A day in the life of a SE Australian energy consumer

Jo Nova has unpacked some implications of David Bidstrup’s analysis of the price spikes in Victoria and South Australia in the week before the blackouts in Melbourne last Friday. Not a pretty sight!

Nearly a billion dollars in a day!

The cost of electricity on Thursday in two states of Australia reached a tally of $932 million dollars for a single day of electricity. Thanks to David Bidstrup on Catallaxy for calculating it.

As Bruce of Newcastle says “ “Three days and you could buy a HELE plant with the money wasted.” That’s a power plant that could last 70 years, and provide electricity at under $50/MW. (Forget all the high charges for 30 years to pay of the capital (in red below), we could just buy the damn thing outright, paid off in full from day one.)

The Jo Nova post. The David Bidstrup post.

The socialist Labor-Greens are already trying to blame it on coal, but we ran coal plants for decades without these disasters. Right now, no one is investing in coal because of bipartisan stupidity. What company would pay the maintenance fees on infrastructure so hated by the political class? The coal plants are being run into the ground. Maintenance is even being delayed to keep the plants running through peaks like this.

No country on Earth with lots of renewables has cheap electricity. How many times do I have to repeat it? This is my mantra for 2019.

In Australia when we had mainly coal and no renewables our electricity was cheap and reliable. Now we are still mainly coal, but all it takes is a poisonous small infiltration of subsidized unreliable renewables to destroy the former economic incentives, the whole market, the system: our lifestyle.

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31 Responses to A day in the life of a SE Australian energy consumer

  1. stackja

    Nearly a billion dollars in a day

    To who?

  2. Right now, no one is investing in coal because of bipartisan stupidity.

    Dontcha love consensus!

    97% of sentient humans agree that 97% of our swamp creatures are either idiots or scamsters (or both).

  3. stackja

    Nearly a billion dollars in a day plus subsidies?

  4. John Constantine

    Year Zero electricity progresses us to Year Zero industry progresses us to Year Zero society.

    Comrades.

  5. ArthurB

    I see that Zali Steggall has announced her intention of running as an independent in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringa, and hopes to unseat him. She has good qualifications – a former champion skier, and is now a lawyer. She says that the ‘most common concern [in Australia] is the lack of action on climate change’, and that the things many people ‘are worried about’ include ‘the lack of compassion on human rights’.

    The nation should be grateful: she looks like being our home-grown version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes. I am sure she will support more action on climate change (i.e. more renewables) and more compassion for ‘asylum seekers’ (i.e. open borders)

    If she is elected, Australia will get what it deserves.

  6. mem

    Is it extreme heat or renewables that messing with our grid? In Switzerland some of the same problems are occurring and only since renewables were introduced. “Just less than 10 years ago, Switzerland’s power grid was among the most stable worldwide, operating with the same efficiency as its famous Swiss-made watches.
    Today however, thanks to green energies like wind and sun, this is no longer the case, so reports the country’s Baseler Allgemeine Zeitung (BAZ).”
    You can hardly blame the extreme heat.
    Link to http://notrickszone.com/

  7. a happy little debunker

    To who?

    In the case of Tasmania – who was exporting 478 mwh to a maximum of $6.9 million per hour – the major beneficiary was the Keppel Infrastructure Trust, as 1/3rd owned by the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.

  8. ArthurB

    We in the Far West are fortunate that WA is not part of the national power grid. Perhaps some companies whose operations will be rendered uneconomic by expensive power might consider relocating to WA.

    However, I am not too sanguine about the future. We are almost certain to have at least two more terms under Labor, and it is unlikely that they would allow the building of new power stations that use fossil fuels, so we would have to rely on renewables to provide the power for our increasing population.

  9. EJ.

    Why in this hell, can’t we get this out on the front page news..why?
    There is no way Australians get this sort of information in general everyday news.

  10. Rossini

    Australia the lucky country!!!!!
    Now Australia the f***ed country…….Thank you Liberal dickheads!

  11. Pete of Perth

    Coming soon, Labor’s 3 coal fired power plant policy.

  12. struth

    Dubai is hotter than here.
    Hot places have electricity
    They don’t have power failures because of heat.
    Heat doesn’t cause power failures.
    A lack of electricity caused power failures.

  13. struth

    Why in this hell, can’t we get this out on the front page news..why?
    There is no way Australians get this sort of information in general everyday news

    The Marxists in universities have been brainwashing journalists for years.

