Enjoy morning coffee and hot meals while we still have coalfired power

Memo to the Liberal Party room. Today Wind and Other peaked near 9% of demand at the low point of demand around noon. AT 2 as demand picked up it was down to 8% and at 5.30 as the sun set and demand approached the peak for the day it is down to 5%. Next to nothing from Queensland and South Australia.

Memo to Greens, if you want 100% RE that means you need at least twenty (20) times the current capacity.

Memo to Electricity Bill. If you want 50% RE that means we need at least ten times the current capacity. Have you costed that?

Just to give a hint of the reason why power prices go up in parallel with the supply of RE, contrary to the claim that unreliables are cheaper. This is something that has to be explained to every voter who cares about the cost of hot meals and other comforts of civilisation. Cats may understand all this but it is not easy for beginners as I can testify. This comes from a post on the Australian Climate Skeptics.

One of the factors that never gets mentioned is that base load coal power needs to operate to a predictable schedule in order to be efficient. What we have is a system that deliberately forces coal power to go on standby whenever the “renewables” are working. This means that all of the running and capital costs of coal power continue to be charged to the coal station regardless of the output. That extra cost does not get charged against say, the wind farms, even though they are causing it. (Large Solar is so expensive it is not worth considering)

For example, a new Hele coal powered station running at normal capacity could be producing at a cost of 7.5c per KWh. If they have to suddenly halve their output because the wind starts blowing hard enough, the cost of providing that reduced output will be increased to around 12c per KWh. So, the wholesale price of that power has to accommodate that fact. The offensive thing is that the “renewables” purveyors then point at coal. saying it is not cheaper than wind at 6.5c per KWh. In actual fact, that extra 4.5c per KWh (Let’s call that the cost of intermittency) should rightfully be added to the cost of the wind power, making the real comparison 11c per KWh against 7.5c. for a new base load Hele power station. (Costs based on latest ANU Energy Change Institute information)

Add to that the incalculable cost of grid disruption caused by unreliable, intermittent renewables.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Enjoy morning coffee and hot meals while we still have coalfired power

  1. John Constantine

    Their whole point is that ruinables are the gateway, through which we pass from a capitalist oppressor racist settler industrial economy, towards a singing and dancing and clapping services diversity feelings society.

    Don’t need electricity to sing and dance in the dust around the campfire.

    Comrades.

  2. NB

    John Constantine #2787918, posted on August 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm
    Yes, in a society where mass production and consumerism have been stamped out. Campfire, yes, but only while your ration of wood lasts. The dark age.
    Up on the hill, in their palaces, the virtuous will be supping on ethically sourced lattes and fine organic wines. But that is not for the crude masses, who just don’t understand science or the splendour and necessity of the equality of socialism.

  3. Confused Old Misfit

    I’m going to cut & paste this to my local member (Sharkie), Frydenburger & Turdbull.

  4. A Lurker

    Yes, in a society where mass production and consumerism have been stamped out. Campfire, yes, but only while your ration of wood lasts. The dark age.
    Up on the hill, in their palaces, the virtuous will be supping on ethically sourced lattes and fine organic wines. But that is not for the crude masses, who just don’t understand science or the splendour and necessity of the equality of socialism.

    The Australian Hunger Games – life imitating art.

  5. John Constantine

    Obviously importing another ten million socialists to vote for taking the racist wealth from the obsolete settlers will fund a few years of welfare spending, until we go full Pitcairn.

    Mutiny on the Bounty.

    Bound for theEnd of the World without coconuts.

    Comrades.

  6. RobK

    To go 100%RE will require a lot of expenditure. The exact amount is dependent on how much storage the system has (in power and energy capacity), how effective the grid is at long distance surges of energy and substation level response to local distributed supply/load (both costly) and the mix of dispatchable/ non dispatchable generators. (Oh, and the level of load shedding/ demand management).
    For security and reliability a redundent capacity of dispatchable generators needs to be available. It is a hopeless plan to go 100%. 10% can be absorbed with little extra cost (subsidies aside).
    Anything over this is going to add to costs.

  7. Mark M

    Thank you, CO2!

    BoM, 31 may 2018: Winter is coming, and it’s looking mighty mild

    For instance, forecast warmer-than-usual temperatures in the Tasman Sea and the associated lower-than-normal air pressure this winter is likely to contribute to a weakening of westerly winds over southern Australia that would normally draw cold fronts up from the Southern Ocean.

