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.