Deranged & Delusional: Victorian Government Claims Wind & Solar More Reliable Than Fossil Fuels

Dan and Lily: derangement meets delusion.


Victorians can thank their dangerous and delusional Labor government for their power pricing and supply calamity.

Last summer saw mass blackouts and load shedding, following sudden, routine and total collapses in wind and solar output (calm weather and sunset does it every time).

Back then its Premier, Daniel Andrews and Energy Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio made the risible claim that its (no) power woes were all down to the ‘unreliability’ of Victoria’s coal-fired power plants.

With retail power prices at record highs and more mass blackouts looming, this pair of lunatics continue to maintain the rage at Victoria’s so-called ‘ageing’ coal-fired plants.

War of words as energy crisis heats up
The Australian
Rachel Baxendale
20 December 2019

A leading energy market expert has dismissed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’s claim renewable energy is “more reliable” than coal-fired power, saying the state’s key problem­ is a lack of supply following the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired plant in 2017.

Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood’s comments came as data showed that at the peak of its heatwave at 3pm on Wednesday, Victoria was generating 55.1 per cent of its energy from brown coal, compared with 16.3 per cent from wind and solar.

Gas accounted for 13.5 per cent of generation and hydro 15.1 per cent, according to national energy market data from NEMWatch for energy analyst RenewEconomy.

On Wednesday, Mr Andrews blamed ageing coal-fired generators for forecast blackouts, saying: “The problem with coal-fired power is when you need it most it is the least reliable … that’s why we are investing like no other government in renewable energy.”

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio dug in on Thursday, ahead of a forecast December record temperature of 44C on Friday, saying: “The biggest risk to power supply this summer is our ageing coal-fired power plants failing us when we need them most, just like they did last summer.”

“Renewables are more reliable, faster to build and cheaper to run — that’s why we’re pumping more of them into our energy grid as fast as we can.’’

Her office said the amount of power generated by wind and solar was “very conservatively calculat­ed, to factor in weather variability and limitations”.

Mr Wood said hot weather had negative consequences for all forms of energy generation.

“Coal-fired power stations can get overheated, depending to some extent on how they’re maintained, but you’ll also find that over extended hot periods you’ll get lower outputs from wind farms because the wind drops,” he said.

“We also know that the output of solar panels reduces when you get really hot weather, and that the transmission network fails when you get really hot weather. To blame any particularly tech­nology which you happen to not like, I don’t think is very helpful.”

Mr Wood said the key issue for Victoria was an insufficient supply of energy, particularly from dispatchable baseload sources. “We do know the closure of Hazelwood in 2017 removed a large amount of energy, which has not only put price­s up, but reduced the buffer between supply and demand, and that’s not been fully replaced with equivalent energy,” he said.

French energy giant Engie closed Hazelwood, in the Latrobe Valley, following the Andrews government’s decision to triple its brown coal royalty and increase the state’s renewable energy target, currently 50 per cent by 2030.

A unit at AGL’s Loy Yang A generator in the Latrobe Valley is expected to return to full generation over the weekend, according to a company spokesman.

A spokesman for Origin confirmed its Mortlake gas-fired power station in Victoria’s west was due to return to service on December 30, after a generating unit was damaged in July. The Australian Energy Market Operator was not forecasting any energy shortfalls ahead of Friday’s heatwave.
The Australian

So, let’s unpack Delusional Dan’s attack on ageing coal-fired generators as the cause of his state’s blackout woes and, in particular, his statement that:

“The problem with coal-fired power is when you need it most it is the least reliable … that’s why we are investing like no other government in renewable energy.”

We’ll focus on the output of Victoria’s wind power fleet (which has a combined capacity of 2,116 MW) and compare that with its coal-fired plants (which have a total capacity of 4,690 MW).

Victoria has a total fossil fuel generation capacity of 7,064 MW, the balance comes from gas plants, mostly OCGT ‘peakers’.

The data comes from Aneroid Fossil Energy  and Aneroid Wind Energy

Set out above is the output from Victoria’s wind farms on 18 December 2019.

