While the ACCC’s Rod Sims may have had a Damascene conversion when he noted that he would like to get the price of electricity down half a dozen years after the reason for the price surge became obvious (hint look at the forced growth of subsidised renewables). What he will do about it, short of reinforcing the cries on this blog to abandon regulation, is anybody’s guess. (Post script, the Australian Energy Regulator which is housed within the ACCC, having been in November 2016 asked to report on price rises in the wake of the Hazelwood closure, reported today that ……. the price rises were caused by the reduced competition following the Hazelwood closure!)
One direction where the regulators need not look for advice is the well resourced agitprop on-line daily, Reneweconomy. The publication never skips a beat in telling us how cheap batteries, wind and solar are (it seems to have a down on that other magic pudding, Snowy2, probably because they have not come to the fund-fest).
In a recent analysis it got pulled up by the more cerebral publication Watt Clarity
Using their conventional hype Reneweconomy produced this chart which purported to show how, with the trip failure of one of those geriatric, satanic coal plants, the state-of-the-art batteries the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) had filled the gap and saved the nation by immediately swinging on line as portrayed in the chart below.
Impressive! And the propaganda sheet rubbed it in saying, ““by the time that the contracted Gladstone coal unit had gotten out of bed and put its socks on so it can inject more into the grid – it is paid to respond in six seconds – the fall in frequency had already been arrested and was being reversed”.
However it turns out that Reneweconomy, in its zeal to promote new power sources, shifted the goalposts so that the battery output was exaggerated over one hundred fold. The correct measure is as follows with the battery contribution comprising the almost invisible yellow at the bottom of the following chart.
A mixture of mainly fossil fuel stations expanded output and filled the gap within one minute.
Morals of the story: (i)batteries may have a role but they are dear; (ii) always seek verification of assertions made by propagandists!