Essay by Eric Worrall
Life without coal? Within hours of the final closure of Liddell Coal Plant permanently removing 10% of New South Wales’ baseload power, an electricity reserve shortfall notice was issued.
Hilights from the video;
“A couple of hours after Liddell Closed, AEMO, which is Australian Energy Market Operator, well they issued an electricity Market Notice, forecasting a lack of reserve, level one energy supply, New South Wales”
“There’s not one of your viewers, I can tell you right now, which has seen a decrease in their power prices”.
“The reality is coming, that light you see in the distance Peta, that is the train of reality coming to run us all over, and as you said, AEMO has already issued warning notices on the reserve, there’s not enough there”
“What can a battery of that size do? — Well firstly it doesn’t exist, so nothing. But secondly, if they do manage to build it, from the reports I’ve seen, it’s got a capacity of 2GWh. The actual capacity in hours by MW is the important bit. So if it has a 500MW maximum capacity, it can do 4 hours at 500MW, to apparently replace roughly 1300MW of good, reliable coal fired power which runs 24×7. These are not tough numbers to get your head around … I had a good look at all the solar farms in NSW, assuming you had 4 hours of good sunlight, they couldn’t charge it anyway”
“… There is no reliability on intermittent wind and solar…”
“What’s the latest on the gas caps? — Well this is just another shambles, I mean it’s communism 101, from what I can see of the current proposal, it comes to down to the two ministers, Madeleine King and Chris Bowen, to decide if they like your gas company or not … We’ve seen the Japanese Ambassador screaming about sovereign risk …”Watch the video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1238552883720592
It’s good to see my local MP Keith Pitt picking up the ball on Net Zero and renewables again. We at WUWT were disappointed in 2021, when Pitt stayed silent as his then party leader publicly embraced Net Zero, in a desperate attempt to save a few of their useless inner city “conservative” colleagues in the 2022 federal election. That last minute green posturing didn’t convince anyone, the Conservative seats they tried to save mostly ended up falling to the Teals (well funded green independents).
Unfortunately, despite these warnings and words of common sense, I now believe it is inevitable that Australia will hit the green energy wall WUWT described a few days ago. Unless there is a radical change of course, sometime before the end of this decade, Australia begin to suffer South African scale blackouts.
Even if there is a desperate last minute awakening, an attempt to prevent the closure of Australia’s remaining coal plants, there will be nothing left worth saving.
None of the legacy fossil fuel power plants have been properly maintained. Australia’s “reliable” energy infrastructure is no longer reliable, all the plants have all been run into the ground, by owners who believe fossil fuel energy has no future in green Australia. The Australian government’s recent introduction of a carbon tax in my opinion just seals their fate.
“Within hours of the final closure of Liddell Coal Plant permanently removing 10% of New South Wales’ baseload power, an electricity reserve shortfall notice was issued.”
t was a forecast notice, not actual, and has already been cancelled.
Nick, I am sure that if you clap loud enough, Tinkerbelle will live. Or wind and solar will be viable. Whatever.
Well put Tom.
Look! She is sprinkling that pixie dust on the grid to make it work with renewables. Isn’t she wonderful!.
Snorting it, more likely.
Outcomes of all the climate models immediately occurred to me as soon as I read this.
You must remember that “outcomes” from a simulation as it relates to future global climate and “warming” are sacrosanct, not to be questioned. It is data my friend, hard data!, beyond reproach. SARC/-
Because forecasting supply is difficult when it depends on whether the weather cooperates.
Nick, these are not the droids you are looking for.
Droids? Don’t you mean idiots?
It was cancelled because someone realized the ‘optics’ of what they were doing ?
No, these notices are fairly frequent, and usually cancelled. Here is a set from earlier in April, mostly relating to Qld
They never occurred 10 years ago. In fact, did they exist before Hazelwood closed?
There was only one LOR condition or forecast in NSW in Q! 2021 – per attached.
There has been a massive increase in number of lack of reserve notices in NSW since last week.
startedbecame necessary in 2009.
Coincidently, the same year wind generated supply to the grids increased from 0 to ~3 Twh, and solar similarly 1 year later.