    As a result of the weakened westerly winds, below-average winter rainfall is likely for western parts of Western Australia,
    https://theconversation.com/winter-is-coming-and-its-looking-mighty-mild-97466

    ABC, August 2018: Widespread winter rain delivers a ‘magnificent’ wildflower display in WA’s Mid West

    Geraldton-based wildflower enthusiast Glenda Blythe said rain had fallen at the right time, and this was important for the flower germination.

    “This has got to be one of the best seasons I think I’ve ever witnessed here,” she said.

    “The carpets of everlastings, they’re everywhere this year.

    With the good opening rains and continued rains we’ve just got the carpets we always used to have.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-12/midwest-abloom-with-winter-rain-providing-good-wildflower-season/10107476

  8. Roger

    Memo to Electricity Bill. If you want 50% RE that means we need at least ten times the current capacity. Have you costed that?

    Yes, on the back of a napkin.

  9. John Constantine

    Having hit 25 millions, their Australian population Ponzi has to ramp up or crash.

    “Last year 62 per cent of Australia’s overall population increase of 388,000 was due to net overseas migration while 38 per cent was due to natural increase (births minus deaths).

    On current trends, Australia’s population is set to reach 26 million by late 2020 or early 2021, and top the 30 million mark by 2030.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australia-s-population-clock-hits-25-million-20180806-p4zvv7.html

    Another five million in 11 years, all powered by windmills and sunshine.

    The Ponzi will provide.

    Comrades.

  10. John Constantine

    Debt funding the construction of another Melbourne in a decade.

    Windmill powered.

    Our Dogboxes are our Strength.

    Our Onesies are our strength.

    Our rebirthed sewerage as drinking water is our Strength.

    Comrades.

  11. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    renewables = shit

  12. Mr Black

    And when both parties are committed to their fraud, who exactly is supposed to be on our side?

  13. NB

    Comrades. Gaia shares her bounty with you. Return to her womb while you are young and vital. We, her Elders, must remain above, anointed to pursue the one true science. We are the Strength against Carbon, black, dark, enemy of Gaia, she who shelters us.

  14. Rafe
    Your article needs correction.
    The reason for the low wind output today is that there is no wind.
    Therefore, to survive on 100% renewables, 20 times capacity won’t cut it. In fact, because ther e is no wind today, and quadrillion zillion gazzillion times capacity will make no difference whatsoever.
    Don’t compare the price per kilowatt of renewables and fossil fuels or nuclear. Electricity is not a commodity that is just kilowatts. That does not reflect the fact that the consumer expects it to be at that hole in the wall 24/7, reliably. It is as much a service as it is a commodity.

  15. wal1957

    Karabar,
    You are absolutely correct. This is another variable of unreliables that the pollies and their ‘expert’ advisors do not understand.
    Unreliables can not provide reliable power 24/7…no matter what so called nameplate capacity they have installed. That is why we need reliable backup, and that is why costs have soared.

    Politicians are just dumb!

  16. Myrddin Seren

    On current trends, Australia’s population is set to reach 26 million by late 2020 or early 2021, and top the 30 million mark by 2030.

    Memo to Greens, if you want 100% RE that means you need at least twenty (20) times the current capacity.

    Memo to Electricity Bill. If you want 50% RE that means we need at least ten times the current capacity. Have you costed that?

    Memo to anyone casually strolling by. If you kill your baseload generation as a nation, what you are left with is 50-100% renewballs.

    That fact that this would not even cover current demand, let alone a near-20% larger population is irrelevant. What’s left is your percentage of renewballs. 50-100%.

    The elimination of the old, the weak, the frail and the too young is probably view as a feature, not a bug, of wrecking the baseload power generation.

    In the Hunger Games, the denizens of The Capital live with abundance. Everyone else – not so much.

    Comrades.

  17. Motelier

    I am sure I heard a prominent Green politician say that renewable generation was the way of the future.

    😱

    We need to challenge them. “Go wholly renewable and prove to me that you can set-up, survive on that set-up and come out in front. No hydro-carbons are to be used. No subsidies allowed”

  18. stevem

    To make matters worse, if you want everybody to drive around in electric cars you need to double the amount of electricity generated. This means we’d need to go to 200% renewable. Everything these fools want comes loaded with “unforseen” costs.

  19. Tel

    There’s a fundamental law of Keynesian economics: lack of supply creates its own lack of demand.

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