ANU: Wind, solar and hydro grid cheapest option for Australia | RenewEconomy

ANU: Wind, solar and hydro grid cheapest option for Australia

New study by ANU suggested a 100% renewable energy grid, with 90% of electricity coming from wind and solar, will be cheaper than a coal or gas-fired system in Australia.



A new study by energy experts from the Australian National University suggests that a 100 per cent renewable energy electricity grid – with 90 per cent of power coming from wind and solar – will be significantly cheaper future option than a coal or gas-fired network in Australia.

The study, led by Andrew Blakers, Bin Lu and Matthew Stocks, suggests that with most of Australia’s current fleet of coal generators due to retire before 2030, a mix of solar PV and wind energy, backed up by pumped hydro, will be the cheapest option for Australia, and this includes integration costs.

The report says that wind is currently about $64/MWh and solar $78/MWh, but the costs of both technologies are falling fast, with both expected to cost around $50/MWh when much of the needed capacity is built. With the cost of balancing, this results in a levellised cost of energy (LCOE) of around $75/MWh.

By contrast, the LCOE of coal is $80/MWh, and some estimates – such as those by Bloomberg New Energy Finance which adds in factors such as the cost of finance risk – put it much higher.

Blakers says his team did not need to dial that higher price of coal into the equation: “We don’t include a risk premium or carbon pricing or fuel price escalation or threat of premature closure because renewables doesn’t need any of this to compete,” he says.

Nor do his estimates include any carbon price, which will further tip the balance in favour of renewables. Nor do they include future cost reductions in wind and solar. “There is no end in sight to cost reductions,” Blakers says.

“Much of Australia’s coal power stations will reach the end of their economic life over the next 15 years. It will be cheaper to replace these with renewable energy.”

The two key outcomes of this modelling is that the additional cost of balancing renewable energy supply with demand on an hourly basis throughout the year is relatively small: $A25-$A30/MWh (US$19-23/MWh), and that means that the overall cost of a wind and solar dominated grid is much lower than previous estimates.

Indeed, the ANU team suggest that less storage is needed than thought. The optimum amount of pumped hydro is 15-25 GW of power capacity with 15-30 hours of energy storage.

blakers 100This is based on more wind than solar. If Hwind and PV annual energy generation is constrained to be similar then higher power (25 GW) and lower energy storage (12-21hours) is optimum.

Total storage of 450 GWh +/- 30% is optimum for all the scenarios. This is equivalent to the average electricity consumed in the NEM in 19 hours.

At this stage it should be pointed out that Blakers is a long time proponent of pumped hydro, and this modelling appears designed to support that technology.

For instance, the modelling avoids any “heroic” assumptions about technologies that have not been deployed at scale – meaning battery storage and solar thermal and storage are not included, and neither is geothermal or ocean energy.

Nor does the modelling – which looks at every hour of the year based on data from 2006-2010 – assume other opportunities such as demand management, when consumers agree and sometimes get paid for reducing their load at critical moments on the grid.

The modelling shows that a large fraction of the balancing costs relates to “periods of several successive days of overcast and windless weather that occur once every few years.”

Substantial reductions in balancing costs are possible through contractual load shedding (as occurred in Tomago aluminium smelter and BHP’s Olympic Dam recently), and the occasional use of legacy coal and gas generators to charge pumped hydro reservoirs if needed.

Another option is managing the charging times of batteries in electric cars.

“Although we have not modelled dynamical stability on a time scale of sub-seconds to minutes we note that pumped hydro) can provide excellent inertial energy, spinning reserve, rapid start, black start capability, voltage regulation and frequency control,” the authors write.

Pumped hydro has become a focus of attention in recent weeks, advocated by the Coalition government and others, seemingly in the absence of any consideration about the falling costs of battery storage.

EnergyAustralia last week announced a study into a large 100MW pumped hydro facility on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsular. This work includes contributions from the ANU team.

So, how much does all this cost? The ANU team estimates $184 billion, or $152 billion at future prices of wind and solar. But before the Coalition and others start to hyperventilate about the billions to be spent, the ANU team also point out that this means no fuel costs in the future.

