Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t RickWill; Last winter, during a low wind deep freeze, the Aussie East Cost suffered blackouts and energy shortages. This year they’ll face the same – with 1200MW less capacity.
Labor’s electric storm: Liddell closure a ‘serious’ challenge
A perfect storm of delayed energy projects and the closure of the country’s oldest plant in 18 days has presented a “massive” future supply problem which even the state’s new Energy Minister says she is concerned about.
The closure of the Hunter Valley’s Liddell coal-fired power station on April 28 will remove 1200MW of electricity from the grid, with Energy Minister Penny Sharpe declaring “NSW is facing serious energy challenges in coming years”.
Ms Sharpe says that “trying to keep prices as low as possible” was a priority for the new Minns government and she would “keep all options on the table when it comes to keeping the lights on, including keeping base load operating to meet demand”.
…Read more (paywalled): Daily Telegraph
I suspect the minister will order Liddell to remain open, but there is a real chance ordering the plant to remain open won’t achieve much. Liddell has been run into the ground, it could suffer a major mechanical failure at any moment. It might not even be operational by the official closing date of April 28th.
A Labor government ordering workers to commit to a suicide mission, to continue operating such a plant could also be seen as a serious betrayal of the working class constituency they are meant to represent. When such plants die, they often die spectacularly, with large explosions and fires. Continued operation of such a decrepit plant could put workers’ lives at risk.
But not operating the plant might also have disastrous consequences. Early indications are this winter could be very cold. Snow has been dusting the Australian Alps this year since February, which is normally our hottest summer month. When bitterly cold winter weather systems thrust up from the Antarctic Ocean, temperatures plummet, and even subtropical coastal regions of Australia can experience night time temperatures below freezing.
All I can say is thank goodness we’ve got lots of wind and solar energy, they’ll really help us out if we encounter another prolonged overcast wind drought, like last winter.
Where was the “Lemming men following each other over the cliff” Illustration? The power station photo was boring.
I think Disney keeps extending the copyright protection on that illustration. (Probably to protect the feelings of the woke lemmings.)
Actually, lemmings going over the cliff in the arctic was totally faked. The location was faked too. Disney paid Inuit children to collect a large number of lemmings and they shipped them to a Bow River, Alberta location. There they spun them on a turntable to disorient the the critters and then turned them loose on a cliff over the river! This fraud won them an Academy Award.
All they’ll need is a small nuclear reactor and a Flux Capacitor. Instant 1.21 Jigawatts
One of the main functions of the IPCC is to frighten people into accepting the notion that “Net Zero (by 2050)” is the only way to avoid “dangerous” global warming.
All rhetorical tricks are allowed to advance their “noble” cause.
1000 Giga-Watts (1000 GW) = 1 Terror-Watt (1 TW).
Wait till they hear about terabytes!
Those are called worms.
I thought they had a grip off screen, throwing them over.
Surely one of the graphic AI programs could rapidly create a whimsical depiction of the idea. Someone may have a guaranteed right to a particular photo of a bowl of fruit and nuts but that doesn’t prevent anyone from selling a photo of a different bowl of fruit.
Texas during February 2021 was rather unpleasant. Freezing in the dark, literally. Which is what is inevitable with enough weather dependent electric sources.
Australians aren’t any different than the rest of us. The more they suffer, the more they will catch on.
I saw NSW Energy Minister, Penny Sharpe, on TV News last night. She was certainly in ‘dose of reality’ mode. Not yet in a full ‘back-peddling’ mode on the need for reliable energy technology but there was a glimmer of hope that reality might be setting in to our State Gonernment. Problem is:
it might be too little, too late.
Maybe they are starting to worry about the lack of excuses to be used.
Mainland Australia is in the glorious position of having Labor in every State and the Federal Governments. Not a Liberal anywhere in power to blame other than tiny Tasmania.
We may end up with the nutty press actually observing that the sun does not shine at night and the wind often disappears with the afternoon sun.
How many times has a politician run out of excuses?
Can you generate electricity from tar and feathers, or do those items have more optimal uses?
With a sufficient amount 9′ tall hamster wheels, politicians can produce all the energy we need by…running for office
“Not yet in a full ‘back-peddling’ mode”
Maybe she was back-pedaling instead. 🙂
Maybe she can go peddle this nonsense back to someone else 🙂
She mentioned the phrase, “We have to keep the lights on”, about five or six times in the interview that I watched. Liddell has been run down since 2015 but the imminent closure seems to have caught Sharpe off guard.
AGL. An amazing charade.
AGL Energy Ltd. (ASX:AGL) were gifted Liddell by the New South Wales government in 2014 for nothing. There was plenty of coal and it was not worn-out it was simply a steal from the taxpayers who owned it, so AGL could scrap it. AGL bought Liddell for the sum of $Zero in 2014 and ever since the power station they did not value has been rubbed it into the dirt.
Even before the lights go out on windless nights, Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said in carefully-crafted wombat-speak, “it will be the first of AGL’s thermal generation sites to be converted into an integrated, low-carbon industrial energy hub” whatever that means. Like climate change the hub is just a concept and Brokhof is an overpaid sales “expert”.
All bullshit but no ifs or buts. “Delta Group has been awarded the contract for the demolition of the station” Brokhof was told to say. Delta Group make truck-loads of money demolishing things that were paid-for decades before by taxpayers..
Maybe Matt Kean of the NSW Liberals was a key, hands-on client of Con Petropolous who runs Delta Group. Perhaps it was AGL’s Chief Operating Officer Markus Brokhof, a self-professed “international oil, power and gas sector expert” who wants to “fuel sustainability” at “one of Australia’s largest energy generators”, who oversaw depreciation of the asset, but who would know.
