Australia facing energy reliability challenges says report

Posted: August 23, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, ideology, Politics
Tags: , ,

Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]

The long-term consequences of exchanging on-demand for unpredictable power generation are not hard to figure out. But political leaders in some countries prefer to ignore such issues, in favour of a questionable ideology that guarantees problems in their increasingly unreliable electricity systems.

A report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is a stark reminder of the reliability challenges facing the country’s National Electricity Market (NEM), says PEI.

The Andrews Labour government has been accused of failing to properly replace ageing infrastructure which has created unnecessary risk to the affordability and reliability of the NEM.

This challenge is starkest in Victoria, with AEMO warning the state is not expected to meet the NEM’s reliability standard this summer, putting Victorian households and businesses at an unacceptable risk of blackouts.

Without the procurement of up to 560 MW of emergency reserves by AEMO, up to 1.3 million Victorian households could face being without power for up to four hours in the upcoming summer months.

According to the Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report report: “Most of the announced new generation projects are variable renewable energy generators, which often do not generate at full capacity during peak demand times or may be positioned in a congested part of the network. As a result, while providing significant additional energy during many hours of the year, these projects are forecast to only make a limited contribution to meeting demand during peak hours.”

With the closure of the coal-fired Liddell Power Station due in April 2023, AEMO warns of the risk to consumers as more generation and transmission investment is needed to keep the lights on in the long term.

Full article here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    From Jo Nova…
    Rampant solar, wind growth: Australia increases unreliable energy by 50% in 2018. Wow.

    The Crash Test Dummy accelerates. Australia is steaming ahead in the forced transition to unreliable energy
    – – –
    Germany, Britain etc. are heading the same way. But they have access to a lot more interconnector capacity than Australia, which only has inter-state versions.

    Even some of those could be under threat…

    Report: Coalition MP wants Queensland to leave main grid

    According to Pitt, Queensland would be better off being disconnected from the National Electricity Market, because it could then keep all of its power to itself, and not have to share with any of those “silly” renewable states to its south.

    Quuensland has lots of coal.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    This report is an exercise in SBO – Stating the Bleeding Obvious.
    Even IF the 2 stations currently broken down are returned to service before the end of December**, the situation will be the same as last summer when Victoria had rolling blackouts.

    **and the start of the peak demand season. And the trouble could cascade into South Australia (dependent on interconnectors to Victoria) and NSW which may have to import even more from coal-fired Queensland. The politicians had better hope for a Global Cooling summer.

  3. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Oldbrew – Australia has lots of coal –
    see the map here:
    We have coal in every state, lignite in Victoria, black coal elsewhere, overlapping very large oil and gas zones. And uranium, of course. Our coal areas are generally at shallow depths, so cost to mine is low. Aren’t we fortunate!

  4. oldbrew says:

    ‘Australia is the second largest exporter of thermal coal in the world, with 208m tonnes worth $26bn exported last year. About 20% of that went to China.’

    Making money from coal is good but burning it yourself isn’t? 🤔

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    Old Chinese exclamation about The Guardian Ah Phooee!
    I am sure you know this, but for the record; the thermal coal from Australia is rather high grade i.e. lower water and ash (not as good as the old Welsh anthracite but much cheaper). This is in demand because, when burnt, it produces more CO2 per ton and less ash; i.e. more energy and less actual pollution per ton. For modern power stations that translates into more MWh per ton i.e. more money and less fly ash i.e. less pollution to be removed by scrubbers. As some coal-fired stations may not have the best particulate scrubbing equipment, that reduces pollution down wind of the power station.
    China has historically used local coal not just for electricity generation but for household cooking and heating, leading to considerable pollution in cities. By building more efficient power stations the public are encouraged to use (cleaner & cheaper) electricity for cooking and heating. The older and smaller stations are being replaced by newer more efficient, less polluting stations. The result is cleaner air from less (particulate) smog. So 2 or 3 stations may be replaced by a newer (but larger) one, leading to claims in the “green media” about China shutting down coal fired stations.
    For all that chinese coal has, from cheapness and political reasons, a majority share of the local market at the cost of a horrendous safety record. Indonesian coal can be cheaper but with a higher ash level. Again a balance of economic and political reasons is involved.

    The public opposition to coal burning in Australia comes from inner-city dwellers who receive money from the (various) governments and are completely ignorant of economics (and reality). After all coal burning for electricity generations is about 0.3% of world annual emissions of CO2. China INCREASES the total by over 6 times that much every year.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Graeme – let’s see how long these Aussie suburbanites can cope with random power cuts before they start wailing 😐