Checking at 6.30 Sydney time, South Australia has turned the corner as the sun went down in the mid to late afternoon after exporting power since late morning and is now importing bigtime. Check the live display and the dispatch summary. The wind across the South East has been at drought level all day, with NSW doing better than most while at present in SA and Victoria (the wind leaders) the windmills are delivering 4% of installed capacity.
Gas is providing 2/3 of the generation in SA and coal is delivering over 80% with the brown coal clunkers cranking at 95% of capacity. Not bad for equipment that is unwanted. But Sandgropers and Victorians would have cold dinner without them.
Bright and early on Sunday morning and the RE enthusiasts are predicting that RE will establish a new record of penetration into the grid this afternoon after a rousing performance yesterday.
But right now SA would be black without coal power from Victoria. The top bar in the chart represents demand and the bottom bar is the local supply.
The wind in SA is contributing 260MW compared with Gas at 450 with another 450 from Victoria.
This is the picture an hour later as shown by the NewWatch widget.
The wind has picked up but not enough to make up the gap to meet demand.
10.15 in Sydney. As the sun builds up SA is no longer a power mendicant state but lo and hehold, Victoria is importing! There is next to no wind in SA, Victoria and Queensland as you can see in the Aneroid display if you tick and untick the boxes to look at individual states. 80% of local generation in Victoria is brown coal compared with 2% from wind.
Early this morning the much maligned “ageing” brown coal clunkers were delivering 91% of installed capacity! OK, they are out of service occasionally, but solar is out of service every night and widespread wind droughts are more frequent than individual coal station downtimes.
In response to comments. The briefing notes of the Energy Realists (see here!) go to 830 state and federal politicians. We know that most will be intercepted by green staffers and trashed but the point is to put them on notice that they can never say that nobody warned them. The wheels will fall off before long. In the meantime we have to get the best information in the clearest possible form to our friends and relations and anyone else who is prepared to discuss the matter.
I like to think that we are getting better at explaining the key issues even though things are going to get a lot worse before we can hope to make much impact on public opinion. Simplicity and graphic visual displays will be the key to convey the critical issues – wind droughts, no grid-scale storage, the flood protection wall effect. Sustainability has to be measured by the low points of RE supply, not the high point or the average penetration.
Noon update. All the states now have negative prices, mostly near -$30 with SA the standout at -$92. Imagine a market where the goods are not worth anything! Apart from the subsidies provided to the wind and solar providers. The usual suspects find this to be very exciting and a sign of success. Well us we know, RE can displace coal but not replace it!