Solar pushes mid-day electricity prices below zero in Queensland

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Wholesale electricity prices in Queensland go negative in middle of the day, underlining the case for storage as more large-scale solar projects connect to the grid, and rooftop solar continues to grow.

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The roll-out of large-scale solar power in Queensland – and the continuing rapid uptake of rooftop solar by homes and businesses – is starting to have an impact on electricity prices in the state, even sending them into negative territory in the middle of the day.

Last Tuesday, June 19, wholesale electricity prices in the state dipped below zero -– an extremely rare occurrence, but one that might be expected to become increasingly common in coming years.

According to Paul McArdle at Watt Clarity, the (5 minute) dispatch price fell below zero on a number of occasions, highlighting the change in the shape of the energy market with the introduction of solar. According to his data, the prices went negative on five different occasions.

During this time, around 20 per cent of Queensland’s electricity supply came from solar – some 128MW of large-scale solar, and nearly 10 times that much (1270MW) from rooftop solar.

The fall into negative prices is because demand is low – there is no air conditioning required – and the Queensland government has riding instructions on its main government-owned generators to keep running, to ensure prices stay low. They probably weren’t thinking about them being this low.

“You will see this happening more and more,” McArdle says, noting that the shape of the energy load has changed from a two-humped camel (loads in morning and evening), to what is commonly required as the duck curve.

This will become more evident, and the incidence of negative pricing events is expected to increase dramatically, in coming months and years as yet more solar – both rooftop and large-scale – is added to the grid.

Queensland has barely scratched the surface of its new developments. Solar farms at Longreach (15MW), Sun Metals (124MW) , and Clare (100MW) have joined the grid in recent weeks, although they are still not operating at anywhere near full capacity.

Hamilton solar farm.

Kidston remains the largest in terms of output, and is nearly at its full 50MW capacity, but it will soon be joined by the Hamilton and Whitsunday solar farms, both 57.5MW, and the 110MW Darling Downs solar farm.

They will then be followed by another dozen projects, including the Emerald, Collinsville, Daydream, Hayman and Ross River solar farms, among others – all bigger than Kidston.

On top of this, rooftop solar continues to increase at a rate of around 30MW a month, with households and increasingly, small and medium-sized businesses putting solar on the roof to offset high electricity prices.

There is already more than 2,100MW of rooftop solar in Queensland, and this will likely be matched by the capacity of large-scale solar over the next 12 months as new projects are finished and start production.

The arrival of negative pricing in the middle of the day is causing more developers of large-scale solar farms to consider adding battery storage, and in some cases to combine with wind to ensure a more consistent output, and to store excess output when the price falls.

Several world-leading projects have begun, or are in planning and finance stages, including Windlab’s Kennedy energy park (wind, solar and batteries) and Genex Power’s Kidston (solar, pumped hydro and wind).

French developer Neoen, the owner and operator of the Tesla big battery in South Australia, is proposing a renewable energy hub at Kaban near Cairns (wind and batteries), and solar and storage in the Western Downs renewable energy hub.

Others are looking at adding battery storage, both to play the arbitrage market (buying low and selling high), time shifting the output to the evening peaks, or to add to grid security with services such as frequency control.

It should be noted that negative pricing events are not unique to renewables. It happens when there is too much supply and not enough demand, and generators prefer to stay online rather than switch off. It can happen in instances of network constraints as well.

States relying on coal-fired generation can experience them, because coal does not like to be switched off at night. It is one of the reasons most states put electric hot water units “off-peak”, or in the middle of the night – to give inflexible coal something to power overnight.

Now there are calls, and moves, to switch that electric hot water heating back into the middle of the day, to act as a “solar sponge.”

Note: Check out the “Large Scale Solar Lookout” for details of solar projects built, under construction, financed and in the pipeline.

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78 Comments
  1. Tom 5 months ago

    Kidson will love being paid to pump its water uphill once it’s mining-pit pumped-hydro is up and running.

