$15bn more to guarantee power failure.

I think I will soon be shouting out the window “I’m as mad as hell and I can’t take it any more”. Mark M reports in comments elsewhere Angus Taylor MP via twitter:

We’re going to see a 250 per cent increase in wind and solar in the national electricity market in the next three years; an investment of $15bn in renewables. We will reach our 2030 commitments in a canter.

Before I make a fool of myself and irritate the neighbours, someone check this line of argument.

Check out Energy Production by Source using “Fuel Source – Primary” to simplify the picture. The power required through the day varies from the low of 18GW in the night to north of 28GW on weekdays. The picture shows the unreliables floating on top of the sea of coal and hydro.

When there is not enough power to meet demand there has to be deliberate load shedding or simply grid failure. Someone can provide more detail on what happens around that point.

How much can we expect the unreliable sources to contribute to the daily demand, bearing in mind that it is required every day because a single day of failure is a disaster of greater or lesser extent. In the worst case at night and cloudy days with little or no wind (29 days in the year with less than 10% of wind capacity active) we can expect next to nothing.

I think that the answer is that to be failsafe (or as near as any system can get) we need 100% of coal and hydro plus a safety margin for planned and unplanned maintenance.

That means that not a single dollar of public money should have been spent on the unreliables until the problem of storage is solved because we will need virtually 100% coal and hydro (or nuclear) until that time.

So Angus Taylor is promising to put a whole lot of good money after the bad that has been spent already. Of course the genius Kevin Rudd extended the renewable rort until 2030 so it is going to be a painful and expensive road to recovery from here. Disaster beckons and no amount of extra unreliable energy will relieve the situation.

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54 Responses to $15bn more to guarantee power failure.

  1. teddy bear

    Nothing any of us say will make them change their minds, the unfortunate reality is it will not be until well after regular grid failures are occurring and all their supposed fixes fail that this madness will reach the beginning of its end. Then it is years before new baseload power is added.

    On current trajectory it will be a long time before this insanity ends and I doubt there will be much of our economy left by the time it does.

  2. Tezza

    Morrison and Taylor are too dull to just run dead on unreliables for a while. Just a few months and a summer grid breakdown or two, and green left idiocy will be exposed for even the ignorant to understand before the election. A smart strategic head would position the Liberals to take advantage of that turning point. I’m sure Abbott would be prepared to help!

    Instead, they’re determined to take responsibility for the failures while embracing the policies that cause them and faffing around with illiberal regulatory controls and ‘firming obligations’ that are sure to be futile.

  3. Nobias

    This by far the greatest policy failure in my long lifetime. I am dismayed and angry.

  4. We will simply have to live through the modern Dark Ages before the Enlightenment arises once more.

    I think the Doomsday Preppers are onto something, but only in the wrong country.

  5. Tony from Oz has always had the solution.
    Shut ALL of the fossil fueled power stations down for just one week.
    After that, there will be no more talk about “ruinables”.

  6. Someone can provide more detail on what happens around that point.

    Invite Tony from Oz to post here.

  7. Tim Neilson

    an investment of $15bn in renewables.

    I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

    Unless he means a short term “investment” in doctors’ wives’ votes, which will still return next to zero in the dollar anyway.

    Or, channelling the incomparable “Mr Gormsby” when confronted with hip hop dancing – “that’s not dancing, that’s epilepsy” –
    That’s not investment, that’s bankrupting.

  8. stackja

    The scam has fooled many.

  9. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    They would spend $100b if it meant destroying our cheap and reliable power.

  10. cohenite

    Tony from Oz only speaks sense and will have no value in this debate now. Madness prevails and as noted above major breakdowns will have to occur. I thought Angus Taylor had a brain; if he said what Rafe says he said in his twitter feed his brain is fucked. Stock up on candles.

