Renewable Chaos Shock Treatment: Australia’s Politicians Panic at Threat of Looming Blackouts

Australia’s self-inflicted energy ‘crisis’ is the consequence of considered and deliberate action that promoted weather dependent wind power and time-dependent solar power at the expense of the secure, reliable and affordable stuff.

As the political panic spreads, it’s quite apparent, that those who created the disaster have almost no idea how resolve it.

The PM, Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has no hope of reducing crippling power prices, and is all about attempting to restore stability to an ailing electricity grid.

With the help of JoNova, we’ll go back in time a week or two, to recount the moment when Australia’s political betters recognised just how serious Australia’s power crisis is.

Politicians “shocked” at the power crisis waiting in the Australian electricity grid
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
19 October 2017

Did some politicans just wake up? The news today is that our Energy Minister may realize Australia is conducting a wild experiment with our electricity grid, and may have managed to convince other Australian federal politicians of the risk.

Coalition MPs shocked by energy threat
The Australian: Robert Gottleibsen (even Gottleibsen gets it).

When Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg walked into the Coalition party room with his energy policy earlier this week he faced a sea of hostile faces. But they left the room shocked. At last, the government politicians understood that Australia faces a long term blackout power crisis the like of which has never been seen in modern times.

It’s one thing to read commentaries warning of what is ahead but another to see a minister use confidential information from independent power authorities and regulators to show the desperate state of affairs that is looming for the nation. And then Frydenberg went to the ALP and showed them the same material.

Frydenberg was, if anything, even more alarming than me … [says Gottleibsen who wrote about how the “Energy crisis risk is criminal. March 2017”].

Between 2012 and 2017 Australia has built 1,850MW of weather-linked “intermittent capacity” and only 150 MW of “dispatchable capacity”.

At the same time “dispatchable capacity” has been reduced with the closure of coal and gas fired power plants and the failure to maintain existing coal fired plants.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator back in 2012-13 we had 20 per cent “reserve capacity”— power generation capacity above maximum demand. Currently that’s down to 12 per cent and if the Liddell power station is shut there will be a big shortfall. We therefore face the clear certainty of frequent and long blackouts in all our cities if we do not invest in “dispatchable capacity”.

This graph shows what a fantasy-land most Australian state governments exist in — look at the targets set in Queensland and Victoria. Look at how far gone South Australia is:

Gottleibsen doesn’t show this graph but here’s the SA Medium term outlook for the next two summers according to the AEMO:

The red bars are the reserve shortfalls predicted to occur in summer next year and the year after. In itself, that doesn’t mean there will be blackouts but it means that SA is likely to be completely dependent on the interconnector to the coal plants in Victoria and the risk of blackouts is higher. SA is not self-sufficient.

The renewables fans must be hoping for a minor La Nina here over summer, so the temperatures are not so high and the air conditioners in Adelaide won’t be pumping, and so the hydro dams may fill.
Jo Nova Blog

So, NOW they want to do something …


About stopthesethings

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


  1. The truth is I think Turnbull has heard the death watch beetle. The current electricity emergency is a threat to what Turnbull sees as his birthright, his role as emperor, it transcends even his stated “conviction” that he “will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am “.
    But the bottom line is, given the ongoing train wreck of years of government energy policy insanity, no one responsible for the investment of private capital would come within a country mile of sinking funds into the looney tunes comedy that currently masquerades as the Australian electricity market. Forgetting useless wind and solar, whether its illegal nuclear, coal, or yet to be tapped gas resources that may hopefully stop Ozz from becoming just another dark space on the map like North Korea, it will need still more ship loads of tax payer subsidy money.
    But the “great communicator” needn’t worry, he’s made it almost a lay down misere that we in the merry old land of Ozz will face a Green utopian world of 50% renewables under the Labor/Greens.

  2. Son of a goat says:

    I was talking to a mate the other week at the front bar of the Curramulka pub and I asked him what he was up to for the weekend.

    ” Ah, I’m off to Port Victoria on Saturday with Max to see some guy who has invented a machine that creates energy. Apparently you put in so much energy up front and it produces more at the other end, he’s in the process of patenting this machine ” was his reply.

    I was a little taken back by my mate’s statement who was certainty no fool.

    ” Your telling me some guy from Port Victoria is going to rewrite the Laws of Physics being that energy cant be created or destroyed only move from one form to another” I quizzed him.
    “Apparently” came the response.

    Needless to say when I saw my mate other day and quizzed him about this invention, with a slight giggle he replied “I think he’s having a few issues with the patent.”

    I can understand Bullshit coming from the front bar of the Curry pub but for the life of me I cant understand how Australia’s chief scientist could come up with such rubbish in his Finkel report.

    How he and is supposedly learned peers can state Australia’s energy needs can be miraculously produced through intermittent wind and solar, backed up with various forms of storage defies the laws of physics and is the stuff Royal commissions should be based on.

    The damage the RET has done economically to this country and will continue to be, as STT says, “the greatest fraud of all-time.”

  3. Oops.

  4. I’ve read the eight pages of the National Energy Plan several times and read masses of commentary on it and still nothing adds up…and I don’t think it was ever meant to.

