This is a series of papers on energy issues written for the online version of The Australian Spectator, starting in July 2022.
There are parallel universes in energy policy and they are about to collide.
In one universe, the governments of Australia and most of the Western world are committed to the flight from coal to renewable energy. In the other, we have already gone as far as we can go in that direction with existing storage technology.
The combination of wind droughts and the lack of feasible grid-scale battery storage makes the green energy transition impossible for the time being, despite what we are told.
The transition from coal is limited by the lowest level of renewable energy input to the grid on windless nights…
Until that rises to meet the full demand, we had better keep all the coal capacity that we have at present or be prepared to eat breakfast and dinner cold.
Meet the pioneer wind watchers who documented the wind droughts that are the fatal impediment to any transition from coal to wind.
Due to a clerical error the paragraph on Anton Lang, one of the foundational wind-watchers, did not get into the story. Since 2008 he has written thousands of blog posts on many aspects of energy generation in Australia. https://papundits.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/australian-daily-wind-power-generation-data-introduction-with-permanent-link-to-daily-posts/
This is also known as the ABC ol intermittent energy generation.I
A. Input to the grid must continuously match the demand.
B. The continuity of RE is broken on nights with little or no wind.
C. There is no feasible or affordable large-scale storage to bridge the gaps.
So the transition to wind and solar power can’t proceed with current storage technology.
This year Daniel Westerman will become a well-known if not much-loved public figure. In his role as the energy czar – the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator – his mission is to mastermind the great transformation of our energy system to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable energy to your home, business, and in due course, your car. In fact, the decision to pursue that transformation is the greatest policy blunder in our history,
The time has come for a new energy narrative based on realism and concern for the welfare of people and the planet.
Net Zero is not necessary, it’s not happening, and it’s not possible until nuclear power is in the mix. In the meantime, why don’t we burn our beautiful black and brown coal that generates the cheapest power in the world?
The timetable for decarbonisation that AEMO provided for the government in the so-called Integrated System Plan is purely aspirational and it is not really a plan at all.
We need a plan ready to go before a government comes to power with the desire to exit, only to find they are short on time. Any government wishing to exit Net Zero will have to mandate it during their first term of office.
In south-eastern Australia, the capacity of conventional power has run down to the point where there is just enough to meet the peak of demand at dinner times in summer and winter. Occasionally, it falls short and a bit of invisible load-shedding keepis the problem out of sight of the plebs.