That’s why the key number is $75/MWh, which is around one third of the price that Queenslanders have been paying so far this year for their coal and gas power, making the investment in a 116MW solar farm by zinc producer Sun Metals, which is looking to expand its facility, as a good idea.

Some other interesting points from the study:

+ A sensitivity analysis has been performed on the baseline scenario by varying the following cost- components by +/- 25%: PV, wind, PHES, HVDC/HVAC, system lifetimes and discount rate. The effect on LCOE is less than +/- $2/MWh except for system lifetimes, for which the effect is +/- $5/MWh, and wind capital cost and discount rate, for both of which the effect is +/- $10/MWh (about 10%).

+ Large scale deployment of electric vehicles and heat pumps would increase electricity demand by up to 40%. Importantly these devices have large scale storage in the form of batteries in vehicles and heat/cool in water stores and the building fabric. This storage may substantially reduce LCOB in the future.

+ The LCOB (levellised cost of balancing) calculated in this work is an upper bound. A large fraction of LCOB relates to periods of several days of overcast and windless weather that occur once every few years. Substantial reductions in LCOB are possible through reduced capital and maintenance costs, contractual load shedding, the occasional.

+ In most scenarios the modelling meets the NEM reliability standard of no more than 0.002% of unmet load (4 GWh per year) without demand management.” However, in other scenarios we assume that demand management is employed during critical periods, which are typically cold wet windless weeks in winter that occur once every few years.

“During these periods the PHES reservoirs run down to zero over a few days because there is insufficient wind and PV generation to recharge them, leading to a shortfall in supply. The amount of PV, wind and PHES storage could be increased to cover this shortfall. However, this substantial extra investment would be utilised only for a few days every few years.”

One suggestion is to relax the reliability standards: “A portion of the savings in investment in PV, wind and PHES would be available to compensate certain consumers for partial loss of supply for a few days every few years. For example, reducing the overall cost of electricity supply by $2/MWh by allowing an unmet load of 336 GWh per 5 years would save $2 billion per 5 years, which is equivalent to $6,000 per unmet MWh.

Hmmm, but just imagine the headlines.

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  1. David leitch 4 years ago

    Several academic studies support similar conclusions although each with a slightly different set of cost assumptions and as a result different mix of technologies in the outcomes. My only comment remains that these studies all simply focus on utility scale generation mix and don’t go the important extra step of including distributed energy and network investment. As such they are all partial studies. Welcome but incomplete.

    • Kevfromspace 4 years ago

      Speaking of network investment, David do you think there could be a case made for connecting WA’s grid to the NEM to support variable wind generation and solar irradiation portfolios to add more diversity into the NEM?

      • Andy Saunders 4 years ago

        That’s probably impossible to pass an opinion on without doing a lot of work. The weather patterns in WA are less correlated to the current NEM renewables mix, so the diversity would definitely increase, but the cost of such an interconnector would be enormous.

        • Kevan Daly 4 years ago

          It’s quite simple really. What’s the cost of an HVDC link at the Heywood level (660 MVA) between Port Augusta and Perth?

          • DJR96 4 years ago

            If we’re going to connect WA to the NEM, use the Indian-Pacific rail line as the negative conductor of a HVDC link. Would only need to bury a single conductor along the rail corridor then.

        • Kevfromspace 4 years ago

          Good point – Thanks Andy! Any idea on those costs?

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      David, I agree with what you saying. Now tell me if you agree with some of the possible answers that I propose as an adjunct to the study, keeping in mind I agree with most of the ANU study.

      Andrew Claim the legacy coal and gas could make up for a shortfall when days of no wind and overcast conditions. I say Biogas from food, animal and human waste should be used instead as there is no shortage of feed stock, and we have a huge problem dealing with this waste. Every town could have their own digester and apart from storing it for a rainy day, it could be bottled for say cooking use, ultra peak loads, industrial use etc. It would not add to the GH gas problem and would be carbon neutral.

