The beginning of the end for the wind industry?

Danger signs have been showing up lately and this piece joins the dots. Cardimona has been doing his bit to help by prodding local journalists to ask AEMO some direct questions about curtailment from solar and wind farms in the Deep North and there have been warning signals about connections in Western Victoria for a long time.

AEMO has introduced new rules about grid access for intermittent wind and solar and, much to the horror of the wind and solar industries, is actually enforcing them.

Dozens of proposed wind farms and large-scale solar projects have been shelved, simply because they can’t be guaranteed of ever being able to deliver a single watt into the grid.

Their grid troubles also coincide with the fact that the Federal government’s principal RE subsidy scam – the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target – tops out this year at its ultimate annual target of 33,000 GWh. And, given what’s already in the system, will be comfortably satisfied. That means there is no opportunity for new players, absent an extension of or increase in the LRET, which is something the Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor has suggested will happen over his dead body.

One outfit in serious trouble is Tilt Renewables – a wind power outfit backed by the New Zealand Government.

Kiwi wind farm developer Tilt Renewables has advised shareholders not to expect any go-aheads on new projects in Australia for the foreseeable future as it struggles with grid issues that are severely curtailing output at its new $650 million wind farm in Victoria.

Tilt had to slash earnings guidance last month after Dundonnell was unexpectedly hit by a curtailment order by the Australian Energy Market Operator, even after the project had previously secured full certification and the wind farm was operating exactly as expected.

The setback is only one among several impacting new wind and solar farms across the National Electricity Market as AEMO grapples with multiple technical issues arising from the rapid increase on the grid of variable renewable energy generation.

Kerry Schott, chair of the Energy Security Board, said earlier this week investors were seeing their revenues “really being bashed around” because of the transmission problems. Grid issues are a key reason cited by the Clean Energy Council in a steep plunge in investment in large-scale renewable energy projects in the June quarter to the lowest for more than three years.

Amusing to see that NSW led by Matt Kean is about to embark on multi-billion dollar schemes in Renewable Energy Zones to revitalize the state.

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26 Responses to The beginning of the end for the wind industry?

  1. RobK says:

    With the cost of wind Power supposedly being Very cheap there shouldn’t be a need for the RET.
    Wind and solar plants should be able supply their own FCAS.

  2. duncanm says:

    Matt Kean is my local – and an idiot.

  3. Delta says:

    Amusing to see that NSW led by Matt Kean is about to embark on multi-billion dollar schemes in Renewable Energy Zones to revitalize the state.

    Yes and it will be amusing to see how all the required extra transmission lines, required to carry the intermittent energy from these zones, will be sized and actually pass the RIT-T test. Given that there is practically zero spare capacity in the existing transmission grid, any new asynchronous generation such as a wind farm or a solar farm will require new transmission line capacity equal to the maximum output from the new generators. Those generators will at best only operate for about 30% of the time so for the other 70% of the time, the new transmission lines will sit doing nothing!

    And who decides and pays for this huge increase in transmission lines across the country for the new green nirvana? Who decides on the actual sizing, capacity and voltage levels and from where to where they will run, especially as any renewable generators to use the lines would also have to be built! So which comes first? Generators or lines? And if the lines get built on the dicey basis that they may be used 30% of the time, what happens if the generators are not built? And even if the lines are built and some generators apply for connection, they still won’t necessarily get connection under AEMO’s latest rules. The rules finally recognise a simple engineering fact (though unsaid) that the grid can only accept a maximum of perhaps 30% asynchronous generation. Any greater level of asynchronous generation can lead to instability and rapid load shedding or a system black under response to major generators or lines tripping.

  4. miltonf says:

    So Kerry Schott is still around.

  5. miltonf says:

    Very much a Photios-Trumble person.

  6. Ben says:

    Delta / they’ll probably build the transmission outside the RIT-T process.

    It’s interesting the language employed by the Clean Energy Council – grid issues. I’m pretty sure there are no ‘grid issues’ for coal, gas and hydro plants.

  7. Rafe Champion says:

    Kerry Schott wants to see the coal plants close ahead of schedule.
    Where do they find them?
    Check out Germany for grid issues. You would think they would learn something from overseas experience.

