cobran20

Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels

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I saw Xenophon on the ABC tonight talking about the current blackout in SA. He was questioning the wisdom of 40% wind during weather events where turbines can't function due to winds being too strong. He claims to support the transition to renewables. Gas apparently being a better transitional power source. I have no issue with gas as a transitional fuel source. It's 50% lower CO2 producing than coal. 

 

I am looking forward to the post-mortem on the cause of the outage. The high winds caused high tension lines to fail. Not sure whether the source of supply impacts this sort of event but it will be interesting to see.

 

As expected before the facts are in its the fault of renewable energy. Lose power in Nth Qld due to cyclone then impose a tax. SA different story. Even Frydenberg wasn't prepared to call it early but Malcolm and Barnaby have no such misgivings. This is why Malcolm will fall. No ticker.

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As expected before the facts are in its the fault of renewable energy. Lose power in Nth Qld due to cyclone then impose a tax. SA different story. Even Frydenberg wasn't prepared to call it early but Malcolm and Barnaby have no such misgivings. This is why Malcolm will fall. No ticker.

 

So who to believe?

 

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/south-australian-blackout-nothing-to-do-with-renewable-energy-experts-20160929-grr6dz.html

 

 

Bruce Mountain, director of carbon and energy markets at consultants CME said the initial signs pointed to wind knocking out transmission lines that bring power from interstatewhich immediately cut 40 per cent of supply from the grid.

"The interconnectors were already running close to their limit and so could not replace the lost supply," he said.

Gas-fired electricity generators close to Adelaide could not increase production quickly enough to replace the sudden dip in capacity."The loss of so much capacity led quite quickly to the automatic disconnection of the interconnectors and hence the cascading failure of the South Australian power system," Mr Mountain said.

 

So, if SA had less of the unreliable renewables and more of the reliable gas-fired electricity generators, would the blackout have occurred? The length of the  infrastructure between the states makes it more vulnerable to breakdowns than something closer.

and...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/rushing-to-renewables-risks-sector's-reputation:-uhlmann/7888290

 

 

…What is not in doubt is the next problem, rebooting the system. And that cannot be done with asynchronous power. To get the system online again, the energy market operator ordered the gas-fired power generator at Pelican Point to fire up, and then set about restarting the system bit by bit…

 

Renewables are the future but, today, they present serious engineering problems. To deny that is to deny the science.

 

Those problems can be sorted in time, but rushing to a target to parade green credentials exposes the electricity network to a serious security risk…

 

It seems to me that SA has tried to improve its 'green credentials' by outsourcing the generation of reliable (and dirtier) supply of electricity to VIC. So what would happen if VIC also decided to go 40% renewable using wind and the weather means that the turbines can't supply adequate power?

 

Perhaps the population of SA would like to vote at a referendum where they can choose between a reliable supply using a less polluting source such as gas (as compared to coal) or feeling good inside with a third world standard & more expensive supply of electricity?

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So who to believe?

 

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/south-australian-blackout-nothing-to-do-with-renewable-energy-experts-20160929-grr6dz.html

 

 

So, if SA had less of the unreliable renewables and more of the reliable gas-fired electricity generators, would the blackout have occurred? The length of the  infrastructure between the states makes it more vulnerable to breakdowns than something closer.

and...

 

It seems to me that SA has tried to improve its 'green credentials' by outsourcing the generation of reliable (and dirtier) supply of electricity to VIC. So what would happen if VIC also decided to go 40% renewable using wind and the weather means that the turbines can't supply adequate power?

Perhaps the population of SA would like to vote at a referendum where they can choose between a reliable supply using a less polluting source such as gas (as compared to coal) or feeling good inside with a third world standard & more expensive supply of electricity?

 

I don't think we should to believe anyone until we get the results of the review. Certainly not politicians with an anti-renewable agenda.

 

Whether the answer is more redundancy via gas to alleviate peak demand or something else we will see. 