    Even for a ‘framework’ there seems to be deliberate built-in ambiguity and fuzzy meaning.

    And there’s something weird about the timeline.

    At the energy Summit on October 10, it seems no-one knew of the pending NEG that would be released just 3 days later.

    All Frydenberg’s talk at the Summit was about the problem of the bidding powers of the oligopoly…AGL-Origin and Energy Australia…their domination guaranteeing their generation would be dispatched regardless of price…and the fact that AER would investigate that-with a view to lessening the unprecedented volatility in wholesale prices.

    Frydenberg acts as though the swarm of wind/solar into the NEM has no impact whatsoever on volatility—mentions nothing about the favoring of RE in the Merit Order process that ensures wind/solar will always win on the Marginal Cost bid.

    His speech at the Summit was all about total commitment to RE—‘internet of things’-harnessing the new technologies…behind-the-meter technology…demand side management…how cheap wind and solar are…cites Stockyard Hill …the as yet unbuilt wind farm SOLD by Origin to a Chinese company….as a great example of the success and cheapness of wind…no mention of weather-dependence…firming and frequency costs etc…or the fact that it doesn’t yet exist!

    The RE mafia are resisting the idea of paying the extra costs to make RE dispatchable and trying to rewrite history on coal-fired power…we’re apparently supposed to believe that all of these years without significant blackouts are a figment of our imagination…that we suffered unreliable …outage-riven ..coal-fired power all these years while we weren’t looking.

    They’ll manage to con the about-to-vote kids on that ..and those whose faculties have atrophied in the CAGW brainwashing process of recent years.

    Seems anything’s up for consideration except whether it’s all based on lies or not…the only thing they won’t do is to find out whether the billions of TPM is being wasted-just flushed…on a hoax.

    At the energy summit on October10..Frydenberg was puffing and waxing lyrical about everything to do with RE….saying he was still considering the CET….just 3 days before he received the NEG document that apparently[ some think] will make the reviled coal-fired power more valuable than HE thought on Oct10.

    Without missing a beat…just as they slid over from trying to sneak a COAL-KILLING EIS past us… to being COAL KINGS just months ago…Frydenberg and Turnbull would have us believe they’re now committed to enforceable guarantees on reliability as a priority…and scheduling intermittent energy in the same way as coal & gas/fired energy’s scheduled…which means the intermittent energy will presumably have to have contracts for firming and storage, so their availability is certain….penalties applying to them for the first time.

    This was Kerry Schott before the ESB and NEG:
    ‘…the penetration of wind and solar would continue to increase – “DESPITE WHAT THE POLITICIANS MAY DECIDE” and that by the mid 2030s, when ageing coal plants retire, coal will provide just 24 per cent of supply rather than 70 per cent’

    Audrey Zebilman…AEMO…
    ….warned that we had to ‘value reliability’…that the market has to reward generators for the FCAS and firming costs they’ll have to pay to make wind and solar dispatchable.

    So everyone who preceded Zebilman at the Summit had emphasized that there’s no turning back…that RE’s here to stay-so she felt safe to tell us… the cornered lab rats…that it will cost us big time.

    And then there’s the coming change for the 30 minute settlement being changed at great expense and upheaval to a 5 minute settlement rule…apparently to incentivise the deployment of batteries for firming the intermittent electricity…getting rid of gas peakers in the process.

    If the intermittents retain their favoured status in the merit order, surely coal will be beaten out too and we’ll have 100% weather-dependent …battery-dependent…intermittents and NO SYNCHRONOUS BACKUP.

    What I want to know is why no one on the ESB…no politicians…except for Tony Abbott….EVER discuss the fact that no other country in the world…NONE….ZIP…NADA…is putting itself out on such a dangerous limb.

    No other 1st world country that’s without huge run-of-th-river hydro or nuclear power …is committing suicide by trying to survive as a modern industrialised society WITHOUT COAL…NOT ONE!

    Germany..with masses of RE and nuclear still … has tried and tried but can’t…even with numerous connectors to other countries.

    And why do our derelict politicians and mostly LW journalists NEVER address the fact that many highly-credentialled researchers and economists warn that no modern society can ever be sustained on a high penetration of intermittent weather-dependent electricity…let alone exclusively?


    • Frydenberg had nothing to do with the NEG. It was the work of others, but we can’t say who. This analysis (except Judith Sloan’s articles) is based on what the creators of the NEG told STT. The sole point of the NEG is to kill off wind, Frydenberg never saw it coming. Turnbull bought it because they are terrified the major states will end up like South Australia.

      • Thanks for that…I hope you’re right.
        But why do they say the 5 minute settlement interval will incentivize battery storage then ?

      • Denial. It’s one of the stages of grief. Batteries will never get past the experimental stage. The biggest operating battery is 80 MWh, it is in California and built by Musk. You will be hard pressed to find any equivalent anywhere in the world. The Musk mega-battery for SA is still under construction. Plenty of hype and big expectations, let’s see how it pans out. They will never tell us what it costs. And it will do nothing to lower power prices in SA, the highest in the world. The NEG will keep baseload generators in the market, and you don’t need batteries to support coal, gas and hydro.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: