Leigh Creek - a new beginning?

 
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

With virtually nothing in the federal budget for SA, is it time to put miners back to work in the brown coal mines and put the coal wagons back on the railway line?

With yet another blow to SA's renewable energy aspirations, is it time to build a new more modern coal fired powerstation at Port Augusta?

Why be held to ransom by the availability of dirty coal fired electricity from Vic or NSW when you have your own supply of brown coal nearby?

Governments at all levels should have backed this project. It could have generated returns many times it's cost.

Our leaders truly lack vision and nation building skills and can't see past their partisan politics. The NBN is another example of one political party trashing another party's legacy and vision. It is a miracle we have such things as Medicare and Super....

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-05/solar-thermal-plant-will-not-go-ahead-in-port-augusta/10973948?pfmredir=sm

Let the coal wagons roll!!!

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  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
There not actually that much usable coal at Leigh Creek, while there a lot still in the deposit, its getting fairly deep so your actually getting to point where it takes more energy to get the coal out of the ground, than you'll get out the coal itself.

When ETSA expended leigh creek in the early 80s, they only expected the mine to have about 35 year lifespan. Which put it to about the point when Alinta shut it down.

Then of course there is the lack power station to burn the coal at now.

Leigh Creek is dead and its railway line is also dead and may well lifted at some point in the future as from what I've heard.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

With virtually nothing in the federal budget for SA, is it time to put miners back to work in the brown coal mines and put the coal wagons back on the railway line?

With yet another blow to SA's renewable energy aspirations, is it time to build a new more modern coal fired powerstation at Port Augusta?

Why be held to ransom by the availability of dirty coal fired electricity from Vic or NSW when you have your own supply of brown coal nearby?

Governments at all levels should have backed this project. It could have generated returns many times it's cost.

Our leaders truly lack vision and nation building skills and can't see past their partisan politics. The NBN is another example of one political party trashing another party's legacy and vision. It is a miracle we have such things as Medicare and Super....

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-05/solar-thermal-plant-will-not-go-ahead-in-port-augusta/10973948?pfmredir=sm

Let the coal wagons roll!!!
ANR
Another fabulous post from ANR. Brown coal is very inefficient and dirty and should be left in the ground. If we had a decent all standard gauge system then it would have been cheaper for the Victorians to import coal from NSW and leave all that horrible stuff at Yallorne in the ground. I believe the Vietnamese are buying some of it? That says it all.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Ummmm...considering the much vilified hard thermal black coal from Queensland's Galilee Basin has up to three times the energy content of Leigh Creek brown coal per kilogram and a fraction of the CO2 emmisions, just what chance does new brown coal mining developments have when it comes development approvals and political support? It ain't going to happen.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I thought Leigh Creek was black coal, even if it was the "half of it's dirt and the other half won't burn" variety.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I have been reading how proposed polluting coal fired power stations cannot secure funding in FNQ. If this is the case, what is wrong with solar powered generation project in PA? If renewable energy projects cannot secure funding, then we still need to keep the lights on somehow.

Even though uneconomic mines can close when the price of the commodity drops or demand drops, quite often, mines are reopened.

Without becoming political, it looks like another attempt at nation building, and creating something great in the PA solar generation project has been shot down. Sometimes, government needs to get involved and invest taxpayer funds so that the taxpayers can benefit, then sell the asset as the NSW state libs did at a later time, if at all.

Over time, the operating costs of the solar power would have been small in comparison to its revenue.This solar project would have been a landmark development in its size and purpose putting PA on the global map.

Change of Govts mean that any lasting legacy to be left by the outgoing government needs to be stripped down or stopped by the incoming one.it is partly why China has become a powerhouse economy and we have been held back ...by a lack of imagination.

Why buy dirty brown coal fired power from the interconnector when you still have your own in the ground, and can protect your state from future unpredictable supply. Build a new cleaner coal fired station. With the  infrastructure to deliver the coal already in place, I would imagine that it could take 5 years to build. By that time, another ALP govt would be voted into that state.

