South Australia signalling the death of base-load generation | RenewEconomy

South Australia signalling the death of base-load generation

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South Australia is becoming a magnet for world-leading storage investments that surely signal the permanent demise of fossil fuel “base-load” generation in the electricity system. And by tapping into home solar and storage systems, utilities are changing the way people think about energy.

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Tuesday marks the three-month anniversary of the closure of the last coal-fired “base-load generator” in the South Australia electricity market, and despite the best efforts of many in the Coalition and the Murdoch media, there is nothing to suggest that other states will not follow suit, in time.

The fossil fuel industry predicted – and possibly hoped for – “armageddon” from the closure of the last coal plant. But all it got was a big jump in wholesale electricity prices, caused not by renewable energy, as federal and local energy ministers have made clear, but by the soaring cost of gas and constraints on the interconnecter.

If anything, the events of the last few weeks have reinforced the point that the electricity market is in the early stages of an unstoppable transition. Coal-fired plants will soon be a thing of the past, and the role of gas-fired generators may all diminish as battery storage and other renewables take more central roles.

The announcement by AGL on Friday of its plans – supported by the South Australian government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency –  for an array of 1,000 batteries in homes and businesses to create a “virtual power plant” to address demand peaks and grid stability, is a foretaste of what is to come.

Indeed, South Australia’s experiment – as premier Jay Weatherill has described it – in pursuing the world’ highest level of wind and solar generation is rapidly evolving into a whole bunch of world-leading projects.

These include AGL’s (described the world’s biggest virtual power plant), South Australia Power Networks’ commitment to a second “world leading” battery storage project that will likely reduce the need for grid investment, and various proposals for large-scale solar with storage (from SolarReserve, Lyon Infrastructure and others) and the creation of suburban and remote town micro-grids that will reduce the need for centralised power and distribution.

The withdrawal of base-load coal generation from the South Australian grid has sparked predictions of economic collapse and soaring prices, but these have simply replicated what used to happen when the state relied entirely on gas for the balance on power, even before the arrival of wind and solar.

The fact that AGL and SAPN are now tapping into the power systems of households and businesses to address the high cost of peaking power and network upgrades is going to help change the way people think about electricity – and pave the way for more renewable energy across the country, according to the Clean Energy Council.

“What we are seeing is a glimpse of the future as it comes into view over the horizon,” CEC’s chief executive Kane Thornton says. “It is still early days for energy storage technology in Australia, but the idea that we can run a modern society with an affordable, zero-emission power system is gradually becoming reality.”

The graphs included in a presentation by the Australian Energy Market Operator at last month’s Clean Energy Summit illustrate why “base-load” will no longer be needed in South Australia, and why it will be replaced by more renewable energy, and more “dispatchable” generation facilitated by battery and molten salt storage.

The first is the AEMO depiction of the average day in South Australia. Note how the middle of the day – when fossil fuel generators traditionally made most of their money – has been hollowed out by the presence of rooftop solar.

south australia average demand

Average demand has been reduced by 400MW in the middle of the day – energy efficiency has also helped. The main peak has been pushed back into the evening, and its size reduced. Another peak later in the night reflects the load for controlled hot water systems.

This was created to give the Northern and Playford coal-fired power stations “something to power” during the night, but since their closure this demand peak will be removed as the hot water demand is shifted into the “solar sponge” in the middle of the day, as is already happening in Queensland.

This next graph, illustrates why that – and the battery storage trials being conducted by AGL and South Australia Power Networks – are so important.

south australia minimum demand

Within a few years, AEMO predicts, minimum demand in south Australia will fall to near zero, thanks to the proliferation of rooftop solar on households and businesses. By 2026, it suggest, minimum demand will fall into negative territory. This will not happen at night time but in the middle of the day.

Hence the need to store electricity. Hence AGL and SAPN’s trials to shift some of that demand into the day-time and shift some of that solar power in the evening and to deal with unexpected peaks and interruption.

And hence the continued calls for South Australian and federal governments to make good on their promise for solar thermal and storage systems in Port Augusta. A solar tower of the type built by SolarReserve in Nevada and proposed for South Australia could provide power on demand, says the Repower Port Augusta residents group.

