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Graph of the Day: Wind power sets new record, as Abbott renews turbine attack

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This may be a case of exquisite timing. Just as Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched into another attack on Australia’s wind farms, the nation’s wind turbines have pooled together to provide record output for a single day in Australia.

As this graph, courtesy of Infigen Energy’s Ketan Joshi shows, wind output on Saturday produced – for the first time – more than 70,000MWh in a single day. That meant that it accounted for 13.5 per cent of average demand over the whole day.

wind energy ketan
Abbott has expressed his distaste for wind energy and on Monday described Labor’s proposed 50 per cent renewable energy goal as a “scam”, borrowing an expression from some dodgy anti-wind web sites. He said the current target for renewables was “more than enough.”

As Joshi noted in an email to RenewEconomy: “Though the upper bounds of wind power output are only part of the story of growing renewable energy in Australia, these moments are still milestones in a changing energy landscape.

“The latest maximum output, reached last Saturday, saw wind power meeting around 13 per cent to 15 per cent of the national electricity market’s total demand (rooftop solar isn’t included in this calculation as a generator).

“These moments don’t happen all the time, but they illustrate why wind farms are built with capacities that are much higher than the average wind power output – so they can capture these rare but important moments of enormous quantities of kinetic energy churning in the atmosphere, and convert it into usable electrical energy.

“On average, wind is around 4 per cent of total NEM consumption, but these ‘maximum’ moments are clear markers of how variable output technologies can integrate easily into our existing grid.”  

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  • disqus_3PLIicDhUu

    Forget the LNP Coal clowns, does anyone even listen to them anymore?

    • Alistair Spong

      The most dangerous thing about the Liberal national party is that we write them off as a spent force .

      I like to believe that once the election is announced the polls will widen significantly – but until that poll is conducted we all supporters of a safe and clean renewable powered future need to be active and vigilant .

      Hunt and Abbott have shown they are not going to role over like submissive dogs , it’s up to us to unite and get behind the renewable industry

      • Peter Campbell

        I thought the difference in the polls tend to narrow as a election approaches, which is even more reason to keep hammering the point that Abbott and co are petulant vandals.

        • Alistair Spong

          Sometimes , but notable examples are the Kevin Rudd return and Jeff Kennet ….both had a stink about them and both lost by a larger margin than initial polling …

      • Peter

        Indeed I have the same concerns.

  • Jenny Goldie

    I am beginning to despair that Abbott’s government will come up with credible post-2020 targets despite the positive news from Saturday with respect to wind energy. Poor targets will exacerbate our international pariah status and I personally am ashamed at the prospect. Well done Labor on the 50% renewables target by 2030, but where are your post-2020 targets for emission reduction? As a minimum, they must be in line with what the CCA has suggested.

  • juxx0r

    I am organising a three day workshop entitled “Making Charts and Graphs Using Suitable Colours So That You Don’t Need To Spend Hours Looking At It In Total Confusion Wondering What That Monotone Grey Hairline Represents”

    Earlybird pricing is only $7,000. Get in quick, places are expected to sellout.

    • Ketan Joshi

      I have to pay this burn. Well played, sir.

      • juxx0r

        Glad i didn’t offend.

  • Steve159

    Some of us ought to write to our (Labor) politicians, offering some advice.

    For example, they could simply repeat three times, I say again three times evocative things like “Hawaii is going 65%, not 50% by 2030. Why are we such lame ducks, dead in the water, while the rest of the planet sails on by? Well, we’re at least working to keep up, not like the Abbott and his cronies” or similar.

    Or, “hey renewable energy is booming everywhere else on the planet, why are we being left behind?”

    Or “Hands up all those who think the RET costs taxpayers a lot of money? Well, so sorry to say, but you’ve been had, by Abbott and his mates — it doesn’t cost taxpayers one solitary cent. Nope nope nope, not one cent”

    Or … similar

    Is there anyone in Labor who has an ounce (or a gram) of gumption?

    • johnnewton

      No Steve! According to Don Quijote Lloyd in the Wizard of Oz on Saturday, the world is rolling back from renewables. Awaiting for someone of authority (Giles?) to pick apart his argument

      • Coming right up in today’s newsletter!

        • johnnewton

          Knew you’d be onto it Giles
          John Newton
          Doctor of Creative Arts (UTS)
          15 Alexandra Road Glebe 2037
          (61) 402 788 513
          (612) 9571 8513

  • David Winterton

    I just checked in the price for per MWh on that day in SA and it was $19.31 per MWh – not quite what Alan Jones was quoting. Is there a graph kicking around or could somebody do an overlay of what happens when wind production gets over 10%? Are there some rules of thumb for the market?

  • Ian

    Interesting graph, the intermittent resources appear the most constant. Black coal has the most variability. Presumably the peaks and troughs follow demand and the variability of black coal reflects its cost compared to the other resources. Why is gas used continuously when demand drops? I thought gas was designed as peaking plant and that it was more expensive to operate than coal. Why is hydro run continuously when this is most suited as a peaking plant? Surely hydro should be paid a premium for its storage benefit and only used at times of peak demand. Getting back to cost of generation: the complaint that wind power is expensive never seems to occur it’s always noise and ugliness. I wonder why. Our government refuses to invest in wind power not because it’s expensive but because it is cheap .