Renewables should be one part of the overall energy mix.

In search of energy policy blend

If the Western Australian government is seeking a marketing advantage over other states, it has just been handed one in the form of the disastrous energy policy destabilising the rest of the country.


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West Perth
Solar, wind, water, gas, coal...What about geothermal energy? It's been used for decades in Europe. Do we have to 'wait awhile' longer until it becomes commonplace?

Renewable=intermittent and is only made possible by paying a ridiculous premium for conventional generation to lie idle. This is a recipe for high cost and inefficient production. If you ran a business providing energy from traditional, on demand resources, what would you want to be paid to build a plant and make it available at a moments notice? Likely, you would want the same profit that could be made by running the plant continuously.

How anyone can attribute the SOURCE of the energy in the SA network for its failure is beyond me. How does the source [renewable or fossil] cause the transmission towers to buckle and fall? How does the source account for 80,000 lightning strikes? How does the source of the energy cause the initial faults to propagate through the network and shut the whole thing down? Yes - there are network design issues, but the source of the energy is not the major one. Blaming renewables for this failure is unthinking dogma at its worst. Shame on the Federal Government. Shame on you Tim. Disclosure; I'm NOT a greenie; I/m definitely not a pinkie or leftie; I am a UWA BE[Hons] in Electrical Engineering.

Tim Treadgold has either been swallowing Barnaby's flawed line or he doesn't understand what happened last week in SA. Tim, it had NOTHING to do with generation or renewables and everything to do with transmission and engineering.

In the recent past the performance of power stations was measured by their availability and their ability to produce at near their name plate capacity. In the acceptance of renewable energy the concepts of reliability and production at name plate capacity have been forgotten. However the responsibility for maintaining electricity supply at all times has remained with fossil fuel fired power stations, while the electricity grids have to accept anything that can be produced by wind or solar. Any logical thinking person can see that this is a recipe for disaster particularly as the level of intermittent supply reaches around 40% of the total as in South Australia. Renewable energy sources should be forced to provide reliable power by backing up their output with some form of storage. With hydro of course this is provided by dammed water. To date only half the package has been provided with wind and solar. Until large scale backup storage, which will allow supply for days at a time when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining, becomes available at a reasonable price renewable sources should be kept at a maximum of 25% of total supply.

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