David Bidstrup: Where were the renewables when we needed them?

Yesterday’s Australian had an article by Nick Cater where he reported an interview on 3AW with the Victorian Energy Minister. With the looming energy crisis this coming summer she was asked “can you guarantee supply?” The following charts show the percentage of demand met by the different generators on January 18 2018, a day when temperatures “soared” into the 40’s and electricity prices “soared” to $14,500.00 per MWh.

The numbers come from the AEMO reports that list each generators output every five minutes. With a bit of fiddling around it is possible to split the production into component parts and then analyse the percentage of demand met by the different generators in 5 minute increments during the day. My source is Aneroid Energy.

The first chart shows the daily demand curve. There are 288 5 minute increments on the X axis.

The next shows the percentage of demand met by coal, gas and hydroelectricity.

Next is the contribution from wind and solar. Note that I did not plot them against coal, gas and hydro because they would not show up on the chart.

The table below summarises the total production for the day and the % supplied by each type. Note that coal, gas and hydro provided 97.7% of the required energy and renewables just 2.3%.

  COAL GAS HYDRO WIND SOLAR
MWh 396,753 61,939 51,824 9,469 2,509
% SUPPLIED 75.9% 11.9% 9.9% 1.8% 0.5%
      97.7%   2.3%

 

The peak wind was 3% at around 4.30 a.m. and peak solar was 1.3% at 10.35 a.m. so their peaks were about 6 hours apart.

The following day was also one of high demand, high prices and poor renewable performance. Looking at the numbers I think it is time to get a generator before next summer hits.

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52 Responses to David Bidstrup: Where were the renewables when we needed them?

  1. Rohan

    Note that I did not plot them against coal, gas and hydro because they would not show up on the chart.

    You need a bigger chart.

  2. GoWest

    Blind Freddy can see the problem. Greedy Andrews can see the “revenue”. Guess who will win – stupid Vics voted him in they have to deal with the cost.

  3. Ceres

    Yes it’s sad for us down here n Victoria who did NOT vote for dopey Daniel. To wake the low information voters out of their stupor there needs to be lots of blackouts here. We will all have to suffer but as the lefties have no ability to see the consequences of this renewable madness, then so be it. Resolve in the way of encouraging coal and gas may then eventuate. No doubt dopey Daniel has his diesel generator ready to spring into life.

  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    One day there will be an opposition party in Victoria ,the only reason andrews is there is because there is no liberal party any more only labor labour lite and the communists (gangrenes) . A few long blackouts on a 40c days and with climate crisis we will get plenty of them , that will muster the will to end the madness and absolute theft of consumers money . Hopefully with dire consequences to the scammers .
    I read where the climate scam is the biggest rip off of money from the poor to the rich .

  5. billie

    Honeywell 1.3KW, runs on Natural Gas, same as your house does – no need for petrol or diesel storage facilities

  6. Rafe Champion

    That is nowhere near the worst case scenario where wind is at the choke point, the lowest it gets, around 3% of plated capacity or less. Not sure how it pans out over whole days but maybe an hour at that point is enough.
    A back of envelope calculation suggests the wind on that day was 8 to 10% of plated capacity. Quite brisk compared with the choke point:)
    You might like to check that and also explore how many days of the year it gets down near that point.

  7. Megan

    Honeywell 1.3KW, runs on Natural Gas, same as your house does – no need for petrol or diesel storage facilities

    Tell me more about this. We have budgeted for a gas generator before summer hits. Does it cut in automatically? Was it expensive? How big a house will 1.3KW cover? The morons who believe in this renewables shit need to experience several serious blackouts to bring them back to reality. I don’t intend to suffer along with them.

  8. Wallace

    So, if we reduce demand by 2.3%, we will not need any wind or sun at all.

  9. MACK

    Bring it on – the Not-Very-Bright learn only by experience (see Carbon Tax).

  10. Dr Fred Lenin

    Imsure the important innersuburbs will get power 24/7 they are so much more woke than the prole suburbs where the workers live, I mean how can you make a soy latte without power?

  11. Ben

    On one hand D’Ambrosio is claiming glory for pushing subsidised renewables, then blames Angus Taylor for the risk this strategy creates.

  12. Leo G

    How big a house will 1.3KW cover?

    That would cover a house with a daytime living area of about 8 square metre.

  13. Rob MW

    NASA Predicts Next Solar Cycle will be Lowest in 200 Years (Dalton Minimum Levels) + the Implications

    NASA is effectively forecasting a return to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) but gives no mention of the brutal cold, crop loss, famine, war and powerful Volcanic eruptions associated with it:

    Of interest:
    Professor Valentina Zharkova’s ‘Expanded’ Analysis still Confirms Super Grand Solar Minimum (2020-2055)

  14. RobK

    How big a house will 1.3KW cover?
    A fridge, small tele and a few lights….essentials only.

