‘Inevitable’ Wind & Solar Transition’s Inevitable Collision Course With Reality

The deluded few still promoting the total transition to wind and solar as ‘inevitable’ are being pounded by reality, on a daily basis.

Dead calm weather is a thing; sunset is a thing. Both phenomena are inevitable, ergo, there is no way wind and solar can ever amount to meaningful power sources.

Proponents have been reduced to babbling about mythical mega-batteries, non-existent pumped hydro and (equally non-existent) so-called ‘green’ hydrogen which, collectively, are meant to be a cheap as chips and practically instant fix to the hopeless intermittency of wind and solar power.

The argument appears to run along the lines that, had we only thought a little bit harder about it, we would have solved the problem from the outset by adding a little “storage”.

Here’s the news: there is no such thing as the grid-scale storage of electricity and the laws of physics and economics mean there never will be.

So, as Australia’s Eastern Grid groans to its inevitable demise under the weight of chaotically intermittent wind and solar, the intelligentsia continued to engage in activity akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, as she rolled and listed on her way to the inky depths.

If Australia’s economic and national security didn’t depend upon a little clearheaded adult thinking about restoring our once reliable and thoroughly affordable power supplies, the infantile nonsense coming out of our so-called political betters would almost be comical.

The mirth soon disappears, however, when people are left freezing in the dark and businesses are put out of action under so-called “demand management” practices – when energy users are unceremoniously turned into energy losers as the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in.

Sky’s Chris Kenny takes a look at why Australia is in the midst of a power pricing and supply calamity, with little hope of digging its way out.

We’ve ‘recklessly jeopardised our own electricity grid’ by promoting renewables
Sky News
Chris Kenny
22 June 2022

Sky News host Chris Kenny says “the idea that there hasn’t been investment in renewables” and “there has been a roadblock for renewables” is “absolute rot”.

“The problem is that we have been continuing to encourage renewables investment, and therefore continuing to undermine the viability of our dispatchable energy supplies,” Mr Kenny said.

“We’ve recklessly jeopardised our own electricity grid by promoting renewables, not by rejecting them.

“And the real worry about the Albanese Labor government is that it will only make matters worse, because so far the only thing it’s done is increase our 2030 emissions reduction target, and boast about it.”

Transcript

Chris Kenny: Thanks for joining me. The immediate energy crisis seems to have passed for now, with much more coal-fired generation now back online the national electricity market is expected to start returning to normal in the morning and perhaps be operating properly by the end of the week, we’ll see. But there’ll be plenty of tests in the future, don’t worry about that. Our capacity is normally stretched over the summer when demand is at its peak in the hot weather. We’re going to have to get our act together on energy as a country. So let me call out some of the denial and nonsense from the left, from the climate activists and from the new federal government on this matter.

From the Prime Minister down they say renewables are the answer.

Anthony Albanese: The future is renewables, that is why you are seeing new energy being the investment funnelled that way, the market has spoken.

Chris Kenny: Look, this is just a slogan. People like it. It sounds nice. But the trouble is, it overlooks how the push to renewables actually has caused our electricity grid mess. We’ve preferenced renewables at the expense of dispatchable power leaving us light on for reliable power.

This diagnosis has been confirmed by none other than Rod Sims, the former head of the National Competition Watchdog. Writing in The Australian today, Sims argues we need a carbon price to fix this and that we need more gas made available domestically, but his analysis also details how the market is corrupted against reliability. “The more relevant problem given the electricity crisis is that solar and wind generation receive revenue from the renewable energy target outside of the electricity market. So they bid into the market operator for dispatch, whenever they’re available irrespective of system need”, he explains. “There is thus no priority on reliable or secure energy that the energy market provides”, Sims goes on. “So there is a reduced benefit to close cycle gas or coal-fired generation operating. While some will applaud this”, he says, “it has led to a reduced incentive to maintain plants, a key factor underpinning recent plant breakdowns”.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, whenever renewables are available they go into the system, pricing out the fossil fuel power, which gets no premium for being dispatchable or available when it’s needed. With its commercial viability undercut in that way, gas and coal power either closes or falls into disrepair, and we’re stuck like we have been. Until technology provides an answer to the energy storage dilemma, we need to keep this dispatchable generation in service. But the climate activists, well, they just keep pretending that they can store electricity.

Zoe Daniel: The priorities in this room today are around storage and moving into that. So incentivising battery storage is one thing. The other is upgrading the national grid, which as you know, the ALP has plans to do that.

Chris Kenny: Yeah, storing all this energy would be great, so would a golden goose, but batteries can’t store enough power for long enough and they’re incredibly expensive for what they can do. So the idea that we can fix this problem with more renewables and storage and transmission is simply delusional. If it were true, every country in the world would be doing it. But as I showed you last night in Europe they’re now reopening old coal-fired generators because their renewables policies have led them to an energy crisis too. Which brings me back to the political and practical deceptions going on here.

Zoe Daniel: As an industry, there is a sense that it’s been stalled because of roadblocks that have been put in place over the last, say, 9 or 10 years around moving faster into renewable energy, particularly into things like offshore wind.

Chris Kenny: Really? The answer is renewables and the problem is that the Coalition didn’t do enough on renewables over the past decade. Here’s a graph of renewable generation in this country over the past three decades and see how the grey and the light blue, the solar and the wind have massively expanded over that period. In fact, since 2010 renewables have gone from supplying 5% of our electricity to over 30%.

Again, let’s look at the data. In this case, from the Clean Energy Council’s latest Clean Energy Report. You can see that over the last decade, the amount of solar installed annually has continued to climb, and then you can look at large scale solar, solar farms in other words, and they’ve been on the rise too, dramatically. And the installed wind generation capacity too, has massively increased over the last decade. So the idea that there hasn’t been investment in renewables, the idea there has been a roadblock for renewables and the idea that this is the problem that’s led to our current situation, well, that is just absolute rot.

Anthony Albanese: We’ve had a decade of denial and delay, you can’t fix that in 10 days.

Chris Kenny: Sorry Prime Minister, the problem is the exact opposite. The problem is that we’ve been continuing to encourage renewables investment and therefore continuing to undermine the viability of our dispatchable energy supplies. We’ve recklessly jeopardised our own electricity grid by promoting renewables, not by rejecting them. And the real worry about the Albanese Labor government is that it will only make matters worse. Because so far, the only thing it’s done is increase our 2030 emissions reductions target and boast about it.

Anthony Albanese: I signed the nationally determined contribution of 43% by 2030 last week in the parliament, and I signed it with behind me, the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Clean Energy Council, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Conservation Foundation. We’re bringing people together to provide that investment certainty going forward.

Chris Kenny: It’s all going to be easy, isn’t it? You know the other place that they boast about these sorts of gestures? In Europe. In places like Germany and the UK. Places where they’ve created an energy crisis and run headlong into the unpleasant reality of high costs and uncertain supplies, places where they’ve now started to reopen the older coal-fired generators that they closed in recent years, places where they’d used more gas if they could get hold of it and places where they’re now mining coal again. Australia is in a perfect position to learn from Europe’s mistakes, but if we keep chasing an imaginary renewables Nirvana we’ll just end up replicating the same failures.
Sky News

via STOP THESE THINGS

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July 2, 2022 at 02:31AM

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