Now, AEMO has several departments within such as Engineering and Design, Forecasting, National Planning, Operational forecasting, Markets and Strategies as well as administrative, safety, peopleculture and human resources departments. AEMO is the semi-governmental body that acts as the information source for the industry’s and manufacturers outlook on the national electricity policies, forecast as well as future plans. The organisation is owned 60% by the Government and 40% by industry and market participants. AEMO has offices across the country in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide as well as a handful of regional offices.
All of which additional costs have to be borne by taxpayers and electricity consumers.
And just how “frequent” were they before construction of wind farms and solar panels began?!
available operating capacity is only one facet of the requirements for a stable grid.
Other requirements are for synchronous generation that can modulate output to keep demand and supply in balance.
Generators with real inertia, not just artificial flywheels. Real generators can increase power to maintain frequency which does not happen with just pure inertia, inertia in itself is just a damper..
Generators that can provide reactive power.
Generators that can feed short circuit current levels.
Wind and solar provide non of these so need additional resources to fulfil these basic requirements.
Some can be done with batteries as the power but they have to be large and the larger the battery, the greater the need for increased generating capacity over and above grid requirements.
While not essential it is benefitial that generators have a lifespan of more than a couple or so of decades.
According to Watt Clarity, the problems in both NSW and SA were line constraints. The generation was not where the load was, so the transmission lines carrying the power had reached their operating limits. That is a problem becoming ever more common.
Nick is whistling a happy tune past the graveyard!
I’m telling you, you need to shut down a couple more coal plants. There is no benefit from dragging this out. Hit the wall now and get it over with. In the end Australia needs fossil fuel generators, it would be better with a mix of fossil fuel and nuclear. So long as you keep pretending you will prolong the pain, stop pretending and rebuild your fossil fuel industry, it’s not going anywhere.
The 2880 MW Eraring facility is the next major coal plant scheduled for closure in Australia, in 2025.
Financial Times: Crunch time looms for Origin on Eraring closure
From the article:
“Origin last February brought forward its timetable for shutting the 2880-megawatt plant on the Central Coast by seven years to August 2025, earning plaudits for accelerating the decarbonisation of its portfolio and helping achieve Australia’s ambitious 2030 targets for emissions reduction.
But 12 months later, the decision is being increasingly questioned, particularly after Snowy Hydro’s new chief executive confirmed market suspicions that its 2000 MW pumped hydro storage project would now be completed at the end of 2027, rather than 2026. Even though new wind and solar farms and batteries are being built, doubts remain about how much on-demand capacity will be available.
Quizzed by analysts about the Eraring closure plan on Thursday, Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said the company would need to know 18 to 24 months in advance if the generator – which supplies about 25 per cent of NSW’s power needs – needed to be kept running.”
“Earning plaudits for accelerating decarbonisation yada yada.”
You should carefully keep notes of all the merry “plauditers”. Names, dates, preferably where they might be found.
You will need that information after you have sat in the dark for a few hours. Most likely sweating rather than shivering, since it’s OZ.
In the meantime you might want to sharpen up your pitchfork.
I’m admittedly pessimistic.If the voters in OZ are like those in California and in New York State, the politicians who are pushing this Net Zero nonsense won’t be paying any price at all for the energy disasters which befall their constituencies.
Is it now appropriate to say that Australia has officially surpassed Germany in the poor energy planning competition?
According to the Australian Financial Review: “Liddell shutdown a test of Australia’s orderly energy transition … Passing the Liddell test would be a good omen”.
It’s like playing Russian roulette with the nation’s power supply, if things are OK after the Liddell closure we next try closing the Eraring power station and see what happens, then the next base-load fossil generator and so on.
The results are inevitable.
Passing the tenth floor in free fall toward the ground is a good omen?
Making bad choices is now a routine occurence in this orderly energy transition. It isn’t so much the decision to close these stations as it is the earlier decisions to not maintain anything. Diverting resources into pretend stuff to earn brownie points with enviros and regulators while neglecting maintenance and upgrades will get resources to the point they have to be shutdown anyway with nothing to truly take their place. We are seeing this inevitability in the American West.
Last night was even more interesting because the market hit a financial constraint on energy transfers and AEMOs exposure.
The price regularly bounced up to $3,000/MWh. It appears gas plant in NSW was fired up to overcome the constraint. But it shows that the planning may not have been as solid as they promised.
No real drama in delivery of power but NSW has increasing reliance on other states now.
