With abundant supplies of coal, gas and uranium Australia ought to be renowned as an energy superpower. It isn’t. In less than 20 years it deliberately destroyed the most reliable and affordable power generation and delivery system, on earth.
It started with subsidies; massive subsidies to wind and solar – both domestic and large-scale – delivered via our rocketing retail power bills under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target; that’s costing power consumers more than $4 billion a year.
Those subsidies were designed to force the grid manager to take wind and solar (on those occasions when it is actually available) over and above reliable, dispatchable coal and gas-fired power.
No single policy has ever done more damage to Australia’s economic competitiveness; no single policy has ever allowed a handful of rent-seekers to profit so handsomely at the expense of Australia’s productive industries, business and jobs.
Now, however, the chickens are coming home to roost. The owners and operators of coal-fired power plants – which were never designed to run and dispatch electricity intermittently – are threatening to exit the market. Surprise, surprise.
It’s the price paid for having ideologues and rent-seekers running the show, instead of engineers and free-market economists.
Australia’s Eastern Grid is doomed to collapse this summer whenever demand peaks and sunset and calm weather coincides. The exit of even one more coal-fired power plant guarantees a complete ‘system black’; a question of when, not if.
So, faced with a complete blackout calamity of the kind suffered in South Australia (Australia’s RE capital), California and Texas, the latest Band-Aid solution is to subsidise the generation of coal-fired power to, you guessed it, offset the effect of the guaranteed subsidies paid to intermittent and unreliable wind and solar.
The team from Jo Nova report on the latest twist of insanity in Australia’s suicidal energy policy.
Australian government needs coal subsidies to save grid from renewables subsidies
Jo Nova Blog
17 August 2021
In Australia, the subsidy bandaids are piling up.
We subsidized weather-controlling generators in the hope that our electrical infrastructure could not only provide electricity but would also stop storms, floods and The Taliban. However the weather-controlling-generators were also weather-dependent, and it was costing quite a lot to add storage, stability, transmission lines and synchronous condensors. Who knew changing global weather would cost so much?
Once upon a time Australia had a full complete electricity grid that was cheap and efficient. Then we added inefficient things to it until we had two whole grids, one that changed the weather (in theory) and a spare one that filled in for all the other grids failures. For some reason it was not cheaper to run two whole grids rather than just one.
The subsidies were needed to drive out the cheapest player (coal power), but having succeeded, we then needed different subsidies to keep the coal power in.
What a tangled web we weave when first we lie to ourselves.
Grid and bear it: subsidised coal part of energy overhaul
26 August 2021
Special payments will be needed to keep ageing coal-fired and gas power stations in business to avoid future spikes in electricity prices, under a national plan to shore up the energy grid.
A new capacity mechanism recommended by the Energy Security Board will put incentives in place to stop the early closure of power plants and create long-term signals for investment in dispatchable generation.
NSW is nearly running out of electricity every 4 days.
The Australian understands the Australian Energy Market Operator has issued a record number of warnings about a lack of supply in NSW this year, at a rate of almost one every four days. The notices are issued when AEMO considers there is not enough capacity available in the system.
Once upon a time Australians got “capacity” for free, now we have to pay for it.
via STOP THESE THINGS
September 7, 2021 at 02:33AM