Thursday, September 29, 2016

One In Fifty Years

We are in the midst of a one in fifty years storm.

Image result for power lines down South Australia

Power went out over the whole state of South Australia, where the Labour gummint in recent times has made a song and dance about its progress with so called renewable energy production, namely wind generation.  Unfortunately the wind turbines have to be shut down during periods of high winds so they have contributed nothing for the last few days.

There have been some interesting and unexpected consequences.

The Whyalla steel works has been without power now for two days and it's blast furnaces are fast cooling - if power is not restored in the next half hour the furnaces and crucibles will become nothing but large lumps of unrecoverable solid metal.  Goodbye to God knows how many jobs.

Adelaide was completely closed down.  No trains, no buses, level crossing boom gates locked in the down position, so no traffic.

In our case, our window shutters were locked in the up position so I thought we would be kept awake all night with headlights shining into our bedroom.  Not so.  There was no traffic due in large part to the fact that pubs, fast food outlets and supermarkets were closed down.

Which all goes to show the folly of a headlong pursuit of renewables coupled with a failure to adequately maintain infrastructure and guaranteed supply.  I recall Auckland experienced something similar some years ago when the main feed collapsed.

Political heads will roll.   The Labour Premier, Jay Weatherill has been mocked with comments like 'just more bad Weatherill.

Oh yes, nearly forgot to mention the ABC this morning was busy blaming climate change.  Never mind that there were worse storms in 1956.

And of course, who the hell would want to set up business employing people in a place where electricty supply is so unreliable?


Noel said...

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yaaaay Noel

The shovel? My God.where did you get that one from? A Christmas cracker?

Angry Tory said...

Labor premier. ABC. Get rid of both and the problems all go away.

Legally prevent both and the problems can never arise again.

Noel said...

Your analogy of the Queens Street underground cable overheating is not the right one.
More accurate would be the Hawaii earthquake tripping their State power system.
As we eventually watched the lights come on in buildings around us we were puzzled when ours didn't.
The we remembered US switches worked in reverse.

The Veteran said...

The obvious point is that wind power has its limitations ... high wind and it's shut down as happened here. Oz doesn't have an abundance of hydro-power generation potential and their move away from fossil-fuel power stations and an increased reliance on renewable energy sources comes with a risk.

Sun stops shining (as it does in winter) or the wind stops blowing or blows too hard and you're into power deficit country.

Doesn't appear to be too much enthusiasm for nuclear energy either although it might be argued that beggars can't be choosers.

Another nail in the 'lucky country' scenario coffin.

Noel said...

Generation had nothing to do with the outage.

Noel said...

The Veteran said...

Noel ... I'm aware of that. Made the comment is the wider context.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


You rely too much on unreliable green publications.

The fact remains that if the money and energy wasted on wind farms had been spent instead on improving the distribution infrastructure and or building new gas/coal generation then the outage most assuredly would not have occurred.

This event will see a change of government in SA.

Noel said...

It was a major trip of the system. Wintnessed similar in Hawaii. Took 48hrs there to get power back on. This one is more complex but once everyone has got power back to their necessities the event will fade.This latest prediction of yours going to have the same outcome as those four boats you predicted after the Federal thingy?

David said...

The fact remains that if the money and energy wasted on wind farms had been spent instead on improving the distribution infrastructure ...

Problem right there. Those who control the transmission infrastructure are not the same as those who generate the power.

... or building new gas/coal generation then the outage most assuredly would not have occurred.

Problem right there again. As has been pointed out, even if the Port Augusta power station was online and running at full capacity, it would have been shut down as the failure was not in generation it was in transmission. Therefore the outage most assuredly would have occurred.

This event will see a change of government in SA.

Not unless Nick Xenophon can perform a miracle. The Liberals will never win an election until they do, at a minimum, these two things.

1. Unceremoniously dump Rob Lucas and hang his carcass out to dry.

2. Replace Stephen Marshall with anyone, anyone at all, who can articulate a policy position, not just carp and moan.

The Liberal party in SA has been a personal possession of a few well connected families for far too long, as can be seen by the lack of talent. Why, they even had a shoplifter as Senator at one stage.

Unless they can find a Christopher Pyne or Cory Bernardi who is prepared to be a little fish in a small fish bowl, the Liberals are doomed to ever increasing irrelevance.

Observing Adolf said...

Talking to the wind David.
He is of the "only hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest" ilk.
Sadly the truth lies what he disregards.

paul scott said...

I hope all you people in South Australia are ok. best wishes.
I have never been in a prolonged black out. As kids we thought it was fun, candles, and talking too late while Dad organised things.
In way back every family had a little lantern tilly, dangerous things. And candles.
Some generators will be feeling old right now. Sad, a lot of food on its way to the dump soon. I was shocked to read Adolf has electric window shutters. Way out there in the plutocrat class.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Excuses excuses excuses.

Your mere technicalities of who doe what won't matter. Voters rightly will blame the gummint whose job it is to ensure reliable supply. No matter who the line operators or generators might be.

Noel said...

Turnbull Advises South Australians To Cut Deal With Right Wing Of Liberal Party “It’s The Quickest Way To Get Power”
By The Shovel on September 28, 2016

With huge storms causing blackouts across the state, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has provided some handy advice for South Australians desperate to get power back.
At a press conference this evening Mr Turnbull said that from his experience, cutting a deal with a few right wing MPs and abandoning all of your core principles was a quick and efficient way to guarantee continued power.
“I’ve lost power before myself, so I can understand the stress facing South Australians right now,” Turnbull said.

bruno32 said...

Our longest blackout was no grid power for 12 days. You become inventive and life goes on . We now have diesel generators .

David said...

Voters rightly will blame the gummint whose job it is to ensure reliable supply.

Adolf, that may have right in the old days of ETSA when the government owned and operated the whole shebang and everything was so over engineered failure was rare.

These days it is the job of "the inscrutable hand of the market" to ensure that they profit no matter what else happens. The government may be able to cajole, berate and embarrass, but it lost control long ago.

Noel said...

Back then when there were no renewables in the system the result would have been the same. Maybe there will be a call for capcity payments from the generators. Then Adolf will really need to get vocal because it will be taxpayers annd consumers who will foot the bill.

Observing Adolf said...

Noel said...

Noel said...

Appears the vast majority have power back.
Good effort considering the amount of damage and the depth of the switch off.

Adolf considering your concern about Whyalla:

"Mr Koutsantonis travelled to Whyalla and met the company's administrator last night.

He said any new owner would likely access money from state and federal governments to make the plant more energy self-sufficient.

"A lot of the steelworks around the world have cogeneration capacity, and most investors in steel plants know there is a great opportunity," Mr Koutsantonis said."

Must be an Australian thing. When Australia beat the Chinese on the New Zealand Steel bid the first thing they explored, and eventually achieved was to sell the co generation plant because that considered it wasn't core business for a steel producer.

Australians... no surprises there!

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

As usual, david deliberately misses the point and creates some other point. Standard leftie tactics.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Guess what david.

The latest industry report tells the world that the HT pylons blew over some time AFTER the power system shut down. It also documents the timing of each wind farm's shutdown, leading to overload of the remaining system and its automatic shut down.

So what's your hero going to do?

Call a renewable energy summit, for fuck's sake.

What a blithering idiot.

Noel said...

Appears everyone is reading into this report to get the result they want.
Given the uncertainty I'll wait for the final results in six months.