Reality Check: Heatwave Blackout Gives Victorians Taste of the ‘Transition’ to Wind & Solar

Posted: January 28, 2019 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy
Tags: ,

No fun being the crash test dummies of over-reliance on intermittent ruinables.


The dreamers who think they’ll soon be running entirely on sunshine and breezes, have just been smacked with reality, in Victoria, at least.

There’s something poetic about watching infants being forced to grow up. And, so it is, with once loyal RE zealots, being forced to rethink their love affair, after their taste of what it’s like swelter in Melbourne, without the benefit of that first world necessity, electricity.

Over the last couple of posts, STT has focused on the chaos that reigned in South Australia and Victoria on a couple of hot days – coupled with wind power output collapses (see above) that resulted in hundreds of thousands being deprived of power, 200,000 in Victoria, alone – and the price of power going through the roof.

Watching the panic spread was, somewhat, amusing. Nothing like watching those who thought they understood the electricity system left floundering and struggling for…

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  1. Joe Public says:

    But Victoria has 1,740MW of capacity, so generating only 367MW is pathetic

  2. Curious George says:

    “We will command winds and rains!” [a Soviet slogan]

  3. stpaulchuck says:

    I’ll place a sizable wager that they double down on Stupid. The pols will call for extraordinary expenditures to build massive fields of windmills and solar.

    And then the wind will fail. Again.

  4. BoyfromTottenham says:

    All well and good, oldbrew, but the MSM sold us Aussies a completely different story, that ‘fossil fuel’ power was not reliable – see these quotes:
    “Greens leader Richard Di ­Natale blamed an over-reliance on coal for the heatwave and backed Ms D’Ambrosio’s (the Victorian state Premier) calls for people to stop using their dishwashers and washing machines and to turn up the temperature on their air-conditioners.”
    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) blamed the failure of two generators at the Yallourn coal-fired power station and ­another at Loy Yang A, all in the Latrobe Valley, for reducing supply by 1800MW.”
    And by far the best bit of spin from Ms Zibelman, the CEO of AEMO:
    “Ms Zibelman said load shedding was common practice around the world. “All countries that I’m aware of, and again, I have been in the business for 30 years, and over periods of time you run into these systems like you have, where you have generators that go off and you have to do load shedding,” she said. “We can’t afford … 100 per cent reliability over all hours and all circumstances, but we do like to plan that for what we see these extreme weather events that we have enough reserves available. That’s really what we’re working towards.”
    With pollies and government regulators making self-serving, misleading and outright false statements like this in the MSM without any push-back, any amount of factual information is clearly of no value in determining pubic opinion. Maybe street protests in Melbourne by a few hundred thousand ‘yellow vests’ would be more effective?

  5. pameladragon says:

    I still think all this nonsense about renewables and carbon “pollution” is an excellent example of the Madness of Crowds in action. One day a lot of people are going to shake their heads and wake up to reality. Maybe they will then turn on the politicians and fellow travelers who led them down this dark path to miserable poverty.

  6. A C Osborn says:

    Exactly as predicetd by most Engineers and people with an iota of common sense.

  7. A C Osborn says:

    Keyboard Dyslexia reigns.

  8. hunter says:

    Turning over decisions about how to power a modern power grid to people who hate modern power grids, who do not think rationally, who hate industry, and who have never actually done serious work is madness.
    Yet the climate consensus opinion leaders are exactly that. And those they influence, politicians, media, and academics, have blindly bought in.
    This is “Atlas Shrugged” played out in reality.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Date: 29/01/19 Nick Cater, The Australian

    Victoria has indeed found new ways to generate energy, but none of it can be trusted in a crisis. Last week’s shortfall in capacity was hardly unpredictable. Indeed the Australian Energy Market Operator anticipated the sequence of Thursday’s events with remarkable perspicaciousness in a report in the middle of last year.

    There was a one-in-three chance that Victoria would run out of power during the summer months, the AEMO forecast. In South Australia, the chances were one in five.

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    Souh Australia had roughly 30,000 without electricity. Apparently some transformers blew fuses because of the heat.
    I have bee unable to find the peak demand but a figure of 3,000 MW was quoted. Back in the Dark Ages (or should that be Light Ages) before renewables and with the 2 coal fired power stations since dynamited the State handled peaks of 3200MW. Since then nearly a third of homes have solar panels which should have reduced demand (except the panels are quite inefficient at 45℃). We’ve lost lots of companies shutting down or relocating, so why the blackout?

  11. Graeme No.3 says:

    Peak Demand in SA was 2954MW, well below previous peaks. Wind AND solar were supplying 303MW out of an installed capacity of 1929MW (15.7% 0f nominal capacity).
    Victoria demand peaked at 9221MW of which renewables supplied 595MW. Wind turbine capacity 1740MW but solar PV capacity not stated.