Who would have guessed tht two out of five wind towers are working on a windy day in Hamamatsu, Japan? Why do we bother with such useless renewable power? Perhaps it is worth mentioning that these wonders of green madness require fossil fuel based products to keep the gears lubricated…never worry about that……
“SA Government has just agreed to run itself for 20 years off a plant that is a copy of Crescent Dunes in the US. It’s paying twice the price of wholesale coal power, the US plant took 5 years to build and worked for 1 year and 1 month before breaking down for 8 months.
Crescent Dunes only works at a 16% capacity factor which means a 150MW version would average only 24MW. Winter generation is a mere one third of summer (though there is only one year of data to go on!) SA may well be better off if Parliament has to shut down for winter, but how do you run hospitals and schools on one-third of the power?
What could possibly go wrong?”
You have to laugh at the irony. In order to make up for South Australia’s misguided renewable energy policy which has been the cause of numerous blackouts, 9 diesel generators costing $111mn will use 80,000 litres of diesel per hour to keep the lights on during power shortages. Had the Port Augusta coal fired plant not been ceremoniously dynamited as a virtue signaling exercise, South Australian tax payers would be $100mn better off as a start. Energy Plan Implementation ED Sam Crafter said after the initial 13-month period, there was an option to extend the lease for a further 12 months. There also was an option to walk away at the end of 25 months. So if South Australia chooses to extend the lease of the generators for another 12 months the cost won’t be included in the $111m. It is hard not to laugh at the irony of governments who make such appalling choices and cover up their mistakes by stealing more from taxpayers who they never properly showed costings to in the first place. Is it any wonder South Australia has the highest energy costs in the world, the highest unemployment rate in the country and the slowest growth. Don’t be surprised if Premier Jay Weatherill sees this as a fair price to pay to save the planet, even if South Australia is crushed in the process.
South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill is looking to get a $50mn+ selfie with Elon Musk as Tesla’s battery storage packs will be selected to keep the lights on the state for c.90 seconds in the event of (the state’s frequent) blackouts. Not withstanding the blithering incompetence in adopting a power policy which will end up costing SA taxpayers a further $560mn+ to cover up the green madness which got them into this mess in the first place, Weatherill gets to turn a massive failure into a virtue by maximizing exposure with the world’s most successful rent seeker (that is a compliment) to appeal to the state’s contributions to renewable energy in full knowledge of it creating the least reliable yet most expensive electricity prices, the highest unemployment rate and slowest growth in the nation. Even companies like Coca -Cola have packed up after more than 50 years operation because of the untrustworthy grid and usury plug prices.
Of course Musk has said he’ll install in 100 days or it is free. As mentioned several months ago when the plans were on the table this will only be enforceable after his lawyers have added every contingency to ensure it is just an optical illusion of insurance. Still that won’t matter to Weatherill. He wants the pride of saying he has the world’s largest battery storage plant even though it is pointless in practice. Perhaps a bronze bust and keys to the City of Adelaide will be given to Musk for his humanitarian efforts.
Still one has to hand it to Musk. His ability to get governments to turn over cash subsidies on EVs and unproven technologies shows his guile as a salesman extraordinaire. I’m green with envy, literally!
Mulligans in pro golf tournaments? Sounds farcical, right? That’s because it is. Yet this sums up the South Australian (SA) energy plan to a tee. The supposed “biggest battery park” in Australia totalling some 1,500 car batteries suggested by Elon Musk would keep the lights on in SA for 3.5 minutes. $150mn buys 3.5 minutes only? Naturally The Greens have lobbed the blame on the federal government for letting South Australia get into this parlous state of its own making. Instead of admitting the abject failure its renewable policy has shown in the real world, South Australia wants to take a $550mn Mulligan and tell its resident taxpayers that this is the shot it would have played. Sadly Jay Weatherill Is stuck in this ‘bunker’ mentality.
One person involved in And advisor to the renewable industry noted:
“I’m an electronics technician, been one for over 50 years, have worked on some of the most amazing bits of gear over the years, have worked in the renewable energy field and have worked with and been an advisor to government and industry on stand alone and grid connected systems and live completely off grid myself. And I can tell you for a fact that no battery ever ever ever will have the energy density storage of any type of fossil fuel, and fossil fuel energy density pales in comparison to nuclear fuel. Anyone that thinks you can run battery back up sufficient to power even a small town is delusional. The size of the battery would be ten times bigger than the town and then you have to have massive inverters to convert it back into 50 Hz mains power as well.”