  11. Delta

    It’s actually worse than you’ve stated. We are talking about a continually varying system that requires the power generation to match the load cycle by cycle and second by second. The ramp up and ramp down on a power system is achieved by varying the fossil fuel supply to conventional dispatchable generators. Wind and solar power generators cannot do this: basically they are constant power output machines in relation to the energy input. And they are configured to generate at unity power factor to maximise their revenue. (Power factor from these machines is another problem not often discussed, but let’s keep limit the conversation here).

    Wind and solar generators cannot ramp up or down in response to a changing load. They are parasitic and cannot follow a varying load so all the load following has to be undertaken by conventional fossil fueled generators. As the penetration of intermittent unreliables is increased, the required ramp rates from the remaining generators will increase to cater mostly for the fluctuation in wind. At some point that ramp rate will be impossible from the yet fewer remaining conventional generators but maybe before that happened those generators would have been damaged from the stress imposed by being operated in such a tortuous manner.

    It’s insane.

    A footnote – I’m a member of the management committee of a nfp professional organisation. One of the other committee members works with the AEMC and for months before the SA System black I had expressed concern at what was being imposed on the NEM and the likely consequences. After the SA system black at the next meeting that person said something to the effect, I suppose you’ll be happy now?

    I can only conclude that they just don’t know what the hell they are doing let alone think through to any likely long term result. Anyway, in this context, AEMO is operating the grid in SA with a (calculated) minimum percentage amount of synchronous generation to prevent another system black. This practice will ensure there is enough inertia so that protection systems can operate plus load shedding if necessary to keep the grid up in SA. The cost for the gas fired generators fired up in SA for this purpose, dispatched out of merit order, are then absorbed into the pool price. Some wind power will be constrained if required. This is all well and good as a short term measure to address their stupidity but eventually they’ll run out of synchronous generators to dispatch as those machines age and fail. There is nothing to replace them which is why AEMO finally admitted some months ago that they wanted the synchronous generators to keep going for as long as possible perhaps as they wait for a magic pudding technological fix to fully transform and integrate intermittent wind and solar in the NEM. God help us.

  12. cohenite

    Delta

    #2850377, posted on October 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you delta; all true and pointless because as you say the people running the show now are for all intents and purposes about electricity and alarmism, nuts. I think now entirely in consequences for these bastards.

  13. jupes

    This by far the greatest policy failure in my long lifetime. I am dismayed and angry.

    Well put. Me too.

    I thought Angus Taylor had a brain; if he said what Rafe says he said in his twitter feed his brain is fucked.

    Angus Taylor is a traitor. As John Constantine has previously noted, one of the first targets for a potential enemy would be to destroy our power generation capacity. This government is doing the enemy’s job for them.

    It is treason pure and simple.

  14. RobK

    Rafe and Delta have pretty well summed up how I see things on this. I predict there will be a lot more short term fixes scurrying for batteries and off-the-shelf gas and diesel turbines to paper over the cracks whilst waiting for suitable srorage technology. The burn rate of cash will mean we are poorly placed to take up any new ideas, should they arise. Heading down the wrong road doesn’t get you closer to where you want to be. This experiment has already gone too far, too fast. Back-off. Scrap the RET and all other inducements. Get a healthy economy able to formulate real solutions.

  15. Art Vandelay

    an investment of $15bn in renewables.

    I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

    Fixed:

    “an investment misallocation of resources of $15bn in renewables”.

  16. Leo G

    …an investment of $15bn in renewables …

    … is in effect the subsidy of a disinvestment in electric power generation reliability.

  17. Mr Black

    So our nation is governed by a stupid and corrupt uniparty that share power between each camp but follow the same policy goals regardless. How about sabotaging the renewable connections to the power grid? It’s easy, impossible to protect and ruinously expensive for the operator. When the government is out to destroy you, civil disobedience is a justified response.

  18. Dr Fred Lenin

    If renewables need back up power from other sources why pay for renewables ? You are paying twice scrap the unreliable one .
    The answer is vote against every sitting member of alll parliaments and councils ,throw the whole government into chaos then reform the system totally,with no. Career pollies , Alll public servants including judges on performance based annual contracts and change the constitution to prevent this political shit happening ever again ,banning lawyers might be a start who needs them ? they are the cause of the present Parliament art nonsense and undemocratic behaviour .

