The cock up that is the east coast energy market

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Gough

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The nuclear issue is the Opposition's desperate attempt to remain relevant in the climate debate, nothing more, if they were actually serious they had ten years in government to do something about it. Nobody should be falling for this s**t.
 

Kwality

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I would like to know why the States needs firming electricity generation such as nuclear, hydrogen or gas with CCS and Australia doesn’t seem to see a need. I know the sun and wind on the east coast is probably as good as anywhere in the world, but I would feel better about Australia’s plans if they confronted a few hard questions.

The commentary is around the cost of generation (i.e cheaper).
Whether thats ignorance or wilful misrepresentation, Australians are waking up that spending on the grid reflects in our power bills, not only the cost of generation:

Wind lowers energy prices, but adds to volatility without firming​

Michael Mazengarb 7 December 2020 6

'New research has shown that the increasing adoption of wind power in Australia is contributing to lower overall energy prices, but that an increase in energy market volatility pointed to the need for more investment in firming infrastructure.'

'The researchers suggest that further investment in low-cost firming technologies, and expanding the capacity of interstate network connections, would help mitigate the volatility of electricity prices and reduce the risk for investors.'


You might ask why the firming cost is ignored. Clearly its known, just ignored.
 

Kwality

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The nuclear issue is the Opposition's desperate attempt to remain relevant in the climate debate, nothing more, if they were actually serious they had ten years in government to do something about it. Nobody should be falling for this s**t.

When there is a 24/7 solution to power generation on the east coast, nuclear is not even a point of difference.
 

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Kwality

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Hey, someone who understands the cock up & is on about a solution. Can someone tell Mr Bowen or any of responsible State Ministers, i.e the east coasters who are responsible for this mess.

'Australia needs to get a move on with planning the gritty logistics of the renewables revolution if we want to keep the lights on.'

'Origin has its own glide path to get to a renewables business but right now its core business is coal-fired power including NSW’s Eraring Power Station, the nation’s biggest coal-fired plant, which is earmarked for closure by 2025.

He is urging the states and Canberra to keep an open mind on a capacity mechanism which captures coal and gas and has been proposed by the Energy Security Board. Victoria has strongly indicated it is opposed to this.'

.... Australia needs to accelerate the transition to renewables, but a capacity mechanism – where ageing coal plants are paid to have capacity available – will minimise risk of a chaotic path.

“Right now it’s an infrastructure challenge. We will need to get more renewables in the system. The transmission will need to be built and construction will need to be completed,” he says.
 

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TheBrownDog
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Hey, someone who understands the cock up & is on about a solution. Can someone tell Mr Bowen or any of responsible State Ministers, i.e the east coasters who are responsible for this mess.

'Australia needs to get a move on with planning the gritty logistics of the renewables revolution if we want to keep the lights on.'

'Origin has its own glide path to get to a renewables business but right now its core business is coal-fired power including NSW’s Eraring Power Station, the nation’s biggest coal-fired plant, which is earmarked for closure by 2025.

He is urging the states and Canberra to keep an open mind on a capacity mechanism which captures coal and gas and has been proposed by the Energy Security Board. Victoria has strongly indicated it is opposed to this.'

.... Australia needs to accelerate the transition to renewables, but a capacity mechanism – where ageing coal plants are paid to have capacity available – will minimise risk of a chaotic path.

“Right now it’s an infrastructure challenge. We will need to get more renewables in the system. The transmission will need to be built and construction will need to be completed,” he says.

Coal isn't the best long term solution to that sort of thing.
The power stations don't mothball as well as the gas turbines do.

For example , the gas turbines at Laverton don't need to be manned, and are operated from a remote location.
It makes far more sense to pay to have facilities like this available than to keep an old coal station in operating condition.
 

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TheBrownDog
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I find this clip interesting and instructive.

Jesse Jenkins is a really highly regarded macro energy engineer (or something) at Princeton who was a lead on a major report about the States called Net Zero America.

I would like to know why the States needs firming electricity generation such as nuclear, hydrogen or gas with CCS and Australia doesn’t seem to see a need. I know the sun and wind on the east coast is probably as good as anywhere in the world, but I would feel better about Australia’s plans if they confronted a few hard questions.


There are plenty who see the need, but we have a very loud environmental lobby who want a purist approach of "No Hydrocarbons".

They can't seem to accept a path where you make massive improvements and then work towards 100%.
 

Kwality

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Coal isn't the best long term solution to that sort of thing.
The power stations don't mothball as well as the gas turbines do.

For example , the gas turbines at Laverton don't need to be manned, and are operated from a remote location.
It makes far more sense to pay to have facilities like this available than to keep an old coal station in operating condition.

:thumbsu:
Coal power stations are designed to operate continuously 24/7 with maintenance budgetted accordingly. They are being used 'not to spec'.

The problem on the east coast with gas availability is of their own making. Some States dont want to accept their responsibility, EXPECT the rest of the country to 'hand feed' their needs.
The cost of each States folly will be identified by those being expected to big the bill for this chronic failure.

The renewables lobby will be able to rest comfortably by simply defining gas as a renewable, as Europe has.

