David Bidstrup guest post. Audrey’s getting anxious…

 and some shareholders want a company to go out of business to “reduce emissions”.

A couple of things popped up in today’s local rag.  First, AEMO wants any solar system installed after the start of September to be able to be turned off remotely. Audrey says:

“As we continue to see the increasing shift towards non-traditional generators and the increasing take up of household rooftop photovoltaic, we are encountering new challenges of managing voltage, system strength and inertia”.

Don’t you just love the “non-traditional” instead of useless rubbish?

AEMO says they want to be able to dump 300 to 400 MW of demand “if necessary”, but it will only be done “as a last resort”. This is code for when the system is about to fall over. Interestingly the article mentions that the Port Augusta power station, sacrificed on the altar of climate change, was rated at “just over 500 MW”, (520 MW), but fails to mention it could put this out rain, hail or shine.

All those dupes who were urged to “invest” in solar panels will soon find that they have been had as the disconnection will mean they no longer earn “feed in tariffs”, subsidised by governments to the tune of billions of dollars. The doctrine of unexpected consequences springs to mind.

Just to show how dumb the pollies are, our Energy minister said the AEMO report showed “just how critical Project Energy Connect, (the NSW/SA interconnector), is for energy security in SA. Wait until Liddell and other reliable power stations join Port Augusta on the sacrificial altar and the “security” turns to zilch.

What can I say? It gets sillier every day.

Second, a group of “activist shareholders” has or will “ask” Beach Energy to “get out of the oil and gas game”. I wonder if they realise that Beach Energy is an oil and gas company. What do they expect them to do after quitting the industry that earns their revenue, and do the “activists” care about getting dividends from their investment? Just to seem like they care, Beach has said it “is targeting a 25% reduction in emissions by 2024/25. How?

 

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35 Responses to David Bidstrup guest post. Audrey’s getting anxious…

  1. Tim Neilson

    do the “activists” care about getting dividends from their investment?

    They usually buy the bare minimum possible number of shares that can be acquired (i.e. usually one marketable parcel) then do off-market transfers so each of them hold only a token amount of investment, but because teach one of them is on the register of shareholders they can all attend general meetings and cause trouble.
    So they wouldn’t own enough for it to matter.
    Though I wouldn’t be surprised if after they manage to bankrupt the company that they are astonished and outraged that they can’t get their money back.

  2. Squirrel

    “…we are encountering new challenges of managing voltage, system strength and inertia”

    Pretending the bleeding obvious isn’t obvious until it bites you on the backside, and then springing into action to do something about it (long after you should have done so) and getting credit for doing that, are absolutely core bureaucratic skills.

  3. Simple Simon

    All those dupes who were urged to “invest” in solar panels will soon find that they have been had as the disconnection will mean they no longer earn “feed in tariffs”, subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of billions of dollars.

    Fixed it for you.

  4. pat

    another problem that needs to be considered:

    27 Aug: Camden Advertiser Australia: Firies issue warning after solar panels start fire at Ingleburn home
    by Kayla Osborne
    Firefighters are reminding locals to make sure their solar panels are installed and maintained by professionals after a fire in Ingleburn yesterday.
    Fire and Rescue NSW responded to a Triple Zero (000) call at 9.30am on August 26 after smoke was reportedly coming from a switch connected to solar panels on a roof…

    Firies quickly gained access to shut down the power at both the panel inverter switch and roof switch.
    Fire Investigation and Research Unit Superintendent Graham Kingsland said it was important to take steps to ensure solar panels were as safe as possible.
    “Over the last five years we have seen solar panel related fires increase five-fold,” he said.
    “It is not uncommon to see solar panels cause house and building fires.”…
    https://www.camdenadvertiser.com.au/story/6897733/firies-issue-warning-after-solar-panels-start-fire-at-ingleburn-home/?cs=1436

    no time to look up more recent articles I’ve seen previousy, suggesting hundreds of such fires in Australia alone:

    Aug 2017: Ace Body Corp: Rising Instances Of Solar Panel Fires Send A Shiver Down Apartment Owners Looking To ‘Go Green’
    by Stephen Raff
    A rise in solar panel fires in several Australian states has prompted a warning for hundreds of apartment owners going green on the cheap…
    Fire Departments in Queensland have attended over 50 fires in the past 2 years caused by solar panels with New South Wales and Victorian departments also observing a rise in fires started by solar panels…
    https://www.acebodycorp.com.au/the-rise-of-solar-panel-fires/

  5. RobK

    we are encountering new challenges of managing voltage, system strength and inertia”.
    Industry has known all along that the challenges will increase as the proportion of RE increases. No surprises. Nothing new. Disingenuous spin and ramped up costs baked in.

