RE in Australia was never going to happen. The reasons why

  1. Regular high pressure systems hover over SE Australia and cause prolonged wind droughts. Australia can be hard to find at first, Tasmania is the giveaway.
  2. The sun sets every evening.
  3. There is no battery storage at grid scale (Gigawatts).
  4. Pumped hydro at grid scale? Believe it when you see it!
  5. No nuclear power.
  6. No neighbours to help out when the sun and wind are off duty.

None of the above is new or strange information, you could call it an “information stack” that is analogous to the “talent stack” described by Scott Adams in relation to Donald Trump. The “stack” concept itself is not new either, it is just the idea that some things are synergistic so the combination has massive power compared with the individual items.

The concept has to be explained over and over in different contexts until everyone knows about it, not just the early adopters of new ideas (see Rogers and Shoemaker on the diffusion of innovations).

If there was any body of  competent science/environment journalists  in Australia the impossibility of RE  would have been common knowledge among the informed public years ago.

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17 Responses to RE in Australia was never going to happen. The reasons why

  1. stackja

    Much hot air about AGW.

  2. Roger

    RE in Australia was never going to happen.

    Politicians (on both sides) have committed to empirically testing that hypothesis.

    No matter what the cost to tax payers.

    South Australia is but Phase I.

    We are governed by idiots.

  3. H B Bear

    At some point “the science” of operating the grid will overcome any avalanche of taxpayer dollars.

  4. Roger

    At some point “the science” of operating the grid will overcome any avalanche of taxpayer dollars.

    True, but I fear we’ll have to have a Brazilian style blackout for before that realisation dawns on our policy makers, particularly at state level.

    AEMO have already warned of the possibility but the pollies still march to the mantra of 50% RE by 2030.

  5. Mark M

    The Australian politicians know exactly what they do as they dance to the UN.

  6. Another Ian

    “The Australian politicians know exactly what they do as they dance to the UN.”

    But the UN hasn’t thought beyond the choreography – not beyond the stage.

  7. RobK

    7, maximum demand on transmission lines will increase but utilisation will decrease.
    8. Total amount of transmission lines will also increase.
    9. Regulation and overseeing boards will increase along with complexity in control and instrumentation.
    10. Massive increase in potential points of failure due to complexity and weather variability.
    11. Major changes needed in pricing structure obviously.(non-dispatchable energy is pretty well worthless)

  8. RobK

    12. Green hydrogen and EV integration are both unproven and grossly uneconomic to tie in with RE.

  9. nb

    With ‘competent science/environment journalists in Australia the impossibility of RE would have been common knowledge’
    Is this a question of competence? Competence can have a sinister intention. Those who lie to you are not necessarily incompetent. Their aims are different, that’s all.

  10. Rafe Champion

    Yes nb I appreciate that most of the people writing about these things at present are employed as publicists in the glossy magazine and brochure business for RE, I was thinking more of journalists employed at least notionally to report news rather than opinion. Not long ago, at least when I was young and naive, old fashioned journalists apart from those in the overt scandal sheets mostly wanted to convey the facts as accurately as they could given the time available to get the copy in. The Melbourne Truth was a notorious scandal sheet but it had good coverage of the VFL.

  11. Rob

    With knowledge and understanding currently in short supply, it will only be a lived experience that makes the community aware of the fragile state of our electricity grid.

  12. Rayvic

    “If there was any body of competent science/environment journalists in Australia the impossibility of RE would have been common knowledge among the informed public years ago.”

    It is of major concern that it will take many more years before the “impossibility of RE” will be realised.

    It is in the national interest that the Government moves to stop its funding of the alarmist ABC as soon as possible.

  13. Colonel Bunty Golightly

    Eventually the electorate will wake up to the scam and the politicians will respond to survive. It won’t occur until the mainstream part of the electorate suffers big price signals and inconvenience. This will eventually effect the middle class. The rich don’t care and the bludgers are subsidised so it is always the man in the middle who carries the burden.

  14. Squirrel

    Those six points sum things up quite nicely – it is depressing that so much of the commentariat in this country is in complete denial about those realities.

    The obsessive harping on about emissions reductions targets which simply cannot be achieved with available and forseeable technology is madness.

  15. Ben

    RobK: mass EV charging at home will not happen – nobody wants to upgrade the distribution network.

    EV will continue to be a niche market for the wealthy.

  16. Crossie

    I suppose the high cost of renewables and lost manufacturing will be equalled, if not surpassed, by the enormous cost of the lockdown so we have that going for us.

  17. Yarpos

    Forget journalists, real journalism is effectively dead in the msm. What dissaponts me is collaboration of the professional associations. I am amazed Engineers dont speak up as they did in Scotland.

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