RIP NET ZERO


Wind-leading states show the way

On Wednesday morning, before breakfast, South Australia and Victoria demonstrated why the net zero dream is actually a nightmare. The logic of the Iron Triangle of Power Supply signals that there must be a continuous delivery of power to the grid to meet demand.

Ignore the peaks of wind and solar supply, they are not the critical metric for success of the system. The critical indicator is the lowest level of supply. The weakest link in the chain, the low point of the flood levee. The gap in the fence.

Between sunset and sunrise, all the responsibility for “renewable energy” falls on the wind supply (and storage you might say.)

Before breakfast this morning (Wed 15 March) wind was delivering practically nothing in South Australia (5% of demand at 1.4% Capacity Factor) and Victoria (0.4% of demand at 0.7% Capacity Factor).

Across the NEM wind was delivering 2% of demand at 4.7% of capacity. It went lower as the day went on while the combined efforts of wind, sun and hydro peaked at 50% in the mid-afternoon

Before breakfast SA, Victoria and NSW were in deficit and the grid was bookended by power exported from Queensland and Tasmania. But Tasmania (the battery of the nation) was burning gas in order to have power to spare. The island state has been mostly importing lately to protect the water level in the dams.

So much for the aspiration to replace coal power with intermittent inputs from sun and wind, plus a bit of hydro. Forget about gas in the quantity required to replace coal.

PICTURES TO TELL THE STORY

The NEM Widget at 7am, Wind is the green parts of the bars.

The NEM, dominated by coal(72%). Wind 2%. Gas 10%, Hydro 15%.

Below is South Australia with local generation dominated by Gas and almost 50 % of demand was imported indirectly from QLD and Tasmania, through NSW and Victoria.

Below is Victoria, dominated by Brown Coal.

BELOW, wind in Victoria 14-15th, less than average (29%) for 24 hours and less than 10% (severe drought) for most of the time.

Tasmania, dominated by Hydro and burning gas this morning to prop up SA because there was no power to spare in Victoria or NSW.


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duncanm
duncanm
March 15, 2023 10:30 pm

yup – ‘aint no point building more windmills if the problem is lack of wind.

Entropy
Entropy
March 15, 2023 10:54 pm

Imagine if Queensland stopped selling power interstate. The reduced power costs in Qld would cause an economic boom.

Alamak!
Alamak!
March 15, 2023 11:55 pm

Its a shame there is no simple working market for energy that would reward the states that provide needed power during the renewable gaps. Power being mostly political, there is no sure way for good investments in energy security to pay off under current generation of gree/left/teal politicians.

H B Bear
H B Bear
March 16, 2023 12:22 am

Yep, Spring and Autumn is no friend of windmills. Always used to get some great waves around Margaret River this time of year as the howling sea breezes and Easterlies of Summer backed off.

132andBush
132andBush
March 16, 2023 4:27 am

Tasmania is forced to burn a fossil fuel, in order to stop grid collapse on the mainland, so as to conserve it’s green energy “supplies”.

That fossil fuel is imported from the mainland.

“Green energy”; the reason for the largest misallocation of capital and physical resources in history.

Tom
Tom
March 16, 2023 4:43 am

“Green energy”; the reason for the largest misallocation of capital and physical resources in history.

Imagine having an electricity grid designed by people with actual electrical engineering degrees instead of a fantasy grid designed by dope-smoking Nimbin hippies.

Perfidious Albino
Perfidious Albino
March 16, 2023 6:16 am

Liberty quote right there Tom!

calli
calli
March 16, 2023 7:30 am

All a dyed in the wool greenie will respond to this is – there’s plenty of wind, just insufficient windfarms.

Build more!

duncanm
duncanm
March 16, 2023 8:04 am

You can imagine the discussions in the new SA nuke sub build plant.

“Ok team, the forecast is for good winds on Thursday, so we’re scheduling that for pressure hull welding. Here’s hoping we can get it done before sunset.”

wal1957
wal1957
March 16, 2023 9:54 am

Entropy…”Imagine if Queensland stopped selling power interstate. The reduced power costs in Qld would cause an economic boom.”

Imagine that a state has to choose between keeping the lights on in their state or sharing blackouts in another state to even out power restrictions.
What would they do? What should they do?
Do the numpties have any idea what is going to happen when Liddell and Eraring power stations close? I also understand that they are not only going to close Liddell power stationin april of this year, it is going to be demolished. This while the AEMO is talking about energy shortfalls! No coming back!
They are talking about delaying the closure of Eraring. This is the only good news.
All I can say is good luck South Australia – you’re going to need it. Any excess power from Qld will be gobbled up by NSW before you get a chance to grab it.

rickw
rickw
March 16, 2023 1:38 pm

Net Zero or Year Zero?

duncanm
duncanm
March 16, 2023 4:01 pm

dope-smoking Nimbin hippies.

aka. investment bankers, accountants, and political wonks

H B Bear
H B Bear
March 16, 2023 4:09 pm

Imagine that a state has to choose between keeping the lights on in their state or sharing blackouts in another state to even out power restrictions.
What would they do? What should they do?

Yep, that’s when the NEMCO rubber hits the road. Not too far off I suspect.

H B Bear
H B Bear
March 16, 2023 4:14 pm

Need to consider privately owned generators and GOE generators. Would a State Minister for Energy give statutory orders to generators? AEMO?

Alamak!
Alamak!
March 16, 2023 8:14 pm

Drop a small chinese nuke reactor in Timor and sell power via cable to Oz. Cat among the pigeons …

Nelson_Kidd-Players
March 16, 2023 10:58 pm

The more I look at our political system, the more I see the Fed’s interference in state responsibilities amplifying the multitude of other shortcomings that are inflicted upon us.

The Feds controlling the purse strings gives them a sense of power and importance while allowing states to cry poor while being insulated from the effect’s of their decisions. National Cabinets work to stifle the role of states to try something different in an effort to get ahead. So much grist created for the media mill that important issues can be ignored.

If the states were less insulated from the consequences of their power policies we’d be better off or at least not fall so far before demands for improvements are acknowledged by our ‘leaders’.

Eyrie
Eyrie
March 17, 2023 7:46 am

Imagine that a state has to choose between keeping the lights on in their state or sharing blackouts in another state to even out power restrictions.
What would they do? What should they do?

About what i said to my local State member a month ago when I met with him. “Do you guys have a plan to turn off the interconnector if you get back into government, because I don’t think Queenslanders will put up with blackouts to keep the lights on in NSW after they close their coal fired power”.

Kneel
Kneel
March 17, 2023 3:07 pm

“Do the numpties have any idea what is going to happen when Liddell and Eraring power stations close?”

Liddell was an old crappy station 30 years ago – that’s why they built Bayswater (literally across the New England Highway from Liddell!) It’s done enough and should be retired and maybe replaced on the same site. Big job, but that would probably knock 5 years off the construction time of a “greenfield” site.

Eraring still has 7+ years left from it’s original life-span, and could easily be kept going for another 20 years with appropriate maintenance. That would get it to Liddell’s current age…

Lawrence Ayres
Lawrence Ayres
March 17, 2023 4:48 pm

Once upon a time the states were in competition with one another. I met people who had moved to a different state because the education system was better and others who moved because property taxes were less. These days with a common curriculum and the AEMO all Eastern states are just the same with different rainfall (none of which is captured by new dams). Cutting the interconnectors would at least bring back some semblance of competition and make it extremely difficult for the ACT to claim they are 100% renewable.

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