Articles

Thanks to Wind and Solar Power, Australia’s Industries Now Suffer the World’s Highest Power Prices

by Rudy P. SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney
The coronavirus is hitting Australia’s economy, but it will pass; whereas, its self-inflicted renewable energy calamity is here to stay. Where the former was unforeseen and fatal for a few, the latter was perfectly predictable and will have calamitous effects for the many, and for generations to come.

What’s left of Australia’s manufacturing and mineral processing industries is literally on life support. Those industries now suffer the world’s highest power prices, thanks to an obsession with heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar. Then, there’s the Third World power rationing they have to contend with, which coincides with calm and/or cloudy weather and sunset. The clowns that hijacked Australia’s power supply use the euphemism “demand management”.

The Federal government’s Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target was designed to direct $60 billion in subsidies to wind and solar, with the natural consequence being that conventional generators would be unable to compete with subsidised wind and solar.

No one in government and industry should be surprised that the operators of coal-fired power plants are struggling; that was precisely what was intended by the LRET, and every other punitive mandate, target, soft loan and government contract that’s been engineered to favour wind and solar power which would, otherwise, have no commercial value.

Marghanita Johnson heads up the Australian Aluminium Council, which has identified the mortal threat its members and their employees face as a result of Australia’s wind and solar obsession.



Energy plan failure risks ‘catastrophe’

There could be “catastrophic” power outages at smelters unless a coherent national energy plan is developed before summer, the aluminium industry has warned.

Australian Aluminium Council executive director Marghanita Johnson said the industry of 17,000 workers could not afford another year of policy un­certainty, declaring the electricity grid needed more baseline power to balance intermittent ­renewables.

Ahead of a meeting between state and federal energy ministers on Friday, Ms Johnson said renewables and battery storage could not power heavy industry if coal-fired power stations closed.

“For the grid as a whole, it is not a one or two-year problem in terms of the transition, but we definitely have some challenges we need to face ahead of next summer in terms of stability in the grid. If there is a catastrophic outage, we will see a catastrophic outcome,” she said.

“The whole electricity sector had a challenging summer and aluminium obviously is at the frontline.

“We are interested in timely ­reforms that will help ensure that as we go into the next summer, we don’t face the same sort of ­challenges.”

The federal government is ­investigating extending the life of the Liddell coal-fired power ­station in the NSW Hunter Valley three years beyond its closure date in 2023.

There is a concern in government ranks that the closure of the power station, which powers the Tomago smelter, will cause a shortfall of baseline energy and should be delayed until Snowy Hydro 2.0 is fully operational.

Ms Johnson said she would be concerned about the closure of “any major generator” until there were replacement power sources.

“Most things in the current pipeline are a couple of years away,” she said. “So new interconnectors are a couple of years away. Snowy 2.0 is probably a bit more like three to five years away. We need to be really careful. You can’t replace something that has firming capacity with intermittent generation.”

Alcoa’s aluminium smelter in the Victorian town of Portland suffered two major outages over summer, while the Tomago ­smelter was forced to reduce output because of concerns about power shortages.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said the company was reviewing the future of its smelter operations because of high energy prices and instability in the grid.

Rio controls the Bells Bay smelter in Tasmania and the Boyne smelter in Gladstone and is the major shareholder of Tomago.

The Council of Australian Governments meeting between Energy Minister Angus Taylor and his state counterparts will be conducted via teleconference and discuss how the market needs to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Ministers will also discuss how to increase reliability into the system, with Energy Security Board chair Kerry Schott to provide an update on the design for a new market framework to commence after 2025.

Ms Johnson said a transition to a low-emissions economy that rushed renewables into the system risked causing power failures to smelters, which could drive them out of business.

She called for the construction of new gas-fired power stations and the better use of existing coal plants.

“At the moment, the batteries aren’t big enough and won’t be big enough,” she said.


About Rudy P. Magnate II   SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney

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Joined APSense since, April 9th, 2013, From Solo, Indonesia.

Created on Mar 22nd 2020 03:01. Viewed 309 times.

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