Contemplate the risk management involved in designing critical infrastructure. Mindful of the 1929 flood in Launceston the flood protection at present is designed to handle a “one in two hundred-year” rain/flood event. It might not happen in that time, on the other hand it could happen next year or the year after. The point is to make the design suit the importance of the security that the scheme provides.
The gutters on your roof might handle “one in ten” or “one in twenty-year” rains. Other things will demand a higher level of security, up to major dams and bridges that are presumably designed to handle the most extreme events that can be predicted short of nuclear war and really major earthquakes if the area is quake-prone . Not to mention the electricity system.
Why not mention electricity?
Because it seems that the RE component of the system will never handle even monthly events with existing storage technology. Who would accept a design for a bridge that you know will fail every decade, let alone every year? But every month?
Look at the numbers. RE (solar and wind) fail every time when the sun is down and there is next to no wind. There is next to no wind some of the time every month and often several times a month. Look at last month. Anything under 10% of the installed capacity is next to nothing and several times the line almost touched nothing.
That chart is for the whole of SE Australia (the NEM). Right now (2.20pm) there is next to no wind in SA (1% of windmill capacity) and very little in Victoria (the leading wind states). Across the board wind is providing 4.5% of demand in the SE and 5.5% in WA.
The question is, who did, or did not do due diligence before Australian governments decided to subsidise and mandate wind power?
What information on wind resources was available at the time. Did the BOM know? Did anyone ask? Would you trust BOM records anyway, given their performance with the temperature data? What information could have been used?
Ironically we now have a first-rate system to monitor the wind resources – the fleet of windmills and the AEMO records on their output collected at five-minute intervals over the best part of a decade. It is an expensive measuring instrument but very accurate and reliable and it provides the data to perform the due diligence that might have, could have and should have been done a long time ago. And what does the data tell us?
Update. Trust the Cat readership to come up with the goods!
The bit that caught my eye on a quick scan was on page 40 Long-term projection of energy yields. “No forecasting system can deliver this to sufficient accuracy.” So they had to build thousands of turbines to find out that there is not enough reliable wind. Pity about that!