Trouble at mill! UPDATES. China blackouts & EU prices spike with low wind

CHINA PAYS FOR AUSSIE COAL EMBARGO

That’l learn them.

  • Beijing blacklisted imports of Australian coal as part of the trade war last month
  • Some 80 ships carrying $1.1b worth of coal are sitting off the Australian coast
  • Coal prices have skyrocketed in China as domestic supply struggles to keep up
  • Now provincial governments are imposing restrictions on electricity usage
  • There are power outages and limits of heating and AC use during the cold winter

EUROPEAN GREEN TRANSITION BECALMED

Europe’s ‘inevitable transition’ to wind and solar is not looking so ‘inevitable’, after all. A burst of cold, calm weather has grid managers panicking as to where their next megawatt might come from.
Those opportunistic ‘devils’ who command reliable, fossil-fuelled power generation sources are making out like veritable bandits and power punters are bracing themselves for another bitter winter of being left freezing in the dark.

Some Transition!_ Power Prices Rocket When Sun Sets & Calm Weather Sets In

BACKLASH AGAINST TURBINES IN NORWAY

Norway runs almost entirely on hydro with massive oil and gas reserves for export earnings. Expanding the oil and gas industries will need more power and the government has ambitious green energy targets that have aroused massive popular resistance.

While the cost of wind power is falling, a growing number of voters want to see less of it. They’d rather see alternatives like more hydro or even fossil fuels — which would clash with the government’s environmental goals. A survey in November showed that only 36% were favorable about onshore wind as an energy source, down from as much as 84% in 2011. Oil’s popularity has increased to 29% from just 16% five years ago.

DRAMA AT LIDDELL! This is the event that everyone has been waiting for although losing only one generator may not be enough to sound the alarm that is required to wake up the RE fundamentalists from their dogmatic slumber. One of the four generators is out of action, removing 420MW of supply from the system running into the hot weather when demand peaks. This triggered an ‘actual Lack of Reserve Level 2‘ alarm from the Market Operator and activated the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) mechanism.

This means directly purchasing additional supplies of power throughout Thursday afternoon “to maintain the power system in a Reliable operating state.”

Prices in the NSW region of the National Electricity Market spiked immediately after the incident, and later spiked to the market cap of $15,000/MWh, and staying elevated for most of the afternoon until additional generation could be brought online. 

The RERT is actually a RORT because there is no additional power available. It means paying high-end consumers to cut back for a time so the lights don’t start flickering elsewhere in the grid.

ON THE WINDWATCHING FRONT we have low wind across the SE providing 3% of electricity demand this Sunday morning.

Excitement for wind-watchers! At noon the wind is down to 1.7% of demand with the windmills functioning at 3.8% of plated capacity. 

See the widget to update.

NSW is importing from Queensland as normal and also from Victoria as well, not so normal. More excitement, Tasmania (the battery of the nation) is importing. And the demand in SA is less than half the demand in Tasmania. Don’t look to the State of Darkness for the RE-driven revival of manufacturing!

Update here.

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53 Responses to Trouble at mill! UPDATES. China blackouts & EU prices spike with low wind

  1. IainC says:

    They should shut down Liddell entirely for a week, step back, usher in the RE spivs and say “over to you, boys”, because that’s where we’ll be in 3 years. Let’s have a dress rehearsal.

  2. Rafe Champion says:

    Taking out the internconnector from Queensland would have the same effect because in NSW we are always importing from the north. Today we are importing fromVictoria as well.

  3. Entropy says:

    Please Queensland close the inter connector! It would mean power prices fall in Queensland.

  4. Fat Tony says:

    ….to wake up the RE fundamentalists from their dogmatic slumber.

    There’s no “dogma” involved unless you are referring to the looting of the western world by the ones currently driving the coup in the USA.

    It’s all about stripping/looting the wealth of the western countries, with (of course) the “elites” in charge.

    These “people” probably control 90% of the world’s wealth anyway – so it must gall them not to have it all. And we mustn’t neglect the Lolita Express – they are above our laws and should be able to do and have everything they desire.

  5. Roger Macrury says:

    Trouble at Mill !

    Clever sub editing – 5 stars.

  6. duncanm says:

    No awakening will occur.

    It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are.

  7. Biota says:

    not only no wind but not too much sun over a lot of Oz

  8. Lee says:

    It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are.

    Remind them that RE is vastly more unreliable.
    They can’t have it both ways.

  9. woolfe says:

    When you look at the end of the demand widget what is the “Demand that AEMO doesn’t see”?

  10. Dr Faustus says:

    They should shut down Liddell entirely for a week, step back, usher in the RE spivs and say “over to you, boys”, because that’s where we’ll be in 3 years. Let’s have a dress rehearsal.

    Unfortunately, Liddell is in the hands of the Prince of RE Spivs.
    AGL will certainly pull this stunt – probably in about a year – to emphasise to Government and industry how important it is going to be to de-risk AGL’s investments in RE/storage/gas backup.

  11. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    They may be fortunate if la Nina brings a cool wet summer to the most populated areas of SE Australia. Been a dampish summer so far here. Seems silly to have an electrical grid which relies on the weather being helpful though, as Dorothea MacKellar warned.

