Approaching the red zone for power down south

Jo Nova has flagged the probability of spikes in the price of power in Victoria and South Australia tomorrow. This follows an interesting day today when the demand peaked at 32GW in the evening, well above the 28 that I thought marked the beginning of the red zone.

It looks as though the black and brown coal maxed out at 19 GW and the wind was a bit thin so the hydro and the gas had to be ramped up to provide 10GW between them. Hydro was still only operating at 50% of capacity but I suspect that the water supply will not sustain that flow for very long.

The sun was still contributing 1 GW and that faded away over the next hour.

An interesting addition to the mix is (I think) Coal Seam Methane that turns up as a brown smear on top of the solar late in the day. That becomes more visible when you eliminate the big players, then you find it contributed a valuable 0.8GW to the peak load, almost on a par with the Sun and the Wind (operating at 20%).

When you eliminate enough of the others you can find Bagasse and a bit of Waste Coal Mine Gas.

Tomorrow promises to be interesting. The real worry is the loss of a coal station for maintenance or emergency outage, and then the loss of 2GW when Liddell closes. The system is too fragile to stand the loss of any more baseload.

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

29 Responses to Approaching the red zone for power down south

  1. NuThink

    Is there any indication as to how much the 9 South Australian diesels are contributing? Or is it a case of do not mention the diesels and then they can get away with pretending that it is all green?

  2. mareeS

    Who cares now? Let the cards fall. It is wrecked, let’s see how they get out of it in this week’s heatwave.

    Probably nothing will happen, but businesses are going back to work, people will be depending on solid power.

    Personally,we just want some light,some internet, some phone cjarged up. Doesn’t seem too much to ask?

  3. John Constantine

    The point is rationing and deindustrialisation to progress the glorious socialist services economy.

    Just as the fish kills from dumping the river water unused out to sea lets the left demand the cotton industry be wiped out,because stealing water is unfair, their power failing will allow their left to demand the metal smelters be wiped out.

    Because the smelters stealing the power is unfair.

    Comrades.

  4. NB

    John Constantine
    #2907415, posted on January 14, 2019 at 11:49 pm says:
    ‘The point is rationing and deindustrialisation to progress the glorious socialist services economy.’
    This must be correct, and the electorate have said ‘More please’.

  5. Aussie

    Bring it on I say
    Let the green dreamers be held out for what they are
    Like an alcoholic some times the proverbial needs to seriously hit the fan before change commences

  6. Amadeus

    I just love the emerging drama, watching it from up here in Qld more reliable energy-ville.
    Marx, Stalin and co., would be proud of how well their socialist nirvana is being reinvigorated by the clowns in SA and VIC…

  7. The real worry is the loss of a coal station for maintenance or emergency outage, and then the loss of 2GW when Liddell closes.

    This needs to happen, not just once, but several times for whatever reason (the same in Yallourn and similar), so that people finally realise what’s facing them if this madness continues. This would be especially rewarding for all taxpayers as we are enter an election year, so it would be interesting to see how our hobgoblins react.

  8. Entropy

    Amadeus
    #2907557, posted on January 15, 2019 at 6:25 am
    I just love the emerging drama, watching it from up here in Qld more reliable energy-ville.
    Marx, Stalin and co., would be proud of how well their socialist nirvana is being reinvigorated by the clowns in SA and VIC

    Queensland also makes a tonne of money selling power to the southern idiots too.
    The solution is obvious though, Qld will copy the southern idiots’ energy policies.

  9. amortiser

    At peak load time, Qld supply into NSW was maxed out through the interconnectors. In addition Tasmanian hydro was maxed out to Victoria through the interconnector. At 6pm AEDT renewables supplied 5.8% of power to the grid.

    Between 5 and 6 pm SA had to fire up one of their diesel generators.

  10. Roger

    The solution is obvious though, Qld will copy the southern idiots’ energy policies.

    We already are – more renewables projects on the go here than any other state thanks to inducements.

    No more coal fired power stations (although we still sell coal to the Japanese, go figure).

    Already talk of the need for a disconnected and localised grid to cope with it all.

    We have the most inept political class in the world.

    Or should that be treacherous?

  11. Nob

    bemused
    #2907567, posted on January 15, 2019 at 6:53 am
    This would be especially rewarding for all taxpayers as we are enter an election year, so it would be interesting to see how our hobgoblins react.

    That’s why the Left media (i.e all of it) is going flat-out with the “It’s the Privatisation wot dun it!” meme.