 

A couple of things are obvious. Turnbull has signed up to the Paris agreement and needs increased renewable energy production to achieve the targets.

 

It's a bit rich to be panning the states for the renewable targets when the federal government commits the nation to legally enforceable targets while simultaneously axing its own renewable target. They can't have it both ways. 

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I'd expect for the ACT to be looking very closely at what happened in SA.

 

Hydrogen cars and electrolysers: the dawn of Australia's hydrogen economy?

 

 

Wind and solar provide cheap energy, EVs are perfecting the drive trains [the power delivery system from engine to wheels] that hydrogen cars will use, and there have been significant technology breakthroughs making the hardware needed to make hydrogen much more cost-competitive.

 
Now it appears that in Australia, the hydrogen economy is going to have its first home in the Australian Capital Territory. Having put in place the architecture and the contracts to ensure that the equivalent of 100% of the electricity needs are sourced from wind and solar by 2020, the Labor government in the ACT is looking at how that clean energy can be used for transport and heating.
 
The environment and energy minister, Simon Corbell, recently announced that the two companies – Spain’s Union Fenosa and France’s Neoen – that won bids to provide electricity to build large wind farms to supply the ACT will invest $180m to develop hydrogen facilities...

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I'd expect for the ACT to be looking very closely at what happened in SA.

 

Hydrogen cars and electrolysers: the dawn of Australia's hydrogen economy?

 

The ACT doesn't generate power AFAIK. Plus we're all cashed up so can afford to be green like Norway (sic).

 

Having said that we rely on the geographical dispersion of renewables. If it aint windy in NSW it may well be in Victoria, or SA or sunny somewhere else. Unless the entire country is in the doldrums I guess we'll be OK.

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The preliminary report.

 

 

A complex and significant cold front and low pressure system led to severe weather over large parts of South Australia from Wednesday 28 September to Friday 30 September 2016. Its deceleration during a key period of the passage across South Australia contributed to significant damage to electricity infrastructure, and loss of power to the entire state.

Although widespread thunderstorms affected mostly South Australia, the system led to significant rainfall over Victoria and southern New South Wales, where flooding subsequently continued after earlier rainfall events led to widespread flooding across these areas. 

 

Weather. No mention of renewable energy contributing to the failure. Obviously there is a problem with the way the grid functions when the whole state can be blacked out and this should be addressed. The issue should be above cheap politics. 

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What happened in South Africa?

 

Something about power failure and having to rely on electricity from Lake Victoria.

 

Perhaps I'm confused.

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The preliminary report.

 

 

Weather. No mention of renewable energy contributing to the failure. Obviously there is a problem with the way the grid functions when the whole state can be blacked out and this should be addressed. The issue should be above cheap politics. 

Such fuss over a few hours without porn. Every couple of decades you expect this sort of thing to occur. My power went out for 30 mins on Monday night - oh the humanity.

 

Those South Australians might like a holiday in North QLD during cyclone season. The power goes out for up to a week. 

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The preliminary report.

 

 

Weather. No mention of renewable energy contributing to the failure. Obviously there is a problem with the way the grid functions when the whole state can be blacked out and this should be addressed. The issue should be above cheap politics. 

 

South Australian blackout: When the lights go out, it's a sign the electricity grid isn't working well

 

 

...So what have we learned from this report?

 
That weather sparked a series of events that spiralled into a state-wide blackout. That it was the sudden loss of wind power that tripped the interconnector with Victoria and that loss of generation is yet to be explained.
 
It is also undeniable that South Australia now has an extremely fragile power system. It cannot operate with any confidence if the interconnector with Victoria is down and if the state blacks out it can't be restarted with wind power.
 
Politicians have said a lot of things in the wake of this outage. But judge them by what they do.
 
South Australia is already calling for rule changes in the national electricity market because it recognises its reliance on wind and rooftop solar has made the state's system less secure.
 
