By Andrew Bolt ~
South Australia ran to Canberra for subsidies to protect Arium Steel – which has now been shut down in part because of the state’s ruinously juvenile obsession with green power. Terry McCrann and Nick Cater expose how green power is killing South Australia.
ABSOLUTE unmitigated, undiluted bullcrap: the desperate, indeed seriously panicked claim that South Australia going ‘all North Korea black’ last week had nothing to do with its embrace of useless wind ‘power’ (sic).
Now for the facts. Yes, the proximate cause of SA’s power failure was transmission towers being blown down in last week’s storm.
We’ll put aside the rather important question of whether they were blown down because they weren’t built robustly enough, because the scattered nature of wind turbines requires so many of them that it would cost too much to ‘gold plate them.’
That said, despite the additional lies told by the global warming fanatics, the winds in SA last Wednesday were neither unprecedented nor particularly violent. They didn’t top 100kmh; they didn’t even reach the speeds of the lowest level of cyclone.
The key question, the question that utterly damns the SA reliance on wind turbines, is what happened next — when SA ‘lost’ its wind generation.
As AEMO — the Australian Energy Market Operator, — explained in a press statement last Thursday, the damaged transmission lines supported supply and generation north of Adelaide.
But “the reason why a cascading failure of the remainder of the South Australia network occurred is still to be identified and is subject to further investigation.”
Without stating so, AEMO then gave precisely the answer.
About 1900 megawatts (MW) was being consumed in South Australia at the time of the power failure, AEMO said; the SA generation — mostly, my words, wind from the north — was “being supported” by a total of 610MW from Victoria.
What AEMO didn’t say, but is blindingly obvious, when wind ‘generation’ dropped from around 900MW to zero literally in an instant, SA just as instantly ‘asked’ Victoria for that 900MW.
So suddenly the long extension cord from the coal-fired stations in the Latrobe Valley was being asked to increase its supply from around 500MW to around 1500MW.
In effect, the ‘wind-powered state’ wanted to ‘borrow’ almost the entire output of one of Victoria’s coal-fired stations. And it wanted to borrow it immediately, at 4.18pm last Wednesday. The cord just ‘shorted out.’ …
There are two damning, utterly undeniable points that prove it was ‘all about wind.’
If you are going to rely on the unreliable power ‘sources’ of wind or solar, when the wind don’t blow and/ or the sun don’t shine, you have to have back-up from a reliable power source, either gas or coal.
Further, you have to keep that back-up turning over, because when the wind don’t blow or the sun don’t shine, it can go from 1000MW to zip pretty quickly — even without dodgy towers falling over.
Which of course makes the whole exercise a farce. Why have wind at all to replace coal or gas if you still have to keep the coal/gas?
Unless, and this is the critical second point, you try to do it on the cheap — both the real cheap and the ‘environmental’ cheap: by using that long extension cord to ‘someone else’s dirty power.’ Except Wednesday showed us exactly what can happen when you do that.
It is barely two months since Weatherill demanded $100 million from Canberra to keep Arrium Steel working. Yet it was the blackout, a consequence of Labor’s renewables policy, that finally shut the Whyalla plant down. Enforced idleness is costing Arrium about $4m a day.
Green politics really is shutting down Whyalla, after all.
South Australia is also running to other states to supply it with the kind of power it deems too dirty to produce itself – yet needs to keep on the lights:
The state’s capacity to produce its own baseload power from fossil fuels has rapidly diminished. The state’s four largest power stations — two at Port Augusta, Pelican Point and Torrens Island A — will have closed or will be in mothballs by this time next year, made unviable by unpredictable deluges of cheap wind power.
The combined lost capacity of 1250MW represents a third of the state’s generating potential. What has filled the gap? You’ve guessed it: imported power from Victoria, generated mostly by the same brown coal deemed unacceptable in oh-so-clean South Australia.
Upgrading the national grid to give South Australians the comfort of a reliable energy supply will be expensive. The costs inevitably will push up power prices, passed on as another hidden cost of Labor’s carbon fetish.
Small problem: Victoria, whose Socialist Left government is also obsessed with the green faith, wants to close its own Hazelwood power station, which does not merely supply Victoria with a quarter of its power but also helps bail out South Australia.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.