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“Get used to it”: We’re switching from “baseload” to a smart grid

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“In South Australia, the minister’s right, when the wind stops, you get blackouts.”

Well, no. Fact check please. But so said ABC Q&A host Tony Jones on the program last night in the middle of a discussion about renewable energy between energy minister Josh Frydenberg and the former prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Apart from being factually wrong, Jones’ statement highlights the depths of ignorance in mainstream media, and the influence within the ABC of senior commentators who simply do not accept, or understand, the potential of renewable energy. It is a view enthusiastically shared by many conservative politicians and encouraged by an ever desperate fossil fuel industry.

But here’s the thing. The energy mix is changing rapidly and large-scale solar is unstoppable, according to numerous presenters at a major solar conference held in Sydney this week.

Solar and wind will beat new coal and gas on price, and on top of that storage is arriving in a big way, as are all the other different technologies that will usher a dramatic change in our energy mix from a fossil fuelled “baseload” to a flexible system based around wind and solar.

“Get used it”. That was the simple but powerful message to the energy incumbents from Leonard Quong, a lead analyst from Bloomberg New energy Finance, in highlighting the rapidly changing “energy paradigm” in Australia and across the world.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 7.02.47 am

“The best advice that we can give to those that would seek to resist the change, or the increased complexity, is just get used to it,” Quong told the conference on Monday. “The economics of large-scale solar make it an unstoppable force,” he said, reinforcing the point that the power system was moving to a new “control paradigm”, underpinned by any amount of new technologies.

It was a theme taken up by a range of speakers at the conference, from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and to developers such as Goldwind (the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer), Genex Power and others.

Indeed, in recent weeks the energy debate in Australia has reached something of an inflexion point. The closure of the dirtiest power station in the country, the giant Hazelwood brown coal generator, was the biggest symbol of this transition.

But other events are happening rapidly. In South Australia, a tender for battery storage attracted an astonishing 90 proposals, the former head of Hazelwood conceded that solar and storage was already cheaper than gas, and the biggest player in the South Australian market tore up its business plan in response to the events around it, and the state’s intervention in the market.

Good, said premier Jay Weatherill. “We’ve been screwed for too long by large power companies, it’s as simple as that,” the premier said on Monday.

Finally, the government has now shown it is prepared to take on the energy oligopolies – given that the regulators and rule makers have shown no interest in doing so. And the solution is to be found in storage and smart solutions that reduce the ability of the incumbents to cause huge price spikes and withhold capacity.

And for the first time, the head of one of the country’s main energy institutions, Audrey Zibelman, the new chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator, is talking of a grid that focuses on “distributed generation” – solar and storage – as a cheaper, faster, cleaner and smarter alternative to what we have now.

Even Malcolm Turnbull, in promoting pumped hydro, is talking of “dispatchable generation” and “variable” rather than “intermittent renewables.”

And his government has promised to throw in an extra $110 million to support a solar tower and storage facility in Port Augusta. Once that technology gets established, with its ability to provide 24-7 power, then the game will surely be up for baseload fossil fuels.

Indeed, this was one of the big themes of the Large Scale Solar 2017 conference being co-hosted by RenewEconomy and Informa in Sydney this week. The long expected and sudden boom in large-scale solar is about to change the energy landscape in this country forever, particularly as storage comes on board as well.

Gloria Chan, the head of large-scale solar for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, talked of a “changing paradigm” from baseload and peaking fossil fuel plants, to a “smart grid” based around solar and wind, with the gaps being filled by “dispatchable” renewables and storage.

She used this graph to illustrate the point:

baseload to smart grid

This effectively shows – as many reports have shows previously – that the “baseload” fossil fuels is eventually replaced by a new form of “base”, from variable renewables as cheaper wind and solar replace ageing and exiting coal and gas.

Another way to look at it the transition is this way, with solar becoming the overwhelming energy source in the middle of the day, with a big impact on not just supply needs, but also on price.


