Wind Power Chaos Promises to Deliver Mass Summer Blackouts Across Australia

The only businesses which are bouncing along in South Australia are those selling portable diesel generators, candles and LED headlamps.

The sort of staple items you might find on a Doomsday Prepper’s list. However, in Australia’s so-called wind power capital, BYO and DIY power and lighting are everyday essentials.

SA’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill pretends that he has everything under control. Australia’s Energy Market Operator clearly thinks otherwise.

AEMO warns of more blackouts
The Australian Financial Review
Mark Ludlow and Angela MacDonald-Smith
15 June 2017

Australia is at risk of more blackouts next summer despite new initiatives from energy regulators and governments, according to forecasts from the Australian Energy Market Operator.

The AEMO report to be released on Thursday also warns the looming gas shortage – which resulted in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declaring an “energy crisis” – could still occur if too much gas was exported overseas.

With federal politicians fighting over the key recommendations of the Finkel Review, the AEMO energy supply outlook – the first time gas and electricity forecasts have been combined in one report – shows Australia’s energy system is still fragile.

The report found despite measures being introduced and new generation coming online over the next two years there was still a possibility of blackouts next summer, especially in South Australia, which has a high-penetration of renewable energy.

“There is still a risk of electricity supply falling short of demand, especially in extreme conditions,” the report said.

“The security of the power system will be tested on extremely hot summer afternoons and evenings when consumer demand is highest, with the risk increasing if, at the same time, wind and photovoltaic [PV] generation drops to low levels, other generation stops unexpectedly, or electricity flow is constrained between regions.”

The SA government is aiming to deliver 100 megawatts of battery storage and up to 200 megawatts of temporary diesel generation for emergencies by next summer, while across the National Electricity Market there has been 500 megawatts of new solar and wind generation committed ahead of the 2017-18 summer.

But problems could still happen if renewables come off-line or if transmission lines from Victoria are at full capacity, especially since the NEM has not been tested on peak demand since the closure of the Hazelwood power station in Victoria in March.

AEMO toned down its March warning of a likely shortfall in gas to meet power station demand from summer of 2018-19, but still cautioned supply and demand “remain finely balanced, with continued risks of shortfalls”.

The sober advice comes at a critical time for the gas industry because the AEMO outlook will be an important consideration for Resources Minister Matthew Canavan when deciding whether to impose LNG export controls under the controversial mechanism to be introduced by July 1.

AEMO noted that with the return of the Swanbank E, Pelican Point and Tamar Valley gas generators, the expected amount of gas needed for electricity generation has increased by as much as 23 petajoules a year across the next five years, compared to its March outlook.

That points to about 183 petajoules of gas needed for power generation in 2017-18, which could not be met by supply if the Queensland LNG plants were producing flat out, the regulator said.

However, as pointed out by the LNG sector, the Gladstone plants have not been producing at full capacity while gas producers have increased their supply forecasts over the next five years by up to 147 petajoules.

“Following these updated production forecasts from gas producers, gas supply and demand remain finely balanced, with continued risks of shortfalls,” AEMO said. “Variations in the amount of gas demanded by LNG exports could … be pivotal in determining whether a gas shortfall arises.”

The caution on the gas supply balance therefore looks unlikely to relieve the pressure for the LNG export controls, despite some exporters arguing they are unnecessary.

AEMO also warned of the risk of gas storage levels running down through colder months at the Iona storage plant in Victoria but assessed that a supply shortfall leading to a curtailment in supplies is “unlikely” for this winter.

Still, a bottleneck in flows on the pipeline system means the refilling of the storage plant is “uncertain” for winter 2018 and “unlikely” for subsequent winters, it said, adding that it had taken steps to have the pipeline capacity increased by owner APA Group.

Senator Canavan said the AEMO data would be important in deciding whether to trigger the domestic gas mechanism (ADGSM) but said the government would also consider information from the competition watchdog and industry.
The Australian Financial Review

With the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood plant in April, Victorians are going to get a taste of what their South Australian neighbours have been living with for years: routine load shedding and mass blackouts.

Bear in mind, it’s all down to meteorological malice – see above the output from every wind turbine connected to the Eastern Grid (with a notional capacity of 4,395MW) during May.

Becalmed sailors once cursed the wind gods for failing to deliver, now it’s businesses and households.

Welcome to your wind powered future!

Adelaide’s Summer weather forecast: dark and hot.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Now we see the Turnbull Government proposing to go the full stupid, after promoting the RET legislation which in concert with other state and territory electricity market distorting, renewables legislation is now having the desired affect of destroying coal generation, we see Turnbull flirting with pouring billions more in subsidies into new high efficiency, coal generation (ultra-super critical technology) to “stop the lights going out”.
    Message to Mr Turnbull: the last large, green fields, coal power station built in Australia a decade ago, before the electricity market became so grievously distorted by this renewables madness, was Kogan Creek in Queensland, a 750MW super critical boiler station which produces more power from less coal. As an incidental by-product of this high efficiency design, not only does this station emit less real pollution i.e. NOx, SOx and particulates but it emits less of that life-giving, plant fertilising trace gas CO2, a factor considered important to some.
    Had our opportunistic politicians not created these insane market distortions we now see, the next logical free market step would have been to build, without need of tax payer subsidy, these very ultra-super critical boiler coal stations, not because they reduce CO2 emissions but because they are more efficient and generate more power from less coal. However, in the crazy regulated market mess we now have no responsible venture capitalist would be prepared to risk a cent that’s not underwritten by the same government stupidity that we see funding useless wind and solar technology.
    As that smart TV Meerkat tells us, we should compare the markets.

  2. too cold, too hot, and hungry says:

    woodchip heater and combustion stove anyone?

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    We could even have blackouts this winter. It’s surprising AEMO has not mentioned this. June to-date has been so bad for the wind industry it makes May look like a very good wind production month.
    Without energy being pushed through from Queensland’s and those other States that still have some reliable base-load production, the Eastern Grid could have gone down for everyone.
    Wake up Australia winter could be just as deadly as blackouts in summer and the loss of work hours, adverse effects on production and other business activity will be just as if not more damaging.
    It’s amazing Finkel was so under the spell of the wind witches and warlocks he did not recognize the danger to the country’s welfare he was promoting.
    If our politicians are also under this spell we have no hope, so we must awaken them to the dangers by continuing to write to all of them and using every modern communication tool there is to try and wake them and the media, so we can survive the storm of desperation that is imminent.

  4. “across the National Electricity Market there has been 500 megawatts of new solar and wind generation committed ahead of the 2017-18 summer.”

    Renewables continue to get undue credit from their nameplate capacity. Solar PV pushes peak demand times on proper power stations towards dusk, and adding more of it has very little impact. Similarly, wind power pushes peak demand times on proper power station towards days/times with very low wind power, and adding more of it also has very little impact.

  5. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “With the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood plant in April, Victorians are going to get a taste of what their South Australian neighbours have been living with for years: routine load shedding and mass blackouts.”

    The mind boggles for SA who are going to incur more mass blackouts, if that’s possible, with the closure of Hazlewood which provided 25% of SA baseload power. Backup coal-fired power from Victoria, on demand, when the wind stopped blowing or it was night time and the SA solar panels went to bed.

    It’s gonna be one hell of a summer in southern Australia. Actual lives are now at risk thanks to reckless, feckless, feel-good “global warming” policies ! 🔥

    • Nothing half a biilion dollars worth of gas turbines, diesels and a battery(!?) cant fix. All stops out pre election, barring usual government ineptitude relating to making anything real happen they should be sweet. The will still probably claim its very green leading edge, just dont breathe in the fumes for too long.

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