      As for managing charging times for EV’s that won’t be practical, the more EV’s and EV transport i.e. trucks, rail and buses, that are travelling intercity or interstate, can’t hang around waiting for a charge.

      Residential battery storage will definitely have an impact, but to what level. It will be almost impossible at this stage to model this one.

      • Mark Roest 4 years ago

        Actually, within 3 years we should see battery storage that fits in the low end of the levelized cost range for pumped hydro. That incentivizes large-scale distributed generation as well as large scale solar and wind built for the wholesale market, with enough storage to do load-shifting to the times of higher demand, in order to earn more money. The distributed generation is used both to reduce total demand, and to eliminate high demand charges and minimize the rates on all consumption. It can also be used to power battery electric vehicles and extended-range plug-in hybrids.

        It’s hardly impossible to model. Just take the price range I stated for battery storage (fireproof, so don’t need a separate building), and the 50 cents a watt stated for solar and wind in a few years, and expected sales of BEVs when their outright purchase price is less than ICE cars and trucks (and their operating costs are maybe 1/5), and their range is 120 to 300 miles from low cost to high cost, and plug them into the models that look at consumer and business uptake of renewable energy in the face of gold-plated distribution systems and supplier price-rigging. Then use the output of that model to subtract demand from the model used in this study, or other demand models, while adding in the wet weeks with no wind in winter scenario, but having programs in place that pay people to be prepared to cut back use in those times, and even to use vehicle-to-grid support for stationary uses. After all, who is going on a road trip vacation during a week-long winter rain?

        In other words, instead of declaring it impossible to model, accept the judgement of the proponents and plug it into the model. The truth, in the context of making this a political coming together for everyone who wants to save the planet for their children and grandchildren and nature, will probably exceed the highest study outputs for renewable adoption and uptake of opportunities to help get through the hard spots.

        In other words, we will find out that most people do care about Life, if given a good chance to show it.

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          Mark, I’m simply saying it will at this stage be impossible to model how many GWH’s we will need of utility scale storage we need to have, because we don’t know how many will take up residential storage and how much capacity we will need from the grid. Anyone can assume x amount, but assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups. Perhaps thinking about it further, the ANU study was correct to leave it out of the equation for now.

          • Mark Roest 4 years ago

            In order to steer the ship of the economy and its energy services, you need to estimate ranges, and correlate the higher or lower ends of the ranges with what kinds of events are likely to drive things that way. Then, as you move forward in time, you progressively narrow the ranges, in keeping with what actually unfolds. You need to be paying attention to the numbers that show up in Renew Economy, and take decisive advantage of them!

            You also play the relationships identified to influence the outcome toward sustainability. If you do your homework as an alliance of more-progressive politicos and industry and the customer base and people with values about life and nature, you can wind up tipping the balance politically in your favor, and then you can clear away the obstacles and the fossil subsidies, pass laws to force cleanups of spills and pollution, revoke social licenses, and generally pave the way for mass acceptance of solar, wind, energy conservation and efficiency, and a sane lifestyle that is not based on passing the Jones family in conspicuous consumption.

      • David leitch 4 years ago

        Charging speeds can be improved. If the battery resistance is low enough it’s a matter of putting the energy in more quickly by either lifting voltage or amps. It’s only the last 10-15% of the charge which has to be slower.

        Residential storage can be modeled. See the “state of charge ” report for the basic methodology.

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          Well great if charging speeds are increased, but what will be needed is kwh’s and lots of it. If there isn’t enough wind nation wide to supply our transport fleet at night and or in bad weather, then a hell of a lot of storage will be needed or generation from biogas, because if not, your mail, my mail may not get delivered or that ambulance that you expect to arrive when that heart attack happens maybe hamstrung, because there isn’t enough bloody kwh’s to go around. For gods sake man, do you understand what I’m saying here.

          As for residential storage some will have plenty, some no where near enough and some sweet FA. So how in hell can you model for so many different scenarios. Answer: Properly by ignoring residential storage capacity. If you have another answer, please tell!

  2. Tom 4 years ago

    Does anyone know exactly where on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula the pumped hydro scheme is proposed?

