Lobbing the choke point stone into the windpower pond

Great excitement at RenewEconomy where they report that wind power matched brown coal in the September quarter. We will see if there is any reaction to the reminder in comments about the choke point problem.

Petkovic says wind power also set a new record for the highest ever electricity generation in the third quarter, in this case driven by new capacity coming on line, particularly in Victoria, which now trails the long-term leader of wind generation – South Australia – by just two per cent.

The nascent wind industry in Queensland – the Mr Emerald and the still to be completed Cooper’s Gap wind farm – is also revealed in red.

There have also been outages at units of the Loy Yang A and Yallourn, which have contributed to the dip in electricity generation from brown coal.

But Petkovic pointed out that the electricity generated from variable renewables in the July-September quarter was higher than that of brown coal in any of the last five quarters.

UPDATE. There are a couple of rejoinders from the wind fans in the comments in case people would like to join the conversation.

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27 Responses to Lobbing the choke point stone into the windpower pond

  1. struth

    If it is unreliable it is surplus to requirements and without taxpayer subsidies would not exist.
    To move out of the stone age, power is required 24/7.
    Wind and solar cannot do this and batteries cannot store for long enough.
    Renewables are nothing but tools to destroy the west ,while the corrupt pushing this shit, make money stealing taxes.

  2. RobK

    From the link:

    The output for the last three months from utility scale solar generation was 1,300HWh – almost three times the generation in the same time last year, which reflected the growth from newly connected solar farms in Queensland such as the Clermont, Haughton, and Rugby Run installations, and despite the fact that many facilities were turned off on occasions due to negative pricing.

    .Curtailment is on the increase. Surprise. Costs will rise.
    Facilities turned off due to either no demand, no suitable transmission, no suitable storage or just precarious loading (you wouldn’t want a cloud coming over just as we’ve maxed out some feeders).
    No further mention is made of negative pricing for wind power. No mention of the extra cost of FCAS (frequency control ancillary services ). It’s still a circus and getting worse. Coal is being snuffed out, as designed. The system will become less stable as complexities increase.
    The brave new hope is hydrogen derived fuel storage. It’s a long way off. Presently hydrocarbons are the cheapest source of bulk hydrogen. To me this implies it will only work if cost goes up. A long way to go, especially with the joys of H2 embrittlement and the fugitive nature of H2. It is very much the long game.
    Why are we still cross subsidising when it is claimed RE is now cheaper.
    I note that RE and Snowy 2.0 feel that the consumer needs to stump up the extra transmission capex because it is a common good. Beauty.

  3. RobK

    You will note, the choke-point was not mentioned in the article (it’s not that kind of article).
    The choke-point concept highlights the need for redundancy of alternative supply (hence cost).
    The industry response is: RE is primarily about carbon emissions reduction. This justifies sucking the life blood from coal power, and the economy generally, in the vain hope that sunk costs in short-lived RE will see us through to eternity after dirty coal is gone. There are some nasty surprises in store.

  4. Herodotus

    The post-Hazelwood total, with outages from other plants? What a crock.
    As Struth says above, wind and solar are being used as destructive force. They belong to isolated off-grid applications.
    Will our politicians ever have the courage to stop the rot?
    Probably not unless there are wholesale sackings of the media class who are the principal lying buttresses for the big scam.

  5. Remember Denmark – masses of wind power, but usually needs nuclear power from across the North Sea or from France because of intermittency.

    Wind power is never cheap or reliable.

    It is like owning a power station that has a high breakdown rate and unpredictable run times.

    You cannot match demand to supply except on a blue moon.

    By the characteristics of the market, it can never be profitable.

  6. sfw

    Isn’t reliable supply more important that unpredictable volume?

  7. Can you imagine the outcry if the supply of milk (or petrol/diesel) operated in the same way as unreliables?

  8. The point is supply is unreliable but demand usually isn’t, yes you’re correct sfw.

  9. BoyfromTottenham

    Kill the RET. This cunning, devious and obscene multi-billion dollar per year hidden tax/subsidy scheme is silently destroying the economics of base load power generation in Australia, whilst attracting huge amounts of investment in useless wind and solar ‘generation’. Stop the RET. Nothing else matters.

  10. Aynsley Kellow

    It is worth noting that September is probably the windiest month of the year – when what are known as the equinoxal gales are blowing as the Hadlet cells shift south for summer. The bottom of the high pressure systems (strong westerlies) are over southern Australia.

