Around the windmills of the nation

Approaching 7am and the lowest demand of the week 20GW. Too early for solar to nudge the needle.
The score for Wind and Other in Qld is .001 to contribute to demand of 5.7, in NSW .190 for 8.1, Victoria .450 towards 4.2, SA bless their hearts 1 towards 1.1 and Tasmania 0 for 1.1. Come on Woolnorth in the wild and windy far north west, lift your game! The headline reads “Can this Tassie wind farm provide grid-stability services? We’re going to find out.”
SA still has the highest cost.
So if your lights are on don’t thank renewable energy.

Related. Smart metres could save 11 pounds a year in Britain! And interesting developments in Canada as the states start to kick back against the Trudeau regime.

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26 Responses to Around the windmills of the nation

  1. jock

    Rafe. Good stuff. But can i suggest a little spreadsheet with total demand then installed renewable capacity then renewable despatched. That would show the lack of energy the sods actually create as against installed capaci y. In agls annual report their wind farms show a generation of about 30 percent on installed capacity. But they have the best sites.

  2. stackja


    1.5 million pensioners to be stripped of energy supplement under the Turnbull Government
    ANNIKA SMETHURST, National Politics Editor, The Sunday Telegraph
    July 22, 2018 12:00am
    Subscriber only

    NEW welfare recipients will be up to $550 a year better off if Labor wins the election with Bill Shorten vowing to keep a cash bonus designed to help vulnerable Australians pay power bills.

    The Turnbull Government wants to scrap the energy supplement, worth $14 extra each fortnight for ­single pensioners, people with a disability, carers and Newstart recipients, and continues to bank the saving even though it lacks the support to abolish the supplement.

  3. Roberto

    There are provinces in Canada, not states.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Very unlikely that smart meters will save money. They are intended to inflate the electricity price during demand spikes. But demand spikes are because of things like cold or hot weather. Elderly people just cannot turn off the aircon, that is dangerous to do. So they will be soaked by the smart meter to keep themselves alive.

    However the energy companies won’t say any of this because there would be a humungous backlash. Which there should be.

    None of this would be occurring if not for the climate scam. So the energy companies are pushing a smart meters scam as a scam fix of a climate scam. Is there any wonder that energy companies are regarded as worse even than banks?

    Power companies less trusted by consumers than banks, telcos (5 June)

    They’re ranked dead bottom, behind even the MSM.

  5. min

    Rafe you can bet the Greenies will say that the reason the output is so low is that we do not have enough turbines . Spell it out for them the number needed and how much space etc required .

  6. Mater

    Rafe you can bet the Greenies will say that the reason the output is so low is that we do not have enough turbines .

    Partly, but they also want to spread the love. It goes like this:

    “We need widely dispersed, interconnected windfarms in all areas of the country. When the wind isn’t blowing in one region, it must surely be in another!”

  7. amortiser

    Have a look at the wind energy generation in South Australia. The last few days have been big for wind in SA but notice that when it hits 70% of nameplate in SA it is capped there. Somewhere between 1000 and 1100 mwh is the limit. So much for renewables taking over even in SA.

    There must be reasons for this. Maybe to keep the gas generators profitable so that they can cover when the wind drops. Maybe it’s an issue of grid stability. Has there been any official statement as to why this is the case?

  8. yarpos

    ““Can this Tassie wind farm provide grid-stability services? We’re going to find out.”

    The grid stability service required because of the instability that wind injects into the system. Then they sell it as an achievment or a benefit. You cant make this stuff up.

  9. Delta

    @amortiser #2769707, posted on July 22, 2018 at 9:11 am

    What is happening with wind energy in SA is that when there is too much of it for grid stability, AEMO intervenes and orders the dispatch of gas fired generation (Torrens Island and/or Pelican Point). This ‘out of merit’ dispatch order is to ensure that if (as classified by AEMO) a credible event occurs there is sufficient baseload generation on line to ensure that the system will ride through the event, i.e., AEMO is proactively managing the system to guard against another system black. They’ve learned the lesson from the SA system black nearly two year ago. And the generators ordered on line recover their additional costs through the electricity pool all of which adds to the electricity price.

    Also, wind generators have to be curtailed in very high wind conditions and will automatically shut down to protect the turbine. At the other end of the scale they are a net power consumer to keep their internal controls operational.

    If you look at the notices in NEM data dashboard dispatch overview you can see the AEMO market intervention notices. Mind you this is a short term fix because eventually unless more dispatchable generation with sufficient inertia is built, even AEMO will run out of suitable generators on the grid to dispatch to maintain frequency and stability when required.

    A final irony is that in AEMO’s recently released latest Integrated System Plan July 2018, in all scenarios going out decades AEMO rely on plugging in a certain amount of dispatchable generation to maintain frequency and stability though where the dickens that will come from is anyone’s guess. And finally AEMO run with the myth of constructing renewable energy zones across the country, connecting them all together with a massive investment in transmission lines all to obtain diversity of energy output. The only problem with this is that there are significant but indeterminate times when there is O output from these energy sources despite a lot of academic researchers claiming otherwise from their ivory towers.

    The whole thing is based on following the recommendations from the Finkel report which encapsulated the requirements of Malcom’s Emissions Trading Schem under the Paris agreement aided and abetted by the import from New York who now heads AEMO! Until that is scrapped along with Turnbull and any other supporter, the electricity grid will continue to be white-anted and major industries will leave. Eventually my professional assessment is there will be insufficient generation and the grid will collapse.

  10. Crossie

    Is there any wonder that energy companies are regarded as worse even than banks?

    Energy companies have been encouraged to be predatory by our own politicians and their enablers the media and those alchemists in academia who call themselves environmental scientists. These would be the same environmental scientists who discount the influence of sunspots and the Earth’s tilt on our climate but carbon dioxide is evil.

    What we are watching i our supposed scientific community with regard to carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to the debate in the Middle Ages as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Evidence be damned, it’s the vibe of the thing.

  11. NT Oldie

    FFS Champion stop pasting in live links which will change 10 minutes after you put them up. Either explain in detail what the readings are at the time you look or do a screen snip and put the image in an online library so they can be viewed any time later.

  12. Genghis

    In Germany now the renewable (mainly wind farms) electrical output is nearing total requirements, providing for all electrical power. There AEMO equivalent can restrict the fluctuating renewable power from entering the system BUT consumers pay the renewable companies 90% of the guaranteed amount. And who pays? – the German consumer.
    It is approaching 20 years since the great push for wind farms in Germany. Twenty years of little maintenance and more and more evidence of these turbines catching fire or melting down. Just the stuff we need in Western Victoria on a fire ban day 40 degrees with a southerly change arriving. We should ask who pays for the damage?

  13. Rafe Champion

    Thanks for all the comments. Yes Canada has provinces. Yes the situation changes from minute to minute, I post an approx. value for the time and the link is posted for people who want to have a look at the current situation when they turn up.
    I would like to see more explanation and analysis of the wrinkles and complexities in the system and also more on the performance in places like Germany where I though the wind capacity was capped because it was making the grid unstable.
    My suggestion is to put up a post in the early morning and other people can comment with the latest numbers from time to time during the day.
    Those with extra information like jock and amortiser and Genghis are invited to provide additional analysis and insights. I have got a major writing project and I don’t have time to take on board the full complexities of this area, important as it is. So please other people help!

  14. Rafe Champion

    So at 11.40 Wind and Other in SA are producing more than the piddling demand and the price is minus $357 compared with 40 to 50 interstate. I suppose they think that makes it worthwhile:)
    Make that minus $1000 in SA at 11.45.

  15. classical_hero

    Currently SA is producing so much wind power that prices for energy is -$1,000mw/h. Also many interconncters are red. Interesting times.

  16. RobK

    I agree with Delta’s comments.
    Additional to:What is happening with wind energy in SA is that when there is too much of it for grid stability, AEMO intervenes and orders the dispatch of gas fired generation
    I note that the parameters for frequency excursion ride through were increased so the wind farms could hang-in longer before being dropped off suddenly (causing catastrophic blackout). This is a compromise and the mandate of a minimum spinning reserve is hoped to mitigate the risk. It’s a compromise of what were standards. There are also measures taken in the loading of feeders of various regions of distributed generation. This is an example of what i was alluding to the other day, where this whole thing is an experiment with many costs an short-commings yet to be found and dealt with. Finkel addressed these issues very briefly and suggested more boards and panels for increased oversight. No costings of RE includes these “unknowns”, which are none the less inevitable.

  17. md

    interesting developments in Canada

    What a surprise: another ‘conservative’ politician who did nothing while in office to roll back the Left’s agenda, but now has lots to say about everything.
    Speaking of ‘conservatives’, can anyone tell me what the new South Australian government has done to roll back the Left’s energy agenda? No, don’t bother – we all know the answer.
    Looking around the world we have leftist ‘conservatives’ in the UK Tories deliberately trying to derail Brexit, we have the leftist EU threatening to prosecute Poland for attempting to purge the Left from its institutions and to prosecute Hungary for trying to preserve its culture and social cohesion, and in the US we have people being charged with all manner of things and then – under threat of jail and financial ruin – being offered immunity if they provide ‘testimony’. And we all know what the target is.
    Can anyone point to a single example of the mainstream community having a win against the haters, elitists and globalists of the Left? Again, don’t bother – we all know the answer. And the corollary: can anyone point to any society in which freedoms are being protected rather than assaulted, the institutions of the country are acting in the interests of the mainstream community, politicians are acting out of principle rather than self-interest, the cost of living is declining, social cohesion is being preserved, crime and anti-social behaviour are declining, and children are being taught the social and job skills that will lead to greater social cohesion? Again, don’t bother.
    The battle is over – the Left have won.