In Nevada, the ground breaking plant supplies La Vegas between midday and midnight. In south Australia, it could be calibrated for the needs of the local grid.

Hence, too, the growing interest in storage in other large scale solar projects. Lyon Infrastructure is proposing the world’s largest solar and storage project in the north of the state, on the big line linking Olympic Dam with the rest of the grid.

DP Energy is proposing a solar-wind hybrid that it says will target South Australia’ early evening peaks (due to the nature of the wind resource), and is also considering pumped hydro or battery storage to help it firm up demand.

“Once we encourage more renewables around the grid – I’d be very worried if I was a base-load generator,” DP Energy’s David Blake told RenewEconomy.

“We are in a transition. nothing is going to stop it. I would tend to think that batteries and big solar are going to become the dominant force in the Australian market.”

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  1. George Michaelson 4 years ago

    To what extent would thermal banking by shopping centres and office blocks play to this? It feels like if you can work out the % of power going to HVAC and get a reasonable soak-down, its a good time-shifting mechanism. Its lowish tech, its plausible as a retrofit, and it gets directly to the point of consumption. I guess that if the entity isn’t self-motivated, pricing could work as a lever to make it a worthwhile investment or it could be a co-investment with the power company.

    • Cooma Doug 4 years ago

      Its great to know we have just scratched the surface of the options becoming available. Some shopping centres and buildings will have amazing retrofit results.

  2. Black_Texta 4 years ago

    Sorry mate, but that’s 2015 graphs.. PA closed in May 2016, and since then you should reference the 2016 AEMO reporting which clearly shows electricity prices have since been out of control.. why don’t you show the truth.. refer to AEMO.. explain why SA is so expensive compared to the other states… let me guess, you will lay the blame squarely at the foot of the Gas Generators, not at the State Governments feet which created the extremely poor policy which created the high prices.

    • Cooma Doug 4 years ago

      Put up the AEMO charts that support your argument.

      • Black_Texta 4 years ago

        Just look at the website.. It’s as easy as that.. Putting up charts that are prior to May is fraudulent at best

        • nakedChimp 4 years ago

          If it’s so easy get us a link.
          The burden to proof your claims is on you, not us.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Sure.. If you are happy with 2015 figures.. And not interested in post may 6th.. It clearly indicates that you live in fantasy land.. I’ll post the link when I get into work..

          • MikeH 4 years ago

            Which chart are you whining about?

            Neither of the two above show prices so you either need new glasses or you are trolling.

            Giles has numerous articles here showing and discussing the high wholesale prices in July 2016 and he mentions them in the article above. Did you read it – it appears not?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Quoting 2015 figures when 2016 figures are available is either disengenuous or fraudulent

          • MikeH 4 years ago

            You did not answer the question. As i thought – a troll.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Yes I did.. And if you read what I said.. I lay blame for high prices squarely at the feet of the state government for poor policy.. We don’t have base power and wind isn’t filling the void, at the same time we don’t have the competition to keep prices down.. We need another interconnector or a massive upgrade to murraylink.. Or my favourite.. We should build 5 nuclear power plants instead of 12 submarines and end coal fired power stations within 10 years

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago


          • David Jago 4 years ago

            Yeah, I found the same AEMO page. It only shows 24 hours of data. How do you get all of 2016?

          • Concerned 4 years ago

            Get some help?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            It’s there..

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            So… The AEMO site has a Data Dashboard. There are no graphs like the one in the OP. Only the one/s that Concerned linked to above.

            It would seem that an interested person would have to download one of the ‘Aggregated Data Files’ and build their own graph.


          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Raw data is there.. It’s interesting that you have never been to the site.. Were you afraid of the truth or too blind by this site?.. The fact is this.. Since May.. Our prices have skyrocketed.. And futures are saying its going to get worse.. It’s all on the Aemo site

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            OK. So it’s raw data. Pretty useless for a visual type like me.

            No idea how to turn the data into a graph. Perhaps that’s a job for Excel, which not really my cup of tea.