    • RobertO 5 months ago

      Hi Tom and so will Hydro Tassie (HT) if they can convince the pollies that a second interconnector is worth money to Tassie and their plans for so many PHES schemes. Yes dreams are free but HT are after the money they can make if they have two interconnects. Note that it is not in HT interest to put coal out of business cause that how they will get the negative prices.

      • john 5 months ago

        It is in the interest for the country to put in a second connector not only Tasmania’s

    • Shilo 5 months ago

      Hmmmmmmmm, I wonder how the Solar and wind projects will fair, also paying to sell into the grid. When you have a system of supply that one day can deliver double what you need and the next half what you need, you are going to get huge fluctuations in price. With Solar and wind your going to get big variations. But maybe everywhere can put in huge amounts of storage, and then be allowed to generate to a set amount, as the coal plants do now. They get a licence for x amount of energy and thats what they supply upto. (Yes I know they fall over and only have a 70% supply factor, well the old ones anyway)

      • john 5 months ago

        What will happen is the balance of demand and ability to delivery is exactly as it is now.
        There is demand bid up.
        The lowest bid will be taken so will lower wholesale price of power.
        When there is low demand an over supply the lowest price will be taken.
        The end outcome when there is abundant production during the day because of solar is that the price will be extremely low and into the night area where the present Duck Tail is the highest the storage from Solar will kick in until wind takes over.
        There is huge fluctuation in price presently as you know at times some states sell at negative price, however I feel once enough PHES and for short term Battery is put in place an established wholesale price of power will be the normal.
        I think once enough Wind Solar and PHES is put all over the grid adjacent to the load areas that the Whole Sale Price of Power will go toward about 50 to at most 60 Dollars a MWH.
        The result is that consumers will have a lower cost of energy.

        • Shilo 5 months ago

          One thing the pool price is set by the last bidder to fill the demand, and thats the price everyone gets for that period of time. 5 mins or 30 min blocks.
          So its not the lowest price that sets the price of power.

          • john 5 months ago

            At present it is 30 mins correct.

            It is the lowest price that every generator gets for that period.
            And if you curtail one generator your can not bid into the market.
            However then you can bid into the market over the 30 Minute period up to $14,000 a MWH all cool and get away with it.

            The system allows rigging of the market.

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            Highest I think. The last bid to fill the demand, because the lowest bids fill first and so on, until the demand is filled, at that point everyone who was accepted, get the last price for their accepted supply.

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            yep the highest bid that fills the demand, in 5 min sections, then averaged over 30mins. thats the price bidders get. Bidders being generators of elec

          • Hettie 5 months ago

            It’s obvious that the genius who thought that one up was not working for consumers.

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            I agree. However if it stays the same way, rooftop solar will be getting .10c and no Comercial operation will get anything they will be paying to sell something. On sunny days.
            Rooftop solar is going to become a big issue and it is going to need to be controlled by the market operator

          • Hettie 5 months ago

            That would raise all sorts of legal issues.
            Rooftop solar is private property, just as much as any other household goods and furniture. Laws may be made about its use, but outright control? I don’t think so.

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            How do you stop the amount feeding into the grid, with a system connected to every house? or do you just allow it, and have negative prices all the time in queensland? How can it be managed so as to give security of supply to everyone in the state? Meaning generators have to make some money and get funding and keep wanting to be in the market in queensland.
            There needs to be some sort of control somewhere or what is being produced by who and when and how much they are producing.

          • Hettie 5 months ago

            That is not for me to say. Way outside my area of competence.
            However, it may be that subsidised batteries, to help keep the excess power where it belongs, would be at least part of the answer.

        • Cooma Doug 5 months ago

          You are correct.
          Load side products are many and many yet recognised. At this point we are using very few.

          We have a transport industry with similar blindness. So many products available and not recognised.

          Negative prices are the result, in any industry, of failure to recognise value and opportunity in resources and customers.
          It is also the result of market interference.