Yes . I wondered about that.
next they will say about the shortfall…”It was worse than we thought’
All reminiscent of trying to teach a pig to fly. Getting one leg off the ground is easy. Two isn’t much harder. Getting three off the ground is a worthy feat, but that fourth leg is the real trick. No matter how hard you try it just won’t stay in the air.
This economic suicide isn’t in slow motion anymore.
Something that I have observed is that debt levels in jurisdictions are reasonably correlated with “renewables” penetration.
As “:renewables” make an economy less sustainable by eliminating energy intensive industries, it becomes more reliance on China for manufactured items
Germany was doing OK running on Russian NG but since that is no longer an option, they have started the slippery slide into economic oblivion.
USA does not have a problem while the USD remains the global currency but China is making big inroads into that monopoly now. When USA is required to live within its own means rather than the rest of the world, it will be a tougher life.
Green electorates, give them what they want, only green power. Same with some of the clever MP’s that are saying that solar and wind are sooooo good. Prove it, live on only solar and wind.
That’s where it gets interesting, because if the power fails, they don’t blame green energy, they blame the people who implemented it, because its easier to believe in incompetence than to admit you are wrong. There’s a real chance they would swing further left.
Nah. They’ll blame climate change. “Worse than we thought”. Or that the evil fossil fuels weren’t able to step into the breach, like what they say about the Texas freeze up.
None of the legacy fossil fuel power plants have been properly maintained. Australia’s “reliable” energy infrastructure is no longer reliable, all the plants have all been run into the ground
Sounds eerily like the infrastructure collapse in Atlas Shrugged. I guess if you can’t adopt socialism the old-fashioned way with a bloody revolution you can ease into it the new way, slouching slowly toward mediocrity then rapidly toward an accelerating catastrophe. Apparently Americans didn’t want to make our country great again either, preferring the banality of dreary Leftism and all its attendant joys like Struggle Sessions to declare our implicit racism and white guilt, the torching of our cities in honor of a criminal who OD’d in police custody, Poop Maps to help navigate the filth that adorns our once golden cities, and rolling blackouts to appease Gaia for the destruction wreaked on her (they/them?) by the greedy burning of fossil fuels.
Who is John Galt?
Indeed. I suspect what Ayn Rand was describing was the greed and corruption of the Bolshevik economic collapse she herself personally witnessed as a teenager. Interesting how applicable it all seems to today’s world.
Keith Pitt in the video appeared to accuse the Aussie government of playing favourites, forcing gas companies to adhere to price fixing unless granted special exemption by the relevant ministers – very reminiscent of the price fixing skullduggery in Atlas Shrugged, though I’m sure there is no corruption involved of course.
The French had a similar problem with their many nukes. When president Macaroon came to occupy the Elysee Palace he declared that the nukes would be replaced by windmills. Result: maintenance of the nukes basically stopped. Then, luckily for Les Frogs, four years later Putin banged the sense back into the virtue signalling heads and the nukes were back in business. They just made up the backlog in upgrades to see the Germans through the mild winter.
The entire Net-Zero movement is a global re-enactment of the Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate mass suicides – except for the times-100M-multiplier number of murders that will accompany it.
I run the website spasmodicenergy.com. I note that Liddell is often quoted as 10% of the electricity used in New South Wales. I look at the overall usage on the eastern grid and that is 3.2% for Liddell in 2022. Its output has been run down, I’m not sure why that is but it is certainly the case. A bigger impact will occur with Eraring since it is 5.5%. Sooner or later there will be a major blackout I think we have to brace ourselves for that it is not to be avoided. Renewables are not taking up the slack principally in the area of energy storage. Currently coal is propping it up but that will come a time when it is not able to, most likely a large blackout will start between 6 and 12 PM. Only then will a whole series of politicians wake up. Hopefully these delusional idiots will never be forgiven.
I use the AEMO websites BUT, I note that they have problems.
At 19:50, (AEST, today), Eraring was showing up as 673MW from a capacity of 720MW. See https://anero.id/energy
The PROBLEM here is that the actual total generating capacity is approximately FOUR times that value. For some reason the AEMO page, that is meant to show ALL generators lists ONLY one of the four units at the fossil fueled facility, (it used to be the same for Liddell too).
If you want to find the true generating capacity of a coal fired plant on an AEMO site I use there fossil fuel page, https://anero.id/energy/fossil-energy I then DESELECT all generators, using the groupings at the base. THEN select the generators, ALL OF THEM, at the site and look at them as a SUM of the values.