            Never been to that part of the site. Neither afraid or blind, just not an analyst.

            Sounds like you’ve already done that work. Why not just put it up?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            I’ve done my homework.. sites like this exist for those that don’t want to do the research and pander to a belief rather than facts ..

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            So far, we’ve established two things. One, the graphs in the OP are based on raw data available via the AEMO Data Dashboard’. Two, both you and Giles accept the AEMO data.

            The raw data may as well be in Swahili for all the sense it makes to me. That’s not good or bad, it just is.

            The process of analying that data, making sense of it and drawing real conclusions is still up in the air.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            My conjecture is based on 2015 data being used instead of 2016.. Which is post pr augusta

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            Numerous articles on this site and others all point to a complex set of causes for the current price rises in SA and the wholesale spike/s in particular.

            Such price rises may be the market in action, balancing supply and demand. They may also be caused by some players gaming the system.

            The OP argues that the system is in transition. The extent to which prices are higher in 2016 than in 2015 (what ever that extent is) shows how far that transition has to go.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            and my argument is that the policies are deficient.. The market should not be jeopardised nor should the market pay exhorbitant rates because someone cocked up policy

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            Fair enough. What’s your policy recommendation/s? Feel free to use some graphs… 😉

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Upgrading/replacing the murraylink as a matter of urgency.. Followed by solar and molten salt storage, but from a national perspective.. Nuclear

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            OK. Thanks for that.

    • David K Clarke 4 years ago

      The Liberal Federal Minister for Energy and Environment said that the electricity prices have been higher in the past and that the recent peaks had very little to do with renewables. Perhaps you know better Black_Texta. Isn’t it odd how those who rubbish renewable energy so often write under false names?

      • Black_Texta 4 years ago

        All I ask is that you look at Aemo website for yourself.. Post may 2016 andcompare with the same time 2015

    • Cooma Doug 4 years ago

      Ive worked as a grid controller for many years. I was on shift when the market started. This article is excellent.

      • Black_Texta 4 years ago

        Based on 2015 data.. Means nothing now

    • Concerned 4 years ago

      Exactly.And we have all been aware of the eventual rise in gas prices.In Qld they closed gas generators at Swanbank and reopened coal powered Tarong.

  3. Geoff 4 years ago

    All going swimmingly. Now is the time to chop that connector to Victorias base load brown coal electricity?
    Not sure what you are smoking Giles but I want some.

    • Catprog 4 years ago

      Or feed more power to Victoria causing them to shut down their coal as well.

      • Analitik 4 years ago

        Will SA be installing more wind mill to drive the Victorian grid? Better upgrade that interconnector again

    • MikeH 4 years ago

      South Australia imported more electricity before the introduction of wind. NSW regularly imports large amounts despite having almost no renewables. Tasmania imports and exports regularly as does South Australia. That is why it is called a **National** Electricity Market. Victoria has three interconnectors and there is a plan to connect SA to NSW which would allow SA to export even more wind.

      Not sure what you are smoking but I don’t want any.

      • chrispydog 4 years ago

        SA imports have gone up pretty dramatically since 2009. Effectively Victoria produces the balance of SA’s baseload. There is no chance that could ever be replaced with stored excess from solar and wind. There are lies, damned lies, and just plain silly cherry picked data. This article is a perfect example of the latter.

        • MikeH 4 years ago

          >SA imports have gone up pretty dramatically since 2009

          Says the man who whines about cherry picking. 🙂 Put your glasses on and look again. The imports rise relatively slowly and never reach the level they were in 2005-06.

          Some of increased imports were due the closure of Northen and some to the mothballing of Pelican Point which could not compete with wind & with the cheap brown coal coming in from Victoria post carbon tax according to a statement from its owner Engie.

          Just another indication that we need an Australia wide energy policy rather than have the states fill the vacuum.

          Victoria is planning for 40% of generated electricity from renewables by 2025.

          It is also the case that SA is not going to nor is it planning to get a larger proportion of energy from renewables on its own but as part of the NEM. They are looking at the feasibility of an interconnector between NSW and SA for example.