BNEF solar big

With that big lump of solar in the middle of the day deflating prices – to the point where Genex Power’s Kidston suggested that the pumped hydro facility planned for the old Kidston gold mine would likely use cheap solar to pump water up to the higher pond during the day, rather than cheap coal at night.

John Gardner, from Goldwind, the world’s biggest wind turbine maker, talked of “baseload” wind and solar being produced by the planned wind and solar hybrid plants at Gullen Range and White Rock in New South Wales.

The point was not that wind and solar would replicate coal or nuclear, but there would not be anywhere near the gaps that many had anticipated.
goldwind white rock wind solar output

 

This was a point made earlier in the day by Ian Kaye, the chief operating officer of ARENA, which has supported both White Rock and Gullen. He pointed to another project, the Kennedy project in north Queensland, where wind and solar is being combined with battery storage.
“They’re putting together solar with wind, which have got negative correlation between their outputs, together with a surprisingly small battery, and you end up with a very reliable source of power,” Kaye said. “And you put all of that behind one connection point, you kind of get close to synthesising baseload. So there’s some pretty interesting stuff there.”
And the world is not short of technology solutions when there are gaps to be filled. As this graph below, from BNEF’s Quong, illustrates, all sorts of options are presenting themselves – and because it will introduce more competition from more providers and more players in the market, the artificial price spikes engineered by the existing oligopoly will largely disappear.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 7.26.51 am copy

“Just as the planning and management of urban transport became orders of magnitude more complicated with the advent of the automobile and necessitated the development of paved roads, traffic lights and highways, new methods, technologies and infrastructure will be needed to support the advent of decarbonised energy.”

The CEFC’s Chan said the CEFC technology roadmap includes pumped hydro and batteries, along with synchronous condensers and other technologies; “dispatchable” renewables such as solar thermal, geothermal hydrogen and biomass.

Other technologies include transmission upgrades and “behind the meter solutions” – the solar and storage and virtual power plants, and demand management highlighted by Zibelman in the past week.

What is so astonishing about the plethora of opportunities is the refusal of the incumbents and other vested interests to see them.

Their regulatory capture of many of the country’s key institutions seems to be complete as well, but could be challenged by the likes of Zibelman and chief scientist Alan Finkel.

Indeed, a survey released this week by Sven Teske, from the Institute of Sustainable Futures in Sydney, found that 71 per cent of international energy experts thought that 100 per cent renewable energy was obtainable and realistic. To be sure, the responses ranged from the “progressive” to the “conservative” – who simply didn’t believe it could be done.

As the head of China’s state grid has noted, this is not a technology issue, but a cultural one.

And perhaps it is that which causes the media to struggle to move forward, and lazily repeat the mischievous myth-making of the fossil fuel incumbents. Jones’s comments on Q&A are a case in point. Perhaps mainstream media is waiting for the right signals from the mainstream parties.  

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  • humanitarian solar

    ” Quong told the conference on Monday. “The economics of large-scale solar make it an unstoppable force,” he said, reinforcing the point that the power system was moving to a new “control paradigm”, underpinned by any amount of new technologies.”

    The centralised paradigm involved centralised “control”. The distributed generation and distributed storage grids of the future will have many different sites and grids, all participants in multidirectional energy “sharing”.

    • Alastair Leith

      There needs to be centralised planning and decision making on the rules. Fair rules that encourage the most possible players and solutions. It’s a combination of centralised management that avoids micro managing and decentralised participation with autonomy given to those best placed to make low level decisions. Like an open source project. They never go well when run by a corporate entity who want too much control.

      Without centralised modeling of future scenarios and costs and decisions about where transmission and storage infrastructure is located and how much of it then every other exercise is a dart throwing exercise. It has to be considered holistically and that’s the central reason for grid failures today and the slump in deployment.

      • humanitarian solar

        Democracy needs to result in “centralised planning”, e.g. the Senate has voted in favour of the 5 minute rule and will the AEMC acknowledge democracy has spoken.

