RTT, a brilliant post. It eloquently illustrated why privatisation is F*****.I think particularly in the country that the reliability of supply has suffered terribly. My friends who live outside of Ballarat on the Glenelg Highway have said similar things to Brenton about the reliability of their power. Unexplained outages for hours at a time, no notice and no explanation when it suddenly comes back on again.
It adds an extra layer to the problems that you face living rural.
Answer to Mic,
No, the govt operations were worse. At least you know the private sector is in it for a buck, the govt sector was all over the place, under funded, over funded, black outs through lack of investment, govts raiding the cash reserves for future projects, deferral of new power stations, prices up at next election, no rises for 3 years after, playing politics over power prices, inflexible tarriffing, was the power sector being run sustainably etc etc etc. And thats just in my life time.
Gladstone power station was privatised in the mid 90's, with it saw significant job cuts, yet the power output remains and the countries largest and most sensitive customer has not suffered an unreliable power supply as a result. Milmerrium in the Qld SW was built from new private, remains a reliable contributor to the states and NEM grid. So I think we can kill the BS argument private equals unreliable power.
At the end of the day, the govt must ensure the approproate regulation for the private sector to operate in a sustainable fashion. Works elsewhere, even worked in Australia, it will work here.
My parents live 100km from Sydney CBD, in bad weather power is unreliable and has been since they moved there in 1982, when the state's power was govt owned. Its a simple problem, its called "trees". Just walk down the street after wind and you will forever see branches tangled in the wires. Moral of the story, above ground power and trees don't mix, but who will pay for putting the lines in the ground?
What you have now is blatant stupid ideology flying in the face of denial.
The govts sold the coal power stations when coal was king and mostly did well from the sales. Now coal is evil, so lets talk the industry down how its killing us, meanwhile coal still supplies around 71% of all NEM power (down from 82% under govt ownership). Meanwhile it takes 100 wind turbines to supply the same amount of power as a single coal turbine which has a reliability of 85-90% (mostly planned), but the wind varies from near 0 - 100%, often daily unplanned.
The govt talks down the industry so much, they cannot justify investing in modern coal, so we are left with an increasingly aging fleet of coal power stations supplying over 2/3 our power for the next 5 years at least.
Qld govt lead by Anna P is the biggest hypocritic of the all, sprouting RE this and that. In the last 10 years thanks to the stupidity in the south, Qld coal power stations have increased their output from 47GW a year to 52 GW and allowing the high power prices in the south thanks to under investment and unplanned closures to double Qld whole sale power prices and in return profits to the Qld govt to prop up Anna's bankrupt state who claims to be sailing Qld to a RE future, while still asking the feds to fund a feas study into a high efficiency coal power station!
SA and to a lessor degree has been playing catchup over the last 5 years to repair the damage done to their generation capacity and reliability by allowing the private operators to close their coal power stations at short notice due to the finaical damaged caused by unfair competition by non-despatachable RE. Surprise, no wind or sun, no power, really how long did thing think it would take to work this out.
2020, we are seeing lower wholesale prices as RE has finally caught up, to some degree. It won't last, RE investment is coming to a fast end thanks to unattractive prices, meanwhile the coal fleet continues to age and Liddel's closure approaches, then NSW already a net importer of power, will again likely be short of reliable power driving up prices across the NEM, again! Once again business and domestic users in the likes of Qld will be hit with elevated power prices as NSW continues the experiment.