On September 28 we had the first anniversary of the dirty big storm the brought down the power pylons in South Australia causing a state-wide blackout, as the Heywood interconnector exceeded capacity and tripped.
Now the state want an apology from the PM. Energy minister Tom Koutsantonis:
- “Rather than step up and provide support and leadership at a time of need, Mr Turnbull chose to attempt to damage our reputation.
“Debate in Federal Parliament consisted of members of the government making jokes about South Australia at a time when many households and businesses where without power and dealing with damage to property caused by the storm.
“South Australians will not forget it.”
I don’t think any of us will eithr. At that point, all credibility in the Coal_ition’s policy discourse on energy evaporated.
When Northern Power Station in Port Augusta closed in May 2016, SA became the first coal-free powered state after Tasmania. Now a shining new venture is being born. An Australian-first seawater pumped hydro project proposed for Cultana in the Spencer Gulf just across the bay from the old power station has passed a major milestone with a successful feasibility report finding no “show stoppers” to the development.
- The proposed 225 MW seawater pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project would be sited on the Spencer Gulf, not far from former coal town Port Augusta, and will have a capacity of 1770 MWh, holding almost 14 times more than Elon Musk’s ‘megabattery’.
SA reached 59% combined wind and solar penetration in July. At times wind goes to waste, because it is in excess of demand. This facility will have the capacity to harvest that power and shift it to a time when it is needed. It can fire up to full load in 150 seconds and run for eight hours.
From this post, here’s the layout:
- Origin has partnered with blockchain energy market provider Power Ledger to trial its peer-to-peer energy-trading platform.
The technical trial involves using anonymised and historical customer data to explore the benefits and challenges of peer-to-peer energy trading across the regulated network.
The project, located at Almas Almonds in Victoria’s Sunraysia district, is being developed by a joint venture between Foresight Group and Syncline Energy. It has debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) but no grant money.
Ian Learmonth, CEO of the CEFC:
- “Previously it wasn’t viable to construct solar of this scale in Victoria, which has good insolation rates, but not as high as the northern states,” Mr Learmonth said.
“We have witnessed rapidly improving economic conditions that now make this project commercially viable without the need for grant funding.
The project has deals to sell the electricity to Alinta and the Victorian government.
There’s more at RenewEconomy.
5. Gas deal signed, but electricity prices may be 25% higher than official list
East coast gas exporters have signed a formal agreement with the federal government to ensure Australia has sufficient gas supply for 2018 and 2019.
However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) may be underestimating Australian household energy bills by 25 per cent because of a lack of accurate data from the federal government.
The IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2017 has Australia as having the 11th most expensive electricity prices in the OECD.
- In fact, if South Australia were a country it would have the highest energy prices in the OECD, and typical households in New South Wales, Queensland or Victoria would be in the top five.
Four Corners investigated Adani in the program this week. It’s worse than we imagined. An endemically corrupt company, it has the Indian police and justice system in it’s pocket. Environmental vandals, with company structures using tax havens to pay no tax. Their word is not their bond.
Yet the Australian government and the Palaszczuk Labor government doubled down in their support.
Allowing unlimited extraction of underground water for 60 years is extraordinary and beggars belief. This graph of the impact on the Hunter coal province shows how pointless the whole exercise is, leaving aside the impact on climate and the Great Barrier Reef:
It is evident that another electoral cycle will need to pass before Labor finds its courage on coal.
There was also reporting on the program at Fairfax.
There used to be a story that we were exporting coal to India for humanitarian reasons, so that hundreds of millions could have power.
- The Indian government has pledged to broaden the roll-out of solar and battery storage to households without power in rural and remote towns and villages, as a part of a newly launched $2.5 billion project to electrify all of the country’s households by the end of 2018.
Professor Emma Johnston was our guide in the ABC Catalyst program. She is professor of marine ecology at the University of New South Wales and on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Heritage Board, so has a role in advising what to do to try to save the reef.
We saw masses of bleached coral, but also interesting information on how the reef had changed over thousands of years coming out of the last ice age when sea levels rose 120 metres.
The focus was on breeding corals that might survive warming in cooperation with the University of Hawaii.
My comments are that perhaps I was too drowsy, but I don’t recall seeing anything about the impact of acidification. Also there seemed to be complete unawareness of the possibility of five metres of sea level rise by the end of the century, which of course would not stop there.
Finally, the sheer vastness of the GBR makes the exercise look like using zoos to save threatened animal species.