South Australia’s All Renewables Push Renders Wind Power Capital International Laughing Stock

Thanks to its hapless Labor government’s obsession with sunbeams and breezes (and non-existent Liberal opposition – who continue to act like dazed members of the same cult) South Australians have grown accustomed to being the punchline in an ongoing international joke.

Routine load shedding and statewide blackouts – notwithstanding the fact that they pay the highest retail power prices in the world – must take a toll on the collective spirit in SA.

Renewables rent-seekers and the wind and sun cult keep telling themselves (and anyone still left listening) that these are just hiccups along the path to an inevitable 100% transition to nature’s wonder fuels. The evidence says otherwise.

The graph above – taken from the boys over at Aneroid Energy – depicts the total output from SA’s 19 wind farms – with a combined notional capacity of 1,698 MW during the first three weeks of January.

Looking more like the heartbeat of a terminal cardiac patient in ICU, on around 7 occasions output has plummeted to the floor, and on many of those occasions, collapses have been in the order of 800 to 1,000 MW over the space of a few hours.

Jay Weatherill’s Elon Musk mega-battery has a notional capacity of 100 MW; so, adding costly insult to embarrassing injury, that much-touted $150 million taxpayer funded boondoggle is hardly enough to plug the gap when wind the wind stops blowing. So much for Musk saving the day in SA.

And, despite the best efforts from the wind industry’s spruikers to re-badge wind power as more reliable than the conventional stuff, no coal-fired power plant ever suffers that kind of collapse. Sure, there might be a fault occasionally with a single generator within a multiple generator plant, but that means losing 100 MW at most, not 1,000 MW in minutes. And even if a large plant suffers unscheduled downtime, it’s always repaired and back online quickly and generating power when users need it: eg, a spell of very hot weather when the wind stops blowing.

Anyway, we digress. Here’s Jo Nova unpacking the (understandably) miserable mood in SA.

Transformation glitch? Biggest issue facing South Australia is electricity say 70%
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
10 December 2017

A Sunday Mail survey [see below] shows that despite SA having more “free, cheap and clean” renewable electricity than just about anywhere in the world, the number one biggest issue for most South Australians is … “electricity”. And despite all the renewable jobs created, the second most common concern is “jobs”. Going for the Paradox-Trifecta: most strangely of all, with elected leaders who are leading the largest energy transformation since civilization began, the third “biggest issue” facing South Australians is “political leadership”.

Thanks to Eric Worrall, who describes South Australians as “the world’s renewable crash test dummies”.

SA has an election coming up in March, but at the moment voters there are caught in the bind between the reality of electricity shocks, and the belief that “renewables are cheap”. Will the local Libs (the opposition) have the spine to stand up and speak the truth and make this election about energy and climate, or will they pander #metoo, and lose the unloseable?

Will the Libs get the message here? Most South Australians like the sound of renewables, but when it comes to the crunch, and the issues they will vote on, electricity prices and jobs will rule. This is a bubble ripe for the popping. As for political leadership — sucking up to global bullies and namecalling parasites is not leadership. Speaking up against the dominant paradigm and against the fashionable memes is. Saying things that are unpopular but true is leadership.

As long as Liberals wait for the opinion polls to change (and produce even more obvious results than this) they are not leaders.

In agenda-setting results on a cornerstone issue for the March state election, more than 3500 respondents overwhelmingly ranked affordability and reliability as the most important components of electricity supply in the Sunday Mail Your Say, SA survey.

Forging a renewable energy industry was also popular among respondents, demonstrating support for solar, wind and batteries.

This indicates a clear public distinction between perceived hip-pocket and job creation benefits of renewable energy and the costs of curbing carbon emissions.

“Transforming our economy” is code for using power generators to control the climate. It was slightly more popular with the under 25s (31%) than older folk. By 65 years and older, only 20% were still under the delusion that the biggest issue facing SA is that the state government should force an energy transformation in order to get better global weather. That this number is any positive integer at all is a mark of how pathetic our national debate, media reporting and education system is.

Wait – The state leading the way on renewables is a backwards laughing stock?

Early results of the same survey showed that nearly 9 out 10 South Australians are aware of how silly their state looks:

“… other results are a serious wake-up call — an overwhelming 89 per cent feel that SA is perceived unfavourably by the rest of the nation, while 73 per cent expect life will be more difficult in the future.

The negative perception of SA as a “backward state” — or worse, a “laughing stock” — still haunts us, evidenced by the survey’s comments and almost any internet thread discussing our problems.

Apparently it’s hard to be a tax burden on the rest of the nation while trying to do a no-brainer obvious energy transformation which no where else in the world is leaping to do to the same extent or without seven interconnectors to coal and nukes.

There is incredible arrogance in thinking that that there is no good reason the rest of the world has “missed” the simplistic solution to energy.
Jo Nova Blog

Jay Weatherill: Jester-in-Chief, but his constituents aren’t laughing.


Here’s the Sunday Mail Survey.

Your Say survey finds South Australians rank power bills, supply over tackling climate change
Sunday Mail
Paul Starick
9 December 2017

SOUTH Australians are abandoning support for tackling climate change by cutting carbon emissions in favour of demanding affordable and reliable electricity supply and developing a renewable energy industry.

In agenda-setting results on a cornerstone issue for the March state election, more than 3500 respondents overwhelmingly ranked affordability and reliability as the most important components of electricity supply in the Sunday Mail Your Say, SA survey.

Forging a renewable energy industry was also popular among respondents, demonstrating support for solar, wind and batteries.

This indicates a clear public distinction between perceived hip-pocket and job creation benefits of renewable energy and the costs of curbing carbon emissions.

