Climate Change in Australia


Is it true that the hottest ever recorded temperature in Ireland was 33.3 °C back in 1887?


I just clicked through to that AEMO average price data linked earlier. Interesting to peruse…

My immediate thoughts:

  • Averages over a 1 month period aren’t necessarily a good indicator of the ongoing market balance. The SA wind could simply have blown well during October! Or something funny might have happened on the demand side (Unusual temp? Olympic Dam not drawing flat out? I don’t know the exact details and can’t be bothered investigating further)…Look further down that AEMO page, and SA clearly has the highest average price for 2017.
  • Next point, interesting to see that there are 2018 averages shown as well. So these must be futures prices. SA’s 2018 price is similar to other states, which suggests expectations of an equally well supplied market…interesting…renewables might be getting the job done…
  • So, as a last step, I just googled “SA government summer electricity”, and the first article I see is the SA government announcing new diesel generators ahead of this summer, because “this critically needed power quickly will play an important role in mitigating the risk of blackouts and the need for load shedding during the peak summer months”…so there’s the reality…the SA market needs diesel to insure against the low wind days this coming summer. Yay for renewables! I suspect the 2018 SA futures price reflects this added supply. Supply which has a political motive to subdue prices, rather than purely financial motives. Anyway, article referenced is here:


You’re saying futures prices of wholesale electricity is being driven down by prospective diesel generation. Are you sure about what you’re saying?


That probably is correct.

The electricity market has two modes. First is normal days, where supply exceeds demand. The market behaves efficiently with generators biding low cost to ensure they get to supply into the market.

The second mode of the market is the peak days in summer where demand gets close to our exceeds supply. On these days generators can actually game the system because if all supply is brought, there is incentive to bid at high prices because your order will be fulfilled anyway.

Although diesel generators are obviously more expensive than both coal and renewables, it can drive down costs, because it helps eliminate the uncertainty in those really hot days. As they can be switched on to meet unexpected high demand. Uncertainty equals higher future prices, so bringing uncertainty down will yield lower future prices.



Diesel generators to bolster Victoria’s energy network over summer

Tom Minear, National Political Reporter, Herald Sun

DIESEL generators will be hooked up to Victoria’s energy network in the coming weeks as part of a last-ditch effort to keep the lights on this summer.

The new generators are part of a battle plan providing backup power to guard against blackouts in heatwaves.

Energy crisis: Victorians paid to cut energy during peak periods

They will provide up to 100 megawatts of electricity if requi­red, enough to power an estimated 40,000 households during peak periods.

The Australian Energy Mar­ket Operator has secured the extra diesel generation as part of a widescale effort to shore up Victoria and South Australia’s energy supply, amid warnings of potential shortfalls after the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station.

Worst-case scenario forecasts show homes could face having their power cut in ext­reme weather during summer.

It is understood AEMO will announce the full scale of its electricity insurance program later this month, which is ­designed to provide enough cover to during extended periods of hot weather.

The “reliability and emergency reserve trader” is expec­ted to tie in deals with energy-intensive businesses to power down at times of peak demand.

The agreements, which are in the final stages of negotiations, could also include ener­gy generators bringing more capacity online as required.

Demand management schemes which reward households and businesses for using less power at peak times are another element of the energy security package.

Elon Musk on why he cares about the Australian Energy Crisis on 60 Minutes

AEMO’s decision to bring in diesel generators is a slap in the face for Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, who said earlier this year: “Victoria has more than enough capa­city to meet our energy needs.”

She also said the State government was “not considering any diesel back-up because we are building the generation and storage necessary to protect Victorian consumers”.

Ms D’Ambrosio said the measures being put in place by AEMO occurred “on a regular basis when an ext­reme summer is forecast”.

“(It) last took place in 2014 under the previous Liberal government, when Hazelwood was still in operation,” she said.

The costs of AEMO’s program, including the new diesel generators, will predominantly be paid for by energy retailers, although some charges could be passed on to consumers.

[email protected]


First the green state of Tasmania needed diesel then SA and now Victoria, closing down Port Augusta and Hazelwood is working out well.


Do you even read the articles you post?


■■■■ sake, temporary generation for peak times is hardly new. The plants in Newport have run off gas since early 80’s and hardly ever get turned on


Sheer insanity with Labour doing their best to keep us in darkness as they have done with SA. It seems that they will be successful.




Certainly do, I also know that the 5 blackouts I have had this year is more than twice the number in any year since I moved in in 1969.


