Wood Mackenzie has produced a top ten list of exciting insights into the green energy transition. Quite amusing!
Have you heard the one about carbon capture? Or Biden’s plans for electric vehicles? My favourite is the one about the impending battery bottleneck in Australia.
To replace ageing coal plants and ensure power security and reliability, Australian companies have announced ambitious plans to build 9.2 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of battery storage projects over the next two years. This is a 19-fold increase from the current 0.5 GWh in operation. To date, only 4% of projects have started construction.
As the clock ticks, the industry is facing some major challenges, particularly the risk of project delays and cancellations.
Good luck with the program and finding several billion dollars to pay for them.
Assuming that we end up with 9.2GWh of storage, say 9,000MWh in round figures, compare that with the amount of power required to keep things going (not just the lights) through a windless night. These things happen occasionally, not that it matters while we have enough conventional power so RE is superfluous to requirements.
Take out the black coal and see what happens. This is the last 24 hours when black coal was providing around 10GW plus or minus according to the time of day. I have left brown in place to allow for a phased exit from the bad old days to the golden/green future.
For a start we need to generate a lot of extra power, beyond daily needs, to deliver 9GWh to charge the batteries. Good luck with that in the absence of a contribution from black coal. And then when we can get through the daytime on brown coal, hydro and RE, how far into a windless night do we get before the batteries are flat?
As you can see in the picture the sun is gone before six o’clock and it is the best part of 14 hours before it starts to make any useful contribution after breakfast. The storage capacity required is in the order of 10GW (the gap between the top of the green in the picture and the total demand indicated by the black line at the top) multiplied by 14. You can make the arithmetic easier so you don’t need to get your calculator by doing the sum for one hour, so the gap of 10GW creates a need for 10GW times 1h = 10GWh. So your batteries are flat inside an hour.
Pity about that. Very expensive as well!
Can that be true, what am I missing, is there a decimal point out of place or something?