Library from Australia
This week we learned that the complete power blackout that occurred in South Australia last September was due to the existence of a large number of wind farms that simply ceased to operate in the context of a strong storm, in turn causing the interconnector with Victoria to trip.
South Australian power consumers have been slugged for a massive $4.5 million price spike for services that stop energy infrastructure from blowing up. The Australian Energy Regulator released a report on Tuesday night into why prices for services which stabilisethe grid exceeded $5000/MWh in SA on October 18 last year.
New windfarms in South Australia will face tougher technical standards, amid concern the state's heavy reliance on intermittent renewable generators has left the electricity grid prone to collapse. ...AEMO found a failure of windfarms to ride through voltage disturbances contributed to the catastrophic chain of events which caused the blackout.
Taxpayers in South Australia face being slugged tens of millions of dollars for dirty carbon dioxide-emitting diesel generators the Weatherill government wants shipped in by December to prevent pre-election blackouts.
The problem is, the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. The high peaks in South Australia's energy usage don't always match up with a large chunk of its increasingly intermittent supply. Intermittency isn't the only problem though. Under current market settings, wind farms aren't required to provide the same stability coal and gas has traditionally provided to the energy grid.
In dry, technical language the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, that her renewable energy policy could take the state down the South Australian road, where they have the misfortune to pay high prices for unreliable electricity. The Palaszczuk policy would massively increase Queensland’s reliance on intermittent renewables and erode the value of state assets such as black coal-fired generators, which provide baseload power. And all this for no discernible effect on climate change. It is a profoundly irrational course.
After a year of campaigning against a proposed $700 million wind farm, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan today begins a legal fight to protect his childhood home before a full-bench court in Adelaide.
Labor’s plan to produce 50 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2030 has been dealt a blow by the national power market operator, which has warned that Queensland’s push for the target could lead to higher electricity prices and an unstable network.
Among the individual submissions, there were 536 against the wind farm and 38 in support of the joint Australian-Spanish venture which plans to install 88 turbines across 23 rural properties in Tarago.
Wind power generators received $600 million in federal subsidies last year, helping to drive an increase in electricity prices for consumers. Data collated by Australian Power Project, which advocates a sustainable national energy policy, showed $588.7m was paid to wind farm operators.
Birds electrocuted by a power transmission line at a wind farm near Canberra in January sparked two bushfires — one of which burned 3400ha and caused millions of dollars of damage in lost livestock and property. The fires near Tarago, east of Canberra, were started at different spots on a transmission line taking power from 23 turbines on the Woodlawn wind farm to its substation.
“The government is talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a coal-fired power station,” he said. “We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure.” “Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?”
Pushing ever more renewable energy into the national electricity network is negligent without new investments in energy storage, Malcolm Turnbull has declared, stepping up his attack on Labor's "complacent" and "ideological" clean energy policy.
Malcolm Turnbull has blasted Labor’s renewable energy “horror show” by seizing on blackouts in South Australia to warn of outages across the country under the “insanity” of Bill Shorten’s 50 per cent renewables target. ...“How many South Australians are worse off because of the Labor Left ideological approach to power? I tell you: every single one."
“It’s a demonstration that ad hoc state-based renewable energy targets have gone too far — when reliability can’t be maintained on a day the likes of which SA faces numerous times every single summer.” ...“It’s time Labor both federally and at a state level recognised its high renewable energy targets are putting at risk energy security and affordability.”
The snub to the 2020 Renewable Energy Target by one of the country's biggest business electricity retailers has revived calls for investment in new renewables projects to be halted and exposed the risk of the consequences for consumers of missing the goal. ERM Power on Tuesday revealed it had elected to pay a $123 million penalty charge to discharge its 2016 liability under the RET scheme, rather than backing renewables projects as intended under the RET regulations.
On Monday, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce refused to commit the government to maintaining the RET. Tony Abbott and South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued that renewable energy targets should be scrapped.
In a statement to the stock exchange, ERM said the price for the large-scale generation certificates had more than doubled to nearly $90 each, while the penalty to the regulator was valued at $65 per certificate.
On Monday the Australian quoted several unnamed conservative MPs who want to ditch the RET, arguing it would help sharpen the Coalition’s attack on Labor’s plan to lift renewable energy to 50%. Tony Abbott and the South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued for the scrapping of renewable energy targets.
Now is the time to debunk Labor’s myth-making and expose the true cost that its energy policies will have on Australian households and businesses.