  • Chris Fraser

    Tony Jones watch and learn …

    • solarguy

      One of the most annoying things about Q&A is Tony Jones. His not bipartisan to all on the panel. I think we have buckleys chance of ever having an episode based on climate change and how renewables are going to power this planet.

      • Colin

        When Q&A first started I watched enthusiastically. I was hoping for something along the lines of the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/) which I consider to be the Gold Standard when it comes to quality journalism.

        Tony Jones should take note of Lehrer’s professionalism in his moderation of Mark Shields and David Brooks

        I once considered recording Q&A and then using a stopwatch to estimate each panelists’ time speaking. I didn’t bother as it seemed obvious that the most aggressive dominated the show.

        • RobSa

          I stopped watching it. Has any frontbencher who has been on the show ever said something that was off-message from the party line? I would be surprised. I don’t think of the show as an open forum but as a partisan platform pretending to be something more civic.

          • Colin

            Agreed.

            A pity though as Oz could use a well moderated respectful open forum for much needed debate.

          • Alastair Leith

            Me too, I just get so very frustrated and even angry at times with the bullshit hosting on ABC when i comes to climate and renewables. Pig-ignorance masquerading as informed adjudication. Monday night somebody posted a link to a different program on iView and when I clicked it opened iVIew and started streaming QandA and there was Frydenberg right in the middle of another porkie. When I saw the former Danish PM sounding very sensible in response I decided to watch the whole show this time (even if she is the CEO of Save The Children charity — but I digress).

            Frydenberg got outplayed by several of the panelists by a country mile, and it seemed the audience could see it if applause is any indication. Tony Jones did his best to keep Josh in the game. I’ve been watching Jones a long time and even with David Suzuki he talked bullshit and expected to get away with it. Suzuki being a polite guest and maybe aging, didn’t take Jones to task though. I’ve long wanted to run an info day on Climate and Renewables for ABC hosts and Journos but as long as the political editor is Chris Uhlmann I don’t like the chances of getting a meritocracy of facts established at the ABC. Could name 6 or more hosts and journalists who run Liberal Party talking points as indisputable facts, when in fact it’s blatant propaganda (90% false in other words) which they’ve swallowed hole from MCA etc or think is factual based on their readings in the general mass media conversation.

            Watch this space, many of us have had enough.

          • Alastair Leith

            Yes, when I did used to watch it the best shows were usually the ones with no politician, like Melbourne Writers Festival week or something like that.

        • Alastair Leith

          I started writing a software app which people could download for their iOS devices and hit a button each time a different panelist/host spoke and it would sum the individual times and also sum talk time by gender, political affiliation along simple spectrums like progressive/reactionary. Maybe there’s at least one potential user for it in the world, Colin!

    • RobSa

      The mistake you are making is implying Jones’s action’s were based on ignorance. This is willful disinformation tactics that are part of a media manipulation campaign. We all suffer from it. That is why in the future this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.

  • Wilbur

    Based on the comment from Ian Kaye about the Kennedy project, one focus from those government agencies could be to encourage any existing Wind Farms to add grid scale solar and some battery storage. The additional cost would be lower than a new Grid PV system as the interconnections are already there. This would seem to be the best use of investment incentives.

    • humanitarian solar

      Great idea. The cables are sized to a MW rating and instead of being used for 20% to 40% capacity, design solar to complement placing both in storage, then use the baseload co-gen renewables to power inverters at nearer to 100% cable capacity. This is the same idea at work behind “thin links” to remote grids and the main reason distributed generation and distributed storage, radically decentralised, is the only cost effective kind of grid for a country like Aus.

    • Alastair Leith

      On WA’s SWIS grid the largest wind farm, Collgar (206 MW), is on capacity restricted dispatch, and it’s manually processed by AEMO at present (they’re working on handling it with software I believe).

      That’s because Western Power wanted $100m or something to increase transmission to give them unrestrain dispatch, but as the line goes to Kalgoorlie and baseload generation already uses it from time to time to suit coal’s lack of ramping/flexibility then Collgar is told to curtail. Would love to know the stats on how much curtailing actually occurs if anybody knows.

  • Alan S

    How about a Q&A panel consisting of Malcolm Roberts, Josh Freydenberg, Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce and Bob Day? They could spout their nonsense to each other unimpeded by the more intelligent, non-partisan, panel members that are usually invited. Give Tony the night off and put Chris Uhlmann in the chair. Should be a cracker.

    • Cooma Doug

      They could walk into the crowd and hug everyone

    • Roger Brown

      Bob’s Day is over , bankrupt = NO JOB ! Prison ?

    • Alastair Leith

      Tony Jones would feel aggrieved I think!

    • Joe

      Show us “The Impirical Evidence” please.

  • JoeR_AUS

    SA at the moment (NEM watch) is

    902mw GAS
    164mw Wind
    103mw Solar

    The trouble is urban transport has a peak hour and so does electricity, they are before 9am and after 5pm. This implies you will need a massive solar farm and batteries to store the power the day before to use that night and next morning – the assumption is the farm (solar/ wind) is big enough to recharge the batteries every day or the batteries are large enough to store electricity for a number of days.

    To further complicate the collection is winter, were wind is effective only 7% of the time, which implies even more Solar to cover it and also cover the shorter daylight days.

    So the model to cost is: how to provide 1.6GW for SA every day from renewables only – even on successive windless days that are cloudy ie weather independent!

    Its only till then you will convince people that its viable and this is regardless of the comments that the tech cost will come down, as this will only lower your plan costs.

    If some one quoted how much to do this, the argument would swap to: can some one do it cheaper. The business model is largely irrelevant ie who purchase the batteries/wind farm, PV’s

    • humanitarian solar

      Great that your reasoning it out. I know from my own install on a property that the night kWh is less than a third of the daytime kWh. I’ve only got solar feeding battery. It is also possible to feed a battery with wind on a small scale install, although not cost effective for my property size install. Though if done, the wind would further compliment the solar because wind is much more persistent at night. So your reasoning was a little pessimistic. If you look at it honestly, you seem attached to the idea it doesn’t work, when some us are making it so. So really, only a small battery is needed with a co-generation install – and note it said that in the article. Additionally, your reasoning posited a larger battery would be needed, perhaps days, for winter etc. That’s not how the paradigm is envisioned. Batteries are only to give some level of autonomy in outages and daily cycling. Other more cost effective forms of storage, like utility scale batteries, molten salt for solar thermal and pumped hydro, are planned for grid level storage, backing up the battery backup. So it really needs to be carefully thought out as working as an integrated system, the same time we would take in planning traditional networks, so lets not make offhanded comments and really work through the new paradigm. Finally, distribution costs are the big future costs, and on that, renewables kill centralised generation by being able to be configured in more of a distributed generation configuration. So seriously, it’s a goer.

  • Pete

    “…the former prime minister of Norway, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.”

    She was prime minister of Denmark.

  • Ian

    Talking about road maps, we need to look at energy security at a distributed level. We know that our renewables generators are variable in output and we know that our loads at a domestic level are variable in consumption. Batteries or other storage are needed to match supply and demand. This needs to be at both ends of the grid circuit. Batteries at the local substation level either fully distributed in homes and/or located at the substation; and batteries at the wind farm or utility scale solar farm. This will allow better management of transmission lines and allow islanding of local networks during extreme weather events or grid outages.

    Solar and wind, we are reassured, has become highly competitive with traditional coal or gas, but it is variable and needs to be built in complimentary quantities, and spread over wide geographic areas and requires storage to maximise its potential. Why not redirect some or most public funds from the actual renewable generation assets to storage, transmission and control technologies that are required to enable solar wind and hydro &c.

    The time may have come to tie STC’s and LGC’s to storage . For example, no LGC unless the facility can store some or all of its output to cover peak load times. Dare I say it, reduced STC unless the house or business installs battery storage and bonus STC if it does.

  • Robin_Harrison

    Is Jones stupid enough to believe this or just close enough to retirement to need to feather his nest?

  • humanitarian solar

    Co-generation Renewable Energy:
    The article describes how co-generation will be increasingly used to produce “synthetic baseload power” and I’d like to post a link to an example of a piece of equipment which can do this on our properties and explain how it works. This piece of equipment is called an inverter/charger, because it has in it an inverter which produces AC from a battery and it also capable of charging a battery from the grid. The charger component of the inverter/charger, is the same type of equipment we would charge our flat car battery from an AC socket, though here we’re talking about one piece of integrated equipment, the inverter/charger. Additionally, the inverter/charger has one other primary function, to switch relatively seamlessly between drawing power from the battery (inverting DC to AC) and running our properties on the grid when necessary (and hence charging or converting AC to DC to fill the battery in winter if we’re short). For this last function, the inverter/charger has a high speed transfer switch, which makes the whole device function as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), so our power isn’t disrupted in outages and the equipment senses the grid has gone down, and naturally reverts to “stand alone” mode in these grid outages. So the inverter/charger has an inverter, charger and a high speed switch for going between both functions seamlessly.
    In understanding co-generation on our properties, we need to note the inverter/charger has both inputs and outputs. Most inverter/chargers only manage one input and this is the AC input usually set aside for the grid. In most inverter/chargers this input can also be used to control the AC coming from a diesel generator, if it’s an offgrid install, though it can be used for any generator at all, including wind turbines that produce AC. For those people who don’t want to be using a manual changeover switch, it is possible to buy an inverter/charger which manages two AC inputs and hence their inverter/charger could manage two AC sources – grid and diesel generator (happens in developing countries with unreliable grids), grid and wind generator or wind and diesel. So the inverter/charger can manage an AC source or two AC sources depending upon the model we purchase, we program how it priorities these sources and when it fires them up, which some inverter/chargers can do automatically, on a condition like the battery voltage goes low. This is how the inverter/charger is actually a computer controlled power management device, it has firmware that gets updated like a computer getting an operating system update, and it also can have loaded other software for doing specific tasks we need. Finally, the inverter/charger has AC outputs, on some models one output will be inactive when the device senses the grid is having an outage which is called a load shedding feature (usually air con or hot water heating) or they can have up to four control circuits for turning AC equipment on and off when needed, typically staggered around the solar day (pool pumps, hot water heating, water pumps for the garden etc). In this way, we see the inverter/charger is the central device in a renewable energy system, which we program to manage and prioritise various AC input sources and can have load management software for doing tasks on our property. Then the smart meter keeps track of whether our system is a net exporter or importer. If we’re a remote install, two inverter/chargers can be wired in parallel to double output power and provide redundancy, and if we’re a farm running three phase water pumps, there inverter/chargers can be configured for three phase power. Small scale inverter/chargers range from about 3kW to 20kW and I imagine grid scale versions are the same basic family of equipment only bigger. So then we could conceive of a microgrid for a remote town, where the town has large inverter/chargers, with solar feeding the battery storage directly, wind on one AC input of the inverter/charger, a “thin link” back to the nearest major grid on the second AC input of the inverter/charger, and off course the load is the township and all the individual houses, including hybrid solar systems with their own storage. So then, from the perspective of our individual property, our storage is effectively nested in the storage of our towns microgrid, and the towns microgrid is probably going to be nested in a far away large scale storage (like a pumped hydro facility) and all of it is controlled at each level by the inverter/charger, seamlessly switching between power sources and providing its local load with a UPS. The reason I write this long post, is because people are beginning to ask what is going to in practice control all these complex energy exchanges, and that’s the inverter/charger. Each property, city council, region, state would probably have a kind of “smart meter” monitoring if areas are net exporters or importers, so each of us geographical are pulling our own weight and paying accordingly. So that’s how I think the future grid will operate and there’s really no problem with switching power around in an intelligent way based upon daily and seasonal needs, all the technology is already in place. If people want co-generation on their properties, here is an example of merely one product coming onto the Australian market soon and I’m not promoting or saying its a good product, just one of many, as an example I know of from a reputable brand that’s about $4k:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Victron-Energy-Quattro-48V-5000VA-70-100-100A-Pure-Sine-Wave-Inverter-Charger-/302004707770?hash=item4650e221ba:g:Qz8AAOSwzLlXgQgT

  • Ian

    It would be greate if some of the experts in the renewables industry could have a meeting with at least some ot the ABC journalists, just to clarify things as they are.