Both Premier Jay Weatherill and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall have seized upon the results, which provided some support for both of their parties’ signature energy policies.

The online survey, hosted on, found power supply and prices, along with jobs and job security, were overwhelmingly deemed the two biggest issues facing the state.

Respondents across all age groups, life stages and areas ranked reducing carbon emissions as the least important of four choices, behind affordable price, reliable supply and a renewable energy industry.

This represented a stark contrast from a decade ago, when public support for tackling climate change contributed to Kevin Rudd unseating John Howard as prime minister and the newly elected leader declaring climate change “the defining challenge of our generation”.

Support for developing renewable energy was strongest among females and people aged under 25. This indicates likely approval for Mr Weatherill’s decision to link his government with tech giant Elon Musk, whose Tesla firm has installed the world’s largest lithium ion battery near Jamestown.

In the wake of a statewide blackout last year, Mr Weatherill in March announced a $550 million energy plan in a bid to stem electorally disastrous blackouts this summer, centred on the battery to store renewable energy and a government-owned power plant.

Labor’s northern Adelaide heartland was least supportive of reducing carbon emissions, which was most popular in the Liberals’ eastern suburbs stronghold.

Developing a renewable energy industry was most popular among respondents in the eastern and western suburbs.

Mr Weatherill told the Sunday Mail the March election would be a choice between Labor’s plan for energy self-sufficiency, compared to the Liberals plan about privatisation and relying on the eastern states.

“If you want to support cheap, clean and reliable renewable energy with storage — and the jobs that come with it, vote Labor,” he said.

“If you think South Australia should scrap its renewable energy target, privatise our power plant and prop up dirty coal power stations on the east coast, vote for Steven Marshall.”

But Mr Marshall accused Mr Weatherill of using South Australians as guinea pigs in an electricity experiment, causing consumers to pay the nation’s highest prices.

“The state Liberals have a plan to massively reduce household and business bills by investing in greater interconnection with the other states and empowering consumers by encouraging investment in household batteries,” he said.
Sunday Mail

Jay Weatherill will never be accused of inconsistency. This man is taking his State over the cliff, come what may. Delusional doesn’t really cover it, this guy is dangerous, as well.

The Premier claims that he is getting out of coal, like AGL. However, what he doesn’t tell his constituents, is that over the last few weeks, as temperatures have soared, the only thing keeping the lights and air conditioners on in South Australia is coal-fired power from Victoria’s plants delivered via the Heywood and Murray-Link inter-connectors.

With Weatherill firmly wedded to wind and sun, the World will just keep on laughing at the expense of his embattled State – the butt of many a joke and the target for plenty of knowing sneers.

4 thoughts on “South Australia’s All Renewables Push Renders Wind Power Capital International Laughing Stock

  1. What is forgotten is the Grid is a system of interconnection between Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia (the ACT is part of the NSW system). Therefore any energy put into the grid is moved around this system to where it is needed. Many times in a week or even a day SA could be receiving energy through its connection with Victoria, but Victoria could be receiving top up from Tasmania or NSW, NSW receiving top up from Qld and Tasmania from Victoria. This is also occasionally reversed with SA sending it over the border to Victoria to move it on.
    However, almost all the time Queensland is the one State we can rely on to provide the shortfall for others and Coal is the form of energy production which outstrips everything else in Qld, Victoria and NSW. Hydro hardly comes into play except in Tasmania.
    If it weren’t for coal this Eastern Grid and therefore a massive part of this Nation would come to a standstill due to a lack of the most essential service of access to electricity.
    The first political party in SA to come out and promise to give support and succour to a clean coal plant being built here with the truthful evidence based promise of cheaper energy prices for industry AND home users no matter which supplier they are with will get peoples votes.
    Though there is one problem and it is a big one, the Federal Government, that is Turnbull and Frydenberg at the very least need to accept that removal of the RET to bring about a level playing field is the only way to return sense to the energy system in this Nation. It needs to become worthwhile for investors to build what is so desperately needed – clean coal plants or even
    Nuclear ones.
    Their policy – the National Energy Guarantee is a farce and will not bring certainty to the NEM unless they do this because it still places unreliable ‘renewables’ at the top of the pile.
    Weatherill here in SA is now again claiming the high ground with the possible erection of a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta. Something that could already have been installed if he had had the guts to accept a proposal a few years ago instead of saying it was an untested method of energy production. Even though there are many around the world with some much bigger than the currently proposed one.
    And he still claims he has saved the day with his ‘renewables’ but forgets to say the diesel generators are not ‘renewable’ and use a massive amount of diesel to operate just for an hour, or that the battery relies on the intermittent wind to keep it charged. Nor does he acknowledge that he is now forging ahead with funding drilling for gas to be used in SA even in the one he claims will be owned by the SA Government, when the diesel generators are turned into gas generators (at a massive cost of course), even though gas is not ‘renewable’ and he had spent time trying to have the existing ones shut down because of it, all while refusing to even consider a clean coal plant or a nuclear one.
    Inconsistent to the end this person who claims to be saving SA, and the National Grid continues muddying the scene, much of the time with the assistance of media.

  2. The electorate likely does not know of the relationship between renewables and price. With the very minor exception of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, South Australia is a de facto one party state. Media conform to the green agenda without demur. The education system denies people the language with which to ask questions. Anyway, the forthcoming very hot weather will occur on a public holiday and weekend—so their luck may hold.

    Once electricity shortages affect house prices (not so far, though), then the backlash may occur: only “may”, not “will”. One day, perhaps, West Australian taxpayers will refuse to subsidise this state. Either way, the outlook is hopeless for South Australia.

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