Crappy leaders bring crappy outcomes and at executive-levels of governance, Australia seems to be magnet for the effluence of fly-in fly-out experts and numbskulls paid to steal-away wealth and future opportunities.
It is disgraceful that taxpayers and energy users in Australia’s most populous and productive state are having their wealth stripped-away by a combination of corrupt lobbyists, political cowardice and overtly self-interested numbskulls we never voted for.
Woke goes broke and while the once respected Australian ASX: AGL bent-over to the chatter of the latte-brigade like Cannon-Brookes, and started to employ idiots and influences rather than people intent on safeguarding the interests of shareholders,its share-price has gone through the floor. From $26 or so in 2017, to $4.80-ish in 2012, rising a bit to around $8.50 on 12 April 2023. While Board members have made a motza hollowing-out the once proud AG, they have helped put Australia on the skids. It is surely time to invest in coal-fired power stations in China not in AGL.
Ohhh – it’s part of the transition the elitists say. While AGL never paid for the asset in the first place, after Delta blows it up there is no turning back for taxpayers and shareholders.
While shareholders and the community that depends on them will lose, members of the AGL board including those recently installed by Cannon-Brooks will walk away with millions they did not earn.
Dr Bill Johnston
I run a website spasmodicenergy.com which has all the data back to 2010 for generator dispatch on the Australian eastern grid. When Liddell is switched off we will lose 3.2% which I doubt is enough to tip us over the edge. I think we will continue on this suicidal path until that point is reached. I am certain that it is soon but I’m not sure when. The biggest load on our fossil fuel energy sources comes after 6 PM each day so my guess is that it will be around 8 PM to 9 PM.
They were panicking last June, some suburbs in Sydney actually experienced blackouts. To me this suggests they’re not operating on much safety margin.
“They were panicking last June, some suburbs in Sydney actually experienced blackouts”
That happens every day. Here is just one day (last Friday) of Ausgrid tweets
And yes, there were some on June 14, 2022, also.
Nick even for you this is appalling obfuscation. Now tell us how many of these outages were shortages in power plant generation. And for bonus points tell us how many outages were resolved by bringing additional generators online.
“Now tell us how many of these outages were shortages in power plant generation. “
A clue is that each tweet has, from Ausgrid:
“Our crew are working to safely restore power.”
Ausgrid crews work on power lines, not on generators.
The maximum wholesale price (5 minute intervals) in NSW on Aug 7 was $180/MWh, well under the cap of $300. No generation shortage.
“Aug 7″, error Apr 7
Nick, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that you could have made an inconsequential error.
(and I’m just glad that you never point these out when other people commit similar misdemeanors.)
thats because the large users have been asked/ordered to flip the off switch.
Home users are generally only a third of demand
Even the SMH said large scale blackouts last year ‘were just averted’
Theres a whole industry flying paper project kites , but only a fraction of committed new generation
“Even the SMH said large scale blackouts last year ‘were just averted’”
There is an industry of journalists looking for a story, too.
The thing is, Eric said that the East Coast had such blackouts. And whatever the might-have-beens, they didn’t.
Parts of Australia’s east coast are in the midst of an energy crisis. This is how we got here
7 News Updated 14.06.2022
“Large swathes of Australia are in the midst of an energy crisis with residents warned of potential power outages from as early as 4.30pm (AEST) Tuesday afternoon.
Multiple notices published on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s website on Tuesday warned of maximum power load interruptions in five states.
Blackouts hit some Sydney suburbs overnight on Monday.”
(‘Monday’ was 13 Jun 2022)
Yes, the Channel 7 chap got excited about the possibility of power outages. But they didn’t happen. And of course, there are local electricity failures caused by line issues. I showed elsewhere the list of Ausgrid tweets for just Apr 7 and 8. At least six incidents.
The reporter just plucked out one such group of tweets for 13 June 2022. I displayed them elsewhere.
Were those unplanned emergency outages (accidents, trees, winds, heat overload) or curtailments due to under supply issues and demand?
As I said above, a clue is that each tweet has, from Ausgrid:
“Our crew are working to safely restore power.”
Ausgrid crews work on power lines, not on generators.
You don’t send out line crews to fix a curtailment.
Nick, you have no clue. Similar to climate change. Were those crews sent out to repair damage to lines from wind, trees, etc. or were they sent out to restore breakers and switches that opened due to generation failure? You apparently don’t know and are just making choices based on your bias. Until you know exactly what the failures causes were, you are just making up stuff favorable to your position.
No, you just make up stuff. There was no generation failure. On April 7 the max wholesale price, over 5 minute intervals, reached $180/TWh. The cap that WUWT excoriates is at $300. There was no generation failure.
A generation failure is necessarily a trip off of generating capacity dude. A generation failure can be caused by too little power into a segment, reactive power not compensated for, etc.
You didn’t answer the question. Was a line failure responsible for all the service calls or was there other causes.!
There can be another set of circumstances. It is a line going out of service which can’t be brought back straight away. All the alternative circuits are at or near full loading so the only way of managing the excess load to get it within limits is to shed load. Powercuts in other words. This doesn’t happen often on the transmission network but is relatively common on the distribution one.
For the Sydney problem, it is almost certain it was the distribution network problem, rather than lack of energy. Energy shortfalls are generally shown by LOR (Lack of Reserves) notices by AEMO. When it gets to LOR3, they start load shedding. Queensland only got up to LOR2 before they cancelled the notice at 8:15 this morning.
Hey, Nick, please define “blackout” for us.
This list appears to be power outages due to line failures or damage, not “blackouts”.