  8. TonyfromOz says:

    I wonder if this has anything to do with what is happening at Macarthur Wind plant in Central Victoria, the (not for much longer) largest wind plant in Australia with a Nameplate of 420MW.
    It rolled back to zero output at around 9AM on Tuesday, and stayed at zero, and right now (11PM Sunday night) more than five and a half days later, is still not delivering one watt of power to the grid in Victoria.
    Wind generation output in that area where Macarthur is located has been up and down with high wind, and loss of wind, but this is all 140 Nacelles on top of those huge poles deliberately turned off, every one of them.
    This is not really an uncommon thing, as I have seen it two or three times before, the longest one in November last year when it was off line for eight days following the sale of a half interest in the plant.

  9. Mark M says:

    Get Locky on the blower!

    PNG leaders are furious an Aussie-based mining company has sent Darren Lockyer to “brainwash” the league-obsessed nation into supporting a coal mine and coal-powered power plant …

  10. herodotus says:

    Kerry Schott, Matt Kean, Angus Taylor, not really much difference between them. The ridiculous outcomes have continued and waiting for sense is a long term thing – and in the long term we’re all dead.
    The wind and solar delusion based on the climate scam has done more to disillusion me about politicians (I already knew about the media) than Memory Fault’s diatribes and zany non-vote strategies.
    But I think we agree on some things.

  11. bemused says:

    Now let’s remove all the subsidies given to rooftop solar installations, as well as feed in tariffs. Make this a level playing ground.

  12. Entropy says:

    There is far to much access to Other People’s Money for this to be over.

  13. Entropy says:

    And who decides and pays for this huge increase in transmission lines across the country for the new green nirvana?

    Contemptable parasites in the make like Kean and all his friends in politics and big business decide, and you the lowly taxpayer will pay for it. And keep paying for it. Forever.

    And Kean will do it with a smile.

  14. mareeS says:

    Lots of jobs looking for the nest scam, then?

  15. yarpos says:

    You can only hope I guess that reality will have to be addesssed, even by our politicians. You can only live on fantasy and wishful thinking for so long. I am a bit surprised that the AEMO is actually doing something.

  16. Mark M says:

    What one piece of evidence would Matt Kean supply to convince rational people sunbeam & seabreeze collectors can prevent seasonal bushfires?

    California has over 31.36% of it’s energy supplied by renewables:

    source – California Energy Commission, 2018:

    Yet, California is on fire:

    How many renewables does it take to prevent a heat wave?

  17. Perfidious Albino says:

    Kerry Schott used to work for the Whitlam Turnbull investment bank earlier in her career.

  18. Mark M says:

    Guess it wasn’t global warming …

    30 Aug, 2020: Why has the Top End of the NT been experiencing ‘catastrophic’ fire conditions in 2020?

    “And Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Angeline Prasad said an overall “drier and warmer climate” across Australia also had an impact on fire conditions.

    “Australia’s temperature has warmed up by about a degree since 1910 — that’s when our records began,” she said.

    “And the oceans have also warned up by about a degree since 1910.”

    Wait. What?

    29 Aug, 2020: “Northern Territory Police have arrested a 24-year-old man for allegedly lighting bushfires in the Adelaide River region south of Darwin.”

    That’s their abc.

  19. Entropy says:

    An investor finds it easy to make money in a “business” where the government guarantees a certain level of income. The easiest money of all to make is when the government in addition also provides access to guaranteed taxpayer funded revenue.

    It won’t be over anytime soon.

  20. Mother Lode says:

    Kean may not be a complete legal nincompoop.

    The new NSW projects might be using that new unicorn fart technology. There is none of that connected to the grid at the present so opportunities abound.

  21. Mark M says:

    O/T & ICYMI:

    Troublemaker Crashes Virtual Trump Rally

  22. flyingduk says:

    You cant make a reliable machine with unreliable components

  23. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    Dont worry ,for every bit of carbon we take out the Indians and Wuhanese will fill the gap twice over . Dont invest in renewables , get a bookie and invest in how much the temperature will rise in a year .
    A bit of wise investment advice for you punters .

  24. dasher says:

    I weep when I see us spending massive amounts of money trying to fix the shortcomings of RE and worse reinforcing failure when surely we know at the highest levels that this is not working. What will it take for someone to say the king has no clothes?

  25. Roger says:

    Kerry Schott, chair of the Energy Security Board, said earlier this week investors were seeing their revenues “really being bashed around” because of the transmission problems.

    Stand by for compensation claims.

  26. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    Mark M , loved the legomen or is it legopersons,there should be a half brown half white pair to represent pharris and obama . Paedo joe lookslike a leprechaun or hobbit , maybe our favourite Msrtian , though hes not as smart as Uncle Martin .

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