and nations where the education system has been dumbed down relentlessly].
To be fair, Labor never stated on which prices the $275 reduction would be based on; today’s or 2025’s.
By the time we get to their “by 2025” promise date for delivery, we may not even notice the $275 reduction but they would claim their promise kept.
I also cannot find any definitions/explanations for what ‘firmed renewables’ means. There are references to ‘grid firming’ from the likes of General Electric to promote their gas generators to provide such a facility. They also mention that wind and solar are not reliable, hence the need for their product.
Lies, damn lies, statistics and politicians
You just have to wait for the investments to kick in-
Govt defends lack of direct payments to ease living costs in budget | Watch (msn.com)
The politicians of all Parties in the States and the Federal governments of Australia are 90% badly educated self-servers who are completely uninterested in the welfare of their electors and only interested in their remunerations and sponsorships. This is why they listen exclusively to ‘Climate Change’ Alarmists and Covid Industry Representatives.
If renewables are cheaper then how come the two countries in Europe that have the most renewables also have the highest electricity charges. Coincidence?
Here in Australia we are likely to end up been the last fools paradise thanks to inept politicians and bureaucrats.
Still a bit to go with the elder abuse or Kamela-
To recharge a 200 kWh EV battery requires 200 kWh of electricity and at current prices at peak times, and increasing 56% next year, will cost the EV motorist about $84. At current petrol prices of 190 cents per litre for 91 octane the ICE driver could buy 44 litres which would give him 659 km in a Toyota Camry. If EV owners pay the going rate for electricity then they save absolutely nothing, zero,zip. Please explain how an EV is going to save the planet.