It will put locals to work again...
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville


It will put locals to work again...
ANR

Why don't we get rid of all mechanised equipment on our farms - that will provide plenty of employment for 'the locals' across Australia and save a few nags from the pet food factory as well Razz
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I have been reading how proposed polluting coal fired power stations cannot secure funding in FNQ. If this is the case, what is wrong with solar powered generation project in PA? If renewable energy projects cannot secure funding, then we still need to keep the lights on somehow.
ANR
Two stories with surprising similarities. The FNQ coal fired power station proposal is largely a Bjelke-Petersen style thought bubble. There's very little private interest - largely because the region already has an oversupply of electricity thanks to weak interconnections with Central QLD and strong solar PV supply in the region. The finance sector is also beginning to take a more sceptical view of new coal-fired power investment in the developed world, so financing costs are going up as well. The plant would have to be either wholly financed by the Government or at the very least have a loan guarantee and some sort of additional subsidy. It's total fiscal madness driven by an 'own the Greenies' mentality over on the conservative side of politics.

The proposal for a Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) power station in Port Augusta is a more interesting case. The previous State Government had stumped up a generous Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and some additional subsidies for the plant, but private finance was less keen because the proposed generating costs were higher than wind and solar PV farms. The business case was built on being able to use the thermal storage element of the plant to supply power when solar and wind aren't working as hard, to offset that higher Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE). There was also less capital cost certainty, as at roughly 150MWe it would easily be the largest CST plant ever attempted to be built in Australia. Meanwhile, solar PV farms have a more certain cost and construction schedule - everything is more modular (and therefore easier to scale up) and the testing & commissioning stage is much more streamlined. There was potentially further subsidies available for the project but the private financing was getting cold feet.
The prospect of an interconnector between Western NSW and Port Augusta also harmed the case as I understand it. That would bring in more low-cost (for now) electricity from NSW coal and open up even more land for large-scale solar PV farms. In short, too much risk sank the project.[/quote]
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I think the success of Sundrop in Port Augusta shows that that the sun does always shine. The project should have got finance on the basis that the tech has been working for a few years at a commercial level in Port Augusta whether it is to grow hydroponic tomato's, or just generate power to desalinate the water for the hydroponics.

State govt should have stepped in with money no matter what their political persuasion is. Who funded Snowy. Hydro? Business must decide whether it does want to finance green projects or brown projects. In the absence of one, the other should prevail. Whenever there is dithering, the govt should take the lead. The libs economic mantra is classical economics which is based around letting the free market decide how to run the show. If this was the case, the Alice Springs to Darwin line should never have been built. Who built that one? The Liberal classical economist John Howard.

If solar doesn't work in PA, time to build a new coal fired powerstation and burn more coal, and start running coal wagons up and down the railway line. The fact that a state can become so reliant on anothers grid should be a concern for every voter in SA given the kind of trouble they have had in recent times.
  CPH8 Locomotive Fireman

Some comments on the above postings. First, from someone who actually lived and worked at Leigh Creek (1969 - 1973) the coal is a low grade black coal. All residents were supplied with it free for home heating in winter - yes, it does get cold in winter. Second, Sundrop is in trouble. They have had to use backup mains power because the solar system cannot supply enough energy for both power and water distillation and the running costs are considerably higher than forecast. As for the power station, now sadly demolished. The boilers were designed for gas operation, so the coal was crushed and blown in to simulate gas.

There is now a company working on extracting coal seam gas at Leigh Creek by setting fire to the underground seams. While there has been some concerns about the long term implications (what politician cares about that?) they have been successful in the pilot program.

The town's infrastructure is now being managed by Breyton Ward. A new chef has been employed after a 2 year hiatus and Breyton hopes to make it a tourist centre. This is the new town, not the old town I lived in. Back then Breyton's mother ran the newsagency. Hopefully it will be a success after the disaster of Port Augusta.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

http://www.lcke.com.au/Our-Business/Commercial-Project

How could the railway assist in a commercial development of CSG at Leigh Creek? Could the infrastructure be trucked in by freight trains?

Any gas fired powerstation could be built on site thanks to preexisting power lines nearby. Maybe it can also take a combination of coal dust and gas?

Not sure how the pastoralists and indigenous stakeholders would welcome full scale production.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
While I was willing to see how the RE/govt projects were going to push down the power price it seems now that this is a failure with 2019 prices looking to be higher again than 2018. It would appear most of the states are on track for record high whole power prices.

https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

While I am certainly open minded and support RE, even blind Freddy can see its an economic failure. The step changes in power prices in Vic and SA are both linked to closure of coal power stations and NSW is generating less coal fired power than in the past with a number of closures a few years back.

