STT has been slogging away on this battleground for nearly 4 years now. At times we’ve felt like a lone sniper taking on a German Panzer division.
The dim-witted arts grads that double as ‘journalists’ in this country either actively joined with the wind cult in worshipping these things and crushing all those who had the temerity to point out the one or two minor flaws inherent in a power source that was abandoned centuries ago, for pretty obvious reasons (see above). Or, they stood slack-jawed on the sidelines and said nothing about a wholly predictable economic and social calamity – so much for the fourth estate.
All it took was a couple of Statewide blackouts – in what has hitherto been glowingly referred to by wind worshippers as “Australia’s wind power capital” – that followed total and totally unpredictable collapses in wind power output, and a doubling of power prices to already struggling South Australian businesses, for the mainstream press to pile into the trenches with STT.
When another “system black” occurred after wind power output dropped to a doughnut in the early hours of the first day of summer, Australia’s journalists were attracted to the scene of the calamity in the way that gawping onlookers gather at the scene of multiple car pileups.
For all of the talk about how much Australians “love” renewables, rocketing power prices have a tendency to temper that kind of dreamy ardour. However, even the most starry eyed struggle to push the merits of wind power when they’re arguing the toss, sitting in a house with no power; no lights; no heating or cooling; no internet; frozen food melting and perishable food perishing.
In short, to borrow from the gritty parlance of America’s gangsta rappers: this shit just got real. Just how real was spelt out neatly by Andrew Bolt in Adelaide’s The Advertiser.
Why blackouts? Answer is blowing in the wind
5 December 2016
Last week gave us two huge wakeups: Australia is on the brink of an electricity disaster thanks to its global warming madness.
In South Australia, the wind farms failed again and helped to cause huge blackouts.
In Victoria, electricity prices will shoot up by around 10 per cent from January, thanks to the announced closure of the “dirty” coal-fired Hazelwood plant.
Business is now panicking.
BHP Billiton had its giant Olympic Dam mine shut down for the second time in two months by South Australia’s dodgy wind farms, and chief executive Andrew Mackenzie demanded urgent action by all governments.
“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said.
But unless we all wake up to this global warming cult, the price will become horrendous.
Thousands of blue-collar workers will lose their jobs, and the poor won’t be able to afford heaters in winter or airconditioners in summer.
Last week surely must be the last straw.
First example. South Australia, the state which boasts the most wind power, suffered yet more blackouts on Thursday.
Two months earlier, the whole state lost its electricity when six wind farms could not handle a storm and tripped the system.
This time the problem was not too much wind but too little.
Just after midnight, the winds died and the wind farms which on average supply 40 per cent of the state’s power were down to just 8.5 per cent.
Normally South Australia, which has now scrapped its last coal-fired power stations, can back up its unreliable wind farms by importing coal-fired electricity from Victoria. This time it couldn’t. The interconnector failed for reasons still unknown. Hence the blackouts.
Hence also the higher costs that make South Australia’s electricity the country’s most expensive. The state was forced to buy extra electricity on the spot market at nearly $14,000 a megawatt hour.
For comparison, Victoria, still heavy users of very cheap brown coal, normally pays less than $70. But two things about Thursday’s blackout should terrify South Australians.
First, they ran out of power just when demand could not have been lower — at around 1am on a mild day.
Imagine what will happen in summer, during a scorcher when workers have just home and switched on their TVs and aircons.
Second, South Australia is still relying on Victoria to bail it out with its own coal-fired electricity.
But that can’t last, now that the owners of Victoria’s giant Hazelwood plant, responsible for up to 20 per cent of the state’s electricity, say it must close.
Blame global warming hysteria for that, too.
The owners couldn’t see a future for coal-fired power in this country, especially with the federal Labor Party promising to force Australians to take 50 per cent of their electricity from wind, solar and the existing hydro plants by just 2030.
The Liberals are little better. They say they will probably increase their own renewable energy targets, if not to Labor’s wild heights.
