Avoiding Disaster: Australia’s Renewable Energy Debacle Signals Warning to Energy Rich Americans

Now that’s a blackout! Adelaide, South Australia 28.9.16


Laconic crocodile hunters aside, Australia doesn’t often register in the US of A, but its self-inflicted renewable energy fiasco has clearly placed it on the American radar.

News of wind ‘powered’ South Australia’s statewide blackout in September 2016 rendered it an international laughing stock. It also set it up as an example of what not to do – if you’re serious about powering a viable economy, that is?

On average, Americans pay retail power prices around 1/3 of what South Australians suffer. And they get to enjoy electricity, whatever the weather.

Don Dears ventured Downunder last year and got a first-hand glimpse of an unfolding power pricing and supply calamity. Here’s a short note of what he discovered, and his warning for his fellow Americans.

Living on the Edge
Power for USA
Don Dears
2 March 2018

With all the media attention given to the benefits of wind and solar and the negative aspects of fossil fuels, it’s worth examining what’s happening in countries that have invested heavily in wind and solar.

There are, for example, (1) the extra costs in Germany, see FERC Ruling and German Grid Stability, and (2) how Australia handled shortages of electricity during the past summer.

Last year, while I was in Australia, South Australia suffered its second blackout. See, Australia at http://bit.ly/2uC4MIZ

Now, a year later, Australia is again suffering from shortages of electricity. And this is after South Australia (SA) spent approximately $150 million on its 129 MWh battery installation. (The SA government hasn’t disclosed the actual cost.)

For example, a Melbourne hospital had to shut off its lights and non-essential equipment as the result of insufficient power due to a heat wave.

Power flow chart for a specific hour during January 1, 2018, between NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Note the small amounts of wind power and the flow from NSW to Victoria and Victoria to South Australia.

Data from the graphic, in MW.

Items of interest:

  • Wind supplied a small amount of power, so these provinces must rely on coal-fired and natural gas power plants
  • Supplying 100% of power requirements from wind and solar would seem highly suspect
  • Failure to build new coal-fired and natural gas power plants will subject these provinces to blackouts and shortfalls of electricity
  • Closing more coal-fired power plants, such as the closing of SA’s last coal-fired power plant in May 2016, and the closing of Victoria’s Hazelwood coal-fired power plant will likely lead to more blackouts

Australia and Germany are the canaries in the coal mine warning of the dangers, shortfalls and high cost of wind and solar.

Here at home, the New England Independent System Operator (ISO-NE) has predicted there will be blackouts in the next few years.

Isn’t it time to heed these warnings?
Power for USA

About stopthesethings

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


  1. There are currently a number of positive steps being taken in rural and regional Victoria.

    Firstly it’s good to see the Southern Grampians Shire Council holding a planning panel to discuss the protection of the Harmen’s Valley lava flow area. The South West and Western districts of Victoria have some stunning landscape vistas with rolling hills and extinct volcanoes, the Grampians being the cherry on the cake. One only has to visit some of the local art galleries to see how these landscapes were captured by the master painters of their day. Even current painters such as local artist Kathryn Ryan produce magnificent landscape paintings illustrating just how special this part of the world is.


    Secondly the Moyne Shire Council has taken a more subtle approach in redeveloping the Port Fairy Wharf building. They have kept the traditional roof line and incorporated some impressive wood frame construction. This in my opinion was a wise decision as the picture postcard view from across the river, which has won Port Fairy awards from around the globe, has not been spoilt. Tourism is important for Victoria. You only have to look across the water to Tasmania to see just how important.

    Thirdly the Victorian Labor government has signed up to the Inland Rail Project. This is a positive development that will cater for future population growth. It will also mean reduced traffic volumes on our roads.

    So why stuff this up?

    Why then are the Victorian Labor party putting all of these positive developments at risk by arrogantly pushing ahead with yet more industrial scale wind projects in the landscape? In doing so, they are threatening to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, especially if it flies directly in to the path of a 220m high industrial scale wind turbine!

    If Victoria continues down this path, you won’t be able to see the trees for the turbines, or the birds, bats or even people.


    P.S. On another point.

    Good luck SA!

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    Not only heed warnings but act on them.
    We here in Australia are still under the thumb of Governments so enamoured by the ideology a of ‘renewables’, they can’t see/sit or lie straight. We don’t know where to turn because it seems all Politicians are in someway consumed by the fast talk of the ‘renewables’ industries that they are deaf to the cry’s of those who know the truth. Those who know the truth keep knocking at their doors and it seems more that they are knocking their heads against a wall considering the amount of action these Politicians take to turn the situation around to provide us with what a modern society has every right to expect – enough electricity when it is needed at a price everyone can afford.
    Elections are happening all around the country and a Federal election is rushing toward us – yet none of those who should be looking after our needs are willing to do anything about the damage being rort on this great Nation.
    They sit there promising everything, everything but the one thing that would provide this Nation with the imputes to move back to a time when there were jobs for everyone and people able to afford to live in comfort and see a good life ahead for their children and grandchildren.
    They promise everything including that they will bring energy costs down by spending millions more to ensure there is enough electricity for our needs (but what they propose cannot meet those needs), what they promise will cost millions funded from our hard earned money.
    And what will we get, energy prices that will keep rising and massive industrial machines and batteries destroying our lands and environments. Yes they promise ‘pie in the sky’ and all we get is rotten apples in a barrel.
    Until they come to their senses and accept they have caused enormous damage to this Nation and its people and begin to work with the same zeal they’ve put into destroying our electricity supply systems we will continue to fall further and further into the abyss and no matter who we vote for nothing will change the road we are on.
    Maybe its time we took control and told them NO MORE MONEY FROM US to pay for something that has no value, we are not here to pay the piper they are here to play to our tune and that tune is not the sound or sense of turning blades through the air but peace and prosperity for all and an environment worth living in.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: