This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.

WARNING: SIGN-IN

You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.

Post

Australia: renewables investment down 60%; experts say unreliability is to blame

image credit: © SkyNews. Protected under fair use.

In Australia, investment in wind and solar energy is drying up - a trend experts blame on their inherent unreliability. On SkyNews, correspondent Frank Russo described the cause of blackouts in Victoria earlier today: "We're talking about a very unreliable source of power. When you get things like a cloud going over a solar [farm], and there's no power to the communities, that's just not good enough...we're having to rely on coal energy now, because it's the most reliable."

Reporter Scott Emerson: "The case being put forward is 'the cost of renewables is coming down, and is now competitive with traditional sources of energy.' But in fact this story [warning issued by the Clean Energy Council] is saying 'No - they still need a handout from government."

A lesson the U.S. can either learn, or repeat.

Video

 

Bob Meinetz's picture

Thank Bob for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Discussions

Geoff Thomas's picture
Geoff Thomas on Jan 30, 2020 1:37 am GMT

whilst it is true thar Renewables are down this year, it has to be seen in the light of a Goverment that actively hates renewables so not only has it cancelled the grant, but also has laid very onerous conditions on developments containing renewables, both  regulationary, ie access to the grid, or selectively, based on requiring that new renewabless should also include storage without all the special support given the dying coal fired power stations.

It is also necessary to expand the grid to include new renewables that supply power at different times than Renewables on the east coast do, but that is fought tooth and nail as that would mean renewables could genuinely take over the expensive coal fired power as they would be able to provide power 24/7.

A wise Govt would support the necessary Grid expansion to occur as the coal fired stations die, stimulating the economy whilst enabling cheaper power, but we have not got a wise Govt in Australia, so Bob is correct only insofar as the Govt of the day is sabotaging renewables.

It is also worth noting that most blackouts in Victoria and South Australia are due to coal fired generators failing due to old age and lack of maintenance, and that South Australia has upgraded it's network to keep it's wind turbines on line when the Victorian coal fired power stations fail, notwithstanding misinformation from sky news etc.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 30, 2020 7:52 pm GMT

"...whilst it is true thar Renewables are down this year, it has to be seen in the light of a Goverment that actively hates renewables so not only has it cancelled the grant..."

I'll agree with you here, Geoff - not that the Australian government "actively hates renewables" per se, but that AU's coal lobby exerts significant influence on decisions involving any alternatives.

"It is also necessary to expand the grid to include new renewables that supply power at different times than Renewables on the east coast do, but that is fought tooth and nail as that would mean renewables could genuinely take over the expensive coal fired power as they would be able to provide power 24/7."

And disagree with you here. Currently it is impossible - not only in Australia, but anywhere in the world - to power a grid 24/7/365 with renewable energy, and there's no indication batteries, even if they were free, would matter (Hornsdale, Australia's largest bank of batteries, is capable of powering the South Australia grid for a maximum of 2 minutes).

If you can convince Australians and their government to put up with electricity that shuts down at the whims of weather / time of day, congratulations! Until then, carbon-free nuclear energy is looking more promising by the day.

It’s time to rethink Australia’s ban on nuclear power

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »