3600 MW, or 14% of coal and gas generation failed during the February 2017 heatwave. Report calls for the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to require “heat safe” back-up for coal and gas plants.
New analysis shows that coal and gas failed to provide energy security during the February 2017 heatwave. Additionally, it found that solar prevented far worse disruption and load-shedding.
This report notes that Australia is entering an era of dramatically increased heatwaves and our coal and gas power stations are not designed for these conditions.
The analysis found that during the February 2017 heatwave across south-eastern Australia:
In South Australia, 17% of gas powered generation (438 MW) was unavailable during the peak demand period that led to the 8th February blackouts.
In New South Wales, 20% of coal and gas generation (2438 MW) failed to deliver during the critical peak period of interval, leading to load shedding at Tomaga aluminium smelter.
In Queensland, 7% of coal and gas generation (790 MW) was withdrawn in the 4 hour of the peak leading $13,000 MWh prices eleven times within three hours.
Across the NEM, 14% (3600 MW) of coal and gas electricity generation capacity failed during critical peak demand periods in three states as a result of faults, largely related to the heat.
This report concludes that retailers should be required to provide “heat safe” firming power to backup gas and coal plants. This could include dispatchable solar thermal with storage or additional PV to reduce peak demand on hot days. This could be buttressed by with battery storage to dispatch into the evenings.
Australia's Chief Scientist Alan Finkel points out, in this interview, the need for Australia to develop better storage systems and reflects on the recent report from ACOLA. California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, also warns Australia to pursue demand side...Read more
Research showed that one-quarter of Sydney respondents were open to consolidating property for sale with neighbours. However, consolidated lot sales are not part of the business model of most real estate agencies, local government, or property developers. It’s an area where the...Read more
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
The February 2018 electricity update reviews the performance of the South Australian 'big battery.' The audit shows that Australia’s energy system is in transition, regardless of the political turmoil the change is creating.
This discussion paper evaluates the energy policies required to meet Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets set by the Abbott Government and pledged at the international climate summit in Paris.
The development of hydrogen energy has been promoted as a lower-emissions alternative to Australian coal and gas exports. However, there is a significant risk that the promise of hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative, for domestic use and export, could backfire.
New Zealand’s electricity is secure and affordable. Renewable energy has flourished in a system that for more than 30 years has operated at arm’s length from elected governments – until now. This report outlines what New Zealand should do – and what it must avoid – to transition to a renewable energy future.