  12. Tel says:

    https://mises.org/library/importance-capital-theory

    In the sushi economy, this initial prosperity was illusory. Although there were indeed benefits from the new technology, the bulk of the extra consumption was being financed through capital consumption, i.e., by allowing the boats and nets to deteriorate. This is analogous to Americans’ consuming a massive amount of imported consumption goods during the housing boom, because they erroneously thought their rising house values would more than compensate. In other words, had Americans realized that their real-estate holdings would plummet in a few years, they would not have consumed nearly as much. They were consuming capital without realizing it, just as the islanders didn’t realize that their extra sushi consumption was largely financed through neglect of their boats and nets.

  13. BrettW says:

    So NSW importing from VIC and Qld. Matt Kean must be thrilled.

    Apart from Covid this should be front page news but no doubt won’t rate a mention.

  14. Roger says:

    The RERT is actually a RORT because there is no additional power available.

    It’s not a rort, it’s a mealy mouthed lie.

  15. Roger says:

    Please Queensland close the inter connector! It would mean power prices fall in Queensland.

    That it would, but it would also probably be unconstitutional to restrict trade between the states by government diktat.

    One day, though, Qld may not have excess power to send, which is a different matter entirely.

  16. Not Uh oh says:

    So any word on whether they’re going to repair the generator or just let it go, seeing as they’re closing down the whole joint in a few years.

  17. Rafe Champion says:

    But Bruce, it is supposed to get hotter every year! I read that on The Guardian, or was it The Conversation!

  18. H B Bear says:

    Good luck expecting companies to spend money on maintenance when they can’t make any money selling into the final product market. Who knew people don’t run private companies as charities?

  19. H B Bear says:

    One day, though, Qld may not have excess power to send, which is a different matter entirely.

    Just a matter of time. Then the rubber really hits the road.

  20. Colin Suttie says:

    “ It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are”

    The comments on the SMH article about this incident are full of this sentiment. And these lunatics vote…

  21. min says:

    Matt Kean has just called Trump Dangerous and demented . Pot Kettle etc.

  22. Turtle says:

    G’day from WA

  23. H B Bear says:

    WA will be spared this for a couple of years but Western Power is not making any money and Muja is well past it’s Use By date without a major maintenance spend. Sneakers and his renewable promises will be long gone by then.

  24. Lee says:

    “ It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are”

    The comments on the SMH article about this incident are full of this sentiment. And these lunatics vote…

    And wind and solar is reliable?
    LOL
    Like the universe, idiocy is infinite.

  25. RobK says:

    what is the “Demand that AEMO doesn’t see”?
    It is “behind the meter solar” mainly. It is estimated from several thousand online subscribers to a register and multiplied out to the extent of the registered installations. It tries to estimate self consumption by those installations. There is no way to check the accuracy of the data but it is of little consequence other than indicating the potential extra load the grid would bear if cloud cover increases. I expect it gets touched up a bit to make the RE crusade more relevant.

  26. Turtle says:

    You’re dead right H B Bear. I was just having a laugh. In fact, I’m getting sick of the separatist bullshit over here, especially as peddled by the morons at our daily paper.

    WA may have a grid stability problem in the future too due to too much solar.

  27. RobK says:

    The widget explained:
    https://wattclarity.com.au/other-resources/widgets/reneweconomy-widget/

    Finally, there are a number of points of consumption that the AEMO can’t see (especially in real time) – such as where it is supplied by generators that operate “behind the meter”. Small-scale PV is one example of this, but there are others (such as embedded generation on industrial sites). As we are able to access (or estimate) other aspects of this, we will evolve our representation

  28. RobK says:

    Liddell unit 3 out till perhaps March 2021 after transformer incident (serious injury to one person)

    “On a precautionary basis, AGL has informed the Australian Energy Market Operator that the length of the outage may be up to two and a half months, subject to the completion of this assessment. AGL notes that this estimate is highly preliminary.”

  29. Tel says:

    It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are

    The Liddell turbines are almost 50 years old and scheduled for retirement on their 50th birthday.

    Yes, really old equipment does tend to get less reliable as the time comes for replacement … but that says nothing about “coal generators” as such. It is merely evidence that Australians are not building any new coal plants, and that’s a legal/government mandate caused by various “Global Warming” legislation. If anyone wants to add up the reliability over the entire 50 year lifespan I bet they can’t find anything that beats it. As a comparison, at Fukushima the TEPCO reactor 1 plant was just a few years older than Liddell … although it is fair to say that tsunami is rare in the Hunter Valley, but storms and flooding are not.

  30. RobK says:

    Lee,
    Remind them that RE is vastly more unreliable.
    They can’t have it both ways.

    Indeed. If a wind farm or three went offline for a few months, no drama would ensue.

  31. thefrollickingmole says:

    the outage may be up to two and a half months, subject to the completion of this assessment.

    Oh no, that will mean they will be charging higher prices for the power they do generate.
    How will they cope?

  32. Figures says:

    I don’t know what you guys are worried about. The country will be broke within two years so I suspect there will be plenty of spare electricity capacity.

