Now that the Coalition has joined the fairy seekers, removing any difference between themselves and idiot Labor, I revisited some work done last year where I looked at the split between generators on 18 and 19 January 2018. This article looks at what might have been, if the “emissions” madness did not exist.
January 18 and 19 were 2 “hot days” and wholesale prices in good old SA reached $14,500.00 per MWh during the day. The data comes from Andrew Miskelly’s “Aneroid” files and comprises the output MW of every generator in the system every 5 minutes of the day so the charts below have 576 intervals on the X axis. January 18 starts at 1, January 19 finishes at 576.
It is a good example of the grid operating at the maximum, those days were the days of greatest demand for the whole of 2018. The demand curve is simply the summation of all output because electricity is an instantaneous commodity. What is generated is used immediately; it cannot lurk in the system waiting for someone to turn the lights on. The first chart shows the situation as it was.
Notice 2 peaks. January 18 peaked at 29,945 MW at 4.20 p.m. and January 19 peaked at 30,728 MW at 4.35 p.m. Over the 2 days coal produced 72.5%, gas 12%, hydro 10%, wind 5% and solar 0.5% of the total consumption. The contribution from solar is the yellow just visible above the wind.
Over the 2 days the CF for wind was 20% and for solar was 4%.
The next chart suggest how things might have been handled if sanity prevailed. BTW, there is no “demand” line in the chart above because the separate component generator output sums to the demand.
This chart shows coal, (24,316 MW installed capacity), and gas, (9,841 MW installed capacity) generators operating at a capacity factor of 0.8 with the peaks filled by hydro. Interestingly coal is right on the mark for giving a constant supply over the period and gas would be ramped up/down from zero to full capacity as required. The peaks require the use of only 41% of the total installed hydro capacity of 8,355 MW.
The “commercial arrangement” would comprise a firm contract for coal generators for their total output, (at 0.8 CF), every day of the year. The gas component would be a payment for having the facilities available, (9,814 MW capacity ready to go at a CF of 0.8), and an extra payment for actual MWh produced and hydro would be treated similarly.
This sort of arrangement would permit generator operators to have a steady predictable “market” for their product and if contracts had long term time frames the price structure should be stable and relatively cheap. It would get rid of the insane “spot pricing” that the RE people use to rip everyone off.
There you have it, a simple, reliable and cheap way to keep the lights on. No bullshit wind and solar and no bullshit “storage”. The winners are the consumers and the losers are the RE parasites.
I must confess that I am old, and I am an Engineer, so all the “new” stuff just makes me yawn. Every time I hear politicians telling us how they will “save us” I think of Bertrand Russel, who said:
“One of the peculiarities of the English speaking world is its immense interest and belief in political parties. A really large percentage of English speaking people really believe that the ills from which they suffer would be cured if a certain political party were in power……..A man votes for one party and remains miserable; he concludes that it was the other party that was to bring the millennium. By the time he is disenchanted with all parties he is an old man on the verge of death but his sons retain the beliefs of his youth and the see-saw goes on”.