No matter what, we are hell bent on not using coal, with no 24/7 replacement source of power on tap, & the only alternative fit for purpose is gas.
 

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TheBrownDog
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A bit off topic, but i went through an exercise looking at a small scale wind turbine, with a view to providing 50kw most days.

I found a 200Kw wind turbine complete with specifications.

It generated 200Kw in a 42km/h wind. In a 20 km/h wind it generated around 60kw. In the wind range most prevalent , probably 5-10 km/h it generated very little.
I kind of concluded you'd need something like a 1 Mw turbine to give the electricity you wanted more or less continuously, but then , on occasions when it is windy you need the electrical infrastructure to deal with the full Mw.

Best leave it to the big boys on their wind farms i thought.
 

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TheBrownDog
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:thumbsu:
Coal power stations are designed to operate continuously 24/7 with maintenance budgetted accordingly. They are being used 'not to spec'.

The problem on the east coast with gas availability is of their own making. Some States dont want to accept their responsibility, EXPECT the rest of the country to 'hand feed' their needs.
The cost of each States folly will be identified by those being expected to big the bill for this chronic failure.

The renewables lobby will be able to rest comfortably by simply defining gas as a renewable, as Europe has.

No matter what, we are hell bent on not using coal, with no 24/7 replacement source of power on tap, & the only alternative fit for purpose is gas.

The brown coal stations in Latrobe Valley use a very wet "lignite" coal.
To start them up you need imported ( from another mine ) black coal or briquettes. Then once they are going the heat from the process is used to dry the lignite before it is used to fuel the boilers. Once the boilers are making steam, you can bring the generators online and synchronise it to the grid ..... wait what's that....the wind picked up? Ok turn it off again fellas .

Of course you can sort of leave it ticking over, which is a bit like leaving your car idling all day.
 

Kwality

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The brown coal stations in Latrobe Valley use a very wet "lignite" coal.
To start them up you need imported ( from another mine ) black coal or briquettes. Then once they are going the heat from the process is used to dry the lignite before it is used to fuel the boilers. Once the boilers are making steam, you can bring the generators online and synchronise it to the grid ..... wait what's that....the wind picked up? Ok turn it off again fellas .

Of course you can sort of leave it ticking over, which is a bit like leaving your car idling all day.

I'm told here in the Latrobe Valley, idle is a common setting & it comes at a cost in both reliability & dollars.
 

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TheBrownDog
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I'm told here in the Latrobe Valley, idle is a common setting & it comes at a cost in both reliability & dollars.

As we bring more renewables online, in the absence of a better method, they will need to idle more , and somehow recover the cost in the short time that they provide the electricity.

Victoria had close to 4Gw from wind and Solar today, around 2Gw from Coal with the Sun dropping and the wind seeming to calm a bit, they are probably in the process of bringing 3Gw of Coal online.

NSW have been running 4-5Gw from Coal most of the day.
 

Kwality

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.... a disturbing sign for every Australian on the east coast who depends on the grid to deliver reliable power at a reasonable price.

Despite all the talk of energy transition, the June quarter has shown the energy market is broken and we are losing the race to deliver enough new firm power to replace coal as it exits the market.

The calamity of coal fired power outages – planned and unplanned – demonstrated just how critical coal fired power continues to be, not just in supplying 60 per cent of grid electricity but for the entire energy system.

Just ask Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher. He and the other big gas players now operate under continued threat of government intervention, not, he stresses because of a gas shortfall, but because the loss of coal fired power sucked gas into the system and caused gas prices to spike. That could well happen again.

The promised capacity market for the grid that would pay generators for firm power is now compromised with Victoria’s flat refusal to include fossil fuel generation. And far too much hangs on the timing of poles and wire infrastructure to connect renewable energy zones and build new interstate connections.

Both Origin’s Frank Calabria and AGL’s Graeme Hunt know that in early September, the Australian Energy Market Operator will deliver its next Electricity Statement of Opportunities, with an updated reliability assessment of the grid. Hunt says AGL will aim to give guidance in September along with its strategic review.

But does anyone think 2022 was a one-off? That there is no risk of repeat weather driven outages, supply shocks, absenteeism and failures in ageing power stations coinciding again in 2023?

It is AEMO’s job to have a view on this. The fourth quarter is normally the shoulder season for planned outages but in both 2021 and 2022 it turned out to be a critical period for the market.

 

Gralin

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oh no poor Santos
won't someone think of the poor fossil fuel companies!
 

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TheBrownDog
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.... a disturbing sign for every Australian on the east coast who depends on the grid to deliver reliable power at a reasonable price.

Despite all the talk of energy transition, the June quarter has shown the energy market is broken and we are losing the race to deliver enough new firm power to replace coal as it exits the market.

The calamity of coal fired power outages – planned and unplanned – demonstrated just how critical coal fired power continues to be, not just in supplying 60 per cent of grid electricity but for the entire energy system.

Just ask Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher. He and the other big gas players now operate under continued threat of government intervention, not, he stresses because of a gas shortfall, but because the loss of coal fired power sucked gas into the system and caused gas prices to spike. That could well happen again.