    I’m thinking that it would have to be on the eastern side up somewhere between Kulpara and Port Clinton, but you wouldn’t want to “turkey nest” prime agricultural land, and you really wouldn’t want seawater soaking into the limestone bedrock and coming out somewhere else.

    • George Darroch 4 years ago

      Some discussion here:

      SW of Port Augusta has been suggested, but the land is Commonwealth (Defence) and some of it borders a marine reserve, which may complicate that location. I think that south of Adelaide offers some promising locations.

      • Tom 4 years ago

        That’s what someone suggested the other day, but that’s the Eyre peninsula.

    • Peter F 4 years ago

      The Turkey nest dam is not very big. The Okinawa project is 50Ha for 30MW so 150HA plus ancillaries maybe 180 Ha for a 100MW plant. Even in good wheat country in excellent years that is about $180-200,000 in lost production. A fairly low price to pay for much improved energy security.

      Then of course you could cover the dam with floating solar or about 130 MW of capacity. That would generate about $30m worth of power, quite a big uplift on wheat value.

  3. Richard Lutz 4 years ago

    Extreme measures needed to combat climate change

    We should immediately dam rivers like the Franklin in Tasmania, stop coal and iron ore exports along with the many other industries which contribute massively to CO2 production, and increase state subsidies for renewables like wind and solar in order to break the back of coal and gas fuelled power plant operators. The environmental damage caused by dams, wind farms (population sinks that attract and kill endangered birds and bats), and the mining of neodymium (used in wind turbines) is the blood price of preventing catastrophic global warming that could boil our children alive, as is increased power prices and a less reliable power supply.

    We must also ban the manufacture of vehicles that use fossil fuels and place a massive carbon tax on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel. Most people must use battery or hydrogen powered vehicles bar emergency services vehicles that can use biodiesel or ethanol derived from crops. We must also eliminate most farm animals as they produce huge amounts of CO2 each year and introduce a two-child policy as in China to prevent overpopulation, with women who violate this restriction subject to forced abortions and sterilizations as in China. Our political opponents are deranged enemies of humanity and rightly treated like the Falun Gong in China.

    • Andy Saunders 4 years ago

      You should probably change your moniker to “I am a troll”.

      • Richard Lutz 4 years ago

        I had a toy bear named Andy once. Do you have furry bits too?

    • Barri Mundee 4 years ago

      We get this sort of sarcastic

      • Richard Lutz 4 years ago

        I think you mean “sarcasm”. Don’t forget to end your sentences with a full stop.

  4. Mary Havens 4 years ago

    As there has been no statistically significant global warming for 20 years and what little warming there has been over the last century is entirely consistent with the planet coming out of an ice age, it seems to me that state subsidies for renewables are rightly dropped as these anti-competitive subsidies have driven up the price of power for no tangible benefit other than enriching the renewable energy industry.

    • lin 4 years ago

      Wrong. If you are going to claim “no statistically significant warming”, you need to be much more careful in cherry picking dates and data sets. You should start at 1998 and stop by 2014. and use only the satellite record estimates. If you pick your times wrong, or include thermometer data, or ocean temp data, this claim will fall to bits. Even the satellite record estimates you rely on now show statistically significant warming, thanks to the record hot years of 2014, 2015 and 2016. You need to get with the program. Even the FF industry is moving to a “its not us” or “it will be good for us” argument.

    • Chris Fraser 4 years ago

      Yeah, Sure … drop the existing subsidies for coal and gas while you’re at it.

    • Mike Shackleton 4 years ago

      Even if global warming/climate change is a myth, the fact is renewable technologies are only getting cheaper and it’s going to take some serious subsidies to justify investment in coal and gas fired equipment. We have coal fired stations that need replacement in the medium to long term and that isn’t going to change.

    • Mark Roest 4 years ago

      Um, you haven’t seen the timelapse satellite photos of the last several years in the Arctic Ocean, or the video of the big calving event in Antarctica, or the other irrefutable evidence of massive disruption, I take it? We do live on a single, large, fully-interconnected planet, in case you have not noticed.