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    Jupes when you get the firing squads working on the treasonous u.n.soros stooges please stand them against a wooden wall ,so when the bullets go Brough them they won’t ricochet and injure innocent people .
    Reminds mo of the story of the 1920s where Cheka inRussia were shooting innocents in the cellars of dzherzhinsky square HQ using .45 revolvers ,one went through a victim and came up into the executioners leg ,Workcover went spare ! and the weapon was changed to a short loaded dum dum .22 two rounds , there were no more accidents to the him trained staff.

  20. NB

    Tezza says: ‘a summer grid breakdown or two‘ will bring us to our senses.
    I wish this were true, but instead we will be told how we need more, more, more. This is not just because of the pseudo-logic of the boosters in this specific instance, but, more importantly, it is the standard response of government to government failure.
    Friedman explains why failing government enterprises are expanded instead of scrapped. at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p2yWfdx5N8
    Main argument begins at 4:20.

  21. BoyfromTottenham

    I agree with you Rafe, but will someone please tell us why nobody but nobody ever wants to discuss winding back the $2+ billion annual impost on us electricity consumers represented by the LRET? After all, it is not a government subsidy or a tax, it is a cunning arrangement where a producers of a certain type of ‘special’ electricity are gifted a ‘certificate’ for each megawatt that they send to the grid that wholesale consumers have to buy if not to be penalised, but the cost of which is simply passed on to retail customers (aka SMEs and householders. Is it some kind of sacred ground? Is it our equivalent of India’s holy cows? Has some secret deal been done by government that cannot be revealed? Are the pollies who crafted it and voted for it all those years ago too embarrassed to reverse their stupid decision? Please God, will someone give us an answer? Or even a hint? Or is the truth just too awful ever to be revealed? If necessary, I will have this plea engraved on my tombstone.

  22. Tim Neilson

    Dr Fred Lenin
    #2850415, posted on October 27, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Why isn’t Dr Fred teaching a Masters of Public Administration at one of our universities?

  23. Squirrel

    “When there is not enough power to meet demand there has to be deliberate load shedding or simply grid failure.”

    The Prime Minister should be just old enough to have some memories of the power failures which occurred in Sydney in the 1970s.

    The “failures” I have in mind were due to carefully timed (early evening was a favourite) industrial action by power workers – but the effect for consumers is, of course, the same as a failure due to inadequate or unreliable generating capacity. It’s a shame that many of those who are now in positions of power and influence (and with very loud voices) are too young to have such memories.

  24. Bruce

    …an investment of $15bn in renewables …

    That’s a LOT of potential (and incentive) for creative “spillage”.

    As the old joke goes: “A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you’re talking about serious money”.

  25. miltonf

    So $15BN from where? Taxpayers? Who gave us this LRET- is that a legacy from Howard? How the hell did the Feds even get involved in electricity generation?

  26. miltonf

    Let’s see economics law at Sydney Uni then Oxford. Another over educated idiot.

  27. John Constantine

    The IRA crippled the economies of both north and south Ireland by taking out the electricity interconnector that had enabled economies of scale and profitable sales for the South’s generators and price and reliability for the North. Poverty for all, to bring about regime change.

    Taking the nuts off the bolts that hold the isolated interconnector to South Australia together, then waiting for a stiff breeze to drop the thing to the ground would cost a tank of fuel and a few hours one dark night.

    Old obsolete and deplorable Australians are about the easiest going culture still existing, so put up with the corruption.

    Within a generation, when the windmills and solar panels put up for the current corrupt rort wear out, does anybody think that a Big Australia, with millions of diversity imports having the voting balance of power, will vote for alex turnbulls legacy cash cow to continue at the direct expense of our mass millions of imported voters?.