This won't be the last fix that South Australia will need to patch up the problems.
 
Finally, we know that the energy market is in transition to cleaner forms of power and that is unstoppable. In time the engineering difficulties posed by wind will be overcome.
 
Or they will be as long as people aren't burned as heretics for daring to point out the real and well documented problems with integrating new forms of energy into an old grid.
 
And, if those who claim to be friends of renewables continue to respond to any criticism with hysterics, then they will be responsible for ensuring the budding renewable industry suffers irreparable reputational damage.
 
Because, if the lights keep going out, people will lose faith.

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This is the third revision of the same story Uhlmann has published since the blackout. My problem with Uhlmann's coverage is that he preempts any evidence supporting his claims. Rather than reporting the story he wants to become the story.

 

ABC's Chris Uhlmann says 'vigilante mob' abuses him online over alleged rightwing bias

 

ABC viewers go dark on Chris Uhlmann after South Australian blackout 'heresy'

 

​I could speculate as to why he is doing this but unlike Uhlmann I prefer to have evidence to back my claims. 

 

This line from your link illustrates that his ego is more involved than it should be...

 

 

 

To date, the events of September 28 show that this column's questions were all well founded, particularly its focus on the asynchronous nature of wind power.

 

This line gives the interim answer to his question as to whether the intermittent nature was responsible for the blackout...

 

 

 

The interim report by the operator said the wind shutdown on September 28 was not due to the intermittent nature of wind.

 

 SA weather: Safety settings caused wind farms to reduce output during SA's blackout, regulator says

 

 

Safety settings that kicked in during SA's wild storms caused a number of wind farms to disconnect or reduce their output in the lead up to the statewide blackout, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has said.

But it said the most well-known characteristic of wind power — variation of output with wind strength — was not a material factor in the blackout.

South Australia was plunged into darkness with some parts losing power for days — after a mid-latitude cyclone smashed through SA in late September, damaging vital infrastructure.

A preliminary AEMO report said severe weather,including high winds, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, hail and heavy rainfall, resulted in multiple transmission system faults.

In an update of the report released yesterday, AEMO said it was now known that five system faults occurred within a period of 88 seconds on September 28, leading to six voltage disturbances.

It said nine of the 13 wind farms online at the time did not ride through the disturbances, which resulted in a loss of 445 megawatts of generation.

 

It does seem there are some engineering problems that need to be solved to overcome some problems posed by the limitations of wind power. I liked Anders Hydro co-location suggestion on the other thread. It made me wonder whether other solutions for storage via potential energy might alleviate base load issues.

 

Geographical dispersion of wind power generation and Solar thermal (molten salt) might also help.

 

One thing that higher energy prices do produce is more efficient usage (and efficiency of appliances). This would also help base load as less energy is required.

 

Anyhow, I'll look forward to Uhlmann's forth piece when the final report is released in six months.  :)

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Look on the bright side, no typos! I always hate when the "letters received" show the same typing style as the recipient. At least go to the effort of running spell check to make it obvious you aren't asking yourself the question you would love to answer.

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I wonder what the outcome of a referendum on renewables would now be?!

 

SA power bill could top $2.5bn for energy options

 

 

Four options for a new interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states are being considered at a cost of up to $2.5 billion as the state’s transmission company warns its customers will be paying $500 million a year more for electricity than those in other states.

 
A report released yesterday by South Australia’s electricity transmission network owner ElectraNet notes several generators have permanently or partially withdrawn from the state’s power market because of a “substantial investment” in new wind and rooftop solar generation.
 
It says about 45 per cent of South Australia’s power generation comes from renewables, a major factor in the close of the coal-fired Northern Power ­Station in May that has made South Australia more reliant on gas markets for “firm electricity supply”.
 
“Gas in the interconnected eastern seaboard markets has also experienced a rapid increase in demand and subsequently price,” the ElectraNet report says. “Since the announced closure of NPS, spot and futures prices in South Australia have experienced a sharp increase that have not been replicated in the eastern states.”
 
