There is a spectre haunting the power grid in SE Australia. The spectre of the windless night when no amount of Wind and Solar capacity makes a scrap of difference. At 4% of demand from W&S we were close to that point this morning.
A man from Alinta Energy was on the wireless last night, he acknowledged the AEMO position that we have a one in ten chance of grid failure come summer. He noted that this is an intolerable situation but it will be relieved by more capacity coming on line. More capacity of unreliable energy that is not there when the sun and wind go out.
On the same program on 2GB in the early evening with Ross Greenwood there was talk about electric cars. That might clear the air but it will also increase the demand for electricity. Given the critical state of reliable supply any increase in demand is potentially disastrous. Just imagine if we fired up another Aluminium smelter:)
Tony from Oz has almost certainly got statistics on the incidence or prevalence of windless nights. Thanks to a heads up reminder from one of our Cats. I will post more about his work later. Those numbers call for more publicity.