  6. RobK

    Those on the right side of the bollards will have houses with “islanding”capability.

  7. pbw

    Just to seem like they care, Beach has said it “is targeting a 25% reduction in emissions by 2024/25. How?

    By buying carbon credits.

  8. NoFixedAddress

    Surely PM manMorrisons new China diktats will mean deadly solar panels and wind totem poles will be banned from importation into Australia.

  9. wal1957

    These “new challenges’ have been pointed out on Catallaxy, JoNova and other blogs on numerous occasions.
    That the operators are calling the problems “new” challenges is just ass covering BS!

  10. nb

    Once upon a time there was a thing called the market place. Then government came along to help.

  11. Siltstone

    The sooner Liddell closes the better because that means east coast blackouts. The longer the blackouts the better (icecream melting in the freezer is a good indicator). Only then will enough punters and pollies begin to wake up to the concept of reliable base load electricity.

  12. Entropy

    Queensland really needs to stop selling power south, inflating Queensland prices.

  13. NoFixedAddress

    Siltstone

    Not while crap percolates through the sludge “brains” of communist trained “public” servants and their representatives, their politicians.

  14. Aynsley Kellow

    ‘AEMO says they want to be able to dump 300 to 400 MW of demand “if necessary”, but it will only be done “as a last resort”.’ I think you mean ‘supply’ not ‘demand’.

    Good post. The instability problems are well enough known (except, perhaps, to Turnbull and his son).

  15. Re last paragraph, Beach shares are about $1.30 each so it does not cost much to buy 5 or 10 shares and have a say. What Beach needs to do is put a restriction on the minimum parcels size say 10,000 shares so the greens need to think about the value of getting a say. It seems Beach has large reserves of gas, so I am thinking of maybe buying some shares. The oil and gas produced does not count as emission only the energy used in production. If a gas field is at high pressure there will be little energy used in recovery.

  16. Rafe Champion

    Aynsley do you think they mean demand management (paying users to throttle back) during peak periods?

  17. NoFixedAddress

    cementafriend
    #3562300, posted on August 27, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Have always liked Beach.

    Did they pick up the rest of the Bass Straight assets?

  18. Siltstone

    Aynsley do you think they mean demand management (paying users to throttle back) during peak periods?

    That is how I read it. Drop a line out of an aluminium smelter (for a bit, major dramas if it goes too long). Its the way you become less a less industrialised economy. But we all know that international tourist and international students are the future, far better than the “old economy”.

  19. Nob

    When Oil & Gas companies talk about emissions reduction etc they are generally talking about operational reductions.

    Mostly diesel use onsite and for transport when it comes down to it.

  20. Nob

    Beach Energy operations:

    BassGas Tassie-Vic

    Yolla is really in Tas exploitation zone.

    Otway Basin

    Note that Halladale, Black Watch, Speculant fields, and a new one called Enterprise are offshore, but are all drilled from a big land rig on a drilling pad in farmland behind the dunes using extended reach drilling (ERD) techniques. These were formerly operated by Origin until they sold off their “conventional” gas fields to focus on Qld CSG etc.

  21. Nob

    Cooper Energy has also recently started planning more activity for Victoria.

    The demand for gas is there.
    Even the thickest of governments (SA & Vic) know that which is why you get the oxymoronic spectacle of them simultaneously waving the big stick at gas companies for not producing enough cheap gas while threatening to shut down gas altogether.

  22. NoFixedAddress

    The demand for gas is there.

    best to shut them down then.

    flicks through the rolodex – which “non-profit” has the best access to brain dead communist controlled american foundation trust money – okay, tell em to smash cooper because they are a colonial gas company.

  23. Nob

    which “non-profit” has the best access to brain dead communist controlled american foundation trust money

    “All of them” is the best working assumption.

    O’Sullivan’s Law: “the parasitic nature of Liberals/Leftists attracts them to existing money.”

  24. flyingduk

    I put in my own genny after SAs first ‘state black’. It auto starts when needed, and has been needed for nearly 200h since then. Let them try ‘remote stopping’ that. I am accurate out to a mile.

  25. Rafe Champion

    Aynsley do you think they mean demand management (paying users to throttle back) during peak periods?

    Siltstone: That is how I read it. Drop a line out of an aluminium smelter (for a bit, major dramas if it goes too long). Its the way you become less a less industrialised economy.

    Actually I think it means rolling blackouts, the first stage of demand management is the “Reserve Power” trick to pay people to cut back, then they resort to rolling blackouts a la January 2019 when supply suddenly dropped 500MW when a boiler went out at Bayswater and lights started going off in parts of Victoria.

  26. Mark M

    I blame Aemo’s world’s biggest battery (hint: it’s not big enough) …

    Cold front sweeps across southern Victoria bringing wild, windy weather to Melbourne

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/weather-cold-front-sweeps-southern-victoria-bringing-wild-winds/12604088

  27. Herodotus

    Since we have some technically able people on the blog, a set of guidelines for household generators, type and setup, connections to house via fusebox, all would be appreciated.

  28. RobK

    Hero,
    guidelines for household generators
    Many rural residences are fitted with a simple rotary switch(zero centre) and an inlet socket (looks like a caravan power inlet). The genset size and quality is dependent on load requirements and how critical the load is.
    Basically you can choose from a cheap petrol genset with some extension cords to a fully battery backed islanding inverter with dual genset backup. Price can range from a few hundred to Multiple tens of thousands of dollars. For casual use a rotary switch inlet and a 5 kVA genset would keep most households’ essentials going.

  29. H B Bear

    Green bullshit meets engineering reality. Usual people worse off.

  30. Robert Wood

    Just wait until the Government brings in a tax on how many solar panels a household has on their property, akin to the Poll Tax that the UK government brought in for TV antennae.
    You’ll hear the solar panel advocates scream then…

  31. Aynsley Kellow

    Rafe and Silstone: No – demand management is already available, and heavy users like smelters can be shed and occasionally are. (In fact, with Least Cost Utility Planning, large loads that can deal with a short-term interruption have value, because they can replace spinning reserve. Smelters only lose production the interruption is short, until the stationary reserve generators come in, so utilities often have agreements that allow this).
    The story is about AEMO wanting to be able to disconnect solar panels (ie generation) in order to maintain system stability. The problem is that, even at a local level, the highly variable solar generation (clouds coming over or clearing, eg) voltage and frequency can fluctuate wildly in local networks. Remember these are DC generators and the output has to be converted to grid voltage and frequency. Many appliances don’t like this.

  32. yackman

    re RobK and Hero;
    we run a backup as per RobK comment using a 6.5 kVA petrol hand start generator (13 HP Honda). The system has been used during major power loss and is run to supply water and other services as needed. the 3 way switch was installed in the supply box and the inlet beside the supply box. a friend has the full diesel/ battery start system with auto cut in. We only supply 15 amps to the house and this fine as long as appliances are managed for duty. ie. only one heavy draw item at a time with some circuits turned off at the meter box eg. the Bore Pump which draws about 8 amps. The electric ovens are turned off. The generator was bought after loss of power for 3 days.

  33. RobK

    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/articles/2020/08/aemos-notice-of-inertia-shortfall-in-south-australia/

    While the minimum threshold level of inertia remains at 4,400 megawatt-seconds (MWs), the secure operating level of inertia requirement has changed. In current and forecast power system conditions, without more fast frequency response (FFR), the inertia required to operate South Australia securely as an island is calculated to be at least 7,605 MWs in 2020-21 and 14,390 MWs in 2021-22. Installing the quantity of synchronous machines needed within South Australia to meet this requirement is not feasible.

  34. RobK

    The story is about AEMO wanting to be able to disconnect solar panels (ie generation) in order to maintain system stability.
    When there is a frequency excursion, inverters feeding into the grid tend to feed at the excursion frequency rather than resisting the excursion as a rotary machine does.

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