In the meantime, the states have their own targets — 40 per cent by 2025 in Victoria — and have also subsidise wind farms and solar panels.
Victoria, in its last budget, also tripled the royalties it charged on coal. So coal-fired electricity generators are being driven out of business, and many politicians still refuse to face up to the cost of this green vandalism.
Two months ago, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told Victorians not to worry about Hazelwood closing, costing 750 workers their jobs.
Power prices would rise by less than 4 per cent, he said.
But last week electricity retailers announced price rises of around 10 per cent for domestic users on standing offers, and more for business.
Already the giant Portland aluminium smelter is wondering how much longer it can afford to keep going.
And the worst part of all this?
None of it will actually stop global warming, which is supposedly the whole point of this pain.
On our own, Australia would struggle to make even 0.01C of difference to world’s temperatures over the century, using every green policy.
What’s more, what little warming we’ve seen is much less than predicted, and much less dangerous than feared.
Cyclones have not got worse, the rains have not vanished and our dams have not drained. World grain crops keep setting records.
So all this pain for no gain. Your lights go off, your bills go up but the climate stays the same. Isn’t that insane?
Like a down on his luck gambler, South Australia’s witless Labor government has almost nothing left to play with; and the next roll of the dice is likely to be the last.
Options are limited; the blistering summer threatened by global warming hysterics is on the doorstep; and the politics of power has become utterly toxic. The only thing that might save South Australia from sweltering through a run of windless (and therefore powerless) scorching summer days and nights is to bring both of its Pelican Point Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plants, and the now mothballed Northern Power plant at Port Augusta back on line.
Frydenberg orders South Australia to restore Pelican Point
Sarah Martin & Michael Owen
6 December 2016
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says the South Australian Labor government must do “everything it can” to restore the Pelican Point power station to full capacity, as energy companies hit out at the Victorian and NSW governments for restricting gas supply.
Ahead of Friday’s COAG energy meeting where an interim report on Australia’s energy market from Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is expected, Mr Frydenberg said the government was pulling all levers to try to get more gas into the market to drive down prices and increase reliability.
Mr Frydenberg said South Australia was not doing enough to get the gas-fired generator at Pelican Point “up and running”, and warned of problems for consumers and business if it did not increase the amount of baseload power in its energy mix.
“What the government needs to do is to make it their business to get it happening,” he said. “South Australia has 40 per cent of its power coming from intermittent sources, namely wind and solar, so they need to build some sustainability into the system.’’
Mr Frydenberg’s comments came as an ambitious proposal by Brisbane power investor Trevor St Baker to reopen South Australia’s coal-fired Northern Power Station suffered a setback with the state’s biggest energy user, BHP, choosing to sign a long-term contract with a gas generator instead.
Mr St Baker had claimed the power station could be reopened by the new year to help South Australia through the peak summer period, but needed new contracts to make it commercially viable.
As South Australia’s energy woes continue, major gas producers held crisis talks with the federal government in Melbourne yesterday to discuss how to address a looming gas shortage that was threatening jobs and investment across southeastern Australia.
Following the meeting, which had been called by Industry Minister Greg Hunt, Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith hit out at state governments for restricting supply, warning that Australians “will pay for this in their energy bills going forward”.
“Successive state governments, both Labor and Coalition, in Victoria and NSW have stifled the development of a new gas supply despite scientific evidence it can be safely extracted,” he said. “Australia has more than enough gas to meet local demand and supply job-creating export projects, but gas will be more expensive while state governments continue to ban exploration of new gas reserves.”
The irony dripping from that tale is that it is the Federal government’s Large-Scale RET (which sits within Josh Frydenberg’s portfolio) that destroyed the viability of both of the power plants the subject Frydenberg’s edict. For either of those plants to operate viably, the LRET has to go. Either that, or South Australians will be called upon to subsidise meaningful power generators to make up for the fact that the market perverting subsidies paid to wind power outfits caused the disaster in the first place. It’s a deliciously ironic dilemma, to be sure. However, for South Australians it’s become a diabolical daily disaster.
Welcome to your wind powered future!