RE feast to famine in half a day. Monday 28 update

MONDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE. The wind across the SE is down to 5% of supply. It is zero in Victoria, 1% in NSW and Qld, 3% in WA. Quite a bit of sun but that will fade rapidly after 3 or 4. See the widget for the picture as it develops through the day. And remember, wind watching can be time consuming and habit forming so please watch responsibly! 

Monday morning at 7am. The wind has picked up to 10% of supply across the SE, still 1% in WA.  In SA the wind is 57% of supply, in NSW 6%.  Victoria is still stuck with wind providing 4% of local production and only 3% of demand and they are importing over  500MW from NSW, Tasmania and SA. Queensland is exporting to NSW. For the import/export figures.

On Sunday 27 Paul McArdle at WattClarity was pleased to announce that scheduled demand (coal and gas) reached a new record low in Queensland today when the sun was at its peak.

Rooftop PV drives daytime Scheduled Demand even lower than the low point a month ago … lowest level in 16 years on Sunday 27th September 2020.

This was the picture across the whole of SE Australia and you can see that black coal was down to 7.6GW in the early afternoon, well below the lowest I have seen previously around  8.

However at dinnertime with the sun off duty the wind was below 5% of the power supply in the SE and less in WA.

State by state the wind contribution was WA 3%, Tas  14%, SA 14%, Vic 4%, NSW 2.5% and Qld 2.2%.

The point is that the sustainability of RE depends on the minimum level of supply, not the installed capacity or the high points! Until the whole of the demand can be satisfied by RE at the lowest level of sun and wind supply we will have to maintain 100% conventional power capacity if we want hot dinners.

What if we increased the supply of windmills by a factor of 20 to cover a situation like today where the wind is contributing 5% in the evening? Today the low point of the wind supply from midday to early evening was 10% of the max capacity that is just down to the level that I describe as a “wind drought.”  But we know from June and July that the supply can drop well below 10% of the installed capacity (as low as 2%) and it can stay there for more than 30 hours.  Good luck with storage that can replace 20GW of coal power  for that period. The Hornsdale battery could manage 2GW for about five minutes.

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11 Responses to RE feast to famine in half a day. Monday 28 update

  1. RobK says:

    Of course, if we all had electric cars, we could plug them in to feed the grid for a bit.
    Provided you can ride the bike to work the next day and maybe a couple after that.

  2. Rob says:

    Ah, but the cost!
    Now that the earliest turbines and solar panels are reaching life expiry and needing replacement (and many many multiples more would be needed to reach Nirvana) who is calculating the financial implications?
    Forget electric vehicles – in a renewables powered future – most of us will be out of work and penniless, wandering around in rags and sandals from one soup kitchen to the next.

  3. RobK says:

    Provided you can ride the bike to work the next day and maybe a couple after that.
    Chances are it will be raining, then again chances are your work place will be closed because there’s no power.
    All good.

  4. Mark M says:

    Personal carbon trading.

    Prepare for perfect weather by selling your saved carbon (sic) from your frugal lifestyle to high-end carbon (sic) users.

    This will make carbon (sic) expensive, thereby causing perfect weather without bushfires and floods.

    And pigs will fly.

    3 minute cartoon:

  5. bemused says:

    Turn off Liddell for one week. Problem solved.

  6. Mother Lode says:

    So when the sun is shining enough on a clear day they don’t need as much coal or gas.

    So all they need do is find a way of guaranteeing that level of sunshine.

    Get back to us when you have that sorted.

  7. H B Bear says:

    Celebrating the government mandated displacement of coal by part time energy sources thereby rendering them “uneconomic” and validating your argument.

  8. RobertS says:

    Slightly off topic but Richardson Post this morning has a summary of the problems of hydrogen energy.
    I copied the link to Angus Taylor’s website.
    Not that he will pay any attention to it.

  9. Bronson says:

    I wonder if Blakers every watches the widget?……..Nah reality is too tough for academics!

  10. bemused says:

    I wonder if Blakers every watches the widget?

    You have to understand that universities depend on grants to survive. That means sticking to the narrative that brings in grants, no matter what you may actually believe.

  11. bemused says:

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg:

    Just wait until all those electric car batteries need to be recycled, on top of solar panels, wind mills and whatever else the renewables leave behind.

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