Monday, 19 February 2018

Renewables Quiz containing good data.

Peter Rees says: Hi All,

Welcome to the renewables quiz, first prize is a preloved edition of “The emperor’s New Clothes” written by Hans Christian Andersen, and runner up gets a well thumbed edition of “1984” by George Orwell. Judge’s decision if final and no correspondence will be........

OK, first question……Following are three renewable projects and one gas generator proposed for South Australia

Click to Enlarge
The three renewable projects will produce a total average output of 208MW                   at a cost of $2050 million. (Intermittent with a few hours storage) 

                                                 Last June, AGL announced plans to build a 210MW gas plant at a cost of $  295  million. (Despatchable)

The gas plant….
1.      will probably employ less than 20% of the personnel required for the three renewable projects
2.      maintenance is minimal, renewable maintenance is huge.
EG The Tesla powerwall batteries are only guaranteed for 10 years and current replacement value is about $550 million.
3.      doesn’t need backup or storage, renewables do

Which of the following will put downward pressure on electricity prices and help reduce consumer electricity costs in South Australia?
  1. The three renewable projects
  2. The gas plant
  3. Al Gore
  4. Elon Musk

OK, time’s up, next question. The following diagrams show a close correlation between renewable penetration of a market and residential electricity costs.

Consumer electricity costs in South Australia are the highest in the world  because of which of the following reasons?
  1. Intermittent expensive renewable generators
  2. Fossil fuel plants
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Andrew Bolt

Right, next question……

US Average residential electricity price is 12.5c (US) = 15.9c(AUS) which is one third of South Australia’s. California, New York state and the states above it have the highest residential electricity prices in the continental US. They are also generally the states with the most renewables. An interesting aspect of this map is that it also shows where Donald Trump did the best. The lighter the blue, the more votes he got. 
Electricity prices are generally highest in democrat controlled states because….
  1. They believe renewables put downward pressure on electricity costs.
  2. They have lots of illegal immigrants to feed and keep warm.
  3. It’s the best way to hurt Donald Trump.
  4. It’s the best way to save the planet from catastrophic incineration following catastrophic inundation from the combined melting of the Arctic, Antarctic, Greenland and the Himalayas causing ocean levels to cover even Mt Ararat.
APPENDIX – Notes from the table 

Note 1.No average output is explicitly given but if you back calculate from 1000GWh you get 114MW (1,000GWh/ 365/24 = .114GWh = 114MWh)

Note 2.
World’s largest virtual power plant is an election promise by the labor government which will install 50,000 5kW rooftop solar systems and 13kWh Tesla batteries on private South Australian residences with virtually no cost to the households. So 50,000 x 5kW = 250,000kW which = 250MW.

From the link below FAQ 13

As a whole, the virtual power plant could add up to a new 250MW/650MWh, dispatchable power plant that can meet around 20% of our state’s total average daily energy requirements, adding competition to the market and putting downward pressure on everyone’s energy bills

Two porkies in the above statement:

  1. It is nowhere near 20% of the state’s daily average requirements. From“Over this 10-year outlook period, annual consumption in South Australia is forecast to decline 3.6%, from 12,442 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2016–17 to 11,989 GWh in 2026–27 under the 2017 NEM ESOO Neutral scenario.” So the daily average requirement is 12442GWh / 365 = 34GWh = 34000MWh

    A 5kW rooftop solar system doesn’t supply 5kW 24/7. It can only work when there is sunshine and no cloud. Output also depends on rooftop solar panel positioning, the position of the sun in the sky, cleanliness of the panels and there is also a slow degradation of the cells over a period of years. A solar system that could deliver 5kW 24/7 would have a capacity factor of 100%, but of course that is impossible and in the southern states the capacity factor is around 15%.  So 15% of 250MW is 37.5MW average output and a total of 37.5 x 24  = 900MWh/day So the virtual system will only supply 2.6% of average daily requirements, not 20% as they claimed.
  2. It is not “despatchable”.“Despatchable” used to mean the ability of an electrical generator to supply a constant supply of power indefinitely and this could be achieved by fossil fuel generators. Renewable advocates, feeling a bit touchy about renewaqbles not being despatchable, have changed the meaning of the word and now assert that it really means the response time of a generator that makes it “despatchable” and also that storage is “despatchable”.   
    TheTesla batteries to be used in the 50,000 rooftop system are Powerwall 2’s which have a capacity of 13kW and 50,000 of them gives a combined storage capacity of   650,000kWh = 650MWh. There are 50,000 5kW solar systems which total 250,000kW = 250MW.So the batteries can deliver 250MW for 2.6 hours (650 / 250) and this somehow qualifies it to be called “despatchable”. So the sun goes down at 6PM, the battery storage is fed into the grid and at 8:36PM the battery is depleted even though the battery is termed “despatchable”. The  Tesla battery recently installed at the Hornsdale windfarm can supply 70MW for 10 minutes and 30MW for 3 hours, is that classed as “despatchable”?
    Oh what a tangled web we weave…..

Note 3.
459GWh / 365 / 24 = 0.0565GW = 56.5MW


  1. If common sense economics had any effect on populations then green parties could not exist.

  2. If common sense economics influenced populations then green parties could not exist.

  3. Problems

    Wind turbines are asynchronous and produce no usable electricity.
    They do produce lots of useless harmonics.

    While your solar panel may heat your water there is not enough oomf to heat your neighbours.

    In other words wind and solar are useless.

    The Musk battery is a dead loss. It is like trying to start your engine with a torch battery.
    Weatherill should be made to prove it works.


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