          The transition that Giles discusses is going to take a while and its final form is not yet set.

          The one thing that we can be certain of as the transition occurs is that the naysayers will keep on naysaying.

          • chrispydog 4 years ago

            My point remains: since 2009 imports have risen, by ~4x.

            Not at turn of century levels agreed, but I made no reference to that. How about keeping the snide out of it?

            SA total demand has fallen even as more wind has been installed, yet it now imports more electricity than it did in 2009. (Loss of heavy industries and a small amount of efficiency)

            Can we conclude that the need for “baseload” is disappearing?


    • Concerned 4 years ago

      Hard to fathom.

  4. Rod 4 years ago

    Looks to me like a bit of demand side management is needed to smooth out the peak caused by water heating. Instead of having every HWS come on at 11pm stagger the start times. Mine only seems to be on for a couple of hours in Winter (All Solar for the rest of the Year) so some could come on as late as 4am.

    I would also like to see more Easterly and Westerly facing PV encouraged via carrots or sticks.

    • nakedChimp 4 years ago

      Not just that.. get new buildings built a bit more solar-wise instead of “here a little kink and there a little roof and over there we get another setback” to make the roof as complicated as possible.

      • solarguy 4 years ago

        Cannot disagree about stupid house designs.

  5. Breza Lily 4 years ago

    Nice graphs but we paying high price for it.

  6. chrispydog 4 years ago

    “Average demand has been reduced by 400MW in the middle of the day” as we can see. But from 2pm to 6pm that solar electricity rapidly diminishes, leaving a steeply rising demand that must be met.

    Let’s use average estimates and say 200MW for the 4hr period, so 800MWh needed. Currently, in Li that’s about $300,000/MWh (data from IRENA here:

    So $240m in just batteries alone, with no other infrastructure like connections and inverters etc. (Expected lifetime might not exceed more than a decade)

    And that’s just getting us to 6pm! Because no more solar for 12hrs plus.

    OK, let’s suppose we have a few still days with heavy cloud over the State. Where does the “surplus” come from to charge the batteries? And how many days can we go without fully charging them?

    Let’s remember, we don’t get all the power back either, the batteries have losses which aren’t negligible on this scale.

    The notion that SA, or ANY state (any modern one in the world) is going to “store” grid scale power in batteries is not credible, not now, nor ever likely in the future.

    By the way, I’ve lived off grid, have been involved with RE and serviced a few wind turbines (10KW size).

    I’m not anti-renewables, just pro-maths and common sense. There’s VASTLY too little common sense being injected into this debate.

    • MikeH 4 years ago

      >I’m not anti-renewables, just pro-maths and common sense.

      I am not seeing much common sense in your argument.

      You do the usual trick of setting up a strawman and then knocking it over. Anyone can do that.

      What Giles actually said.

      >… why it will be replaced by more renewable energy, and more “dispatchable” generation **facilitated by battery** and molten salt storage.

      Nothing about running on batteries alone.

      Are you a refugee from the nuclear blogs? I recognise that claim to superior mathematical ability and the strawman argument about storage. I have heard it many times and it never improves with the retelling.

      • Giles 4 years ago

        Haha. Well picked up Mike. “I’m not anti-renewables, just pro-maths and common sense.” Yes, a favourite meme of the nuclear boosters, who like maths a lot until you start discussing LCOE of nuclear plants and their back-up needs.

        • chrispydog 4 years ago

          “back-up needs” for nuclear?

          That’s quite amusing.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Really? If you build a great big nuclear power station, you need a contingency plan should it go offline. That’s true of any baseload, and one reason why Australia has 55GW of fossil fuel capacity and peak demand of 35GW. National Grid identified the need for back-up for Hinkley, and estimated it would cost around $12 billion over life of plant. Even nuclear plants go off line for maintenance, and the occasional trip, sundry faults and the odd melt-down.

          • chrispydog 4 years ago

            No generating source works all the time, and of course maintenance and refueling times exist. I know of no perfect world where that isn’t true, but let’s be realistic about capacity factors here?