  15. George

    I’m sort of looking forward in a cynical way to serious blackouts where grocery store refrigerators go warm en masse, food has to be discarded and re-stocking is several days away. The proverbial will hit the fan.

  16. billie

    Sorry, 13kw and it’s 1.2 m long, a metre high and a bit over half a metre wide. Sits out the front of the house. Self starts when supply drops.

    Starts once a week to test run for 15 mins

    Expensive? more than $10k, but not much

    Peace of mind, priceless.. I live in Victoria and have no faith in the government

  17. Mark A

    RobK
    #3147147, posted on September 3, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    How big a house will 1.3KW cover?
    A fridge, small tele and a few lights….essentials only.

    Definitely not a fridge, notoriously hungry for grunt at starting up.

  18. RobK

    Mark A,
    Many fridges are 1/4 horsepower or around 200W and draw around 1kW momentarily at starting.
    Regardless, 13 kW is a good size to cover most households. 1.3kW is for camping with a tent.

  19. RobK

    Davids first two graphs illustrate the “peaking “capacity of hydro and gas over a baseload of coal and gas.
    The renewables are an expensive hinderance to reliable supply. A predominately renewables grid will not be as robust, nor as cost effective as what we had due to complexity and necessary redundancy of installed capacity and associated control and transmission infrastructure.

  20. woolfe

    Victoria are so rooted, but hey they voted for it and the opposition are mute. Without someone that can break through the ABC crud the great unwashed are blissfully unaware of their dark hot future.

  21. Jimbo

    Yes, the renewable madness is bad enough for our Victorian cousins. But the whole of the eastern (AEMO) grid is in trouble when the winds don’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

    I live in northern NSW and I have three generators on stand by.

    Using a randomly selected time and date I recently looked at the problem from the viewpoint of our South Australian cousins:

    SA Electricity: Checking at random on SA electricity (at 09.27 PM AEST on 27.08.19) the picture was:

    Generation: 1,525 MW from
    Gas 1,252 MW
    Wind 261 MW
    Battery Storage 12 MW

    Demand: 1,795 MW
    Shortfall ( 270 MW)

    The AEMO Data Dashboard data for the same time (recorded on a Tuesday evening after the time of the evening meal on the east coast; it was a cold night so heating appliances would have been turned on in many homes) showed that
    > Tasmania was just in positive territory with Generation exceeding Demand by only 8 MW; whilst
    > SA, Vic and NSW were all in negative territory with Demand exceeding Generation.

    The Eastern grid was being kept alive by Qld producing surplus electricity. Not surprisingly, the Qld Generation was produced by black coal (5.897 MW) and Gas (1,256 MW) being 96% of total generation.

    (Perhaps I should send a copy of this calculation to Qld Deputy Premier Jackie Trad who hates coal with inner city Brisbane leftie Labor passion.)

    AEMO Data Dashboard Screen Shot
    The electricity prices for each state in the eastern grid on 27/08/19 are in the table below (at p 14).

    Average prices for Electricity on 27/08/19
    STATE / RRP (1.) / PEAK RRP (2.)
    __________________________________
    $ per MW

    NSW 115.87 125.16
    QLD 79.86 82.68
    SA 125.84 135.4
    TAS 17.38 26.43
    VIC 124.42 135.11
    ____________________________________
    Notes: (1.) RRP is the average spot price for the whole day
    (2.) PEAK RRP is the average peak price from
    7.00 AM to 10.00 PM EST for the day
    Source: AEMO Data Dashboard
    https://aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market- NEM/Data-dashboard#average-price-table

    Tasmania had the cheapest electricity. (Hydro Tasmania manages 40 dams of which 16 were full and a further 14 were less than 2.0 metres from full.)
    Source: https://www.hydro.com.au/water/lake-levels

    I leave it to each Cat to work out for her/him self how it is that SA and Vic appear to be competing to produce the most expensive electricity with NSW not far behind them.

    [With apologies for the lack of formatting on this device. Ignore the page number references which come from my workings.]

  22. Flyingduk

    I run a fuel injected, autostart, petrol Honda 7kVa in SA. I didnt go for a big diesel because they dont like low load running, and my house draws as little as 800w when nothing major is running. It copes with fridge, washer, kettle and house pressure pump if needed, although it blinks momentarily when the house pump starts. I would caution against a big diesel lest the bores glaze with low load idling. It went in 3yrs ago after our 3 day state black, cost around 10k including full autostart system, and has run 140h since.

