21.12 The Capacity of “Big” Batteries
Purpose. To explain that even the biggest “big batteries” cannot provide grid-scale dispatchable power.
We are informed by AEMO that the energy transition is inevitable. “This system is now experiencing the biggest and fastest transformational change in the world.”
At least 15GW of coal power is expected to close by 2040, to be replaced by some 36GW of wind and solar power.
The intermittent input from wind and solar will have to be “firmed” (backed up) by “dispatchable” power from some combination of gas generation, storage in batteries and storage in pumped hydro reservoirs.
The dual function of big batteries
One of the planned functions of big batteries is to provide almost instantaneous inputs to counter
21.11 The Downside of Electric Vehicles
To signal the downside of electric vehicles before governments waste taxpayers money to promote them.
Governments around the western world are competing to adopt the most EV-friendly policies and the most aggressive legislation to drive conventional cars off the road.
There is a long list of problems with the rapid introduction of electric vehicles, especially if governments provide subsidies and other incentives.
Spare a thought for the road safety aspect of soundless cars that can accelerate like rockets. Consider the situation of pedestrians who are elderly or hard of hearing, and young children who may be careless crossing the street.
People who have experienced collisions and close calls with cyclists will appreciate
21.10 The Capital Costs of Firming Solar Farms with Gas Turbines
Purpose: To challenge the view that solar farms firmed with gas turbines are an economic substitute for coal fired power generators.
Background: The NSW Government’s policy reflected in ‘The NSW Electrical Infrastructure Roadmap’ advises that four of its five coal fired power stations will be decommissioned by 2035. The Roadmap’s strategy is to construct large Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) consisting of wind and solar farms firmed with some combination of gas turbine, batteries and pumped hydro plants.
- If solar farms are selected to replace the coal fired power stations, approximately 75, 270 MW solar farms will need to be constructed to replace the energy lost through
21.09 Green hydrogen
Purpose. To suggest a realistic view on the prospects for “green hydrogen.”
There is a worldwide push to achieve large-scale commercial industries based on so-called ‘green’ hydrogen produced by splitting water (electrolysis powered by wind and solar) instead of the usual method (steam reforming using natural gas) that generates CO2 as a by-product.
The Commonwealth government has nominated green hydrogen as one of the five lanes in the “Technological Highway” towards a green energy transition. Some $300Million has been allocated for grants to private enterprises to pursue research and development.
State governments are contributing on a smaller scale.
Despite the media hype for green hydrogen around
21.08 Challenging the GenCost report on the cost of intermittent energy. 100% RE with firming could cost over $400 per MWhour
Purpose. To provide a more accurate estimate of comparative costs than the CSIRO GenCost study that is being used as a basis for energy policy and planning.
The aim of energy policy is to provide affordable and reliable electricity with reduced emissions. We have been assured that this can be achieved by replacing coal and perhaps gas with wind and solar power.
The people of Australia will pay a bitter price if these assurances are based on false assumptions and wishfull thinking.
The CSIRO GenCost study supports the push for intermittent energy because it concludes that wind and solar power are now cheaper than coal, even taking into account the cost of providing reliable power to bridge the valleys (the windless nights)