Are the lights still on in South Australia ?  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Climate Spectator has a look at the increasing role of wind power in South Australia - Are the lights still on in South Australia?.

Yesterday, I called a friend of mine in Adelaide. Beyond the usual niceties to start the call my first question was: ‘is the power out?’ Perplexed, he answered in the negative, no doubt wondering whether I had control of my faculties.

It was a strange first question to come from a friend you haven’t spoken to for a month, after all. Especially from an avid Richmond supporter after the team’s biggest win in years. But I was concerned for the state of South Australia after receiving some interesting news during the day – wind now makes up 31 per cent of the state’s power supply, with solar PV accounting for another 3.5 per cent.

According to a leading energy advisory firm (Energy Quest), wind already “appears to be the new baseload.” Not bad in spite of the campaign against wind by they-who-shall-not-be-named. But while green groups were likely dancing in the streets, I was worried the lights in those streets might have gone out. I have been told for years that wind and solar are not capable of supplying power consistently enough to power one house, yet alone be able to supply a third of the energy needs for an entire state.

It appears to be all a Y2K-like false alarm however, with everything operating as normal. ...

Not only are wind and solar playing increasingly significant roles in the power grid, but they are also helping to make wholesale electricity prices cheaper. In the March quarter, wholesale electricity prices were between 30 and 60 per cent cheaper in the eastern states compared to a year ago. Energy Quest said the reasons for the wholesale price falls were “lower demand for grid power and the growth of wind and solar.”

South Australian wholesale prices fell 50 per cent, while the country’s most heavily reliant coal state, Victoria, only realised a price fall of 31 per cent. Average wholesale prices in Victoria, the only eastern state to have coal increase its output for the quarter, fell to $24.53/MWh from $35.50/MWh. South Australian prices fell to $26.17/MWh from $51.82/MWh. The gap is closing rapidly.

Obviously the switch to a sustainable energy future is a gradual one to be made over decades, not in the next year or two. But the progress with renewable energy in South Australia is promising and shows that with a friendly policy environment – for example, no 2km wind farm exclusion zones – great strides can be made.


Anonymous   says 2:21 AM

Wind Turbines and Health - NHMRC

This review of the available evidence, including journal articles, surveys, literature reviews and government reports, supports the statement that: There are no direct pathological effects from wind farms and that any potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines.

Activity Sound pressure level (dBA)
Jet aircraft at 250m 105
Noise in a busy office 60
Car travelling at 64kph at 100m 55
Wind farm (10 turbines) at 350m 35-45
Quiet bedroom 35
Background noise in rural area at night 20-40

Post a Comment


Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews




Blog Archive


australia (618) global warming (423) solar power (397) peak oil (355) renewable energy (302) electric vehicles (250) wind power (194) ocean energy (165) csp (159) solar thermal power (145) geothermal energy (144) energy storage (142) smart grids (140) oil (139) solar pv (138) tidal power (137) coal seam gas (131) nuclear power (129) china (120) lng (116) iraq (113) geothermal power (112) green buildings (111) natural gas (110) agriculture (92) oil price (80) biofuel (78) wave power (73) smart meters (72) coal (70) uk (69) electricity grid (67) energy efficiency (64) google (58) bicycle (51) internet (51) surveillance (50) big brother (49) shale gas (49) food prices (48) tesla (46) thin film solar (42) biomimicry (40) canada (40) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) arctic ice (33) concentrating solar power (33) saudi arabia (33) queensland (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) population (30) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) limits to growth (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) exxon (22) lithium (22) buckminster fuller (21) distributed manufacturing (21) iraq oil law (21) coal to liquids (20) indonesia (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) collapse (17) electric bikes (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) iceland (16) lithium ion batteries (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) psychology (15) al gore (14) brazil (14) bucky fuller (14) carbon emissions (14) fertiliser (14) matthew simmons (14) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) public transport (13) big oil (12) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) antarctica (11) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) tinfoil (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) methane hydrates (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) bolivia (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) scenario planning (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)