            Large nameplate nuclear generators are the norm, and they do operate north of 90% of the time, (compared to wind/solar more like 20-30% av range), but the design trends to modular systems will in future be better able to rotate those times and distribute them.

            But these aren’t the major issues here. What is the major issue is the Keeling Curve, a steadily rising level of global carbon dioxide levels that have a large source in our fossil fuel based economies.

            I’m well acquainted with RE, and global data on emissions from electricity generation, and what I see is a lot of talk and “futurology” but also alarming rises in emissions that show no sign of abating to the levels we need to avert catastrophic results.

            I’d like to hope we use EVERY available tool against this, but the notion ONLY “renewables” are needed or are even acceptable, is not supported by the evidence, and I’ve looked at it widely for years. You seem convinced of the opposite.

            Ever wondered what happens if you’re wrong? Ever wondered why France has a a fraction of Germany’s emissions? Why Germany has spent a colossal fortune but still burns brown coal?

            If you haven’t, then I’d suggest you do, because this isn’t looking like we’re solving anything so far.

          • Steve 4 years ago

            Nuclear LCOE is the highest of any technology for new builds, except Coal w/ CCS, which, like your “modular systems in future” don’t exist commercially –

            Even if you were to have nuclear available, you still face one massive challenge that no one has solved yet – what to do with your waste.

            Not to mention other risks and challenges with nuclear – ramp speed, security threats, project execution, nuclear meltdown, etc.

            Of course nuclear has potential, but its potential to do harm is much greater than its potential to help. Figure out your waste problem and we can talk nuclear. Maybe you can come up with a better kitty litter blend?

          • Concerned 4 years ago

            Modular does exist.Smart program coming to Saudi Arabia.And then you have al the USA research over decades.

          • Concerned 4 years ago

            Waste?Do have any idea as to what you are talking about?Safety? Gen III and Iv have e basically solved that problem through engineering solutions.

          • Steve 4 years ago

            The facility that had the leak is called the WASTE Isolation Pilot Plant – yes, I’m talking about waste. I pasted the Guardian link because it seemed about right for the level of discussion. You want it straight from the source? –

            Oh, Nuclear and Saudi Arabia, that sounds like a brilliant combination. Except a quick search on that only turns up MOUs with the Chinese which aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Here’s MIT’s view on modular reactors – looks like the industry’s only hope, and success is doubtful at best. And as I said, not in commercial use:

            The impacts of meltdown are not insignificant:

            And there are several more potential threats that are much larger:

            If you fly a plane into a solar or wind farm or lose power to them, you get a brown out or black out. If you do the same to a nuclear facility, you get much worse.

            But even if that doesn’t convince you, it doesn’t really matter. The ones that matter are the bankers, and they aren’t loaning to any new nuclear sites because the economics don’t stack up.

          • chrispydog 4 years ago

            ” nuclear has potential, but its potential to do harm is much greater”

            The potential for harm? Care to quantify that? Fukushima had triple meltdown, no deaths, no predicted health effects and most of the exclusion zone is quite safe, even food is being produced and consumed from there. ( I talk to someone in Japan who does)

            There are currently 270,000 tonnes of high level waste stored in dry casks from the world’s reactor fleet. (Beats gigatons of carbon dioxide, just for starters! )

            There is enough energy stored above ground safely, to fuel the world’s ENTIRE electricity demand for seventy years, including growth! (And leave nothing difficult to manage) (And yes several reactors to fission it are being worked on now. They’ll be here before batteries EVER look like storing grid scale electricity…that’s just physics)

            Now, let’s see those potential risks measured up against its enormous potential.

            Waste? I really don’t think you’ve got the right word. You can throw all the usual FUD, but until renewables have actually made diddly squat difference to global emissions it’s a pretty infantile game.

            Play it if you wish, I’m out.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Guardian.. It’s like referencing renewenergy or the Australia institute

          • Steve 4 years ago

            A fitting and timely update on the true costs of nuclear waste disposal. $2bn USD for one little mishap. And this is with all the US research and experience over decades, not little Aus and their zero research and experience.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Zero? We have 1400 working at Lucas Heights with PHDs! It by far, has the most people with doctorates working in one place in Australia! Experience? We have had nuclear facilities here for decades! Throwaway lines like that undermine your message.. particularly when you seem to know zero about Australias contribution to the Nuclear industry.