    MSM is just another term for communist zombies.

  14. Roger

    …all it takes is a poisonous small infiltration of subsidized unreliable renewables to destroy the former economic incentives, the whole market, the system: our lifestyle.

    Subsidies are merely tools.

    It’s the idiots who wield them who are responsible.

  15. Roger

    MSM is just another term for communist zombies.

    Mediacrities.

    Second raters, like our politicians.

    Dragging the lucky country down to their level.

  16. egg_

    MSM is just another term for communist zombies.

    Teh Zombie Apocalypse approacheth.

  17. Dr Fred Lenin

    Lets put the wind up the polliebastards vote every sitting member las on the crooked ballot paper , s complete sweep of all existing bastards would put the wind up their replacements end the certainty of career politics . Also force the muppets to put every public employee to one year performance based contracts ,including MPS and Senitters . (Notice the spelling sennit ,sort of like the silent slapstick films which the pollies resemble .

  18. min

    Will this cost be put on power bills in Victoriastan?

  19. Does any one know what the Victorian energy suppliers were paid for electricity provided to the NSW grid after they shut the power down to 200,000 + homes in and businesses in Victoria.

  20. Dr Fred Lenin

    Roger. You are far too generous calling them second rate , fourth rate ? Yes if we are in a good mood .
    Watch the career polliemuppets change their tune as their constituants tear them a new one over the blackouts caused by one of the religions they are pandering to,the green preference one the other is the islamofascist welfareist vote religion .

  21. md

    Meanwhile, Germany claims it will close all its coal-fired power plants.
    But they keep quiet about the fact that they rely on reserve power from Czech nuclear power plants.

  22. RobK

    As I’ve often said; this is an experiment that isnt going very well. An OECD assessment:
    https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/decarbonising-electricity-system/57603/

    Development Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) examine the success rate of countries lowering emissions in order to reach new environmental and energy security goals, in a new report

    Many nations have committed to ambitious goals to limit emissions. Yet the world is not on track to achieve these environmental goals, nor are countries pursuing these policies in a cost-effective way, concludes the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in its new report The Costs of Decarbonisation: System Costs with High Shares of Nuclear and Renewables.

    “We have at our disposal technically mature, low‑carbon alternatives to help countries reach their environmental and energy security goals – including: solar and wind technology, hydroelectricity and nuclear power. Reaching these goals will require us to use all of these low‑carbon resources in an economically sound manner,” said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, at the report’s launch in Budapest, Hungary in the presence of János Süli, Minister without portfolio responsible for the Paks II., a nuclear new‑build project in Hungary.

    Minister Süli said: “For Hungary, which imports up to half of its electricity in peak periods, this report provides important insights. This is why we are taking steps to ensure high standards for the security of electricity supply at an affordable cost for Hungarian consumers.”

    In making comments about this study before today’s release, OECD Secretary‑General Angel Gurría commented: “We cannot say it enough: climate change is one of the greatest challenges that we continue to face. Containing global warming to below two degrees and protecting our planet and future generations requires bold and decisive action. A key part of this effort is the creation of a robust and resilient, low-carbon energy sector.”

    The report highlights that the increased share of variable energy sources has resulted in large inefficiencies imposed on the entire electricity system. These system costs are not properly recognised by current market structures and are currently borne by the overall electricity system in a manner that makes it difficult—if not impossible—to make well-informed decisions and investments.

    Without the introduction of new, robust energy market policies, this situation is unlikely to change. Given the massive investments that the realisation of the decarbonisation transformation requires, it is of paramount importance to create long-term frameworks that provide stability and confidence for investors in all low carbon generation technologies. It is also imperative to realign electricity systems and electricity markets to ensure security of supply and system reliability in a cost-effective manner.

  23. RobK

    A snippet from the OECD report referred to above (my bold added);

    What we have learned so far is that in the electricity systems of the future, all available low carbon generation options, nuclear energy, wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), hydroelectricity and, perhaps one day, fossil fuels with carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration, will need to work together in order to enable countries to meet their environmental goals in a costefficient manner. Plant-level costs do remain, of course important and we fully recognise the great strides that variable renewable energies (VRE), such as wind and solar PV, have achieved in this area in the recent past. If, according to our data, they are not yet fully competitive with nuclear power on that metric except in particularly favourable local circumstances, they soon might be. However, their intrinsic variability and, to a lesser degree, their unpredictability, imply that the costs of the overall system will continue to rise over and above the sum of plant level costs. What nuclear energy and hydroelectricity, as the primary dispatchable low carbon generation options, bring to the equation is the ability to produce at will large amounts of low carbon power predictably according to the requirements of households and industry. For the right decisions to be made in the future by governments and industry, these factors must be understood and addressed.

