Calling Energy and Emergency Services Ministers
Here is a thought, what is the plan to respond to the collapse of the electricity grid? Is there adequate backup with generators to keep hospitals and other emergency services running? Complete with fuel. And what else? What about the water and gas supplies. And everything else like lifts, traffic lights, cash registers, petrol browsers and ATMs.
What are the messages that all jurisdictions should take away from the South Australian blackout in 2016? Of course everyone assumes that it will never happen again and heroic load sheding should ensure that is the case but lets at least contemplate the worst case scenario as a matter of due diligence. There is an Australian Emergency Management Arrangements Handbook with a lot of words in it, as you would expect, but are the plans in preparation?
The dark side of intermittent energy
A wordy and scary piece on the toxic impact of the Unreliable Energy industry, especially in exotic places. Skip through to pick out the eyes on the impact of wind and solar developments and especially the role of big corporations in the US power industry and the extraction of rare earths in Asia.
Lithium-ion battery mining and production are determined to be worse for the climate than the production of fossil fuel vehicle batteries in an article from The Wall Street Journal. According to scientists measuring cumulative energy demand (CED), production of the average lithium-ion battery uses three times more electrical energy compared to a generic battery.
Recent wind droughts
On the morning of Thursday 22 just before sunrise South Australia (the wind leading state) was importing two thirds of its demand and the local generation was 80% gas!
In the evening at dinnertime WA was down to 1% of power from the wind. In the East the wind was doing better, delivering 3% of the demand at a capacity factor of 7 (severe drought.) Victoria is the big wind state with more capacity than SA, though not per capita, and their windmills contributed 1% of demand at capacity 1.4%. Their capacity factor was below 5% for the previous 24 hours!
Approaching 10pm nothing has changed, the wind across the SE is delivering 4% because the total demand has gone down, still the capacity factor in SA is 1.2 and in Victoria 2.8!
On Friday morning at sunrise the wind across the NEM was delivering 2.6% of demand at CP 5.5% (of installed or nameplate capacity.) South Australia is importing half its demand with gas providing almost 90% of local generation, wind CP 3.5%. In Victoria the wind is delivering 2%, CP 2.3%, Queensland 1% CP 6% and Tasmania 4% CP 7%.
The NEM has been technically in drought (CP less than 10%) since 10 am Thursday, in SA since 1 am on Thursday, and in Tasmania and Victoria the drought started at noon on Wednesday.
On Saturday the NEM recovered although the capacity farcor stayed under 20% all day (two thirds of the average) while SA and Victoria were under 5% for much of the day.
On Sunday the NEM trended down to reach drought level (10) at noon. Shortly after sunrise SA wa importing 45% of demand wth 40% of local generation from gas. The picture shows the rather limited amount of green (wind) even though only SA was technically in drought. Imagine the extra windmills required to provide hot breakfasts and coffee!
Roundup of partners and fellow-travellers
Drop in to the sites and see what they are up to!