Hot Stuff: Power Prices Soar Whenever Hot Weather Combines with Wind & Solar Output Collapses

In wind and solar obsessed Australia it’s one thing to have electricity, it’s quite another to be able to pay the bill. STT helped draw attention to an event in January when 200,000 Victorian businesses and households were left sweltering during heatwave, as a collapse in wind power output led to widespread load shedding (ie controlled blackouts).

In the lead up, dozens of energy hungry businesses were dumped from the grid under Australia’s Soviet-era system of power rationing, euphemistically called “demand management”, where businesses are paid handsomely to not use power.

Step back and think about the concept a little more broadly, and the economic insanity reveals itself: because Australia cannot supply enough electricity to consumers, Australian power consumers are paying productive businesses to stop using it. Result? Businesses stop producing whatever it was they might be producing, if they had electricity, in the first place. As an economic ‘policy’, it makes robbing Peter to pay Paul sound positively canny.

During heatwaves, when wind power output collapses and/or the sun sets, the owners of fast-start peaking plants (highly inefficient and fuel hungry diesel generators, Open Cycle Gas Turbines and the like) are able to extort staggering amounts for the power they produce, which suddenly becomes essential to keeping the grid from completely collapsing.

The cost of ‘demand management’ and paying peaking plant operators anything up to $14,500 per MWh for power that a coal-fired plant can deliver for $50 – the inevitable consequence of output collapses around sunset and the weather – adds up. And, as is always the case with the subsidy-soaked renewables scam, it’s power consumers that foot the bill. The January debacle (that also hit wind and solar ‘powered’ SA) added an unnecessary and avoidable $1,000,000,000 to household power bills.

Thanks to their mindless obsession with chaotically intermittent wind and solar, South Australians and Victorians can expect plenty more of the same.

The cost of one day’s electricity on the Australian grid is three times (or 50 times) more than it was in 2012
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
11 March 2019

There were no headlines but $300 million dollars was burned at the stake of renewables

Just another day on the exciting Australian NEM.

Friday week ago we had another price spike hitting the $14,500 mandated price cap.

On that day South Australians and Victorians paid a blistering $61 million and $210 million respectively. That’s the cost of a single day’s electricity on what was a hot day (but not a record) for Melbourne (38C) and Adelaide (42C). These are temperatures that those cities often reach in summer. It was about 28C in the other three capital cities. Don’t be fooled — high temperatures are not the reason for the price spikes — as it happens, NSW used 22% more electricity than Victoria that day yet paid 90% less.

Thanks to David Bidstrup for calculating these numbers.

But even NSW and Queensland are paying millions too much

You might think NSW and Queensland have reasonable prices for electricity, but lest we forget, what they pay today is still three times more expensive than they would have been if they were paying 2012 prices. Long ago in the renewable dark ages, the average price of wholesale electricity was $25/MWh — that was the average for the whole month of March 2012.

And in 2012 when Melbourne was hotter (40C on Jan 2nd), the cost of electricity was a mere $31/MWh.

The market is screwed.

On March 1st a price spike cost millions of dollars, but even without the spike prices are still three times more expensive than in 2012.


The price table with the costs and demand for March 1st, 2019 in each state of Eastern Australia. The lower two rows are the prices and theoretical cost if the same demand was priced at the same rate that each state was paying on an average March day in 2012.

Electricity cost, Wholesale March 1, 2019, Australia.


This year, the average wholesale price in NSW (so far for the first 10 days of March) is $86/MWh and QLD is $74/MWh. It’s twice that in SA ($198/MWh) and Victoria ($195/MWh) and it’s $119/MWh in Tasmania.

Prices are off the scale

Renewables fans (like the ABC) will tell us that high prices are caused by old coal, but old coal plants didn’t cause price spikes in 2012. Demand was greater in 2012 than it is today (everyone is using less electricity than they’d like because of the price) and coal power took on more of the load — with less “help” from renewables.

There are more price spikes today, more wind power, more solar power, and less coal power. Most owners of coal plants have little incentive to fund and maintain their coal plants. The more coal plants they can shut, the more their other generation assets will earn. Look at what happened to Hazelwood.

The Australian NEM is a giant success for corporate gentailers or State-owned generators and totally wrecked for consumers.

The 2012 figures come from the AEMO average price of electricity for the month of March 2012 multiplied by the same demand as on March 1 this year.

Temperatures: Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Max temperatures in Melbourne (38C) and Adelaide (42C) Sydney (28C), Brisbane (29C) and Hobart (28C).
Jo Nova Blog

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  2. Just love all those car number plates with the lunatic slogans, Queensland the Smart State, Victoria the Place to Be, VICTORIA – THE EDUCATION STATE, Tasmania – Explore the possibilities. Waiting for the slogan “Australia the Renewable leader of the World”. It’s as if Australia’s politicians are now getting their slogans from “Montypython” and laughing at the hard ships they have created.

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  4. Geoff Derrick says:

    Check out the attached paper.


    Geoff Derrick

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