Right now as I type this 9pm Sat night EST, the power price in every east coast state bar Tas and including SA is over $100/MWh. The NEM is only pulling 22GW and yet we have prices that are 3 x what they were less than 10 years ago, why because there is bugger all wind, around 710MW in total. Its ridiculous, over 1000MW of Gas steam generation and nearly 500MW of Open Cycle Gas generation, at 9pm on a Sat night. This sort of power generation is usually reserved for very hot or very cold peaking weather conditions.  

The whole thing must be accepted and written off as a failure! But no, the best the brains trust can propose are power lines over 1000km long and pumped hydro that wasn't financially viable at more realistic power prices of a few years ago and need govt support to make them happen today with record prices the only justification.

The situation is getting so bad that it won't be long before the average person will be better off running a genset than paying for grid power and the connection fee.

Its a pity Northern was demolished, if the former ALP SA govt had any common sense they would have funded its ongoing mothballing for potential reinstatement on imported coal which could have been railed or shipped in from NSW or Qld. This would have been cheaper than what SA residents are paying now. The recent collapse of what was to be SA's saving grace the solar thermal project only demonstrates further that despite the record high power prices, some types RE technology is still a high cost risk.

Solar has its place and works well working to reduce the peak, wind however its dynamic, here one day, gone the next. The country has only limited hydro resources to help balance the wind output and additional ones are highly unlikely to be economic compared to prices of the past and then there is the environmental factor getting approvals. Also looking through the RE project list, there are not that many MW's of approved projects on the table right now likely indicating concern of future economic returns.

To add insult to injury, the WA power price which was never historically attractive for industry is now the bargain of the country. Why would anyone considering building industry on the east cost in beyond me and the ongoing departures and lack of arrivals shows the word is getting out there and lack of confidence in the govt to resolve.

If the current SA govt wants to make a name for itself and leave a legacy of lower power prices with reliable energy and still generating some jobs, go out for tender now for a single turbine coal power station around 500-600 or so MW. Import the coal from the east and sell the excess power back into the east coast. This will enable closure of some of the older less efficient gas generation at the same time. Operate a fixed price contract for the electrical output for 25 years and there will be no issue for private financing.

I like EV's but any talk of trying to increase the number of EV's in Australia just shows how out of touch some of our politicians are with the current power issues.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Not only were the power stations demolished, but the land underneath them has since been sold for the port augusta port project. The govt of the day should have hedged a bet each way as you said RTT, mothball the power station as a contingency.

If there is a new power station at Leigh Creek to take on CSG, maybe it should also be able to burn crushed coal?

Either way, they should leave the railway in tact, maintain it and not do something stupid like rip it up.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Not only were the power stations demolished, but the land underneath them has since been sold for the port augusta port project. The govt of the day should have hedged a bet each way as you said RTT, mothball the power station as a contingency.

If there is a new power station at Leigh Creek to take on CSG, maybe it should also be able to burn crushed coal?

Either way, they should leave the railway in tact, maintain it and not do something stupid like rip it up.
ANR
I suppose you could build a multi fuel power station but not sure if you need to or want to. I think the time burning that crap coal is over and time to use more efficient coal. There was a comment previously that the interstate is not up to the task of long haul coal. I beg to differ. Previously it was one 2.3-2.5km long coal train from Leigh Creek each day for 800MW, you could run a 500MW coal power station of NSW black gold on a daily 1.8km long coalie from the Hunter Valley and if this not enough a 2nd wouldn't be an issue. For cooling purposes you would build it at Leigh Creek anyway as no water and now a very long cable run into Adelaide.


Looking further at the power generation in SA and why the 1000km long HV line won't make a difference

- A few days ago at night SA ran 100% off wind and 6h later during the day 100% off solar and wind, power price? Over $60-80/MWh. Is this cheaper than coal? No. Why because SA is connected to the interstate and you pay based on NEM demand and the bigger the connection and easier it is to move surplus power out, the more you are linked to the wholesale price.

One of the reasons the price doesn't go down much at the moment is as the HV inter-tie is approaching max load or the interstate price too low, the gas output is progressively reduced to compensate. Its only Pelican Point that has limited turn down capacity, the rest just switches off. Meaning you will rarely see low to very low power prices in SA. The system is geared to prevent it. You would need to double the PV output to drive this during the day and alot more wind.

Don't believe me, look at Qld. Minimal RE added outside roof top solar, has not shut a coal turbine, power price at least doubled? Why, because of increased interstate transmission capacity, up to 2GW, nearly 25% of Qld's nominal load. Yes I saw the towers go up a few years back and this is on top of what was built in the late 90's.

- Additionally what savings does the govt promise with this HV connector? $60pa!! Or just over $1/wk. How much has SA's domestic power bills gone up in last 10 years? $300-500pa? NSW users will save less than half of this. ie SFA.

So in effect the state govt and fed govt of both persuasions are locking in power prices in SA of no less than $90/MWh and most people have fallen for this RE is cheaper than coal hook, line and sinker.

The easiest way to return Qld to cheap power is to literally blow up all but one of the HV inter-ties on the border.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
With Labor out in SA I guess there’s a chance a new coal fired plant may get approved, but loans to build it would be very difficult to get. It’s worth remembering there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the financial markets since the push to renewable energy began in the mid 2000s. It’s not quite as bad as the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott years when energy policy changed every five minutes, but generally there’s not a lot of cofindence to invest in coal power.
The other thing worth keeping in mind is that Northern closed because it wasn’t making enough profit to sustain such a huge operation, as it was undercut by renewables (mainly wind farms) that operate on a low cost and have low overheads due to generous government subsidies.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
With Labor out in SA I guess there’s a chance a new coal fired plant may get approved, but loans to build it would be very difficult to get. It’s worth remembering there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the financial markets since the push to renewable energy began in the mid 2000s. It’s not quite as bad as the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott years when energy policy changed every five minutes, but generally there’s not a lot of cofindence to invest in coal power.
The other thing worth keeping in mind is that Northern closed because it wasn’t making enough profit to sustain such a huge operation, as it was undercut by renewables (mainly wind farms) that operate on a low cost and have low overheads due to generous government subsidies.
dylan
A few corrections
-There is no issue getting finance to build a coal power station internationally (one being built near my house), there is just an issue in Australia due to govt ideology creating an unstable environment.

- Northern Closed because it was forced to compete against an increasingly variable and larger supply. The power prices prior to Northern Closure were similar to 10 years before before inflation, however their total MW output was being reduced as the govt forced Northern to cut back in favor on wind.

- Should Northern Be operating today and assume a operating cost of $60/MWh, its net profit each year would be $238Mpa. ie it would find its replacement cost within 10 years, not a bad investment. But of course the power price would be lower which is a clear sign that 3 years after Northern Closed the govt approach is a failure. The same strategy has now also failed in Vic.

- In other countries, the base load produces are protected from such poor practices or the non-dispatchable suppliers are forced to bid with a guarantee of supply. So if you are a wind farmer, you must have a contingency for supply if bidding against a coal, CCGT, or Nuclear power producer.

To explain further Northern's output was around 800MW and should have been considered a priority base load supplier, so they would have been given first preference on price, maybe even a fixed price. Pelican Point would be next. Beyond that its lowest price first, however the wind farmers while partially predictable are not dispatchable and hence would need a back up energy source. Solar is less of an issue as solar output is more closely aligned with demand, apart from the evening peak.

So therefore in SA, with basically no hydro and only so much import capability plus you never know the price of the import power, the wind farmers can only compete against Import, Open Cycle gas and Steam Gas power stations. Now as they are already owned and exist. Then provided they are paid a fee to keep the plant ready to run at short notice, everyone is happy. Less price, less emissions, less unreliability.

When at some stage in the future other alt come on line like solar thermal, and/or some sort of large scale battery technology, then and only then would Northern's future be a discussion point.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Internationally certainly, interstate maybe... but things are done differently in SA!