    The rort lasts as long as it takes to get rid of the existing culture and get a transnational globalist totalitarian one.

    Climate change is simply regime change in disguise and climate politics will be disposed of as soon as regime change has been eternally locked in.

  28. areff

    From Taylor’s maiden speech, December, 2013:

    We need to stop giving public money to rent-seekers and we must be strong against the loud voices of narrowly-focused interests. Laws passed in this place must not drag down the living standards of the majority by benefiting a few.

    I mean, what hope is there for this crew?

  29. Herodotus

    Looks like we all have to go off-grid and grow our own veg and lamb chops – again!

  30. miltonf

    I mean, what hope is there for this crew?

    None what so ever – just another useless parasite. Do people who study economics law and philosophy have any knowledge of physical properties like work and power? I also see Port Jackson partners in his bio in which I think Hilmer was involved.

  31. Barry Bones

    Just goes to show that the market is working.

    Coal is not only dirty, but is very expensive to both build and run.

    No private firm would build a coal fired plant in their right mind.

    Hence, the transition to renewables and firming.

    I must say, I am very surprised that punters on this blog who profess to be free-marketeers keep pushing for coal and hydro which have all been built in this country by government.

    It seems they want more of it.

    #GetTheSocialistsOffThisBlog!!

  32. egg_

    an “investment” of $15bn in ruinables?

    In the parallel clown universe, perhaps.

  33. Rafe Champion

    Barry the problem is that we are not making a transition to RE plus firming, we are running down the stock of reliable power and spending a lot of money on RE that is not there all the time and liable to fall over any time there is not enough wind and sun. Only sustainable as long as the old reliables keep delivering.

    The states are now into the act of promoting unreliables so that makes it even harder to get rid of the incentives to the destructive policies that have been in place for some decades. A sane bipartisan approach is required to get off this Titanic so prepare for the worst.

  34. .

    I must say, I am very surprised that punters on this blog who profess to be free-marketeers keep pushing for coal and hydro which have all been built in this country by government.

    This is simply untrue.

  35. GD

    genius Kevin Rudd extended the renewable rort until 2030 so it is going to be a painful and expensive road to recovery from here

    Geez, I’ll be dead by then. Thanks a lot.

  36. GD

    incoherent rambler
    #2850362, posted on October 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm:

    ‘Invite Tony from Oz to post here’.

    Tony from Oz should be on staff at Catallaxy.

  37. Herodotus

    It’s the greatest, most immoral challenge of our lifetime. It’s an intellectual con job on a global scale. It’s right up there with “socialism would work if only it was done properly”.

  38. Herodotus

    Everything used to be built by virtue of the nation earning its keep one way or another.
    Now it’s by virtue of a spiralling national debt while industries shrivel.
    Empty rhetoric from people like Bones we can get in the Fairfax excretions or the ABC.
    We come here for sense, not that shit.

  39. My understanding is that renewables is being ‘built’ by government. If not, while all the government mandates to get rid of ‘normal’ energy sources, government mandated renewables, government subsidies for renewables, as well as government requirement for the last remaining normal energy suppliers to buy renewables?

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and shits like a duck, it’s most likely a duck (or a government climate worrier in disguise).

  40. Genghis

    So our wonderful ‘Captains of Industry’ are onboard or are they onboard for Nuclear but without one ‘ball’ to call out this madness mascarading as sensible policy. If they believe in renewable energy it shows the level of competence our Industry Leaders have and why their salaries and bonuses should be cut to zero.

  41. One ScoMo doesn’t make a Spring

    Use of language is interesting: renewables, load shedding , investment, commitments, System Black .
    Prefer others terms used or suggested : unreliables, wealth shedding, squanderment, virtuements, condition cave.

  42. John Constantine

    Another fifteen billion dollars to open up their next Big Push for eternal regime change.

    Gross Totalitarian Product must increase by selling our Individual Freedom Certificates to the chicoms for cents in the dollar [ works if our quisling elites get to cream off a personal commission to afford a mansion on deposed dictators row on Manhattan Island next to their United Nation’s beat toilet.]

    Comrades.

  43. egg_

    A sane bipartisan approach is required to get off this Titanic so prepare for the worst.

    When stupidity cops a broadside from reality.

  44. egg_

    Another fifteen billion dollars to open up their next Big Push for eternal regime change.

    15 x ABCs for windmills?
    Throw in the Snowy Hydro Horror Show, too?
    Where’s Bananaby on this?

  45. DrBeauGan

    Persuading ignorant fatheads that they are ignorant fatheads is always difficult. When they are ministers of the crown on $200,000+ pa, it’s impossible.

  46. Kneel

    “…nobody ever wants to discuss winding back the $2+ billion annual impost on us electricity consumers represented by the LRET?”

    Ah, the LRET. Legislation that is part of a wider plan designed to force the use of technology that is so unreliable, intermittent and puny that it was replaced over 100 years ago. Such replacement of “renewables” by fossil fuels has led to the greatest improvements in human health, longevity, comfort, convenience and safety as make our lifestyle unimaginable to the vast majority of people who have ever lived.

    But never forget, we have a moral duty to wind this all back, and the LRET is a major part of that.

    Yes, renewable energy most certainly is “the greatest moral challenge of our time” – alas, morals have lost so far, as the reaction to the reality Bjorn Lomburg has pointed out for years shows.

  47. H B Bear

    The day of reckoning draws near for the renewables and NEM racket. Maybe this summer, maybe next, a multi-day stalled high pressure system over the whole Eastern States with no wind and hot air from central Australia, wholesale prices maxxed out at $15,000 mwh for long periods, widespread brown outs and no excess power from Queensland.

    Watch the Peanut Head government go into a panicked reaction just like Weatherdildo circa 2016 when he blacked out Mainland Tasmania.

  48. Shy Ted

    Young Alex and his mates are going to get very rich out of this.

  49. 2dogs

    I’d like to propose the following measure to alleviate Australia’s energy crisis:

    Change the standard work day for public servants from 9 til 5 to 6 to 2.

    This would greatly alleviate the so-called “duck curve”, as the usual consumption that occurs in the early evening will instead occur in the late afternoon, when the sun is still up, those with solar battery systems are by then fully charged, and are selling into the system.

    I would expect that such a measure would be revenue neutral for the public purse, and the main impost is on people who primarily vote for carbon abatement policies in the first place.

  50. mem

    Change the standard work day for public servants from 9 til 5 to 6 to 2.This would greatly alleviate the so-called “duck curve”, as the usual consumption that occurs in the early evening will instead occur in the late afternoon, when the sun is still up, those with solar battery systems are by then fully charged, and are selling into the system.

    I would expect that such a measure would be revenue neutral for the public purse, and the main impost is on people who primarily vote for carbon abatement policies in the first place.

    Now that is lateral thinking. Another alternative would be to require that public offices only use so-called renewables. And the public use fossil fuel. On an overcast day with no wind they could have the day off. that should make them even happier.

  51. classical_hero

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/too-much-wind-shocks-electric-bill-payers-lcgw3cwpz

    A record £4.8m was paid to wind farm operators in the space of one day, for switching off turbines when it became too windy.

    More than 60 farms — most in Scotland — were compensated after electricity supply outstripped demand on October 8. The bonanza far exceeded the previous reported record of £3.1m, sparking fresh criticism of the Scottish government’s headlong rush towards green energy.

    In exceptionally windy conditions, the National Grid cannot cope with the extra energy turbines produce, so firms receive “constraint payments” to shut down. Although most wind power comes from Scotland, households across Britain are funding the payments through their electricity bills.

    Wind farms get paid no matter the conditions. Who would not want that, except if you’re paying for it.

  52. RedneckRuss

    Angus Taylor used to be my Federal Member, elect Conservative Senators to keep Shortens Reps under control. Libs must change or die.

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