  23. EJ.

    Honeywell and Generac are the same..Generac is rated 4.8 stars out of 5.
    Generac

  24. Geoff

    Go halves in a 13kw system with your neighbor

  25. Megan

    I live in Victoria and have no faith in the government.

    #metoo

    Thanks, billie and other Cats who chimed in. As long as it keeps the fridge and the hot water going at slightly larger than 8 sq metres Villa Chaos, it will be worth it.

  26. Geoff

    Hang on, do you still have gas in Victoria?

  27. Terry

    There has to be an option for consumers to vote with their feet and sign-up to ‘fossil-fuel-only’ electricity supply.

    I do not want to fund the madness of wind and solar.

  28. billie

    if power fails over summer in victoria, my business and many other businesses stop running without internet or computers working

    with the generator, I can work from home and keep things running .. that assumes internet access, but that’s way beyond my control

    fridge and freezer can be kept running, children can continue to study (!) and our home entertainment keeps going, lights alarm systems and all that

    what kind of run on home appliances pwered by gas bottles or whatever do you think will happen if power goes out for a few days statewide?

    we bullshyte about a space industry in Australia, the stars are the limit, but we can’t even guarantee basic power any more

    if gas goes off as well, I am screwed and it’s down to portable solar panels and voltage converters

    if you have grid tied solar, it will not work in a blackout for safety reasons and the variability of it.

    have a good look at what you have powered by electricity and what happens if you are not home all the time the power is out, if you are on vacation or even overseas

    I have lived in a 3rd world country for years and never had the reliability concerns I have here

    just stupid, but who am I to argue with democracy, this is clearly what people want and I am completely outnumbered by voters who have different opinions to mine in Victoria

  29. RobK

    Go halves in a 13kw system with your neighbor
    This can get tricky, when it comes to compliance with regs.
    Those who virtue signal and harvest subsidies will, unfortunately, likely be able to spend up and have a battery backed UPS quality inverter which can easily have a genset cycling to periodically charge the battery. These are like the inverters used in stand-alone, off-grid applications (see: Selectronic inverter). They are around $10k for the inverter, 10k for the battery, and 10-ish for the backup genset, and 3-5k for solar panels….less any subsidies on offer. Pull up the ladder Jack.

  30. stevem

    Just so long as they shut the link down from NSW to stop Vic dragging us down too. The last thing we need is for a problem in SA or Vic to drag down the eastern grid – A black restart is not something anybody wants to contemplate.
    I was in Malaysia in 1992 when the entire country was blacked out for a day – the lights didn’t work, but more importantly there were many little facets of life that fail as well. Just little things like water pumping that stops the taps, thousands trapped in lifts. I spent the day in my hotel room overlooking one of the busiest intersections in Malaysia watching the chaos of 10 lanes of traffic (total) with no lights.

  31. RobK

    Steve,
    the lights didn’t work
    And sewage transfer pumping stations have to rely on emergency gensets.

  32. Jock

    More importantly, what was the installed nominal capacity of wind and solar? And how did this compare to despatched performance? You will find that Win=d had installed capacity of perhaps 5-6000 MW but only produced a few percent of that. AGLs own figures show an average output of about 25% of nominal. Solar is about 15%. Solar at least should be better in Summer but is woeful in winter ….as the Germans have discovered.

  33. Terry

    billie
    #3147353, posted on September 4, 2019 at 10:05 am
    “this is clearly what people want and I am completely outnumbered by voters who have different opinions to mine in Victoria”

    100%. This is precisely why politics and consequence must be tied together.

    If you want “renewables”, you get “renewables” and all of the joys that go with it.

    If you want coal, you get coal.

    Don’t go making me pay for your “renewables” then go stealing my coal when your “renewables” go missing.

  34. Chris M

    You may be able to claim a fuel tax credit if using petrol / diesel for the generator. Diesel fumes aren’t good for your health, personally I’d go petrol or gas.

  35. Pyrmonter

    @ Terry, @ billie, @ Mack, @ Rafe

    We could of course have avoided all of this by using a simple, fairly well understood single policy measure targeted directly at the issue – either a Carbon Tax or an ETS – and have allowed the network to work reliably in accordance with the usual operations of a free market. But no, the ‘Right’ had to duck and weave around 3 word slogans, leave the LRET in place (no 3 word slogan) but ‘ditch the tax’.

    This mess has as many parents on the ‘right’ as on the left and among the kludge-ocracy.

  36. Tim Neilson

    We could of course have avoided all of this by using a simple, fairly well understood single policy measure targeted directly at the issue

    What issue?

  37. Megan

    There’s no arguing with the brain dead who imagine a tax could solve an imaginary problem. Canute ably demonstrated to his court the futility of humans imagining that they could control what the planet does. 99% of graduates of the current closed shop of so-called education won’t even know who I am talking about.