BTW: Why do you hate poor people so much? Just asking for a friend.
What does the data show when at night when the wind doesn’t blow? I bet that Liddell supplies more than 3.2% then.
If you were to nominate times I could tell you what the percentage was at those times. It appears that black coal is the source that is in lockstep with domestic solar. It is at its minimum around midday and close to its maximum new midnight as I remember. I am not looking forward to it but I think only a major blackout across more than one state is the only thing that will shake us out of it. There is no renewable energy system in the world that is self-sufficient. I’m sure it will happen but when?
“Last winter, during a low wind deep freeze, the Aussie East Cost suffered blackouts and energy shortages.”
So the endless myth building goes here. The East Coast did not suffer blackouts. What is linked is someone worrying about possible blackouts. They didn’t happen.
If you actually bothered reading the article linked in the first paragraph you would have read “Blackouts hit some Sydney suburbs overnight on Monday…”
Today is Nick’s Blind Monkey day. Tomorrow will be Deaf Monkey day. (Mute Monkey day never seems to come around, though…)
You forgot the 4th …
“Blackouts hit some Sydney suburbs overnight on Monday…”
“Some Sydney suburbs overnight on Monday” is not the East Coast during a deep freeze. These were a few regions near Dee Why (Homes in Beacon Hill, Frenchs Forest, Narraweena, Cromer and Dee Why were all temporarily without power, Ausgrid said.). There is no reason to suspect a failure of generation, with such a small area. Local line failures are common.
It was in fact just a TV journalist trying to beat up a story and spotting an Ausgrid tweet. These happen every day, eg just Apr 8th:
Power has been restored to Cliftleigh, Gillieston Heights, Louth Park and surrounding suburbs. Thank you for your patience.
Power is currently out to customers in Annandale, Camperdown, Enmore and surrounding suburbs. Our crew are working to safely restore power.
Power is currently out to customers in South Turramurra, Turramurra, and Wahroonga. Our crew are working to safely restore power.
Power is currently out to customers in Pymble. Our crew are working to safely restore power.
Power has been restored to Blakehurst, Carlton, Hurstville and surrounding suburbs.
Power has been restored to Gorokan, Hamlyn Terrace, Kanwal and surrounding suburbs.
Out of curiosity, what is your estimate for the amount of dispatchable power which can be removed from the grid, before the grid is totally stuffed during high demand periods?
No speculation, Eric
Here is the tweet that the reporter picked up. Just the same as on any other day:
Not a blackout of the East Coast. Another day in Sydney, as it has always been.
You’re speculating the reporter was lazy and didn’t talk to anyone. And you didn’t answer my question.
“You’re speculating the reporter was lazy and didn’t talk to anyone.”
A safe bet. He gave his source as Ausgrid. And there are the tweets, as he reported verbatim.
I think the answer to your question is, just about all of it.
The followup question is going to be, with how much storage to cover intermittency?
And here Nick seems to have calculated that in 2019 for the US 6 hours supply would be needed. But (‘old cocky’ remarks a bit down the exchanges that 5 days is nearer the mark to be safe, and he does not disagree.
This was about the US, not Australia. But applying the same principles it would be consistent for him to think that you close down everything except hydro, put in 5 days of storage, overbuild the wind part of the mix, and everything will be fine.
And, the story goes, it will be cheaper to run that conventional, because of course there is no fuel cost, wind and sun being free.
I think this is the conventional wisdom from climate activists. None of whom have ever produced a proper plan for any of it, costed and with risk analysis. Instead the policy advocated seems to be, just do it, one step at a time, figure it out as you go. Same basic approach in all the English speaking countries.
” But applying the same principles it would be consistent for him to think that you close down everything except hydro, put in 5 days of storage, overbuild the wind part of the mix, and everything will be fine.”
Again, you have completely misinterpreted my analysis, which is here. Old Cocky also missed the main point, which is that you get a fast diminishing storage need depending on overbuild. I’m following Gregory’s USA48 scenario where FF is eliminated and W&S scaled up from 2019 by a factor H. H=10 barely covers the annual peak demand, and I think H=15 about matches current FF, so anything above could be called overbuild. Min storage means what would have got through 2019 – of course you have to allow more for worse years. Here is the table:
I think Old Cocky based his 4-6 hour estimate on the H=25 case.
It was an interesting analysis, and I’m glad you did it.
I didn’t miss your point, it’s just that you happened to fluke a year with no widespread long periods without appreciable wind or sunshine. 2021 may well have been quite different.
That was why I mentioned that a similar exercise for each of the last 10 years should provide a better indication of expected supply. Even then a 1 in 10 minimum leaves a major risk exposure, and coverage for a 1 in 100 year event or accepting the need for a large emergency diesel or gas generation capacity (the good enough is the enemy of the perfect)
Unless I slipped a decimal point somewhere (quite possible), the 4-6 hours was based on your H=15 case. It takes ages to load the spreadsheet, but it was just dividing the 2.4TWh by the peak daily use to give the proportion of a day it would cover.
“I didn’t miss your point”
Yes, sorry, I spoke too broadly. I meant that just quoting the one case missed the point. I think you are right that it does correspond to H=15.
That means H=25 gets down to a few minutes. How can that be? It’s because of the diversity of the USA48. In 2019 the W&S generation (hourly) never dropped below 10 GW, with mean 40 GWh. So you never need . storage (in 2019) for the case of no generation at all. In fact, with H=15 that is a worst case is 150 GW, and average FF generation scrapped is 163 GW, so you don’t draw on storage much at all. In fact, in that worst case the 2.4 TWh storage would last 184 hours.
That’s quite impressive. Almost 8 days seems a much better safety margin. Given the area which could be in the doldrums for a couple of days in winter, there must be good wind in the rest of the country.
I think I must have based that 6 hours on the basis of storage-only, or quite low wind output at night.
If you divide the 2.4 by the FF generation of 163 GW, you get 14.7 hours.
I think it was usage, not FF generation. As I noted, there may have been a silly mistake.
It’s just storage divided by the average power.
2400 GWh / 425 GW = 5.6 hours
It totally ignores fission and hydro, and assumes there is no W&S generation – purely “how long will the storage last by itself?”
Fission + hydro are around 25% of current capacity, so adding them back in we get
2400 GWh / 320 GW = 7.5 hours
It’s as rough as guts, but that’s all that’s needed to get a feel for the scale.
While I’m making excuses, Open Office choked on the spreadsheet, so it opened in Numbers. That was a good reminder of why I don’t use Numbers.
Libre Office is installed now, and it handles it well.
That spreadsheet is a mess. I’m sure it does what he wanted, but it wasn’t put together for others to use.
It’s interesting that there is some solar 24×7. Presumably, solar thermal.
Just as a matter of interest, the spreadsheet has 2019 and 2020 figures. Have you run the 2020 as a comparison?
No, I only did 2019, because I could copy it as a block from the KG spreadsheet. But I’m sure I could do 2020 too. It only requires substituting the FF and the S&W columns from KG.
Luckily, he left a gap between 2019 and 2020.
2020 starts in row 8807 of the “Battery hours” worksheet
. I haven’t read your R code yet, but I assume you’re dumping the worksheet in CSV and reading that.
Yes, R reads uncomplicated CSV. That is why I had to extract a block.
The IT purist angel on my shoulder is aghast, but the pragmatic IT devil on the other shoulder approves.
I was even slacker and copied blocks of data into new worksheets to get monthly breakdowns.
For something to be done on a repeated basis, it’s probably best to dump the entire worksheet in CSV format and pre-process it using Perl.
No, you’re right. I averaged the wrong column (gas). The FF figure should be 274 GW, That gives 8.76 hours. AK and HI may be part of the difference. And it shouldn’t be the average but some kind of smoothed annual peak value, which would bring it down more.
In fact I did that, using the max of a 5-day smooth, which is 376 GW. That makes it 6.4 hours. A 24-hour smooth is 388 GW.
I’ve been playing with the data from the “Battery hours” worksheet as well, to get a bit of an idea as to how 2019 and 2020 compare.
They aren’t strictly comparable, because as best I can tell there was an 8% W&S installed capacity increase.
Anyway, here are the numbers (based on column N)- if they paste alright
2019 2020 2020 adj (/ 1.08)
min 10,033 9,832 9,104
max 83,728 94,933 87,901
avg 40,893 46,859 43,388
std dev 12,085 13,959 12,925
Just eyeballing it, the second half of 2020 has some multi-day runs where the capacity-adjusted W&S output is only 1/2 to 2/3 of the corresponding 2019 period.
For your H=15 case, that should be a similar output to the 219 H=7.3, so presumably a similar draw on storage. That’s just eyeballing monthly worksheets and mental arithmetic with lots of rounding, so it will be interesting too see what the more rigorous (less lax?) run shows.
I did the 2020 case. For a given expansion H the storages are less, because H is operating on a larger W&S base. Here are the numbers
H Max storage TWh
For comparison, 2019 was
Just extracting the 2019 and 2020 W+S (Column N) data per-month and adding another column for differences, there were some multi-day periods which looked like they should deplete storage fairly quickly.
September seemed a prime candidate, with a 3 1/2 day stretch with W+S under 30GW/hr and long stretches in the teens.
Still, demand less fission + hydro averages around 320GW and September is lower demand.
As far as I could tell, North America had 8% more installed capacity in 2020 than 2019, so I might have a play around later, install R, and give your code a run with a few tweaks.
I’ve included an XL sheet in the zip file if you prefer that. I’m using it. I think the right thing to do is fix a year for W&S, and then vary the year for FF.
I’ve been meaning for far too long to learn R, so this is a good excuse. Spreadsheets are handy for quick and dirty stuff, but it’s very hard to maintain software engineering discipline with them.
Speaking of which, I had to check that RCS or CVS are installed on this box – all good.
I don’t think that’s the best approach. If the object of the exercise is to determine optimal W&S overbuild and storage requirements, we probably need the following hourly data for each year:
and total W&S installed nameplate capacity for the year.
FF is the gap between demand and supply.
The rationale is:
Subtracting fission + hydro from demand gives the amount to be supplied by W&S. Scaling the W&S output to the baseline year keeps the total W&S capacity multiple (H) consistent.
Anyway, time to veg out with the TV – might have some more thoughts manana.
Ken Gregory omitted hydro and nuclear. His rationale is that they wouldn’t change. I thought that odd at first, but I’ve come round to it. Putting them in won’t affect storage.
I don’t think nameplate really helps. We take for given that FF generators are measured by their output, and makes sense for W&S too.
I agree about W&S baseline.
I’ve been looking at downloading IEA data for other years. But they make it very hard. Only a month at a time, and a lot of manual stuff for each.
Total demand – (fission + hydro) should come out the same as FF + W&S, so it’s probably a matter of preference. The factor of interest is the hourly demand which will need to be met by W&S + storage. At least I think it is. Keeping hydro and nuclear in skews the total demand.
W&S output tends to be around 30% of nameplate, but is variable. Installed nameplate capacity give a value which can be more readily compared inter-annually.
