Aust Power Generation Capacity and Demand

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Oddjob, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Oddjob

    Oddjob Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    So, I hear on the radio today that the electricity grid will come under pressure due to high temps across parts of Australia today and due to some expected & unexpected outages at some power generation units today. Had never paid it much attention as NSW / Sydney hasn't seen brown-outs / load sheding since the late 70's / early 80's.

    But just now had a quick look see at a site called NEMWATCH for current power generation v demand.

    http://www.nem-watch.info/widgets/reneweconomy/

    From what I see, the ability to supply electricity across the national grid is running close to the wind and NSW is pulling power from QLD and Vic as I type to plug the gap. Guess that solar generation is pretty low after dark. Refer link.

    https://www.aemo.com.au/energy-syst...ricity-market-nem/data-nem/data-dashboard-nem

    As a quick and dirty I copied the data from the NEMWATCH site to show generation v demand.

    upload_2020-2-1_22-41-26.jpeg


    As noted, I haven't paid too much attention to gen v demand over the years and wonder if the fine balancing act I'm see now is par for the course or just the start of things to come given potential closures of coal fired power stations in NSW?
     
  2. Slimey

    Slimey Well-Known Member

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    Privatisation has meant that Victoria is way behind the curve in generation. Old power stations that should have been replaced with HELE (high efficiency low emissions) brown coal stations. No company in their right mind would invest in an industry with a payback time of 20 years. We could have had cheap base load with a sprinkling of alternatives. What we have is disarray and political interference and we are directionless. We have gotten what we voted for.
     
  3. wrcmad

    wrcmad Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Yeah, we got what we voted for when we voted Rudd/Wong and Gillard.
    I was involved in the power generation industry in that time, and I can tell you they totally fked it for everyone (remember the pink bats and solar rebates... not to mention carbon tax?)
    We are still wearing the consequences now.
     
  4. 66rounds

    66rounds Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Are you still in the industry? Could you suggest a feasible solution to this mess?
     
  5. wrcmad

    wrcmad Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Not in the industry anymore.
    However, Slimey is correct above - "What we have is disarray and political interference and we are directionless."
    For the past decade, the Greens have kyboshed any attempt by Australia's political system to come up with a stable market-based policy framework that would reduce carbon emissions, maintain the reliability of power supplies and keep a lid on energy costs. The solution for the next decade is to stop pandering to the Greens, and lift state government bans on gas development in NSW, Victoria and part of South Australia during the transition away from coal.
     
  6. barneyrubble

    barneyrubble Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Generation and consumption have changed considerably in the past few decades, certainly making it more difficult to retain grid balance.

    Firstly, it's best to avoid the word "baseload" as it is a misused term. Four possible examples:
    1. inflexible steady power — coal
    2. flexible power on demand — gas, hydro (+batteries)
    3. lowest generation level for a power station or fleet
    4. minimum demand over a period

    Energy experts generally mean #4 — a demand-side concept.

    Politicians and media flip between #1 and #2 — both supply-side concepts, to meet the narrative of the day.

    The public is confused and just wants cheap, reliable power.

    Before cheap renewables, the best way of delivering the lowest cost, reliable power was to use coal to provide the "baseload" (meaning #4) and hydro and gas to meet demand. Now renewables are cheaper than building new coal power stations (including all integration costs) and our system is in transition.

    We don't have to imagine the future — it's largely here, in South Australia. Certainly SA still uses a lot of gas, but less than it did a decade ago and continues to fall. SA is still building renewables and storage both of which will push out expensive gas consumption. Gas capacity will be retained for periods of low wind/solar, we'll just use it less. Gas operators might need to charge more to stay in business, but total system cost will still fall.

    One by one coal power stations will close, and they'll be replaced with a mix of low cost renewables firmed up by flexible generators — see AGL's analysis below. It's cheaper, the lights will stay on — and importantly, emissions will fall significantly.

    Dn5PBXPUwAA3M2y.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  7. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Renewables may be able to meet Australia's energy requirements in the future, but they won't meet the world's future requirements.

    Low carbon or carbon neutral fossil fuels show the most promise. As the big players put their patents into practice hopefully some of that tech will find it's way to Australia pushing down the cost of LNG production.
     
  8. Slimey

    Slimey Well-Known Member

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    The first thing the industry needs is a bullshit sieve. The generation, distribution and consumption of electricity is a complex business. That is why the old SEC and other state electricity enterprises employed EXPERTS. Lots of world class electrical engineers. Most people with a theory/opinion on power generation options have next to no practical experience/knowledge as to how their ideas integrate into a working model. What they read may sound easy and cheap but a lot of it is far from the truth. Hell, I could probably do brain surgery because I am pretty confident now I have watched Youtube.
    Unfortunately, getting an unbiased, accurate summary of all options is now impossible thanks to political interference. It is all about the other power( getting into power). The noisy bearing gets the oil and at the moment with all the bush fires it is the climate change wheel which is squeaking the loudest.
     
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  9. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Polarisation is the biggest threat to low emission energy production.
     

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