RE Weekly Podcast March 17

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Were energy markets ever expected to be this interesting? 

In this latest edition of the RenewEconomy Weekly Podcast, RenewEconomy founder and editor Giles Parkinson and columnist and energy markets expert David Leitch discuss the extraordinary events of the week, starting with billionaire tweets on battery storage, South Australia’s energy plan, Malcolm Turnbull’s Man from Snowy River makeover and the stand-up stoush between premier Jay Weatherill and federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg.

Along the way we analyse market prices, the competing storage technologies, pollie promises, the Finkel review and energy market management. And all this in just 15 minutes.


See also: RE Weekly Podcast March 10: The gas market vs Tesla   

  • Alastair Leith

    I still don’t get why if SA Government wants to in their words “nationalise the grid” (from the state level) why they don’t just lease or compulsorily purchase an existing ‘peaker’ OOGT within the SA domain for less than $250m?

    They are apparently preparing legislation to be able to instruct gas generators to dispatch energy even when said generators aren’t bidding, either via AEMO or bypassing them I’m not too sure, there’s scant information around this. So why the double up on electoral insurance of having emergency controls over generators and building their own also? Just simply don’t trust generators will not risk a penalty for ignoring a directive from the Energy Minister?

    Thank you for the AMC comments. Always wondered who had oversight over AEMO and who lets AEMO get away with language that allows Wind to take the fall in public for the AEMO negligence.

  • Alastair Leith

    In response to the critically important questions David highlights around proper modelling before decisions are made and what’s the cheapest way to ensure security and resilience I’d point to work Sustainable Energy Now have done on RE modelling for the SWIS grid in SW of WA.

    Ben Rose’s modelling using SEN’s (open sourced) SIREN software shows that a simple build out of wind and solar can take the grid to 85% renewable energy using historical weather data from NASA to derive capacity factors from the modelled nameplate build. That’s also assuming moderate demand growth (al la BREE), even though demand is actually falling on SWIS just like the NEM.

    So i’d suggest that yes, exploiting more renewables resources before we go too hard on storage is an economically prudent way forward. And one we should pursue as quickly as possible because the modelled costs for this 85% RE scenario using conservative cost assumptions show it can be done for the same cost by 2030 as BAU replacing coal and gas plants (most of coal reaches retirement age within 8 years and some of it is already sitting idle thanks to overcapacity because it needs more maintenance spending to make it safe and operable).

    Here’s the modelling findings summary:

    And some briefing notes to explain the economics around SEN modelling:

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