Fast tracking unreliable energy. What could go wrong?

How come they got this far and found out that the grid was set up to serve a finite number of reliable providers. Now the connections to the grid have become the missing links in the green energy transition.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has already warned of a mismatch between the levels of renewables and a grid that is unprepared for them.

The generators, buoyed by the government’s Renewable Energy Target which encouraged more projects, are running the risks of becoming stranded or useless.

Wind farms in western Victoria and south-eastern Queensland and solar farms in western NSW are particularly at risk.

One potential project, the $8 billion, 2000 megawatt Star of the South offshore wind farm off Victoria’s coast – which could provide more power than the closed Hazelwood coal-fired power station – has no way to provide power to the grid yet is still rolling ahead.

AEMO executive general manager for planning and forecasting, David Swift, said while western Victoria has become a hotspot for renewable generation due to wind and solar resources in the region, it lacks the infrastructure to connect it all.

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29 Responses to Fast tracking unreliable energy. What could go wrong?

  1. Roger

    How come they got this far and found out that the grid was set up to serve a finite number of reliable providers.

    Never get between a bunch of rent seeking cowboys and a pot of government money.

    And connecting those wind and solar farms to the grid is going to be eye wateringly expensive.

    Guess who’s going to pay for it?

    The buck stops with the consumer/tax payer.

  2. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    AEMO executive general manager for planning and forecasting, David Swift, said while western Victoria has become a hotspot for renewable generation due to wind and solar resources in the region, it lacks the infrastructure to connect it all.

    OPM to the rescue!

  3. RobK

    These issues have been known about for decades. The insidious part is that low penetration of RE is relatively harmless and easily accommodated, as the rot progresses the cost will increase and the amenity will decrease.

  4. Tom

    How come they got this far and found out that the grid was set up to serve a finite number of reliable providers.

    Get with the program, Rafe. Our new centrally planned communist/fascist economy was designed to destroy capitalism and the past century of Australian wealth creation. We will not be denied our Eastern European shithole future.

  5. egg_

    How come they got this far and found out that the grid was set up to serve a finite number of reliable providers. Now the connections to the grid have become the missing links in the green energy transition.

    Cowed/corrupt technocrats.

  6. Nob

    They shouted down critics and denied grid reality.

    They admit the problem only now that they think they’ve won.

  7. Nob

    “I” care for the environment.

    “You” have to change to renewables.

    “We” have got a problem.

  8. John Constantine

    Once the scam folds and the upfront profits have been stripped and the ruins of the windmills are owned by shelf companies in Panama, the landholders of the rented wind farms are stuffed.

  9. Nighthawk the Elder

    Just read some of the comments at the link to the silly moaning haemorrhoid article. Apparently it’s all Tony A666ott’s fault for privatising the power systems or something.

  10. Mark M

    Ye good olde days …

    Julia Gillard, Aug 16, [email protected]:

    “What we will do is tackle the challenge of climate change.

    We’ve invested record amounts in solar & renewable technologies.

    Now I want to build the transmission lines that will bring that clean, green energy into the national electricity grid.”

    Yeah, thanks Jules.

  11. MPH

    How can that 2000MW wind farm provide more power than Hazelwood? It won’t ever come close to generating as much as Hazelwood did in its lifetime…

  12. Chris M

    How can that 2000MW wind farm provide more power than Hazelwood?

    Because it can’t connect to the grid ergo it will produce as much as Hazelwood now does.

  13. Shaun0

    Eye watering cost. That 8 Billion will easily be over 10 Billion or more plus just look whats happening in Europe now these things don’t last more than 15 years or so and they are to expensive to decommission as it wipes out any profits during there life cycle. Mind you the profits aren’t real anyway they all come from subsidies.

    Plus this 2000MW is only nameplate I assume so its really closer to 700MW if that. You could build 2 or 3 2000MW HELE coal power for these costs.

  14. Up The Workers!

    What’s the problem?

    It will complement the $750 Million “North-South Pipeline” that the A.L.P. Dumby Misgovernment built arse-backwards a few years ago in Victoriastan to take water from a place that hasn’t got any, and deliver it to a place that doesn’t need any.