  2. Paul McArdle 5 months ago

    Some readers might be interested in these further thoughts on WattClarity:
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2018/06/further-thoughts-on-the-emergence-of-the-solar-correlation-penalty/

    • MaxG 5 months ago

      Thanks; but I found the first paragraph in light grey a bit hard to read 🙁

  3. solarguy 5 months ago

    Storage is where it’s at baby! The coal muncher and nuke killer.

  4. Jon 5 months ago

    It will be interesting to watch what happens over spring as more systems especially commercial farms come into production, the sun is a bit higher in the sky and temperatures as still fairly cool.
    Most of the states solar generation is fixed angle at the moment, there’s a reasonable amount of tracking solar which is going to come online so should spread the shoulders of the solar generation curve hopefully.
    Now we just need to start using our existing pumped hydro assets a bit.

    • Rod 5 months ago

      Rather than worry about switching hot water systems to flatten the load, QLD should think about getting control over pool pumps.

      • Jon 5 months ago

        If the pool pumps are wired to controlled Tarif they are under their control.
        Qld has ripple control on it controlled Tarif so can move it around as required.

        • Rod 5 months ago

          Maybe. Here in SA we have an interruptible tariff for hot water but the times of operation are set at the meter level. They currently come on at 11:30pm. Even my smart meter is set for that time. All of the old meters and possibly the smart meters would require manual adjustment to alter the on/off times.

      • Hettie 5 months ago

        Why not both?

        • Rod 5 months ago

          Agreed. If they are both on an interruptible tariff that would make sense.
          My main point was in QLD, pool pumps would probably be better bang for your buck than hot water.
          In Southern States, the opposite would be true.

    • Ken M 5 months ago

      I’m starting to think that the future of battery storage will be vehicle to grid. The car batteries can soak up cheap solar for later on.
      I’ve even deferred my purchase of batteries for my solar and plan to put the funds towards an EV. Dosen’t seem to make a lot of sense to have 10 kws of battery storage while my car has 3 or mor times that unused.

      • Miles Harding 5 months ago

        Very good thought!
        It’s a multi-dimensional win:
        a) Encourages EVs to stay at home during the day, so reducing congestion
        b) It’s looking like calendar issues will dominate these larger car batteries, so some additional cycling would make sense to beter utilise the battery.
        c) As you point out, the car is effectively a (big) battery on wheels.

        I have been considering just such a system, making use of the DC charge port on the vehicle (Renault Zoe doesn’t have one of these) to augment a smaller stationary house battery.
        My best guess at present is that the car will be around 50 kwh and the house about 20kwh, so the house can run effectively without the car pluged in.
        I think that a 5kw bidirectional DC charger will suffice to permit high draw appliances (cooktops) and peak daytime car charging to be accomodated.

        This could also be done with a local 240VAC buss, making it a snap fit for a Tesla Powerwall.

        The use of the car makes going off grid in the city a real possibility, since the car can be used as a jerry can, bringing electricity home to augment the solar power system on those occasions when it’s inadequate.
        40kwh in the car battery would be about the same effective energy as 15 litres or petrol in a generator.

        • Arnold Garnsey 5 months ago

          Lost the post so summary. Most grid supplies are between 40 to 100 amps @ 240 v or 100X240=24,000 Watts 24kW.
          A home power socket 10 A or 2.4kW A small e car 30kW / for 1 Hour battery. a Tesla 300ishkW motor and 100kW battery.
          Powerwall class batteries 7-10kW /h.
          I want to run workhop gear on farm @ say 30 Amps or 7-10 kW occasionally. Most any evehicle bigger than a scooter will be able to supply that for (10 hour for a Tesla ) a short time so I would like that modification beyond the commercially available USB to 2/3kW power socket. Big utes in the USA are pushing 30A + The crazy big Kenworth truck hybrids are pushing out ~200? 100? kW. So the comment above re shortterm heavy loads is a no brainer and will discount the cost of the car by a very big number as the cost of big grid installations in country areas is many tens of thousands(if not hundreds of thou) even for short distances.