  • Greg Hudson

    ”the artificial price spikes engineered by the existing oligopoly will largely disappear.”
    Reposit customers take note. Your time to make hay while the sun shines is going to be limited in future. If the price spikes disappear, so do your grid credits (IMO).

  • humanitarian solar

    Co-Generation Renewable Energy on our Properties:

    The article describes how co-generation will be increasingly used to produce “synthetic baseload power” and I’d like to describe how this works on our properties. This piece of equipment needed is called an inverter/charger, because it has in it an inverter which produces AC from a battery and it also capable of charging a battery from the grid. The charger component of the inverter/charger, is the same type of equipment we would charge our flat car battery from an AC socket, though here we’re talking about one piece of integrated equipment, the inverter/charger. Additionally, the inverter/charger has one other primary function, to switch relatively seamlessly between drawing power from the battery (inverting DC to AC) and running our properties on the grid when necessary (and hence charging or converting AC to DC to fill the battery in winter if we’re short). For this last function, the inverter/charger has a high speed transfer switch, which makes the whole device function as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), so our power isn’t disrupted in outages and the equipment senses the grid has gone down, and naturally reverts to “stand alone” mode in these grid outages. So the inverter/charger has an inverter, charger and a high speed switch for going between both functions seamlessly.
    In understanding co-generation on our properties, we need to note the inverter/charger has both inputs and outputs. Most inverter/chargers only manage one input and this is the AC input usually set aside for the grid. In most inverter/chargers this input can also be used to control the AC coming from a diesel generator, if it’s an offgrid install, though it can be used for any generator at all, including wind turbines that produce AC. For those people who don’t want to be using a manual changeover switch, it is possible to buy an inverter/charger which manages two AC inputs and hence their inverter/charger could manage two AC sources – grid and diesel generator (happens in developing countries with unreliable grids), grid and wind generator or wind and diesel. So the inverter/charger can manage an AC source or two AC sources depending upon the model we purchase, we program how it priorities these sources and when it fires them up, which some inverter/chargers can do automatically, on a condition like the battery voltage goes low. This is how the inverter/charger is actually a computer controlled power management device, it has firmware that gets updated like a computer getting an operating system update, and it also can have loaded other software for doing specific tasks we need. Finally, the inverter/charger has AC outputs, on some models one output will be inactive when the device senses the grid is having an outage which is called a load shedding feature (usually air con or hot water heating) or they can have up to four control circuits for turning AC equipment on and off when needed, typically staggered around the solar day (pool pumps, hot water heating, water pumps for the garden etc). In this way, we see the inverter/charger is the central device in a renewable energy system, which we program to manage and prioritise various AC input sources and can have load management software for doing tasks on our property.

    • humanitarian solar

      Remote Properties and Microgrids:
      If we’re a remote install, two inverter/chargers can be wired in parallel to double output power and provide redundancy, and if we’re a farm running three phase water pumps, there inverter/chargers can be configured for three phase power. Small scale inverter/chargers range from about 3kW to 20kW and I imagine grid scale versions are the same basic family of equipment only bigger. So then we could conceive of a microgrid for a remote town, where the town has large inverter/chargers, with solar feeding the battery storage directly, wind on one AC input of the inverter/charger, a “thin link” back to the nearest major grid on the second AC input of the inverter/charger, and off course the load is the township and all the individual houses, including hybrid solar systems with their own storage. So then, from the perspective of our individual property, our storage is effectively nested in the storage of our towns microgrid, and the towns microgrid is probably going to be nested in a far away large scale storage (like a pumped hydro facility) and all of it is controlled at each level by the inverter/charger, seamlessly switching between power sources and providing its local load with a UPS. The reason I write this long post, is because people are beginning to ask what is going to in practice control all these complex energy exchanges, and that’s the inverter/charger. Each property, city council, region, state would probably have a kind of “smart meter” monitoring if areas are net exporters or importers, so each of us geographical are pulling our own weight and paying accordingly. So that’s how I think the future grid will operate and there’s really no problem with switching power around in an intelligent way based upon daily and seasonal needs, all the technology is already in place.