Only 15,000 scientists? Pfft, bunch of crack-pots…


15,000 scientists in it for that big science money


Those pesky billionaire scientists.

I know you live like a King in Hansenville on that massive stipend of Mrs benfti.


Labour again keeping us in the same place as their supporters - in the dark. It’s amusing to think that a battery of that size would make a meaningful difference in any case. They are following the same playbook for Victoria that has devastated SA.

Doubts grow over giant battery plan to cut blackout risk

Adam Carey
Adam Carey

It was a key selling point of the Andrews government’s plan to head off the risk of blackouts and energy price spikes in Victoria this summer.

Two giant batteries would provide four hours of reserve power for a population roughly equal to that of Ballarat and Bendigo.

Grid-scale batteries can store renewable energy to be used at times of peak demand.
Grid-scale batteries can store renewable energy to be used at times of peak demand. Photo: Supplied
They were announced in July with much fanfare and the assistance of former US vice-president Al Gore.

The 20 megawatt batteries were to have been built and switched on in the state’s west by January or earlier.

So where are they?

Time is running out to have them installed and in use by this summer, increasing pressure on the state’s strained power supply.

On Tuesday the government would not say if the batteries would be switched on by the promised deadline.

The winning bidder to deliver the $25 million project was supposed to have been announced in late August, but no decision has been made.

Doubts remain about whether Victoria will get through this summer without experiencing blackouts, because there is a dearth of reserve power following the closure of the Hazelwood power plant in March.

The state’s west was chosen by the Andrews government as the home for the batteries because the electricity network is relatively constrained there.

Grid-scale batteries can store renewable energy to be used at times of peak demand, improving energy security and shielding consumers from severe price spikes.

They are a key part of the government’s $146 million renewable energy action plan.

Victorian energy minister Lily d’Ambrosio - pictured on one of Melbourne’s soon to be solar powered trams - says she is seeking more details on the NEG but happy to work with CPAG
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio with Al Gore on one of Melbourne’s soon to be solar-powered trams. Photo: AAP

It is understood the government is still assessing proposals to provide the large-scale battery storage.

“We’re making sure Victoria is equipped with the next generation of energy technologies that will support a resilient energy system,” a spokesman for Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

The shutdown of Hazelwood has increased reliance on interconnectors to transport power south.
The closure of Hazelwood has increased pressure on energy supply. Photo: Joe Armao

On Tuesday, the Australian Energy Market Operator issued another warning that Victoria faces a low supply of reserve energy this summer and in the summer of 2018-19.

This week the operator, which runs Australia’s major gas and electricity markets, moved to safeguard the state’s summer energy supply by bringing in diesel generators.

If required, the diesel generators will pump about 100MW of energy into the state’s grid.

The operator said in September that diesel was an option to avoid possible summer blackouts in Victoria and South Australia, which also faces a summer of tight energy supply.

It will also confirm within weeks details of the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader, another safeguard it will apply to contract power-hungry businesses such as smelters to stop using electricity during periods of extreme heat.

David Southwick, the opposition’s energy spokesman, said the government was yet to back up its renewable energy policy announcement with substance.

“This is policy on the run by Andrews government, which allowed Hazelwood to close and took 22 per cent of the state’s energy supply out of the market,” Mr Southwick said.

He said consumers across the state were already being hit hard because of sharp rises in the cost of energy.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday the government opened its renewable energy reverse auction, which is expected to eventually deliver up to 650MW of renewable energy into the market, though not by this summer.

The government has set a target to generate 25 per cent of the state’s energy through renewables by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.


Anyone else hear a Dog whistle?


Did you see this part?


You know what I love? People going around saying things like “they’re putting in diesel generators to cope with peak demand spikes! Shouldn’t they be building a great big coal plant to provide baseload!”


Yes at 25m for 20MW it’s really going to save money. Funny stuff!


God yes.

The sheer abuse of the term ‘baseload’ in this thread (and in politics in general) is pretty staggering.

Baseload is the power that is generated all the time because you can’t easily turn coal plants on and off in response to demand. It’s NOT ‘a minimum level of power that needs to be available around the clock’. Hell, a quick glance at your power bill will tell you we have more than enough ‘baseload’ already - that’s why off peak power is cheap late at night, cos they’ve got these coal plants grinding on round the clock regardless of whether anyone actually wants the power or not, so the power companies trying to coax people to use it by offering discounts.

We need more DESPATCHABLE power, available at short notice to cover demand spikes. And battery storage or pumped hydro do that best, with wind or gas next in line.


This isn’t Aus, but this spot is as good as any.