The report said that South Australia’s electricity base futures prices were about $100 per megawatt hour for the next three years, while prices in NSW and Victoria ranged from $55 to $65/MWh.
 
“ElectraNet considers that the effect of this increase in future ­prices could see South Australian customers pay around $500m more, per annum, than equivalent customers interstate.”
 
South Australian Treasurer and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis yesterday continued to blame the privatisation of the state’s electricity assets 17 years ago for the price spikes, rather than state Labor’s aggressive pursuit of renewable energy.
 
He claimed there was an agreement to build an interconnector with the eastern states that was scuttled to try and increase the sale price during the controversial 1999 privatisation process. “We are paying for it now,” he said. “But we need to make sure we have competitive electricity prices in South Australia to break up the monopoly created by privatisation and one option is greater interconnection.”
 
ElectraNet’s interconnector options include two that would link South Australia to NSW, one connecting to Victoria and another linking South Australia to Queensland.
 
New interconnector options have initial cost estimates of ­between $500m and $2.5bn, and are not expected to be operational until at least 2021.
 
ElectraNet chief executive Steve Masters said the company was also investigating new “non-network options”, such as large-scale power storage devices. “South Australia needs a long-term solution that will facilitate our energy transformation, while improving system security and placing downward pressure on electricity prices,” he said.
 
“One credible option is a new interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states, which would increase access to lower-cost generation and allow system security services to be shared across regions.’’
 
A new interconnector project, or non-network alternative, would proceed only if sufficient benefits could be demonstrated, and if approved by the Australian Energy Regulator.

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It's easy to rely on intermittent power supply if you rely on a long extension lead from your neighbour.

I hope Victoria copies SA power policies. It will be fun to watch what happens then! :)

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12 minutes ago, AndersB said:

It's easy to rely on intermittent power supply if you rely on a long extension lead from your neighbour.

I hope Victoria copies SA power policies. It will be fun to watch what happens then! :)

Exactly what I've said. What happens when they all go mostly renewable and no solid base for backup?

Governments will have to pay for a high end gas/coal backup supply as well as the renewables, so that they can feel good about themselves.

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Yes the 'system' needs reform. We've covered this haven't we? 

I was at a conference yesterday and one of the case studies for big data was a company in the UK that is using hadoop to reallocate energy on a micro scale to those in need in real time. I thought you guys were in favour of the technological fix?

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On 12/2/2016 at 0:42 PM, staringclown said:

... I thought you guys were in favour of the technological fix?

Absolutely - when it works reliably and is affordable.

Long hard battle to keep lights on in summer

Quote

Low reserves of electricity supply and the potential for blackouts will dog southeast Australia for the next three summers, the Australian Electricity Market Operator has warned as power plants close and big energy users scramble to protect themselves from volatile prices.

Energy Users Association of Australia chief executive Andrew Richards said large companies could risk the “extreme sport” of buying electricity on the spot market to offset price increases, while the Australian Hotels ­Association said some businesses were facing power bill increases of more than $500,000 as they struggled with rising costs.

In a December 6 notice to the energy market, the AEMO warned of “low reserve con­ditions” in spare generation cap­acity available to South Australia for the next three summers and to Victoria next summer, which users said would lead to higher spot prices.

The warning has come as South Australia struggles without Port Augusta’s 520 megawatt coal-fired baseload plant, closed by Alinta in May, and ahead of the closure next March of Victoria’s 50-year-old Hazelwood plant in Latrobe Valley, which will ­remove 5 per cent of baseload power from the national market.

The update on AEMO’s three-year outlook shows low surplus power supply once peak loads are met, outages had been taken into account and other ­requirements are satisfied.