A few points regarding power supply though.
Electricity suppliers bid to sell their power into the National Energy Market, the prices reflect demand. Like any other bid, the lowest price sells their power first, if there’s still demand other suppliers bids get accepted. A major thing to know here is that all providers get paid according to the highest bid. It sounds dodgy, but it isn’t!
Anyway, years ago, it worked rather well. Coal supplied power 24/7, as you never shut down a coal powered station. Often it sold power at less than cost price, like in the middle of the night when demand is low.
When demand picked up, Northern could sell it’s power at a higher rate and make a profit, and if demand required the more expensive gas power stations to start up, even better, as Northern still got paid the higher rate. It was a system that was reliable and cheap.
All this changed when wind farms started appearing all over the SA countryside. Suddenly they could undercut Northern’s bids as their day to day expenses are so much lower (fully manned power station, rail line, coal mine etc vs a turbine on a hill). This led to situation where wind ate into Northern’s market share, gas turbines were not needed anywhere near as much and the overall price paid to suppliers was lower, Northern didn’t make enough profit and so it shut, years before its use by date.
There’s a fair bit more to this story, but I’ve tried to summarise as much as I can.
If there’s a moral to this story, it would be this is what happens when politicians use the energy market to score points with the electorate!
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

If the lesson was learned, then SA needs a new power station at Leigh Creek or a new location should be found somewhere along the line to PA. My thoughts are that PA won't want a new power station to funnel soot into the air again.

If Sundrop isn't generating enough power it could be due to a technical issue like not enough panels, or size of the hydroponic production area is too large for the energy generated and the returns from $8 per pack of tomatoes isn't paying the bills.

I think Leigh Creek will be in operation soon on a commercial scale, one way or another. The question is, how will the railway line help?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Internationally certainly, interstate maybe... but things are done differently in SA!

A few points regarding power supply though.
Electricity suppliers bid to sell their power into the National Energy Market, the prices reflect demand. Like any other bid, the lowest price sells their power first, if there’s still demand other suppliers bids get accepted. A major thing to know here is that all providers get paid according to the highest bid. It sounds dodgy, but it isn’t!
Anyway, years ago, it worked rather well. Coal supplied power 24/7, as you never shut down a coal powered station. Often it sold power at less than cost price, like in the middle of the night when demand is low.
When demand picked up, Northern could sell it’s power at a higher rate and make a profit, and if demand required the more expensive gas power stations to start up, even better, as Northern still got paid the higher rate. It was a system that was reliable and cheap.
All this changed when wind farms started appearing all over the SA countryside. Suddenly they could undercut Northern’s bids as their day to day expenses are so much lower (fully manned power station, rail line, coal mine etc vs a turbine on a hill). This led to situation where wind ate into Northern’s market share, gas turbines were not needed anywhere near as much and the overall price paid to suppliers was lower, Northern didn’t make enough profit and so it shut, years before its use by date.
There’s a fair bit more to this story, but I’ve tried to summarise as much as I can.
If there’s a moral to this story, it would be this is what happens when politicians use the energy market to score points with the electorate!
dylan
Thanks,
I believe the SA govt also gave preference to buying wind over coal, not sure of details.

Maybe of interest to some

SA - 2 years 2006-2008, basically before any major wind or solar
                 GWh    %    Price
Wind            146    0.5  
OCGT           860    3.0   $149/MWh
CCGT         8243    29    $60
Gas Steam  5968     21    $73
Coal         10280    36    $56
Import         2821    10    $57

Total   27, 507 GWh average price $68/MWh
Exported  819 GWh $62/MWh


SA - 2 years 2014-2015, Prior to closure of Northern, March 2016
                  GWh    %    Price
Solar            1580
Wind            8635    29   $37
OCGT           942     3.2   $77/MWh
CCGT           4940    17    $49
Gas Steam    3930    13    $66
Coal           5653     19    $48
Import         4160    14    $56

Total   29, 147 GWh average price $49/MWh
Exported  702 GWh    $27/MWh



You can see that with more wind coming in, that nearly 50% of output was lost from the cheapest thermal producers, Pelican and Northern. Gas Steam also took a hit, which is fine, but SA imported twice the amount of power and exported for alot less price wise.

ie wind is progressively killing the viability of the base load producers.