The two biggest problems with this Mulligan are two fold.
First, the decision on the battery back up system seems in exceptional haste. Where is the sign to taxpayers that the $150mn investment here will be properly allocated and priced? Where is the detail outlining the paltry 3.5 minute safety valve, assuming they can be ready to go at 100% juice if the wind farms stop spinning? Does Premier Jay Weatherill actually get that this is the best he can hope for? Have they relied on the same experts that told them to lever up wind to 40% of power generation for advice? We understand that they are in a real bind but rushing a solution with the bicycle inner tube repair kit virtually guarantees they’ll be running back with $100 millions more in tax payer dollars to swing at the problem again.
Second, setting up the gas-fired back up generator isn’t an overnight affair. While the building construction might take 18 months from laying the cornerstone, has SA Premier Weatherill considered the location, local government approvals and whether enough engineers who can build such a plant are available? Will they run a tender or draw a name out of a hat? Sounds like a 3-4 year project at a minimum. Also has he managed to cover where the gas will come from? Has that supply been locked down?
You have to wonder at the incompetence in the first place to chase risky renewable targets without getting a grasp of the now too obvious side effects before setting off. To gloat about their virtue by publicly blowing up the evil Port Augusta coal-fired power station last year is one thing. To cover up the folly of that poor decision by gloating again that another $550mn of South Australian tax payers’ money is not an oversight tells you how clueless they are. Virtue signaling is a wonderful thing. Now they’ll have the state of Victoria as real competition to see who can run out of power fastest. The only problem Victorian Daniel Andrews will have is posting the problem to Facebook during the blackout.
Politicians seem allowed to take countless mulligans. Sadly South Australian residents will have to wait twelve months for the opportunity to take another swing.
It is no surprise that Prime Minister Turnbull is having another ‘thought bubble’, this time with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. I am sure his thinking is it may create another diversion for his weak, indecisive and increasingly unpopular leadership. Using the likes of an international celebrity like Elon Musk he can appeal that he’s hip with global trends. In reality he is trying to steal Weatherill’s limelight. Taxpayers won’t want to pay up for something that hasn’t been proven on the scale that is required in South Australia. Storage isn’t Australia’s problem. It is loony renewable targets like we have in South Australia which are showing the limitations of green power. The Musk plan highlights the stupidity of
100 days or it is free is a gimmick. It is one thing to promise these packs, it is another to be able to install. The guarantee undoubtedly come with huge quid pro quos which will undoubtedly fall on the government – such as provision of land, connection to the grid etc etc. The only thing free will end up being the set of steak knives. Turnbull can whistle all he wants about storage but Australia will has a growing generation problem which will worsen with the crazy renewable targets being espoused. If states can’t produce enough electricity to meet their own demand, then there is nothing left over to store. That will mean even more expensive inefficient renewables will be sought by governments in order to feed the batteries which sadly won’t lower prices. Taxpayers will get slugged.
South Australia’s (SA) completely disastrous renewable energy policy has caused much chaos, including two recent large scale blackouts. Soaring electricity prices has been behind Coca Cola’s decision to cease operations in the state.
Originally Musk had called up SA Premier Jay Weatherill to solve the total farce his energy policies have proven. South Australia has the country’s most expensive, yet most unreliable electricity supply. SA scrapped its coal-fired power and relies on wind power for 40%of its electricity. When the wind doesn’t blow, SA relies on backup power from neighboring Victoria, which has its own ridiculous renewable energy targets. Victoria has announced the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired electricity plant which constitutes 20% of Victoria’s power. So Victoria’s ‘pipe’ of backup will all but disappear.
Musk is a master of the deal. If we place the same faith in Turnbull’s judgement on things like new submarines, child detention centre Royal Commissions, proposals to hand income tax powers back to the states and so on we can be pretty sure he’ll probably try to do a deal with Musk. Might be worth buying Tesla shares on the basis of the Prime Minister’s unbelievable ability to stuff almost everything he touches almost guarantees it. Next thing we’ll see the number plate C*1 (the PM’s car) attached to a Tesla instead of the BMW 7-Series.