Have they done their due diligence on the wind supply?
An open letter to relevant state ministers, cc to the others in the hope that they are interested. To be sent like the briefing notes of the “iceberg program” that go to 835 state and federal members from coast to coast.
Dear ……I am writing to collect information for a paper to present to the Clean Energy Council Summit in Sydney on 13-14 July. The plan for the paper is to report the work that all the states have done to observe due diligence with their plans to pursue net zero emissions.
The critical issue is – are the plans robust in the face of fluctuations in the supply of wind and solar power? Can the supply be guaranteed under the worst case scenarios that are likely to arise when there is not enough conventional power installed to provide 100% of demand?
If we plan to dispense with coal-fired power and depend on RE then due diligence demands an actuarial assessment of the risk of grid failure due to lack of wind, given that no solar power is available for most of the 24-hour day.
For example the flood protection for the city of Launceston is planned to withstand a 1 in 200 years deluge in the catchment area. The plan is mindful of the disastrous 1929 flood.
Can the states demonstrate that the electricity supply will be as secure in the face of protracted wind droughts, as the city of Launceston is secure against heavy rain?
Are you aware of the frequency and duration of wind droughts across the whole of SE Australia and also in your own state?
The plans appear to depend on the amount of installed wind and solar generating capacity but due diligence required attention to the worst possible situation, in other words, the lowest points of RE generation. Floods penetrate levees at the lowest point, attacking armies scale the castle walls at the lowest point and if there is no petrol in your tank the car will not go, regardless of the size of the tank. No petrol, no power; similarly no wind, no wind power.
Low points in the wind supply can be readily observed in the records of the AEMO. In June 2020 June 2020 the supply of wind dropped below 10% of the “plated”, installed or potential capacity of the windfleet on several occasions. Source https://anero.id/energy/
The longest spells were 33 hours, 18 hours, 16 hours and 14 hours. That is unusual but the point of due diligence is to find if the system is robust under the most demanding circumstances that are likely to arise in a given time frame, say 50, 100 or 200 years.
Key questions. Information required to collate for the Clean Energy Council Summit.
1. Have you investigated the anticipated supply of wind with particular attention to extended periods of critically low supply?
2. Do you have an actuarial study to assess the resilience of the anticipated supply to cope with events in a 50, 100 or 200 year frame? In other words, do you anticipate that the system is designed to handle 1 in 50, 1 in 100 or 1 in 200 year low wind events?
3. What are the plans to maintain continuity in the power supply during extended wind droughts? Details of the capacity in MWh (not just MW) are necessary and also the anticipated cost of the most likely remedies – transmission lines, batteries and pumped hydro.
I expect that this information will be readily available in the research and planning branches of the relevant department and it will be helpful to have your response in hand by the end of June to allow some time to complete the paper for the July Summit. I am confident that there will be lively interest in the findings!
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.