For a very long time we will have to maintain about 90% of baseload capacity (say 16GW) from hydrocarbon fuels available 24/365. Until it is viable to store electricity in massive quantities the unreliable sources only put up the cost of power so they are merely “expensive ornaments attached to the grid, virtue-signalling fashion statements.”
Regardless of their cheap cost (laughs up sleeve), the plated capacity, the average performance and political correctness, due diligence requires attention to the worst case scenario which is a windless night.
Think about that. A windless night with gas, coal and hydro falling short of the baseload required to keep the lights on. How many more power stations can be afford to lose? Remember to ignore plated capacity and average contribution over a long period.
No amount of additional Wind and Solar make a difference on a windless night.
We need them all the old reliables and we will still most likely be short in the summer peak.
Unfortunately the unreliable sources are not just expensive ornaments. They are parasitic on the old reliable coal-fired stations because the price system makes the old providers unprofitable through no fault of their own or their technology.
The unreliable drives out the reliable, especially when the price of coal was deliberately increased by way of royalties in Victoria.
So we need them all for the foreseeable future but they are driven out by the subsidised unreliables. How do the likes of Kerry Schott think we can get rid of coal before the storage issue is solved? We know that the senior ranks of the regulators are bare of the relevant experts, so where is the advice coming from?