After briefly reaching 877 MW (41.4% of capacity) – as demand for electricity peaked through the afternoon (with air conditioners being cranked up during heatwave conditions) – instead of meeting that surging demand, there followed a surging collapse of 687 MW, with output falling to 190 MW (8.9% capacity). Not an awful lot of “reliability” there, Dan and Lily!

Set out below is the output from Victoria’s coal-fired plant on the same day.

Delivering a constant stream of power into the grid of between 4,100 to 4,200 MW (87-89% of capacity), the word “unreliable” doesn’t really spring to mind. And if Victoria’s coal plants are ‘ageing’, they don’t appear to be giving any sign that they intend on slowing down, anytime soon.

Set out above is the output from Victoria’s wind farms on 19 December 2019.

For most of the morning, output hovers around 200 MW (9% capacity) and for most of the day output never exceeds 400 MW (18.9% capacity).

If Daniel Andrews meant to say that renewables can be relied on to fail, he would have been on to something.

Except his claim is that wind and solar are infinitely more reliable than ‘dirty old coal’.

So, here’s the output from Victoria’s coal-fired plants on the same day.

Again, without missing a beat, Victoria’s coal-fired plants delivered a constant stream of between 4,100 and 4,200 MW (87-89% capacity) all day long. It’s almost as if Victoria’s coal generation fleet was out to prove a point; one just a tad inconvenient for Dan’s narrative.

Set out above is the output from Victoria’s wind farms on 20 December 2019.

Managing a brief spurt of around 1,250 MW (59% of capacity) there followed a whopping collapse of 930 MW, with output falling to 320 MW (15% of capacity).

Words like “pathetic”, “hopeless” and “risible” spring to mind, but STT is at a loss as to why any person gifted with our good friends, logic and reason, would refer to what’s depicted above as “reliable”.

The same, however, can’t be said of what’s set out below: the output from Victoria’s coal-fired plants on the same day.

Again, with the certitude of a Swiss watch, Victoria’s coal generators managed to repeat precisely what they’ve been doing day in and day out, for generations (pardon the pun). That is, delivering close to 90% of their capacity, all day long, with that output being dictated by demand, not by the weather.

STT could go on, but we think we’ve made our point.

The idea that wholly weather-dependent wind and sunshine-dependent solar are more reliable than coal-fired power plants is deluded nonsense.

With its future electricity supply in the hands of deranged lunatics, Victorians will rue the day they fell for the myth that wind and solar are capable of delivering power as and when they need it. Especially during summer heatwaves, when they need power most.

Welcome to your ‘inevitable transition’ to wind and solar!

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 Gds44's Blog.

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    Q: When can you tell that things will get worse?
    A: When politicians get a pay rise.

    By mid 2020 Andrews’ 09/2019, 11.8% gives him $441,000 plus unaccounted for electoral allowance. Being the second rise in a year, the “basic MP salary” is up 3.5% to $182,413.

    Who chooses the ‘Independent Remuneration Tribunals’; I’d like those sorts of friends.

  3. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  4. Funny Dan that coal fired power was reliable and affordable in Victoria for nearly a hundred years until the likes of you and your Green mates came along?

  5. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    And why did the coal-fired plant fail to begin with – was it perhaps because of lack of maintenance investment! Which would cause any machinery to be prone to failure.
    But of course they were flying the flags when announcing the repairs had been completed in time for the expected hot summer.
    Perhaps they were anxious about power failure when the wind stops blowing and temperatures rise during forecast horrid summer heat waves.
    Then of course they really sit back and bite their nails to the quick when the wind is blowing a gale fanning fires across the State and what is needed to turn the blades on the turbines WIND of course.
    You have to wonder how they can praise the wind one day and dam it the next – maybe they need to make their minds up. Do they want a power supply that’s reliably available when its needed including when the wind isn’t blowing?
    Or do they believe they can control the wind one day and have it stopped the next, do they believe they can control nature – in other words do they believe they can play God and if so why did they not stop the wind when it fanned the fires!

  6. Reblogged this on Climate-

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