  18. Megan

    At least the Canadians have woken up to the higher prices 11c per kw…oh, to have ours down there. Just got our quarterly bill for gas and electricity – $1500! For two people to heat hot water and warm and light the house in the record breaking winter. And we were away for two weeks of that quarter.

    They, at least, have a choice. We can only choice between high and higher.

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    Rafe ,can you work out how many ugly bird killing noisy windmills it would take to supply baseload power for one hour ,also how many solar panels ? Aussies have always liked a punt ,but not with their electricity,the whole energy fiasco is the result of a lot of failed lawtradespersons playing silly buggers added by taxleaches of various sorts ,it’s time we got the pest exterminators in the whole think reeks of corruption .

  20. Dr Faustus

    “Can this Tassie wind farm provide grid-stability services? We’re going to find out.”

    The answer is “sort of“, providing you enjoy anal penetration with a pineapple.

    Wind farms can readily be configured to provide frequency stability services – the electrical engineering/technology is long established. The only issue is whether running windmills in low/no output mode, waiting for an opportunity to bid for ancillary services, makes economic sense for the rent seekers renewable generators.

    The Hornsdale Stage 2 trial in March 2018 illustrates the massive commercial success of wind FCAS. Faced with the ‘challenge’ of providing supply frequency control to a scheduled outage of the Heywood interconnector, Hornsdale was able to provide limited frequency support to SA (in conjunction with the Musk battery) for only $300/MWh.

    In comparison, coal fired power stations provide ancillary support to the NEM, day-in, day-out, for about $0.50/MWh to $1.00/MWh.

    Plus, the system support provided by windmills is limited to frequency control. Windmills do not provide inertia/load maintenance, voltage support, or restart support.

  21. RobK

    Dr Fred,
    Rafe ,can you work out how many ugly bird killing noisy windmills it would take to supply baseload power for one hour ,also how many solar panels ? 
    Many have tried. It’s always based on very many assumptions including weather, politics, technology, economics, demographics etc. The ABC and some academics say baseload no longer exists but thats because we have RE causing massive fluctations (they dont say that of course).

  22. Delta

    @ Dr Faustaus – windmills can only provide FCAS if they are running at the time. When a year or so ago at an Electrical Engineering conference, AEMO announced that they would be trialing a windfarm to provide FCAS, I questioned the presenter (a very senior manager from AEMO) what the thinking was behind this idea? My point was that even if a windfarm could provide some form of FCAS, what would AEMO do? Stack many of them up on their system to call on whatever one was available at the time FCAS was required? How many would be stacked up in this way and what would be the limit before signalling latency stuffed the thing up and FCAS was called from traditional sources? There was no real answer to the question. One final comment – at the time FCAS is needed it is quite possible that wind turbines could be in operational difficulty.

    The whole concept is insane. Perhaps not all is lost because in AEMO’s ISP modelling assumptions they give windmills no firming capacity.

    But the insanity continues. I’m waiting to see what happens with the NEG at next month’s COAG meeting not that it will prove to be a fix to world record high prices.

  23. Dr Fred Lenin

    It’s a strong step towards the Venezuela Option when you willfully chose the most unreliable form of power generation over the tried and true coal fired option . This reeks of reducing all countries to the p\lowest common denominator ,an old communist ploy to gain and keep political power . They do it in the education system ,where the brighter pupils are dragged down to the same level as the unteachable cretins who are destined to be welfarists for life . It all starts with power,no electricity limits opportunity and progress placing evert]ything in the hands of the few opportunists .

  24. wal1957

    The ABC and some academics say baseload no longer exists

    I would say that it will not exist in the near future if we keep on closing down our fossil fuel generators.
    Their ABC and the unreliable rentseekers do not know how to provide base load power.

    I had to laugh a while ago when I read somewhere that ‘base load power is old technology, what is needed now is peak power’. Well you certainly get plenty of peaks with unreliables, the trouble is you also get plenty of troughs as well. Gawd, some people are just so dumb it’s amazing that they are still breathing!

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