Really, inter-annual comparisons of each form of energy supply should be based on installed capacity. That’s the only really stable value..
It’s frustrating when data are hard to come by 🙁
They do have an API to allow for automated downloads – https://www.eia.gov/opendata/documentation.php
The art seems to be in figuring out what data to ak for 🙂
Yes, I tried that, and even got myself a key. But it is very raw data. You can get hourly with fuel type, but only for each generator, or maybe each state.
The UK site gives three months at a time. Well, annoyingly, 90.66 days at a time. But it’s slow.
I’m still mucking about interactively.
The best I have so far is
The chart seems to be smoothed to daily. Haven’t got to the underlying data yet, either.
The US48 respondent is the one of interest. The API should allow that to be specified.
Ahh, this looks better – https://www.eia.gov/opendata/browser/electricity/rto/fuel-type-data?frequency=hourly&data=value;&facets=respondent;&respondent=US48;&start=2022-01-01T00&end=2022-06-30T00&sortColumn=period;respondent;&sortDirection=asc;desc;
I’ve done the case of UK for year 2022. The storage diminishes less rapidly with W&S expansion factor H, because the dips in W&S are more severe:
H Store TWh
It’s very much a worst case; I’ve put import/export in the same category as nuclear/hydro. That means it isn’t being used to alleviate dips, which of course it would be.
Imports/exports are purely for smoothing as far asI can tell.
You could probably discard exports as oversupply, and imports should probably be treated as a peaking power source.
Does that make much difference?
What’s the UK average and peak demand look like?
Oh, and what base is the UK coming off. I think the US averaged about 10% W&S in the 2019 data.
UK was 24.3% W&S in 2022.
All the H values I gave should be increased by 1 (since I used FF as target, not FF+SW).
I tried just scaling up import/export along with W&S. Then hardly any storage was required at all. I think that reflects that UK has so far been able to balance windless with imports, and they might help a lot in the future scenario
15 x 0.25 is a lot bigger than 15 x 0.1.
The geographic spread in the US makes quite a difference. Aus should be somewhat similar to the US if WA is included.
As far as the UK grid is concerned, imports are either an infinite energy source or infinite storage. For the UK alone, it might be better to assume imports are either 0 or track W&S at a constant ratio.
Of course, the UK alone is a pathological case, only being 4x the area of Tasmania (UK 248,000 square km. Tassie 68,000 square km) in a much narrower north-south configuration and much further from the equator (London 51 degrees N, Launceston 41 degrees S)
New Zealand is comparable in area (268,000 square km) and alignment, but even then is 10 degrees closer to the equator.
In any case, not good for solar and the whole place would be affected by weather fronts.
It will nail down a bit further, specifying respondent and ebergy source, but there’s probably no advantage in splitting it out to individual response files.
They have an Excel plugin, which I assume just parses the XML|JSON response data and whacks it out as CSV. That would at least save a bit of stuffing about writing a parser in Perl or Python.
ps the add-in is at https://www.eia.gov/opendata/excel/
I’ve worked out the EIA system, with the help of your URLs. I’ve put a zip file here with CSV hourly data for 2021 and 2022. They don’t seem to have the first half of 2018, or anything earlier.
Well, almost 6 years of hourly data isn’t too bad a sample.
OK, just say then. For a given jurisdiction how many days of supply do you think will be needed in order to move to almost entirely wind and solar.
Are you saying, for the US, install 20 times the installed W/S base of 2019 and it would be OK with 0.44TWh storage? Or do you want more to allow for worse years?
What would be your estimate for the comparable numbers for the UK?
I find the UK easier to reckon as a test case because of the more readily accessible real time detail on energy generation. Or maybe its just I know where to find it for the UK.
I have just calculated what is needed to get through 2019, since I am working with Ken Gregory’s hourly data. And yes, you’d need to llow for worse years, but this is external to this modelling.
And yes, 0.44 TWh was enough to get through 2019 with H=20.
I have put my XL and an R program and other materials in a zipfile here. It shouldn’t be hard to adapt it to the UK. The storage will be relatively greater because it’s more likely that the wind will fail everywhere. On the other hand, there is the Continent.
When the wind doesn’t blow in the UK it is also frequently not blowing over large parts of Europe.
Nick, would you please post some photos of your solar panels and such? How do you get your renewable energy? Panel array in the yard? I bet you have none.
Old mate Nick he’d have to drive an EV wouldn’t he? This would be it I reckon, cruzin’ in the $300k Taycan
No worries, mates. St. Greta of Stockholm will save us.
Magic mushrooms to be legalized on 1 July.
Currently Liddell is running at 320MW from just one unit and NSW is a conduit to send 500MW of Queensland coal power to Victoria.
“NSW is a conduit to send 500MW of Queensland coal power to Victoria.”
Here is the data from the AEMO Q4 report. Qld sends 500MW to NSW, but so does Victoria. In fact Victoria, with wind and sun, is the biggest exporter. Same in other quarters.
As I have pointed out to you before, there is a very big difference between power flows in a grid and energy flows. You are deliberately confusing this. Power outages are just that, no power, not energy.
How much wind and solar were Victoria producing this morning at 7:10 when they had the morning peak? Not enough to run the place so they had to import power from other coal burners, mainly Queensland as NSW was short.
“As I have pointed out to you before, there is a very big difference between power flows in a grid and energy flows.”
Let me quote again what you said, that I was responding to:
“ NSW is a conduit to send 500MW of Queensland coal power to Victoria”
MW, you said. And just not true. Victoria, with wind and no Hazelwood, is the biggest exporter.