    Only two things change behaviour – pain or consequences. And my fellow Victorians who have Chairman Dan or Mr Invisible to choose from are going to discover this through personal experience.

    I’m building a pantry to rival that of my old granny who had to manage with a coolgardie safe and a wood fire for most of her life. Imagine the chaos at ColesWorths if there is no power for the fridges for a couple of days.

  38. MikeO

    Hi David

    Your article is very interesting you have approached from the demand end a very similar thing to what I have approached from the dispatch end. Essentially we have the same sort of results but it would appear there is far less renewable demanded than is dispatched. I have the dispatched data from 2014 to 2018 inclusive. This is in a SQL Server database and I am a retired analyst programmer. My concern is that we will never actually get to 50% but nevertheless we are headed for failures of the system. There is little realisation of the fact in 2018 the entire wind energy dispatched was a bit less than what the Bayswater power station in the Hunter Valley dispatched. I hope you read this could you contact me and perhaps we can collaborate. You can get me on [email protected]

  39. Diogenes

    We could of course have avoided all of this by using a simple, fairly well understood single policy measure targeted directly at the issue – either a Carbon Tax or an ETS – and have allowed the network to work reliably in accordance with the usual operations of a free market.

    What issue ? We could have just kept burning coal, or if really pushed just build a reactor somewhere. Why break what works ?

  40. Tim Neilson

    99% of graduates of the current closed shop of so-called education won’t even know who I am talking about.

    And another 0.99% would get it wrong, believing that it was Canute who thought he could control the tides.

  41. Roger

    Why break what works ?

    To appease an angry Gaia, silly.

  42. Doc Fred has it right.
    Load shedding will mainly hit the ‘burbs because houses can open windows. The ChiCom Dogboxes will get power to run their ventilation systems because fair.
    Power reconnection will go to the ChiCom Dogboxes because necessary.
    So sorry, ‘burbs.

  43. Tim Neilson

    So sorry, ‘burbs.

    To be fair, the tall towers of Existence Pods need electricity to operate the lifts. So there’s a plausible rationale for favouring them over low rise dwellings.

    On the other hand, low rise dwellings predominate in marginal electorates, so the position isn’t as simple as it might seem.

  44. egg_

    The ChiCom Dogboxes will get power to run their ventilation systems because fair.

    Even so, [email protected] Chinks would prefer to open a window than use forced ventilation that costs money.
    Comrade.

  45. yarpos

    The general population wont wake up until there are major black outs. With D’Ambrosio and Andrews focussed on completly the worng areas (except if the objective is virtue signalling) ten said blackouts are a rolled gold certainty over the next couple of summers.

    For those interested in standby by generators and what will run what, we purchased a 3.4kVA (think of it as KW for simplicity) last summer and had the switchboard wired to facilitate changeover to generator supply. This is sufficient to run a large split system, fridge and ceiling fans which is all we care about on a 40c+ day. It will also handle the starting load of a house water pump (seperately , not on top of the listed stuff) so it can be used to power house water supply in the event of fire which is a nice addition to a big arse 4 stroke fire pump. All this was tested and used for real during a 4 hour outage. For home generators I really wouldnt go below 3.4kVA unless you just want to run a fridge and lights.

  46. Barry White

    As the Victorian pollies & others do not realise that 5 – 6 results in a negative number then
    the governor should be asked to suspend parliament on the grounds of insanity.

  47. yarpos

    Stevem talks about the souterners dragging NSW down. Seems blissfully unaware of his dependency on QLD just about every day. Good old Sydney arrogance.

  48. stevem

    No, yarpos, I am fully aware of NSW’s dependence upon QLD. My point is that if any one segment has a catastrophic failure it must not ripple thorough the entirety of the grid. (Grid is a bit grandiose when it’s actually more like a chain.)

    https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

  49. Terry

    @ Tim Neilson
    #3147478, posted on September 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    “need electricity to operate the lifts”…”So there’s a plausible rationale for favouring them over low rise dwellings.”

    Nope. They’re more likely to live in inner-city Leftardsville and therefore vote for “renewables”.

    They can take the fucking stairs or glue themselves to the street out front. I really don’t care which.

    The first electorates to experience load-shedding should be:
    Melbourne (VIC), Sydney (NSW), Grayndler (NSW) & Canberra (ACT)

    No coal-fired power for you.

    Someone has to make the point about consequences…

  50. egg_

    The general population wont wake up until there are major black outs.

    +1

    Then they’ll be screaming blue murder.

  51. V

    Just look at the output at 6am this morning (5 September 2019), wind was producing just 400MW (out of a total installed capacity of 6700MW) and solar was producing 0MW (out of a total installed capacity of 8000MW. Meanwhile, demand was 20.6MW

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