      • Ren Stimpy 4 years ago

        The problem is that 75% of people haven’t looked beyond their own existence to notice.

    • GregX 4 years ago

      Subsidies aside, wouldn’t you rather breathe fresh air? I know I would.

    • Richard Lutz 4 years ago

      Silly woman. Can’t you see the Polar Bears drowning and the plants dying from CO2 pollution? We are all connected, so when a bear and a plant dies a bit of us dies too. Careful where you step too in case you step on an ant.

      • Ren Stimpy 4 years ago


  5. Peter F 4 years ago

    1. By far the cheapest storage is hot water and ice. For $500-$1,000 per household you can install 12-25kWhr of storage in the form of excess hot water so why would you leave this huge potential out of the model.
    2. A serious run at energy efficiency over 15 years could reduce consumption to current German or Spanish levels per dollar of GDP. that means a reduction of 12-15% in power usage
    2. Pumped hydro only provides inertia services if it is running so there is a 2-3 minute gap which is far better filled by batteries, flywheels or supercapacitors. It is hard to make these systems economical with so much power and so little storage, so when they are built, there will probably be at least 2-5GWhr of non hydro storage.
    3. As David says below, a well structured distributed grid with power to heat and/or batteries plus demand response can put the majority of storage close to the load thereby minimising transmission losses and capital costs (by lowering peak load), Pumped hydro doesn’t score very well there.
    4. To minimise investment in grid upgrades, to slash peak demand charges for business and to store behind the meter solar, there will be large investments in local storage anyway. In 15 years just following the same trends as solar there will be 2 million systems with an average of 10-25 kWhr on the grid. around 30GWhr.
    5. To safely run a normal house during evening peak you need 5-10kW. To get 8-10kW out of most modern household systems around 20-24 kWhr of capacity is supplied. If customers do what they have been doing with 4WD’s houses and solar recently and installing more storage capacity than they need there will be many installations upgraded to 30-40kWhr so it is quite possible that behind the meter storage could grow to 50-60GWhr over 15 years
    6. Over a 15 year timescale a similar quantity of power to heat and demand response is also feasible a 100L ice block stores all the “coolth” needed for a reasonably efficient house for a day. a 400L water tank can store all the heat.
    7. To my mind the only reason that solar thermal with storage will not be built is that PV+ batteries or Wind + batteries prices will fall so fast that they become cheaper than solar thermal. All these technologies can be installed faster than pumped hydro.

    In summary the study is far too pessimistic about the amount of storage required so the cost will be significantly lower than projected.

    • solarguy 4 years ago

      I don’t think 100lt of ice will do the job to provide coolth and ditto for space heat. To turn energy into ice what method to you propose to use? Same for heat?

      • Michael Gunter 4 years ago

        1kW PVs per household running a conventional ice-making machine for starters.”Waste” heat would ideally be fed to a preheat stage of the hot water service. Only 42degC is warm enought for pleasant showering. CO2 refrigerants can presumably deliver that while efficiently making ice on the other side of the heat pump. Coolth at COP 3 and useful low grade heat at COP 3, could arguably be COP 6.

        I strongly endorse Peter F’s ideas above. We have to attack the dysfunctional market with a populist negawatts campaign, providing energy services behind the “smart” (for industry players) meter. is my 2 cents worth to the Oz Senate

        • solarguy 4 years ago

          Michael, shows you thinking but it will not be enough cooling! 42c maybe enough for a pleasant shower, but Legionella bacteria must be killed off by 60c once per week as per ANZS.
          Tell me, your typical ice making machine, what is it’s power input and how many litres of ice will it make in a hour and how will you store that ice?

          • Michael Gunter 4 years ago

            @solarguy Where is the peer-reviewed clinical medical/epidemiological data that solar hot water storage tanks have ANY of the necessary conditions firstly for allegedly growing, and then dispersing legionella? Legionella are a problem proven ONLY for evaporative cooling towers on industrial-scale aircon systems, when they disperse fine water droplets laced with the deadly bacteria, for unsuspecting passers-by to inhale.