And I repeat to you, they were not exporting POWER this morning when I posted the original comment. What were the main generators on in Queensland when I posted where they would have got the power from? They are still importing about 750MW nett POWER right now.
The power is in negative pricing, but the interconnectors coming in from QLD to NSW, NSW and SA are near rating exporting. The grid operators have got real issues but hard to pick what they are. I suspect there are a lot of line constraints
This is the problem. Red means the interconnector at rating
You can often work out what has happened or is happening by the market notices:
Notices now frequently occur because it is a much more difficult problem shuffling energy around and ensuring the system remains stable.
Lightning was an issue in QLD last night:
Despite the synchronous condensers being in operation in SA they still get directions to run dispatchable plant:
Thanks for that Will. Not much of interest relative to this topic. Queensland lack of reserves from duck curve ramping and constraining GTs in SA on for inertia requirements seems only generation issues.
True, there isn’t much wind here at the moment. But there is plenty of power around. Prices are negative everywhere:
But NOT in Victoria. That is why they are importing which goes back to what I originally wrote and you seem to have some trouble understanding.
-20.0 in Victoria. But it’s still worth importing from NSW at -42.40. No-one wants to fire up a FF generator when prices are negative.
This is dead opposite of what actually happens. No coal operator wants to shut down a boiler.
The coal generators offer blocks of energy at or near the floor price in order to remain scheduled when the price goes negative. That forces the grid wind and solar to curtail while the steam plant produce at minimum stable output so they remain fired. It is expensive to shut down a boilers so the steam plants accept the negative price over a few hours knowing it will be recovered when the rooftops go off the boil in the afternoon.
At 11am 11Apr, rooftops were supplying 35% of the NEM demand. Just behind coal at 36%. Wind was just 5%.
Both SA and QLD were curtailing grid scale intermittents. Gas in SA was directed to run to keep system stability and producing 10% of the SA demand..
“This is dead opposite of what actually happens. No coal operator wants to shut down a boiler.”
Coal is not the issue. From your table, coal in Vic was generating 2857 MW, Demand was 3951 MW. Local wind was low. What to do?
The choices are to import from NSW at -$44 a MWh, or fire up a gas generator. A no-brainer, really.
So you were wrong on the notion that FF shuts down but then throw in more nonsense.
The brown coal was turned down. There would be no need to fire up gas other than for stability in SA. If the sun was not shining in Victoria and rooftops were not singing across the country gas might be needed if the brown coal reached capacity. They are just cranking up the brown coal now as the rooftops come off the boil. Brown coal producing 3.3GW at 1330hrs.
Gas is the second last option but will get hammered after Liddell closes and the sun moves further north.
I have no exposure to the grid price and I am prepared for the inevitable rolling load management. I have warned others.
May is historically the worst month for solar in southern regions of Australia so the test for Liddell free grid could be as early as May 2023.
“So you were wrong on the notion that FF shuts down”
No, I very clearly said that
“No-one wants to fire up a FF generator when prices are negative”
True or not?
Not true but also not relevant because they do not shut them down once they are in production after maintenance periods in response to negative prices. They just turn then up and down as the daily data demonstrates.
Even the older generation black coal furnaces work up around 1200C and can take a few days to bring on line. They are not going to come on and off line in response to hourly price signals.
They forecast when they can schedule maintenance based on historical demand and the ancient clapped out plant suffers plenty of unplanned outages or forced capacity reductions that can take them out of operation. They will bring them on line during negative pricing if that is what was scheduled. Through autumn and spring, negative pricing is a feature in Australia so coal plants are not going to play around with planned work in response to negative prices for a few hours.
“From your table, coal in Vic was generating 2857 MW, Demand was 3951 MW. “
Yes, Brown coal nearly always produces the bulk of Victoria’s electricity, just as black coal is nearly always by far and away the largest producer in NSW.
Liddell is still running at 320MW though
I suspect that both of us are old enough to remember the reliability and low cost of Australian hydrocarbon fuelled electricity.
Do you remember that era of low anxiety, low quantity of discussion, when electricity blackouts were mainly caused by union strikes, mostly long ago?
Why do you seem to wish for the current anxiety, the large volume of debate, the lack of answers to logical questions like “Will Liddell close or not in a few days?” Obfuscation, misdirection, political advantage and the like, abound in the modern trendy woke manner. Sometimes I wonder if major decision making has descended to the class of girlie tweets about teenage glamour.
Nick, what is it that you like for our electrical supply green future plans, given that it was at its easy best when engineers designed and managed coal plants economically and reliably? Why is it really so important to demolish the best we had? Who benefits? Geoff S
“the reliability and low cost of Australian hydrocarbon fuelled electricity”
Not in Victoria. I remember when much of the Latrobe Valley was given over to coal fired generation. And there was plenty of disruption.
The main fact of course is that since 1990 no-one has wanted to build a new generator. In the long term they just can’t compete with wind and sun. And they aren’t agile enough to complement them, as gas can.
Nick, it has been mostly a hostile Labor regulatory environment for coal power generators since 1990 – e.g. Kirner, Bracks, Brumby, Andrews led governments, with only interludes from conservative govts (Kennett as the exception).
Why would investors beat into headwinds when they can set course for a downwind run in many other parts of the world?
Maybe this is why China stopped building coal fuelled generators and pivoted to wind and solar as the alternative to coal – or maybe not!
China will replace Liddell’s capacity in 114 hours with new coal capacity in China. So less than one week after Liddell is taken off for good, China will have replaced it in China and Australia will shift more of its resources to China for their manufactured goods including all the wind turbines, solar panels, transmission lines, batteries, gas plants, synchronous condensers and related gear needed to replace the decrepit coal station.