The promised capacity market for the grid that would pay generators for firm power is now compromised with Victoria’s flat refusal to include fossil fuel generation. And far too much hangs on the timing of poles and wire infrastructure to connect renewable energy zones and build new interstate connections.

Both Origin’s Frank Calabria and AGL’s Graeme Hunt know that in early September, the Australian Energy Market Operator will deliver its next Electricity Statement of Opportunities, with an updated reliability assessment of the grid. Hunt says AGL will aim to give guidance in September along with its strategic review.

But does anyone think 2022 was a one-off? That there is no risk of repeat weather driven outages, supply shocks, absenteeism and failures in ageing power stations coinciding again in 2023?

It is AEMO’s job to have a view on this. The fourth quarter is normally the shoulder season for planned outages but in both 2021 and 2022 it turned out to be a critical period for the market.


It would probably make sense to build a lot of gas power stations close to the gasfields, given the self created gas shortage in victoria.
There are potentially some issues with the long transmission distance, but there are possible solutions to that as well.
A Queensland /Victoria DC electricity cable, may make more sense than a Queensland/Victoria gas pipeline.
 

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TheBrownDog
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oh no poor Santos
won't someone think of the poor fossil fuel companies!

You aren't getting it.
The Government are wanting commercial entities to sit there while the renewables are being used. Then suddenly provide power at low prices when the market suddenly decides they need coal after all.

Its costing them money to be on standby, but the Government are not allowing them to charge what they need to cover costs and make a profit.

Are you volunteering to have your power shut off when they decide to?
I'd be very happy if those demanding only renewable electricity were singled out as having their power off during shortages.
 

Gralin

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You aren't getting it.
The Government are wanting commercial entities to sit there while the renewables are being used. Then suddenly provide power at low prices when the market suddenly decides they need coal after all.

Its costing them money to be on standby, but the Government are not allowing them to charge what they need to cover costs and make a profit.

Are you volunteering to have your power shut off when they decide to?
I'd be very happy if those demanding only renewable electricity were singled out as having their power off during shortages.
no you're not getting it

I don't give a * about fossil fuel companies or anything Murdoch has to say on the topic of climate change
 

Gralin

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also you may have missed the part where I think energy generation should not be for profit and anyone complaining they can't make money off it should * off
 

Kwality

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no you're not getting it

I don't give a * about fossil fuel companies or anything Murdoch has to say on the topic of climate change

You have NO idea of what the Murdoch media have to say .... so why do you keep prattling on, making it up ? Hopefully your proud ignorance is not reflected in your moderation - fat chance .....

See the aspiration of 2030: batteries

Its an article in the business section, names names, miners & minerals processing.
 

Gralin

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You have NO idea of what the Murdoch media have to say .... so why do you keep prattling on, making it up ? Hopefully your proud ignorance is not reflected in your moderation - fat chance .....

See the aspiration of 2030: batteries

Its an article in the business section, names names, miners & minerals processing.
its great, I don't have to read anything by Murdoch, thus giving them no revenue, because you'll parrot whatever they are saying in here for free
 

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TheBrownDog
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also you may have missed the part where I think energy generation should not be for profit and anyone complaining they can't make money off it should * off

You missed my part about people with that attitude should volunteer to be the first ones to have their electricity shut off during a shortage.

I don't mind electricity generation being not for profit.
But that's different from taking existing commercial entities and forcing them to run at a loss.
 

Gralin

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You missed my part about people with that attitude should volunteer to be the first ones to have their electricity shut off during a shortage.
the biggest energy users in the country are not residential houses

but keep fighting the good fight in support of gas bro
 

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TheBrownDog
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the biggest energy users in the country are not residential houses

but keep fighting the good fight in support of gas bro

Under your idea's the biggest energy users in the country would be forced to invest in their own backup power solutions.
The really big ones might use gas turbines.
The smaller ones would be on Diesel generators.
Otherwise they just move to a 1st world country where they have an electricity supply.

See how you are saving the environment.

If we we replaced all of our coal with combined cycle gas turbines, we would reduce our emissions by more than 50%.
but ewwwww my religion says fossil fuels are evil...EVIL!!!!.
 

Gralin

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Under your idea's the biggest energy users in the country would be forced to invest in their own backup power solutions.
The really big ones might use gas turbines.
The smaller ones would be on Diesel generators.
Otherwise they just move to a 1st world country where they have an electricity supply.

See how you are saving the environment.

If we we replaced all of our coal with combined cycle gas turbines, we would reduce our emissions by more than 50%.
but ewwwww my religion says fossil fuels are evil...EVIL!!!!.
all you're doing is pushing the problem down the road, oh and you're doing it in a country that likes to ship most of its gas overseas
 

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TheBrownDog
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all you're doing is pushing the problem down the road, oh and you're doing it in a country that likes to ship most of its gas overseas

Yeah i'm not a fan of liquifying gas at all. It only amplifies any emissions. ( Energy used for liquification, energy used for transport ).

The problem is already being pushed down the road, because we don't have the solutions just yet.
My suggestion is to use a Toyota Corolla instead of a Lincoln Continental while we develop the full solution.
 

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