June 2022
This is a note to remind politicians and others that the transition from coal to wind and 
solar power will be extremely difficult and most likely impossible in Australia with existing storage 
Since March 2020 the Energy Realists of Australia sent a series of briefing notes to all sitting 
MPs in the country and to a number of journalists and commentators to signal the danger of 
eliminating coal power stations without adequate substitutes in place. The major parties all 
pressed on regardless with aggressive policies to eliminate coal and so all must share the 
responsibility for the current crisis. Moreover, the press corps neglected to inform the general 
public about the issues to facilitate a proper public discussion. For the most part politicians and 
voters sleep-walked into the last election without an adequate grasp of the energy policy issues at 
1.  Wind droughts. There are frequent and prolonged “wind droughts” when there is next to no wind 
across the whole of SE Australia for many hours and even days at a time.
2.  The “gap in the fence” factor. The grid needs a continuous input of power to meet 100% of 
demand all the time. The lowest level of RE input is the critical indicator of the sustainability 
of the system, not the installed capacity, the high points or the average performance of the solar 
fields and the wind fleet. Hopes are sustained by the high level of RE penetration on good days but 
that is like building a boundary fence that is high in some places (sunny Sunday afternoons) but 
missing elsewhere (windless nights.)
3.  Australia is an island. Almost every other place in the developed world has access to 
neighbours to supply power from many sources when domestic RE is in short supply.
4.  Lack of grid-scale storage.
That these critical issues be discussed in the party rooms, in the media and among the general public.
That regular news and weather bulletins on radio and TV report the amount of power that is being 
provided by the wind at the time.