          • Steve 4 years ago

            Zero commercial nuclear power plants, zero permanent waste facilities, zero nuclear weapons, zero nuclear submarines. One place in Australia? Sorry – change it from zero experience to one place. Are you trying to compare Australia’s experience and contribution to nuclear to the US? The amount of nuclear waste in Australia is less than .025% of the US

            No one died because the WIPP is located 600m underground in a plant that cost $20bn to build. Does Aus have $20bn to invest in nuclear waste facilities?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Commercial.. what do you think they do at Lucas Heights? twiddle their thumbs? they produce 40mw of electricity, and 20% of the worlds medical isotopes.. Lucas heights is also purpose built to house waste.. and all this within 40km of Sydney CBD and on Australias biggest fault line.. the Blue Mountains. Do we have 20bn? we have 50bn to invest in submarines.. From an international point of view, are you really that naïve that you believe technology and expertise cannot be transported around the world?

          • Steve 4 years ago

            Commercial as in selling power, which it doesn’t do. And its 20MW.

            If Australia has so much nuclear experience why do they need to import technology and expertise? What are all those 1400 PhDs doing if they have to bring people in to do it for them?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Lucas Heights was built by an Argentine company with a world wide collaboration of private enterprises… you don’t need local expertise to build major projects – General Electric is a classic example, Electronic Engineers in the Hunter Valley work with Chinese Engineers on a project in Africa.. its what happens these days. As to what the people at Lucas Heights do? R&D mostly.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Its interesting that the explosion was caused because some idiots thought it would be better to use bio degradable kitty litter (probably in a similar form to oil spill kitty litter) rather than the tried and tested mineral form of kitty litter, without any consideration to the potential risks.
            As to Lucas Heights… the greens want to close it.. and it would seem they don’t give a toss that 25% of the worlds medical isotopes would go with it.. That would have to be the dumbest policy ever.

          • Steve 4 years ago

            Those same ‘idiots’ are from LANL – the idiots that invented the technology. It’s interesting that you think Australia would be able to do better without any legitimate experience at scale in the industry. It would be pretty easy to handle waste for one tiny facility that is clearly way overstaffed (1400PhDs/1 reactor – what’s the cost for that?). Australia has a horrible track record for on-time/on-budget delivery of major capital projects, long term policy, and waste and rehabilitation planning – everything nuclear requires. Having to rely on international experience to pull it off, even if possible, would only further increase the costs for a technology that is proving itself uneconomical across the world.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            The IEA did an interesting graph on how to reach the 2C goal, and it says most of the abatement comes through renewables. Joe Romm did an interesting story too recently on the campaign by nuclear types to demonise renewables as “too cheap” and why that would stuff the efforts to cut emissions.
            The truth is that the major nuclear generator owners have been at the front line of fighting renewables – see that in Europe and north america. They are only interested in their own economic situation, the johnny-cum-lately ‘got to save the planet’ line is just a flag of convenience.
            Ever wonder why France has now got a higher renewable energy target than Australia? Because nuclear is basically unaffordable.

          • Concerned 4 years ago


          • chrispydog 4 years ago

            France near cheapest/cleanest electricity in Europe. Germany’s second highest price (after Denmark…surprise, not!) and some of the dirtiest.

            Like I said, I see renewables have a place, they just don’t do the heavy lifting when we need huge amounts of reliable power.

            Easy to see who’s beating an ideological drum here Giles.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Nuclear was shut down in Germany in favour of cheap brown coal.. Hardly good for the environment

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            One? That’s a bit short sighted.. It’s a bit like saying one big wind farm

        • Black_Texta 4 years ago

          I’d still rather 5 nuclear plants, zero submarines and zero coal fired power plants in 10 years..

          • David Jago 4 years ago

            I agree about the subs and the coal plants!

            On current form, any nuclear plants are unlikely in 20 years, let alone 10. Political considerations aside, it would still take ages to get through the planning, design, permitting and construction phases.

