Paying twice the price to get 3% of the electricity

Approaching 10pm.  South Australia is importing power this evening after exporting a trickle for most of the day. 2% SA power from wind at present and across the NEM it is exactly 3%.

As we approach sunset and the peak of daily demand for electricity the wind across SE Australia is providing a tick over 3% of the power. In case you want a hot dinner, lights and TV this evening almost 97% of the electrons will come from conventional sources, overwhelmingly coal. Providing the other three per cent has doubled the price. A remarkable achievement.

5GW of coal capacity is not being used. That is almost as much as the sun and wind were providing at their peak for the day and that is not counting unused gas and hydro capacity.

Of course the wind could pick up and it might provide 10 or 15% on a remarkably good wind day. So what? Remember it is the choke point that kills the grid.

If the RET is not one of the victims of the crisis then we are really stuffed.

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12 Responses to Paying twice the price to get 3% of the electricity

  1. The RET.
    and all the other “clean” energy leeches.
    and the cancel the subs
    and sell the NBN

  2. Rafe Champion

    I suggested on a different thread to buy the subs from China. They might give us the base for no extra charge.

  3. nb

    Damn. And just as I was hoping for another power station to be blown up by a state government somewhere.

  4. Rafe Champion

    Thanks nb, that provides a vivid and enduring image of the legacy of green/labor government.

  5. Sean

    Just imagine if in the middle of the peak of this pandemic SA was without power for a couple days. It would be utter chaos.

  6. Tel

    If the RET is not one of the victims of the crisis then we are really stuffed.

    No one even so much as talks about RET … it’s like a big wet fart in the elevator that the entire media class smiles and ignores.

  7. Rob

    The valid reasons for building, maintaining, and operating this vital power station remain.
    If South Australia is to have a future then a HELE coal fired replacement or a nuclear power station is undeniably required.

  8. Fresh Pat

    Nuclear is currently the ONLY alternative to a historically secure power source.

    So, what is really wrong with coal?

    The left want fycking!

    Small spelling error

  9. jupes

    If the RET is not one of the victims of the crisis then we are really stuffed.

    We are stuffed then. There is more chance that SloMo will expand the RET than stop it.

  10. jupes

    Damn. And just as I was hoping for another power station to be blown up by a state government somewhere.

    As the great John Constatine once stated on this blog; in the old days, it was the aim of our enemies to blow up our power stations. Now we do it for them.

    I miss John.

  11. Tel

    Nuclear is currently the ONLY alternative to a historically secure power source.

    Natural gas is workable but costs a bit more for the fuel and will get worse presuming world gas prices continue to rise. Nuclear fuel ends up cheap when you count it by energy content (nuclear always wins on energy density), but the plant costs more and there is a back loaded cleanup cost.

    So, what is really wrong with coal?

    Nothing wrong whatsoever … coal is cheap, reliable, extremely well tested and the mines are already operational. The existing coal power stations need upgrading. Plant food m’kay!

  12. Tezza

    Your heading gives an important part of the answer to where Australian productivity growth and real growth in living standards have gone: the RET. You can’t rationalise the productivity destruction as actually producing any change in the world’s climate, or in other countries’ actions. It’s odd that the point isn’t regarded as explosively destructive of green left idiocy.

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