The Gambler

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On a train bound for nowhere, I met up with a Gambler…

A little while back, that great philosopher, Kenny Rogers spelt out the rules for Gamblers in clear and simple terms:

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,

Know when to walk away and know when to run.

You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.

There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

That sound advice is ignored in the breach by wind weasels and their parasites.

A couple of weeks ago greentard blogger and near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen’s (aka Babcock and Brown) pet-propaganda-pedlar, Ketan Joshi – crowed on ruin-economy about a fleeting moment when a large proportion of South Australia’s energy was supplied from wind power – as did the whole greentard blogosphere.  The Clean Energy Council pumped up the “story” of the big “win” and the mainstream press sucked it up – including regional rags like the Port Lincoln Times.

Like the Gambler, these boys breached the rule about counting their money while sittin’ at the table – they simply counted too soon.

And just like the Gambler the wind weasel and their parasites are always ready to tell you about their “wins” but never about their “losses”.  When he’s down on his luck, the Gambler will happily lie to himself, friends and family about his failing fortunes – the greentard Gambler is no different.

In this post we pop up the some of the “track results” for wind power in South Australia over the last few months – courtesy of the boys at windfarmperformance.info.

We’ve already debunked the wind weasel myth that by spreading thousands of turbines over an entire continent you’ll get lovely “free” wind energy all the time in: The “Great Oz” has spoken: the wind will no longer be “intermittent”.

Before you dip into the woeful results set out below here are a few tips about what’s in the graphs (oh, and if the graphs below look less than crystal clear on your screen, click on them, and they will open in a new window and be razor sharp).

The top graph shows the “capacity factor”, which is the percentage of actual output versus the rated capacity for all wind farms connected to the SA Grid.

Note too the synoptic chart showing a big fat high pressure systems covering the entire South-East of Australia.

The middle graph shows the total output of all wind farms connected to the SA Grid in Megawatts (MW) over the course of the day.  All of the individual wind farms are identified below that.

The data is all pulled from the AEMO website, so it’s as “Kosher” as a New York Bagel.

The red line in the bottom graph shows total aggregate demand for electricity from users drawing on the SA Grid over the same period.

The boys at windfarmperformance.info tell at us that there is 1,203 MW of installed wind farm capacity in SA.

The one thing you will notice is that wind power output usually hits its straps at night which explains why people are being driven nuts at Waterloo, Waubra and MacArthur as they try to sleep.

So, let’s check some the greentard Gambler’s losses in SA.

june 3 SA all

3 June 2013 – from 12 noon to midnight:

Total SA wind farm output: ZERO.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: ZERO.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: ZERO.

July 8 2013 South Australia

8 July 2013 – from 8am to 6pm:

Total SA wind farm output: ZERO.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: ZERO.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: ZERO.

July 24 2013 South Australia

24 July 2013 – 12 noon to 6pm:

Total SA wind farm output: ZERO.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: ZERO.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: ZERO.

30-Jul-13-SA

30 July 2013 – from 11 am to midnight:

Total SA wind farm output: practically ZERO.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: practically ZERO.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: practically ZERO.

August 15 SA

15 August 2013 – from 4 am to 10 am:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 150 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 12%.

Total SA demand: 1,500 MW and rising sharply.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 10%.

August 25 SA

25 August 2013 – from 5 pm to 8 pm:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 35 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 2.9%.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW and rising sharply.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 2.1%.

August 26 SA

26 August 2013 – from 3 pm to 7 pm:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 30 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 2.5%.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW and rising sharply.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 1.8%.

September 1 SA

1 September 2013 – from 7 pm to 9 pm:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 90 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 7.5%.

Total SA demand: 1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 5.6%.

Note the collapse in output from a peak of over 900 MW to less than 90 MW from 6 am to 8 pm – RELIABLE stuff, wind power.

September 2 SA

2 September 2013 – from 12 noon to 6 pm:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 20 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 1.7%.

Total SA demand: 1,500-1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 1.2%

September 5 SA

5 September 2013 – from 3 am to 12 noon:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 60 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 5%.

Total SA demand: 1,200-1,600 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 4.2%.

September 14 SA

14 September 2013 – from 5 pm to 9 pm:

Total SA wind farm output: less than 50 MW.