For example, the first web site shows Eraring generating 673MW, BUT it is actually generating close to 2690MW, (using the sum approach listed above).
Currently NSW is consuming just over 9000MW, so Eraring is providing 30% of the load.
Now the big question. WHY would AEMO list only one generator at a fossil fuel site, yet seem to have no problems listing the TOTAL generation of a windfarm where there are multiple small generators?
Maybe there is a software switch that my browser or I have missed. I’d like to know if others see the same limitations.
Note, I selected the NSW load and not the eastern end of Australia. I did that because the NSW grid is isolated, excepting for the interconnection cables, that at peak can supply a maximum of 2349MW, which is less that the Eraring total capability.
And for those with an eye for detail, I missed at least one there/their above. Hope you all spotted it.
Yes, I did spot it Ian.
I am also unsure about how to clear 142 check boxes at one. Am I not seeing a button. And am I supposed to uncheck all boxes and then recheck them all, or just recheck the coal-fired ones?
At the base, click the total, click the sub-total and click the states. It takes 7 or 8 clicks to clear ALL Of the generators.
That is just prudent behaviour when your government and your central bankers tell you their intentions and warn of “stranded assets”. Ignoring the directions of the people who literally run your economy would be whimsical. I would not be surprised if it even violated rules of corporate governance.
I don’t put any of this on the owners.
quelgeek: “I don’t put any of this on the owners.”
Financial Times: Crunch time looms for Origin on Eraring closure
“Quizzed by analysts about the Eraring closure plan on Thursday, Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said the company would need to know 18 to 24 months in advance if the generator – which supplies about 25 per cent of NSW’s power needs – needed to be kept running.”
It is part of the job description of a modern-era utility CEO to take public blame for the consequences of decisions made by politicians. It’s a responsibility for which these utility CEOs are being well compensated.
Suppose a decision is made that Eraring must keep operating after 2025. What will be the dynamics of how that decision is being made? Who are the stakeholders, and what will those stakeholders be saying as to why the facility should, or shouldn’t, stay open?
For example, if the decision is made to keep Earling open, will there be a subsidy of some kind involved? In which case Origin benefits from the subsidy, but OZ energy consumers get screwed.
On the other hand, if Earling is closed, the adverse fallout from that closure isn’t Origin’s problem to deal with. Frank Calabria might take some public criticism for a few days, but that will soon pass.
Either way, energy consumers in OZ still get screwed.
Here in the US, the CEO’s of most power utilities are fully on board with the Net Zero transition.
Why wouldn’t they be? Regulators who advocate for Net Zero will ensure that a process of asset churn makes a profit for the utilities on every new windmill, every new solar panel, and every mile of new transmission line installed.
The time is nigh when the contingency is called ‘a shotgun’.
OT but interesting:-
At the top of this piece I have a message which says
“DuckDuckGo blocked this video to pevent Facebook from tracking you.”
followed by a link which explains the reason in great detail.
prevent, not pevent.
I had to remove DuckDuckGo Essentials some time ago. It was blocking images and media in posts with a lot of them (like David Middleton’s. Where’s he been, BTW? Haven’t heard a peep in a long while.).
“owners who believe fossil fuel energy has no future in green Australia”
Reasonable conclusion. In Northampton, MA- there was a coal plant that several years ago spent 50 million dollars to upgrade it’s smokestack- then the state demanded that it shut down.
I have a better one. PSEG in NJ spent over a billion dollars on “back-end technology” to clean up high-sulfur coal emissions for their two boilers at the Hudson plant in Jersey City. Six years later, the site is an empty lot.
Remember Modern Monetary Theory. Under MMT, the 50 M was not wasted, someone got it, and it has become part of the economy. Possibly deposited in a First Republic savings account.
The “transition” to renewable energy was created by California politicians to enrich their own families. It is well documented in Apocalypse Never.
The more recent shift to Net Zero is being pushed by people like Energy Secretary Granholm who have significant investments in hydrogen companies.
These efforts have nothing to do with emissions reductions. They’re just straight up theft.
It used to be that Africa was called The Dark Continent. It now seems that Australia will be the new bearer of that moniker.
She’ll be right mate!
Spot price volatility in NSW and SA on Monday 1st May 2023 – WattClarity
I’m only paying 40.7c/kWhr peak retail in South Australia so what’s all the fuss about?