    It’s what I’ve been trying to say all along. Without coal or nukes, we are up against an immovable task. We should employ every source of electricity economically possible, without subsidies.

  24. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    The report highlights that the increased share of variable energy sources has resulted in large inefficiencies imposed on the entire electricity system. These system costs are not properly recognised by current market structures and are currently borne by the overall electricity system in a manner that makes it difficult—if not impossible—to make well-informed decisions and investments.

    what a surprise! who could have predicted that……we are governed by retards.

  25. Snoopy

    Who funds left wing think tank the Grattan Institute?

  26. Snoopy

    Who funds left wing think tank the McKell Institute?

  27. Boambee John

    Snoopy at 0916 and 0918

    I think you can be quite confident that the trail leads back, at least in part, to the taxpayer.

  28. Lutz

    Looking back to 2006 this is how easy it could be:
    Laverton North natural gas power station is now producing 320MW in Victoria, Australia. The station is owned and operated by Snowy Hydro Limited and was built by Siemens. It is located on an industrial site approximately 15km west of the Melbourne Central Business District. The construction period is 14 months. Initial civil works started in October 2004, and the plant was commissioned in December 2006.

  29. Dr Fred Lenin

    Dont worry fella Victorians , the andrew daniels government is only a Hazelwood away from a solution to the crisis caused by coal, fired power ,yeah right!
    Bet the comrade state pollies phones and emails were running hot with abuse from the poor punters who lost power ,another day , couple more of 40 degree days then re run the election and see how the comrades fare ,poorly I think , even though there is no opposition party in Victoria , the one part stat,e the socialists dream just like the beloved Venezuela .

  30. Up The Workers!

    In the notorious third-world backwater of Dodgy Dan’s A.L.P. Mogadishu-by-the-Yarra, where sometimes we have electricity and sometimes we don’t and sometimes we have law and order and sometimes we don’t, one of his Cabinet Ministers, Lily D’Ambrosio (not sure whether she is one of the one-third of Dodgy’s dodgy Cabinet Ministers currently under active criminal investigation by the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad or not), promised that there would be absolutely zero chance of power black-outs as a result of the criminal negligence of the A.L.P. in deliberately running down the energy security of our power grid whilst prohibitively allowing the cost to be jacked up into the realms of unaffordability.

    Given that she is a senior member of the eponymous Bull Shitten’s “Australian Liars’ Party”, once she publicly Gillarded that there would be no black-out, it was a dead certainty that that would be exactly what would happen – and the other day, it did – leaving over 200,000 ripped-off taxpayers, voters and electricity consumers in this third-world Labor sewer, without any power in the middle of a dangerous heat-wave.

    This D’Ambrosio, who styles herself “The Honourable” (despite the fact that there was nothing even remotely honourable about her wilful gillarding on the topic of energy security), continues to draw her entirely unjustified massive Ministerial Salary, lurks, perks, schemes and scams despite being grossly untruthful, dishonourable and demonstrably incompetent in the performance of her responsibilities.

    BY way of attempting to deflect the blame, she incredibly pointed the crooked finger at…Jeff Kennett, of all people, who was actually Premier of Victoria 6 Premiers ago – i.e. Dodgy Dan, Denis Nap-Time, Ted Bailed-Out, Dumby, Bracks, then Kennett (or 7, if you count Dodgy Dan’s dodgy boss, Premier Setka).

    Way out West, some two metres down in the Skipton Municipal bone-yard, old Sir Henry Bolte, who has only been dead for 29 years, no doubt mopped his cadaverous brow and rejoiced that he had fortuitously ‘jumped the shark’ as far as Labor blame for last week’s black-out is concerned. Sir Robert Menzies has also apparently gotten off the hook (so far), though I suspect that Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell will be blamed by the Liars’ Party any day now.

    Like Murphy’s Law (Lionel’s or Bernie’s, take your pick), whatever can be stuffed up, Labor(sic) will stuff up…and then deceitfully blame somebody out of office for 20 years, for doing it.

    Labor(sic)…They couldn’t care less about “U”!

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