          • Arnold Garnsey 5 months ago

            Also if we are using the workshop,the car is not in use as same for the cooktop. Off grid or on it still makes economic sense. The bigger consideration for modest solar ~2kw installations is that may need to be upgrade if u need to drive more than once a fortnight. suggest 20 kw systems for a bit over $10k will be required for most users. Then the grid get a lot of extra input too and the cars fuel bill is negligible.

      • CrankyFranky 5 months ago

        ‘the future of battery storage will be vehicle to grid’ ?

        Nissan designed such for Japan – where most folk drive the car only on Sundays, so charging the car battery during the day to draw down at night can work fine.

        In Australia or the US where folk are more likely to drive to work and back, better solutions might involve solar panel shaded car parks at workplaces which recharge the car batteries during the day – with any excess going to stationary batteries.

        And large roofed industrial factories in the western suburbs are likely to be suitably nearer to dormitory suburbs where those workers will come home to shower, cook and watch TV or turn on their heaters in winter or air-con in summer.

        But hey Australia is a large low population continent mostly desert inside – so sure we can whack up millions of square kilometers of solar panels – just a question of transmission losses and/or storage/transport – anyone invented kryptonite ? – how to store/recreate nuclear energy – oops !

  5. rob 5 months ago

    FFS guys just listened to your podcast………..who the F was tying the whole way through? It was an important topic! But all I heard was typing….throughout the whole PODCAST! Can you re-podcast it without all that that crap? cheers rob @Giles

    • Kate 5 months ago

      Sounded more like interence or static to me.

    • Kevfromspace 5 months ago

      It wasn’t typing, it was an issue with the interviewee’s microphone.

  6. john 5 months ago

    It will be interesting when the Clark Creek 900 MW Wind Farm with possibly 200 followed by 200 of Solar starts and it is possible a battery storage system as well of over 200 MW not sure of how much MWH of delivery.
    Any how they have an immediate demand for power in the adjacent coal mines not exactly very far from the development.
    Perhaps those coal mines if they had half a brain would snap up the output from this development to lower their present cost of power.

    Note i think they get power at a about $60 to $80 a Megawatt Hour no sure about this honestly.

  7. Arnold Garnsey 5 months ago

    Jon mentions fixed angle as helping flatten the curve but there is some question as to the significance of tracking or even optimising. I personally have panels fixed but optimised and the solar farms are obvious beneficiaries of tracking but domestic rooftop not so much so not so likely. Aside from various pumped hydro projects including especially open pit ex minesites, and battery that would seem more suited as backup (also well described as spinning reserve) we could see starage via electrolised R.E. Hydrogen. The big problem at the moment is that 99.5% of hydrogen generation is based on fossil feedstocks and some in this play see a future in that practice I.E. Latrobe brown coal conversion with carbon sequestration. Firstly the carbon sequestration is a long term hazardous waste dilema and secondly it is best described as Vaporware ( goods offered for sale that don’t exist). With the real prospect of 100% of demand being met within decades and surplus generation a reality now, I believe that R.E. H2 deserves serious consideration. Many commentators and serious analysts see the need to develop as many options as possible or as many horses in the race to fill niches as a way to meet demand and push as much innovation as possible to find ‘The dark horse or unforeseen’ unexpected standout tecnologies’ .

    • john 5 months ago

      Frankly we will never see H2 as an idea in this country.
      It has a very low efficiency.
      Or wait perhaps some idiot politician thinks it is a good idea.
      In which case millions will be wasted on a low efficiency engineering to no avail.

      • Hettie 5 months ago

        That is happening too. some crazy joint Aus/Japan scheme to use brown coal and a process like coke and town gas production, with carbon capture and storage. Dream on. A $500 mill investment that is expected to produce 3 tons of H2. compare with the $2,500/ton already happening in (i think) Vic near SA border.

        • john 5 months ago

          Of course they would Hettie because it uses coal to get H2 low efficiency plus.
          Just sit by and watch the idiots do this much to my dismay.