  12. Iva Right

    Who cares? Obviously not the state governments concerned! The sooner this fiasco turns on us the better. When the greens and labor don’t have the tax money from industry and people who have jobs to fund their view of utopia the better. The stupidity of the electorate might even be reversed once the creature comforts it now enjoys are frittered away for no good reason? Who knows? Perhaps self interest will kick in and people will start voting for their back pocket again instead of for a world where unicorn farts power aluminium smelters and plastic bags choke elephants!

  13. Roger

    The stupidity of the electorate might even be reversed once the creature comforts it now enjoys are frittered away for no good reason? Who knows?

    Even a worm will turn, Iva, as Mr. Micron is discovering presently.

  14. Jonesy

    Cubbie station now has a dam equal to six Sydney Harbours! I tellya this farm grows bigger every year….. in the minds of idiots.

  15. Flyingduk

    Just buy your own genny already! But be sure to include a silenced enclosure, because home generators will become illegal or regulated at some point.

  16. Dr Faustus

    But be sure to include a silenced enclosure, because home generators will become illegal or regulated at some point.

    Already are.
    In Queensland, if you have a mains/generator changeover switch installed, you are On A List.

  17. Dr Faustus

    An interesting addition to the mix is (I think) Coal Seam Methane that turns up as a brown smear on top of the solar late in the day. That becomes more visible when you eliminate the big players, then you find it contributed a valuable 0.8GW to the peak load, almost on a par with the Sun and the Wind (operating at 20%).

    Interesting things happen on the margin.

    Compared to CSG, a significantly greater amount of fuel oil and diesel was consumed through open cycle gas turbines – at peak 1.2 GW (cf max 1.2 GW from solar, 1.6 GW from wind).

    Given that fuel oil is usually ‘last to run’ because of cost and higher CO2 emissions, this highlights that the east coast gas supply is inadequate to supply backup/firming power under high load conditions.

  18. Rohan

    As of 1 pm today AEMO dashboard has NSW being propped up by QLD, Taswegia and South Australia to the tune of 1.6 GW. When is NSW going to start to build a new coal fired HELE plant and pull it’s own weight?

    Us in Victoriastan also needs to lift it’s game, but we are just under parity. It’s going to be fun this evening during the peak.

  19. stevem

    Not only that but at the moment NSW has the most expensive electricity at $299.60 followed by is Tas and SA at $292, $264 and 254 respectively. Qld sitting pretty at $106.

  20. Genghis

    I think we should all think a bit forward here. Lets say 10% of our car fleet is electric by 2030. If there is not a significant increase in reliable base load power then what distances will these electric cars travel the next day? Just think of +20 stranded on our freeways. What a great sight!

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    Is there still a government in SA ? If there is what political gang does it belong to? The media have made the non communist government there a non person ,never a mention in the media outside of SA . There must be a great conference when the SA government stuffs something up as politicians always do, do they print this news exposing the fact there is a government ? Or keep quiet to prove it doesnt exist ,must be galling to the comrades not to expose a non communist mistake gbashing teeth at lost opportunity to slag their enemy ,haha duffer you bastards . Rebuild the Whyalla coal powerstation and name it the weatherill memorial non renewable power station . Then build a nuclear power station near the mine namu[ing after helen caldicott .

  22. Squirrel

    The real fun will be when all those marvellously diverse and vibrant high-rise towers (the ones not yet found to be officially uninhabitable) have people trapped in lifts for hours when the power fails.

    The spin on this is currently about more efficient air-con which doesn’t use naughty gases, but it will, of course, become an excuse to tax and regulate air-con –

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-12/rising-demand-for-air-conditioning-alarms-climate-change-experts/10710956

  23. Rohan

    And at 7.30pm NSW is still 1.6GW short, wind has dropped significantly in SA so are drawing ~400MW and those interconnectors are running hard.

  24. egg_

    And at 7.30pm NSW is still 1.6GW short, wind has dropped significantly in SA so are drawing ~400MW and those interconnectors are running hard.

    I love the smell of smoked interconnectors in the morning.

  25. Rohan

    Wind and other are at 500MW total.

  26. egg_

    Is there still a government in SA ?

    A few dim bulbs remain?

  27. Beertruk

    Egg, smells like bacon?

    Will be crispy bacon when the next heat wave comes.

  28. SpeedofLife

    My prediction: when the blackouts begin, people will start installing domestic diesel generators to cover the gaps. This is probably going to be bad news for emissions and one of the least efficient ways of generating power, but it’s logical when people have businesses to run or children and elderly depending on air conditioning in heatwaves. There’ll be more howls of outrage from the Greens, but by then people won’t care. They will just want power when they need it.

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