Output as a percentage of total installed SA wind farm capacity: 4%.

Total SA demand: 1,500 MW.

Contribution to SA’s total demand as a percentage: 3%.

Note though that – just as demand heads for its peak – wind power hits zero.  DEPENDABLE stuff, wind power.

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One thing I’ll say for the STT crew – is that they’re thorough.
They really know how flog a point to death.

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We could add more examples, but we’re bored now – we’ve made our point.

Wind power is intermittent, unreliable and insanely expensive.  No 1st World economy can operate with power delivered at crazy, random intervals – like that shown above.

ALL of the power – chewed up by SA’s power punters – that wasn’t supplied from SA’s 1,203 MW of wind power capacity came from fossil fuel sources.

When wind power goes AWOL – ALL back up comes from fossil fuel sources.

The first line of defence comes from coal fired power stations bringing “spinning reserve” into action – often in a heartbeat and in response to the huge fluctuations in wind power output on a minute by minute basis.

“Spinning reserve” involves a coal or gas thermal plant running its boilers around the clock – but disengaging the turbine/generator from the boiler – with the steam produced being “vented” to the atmosphere.  When wind power drops out – steam is fed to the turbine/generator which is engaged to make up the shortfall and keep the grid from collapsing.  Keeping adequate “spinning reserve” to back up intermittent and unreliable wind power means that millions of additional tons of coal are being burned in Victoria (and elsewhere) every year without generating a single spark.  This Dutch study deals with the increase in Co2 emissions due to increased wind power penetration in a coal/gas fired grid.  South Australia is connected to the Eastern Grid and imports large volumes of coal fired power from Victoria through the Heywood and Murraylink Inter-connectors – it’s what keeps the lights on in those remaining homes in SA that can still afford the most expensive electricity in the world.

The next line of defence comes from quick start-up Open Cycle Gas Turbines which cost a bomb to run (in the order of $300 per MW/h) – which are highly inefficient generating systems – but which make their owners a handsome little profit making up missing wind-watts.  AGL runs a stack of them at Macarthur in Victoria and in a number of places in SA. Energy Australia runs a stack next to AGL’s Hallett wind farms:

Peaking power at Hallett

Energy Australia’s OCGTs run on heavy fuel oil – clean & green, hey?

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Last in the line-up are diesel generators which cost even more to run (in the order of $500 per MW/h) – believe it or not Australia has substantial generating capacity available from diesel generators – which have been installed for no other purpose than to back up the grid when wind power goes missing.

All of that INSANE cost is passed on to power punters.  No wonder that SA has the HIGHEST power prices in the world.

We’ve covered the impact of exorbitant peaking power costs on SA’s power prices here , here and here. These posts deal with the FACT that when wind-watts go missing 80-100 times every year, the dispatch price rockets from an average of $40 per MW/h up to $12,500 per MW/h.

And we’ve looked at how wind power’s crazy fluctuations are causing nightmares for grid managers in this post: Where will you be when the lights go out for good?

No amount of crowing by ruin-economy, yes2ruining-us or the Climate Speculator changes the inescapable FACT that wind power was a technology that was redundant before it began.

STT’s content to let these greentard “Gamblers” crow about the very occasional “win” – but STT says that next time you’re on a train bound for nowhere, make sure you ask these Gamblers to tell you about the “losses” too.  Don’t expect a straight answer – as Kenny warned – Gamblers make a lifetime out of readin’ people’s faces.  If a greentard Gambler hits you with his poker face, lay this post on the table – STT thinks it’ll trump 4 greentard Aces every time.

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About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Harry Makris says:

    ..HOLY COW…!!!
    These guys have been sucked in big time….

    All that money (debt/investment) for what,?,,,,This…!
    …Next to useless……and a Liability.

  2. We have had to republish this post as it had been lost. The comments that were on this page were:

    Colin Walkden says:
    September 19, 2013 at 7:35 am
    I wonder what capacity Windy Hill has been operating at? This last week hardly any wind around, so no noise and lots of very sound sleep. Now I remember what it was like 13 years ago, before the fans started. It would be interesting to see the MWs produced by Windy Hill during this period and the projected MWs for Mt Emerald.

    mtbryandiesel says:
    September 19, 2013 at 1:55 am
    The editor of the Stock Journal has obviously been fed a complete line of Hogwash by the CEC, Wind Weasels and Greentards, based by his editorial on 12-9-13 – so he has just been sent the above information.