      • Arnold Garnsey 5 months ago

        Who’d be a politician? The greencar people are talking H2. Not because of efficiency it needs to come from very low cost or – – as the headline to this discussion alludes 0 zero cost. The efficiency of conversion is problematic (personally the explosive hazards and storage /transportation scare me!) but needs be balanced against the basket of possibilities. Also for the realists?? here (I’m not suggesting that includes polies!) understand that Japan has mandated near term motor cars be zero emission and that is legislated as hydrogen. This technology has a lot of determined players. That suggests it will not be dismissed by logic easily. The imperative to end fossil fuel reliance is not negotiable and currently H2 is entangled with that paradigm. The understanding of the need to incorporate electrolysis (from re is infant-as is excess re generation) but there are numerous niche uses for (the industrial globalH use is today high tonnage is expected to increase and currently derived from fossil so a win away from steam reforming from coal etc wich leaves a carbon rich residue will in itself be significant) google global H production.

      • Michael Murray 5 months ago

        some idiot politician thinks it is a good idea.

        Can’t wait to see the LNP throwing hydrogen balloons around parliament.

      • Treadly 5 months ago

        But if electricity gets to the point where it is essentially free then it doesn’t have to be efficient. Hydrogen production is a good way of soaking up excess power. Also, modern Hydrogen Generation plants use catalysts which make production much more efficient than in the past. Hydrogen will eventually become mainstream.

    • Hettie 5 months ago

      Electrolytic production of H2 is already happening. Can’t for the life of me remember where. Someone here will know. I think the cost of production is about $2,500 a ton.

      • john 5 months ago

        The problem with using H2 is the high compression needed for storage.
        A storage facility costs about $1 million Dollars.
        The efficiency of using H2 is low.
        The plus side is H2 from using electricity is good.
        Overall the idea has been passed by other technology because of the flammability of the product and hideous cost of storage.

        • neroden 5 months ago

          H2 is useful as a carbon-free reducing agent for steelmaking and other industrial chemistry processes. It’s not fuel and will never be fuel.

      • Treadly 5 months ago

        Most large coal fired plants have hydrogen generation plants as the generators are filled with hydrogen because it has very low viscosity (which reduces windage) and is great for heat transfer. The hydrogen is stored in tanks at high pressure on site.

      • Philip 5 months ago

        The Sir Samuel Griffith building (N78) at Griffith University Nathan campus is Australia’s most energy efficient building and uses H2 fuel cell technology. The H2 storage facility is in a room about twice the size of a home garage.

        • Hettie 5 months ago

          Interesting. And what of the buildings themselves?
          Orientation, insulation, fenestration, shading, sealing, construction materials, all that good stuff?
          You can have all the zero emissions energy you like, but if the fabric of the building is full of holes, you are pouring money down the drain.

  8. Ertimus J Waffle 5 months ago

    7PM 25/6/18 All the solar and wind farms in Australia are producing 320MW of power.
    Coal is producing 20,800MW of power. The figures speak for themselves.

    • Michael Murray 5 months ago

      They sure do. Loud and clear they say

      We don’t have enough renewables and storage yet.

      • Arnold Garnsey 5 months ago

        A hard lesson was forced on me some years ago regarding us humans ability for short sightedness and ability to destroy civilisation and our planet. Basically the hint was people (that includes you and me) wan’t give up our privileges that we have become accustomed to.
        The way out of the mess is ‘bigger faster better. (my interest comes from personal motor transport) but this applies to so much more.
        Money, housing, convenience appliances medicine, drugs (for a laugh) libraries and museums and military. I could go on. The fact is this is who we are and we ain’t giving any of it up.
        I agree we have to take notice of the state of the world as it is and the way forward is “Do it better” ,” Lead from the front” Understand the “critter” but don’t expect sentiment to do the heavy lift.
        If I wasn’t an optimist there would be no point posting.

        • Rod 5 months ago

          Have you seen the tiny homes phenomenon?
          How about the increase in cycling and eBikes?
          Just because we thought bigger was better doesn’t mean some aren’t starting to wake up. Maybe it is the desire to walk lightly or maybe it is pure economics but there is no doubt it is happening.