SA - 2 years 2017-2018, 2 years after Northerns closure in March 2016
                 GWh    %    Price
Solar           2400     8     $125
Wind          10611    36    $84  
OCGT          1002     3.4   $255/MWh
CCGT          7361     25    $118
Gas Steam   5423    19    $154
Coal          
Import         2468    8     $76

Total   27, 289 GWh average price $136/MWh
Exported  1964 GWh $76/MWh


So with the loss of Northern
- The most expensive form of power OCGT, has increased slightly
- The Gas Steam output (also not cheap but an effective backup for the state) is progressively being reduced, which may one day see it close
- The state didn't import as much, likely due to growing solar more than wind
- Cost of wind power doubled
- CCGT output has improved but still not same as before wind.
- Exports increased 3 x,
- but overall the price has increased significantly as the state is now pushed onto more expensive options to compensate for when the wind doesn't blow.

Remember the HV inter-tie into NSW will only provide a greater means for SA to export power rather than cause a domestic surplus and see power prices drop and imports during times of typically high demand interstate as well as SA.

Likely the only way to resolve SA's power price issues is for a home grown base load provider(s) which is ring fenced against the variation of wind output and allow them to operate at their most efficient most of the time. If wind output is therefore forced into a surplus, this will see lower prices while protecting the state during times of low wind.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Likely the only way to resolve SA's power price issues is for a home grown base load provider(s) which is ring fenced against the variation of wind output and allow them to operate at their most efficient most of the time.
RTT_Rules
This was literally the point of the SA Government's PPA offer. They asked for a 'firmed' supply of renewable energy (i.e backed up with some sort of storage) and were offering a premium for this. They have an agreement with SIMEC Zen Energy through to 2020 that provides 'firmed' renewable supply for now. The likely outcome now is that SIMEC gets a contract extension.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Likely the only way to resolve SA's power price issues is for a home grown base load provider(s) which is ring fenced against the variation of wind output and allow them to operate at their most efficient most of the time.
This was literally the point of the SA Government's PPA offer. They asked for a 'firmed' supply of renewable energy (i.e backed up with some sort of storage) and were offering a premium for this. They have an agreement with SIMEC Zen Energy through to 2020 that provides 'firmed' renewable supply for now. The likely outcome now is that SIMEC gets a contract extension.
LancedDendrite
Simple question
At what price and will it force existing players out to further drive up the price like wind has to date?
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

The attached video may help answer that question.

I posted this up in the Lounge, but it is more relevant in this thread.

According to an expert at 6 min 30 seconds into this video, we could be decades away from solving our power problems, and what we need is to elect politicians with a spine.

As well as pass a section 44 test, they should also undergo an x-ray before and election.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=674cUf0DT8A
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The attached video may help answer that question.

I posted this up in the Lounge, but it is more relevant in this thread.

According to an expert at 6 min 30 seconds into this video, we could be decades away from solving our power problems, and what we need is to elect politicians with a spine.

As well as pass a section 44 test, they should also undergo an x-ray before and election.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=674cUf0DT8A
ANR
Section 44 is an example of whats wrong with Australian govt.

I was watching then I hear, RE is so cheap that's why its been rolled out. Well if its so cheap, why are power prices going up up up? HE makes a reference to filling the gap from Hazellwood, but Vic's power prices took a platform change up the month after Hazellwood closed.

I support RE, but some of this Bulls__t is impossible to swallow.

A few facts

Wind as a source of power is unreliable. For every 1000MW installed, you need 950MW alt desptachable supply. Wind does not follow demand and most of the demand cannot flexible enough to follow wind without itself incurring costs. Wind's strength is basically increasing the storage capacity of hydro. ie a dam capable of supplying 1000GWh per year is effectively doubled if 1000GWh per year of wind is built. Wind's increasingly lower installation costs make this very viable.

For SA, problem number one is they don't have hydro and the cost of doing so including pumped hydro is unlikely to support a sub $100/MWh average cost.

If we look at the wind projects in SA, they are starting to die off as further large scale increases in generation capacity is only pushing the price down when the wind is strong but not solving the demand issue when wind output is low. The proposed NSW-SA connector won't solve and just push more lower cost production out of business.

Solar  PV domestic has the huge benefit of supplying power at the source using free realestate and very low maintenance costs. Demand almost matches supply with the exception of the evening peak. One day, but not soon, domestic battery will be a economical solution to resolve this issue. In the mean time we rely on hydro, Open Cycle gas and unused capacity of coal and close cycle gas to ramp up every night. Close the later two down, we increasingly fall on higher cost supply, which is why our power prices have risen.

Solar PV Commercial, if you look the output its a lot like domestic solar except more efficient