    The A.L.P. ‘geniuses’ built the thing with massive one-way pumps that they cemented deep into the ground, but now that they have realised that they are set up to pump in the wrong direction, they cannot just lift the whole $750 Million of pipes and pumps up in the air and turn it all around.

    Now you tell us that the same crew of virtuoso-incompetents have built $8 Billion worth of high-tech pigeon-slicers which they now say they cannot connect to the grid?

    Labor(sic) – Maybe – just maybe – a political Party too dumb to spell its’ own name correctly (despite a hundred years to get it right) ought never be allowed to govern or spend taxpayers’ hard-earned cash?

    “Finking” isn’t Labor’s(sic) strong point.
    Just saying!

  15. These windmills remind me of the empty buildings in China (China’s ghost cities) which were supposed to be a symbol of progress, yet have stood empty because they were built where no one lived.

  16. yarpos

    If you build they (the taxpayer) will come. Why will it be any different this time?

  17. Nigel

    The renewable rent seekers have been pushing for nearly 20 years to have their deep connections to the market funded by customers. Origin Energy pushed the line at one point because it had bought wind farm sites that were remote from the network. It was thwarted at the time by rational economic analysis by the AEMC that was supported by AGL, which had new generation sites much closer to the existing network. The AEMC’s latest report on integrating generation and transmission investment – the latest such piece in a long line – is essential reading. The policy thrust now will be to make “beneficiaries” pay. The definition of “benefit” and “beneficiary” will need close attention. Government policy and investors need you and me on the hook.

  18. Eyrie

    “We will not be denied our Eastern European shithole future.”
    We will be lucky if it is anywhere near that good.

  19. Snoopy

    Thus confirming the strategic importance of the Liddell site to AGL. It’s an absolute scandal that AGL was allowed anything more than an operating lease over the Liddell site.

    Heads should have rolled over this.

  20. CameroC

    I worked in the technical and engineering fields in the power industry for many years. I know for a fact that the politicians and bureaucrats were told that this would happen if they persisted but they had better advice at the time from such experts as Tim Flannery and the other alarmist and environmentalist rat bags.

  21. Penguinite

    Best laugh I’ve had in months! Well at least since Turnbull stabbed himself in the front! Wnn’t be long now before the home owner realise they have been dudded. Especially since, according to a report, 30% of panels do not comply with Oz Standards!

  22. OldOzzie

    Further on Global Warming – The Con continues

    Record European snow leaves five dead, US also battles winter storms

    Snow is further battering regions surrounding the European Alps, with five deaths reported in Austria and France at the weekend as forecasts predicted more bad weather.

    Officials in Austria have reported three Germans died and one was missing after they went skiing near the city of Lech. They were struck by an avalanche after they went on a route that had been put off-limits due to such dangers.

    Authorities began the search after the wife of one of the men placed a telephone call late on Saturday.

    They were still searching for a fourth man, a 28-year-old from southern Germany. The deceased were identified as men, aged 32, 36 and 57, also from southern Germany. The dead had suffered multiple injuries and showed signs of suffocation, despite deploying rescue air bags.

    The search for the fourth man had to be broken off on Sunday because of the risk of more avalanches.

    In France, two ski slope employees died were trying while using explosives as part of a common procedure to minimise the chance of avalanches. The two men died when the blast went off unexpectedly.

    An official said the region where the two died – near Morillon – is currently facing heightened risk levels of avalanches. He said the two deceased had experience using explosives for such operations.

    Meanwhile, German police in the state of Bavaria reported multiple accidents and street blockages thanks to the snow. However, only one injury was reported amid the 24 recent accidents reported in the Lower Bavaria region.

    Multiple streets were also blocked due to fallen trees. Tree-cutting crews were not able to move them because there was danger that they could be struck by other trees at risk of falling.

    Snow paralyses Washington

    At least nine people, including a state trooper who was responding to a crash, have been killed amid a winter storm that has battered the Midwest and continues to dump several inches of snow in the metropolitan Washington area.

    The storm that began in parts of the Midwest on Friday snarled traffic on highways with a deadly mix of sleet and slush, left thousands without power and canceled dozens of flights. It has left dozens of casualties in its trail as it moved eastward, dropping six to seven inches of snow in parts of Maryland and Virginia.

