an important question for every party leader in the up coming federal election must be "under your policies what will be providing affordable base load power for Australia at 7am (before sunrise )on the 2nd of july 2023 neil
yep good question storchy. Renewables are as good and cheap as their storage system, and all these storages are pretty expensive.
But coal may turn out to be the most expensive fuel of all, if using it renders the planet uninhabitable.
That's why I have always said that nuclear would be best. Mind you, the regulations around nuclear have pushed the price up a lot, and storage of renewables may have got cheaper. It is not that I like nuclear much, what I like is money and employment and stuff like that.
It will be our policy to have Daylight Saving Time be the standard time for Australia for twelve months of the year. Therefore on 2nd July 2023, Times Zones will be Mean Solar Time + 60 minutes. Sunrise on that date will be at 6:00 am. However, Civil Twilight (Dawn) will commence at 5:33 am. The availability of natural light will significantly reduce the need for artificial lighting, thereby reducing base load pressure. Further, 2 July 2023 will be a Sunday, so demand on that day will not reach the levels of the previous business day, Friday 30 June 2023.
This weeks New Scientist tells me that nuclear power provides 58% of its non carbon based electricity. Nuclear operates at 90% of rated capacity compared to 20-30% for wind and solar. Comparing capital costs on a dollars per Mw of rated capacity is meaningless.
Baseload power is a myth used to defend the fossil fuel industry. It is peak demand that power production is required for. Coal fired power stations take a long time to start up and can not be shut down as the time and cost of starting them up is huge. They also take time to adjust to peak demand. Baseload is the minimum that can be produced to keep things running & it means that coal fired plants generally run at very low efficiency, typically at around 50%. Coal will continue to be an important part of the energy mix but as renewables and storage improves, the reliance on coal will diminish and eventually disappear. It could happen by 2023 but there is no political will to make it happen.
Critical (efficient) coal is not flexible nor cheap nor is it CLEAN in any current form.. Pump hydro and particularly battery storage is quick to respond if extra power is required. Gas comes into the game also but having "something" just sitting there ready to fill in a need costs HEAPS. whatever it is Till it's used it's a non returning cost item... Coal fired power is completely unsuitable for a back up. Too inflexible.
Baseload only being able to be done by coal is BS. Nuclear in all forms is still TOO expensive.. When coal fired power fails it does so big time, usually on a hot day, and doesn't come back on line quickly either. ALL proposals seem to require an extensive and expensive grid which in itself is a source of unreliability and high cost.. Distribution costs are usually above Half the retail cost.. Nev
You keep saying that Pete, But I remain to be convinced. A lot more money will have to be spent on it and in the past some sections were overcapitalized because it was on a cost plus basis.. After heavy rain storms etc some areas are out for days. Remote areas the % would be higher and probably requires extensive subsidization..Nev
You are referring to the 'distribution' part of the system. This is operated (maintained) by the retail end of the electron business. Your local and rural poles and wires are owned by the retailer's such as Ergon and Energex in Qld. These mostly don't have diversity in the design. And I agree they do have failures. But the 'grid' is the network of HV interconnection between all the power stations on the east coast. That is the part that has been accused of being 'gold plated'. An argument that I disagree with on risk management grounds. Failures in the HV grid have the potential to black out entire cities. A risk to avoid.
As an aside, I didn't understand what 'gold plating' the grid meant. Well, not until early 2000 when I worked in East Timor. There was 63 different nationalities represented (and the locals breathed a big sigh when they finally went home). At the time I worked for a telco. Everyone from other countries had positive comments....
"Wow, there's electricity working!" (4hrs a day)
"Wow, you've got mobile phones!" (Up to 5 tries to get a connection due to congestion)
"Wow, we've never seen so much destruction and we just came from Bosnia. They don't have it this good after the UN had been there 10 years".
Then an Aussie would walk in....
"Wow, this is terrible. How do you cope with the lousy power outages. When are they gonna do something about it!"
"Wow, my mobile phone won't work every time I try. Wotcha gonna do about it?"
My point is, that out of feedback from 63 different nationalities, only one expected perfect power, water, and phone operation. (Unless they were well travelled)
And I am still ashamed that we Aussies are so spoilt, and we were the biggest whingers in the place. Our Australian essential services are not perfect but they are overall at the top of world class. I see that fading though, as privatisation drives the quality down in a race to milk the most cash from it.