  33. yarpos says:

    “ It’ll just be used as evidence as to how unreliable coal generators are”

    The comments on the SMH article about this incident are full of this sentiment. And these lunatics vote…”

    Never occurs to them that we have had reliable power for the last 70 or 80 years. They are just brainwashed numpties that believe “RE” works and is cheaper as well.

  34. Figures says:

    Remind them that RE is vastly more unreliable.
    They can’t have it both ways.

    What has happened in the past few years that has led you to believe leftists were capable of any kind of logic?

  35. H B Bear says:

    I’m getting sick of the separatist bullshit over here, especially as peddled by the morons at our daily paper.

    The best thing you can say about Channel Stokes and Teh Worst Australian is that they know their audience.

  36. RobK says:

    and Muja is well past it’s Use By date without a major maintenance spend.
    It was past its use by date before the last very major spend some years ago.

  37. H B Bear says:

    It was past its use by date before the last very major spend some years ago.

    Another Emperor Barney brain fart.

  38. H B Bear says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they need at least one Muja turbine to stop the entire SWIS network from crapping itself but I do not know enough about the engineering to say for certain.

  39. H B Bear says:

    Mainland Tasmania on the bludge as usual. The new troll nowhere to be seen.

  40. Biota says:

    My provider is Energy Australia and they keep shoving requests to join in load shedding on really hot days. For example raise the AC temp a couple of degrees. I think this is softening for the future of intermittent supply that we all should bear joyfully because saving the planet. Doesn’t matter how bad it gets there will be no turning back. The one thing that is out of the doomsayers hands is that CO2 is not the globe’s thermostat, and is not controllable otherwise why does the Keeling curve continue uninterrupted despite efforts to make it turn down. Perhaps eventually it will dawn on enough people that it has all been a massive hoax because no prophecies have come close to being actual.

  41. Squirrel says:

    Putting aside minor details such as the laws of physics, what we obviously need is an Operation Warp Speed (on steroids) to solve the problems (particularly regarding storage) which the renewables deniers so steadfastly deny.

    No amount of nagging, bullying, prodding, threats and exhortations – including summonses to the White House for group praise and shaming sessions – will solve those technological problems.

  42. Rayvic says:

    “So NSW importing from VIC and Qld. Matt Kean must be thrilled.”

    But Matt Kean will use that to justify wasting even more scarce funds on RE.

  43. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV) says:

    war with china is inevitable now

  44. Zippy:

    war with china is inevitable now

    I’m curious of your reasoning, not that I think you are wrong.

  45. Eyrie says:

    Please Queensland close the inter connector! It would mean power prices fall in Queensland.

    That it would, but it would also probably be unconstitutional to restrict trade between the states by government diktat.

    hahahahahahaha! Unconstitutional! Hahahahahah! It is clear nobody in office in Australia cares about the Constitution. What is NSW going to to do? Invade Queensland? Sue in the High Court? Queensland will ignore any judgement. What then?

  46. duncanm says:

    Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)
    #3695330, posted on December 20, 2020 at 10:02 pm
    war with china is inevitable now

    Who says we’ll put up a fight?

  47. yarpos says:

    The UK situation is interesting. As long as the lights stay on , it will never occur to BoJo and Co that forceably adding EV demand to that grid is a monumentally stupid thing to be doing. Then will will just grind slowly closer to that inevitable disaster.

  48. Figures says:

    Who says we’ll put up a fight”

    How on earth will we notice the difference between being ruled by the CCP and being ruled by our current totalitarian imbeciles?

  49. Siltstone says:

    Tomago aluminium smelter has curtailed production 15 times since start of November to free up power for NSW. It is getting ugly.

  50. Lrp says:

    If we were to become part of China wouldn’t our per capita CO2 emissions go down to their level?

  51. Simon Morgan says:

    This would be great if the politburo was the only entity to suffer but as it is the Chinese people will be suffering all the consequences of Chairman Mao’s, oops! – Chairman Xi’s – delusions of grandeur.

  52. Kneel says:

    “The Liddell turbines are almost 50 years old and scheduled for retirement on their 50th birthday.”

    Not only is it that old, but back in the day when NSW GovCo owned it, they liked to run it flat-out a lot because it was one of the cheaper ones to run – it handled “dirty coal” more easily than, eg, Bayswater (literally across the New England Highway from Liddell), and so they didn’t need to wash the coal as much.
    Several times I saw canvas “walls” and danger tags where high pressure steam was leaking in the Liddell powerhouse – only a small leak, but enough to cook you, maybe even cut a big chunk out of you should you be silly enough to get too close. They were in place for weeks that I saw.

    If they really have to, they can run most of these units at 50% over rated capacity, but the price for doing so is doubled maintenance schedule – or so the Japanese installing the #4 generator at Eraring told me. That would push Eraring (and Bayswater, and Mt Piper) from 2.6GW to almost 4GW. So likely we can ride out a major blackout – at least until the maintenance requirements catch up to us.

  53. Scotty says:

    RERT does provide new power – from unused spare diesel generators- for example Telstra’s reserve generators can be activated under RERT, yes, diesel!

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