Two stories in todays “The Australian”, (12 September 2018), caught my eye. They reported on an “additional” 928 MW of renewable generation that would further impoverish taxpayers and enrich the renewable energy industry.
There are 3 wind farms and 3 solar farms proposed and each of them will be guaranteed a minimum price of $56 per MWh by the Victorian taxpayers. They will also harvest the RET subsidy of $80 per MWh giving a total guaranteed revenue stream that is risk free.
The table below lists the salient points. It is well known that wind operates at around 30% of rated capacity and solar at about 17%. This is due to the intermittency of the wind and the sun.
First thing to notice is the 928 MW rated capacity becomes 245 MW when intermittency is considered. The next is the Victorian taxpayers guaranteed “floor price” of $56 per MWh which equates to an annual risk free revenue of $120 million/year and the consumers contribution via the RET of $172 million/year.
This allows the operators to bid low to secure the front row at the electricity trough because they already have $136/MWh in the pocket regardless of “the market” prices. Under this bizarre scheme they have “no responsibility for providing a continuous supply” so when nature does not oblige with wind and sunlight some other dispatchable, read coal or gas, power station has to be ready to pick up the load at any time, day or night.
Next let’s look at the comparison with the now defunct Hazelwood power station. It had a “rated capacity” of 1,600 MW at a capacity factor of around 95% and could turn out 13,315,200 MWh annually and it was continuous except for the occasional maintenance outage, ( Hazelwood had 8 units so outages never took the whole station off line). The “new renewables” can provide 16% of the Hazelwood production, but not continuously. Victoria consumes around 45,000,000 MWh annually, depending on what data is used – it’s a bit difficult to pin it down. This means the “new renewables” can produce 4.8% of the annual demand, but not continuously. To get 45,000,000 MWh per year from schemes like this would require scaling them up by a factor of 21 with an “installed capacity” of 19,500 MW and even them the supply would be intermittent.
Apart from the obvious stupidity of schemes like this in terms of “lowering prices” or providing security of supply the effects on grid management are horrendous as are the additional costs of transmission lines to connect up the far flung sites that range from Mildura to Warrnambool, Echuca and Benalla. This has nothing to do with electricity prices or security and everything to do with politics. It is a lousy deal for Victorian taxpayers and electricity consumers in general whose interests are sacrificed for some delusional belief that CO2 is bad and that mankind can bend nature to his will. The following indications of delusional behaviour are from Wikipedia and would be familiar to all of us who observe the bizarre machinations of the green zealots who seem bent on returning us to serfdom.
- The patient expresses an idea or belief with unusual persistence or force, even when evidence suggests the contradictory.
- That idea appears to have an undue influence on the patient’s life, and the way of life is often altered to an inexplicable extent.
- Despite his/her profound conviction, there is often a quality of secretiveness or suspicion when the patient is questioned about it.
- The individual tends to be humourless and oversensitive, especially about the belief.
- There is a quality of centrality: no matter how unlikely it is that these strange things are happening to him/her, the patient accepts them relatively unquestioningly.
- An attempt to contradict the belief is likely to arouse an inappropriately strong emotional reaction, often with irritability and hostility. They will not accept any other opinions.
- The belief is, at the least, unlikely, and out of keeping with social norms.
- The patient is emotionally over-invested in the idea and it overwhelms other elements of their psyche.
Does any of this sound familiar?