            How on earth would the legionella initially get inside, then grow inside a solar hot water storage tank unless the cold water supply was at fault because of (a) live legionella contamination .AND. (b) a conducive nutrient soup for the bacteria to grow in.

            …cooling towers are a huge problem precisely cos they are well oxygenated, warmish for very long periods, and cos they filter DUST and electrolytes out of dirty air to provide the nutrient-rich soup for legionella to grow. If you want to shower in shit like that then be my guest, but ffs don’t blame solar hot water tanks being supplied by town water meeting stringent quality standards.

            I say again as elsewhere in this thread that ASNZS standards for solar hot water systems are a demonstrable sop to the #GreenhouseMafiosi commercial interests to knobble a competitor: i.e. the BASELOAD RENEWABLE ENERGY SERVICE of solar-heated hot water delivery.

            (Dr) Michael Gunter, MB,BS(Melb, 1976)

          • solarguy 4 years ago

            Not for town water, but for roof collected water, bird droppings which have contaminated cooling towers also. I haven’t seen any study and I’m sceptical that town water could be contaminated like you. Just stating a fact per AS/NZ as the industry has been informed for years now of this.

        • 小杜 (xiao du) 4 years ago

          I’m curious – why don’t Australians use Solar Hot Water (SHW) systems?

          Seems crazy that you have PV, but don’t do the same for hot water. Far more efficient than PV -> Electricity -> Heat Pump -> Hot Water.

          Rural China is covered by SHW, you’ll see systems in every roof in every small village. Similar for South Africa.
          Why not Australia?

          • Farmer Dave 4 years ago

            That is an excellent question, Xiao. I think the reason is that SHW systems have been very expensive in Australia. A bank of 30 evacuated tubes plus the circulating pump and controller can cost more than $3,000 when I last looked if you only look at the frequently promoted well known brands. However, there are people who import systems from China that are designed to comply with European standards, and a similar system from such a supplier cost around $1,500.

          • Michael Gunter 4 years ago

            flat plate collectors with a selective surface work OK at 45 degreesC… and give free, fossil-fuel-free hot water for domestic use at >45degC for 9 months/year in typical Melbourne weather. Just turn off the booster to slash your carbon footprint, and do not worry about the industry’s specious arguments about getting legionella from your solar heated/warmed water supply. Legionella bacteria reside in all soils everywhere, you’re more likely to get it from breathing airborne dust outdoors on a dry windy night (=no UV at night to kill the bugs).

          • solarguy 4 years ago

            Do you have a SHW system Michael?

          • solarguy 4 years ago

            Basically because Aussies a too lazy to do their research. However they do by SHW as my business will attest to. And I agree about being more efficient than HP hot water.

          • ROBwithaB 4 years ago

            I’m pretty sure that PV + resistance heating is now cheaper to install than SHW, for equivalent volume.

          • Alastair Leith 4 years ago

            Beyond Zero Emissions found in the Buildings Plan that the only reason you’d go to solar HW using evacuated tubes or such is a constraint on solar exposed roof space. Otherwise more cost effective and functionally robust to have PV—> Heat Pump (gaining free energy from the ambient air temperature) —> Hot Water.

      • Peter F 4 years ago

        100L of ice from -4C melted and warmed to 15C absorbs about 11kW hr of energy. If you have 3 x 4kW split systems running for 5 hours at a COP of 4 and an average of 60% CF that is 9 kWhr. In my current house which is about 25 squares we have 2 such systems and while the temperature gets up a bit on very hot days the house has very few energy saving features, no outside blinds no doubled glazed windows etc.

        If the ice is made using a heat pump using low cost power at night or even solar in the morning, the COP of the heatpump could also be around 5 or higher so you would only put about 2.5 kWhrs into the system.

        Heating is a bit harder because you don’t benefit from the latent heat of fusion. If you heat the water with a heatpump to 65C it can store about 160 kJ/L so 400 L stores 64,000 kJ (64MJ or 17 kWhr)
        Average annual heating load in Victoria for a 180 Sqm house is about 60,000 MJ or about 40-45kWhr per day so my guess was wrong it probably needs to be about 1,000L.