            Then there’s the question of financing and also developing the requisite expertise…

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            We finance 12 subs that will never fire a shot in anger.. Yes I’m talking about nationalising power.. 50bn of subs for 5 nuclear power stations and a zero carbon economy in 10 or 15 years

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            We already have expertise at Lucas heights .. 1400 with Ph.Ds work there. Nuclear power stations are being built all over the world.. I’d suggest an off the shelf design would exist .. In respect to renewables.. The national grid is 200 terrawatts.. If we used wind .. You would need to install 600 terrawatts, whatever happened to geo thermal?

        • Black_Texta 4 years ago

          Lcoe .. How else would you compare generation costs of various diverse generation methods? Are you disputing the model?

      • chrispydog 4 years ago

        You are more ad hominem than add value.

  7. Black_Texta 4 years ago

    Giles care to comment on Aemo recent forecasts for SA- blackouts? Looks like that extra connector was needed years ago.. Stupid labor government cocked up policy..

    • Giles 4 years ago

      Sure, so AEMO, in the very worse scenario that they could possibly imagine, thought that the threat of blackouts was for, wait for it, an extra 10 minutes a year!. Funny how in NSW and Victoria, with much less renewables, the threat was even bigger.

      • Black_Texta 4 years ago

        here are some extracts:

        “The 2015 ESOO identified New South Wales (NSW), South Australia and Victoria as potentially being at risk of breaching the reliability standard at various points over the next decade

        AEMO has modelled the impact of withdrawing a further 1,360 MW of coal-fired generation capacity to meet the COP21 commitment under AEMO’s neutral scenario, with results suggesting potential reliability breaches occurring in South Australia from 2019-20, and New South Wales and Victoria from 2025 onwards

        “These breaches would most likely occur when demand is high (usually between 3-8pm), coinciding with low wind and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) generation, and low levels of electricity supply imported from neighbouring regions.

        Paraphrasing, due to the lack of reliable generation from renewables, we will have multiple instances where 3 states electricity security will be compromised…
        Not sure where your response comes from, but it was in now way related to their publication on the 11th August 2016.

      • Black_Texta 4 years ago

        That’s not what they said yesterday Giles.. and you know it..

        “The 2015 ESOO identified New South Wales (NSW), South Australia and Victoria as potentially being at risk of breaching the reliability standard at various points over the next decade

        “AEMO has modelled the impact of withdrawing a further 1,360 MW of coal-fired generation capacity to meet the COP21 commitment under AEMO’s neutral scenario, with results suggesting potential reliability breaches occurring in South Australia from 2019-20, and New South Wales and Victoria from 2025 onwards.

        “AEMO is signalling potential future supply gaps in providing these important stability services

        • Giles 4 years ago

          Aren’t you a busy troller this morning. Not enough work to do at Rocla today?
          It’s exactly what they said. Look at the great big graph in the report and the risk of those scenario. Basically negligible. The biggest threat is in NSW. And in the most likely scenario, low demand growth, there is no increased threat at all. And for out Australia? “No LRC points are projected in South Australia under the Neutral Growth or Weak Growth COP21 scenarios.” And in the high growth? A risk of an extra 10 minute blackout.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            troller? that’s amusing – its even mildly entertaining that you have checked to see what server I am logged onto. At the end of the day, your comments have misconstrued what AEMO has repeatedly warned in their publication – that the stability of supply is at risk. Unless there is a quick fix, we will need to delay the closure of coal fired power stations to ensure stability is maintained.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            I don’t need to go and check. Your name, email address and IP address appear as a matter of course on DisQus. Trolling is to describe the repeated statements, usually not true. And yes, the AEMO is examining an extreme scenario – one that imagines nothing being done in the next 5 to 10 years, and how likely is that. And what if the midpoint happens? An extra one minute of lost power in south australia per year, maybe two minutes in NSW. Catastrophe!