“pivoted to wind and solar as the alternative to coal – or maybe not!”
Or maybe so. Here, from Wiki, is the breakdown. Coal is still growing, as are most things in China. But renewables are growing faster.
When you have next to nothing, a large percentage increase is still next to nothing. The chart confirms that. Solar is not even discernible on the chart.
Coal is trending linearly upward since around 2010 after its exponential rise. It is adding to the generated energy at rate four times more than W&S are adding.
Wind and solar in China produce less than 10% of the electrical energy so just above the negligible level but a long way from the negative impact horizon of 25% that some western countries are now experiencing. Cost of electricity rises rapidly from 10% penetration of intermittents to 25%. The imminent removal of W&S subsidies has forced efficiency gains in the W&S supply chain but they are yet to confront the high system costs of getting W&S above 10% of generation. The focus is shifting to nuclear and gas while new coal plants are still being built.
If you look at total primary energy consumption in China, oil use is still rising exponentially. And W&S energy extractors require a massive amount of met coal in their manufacture. The Chinese are well educated and not ardent climate botherers or believers so economics will prevail there.
Nick is using hydro to boost his “renewables” growth, but only mentioning wind and solar…
Disingenuous, as always.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World \energy 2022
coal remained the dominant fuel for electricity production in 2021 rising to 36%.
Wind and solar stood at 10.2% mainly driven by China which accounted for 36% of solar and 40% of wind growth.
The Global Wind Energy Council meanwhile notes that wind installation onshore declined by 18% in 2020 whilst China accounted for 80% of offshore wind capacity growth in 2021.
China is not the whole world.
Latest information from the Global Wind Energy Council shows that global wind energy in 2022 added to the grid was down 3.7% on 2021, the two largest markets (US & China) losing a combined 5% of market share and the second consecutive year that both countries have lost market share.
Geoff S said: “the reliability and low cost of Australian hydrocarbon fuelled electricity”
Nick said: “Not in Victoria. I remember when much of the Latrobe Valley was given over to coal fired generation.”
Nick, why do you think that “coal” is not “hydrocarbon fuelled”? What do you think coal is?
“What do you think coal is?”
Carbon! No hydrogen. Well, Victorian coal has a lot of water. But that doesn’t make it a hydrocarbon.
Nick attempts distraction with –
““What do you think coal is?”
Carbon! No hydrogen.”
Almost every capable author attributues the origin of coal to botanical matter, in part if not in whole.
Hydrocarbons are always present in botanical matter before nature refines it to coal.
So yes, coal is indeed appropriately labelled as a hydrocarbon because it is but one step in a natural hydrocarbon process.
The origin of you is botanical matter, but you are not a hydrocarbon.
Hydrocarbon has a well understood meaning, very significant in electricity generation. They are alkanes, stretching to aromatics like benzene, and sometimes unsaturated. That means gas and oil (and refined oil products). Coal is carbon, and is not a hydrocarbon.
or even carbohydrates.
Hmm, C compounds must be good – they’re organic 🙂
Oh I see. So when Geoff said “hydrocarbon fuelled”, in a discussion on coal vs. renewable energy, you thought he meant “liquid hydrocarbons but not coal” for some reason? (I do not know what was in Geoff’s head, but my impression is that he meant “cheap reliable carbon based fossil fuels, which may or may not have hydrogen atoms attached, and may or may not have come from actual fossils” as opposed to “expensive and unreliable renewable energy not involving carbon-dug-out-of-the-ground-and-burnt-with-oxygen-to-produce-CO2”, which category usually for some reason also excludes hydropower and nuclear energy)
Does that mean that you, Nick, are opposed to (liquid or gas) long-chain hydrocarbon power but not to (solid) coal power? Or vice versa? I have never seen anyone else in the RE business make this distinction before. (It is the carbon that the greenies are objecting to, after all, not the hydrogen)
Nick alleges –
“since 1990 no-one has wanted to build a new generator. In the long term they just can’t compete with wind and sun.”
Nick, why did we build colal, then gas plants all over the World, in large numbvers, before there was any real interest in wind and solar?
What changed in 1990?
It was nor our understanding of engineering.
It was not our modelling of economics.
It was not a change of resource availability..
It was a political decision to make coal and gas uncompetitive with the new dream of free wind and sun.
Sorry, but I prefer science and engineering decisions over politicial decisions.
“What changed in 1990?”
Actually, I know what happened in 1990, because I was part of a consultation team looking at the next cab off the rank after Loy Yang, which was Driffield. We were asked to comment on the forecasting of demand. Some in the SEC pointed to recent rise in demand, but that was mainly from new aluminium smelters, and there didn’t seem to be any more coming. Basically, with Loy Yang current demand was more than covered, and a new station wouldn’t be needed for many years.
What changed then was that the mechanics of wind and solar got much cheaper, making them the most economic option.
At the moment Victoria is 60% brown coal. !
NSW is 84% Coal and Gas!
I like NEM-watch , shows ALL the black and brown coal in Vic and NSW, properly scaled..
and how little wind there actually is.
Live Supply & Demand Widget, sponsored by RenewEconomy | (nem-watch.info)
So when Nick says Vic is exporting wind.. even though brown coal is producing nearly 2.4 times as much electricity….
… It is deliberate and deceitful misinformation…
How many coal-fired power stations will China build this month?
China added an average of 1.7GW of coal generation each week in 2022. I do not know how many stations were added. Some capacity increase comes from station expansion. The average station is about 3GW and more recents units are rated at 1GW.
China has tremendous experience in coal power generation and power station construction. They dominate global coal plant development and construction.