    How can the Editor of SA’s main rural paper write such rubbish when so many rural South Australians are impacted so negatively from WTGs too close too their homes? It’s about what you would expect from the Fairfax outfit.

    1957chev says:
    September 18, 2013 at 11:33 pm
    Reblogged this on shelliecorreia and commented:
    Ask T. Boone Pickens about gambling on wind power. He had over 2 billion $$$. Now he is down to his last 950 million! LOL Blown in the wind.

    Nimbynet says:
    September 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm
    Congratulations to STT on this thoughtful, considered, punchy and well researched post. Investigative journalism at its best.

    Jackie Rovensky says:
    September 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm
    Thank you STT, and this comes at a time when South Australians are being told they will be paying even more because ElecraNet has to ‘reconfigure’ the Grid Connection in the South East to Heywood in Victoria to enable Wind Energy to be passed on and oh for us to get some back when we need it.
    Funny how this has come about when Infigen needs to find a way to connect their proposed Woakwine Wind Energy Installation in the South East to the Grid.
    This news comes after an ElectrNet official said on radio I was wrong about this needing to be done because of wind energy, only about a week ago.
    By the way, they did not use the term upgrade, but reconfiguring, which is also re-shaping, re-modelling or re-formatting – are they going to re-jig the existing connection or are they intending to put in a whole new one?

Trackbacks

  1. […] but unpredictable, basis (see our posts here and hereand here and here and here andhere and here and here). And for more recent woeful […]

  2. […] demand starts to peak – and see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  3. […] hydro, nuclear, gas and coal (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  4. […] emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  5. […] emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  6. […] collapses in wind power output (our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  7. […] happen on a routine basis (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). The greater the installed capacity of wind power, the more OCGTs that are needed to […]

  8. […] but unpredictable, basis (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  9. […] emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  10. […] days for wind power generators see our posts here and here and here and here and here and […]

  11. […] modern economy can run with electricity delivered at crazy, random intervals.  To compensate for that meteorological fact, Germany is flat out building more coal fired power […]

  12. […] day – wind power output plummets (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  13. […] be backed up 100% of the time (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  14. […] every day and for days on end (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and […]

  15. […] For more South Australian wind power “FAILS” check out The Gambler. […]

  16. […] because it can never be supplied on-demand (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here). It’s the last point which is the only possible justification for the enormous stream […]

  17. […] more STT Mythbuster’s data see our posts here and here and here and here and […]

  18. […] promises of “powering” millions of Australian homes (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and […]

  19. […] roof when wind-watts disappear every day and, frequently, for days on end (see our posts here and here and here and […]

  20. […] just to take wind power – on the few occasions it actually delivers (see our posts here and here and here and […]

  21. […] wind-watts when they disappear every day and, frequently, for days on end (see our posts here and here and here and […]

  22. […] never know which 70% of the time that might be. Positively Stone Age stuff (see our posts here and here and here and […]

  23. […] As The Australian notes, SA managed to put 15% of its 1,203 MW capacity into the grid on 28 January – but based on past performances, that’s a sterling effort by SA’s huge fleet of fans – there are plenty of occasions when they struggle to muscle up with even 5% (see our posts here and here). […]

  24. […] should have just come right out and said: “hey what did you expect?  Wind power is delivered at crazy, random intervals, get over […]

  25. […] modern economy can run with electricity delivered at crazy, random intervals.  To compensate for that meteorological fact, Germany is flat out building more coal fired power […]

  26. […] does not – and will never do so – because wind power is delivered at crazy, random intervals – rarely matching peak periods of demand and often being produced at night-time when demand […]

  27. […] up 100% of the time by fast start-up fossil fuel generation sources can never do (see our posts here and here and […]

  28. […] true cost of the RET lies in the use of insanely expensive wind power which is delivered at crazy, random intervals and must be fully backed up 100% of the time with fast start-up generating capacity – which […]

  29. […] generating “capacity” is in intermittent unreliable wind power delivered at crazy, random intervals – no wonder it has the highest retail power prices in the […]

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