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Im not trolling.. Im posting comments from AEMO. Infrastructure planning takes years, I would assume that AEMO would take into account what is being planned in preparing their forecasts.. that’s common sense. To what end would you imagine that “nothing being done in the next 5 to 10 years” is factored? Its not.. forecasting is on available data. As infrastructure takes time, this is a real warning, that stability is a growing issue.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Yep, and I am putting those comments in context, which clearly you are struggling with. As for forecasts , the report assumes no new infrastructure, no battery storage. In fact, they’ve managed to completely ignore the LRET, which is law, in their forecasts.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago


            There is a pretty diagram from yesterdays publication which shows that they do take into account proposed, committed and existing, together with withdrawals.
            yesterdays publication warns 3 times of instability, based on this information… not on the assumption of no new infrastructure.

            Cleary:“To maintain a secure electricity supply demand balance during peak demand periods, AEMO is working closely with industry to identify both network and non-network developments. Possible solutions could include an increased interconnection across NEM regions, battery storage, and demand side management services,” said Mr Cleary.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Gee, your persistent aren’t you. That is a pretty diagram for the media which show what may or may not be built. It has no relation to the reliability forecasts, which say quite specifically:

            “The NEM ESOO does not forecast any new development in response to either potential supply shortfalls or government policy, such as the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) or COP21 commitment. Instead, it provides an assessment of supply adequacy in the absence of future development, to help stakeholders assess opportunities in the NEM.”

            and it also states that its forecasts are based on the “absence of any new generation, network or non-network development.”

            i.e. it i assuming no battery storage or network development over next 10 years.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Im very persistent.. you see, all I want is stability in the market..
            Im not sure where you get your info from, but the text on the said pretty diagram says:

            The following information has been developed from AEMO’s 2016 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) which provides National Electricity Market (NEM) participants, investors, and policy-makers with a projected 10-year outlook to 2025–26 of supply adequacy under a number of scenarios
            Which to me indicates that according to yesterdays publication, they do take into account new developments and withdrawals.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            The key is their words “from”. that is a diagram designed for the media.
            On page 4 of the actual report, at the bottom, you will see the quotes which refer to their assumptions they use for their reliability and security forecasts. i.e. no reference to the LRET, those new renewables, and no added storage or network investment.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Im actually really interested in this, and although I have concerns at supply and the seemingly negligent policy of some layers of Govt, if those concerns are allayed, I could be converted to a renewables advocate.. if you want to discuss, send me an email..

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            “To maintain a secure electricity supply demand balance during peak demand periods, AEMO is working closely with industry to identify both network and non-network developments. Possible solutions could include an increased interconnection across NEM regions, battery storage, and demand side management services,” said Mr Cleary.

            Graphic on below link showing that they did take into account new infrastructure in their 3 warnings of energy security going into the future.


            Not sure what you are referencing, but it does not seem to be yesterdays publication.

          • Giles 4 years ago

            Oh, stop already. Why don’tt you read the whole report rather than simply grabbing bits and pieces that attract your attention.
            That graph is from the media release, a pretty thing designed to attract media. It is designed to show what may or may not be built.
            On its actual forecasts, on page 3 of the actual report it says:
            “The NEM ESOO does not forecast any new development in response to either potential supply shortfalls or government policy, such as the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) or COP21 commitment. Instead, it provides an assessment of supply adequacy in the absence of future development, to help stakeholders assess opportunities in the NEM.”
            It cannot be any clearer.
            And yes, it will look at those battery storage and network options, but they are not factored into security and reliability forecasts.

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            Do you actually have a job?

          • Black_Texta 4 years ago

            I’ve read it now.. And there are considerable risks south Australia is facing all pointing to energy security.. From not being able to restart the grid if islanded to energy short falls due to Heywood interruptions. Currently we rely on Heywood for our energy security.. As I’ve said before we need to build a new connector with nsw.. In fact it should have been done prior to the closure of port AUGUSTA which further highlights labors poor policies. Why is all this important? Industry, investment, economic growth which we currently desperately need

  8. Black_Texta 4 years ago

    meanwhile South Australias energy continues as the most expensive in the country…

  9. IT Guy 4 years ago

    You buffoon! Given the blackout armageddon has happened 2 months since you wrote this, you should apologise now for writing this pap or be held in contempt forever.

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