A few comments on the editorial on Tuesday August 23. On the closure of our ageing fleet of coal-fired power stations, the situation is much more precarious than the writer realises, as explained in this piece that was rejected by your op ed staff recently.
Closure of more coal capacity at present will be disastrous due to the combination of wind droughts, the need for un-interrupted and adequate input to the grid, and the lack grid-scale storage. When Liddell is phased out every windless night will pose a threat of major blackouts,
Snowy2.0 is practically irrelevant as a storage device because it (powered by a large fleet of windmills) will not replace even a single coal power station, if it is ever completed.
You mention unexpected wind droughts across Europe. The term Dunkelflaute (dark lull) has been used in Germany for years to describe prolonged periods without wind and with little sun. Similarly the failure of the German green transition, the Energiewende was public knowledge as long ago as 2018 when the annual report on progress stated that it was failing on all three legs of the “policy triangle” – emission reduction, cost and grid stability.
I don’t know if your writers believe what they say about the inevitable move to intermittent energy or whether you have instructions to take that line regardless of the evidence. As you can see from developments in Europe we are on a road to ruin with support from the major parties and popular approval. You can help by providing the people with the information they need to engage in a serious talk about the issues.
For example you could issue breakfast and dinnertime reports based on the NemWatch widget, the AEMO data dashboard or Aneroid energy to read something like this [from 6.30 this morning]
Across the NEM the wind is providing 16% of demand for power with CP 38 (the facilities are delivering 38% of installed capacity). In South Australia, the wind-leading state, the wind is delivering 43% of demand but the capacity is 25% (compared with the average of 29) so the state is importing energy and 57% of local generation is gas.
The point is that whenever the wind is below average in SA they import power and use a great deal of gas.
You could also write an editorial urging the Senate to vote down the “suicide bill” they are about to pass to allow some time to reconsider the issues in the light of information provided by the Energy Realists of Australia.
And please ask Perry Williams to report the size of storage facilities in MWhours and not just MW. Providing MW alone is like reporting the size of a tract of land by stating the length but not the breadth!