Australia’s loss of 1.2GW of capacity will be replaced in 114 hours by new Chinese capacity.
Don’t worry. We’ll be able to buy some on Alibaba.
I checked it out – The price is low but the transport cost is horrendous.
Especially with those slow, wind/solar powered ships.
When people are cold and in the dark they just might start to rethink their positions and what they’ve been lead to believe
True, but “rethinking” doesn’t always lead to the right conclusion. Sometimes they just burn more witches, or support a communist coup.
Well I’m hoping for the right one
Reminds me of the famous cantina scene in Star Wars where one of the alien customers assaults Luke Skywalker: “You won’t be sorry. You’ll be dead.”
Unfortunately that will be true for many poor elderly in places with cold winters.
No, the Elites that make these idiot decisions will not be any of those in the cold & dark.
In my experience Aussies care a lot about fairness. Eventually the utter uselessness of their green sacrifices is going to burn them, as they watch China, India, etc go on merrily building coal-fired electricity plants and watch an interrupted rise in CO2.
At that point they’ll demand a relook at climate science.
Unfortunately a lot of Aussies have accepted the lie that their CO2 emissions hurt pacific islanders and disadvantaged people, which is something Aussies care about. It’s going to take a lot of pain to convince people to re-evaluate that acceptance.
Remind them that Indonesia is a large user of coal and saw record exports of coal in 2022 🙂
I not only think they should shut down Liddell but at least one more coal plant just to show us how confident they are with wind and solar. The sooner they hit rock bottom the better. Let’s not prolong the pain any longer than we have to.
When such plants die, they often die spectacularly, with large explosions and fires. Continued operation of such a decrepit plant could put workers’ lives at risk.
Sure can and PCBUs can face serious jail terms under industrial manslaughter laws nowadays so that’s the obvious leverage for Liddell operators to dump that risk in the Minister’s lap. OTOH Minister for X millions we could bring the plant back up to scratch…?
Meanwhile I note the usual suspects in Oz are looking to emulate the general global push for EVs via the backdoor of strangling emissions for ICEs-
The end is nigh for gas-powered cars (msn.com)
Well if the deplorables won’t wear direct carbon taxing they’ll have to be skun another way.
As an aside here it won’t be easy for Albanese negotiating the possible closure of Australia’s last two oil refineries-
Last remaining oil refineries urged to stay in Australia with $2 billion fuel security package – ABC News
At present they produce higher sulphur 91 octane that would have to go with upping our fuel Standard to Euro6 or 7 instead of Euro5 at present. Like the coal generators there’s no returns to be had in upgrading the refineries to produce cleaner fuels and yet they’re full of Labor’s hardcore union mates so decisions…decisions…?
Finally the chickens come home to roost for Australia’s lefty California-
Victorian government in talks to secure a bailout in upcoming federal budget (msn.com)
Oh dear, sounds as if the Land of Oz needs a new wizard.
In 2016, the entire state of South Australia went dark because of these unreliable beasts. The next year, they authorities were better prepared and had a list of suburbs to black out in sequence (that was both SA and Victoria, hence the term Victoria Bitter). This year we can look forward to that happening on the entire eastern seaboard (in American terms, think up to and including Ohio).
I wonder which suburbs will be blacked out first?
I’m pretty sure that the ones where politicians and other VIPs live will be blacked out last.
I wonder which suburbs will be blacked out first?
There’s an international competition going on for that lucky prize-
Germany to switch off last remaining nuclear plants (msn.com)
I dont usually light a fire till May if i can manage(the cost factor) however last night was down to 5c so this yr might be an early start. to run electric heater for a few hrs in a closed room costs me around 5$ a day
wood warms the entire home for about 4+ weeks carefully managed@300 a load, not cheap either but damn its nicer
the diesel heaters used in vans cost around 200$ diesels just hit 1.90 a litre, but friends running one say the 10litre tank lasted them for many days(their holiday cabin is however smaller than my area..but its looking like a viable alternative
I think we’re in trouble . . . big trouble.
For the longest time I’ve thought that we, skeptics and “deniers,” simply had to be patient and standby while those at the “bleeding edge,” like California and Australia, provided the world with a glimpse of their awful future. At that point, I figured, a massive pushback, complete with torches and pitchforks, as awful as that might be, would put things right.
Today . . . I don’t think that’s the scenario . . . .
Yes, California, after last summer’s Rolling blackouts, is going to allow Diablo Canyon to operate another years. But any demand for a complete review of their energy future? Nope!
I’ve been waiting for the mob to storm Oakland’s city hall, demanding permits for natural gas installations on new construction but all I got was the California Restaurant Association bringing a lawsuit.
At this point, I’m afraid that too many people have been so fully indoctrinated that their reaction to the consequences of “Zero Carbon” will be somewhere
along the line of, “Yea, this is awful but if that’s what we need to do to save the planet . . . .”
It’s not going to be pretty.
Anyway, that’s what I think.
It is not 100% certain that Diablo Canyon will stay open. Anti-nuclear, pro wind & solar activists are now working hard to convince the publicly-owned municipal utilities in California who buy Diablo’s power not to buy any more of it. Time will tell whether ot not Diablo manages to survive these latest efforts lobbying against its continued operation.
In the US, the average age at retirement of coal plants is 42 years. Lindell’s four 500 MW units came on line between 1971 and 1973. So the youngest is now 50 years old. Ordering Liddell to stay open is dicey at best. Gonna be a big grid problem.
Reading all this does make me appreciate living in a rain forest, as BC gets something like 85% of its electriity from hydro. No drama, 24/7 365 days a year constant power. I never hear of any issues with generation. But there is the rain.