An AEMO spokesman said load shedding or blackouts could occur if peak demand spikes higher than forecast, driven by ­extremely hot days, and the market would likely respond by firing up mothballed plants, lifting gas-fired and coal-fired generation in South Australia and NSW and seeing big energy customers close operations when prices were high.

 

Mr Richards, who represents South Australian association members Woolworths, packager and glass manufacturer Orora and Port Pirie lead smelter owner Nyrstar, said that would translate to higher prices and possible blackouts.

“It also means if you intend buying on spot this summer, it will be an extreme sport,’’ Mr Richards said.

“Do you play the extreme sport of the spot market game or do you get contract cover? That’s the commercial decision people face. It’s certainly made it far more perilous to be a large energy user than in the past.’’

Smaller users, including hoteliers and supermarket owners, were working with the South Australian government to harness buying power for a better deal with retailers.

Australian Hotels Association South Australian president Peter Hurley said power had become “a debilitating burden on business, an investment barrier and a jobs killer. It is surely one of the major challenges for the state.”

“Power prices continue to rise with absolutely no connection to our low inflation rate,’’ he told a group of politicians, industry chiefs and civic leaders in Adelaide this week.

“One country pub has notified the AHA that their peak rate has increased by 417 per cent. One company has advised the office they employ 600 South Aus­tralians and the increase of their power bill on their new contract that they’ve just had to sign is in excess of $550,000 a year.

“Yet most of the politicians think hotels can simply pass on the cost to consumers.”

Representing 600 pubs throughout the state that contribute more than $4 billion to the economy and employ 26,250 ­people, the AHA would work with South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis on a collective buying contract to encourage ramping up baseload gas-fired generation.

Supermarket group Foodland, with 118 stores dependent on ­refrigeration, is believed to be in urgent talks with the government.

Mr Koutsantonis said he was encouraging discussions between participants across the energy supply system to provide more competitive gas and electricity prices for all customers.

 

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Well blow me down! (pardon the pun) :)

Australia's coal power plan twice as costly as renewables route, report finds

Quote

A plan for new coal power plants, which government ministers say could reduce emissions from coal-generated electricity by 27%, would cost more than $60bn, a new analysis has found.

Achieving the same reduction using only renewable energy would cost just half as much – between $24bn and $34bn – the report found.

The resources minister, Matthew Canavan, and the energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, have been arguing for new coal power plants to be built in Australia.

Last week, Canavan released analysis he commissioned from the industry department, which found replacing all Australia’s coal power stations with the latest “ultra super-critical” coal-fired power stations would reduce emissions in that sector by 27%.

Frydenberg has also raised the conclusions in interviews, and promoted the benefits of coal power.

Neither has responded to questions about the cost of reducing coal-fired power emissions by 27% using the latest technology.

So Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College at the University of Melbourne crunched the numbers, and found that the 27% reduction in the coal sector could be achieved, but it would cost $62bn.

McConnell said at a conservative estimate, achieving the reduction would require 20GW of new capacity. According to the latest estimates from the CSIRO, new ultra super-critical black coal costs $3,100 per kW to build.

“No wonder no one wants to talk about the costs,” McConnell said.

He said $62bn would be enough to build between 35GW and 39GW of wind and solar energy. Because that would produce less electricity than 20GW of coal power, it would not completely replace coal power, but it would reduce its emissions by up to 65%.

 

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13 minutes ago, staringclown said:

... and how reliable would those renewables be at maintining base load? Perhaps the people from South Australia can vote on it.

what caught my attention from the article is one of the comments by 'DudleyB' regarding COMBINED CYCLE POWER PLANT. Considering Australia has abundant natural gas, I'd like to see the numbers on using that alternative.

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As reliable as they can be engineered presumably? The technological fix applies to renewables as much as it applies to coal. In the meantime I agree that gas is the obvious interim fuel for Oz. But we made some bad gas deals with Japan and China on gas and so we can't reap the benefit. It's pegged to the world price and that's what we'll pay.

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