    Missouri took the brunt of the damage, logging more than 800 snow-related crashes that injured 57 and killed four, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Among those killed were a 53-year-old woman and a 14-year-old relative. Authorities say the woman lost control while driving on a snow-covered road in rural Missouri on Friday and drifted into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

    In a suburb of Chicago, Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was standing outside his patrol car Saturday at the scene of a three-car crash when a driver struck him, authorities say. Lambert, a five-year veteran of the state police who previously served in the Army, died later at a hospital. The state police said earlier Saturday that they have responded to more than 200 snow-related crashes, including one other fatality.

    “Trooper Lambert deliberately placed his vehicle in a position to protect the lives of the victims of the previous crash, and took on the danger himself,” Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said in a statement. “He will be remembered for his dedication to the Illinois State Police and for giving the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the citizens of Illinois.”

    Three storm-related deaths have been reported in Kansas, including a crash involving a 62-year-old man who lost control along the Kansas Turnpike. His vehicle rotated counterclockwise before crashing into a barrier wall, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

    The storm barrelled through parts of the Midwest on Friday night, with eastern Kansas and western Missouri seeing their highest snow totals in several years, according to the National Weather Service. The storm dumped more than a foot of snow in several parts of Missouri and nearly two feet in one city. University of Missouri officials shut down the Columbia, Missouri, campus as the storm headed their way.

  23. I post this on Jo Nova’s site the other day:

    Imagine if this was caused by summer heat:

    At least 21 weather-related deaths have been reported in Europe in the last 10 days
    Military helicopters and tanks are being used to help people who are trapped
    Many public areas remain closed due to the danger of trees cracking under the weight of snow

    It’s just weather.

  24. mem

    Meantime the Global Warming Warming media publish dodgy research to try and convince us that the warming is hiding in the oceans. Tim Blair called out the research for what it was on his blog

  25. DD

    No bank wants a reputation for lending money without real security. Who would take the risk to deposit?

    High-rise residential is a good example, the developer can only draw down funds in accordance with sales milestones. Indicative loan amount say 50-100 million secured by the project plus directors guarantees etc.

    Yet 8 billion is available for an offshore project with no useful security except the generated electricity. The resale value of underwater concrete and big windmills is limited so they would take a bath if the project goes under water.

    Yet the money is advanced with no existing means to transport the product to market, said transportation is not in the business plan and must rely on the generosity of a government to provide.

    Governments will do anything for anyone.

    And a bank lends 8 billion on this basis!

    Identify the banks involved and avoid any personal exposure.

  26. John Constantine

    The developers have a no lose guarantee from the government.

    The developers can strip front end loaded profits from the project.

    Without seeing the details of this one, i have seen reports of developers putting almost none of their money up, using the government scam guarantee as security of cashflow and borrowing the rest.

    Private equity uses the inner crony economy to scam multiples of their risk capital every deal, with the taxpayer actually the ones carrying the liability.

    The taxpayer assumption of risk and liability has billlions of dollars worth of value every deal season, and it is handed to crony developer maaaaaates for nothing. Big Australia mass importation of organic consumption machines means developers can’t lose as long as the Ponzi runs.

    Blow the developers from the guns.

    As halftime entertainment during the Big Bash.

    Retrospective legislation making developers personally liable for not fit for purpose squandering of australias wealth and amenity must come.


  27. Tator

    John Constantine, the land owners are not screwed if the windfarm operators just walk away as there is probably over $100k of steel and probably a similar amount in copper and rare earths in each tower alone at scrap vale and once the cockies work out how to bring them down safely, its money for jam for them. As most of the costs of demolishing them are already sunk costs for the farmers in plant, explosives and cutting equipment as most have fairly decent tractors, trucks and cutting gear already plus many already use explosives or just some super phosphate and diesel mixed up. They just need the time to do it.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    As long as the bribes keep rolling in you will never get the career pollies to give up this lucrative income ,I dont think there is income tax on bribes paid into cayman island accounts ,you know the ones goldman sachs set up for the totally dishonest political class .

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