You will recall that after the closing of Hazelwood Power Station at the end of March 2017 fears were held that the 2017-18 summer would see extensive blackouts. AEMO, the Australian Energy Market Operator, was tasked to assemble a strategic reserve to keep the lights on.
AEMO assembled a reserve of 1150 megawatts mainly “demand response” capacity with capital cost approaching zero, but the mechanism the agency had used called the Reliability and Reserve Trader or RERT, can’t be automatically rolled over for the summer of 2018-19. And perhaps it can’t be done at all, because the rule-maker, the Australian Energy Market Commission, has changed the rules governing the RERT so that the mechanism can only be used on 10 weeks notice in an emergency as a last resort, which is simply impractical.
So what is going on? Continue reading AEMO wants ‘demand response’ as strategic reserve
Josh Frydenberg has just written an opinion piece in the AFR about Why we can’t do without the power of Snowy 2.0.
Can’t do without it, that’s what he said. To impress us he said:
With only 2 per cent of construction visible above ground, the scheme involved 16 major dams, seven power stations, a pumping station and 225 kilometres of tunnels, pipelines and aqueducts.
Continue reading The energy wars continue in 2018
1. South Australia going for broke
Malcolm Turnbull would call it a ‘reckless, irresponsible, ideological frolic’, but South Austria has been running 63% on wind and solar during the last few months, and is going for broke.
Giles Parkinson says SA must, and will, lead world on renewables.
The Weatherill and Koutsantonis strategy is to embrace new technologies, cheap wind and solar and storage, smart software and smarter management, and put into practice the sort of scenarios envisaged by the CSIRO, Energy Networks Australia and more recently by the storage review commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel.
All that can stop Weatherill and Koutsantonis is Nick Xenophon at the next election putting the LNP into office. Continue reading Climate clippings 118
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency says it is providing $12 million towards the $30 million cost of a major battery storage installation to be located on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and create a renewables-based mini-grid with the nearby Wattle Point wind farm.
The battery will pair with the local 90MW Wattle Point wind farm and local rooftop solar PV to form local micro-grid to ensure grid security and so keep the lights on in case the network failures elsewhere in the state. Continue reading Climate clippings 212
Renewable energy news
I’m reminded of my school days when our German teacher on the last day of term used to read us tales of Baron Münchhausen, who on one occasion jumped on his horse and rode off madly in all directions. There is so much going on, fully covered at RenewEconomy, so it is difficult to select the most significant. I’ll try a couple of themes, and include some AFR coverage, which is trying to keep business informed.
The South Australian tender for 100MW grid-scale storage has received 90 expressions of interest from 10 countries, demonstrating an established global industry. Continue reading Climate clippings 203
When Elon Musk dramatically promised to build a grid-scale battery in South Australia, the media was enthralled. Share traders and a string of Australian fund managers smirked. They’d seen it all before, and were shorting him in the market.
In that very week he was in the market with plans to raise $US1.15 billion in equity and convertible notes. I understand also that Tesla has gone strangely quiet about SA since then. Continue reading Climate clippings 201
The Murdoch media continues to lay the blame on renewables, a notion specifically rejected by AEMO, leading to a Twitter battle between SA minister Tom Koutsantonis and The Australian’s Adelaide bureau chief, Michael Owen.
Continue reading Climate clippings 200
Malcolm Turnbull has now, for reasons best known to himself, elevated “energy crisis” to a “national security” issue. Ben Potter puts the situation well:
A decade of fighting over renewable energy, carbon prices and fossil fuels has left Australia with some of the world’s dirtiest and costliest energy – a bitter yield from historical abundance.
Three years ago, manufacturers began complaining they couldn’t get gas, and 18 months ago the South Australian grid started to wobble.
Now, electricity and gas prices across the eastern states are two to three times their levels only a couple of years ago.
Gas exporters overcommitted to foreign buyers; the federal government mismanaged renewable energy and the regulatory apparatus – and politicians responsible for it – are frozen in the headlights.
Continue reading Solutions to the energy crisis
The innovative LiquidPiston engine, mentioned by BilB, is targetting a global market worth $460 billion. It has a power to weight ratio more than ten times better than a regular engine:
The big bruiser on the left puts out 35 HP, the one on the right 40 HP. Continue reading Climate clippings 198
1. China drives electric vehicles boom
An AFR article about investors piling into lithium and graphite mining stocks tells a tale. With our focus on Tesla we are missing the story of China.
Continue reading Climate clippings 193
David Leitch’s article Battery storage: Bad advice about costs is fooling Australian governments reviews two American reports on grid-scale battery storage in the states of Texas and Massachusetts. He says the reports:
are detailed, professionally modelled and far more forward looking and sophisticated than anything so far produced by traditional Australian electricity consultants such as Jacobs, Frontier, IES, Ernst & Young or ACIL Allen.
Leitch, the principal of ITK says in their view:
Australia is being held back, in part, because consultants in Australia provide advice to federal and state governments based on expensive models that are basically out of date. The models don’t, and in fact can’t, take an integrated (whole of system) view.
Continue reading Grid-scale battery storage: can it happen in Australia?
Bloomberg is warning that the multi-trillion-dollar ‘big crash’ in oil investments could start as soon as 2023. However, the smart money is bound to move earlier. Here’s the progress of electric car sales:
Continue reading Climate clippings 188