The Third Iceberg is the Island Effect. Australia is an island. This has been overlooked by the RE enthusiasts who get excited about the number of windmills in places like Denmark and Germany that can generate about 70% of the electricity supply on a good day. What about bad days? Record German power imports in the first half of 2020.
A bundle of contradictions for the “they are all nuts” file
Climate change is supposed to make weather more unpredictable but we are building more weather-dependent power sources.
Electricity use has evolved to be on demand, but we are building intermittent power sources.
Electricity demand is supposed to go up with EVs and green hydrogen, but demand limiting is required to integrate intermittent sources.
Electricity storage is expensive, but we are building power sources that require storage.
Networks are the largest component of power bills and creates the most outages, but we are building power sources that depend on larger and more complex networks.
Rooftop PV reduces reliance on the grid, while wind and solar farms require a larger more expensive grid, but we are building lots more of both with subsidies for opposing policies.
Power bills are 30% generation and 40% networks, but we are building power sources that push both components (comprising 70% of the bills) higher.
Synchronous generators inherently provide auxiliary services – such as inertia, reactive power, fault level and bulk power – but we are building a more complex fragile power system where these auxiliary services are provided by a separate piece of the system.
We are building a power system so interconnected that an hour of low wind in South Australia (the smallest most distant part of the grid) creates a price spike across the entire network.
States are supposed to deliver power to the people, but we have handed over the planning and decision making to centrally controlled quangos and the commonwealth.
A working holiday in a Chinese village. Sinc recently posted a memory of a trip to Russia and mentioned that a trans-Siberia train trip is on his bucket list. He could keep going into China but it might be too late. It is certainly too late to experience the kind of village life that my wife experienced during the Cultural Revolution. Find attached “A day in the life of a Chinese peasant.”