  • Alastair Leith

    I checked the price spikes in Western Australia in the last two financial years and the wholesale price on the SWIS never went to $200/MWh (or above) once. Loads of overcapacity but unlike situation in SA with completely privatised generation, Synergy is Government owned and they payed for ridiculous amounts of overcapacity of coal, gas and diesel with capacity payments and so on. Most importantly no potential for gentailers to game the market with cabal style bids and withholding generation only to rebid. And WA has an LNG export terminal at Barrow Island.

    Yet in SA, prices regularly hit the $14,000/MWh ceiling in last FY — even with interconnectors to the rest of the NEM (SWIS being isolated from NEM completely).

    • daw

      right you are Alastair. The SA Govt and the other East coast Govt’s that have sold off their generation deserve all the scorn and problems that are bestowed upon them. Once you kill the goose that lays the golden egg you get what you deserve.

    • Alastair Leith

      Actually told a lie, that was true for 2016 (average was $50.09/MWh) but here are the top 10 five minute bids in 2017 on the SWIS. Still the same ballpark (annual average so far is $54/MWh): https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f24ed342e812c9962eec4694ad0a2f77fdc8039f19d9cc56f43f20f8ec667f16.png

  • daw

    Poor bloody taxpayers still copping a hiding. All of these technologies should stand alone seeing as they claim to be economical. Cut off all subsidies and let’s see what happens. I’ll join the throng when they prove themselves.

    • nakedChimp

      You also ask of your child to be self-sufficient after it’s been out of the womb?

      • daw

        A nonsense question.
        Firstly one’s a human being the other an inanimate technology. Secondly these technologies have been around for decades. My children became self sufficient in less time than these technologies have been around.
        Thirdly they have never received government subsidies (unless you want to classify child endowment as a subsidy) or if they did they ceased when they started working.
        They now survive or fail on their own merits.
        That is what should happen with wind and solar!

        • nakedChimp

          Interesting.. how about coal/oil/gas/nuclear subsidies over a much longer timeframe?
          Are you also having the taxpayers back on those ones or are you biased?
          And as those have been going on for longer, I’d expect those to need to go first as well, no?
          Can’t hear you there..

          • daw

            Suffering from selective deafness perhaps? NO I haven’t said anything for you to hear. This is a forum of written dialogue doofus.
            There are no subsidies on coal, oil or gas. They have always been income generators for Australian Governments. When you arrive back from fairy land let me know where there is a nuclear powered generator in Australia and how much subsidy it is payed will you.

          • nakedChimp

            ‘Hearing’ was metaphorically, you pelican.

            No subsidies?
            And what about that money the gov wanted (or is still putting on the line) for that Galilee-Basin coal-mine project?

            I’d suggest you take your blinders off, but then.. what kind of pelican is pulling a cart, right?

          • daw

            Erhh which govt? And how much? Long on questions and supposition. Short to non-existent on facts and answering others questions.

          • stephan011

            Coal and gas don’t pay for pollution and without this free ride, they couldn’t compete at all. When you are ready to include externalities, let’s talk about who can compete in a free market.

  • Joe

    I love it how Premier Jay is operating. He gives Big Mal’s hand puppet, Josh Frydenberg, one of the best public takedowns you will ever see. Now AGL is getting some as well. Onya Premier Jay, you are The Man! Can Tony Jones please take his Q&A roadshow to SA. Get Premier Jay in one chair, Chris Uhlmann ( ABC ) in the other the chair and talk about Climate Change and how Renewables will change current way of delivering energy….Tony Jones, Chris Uhlmann & co at The ABC will get a free lesson on what our energy future will look like