  11. Nob

    Frank Walker from National Tiles
    #3188821, posted on October 20, 2019 at 6:53 am
    Remember Denmark – masses of wind power, but usually needs nuclear power from across the North Sea or from France because of intermittency

    Across the Baltic from Sweden actually.

    Denmark, a flattish country smaller in area than Gippsland, is linked by power cable from Norway (900 hydro dams. 900!) , Sweden (hydro and nuclear), and Germany. It is either bordering or across seas less distance than Moe to Melbourne. I mean you can drive to Sweden and get a train from the island of Zealand to Germany.

    Love the place myself, done plenty business with Maersk Oil (now part of Total but still drilling) and DONG (sold their oilfields but still burning biomass, I’ve been to the plant, loses money), but greenies citing them as an example are pathetically wrong.

  12. flyingduk

    Better check the oil in my home genny then. Its run 146 hours in 3 years, here in Weatherill’s renewable utopia.

  13. Rafe Champion

    What happened overnight, the fossil fuel output recorded on one of the AEMO sources spiked down almost to zero in the small hours.

    It shows on the MW but not the % chart.

  14. Stanley

    Very strange indeed. No mention, nothing on Climate Emergency, ruinables on your ABC Insiders this morning. Nothing to see here, move along….. Not really an emergency after all!

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    Thats good ,the government cannow remove subsidies from this wonderfull industry that supplies Free power ,one question hiwever ,hy are my power bills so high ?

  16. RobK

    It shows on the MW but not the % chart.
    It shows on wind and hydro MW chart too. Perhaps an instrument error.

  17. Sydney Boy

    The RenewEconomy blog is a toilet

  18. I_am_not_a_robot

    “This is a significant tipping point in the transition to clean energy”


  19. Rafe Champion

    Nice display robot, there area similar charts for the whole world today and projected to 2040, hardly any change! The world has nuclear of course.

  20. I don’t know how many eagles and bats Australia has but I assume there are fewer than before the wind power ramp up. In the US wind turbines kill 500,000 bats and thousands of eagles, which are a felony to kill except for wind farms . Those numbers are per year,

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    What will the situation be when the apocylyptic us bushfires predicted by the BOM comrades burn down all the windmills and melt the solar panels ?
    Just watched landline , the gangrene comrades mentioned the global warming disaster lots of times , so the science must be settled ,we will definately all be rooned before the year is out.
    Landline is the only alpbc thing I assosciate with ,they have turned an interesting informative country show into a propaganda indoctrination lesson .
    Moaning about the lack of voluneer firefighters ,they indoctrinate people with socialism then expect them to volunteer to do some thing free? When did a socialist ever do anything for nothing ?
    A Socialist Volunteer,a real oxymoron .

  22. Shaun

    Graph’s are always interesting to read, especially the power graphs, the % graph always looks like their is huge amounts of power. You need to look very carefully at the totals. I am always looking at these being from South Australia. When the graph is in MW the total is always low. In a month there is days and days where the wind farms altogether generate less than 200MW a day. Days and days of less than 1,000MW. You get times when they produce basically zero and their is nothing that can be done to increase the output. Nothing at all as their is absolutely no control. Imagine buying a car that would all of a sudden slow to a crawl on the highway. The accelerator doesn’t operate correctly, speeding up and slowing with no control. And then on some days it won’t even start. The worst part of it all is that it is the most expensive car in the car yard. You would never buy one of those, that is, unless you are using someone else’s money.
    Yet whenever we hear of new wind farms or solar plants it is always nameplate capacity used to announce it, not what it actually produces.

  23. Killing birds etc? It’s only a few:

    While the study did find a negative effect on some breeding birds,…

    Overall, the researchers estimate that about 150,000 birds are affected by wind turbines in the U.S. every year. This includes both direct and indirect effects; that is, bird collisions with turbines as well as changes in bird habitat due to wind disturbances and other factors.


    The lies just never stop.

  24. Chris M

    It is like owning a power station that has a high breakdown rate and unpredictable run times

    Let me guess, it’s staffed by unions!

  25. Rafe Champion

    UPDATE. There are a couple of rejoinders from the wind fans in the comments in case people would like to join the conversation.

  26. yarpos

    Bit academic isnt it? unless the power is delivered when you want it and will continue that way every day.

    I guess we should also celebrate the increasing levels of instability and additional cost required to support wind power. Never mind though, just keep chanting “downward pressure on costs” just like Lily.

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