Articles filed under Energy Policy from Australia
This week we learned that the complete power blackout that occurred in South Australia last September was due to the existence of a large number of wind farms that simply ceased to operate in the context of a strong storm, in turn causing the interconnector with Victoria to trip.
Overly sensitive protection mechanisms in some South Australian wind farms are to blame for the catastrophic statewide blackout in September last year, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says.
South Australian power consumers have been slugged for a massive $4.5 million price spike for services that stop energy infrastructure from blowing up. The Australian Energy Regulator released a report on Tuesday night into why prices for services which stabilisethe grid exceeded $5000/MWh in SA on October 18 last year.
Taxpayers in South Australia face being slugged tens of millions of dollars for dirty carbon dioxide-emitting diesel generators the Weatherill government wants shipped in by December to prevent pre-election blackouts.
The problem is, the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. The high peaks in South Australia's energy usage don't always match up with a large chunk of its increasingly intermittent supply. Intermittency isn't the only problem though. Under current market settings, wind farms aren't required to provide the same stability coal and gas has traditionally provided to the energy grid.
In dry, technical language the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned Queensland’s Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, that her renewable energy policy could take the state down the South Australian road, where they have the misfortune to pay high prices for unreliable electricity. The Palaszczuk policy would massively increase Queensland’s reliance on intermittent renewables and erode the value of state assets such as black coal-fired generators, which provide baseload power. And all this for no discernible effect on climate change. It is a profoundly irrational course.
“The government is talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a coal-fired power station,” he said. “We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure.” “Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?”
Pushing ever more renewable energy into the national electricity network is negligent without new investments in energy storage, Malcolm Turnbull has declared, stepping up his attack on Labor's "complacent" and "ideological" clean energy policy.
Malcolm Turnbull has blasted Labor’s renewable energy “horror show” by seizing on blackouts in South Australia to warn of outages across the country under the “insanity” of Bill Shorten’s 50 per cent renewables target. ...“How many South Australians are worse off because of the Labor Left ideological approach to power? I tell you: every single one."
“It’s a demonstration that ad hoc state-based renewable energy targets have gone too far — when reliability can’t be maintained on a day the likes of which SA faces numerous times every single summer.” ...“It’s time Labor both federally and at a state level recognised its high renewable energy targets are putting at risk energy security and affordability.”
The snub to the 2020 Renewable Energy Target by one of the country's biggest business electricity retailers has revived calls for investment in new renewables projects to be halted and exposed the risk of the consequences for consumers of missing the goal. ERM Power on Tuesday revealed it had elected to pay a $123 million penalty charge to discharge its 2016 liability under the RET scheme, rather than backing renewables projects as intended under the RET regulations.
On Monday, deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce refused to commit the government to maintaining the RET. Tony Abbott and South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued that renewable energy targets should be scrapped.
On Monday the Australian quoted several unnamed conservative MPs who want to ditch the RET, arguing it would help sharpen the Coalition’s attack on Labor’s plan to lift renewable energy to 50%. Tony Abbott and the South Australian senator Cory Bernardi have both publicly argued for the scrapping of renewable energy targets.
Now is the time to debunk Labor’s myth-making and expose the true cost that its energy policies will have on Australian households and businesses.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its third report today with its preliminary conclusions on the causes of the “Black System” that plunged the entire state into darkness at 4.18pm on September 28. While tornadoes were found to have taken down three transmission lines ahead of the blackout, it was the loss of power from the state’s wind farms that is thought to be one of the primary causes of the event.
“While emissions-reduction policies are politically fashionable, the obvious result of the EU’s policies has been ... growing backlash at the soaring cost of the renewable-heavy mandates. The backlash is also coming from rural landowners who are inflamed by the encroachment of large wind-energy projects on their neighbourhoods. This backlash has forced European policy makers to begin scaling back their plans.”
BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie is furious that another failure of the electricity network in South Australia resulted in the prized Olympic Dam mine being without power for more than four hours overnight.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused some state governments of putting too much emphasis on generating electricity from wind farms, putting Australia’s energy security at risk and “distorting the national energy market.”
The nation’s renewable energy strategy has officially blown a fuse. Everything is back on the table after an interim report found last week’s storm-induced statewide blackout in South Australia was the result of a dramatic, sudden loss of wind power generation.
The power failure has cost billions in losses to households and business. It has pitted state and federal governments against each other over fragmented ¬renewable energy targets and left green groups scrambling to shift the blame from renewables to climate change. Most of all, the statewide blackout has left South Australia looking foolish and reminded everyone how security of electricity supply easily can be taken for granted.