        Alternatively you don’t need a whole days storage probably half that amount would allow the heat source to be turned off for 3 hours during peak electrical demand so then you come back to 400-500L
        Heating can be via a heat pump or direct coupled solar.

        Direct coupled solar is less efficient but more mechanically reliable, quieter, lasts longer and has lower capital costs. You need 6-10 panels and some simple switch gear and can draw off peak power from the grid 20-40 days per year. You also don’t suffer efficiency losses as the temperature rises as you do with heatpumps. Therefore if space is constraint the heat store can run at 85-90C and you need more insulation but less volume of water. If roof space is the problem use a heatpump

        • Michael Gunter 4 years ago

          Grandma would have said put on a pullover, go chop the firewood, or in summer go dampen your clothing and stand outdoors in the shade. Consumer convenience these days seems to be making life much more complicated, and the plutocrats richer and richer. 🙁

  6. Chris Fraser 4 years ago

    A welcome study at just the right time. I’d just like the Minister to read the ANU Report, prove he understood it, and post his critique on RE. I wonder about our chances …

  7. Andy Saunders 4 years ago

    Yes, the cost of reliability is poorly determined. Historically the reliability requirements have often been politically set, rather than some engineering analysis. The current settings are unlikely to be correct…

  8. raaj 4 years ago

    To encourage wind solar it is necessary to create capacity market economically wher little efficiency may may be sacrifices for the economy

  9. DJR96 4 years ago

    Certainly a good report even as is to show that renewables will be cost effective.

    But pumped hydro is not good enough for a really reliable grid-forming supply.
    For that we need about 6GWh of battery storage using full four quadrant bi-direction inverters. This can control and form the grid, maintaining a constant frequency regardless of demand. The pumped hydro can be the bulk storage, the batteries the control. Best of both worlds that’ll provide the most reliable network anywhere in the world.

    • Mark Roest 4 years ago

      Interesting! Any leads to information (including both basic education and purchasing strategy information) on full four quadrant bi-direction inverters?

      • DJR96 4 years ago

        These have the capability:-

        Now think about running the entire network as and “island” or micro-grid”. So rather than using these as a supplement to the network, these can actually form the network, and all generation supplements it just like all existing solar and wind does now. Even existing synchronous generators and pumped hydro would follow instead of form.

        The only thing stopping storage being added now is market regulations to support them. Get that sorted and we’ll see all sorts being installed. And if roughly 20% of network capacity (5-6GW) is as above and appropriately controlled and coordinated, it could do just that, and provide all the anciliary services instead of the synchronous generators – which aren’t really very good at doing them.

  10. MaxG 4 years ago

    And when is ANU’s federal budget injection due?
    I mean we can’t have ‘opinions’ interfere with gov policy…

  11. JoeR_AUS 4 years ago

    Giles Parkinson quote:

    The modelling shows that a large fraction of the balancing costs relates to “periods of several successive days of overcast and windless weather that occur once every few years.”

    16 days ago at Barmera SA (wind-farm) there was not enough wind 3 days out of 4 and if you check willy weather there is 5 hours of wind (above 18km – min needed) in the next 6 days. Also, in winter there is enough wind at around 7% of the times.

    So, I find this report lacks real weather observations and hence the basic assumptions are flawed.

    Furthermore any place that has achieved 100% renewable, they all depend on hydro or geomass to sustain power for the days/nights when wind/solar are insufficient.

    So, if we are to go down the above path I suggest we trial a small area first as nowhere else have they managed to attain the above solution.

  12. neroden 4 years ago

    “A large fraction of LCOB relates to periods of several days of overcast and windless weather that occur once every few years.”

    Here in upstate NY, in the US, our grid already goes out for a few days every few years.

    So basically, this can just be tolerated. You don’t actually need to deal with it. Dealing with it is basically “gold-plating” — you can if you like, but people won’t mind if you don’t.

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