UPDATE AT 10.30PM In the late afternoon the windmills in SA were pumping at 40% of plated/installed capacity and power was flowing to Victoria. Since dinnertime a wind drought has struck and the wind capacity is down to 3.3%, that is 90MW (7% of the demand.)
The inbound flow is 450MW (a third of the demand), gas is providing a flow of 850MW and the battery 10MW.
ON THE UPSIDE
Celebrating the achievement of the wind leading state that showed the way to the future when they blew up their coal power stations.
The state Liberal government has now firmly embraced the renewables transition, setting a target for 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
By 2050, the government says, renewables could generate 500% of the state’s energy needs, with the surplus exported nationally and internationally.
ON THE DOWNSIDE
The South Australians have doubled or tripled the price of power and brought the grid to the verge of collapse. That is the easy part of the transition, the hard part will be to keep the lights on when the NEM loses any more coal power capacity, starting with Liddell in 2023.
In SA there is 2.1GW of installed capacity which is comparable with the demand that ranges from about 900MW to 2,500MW although the average at 29% of capacity falls well short of demand and frequent wind droughts reduce the wind power supply to near zero.
THE CRITICAL ISSUE is the supply of wind power at breakfast and dinnertime that are high points of demand coinciding with little or no solar power. The sun works office hours like most other people. SA may be a net exporter of power but they cannot claim to be independent of coal power as long as they need to import regularly, or indeed if they ever have to import.
Over the last three months SA has been importing at breakfast and dinnertime almost every day. Every day they use local gas. You can see the exchanges between the states at the NemWatch widget. In each state the upper bar shows the sources of of generation, colour coded, and the lower bar indicates the demand. Run the cursor along the bar to get the precise figure for each source. See how much the green has to expand at dinnertime to achieve any reduction in coal power,
The lesson from the South Australian experience is clear. Wind power is not working to provide energy independence.
Victoria will be in the same situation without Yallourn.
UPDATE: A reminder about the champions of energy realism.
ANOTHER INFORMATIVE STORY BY PERRY WILLIAMS
FLOWS BETWEEN STATES IN EUROPE
Of course, the European power market is a complex one, with France both importing and exporting. France, for instance, both exports power to and imports from Germany, in order to balance fluctuations in wind and solar power there. Italy imports about a tenth of its electricity from France, to function alongside its predominantly gas grid. Switzerland also relies somewhat on French power.
Spain also imports from and exports to France to balance its renewable output.
BEWARE OF COMPULSORY ELECTRIFICATION – A US STUDY
On Wednesday, a short item in the Federal Register underscored the regressive nature of the “electrify everything” effort that is being promoted by some of America’s highest-profile environmental groups, climate change activists, politicians, and academics. It forecasts the “representative average unit costs of five residential energy sources for the year 2021.”
It also projects that one million Btu in the form of natural gas will cost about $11, propane will cost about $19, No. 2 heating oil will cost $20, and kerosene will cost $23. Thus, electricity will cost nearly four times as much as natural gas and twice as much as propane, a fuel that is commonly used by rural Americans in their homes, and on their farms and ranches.
Warning, Bezos at work.
In Massachusetts, about a dozen towns have partnered with the Rocky Mountain Institute, which recently got a $10 million grant from the Bezos Earth Fund, to advocate for the right to ban the use of natural gas in homes and commercial buildings.
Banning natural gas forces consumers to use more-expensive electricity to heat their homes, cook their food, and heat the water needed to wash their clothes and dishes. Proponents of the electrify everything push, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, which got $100 million from the Bezos Earth Fund, prefer to call their efforts “beneficial electrification.” The more accurate term is “forced electrification” because it will increase the energy burden on low- and middle-income consumers.