      • Rod 5 months ago

        You will note our latest troll takes his figures “when de sun ain’t shining”.
        I’m a keen watcher of all the generation widgets and we are in a bit of a wind drought at the moment.
        We definitely need storage here in SA. I’m not sure we need much more wind for now but some more tracking solar farms would be good.
        I’m not sure if Bungama has hit a snag or the widget has stopped showing it, but it has been MIA this week.

        • Shilo 5 months ago

          yes there is 5300mw of wind installed in SA. thats a very big amount.
          Demand is only around 2000mw.

          • Rod 5 months ago

            Last I heard, SA had about 1800MW of wind.
            http://nemlog.com.au/gen/region/#SA1

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            I am very sorry, the total was not correct it included everything, 1810, is the current number. You are right

    • mick 5 months ago

      dont let the the knowledgeable slow you down boy the laughs you give me are priceless

    • Joe 5 months ago

      Waffler or is it The Daily Telegraph’s Terry McCrann again. Cherry picking… ‘7pm’… you need to do better than that. Of course if you want to continue your Comedy Show then please continue, you are a belly laugh every time you write.

  9. trackdaze 5 months ago

    should mean that some of the hot water heating, pool pump loads and further exports to coal ridden NSW are shifted to the middle of the day to soak some of that solar goodness.

    • Hettie 5 months ago

      Exactly.

    • Phil NSW 5 months ago

      Me too

  10. Ian 5 months ago

    We are trying to decarbonise, and wind and solar are becoming the lowest cost energy producers. Behind the meter solar is,to the consumer, the lowest cost electricity source of all, so we need to be more renewables-centric in our thinking:

    Take the opening paragraph of Gile’s article:

    “The roll-out of large-scale solar power in Queensland – and the continuing rapid uptake of rooftop solar by homes and businesses – is starting to have an impact on electricity prices in the state, even sending them into negative territory in the middle of the day”

    This is not the fault of widespread and increasing uptake of solar – what else would you expect, in the middle of the day is when the sun shines brightest – it’s symptomatic of the rest of the electricity supply system which has not been properly upgraded to accommodate large amounts of solar. Where’s the storage? where’s the dispatchable gas? and where’s the demand management? Why are the coal generators not being decommissioned or at least coupled to storage, battery or PHES to make these more dispatchable? Why is the existing PHES not been utilised more? Why is there no subsidy or support for EV?

    Unless the rainfall increases rapidly and Queensland grows some mountains we will be hard-pressed to increase our first-pass hydro resources. Wind power is nice, but it’s the solar resource that gives Queensland its fame. If you want solar, then you are going to need storage, and demand management. All the commercial generators, including coal, need to pitch in

    • Treadly 5 months ago

      Pumped hydro is about 12% more efficient with salt water than fresh water because it is denser and therefore contains more potential energy, so forget about using fresh water. Pumped hydro will be with salt water, the saltier the better.

      • IT67 5 months ago

        From a High Level Physics understanding the density of the water makes absolutely no nett difference. Higher density = more energy to pump uphill but gets more (aka, still less) on the way down. Lower density easier to pump….. figure it out……

        This sounds like some right-wing mathematics (or lack of) in play 😛

        • Treadly 5 months ago

          Yes but the amount of energy on call is greater. The amount of stored energy is the main factor. It’s like having a battery that can store 12% more power without any extra cost.

          • Shilo 5 months ago

            The cost to maintain a system useing salt water, will be more.
            The growth inside the whole system will be more.
            The amount of CO2 will be more, it will rot the vegitaion more and leak into the underground water from the storage dam.
            Better of just staying with fresh water.

      • Miles Harding 5 months ago

        Perhaps, some facts are missing…
        A salt water system is typically backed by the sea, so the lower reservoir level doesn’t change. This is likely where a 12% would come from.
        Tides could make this intersting – recharge at high tide and discharge at low tide. Only is the tides were so cooperative.

        • Ian 5 months ago

          Salt or no, PHES will still have a round trip efficiency of 75 to 80% plus factor in the transmission losses. If we can help it, this sort of storage or storage of any type should be minimised. In a solar dominated renewables grid you are going to need some sort of storage. Batteries located at the generator source or at the end user site would make the most sense because transmission losses can be minimised and the transmission infrastructure use maximised, but also because batteries are so much more efficient . The down side of batteries is the storage capacity (in MWH ) is generally less than the equivalent PHES . Batteries are probably better for time shifting solar generation on a daily basis and arguably PHES may be better for multi day storage. I still like your idea of EV being better integrated Behind the meter V2G, V2V, and V2anywhere.

      • CrankyFranky 5 months ago

        salt water tends to be extremely corrosive to metal pumps giving them a short life and requiring too much maintenance.

        now if you can invent all ceramic/plastic pumps and pipelines with no metal parts to corrode – let me know

        • Treadly 5 months ago

          Oh? And what about ships propellers? What are they made of ? When you learn about metals let me know.

    • Glynn Palmer 5 months ago

      Ian, ‘Queensland has many potential sites for pumped hydro energy storage (PHES). The number of upper storage sites located in ANU’s initial survey is 1769, with an approximate energy storage potential of 6779 GWh – approximately 100 times larger than the amount of storage required to support a 100% renewable electricity grid for Queensland.”
      re100.eng.anu.edu.au/research/re/site/qld.php

      Electric vehicles do have a form of subsidy in Australia. It is exemption from paying fuel tax. The productivity commission is urging government to eliminate this subsidy by charging motorists based on how far they travel.
      https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/renewed-calls-for-government-to-charge-motorists-for-how-far-they-travel-20180624-p4znef.html

      • Rod 5 months ago

        I’m all for road use pricing, however with less than 2% of Australian vehicles being EVs I think the productivity commission should do less urging until the numbers increase.

        Let’s not forget the exhaust from vehicles causes respiratory illness and death and is being subsidised as long as those costs are not passed on.

        • Philip 3 months ago

          The problem with that argument is that when people have been getting something for free for so long and they then have to start paying for it it becomes a political impossibility. Never let a good policy get in the way of a few votes. It’s better to do it sooner rather than later.

          • Rod 3 months ago

            I know. Those 0.2% of drivers who own an EV are a serious voting bloc.
            You think there won’t be pushback from ICE drivers who drive long distances.
            The gNats will be apoplectic that Country dwellers will pay more. Eek, even farmers might have to pay like normal folk.

  11. Barry Alternative Fact Covfefe 5 months ago

    Very interesting.
    The government generators can be recalibrated to scale down at 1c/kWh. Not a “hard” thing to accomplish
    Coal generators will retire easing some of this pressure though the timeline is not the most convenient.
    EVs will suck power but are not prevalent yet
    Hot water can be recalibrated to heat up in the day time.
    Hydro can run in reverse based on low price events
    Battery storage of course
    If finally there is excess it can be used to generate hydrogen, for iron production (CleanTechnica article) or as a longer term energy storage medium.

    So there are many solutions available, but they will need some work and time to implement, though the government generator one is a matter of political will, not technology.
    Voters need to pick better leaders if they want success…

  12. Carl Raymond S 5 months ago

    I’m quite happy to be paid to heat my water at midday.
    I have a smart meter. As far as I can tell, it’s a dumb meter. It’s been taught that cheap equals after 10pm. If it’s smart, it can learn about the duck curve.
    In the olden days the utility would send a ripple through the lines to signal off peak. What’s the modern day equvalent? I’ve been googling this and thus far it seems nobody thought that the future might look different. Please tell me I’m wrong – surely the system is not so pathetic.

  13. Farnarkling 5 months ago

    I remember being laughed at in a class discussion in 1966 – because Beasley had just installed SA’s first solar hot water system – when I said that the most efficient way to install it would be to attach a small electric motor and have the heating panel track along with the sun. I wonder if any of the kids in my Klemzig Primary School grade 7 class remember. I know I do. Took ‘em a long time to catch up………

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