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Let a thousand solar farms bloom

By johnboy 17 May 2011 30

Energy Minister Simon Corbell has proudly unveiled a 30kW solar roof farm in Hume leased by Energy Matters.

He’s hoping other roofs across Canberra can be similarly used:

“There are a number of large buildings and open space across the Territory which could be suitable for a solar installation of this size. It is pleasing to see local businesses making better use of this space by allowing others access to harness renewable energy.

“I applaud both Energy Matters and Ullrich Aluminium, the tenants, for their cooperative approach into achieving this great renewable energy outcome.

The proponents will also have access to the ACT’s Feed-in Tariff scheme.

So much for the economies of large scale production

What’s Your opinion?


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Let a thousand solar farms bloom
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wotsinaname 2:04 am 27 May 11

wotsinaname said :

(or – Enron cried all the way to the bank….)
———————————————————-
The California electricity crisis, also known as the Phony Energy Crisis of 2001 was a situation where California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns …by Texas energy consortiums.
A demand supply gap was created by energy companies, mainly Enron, to create an artificial shortage.
Energy traders took power plants offline for maintenance in days of peak demand to increase the price.
This enabled them to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20 times its normal value.

I made a graph and some notes from NSW electricity demand and price data for 2 months this year – using Australian Energy Market Operator data.
Prices are $20 per MWH most of the time but jumped to over $10,000 per MWH on a couple of occasions!!!
No wonder prices are going up and AGL is happy to start up a huge gas-fired power station for less than 400 hours per year. Talk about winning the lottery!
Can anyone explain how this can happen? The graph with some notes is here: – http://goo.gl/51BOv
The Australian Energy Market Operator data came from here: http://www.aemo.com.au/data/aggPD_2011to2015.html

shadow boxer 8:02 am 19 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

shadow boxer said :

No i’m talking about the fact this scheme is middle class welfare, i’m all for solar panels, just think roll out should be fair.

Welfare? To me it seems more like leveraging the buying power of those who can buy, into a particular direction that has more profound benefits for the wider community than just that household, that is, driving the unit price of PV downward, making it more affordable for many many more people than it ever was before, and decreasing the degree to which the network infrastructure needs to be over-engineered to cope with the aforesaid heatwave peaks.

This is a bit simplistic Al.

The problem is the utility has its price set by an independant arbiter who sets the price at what is required to deliver the service and make a reasonable profit (same with water).

If the utility pays 8c but is paying out 60c to those that can afford panels, the price will rise for everyone else.

The only way to partially avoid this would be to have enough people doing it that new infrastructure is not required (although prices would still rise as the existing infrastructure must be paid for).

Given prices have already tripled and quadrupled to pay for this infrastructure and all the pundits are predicting a further tripling to support new infrastructure it seems unlikely this scheme is having any impact on the backend requirements and those that can’t afford solar will face higher and higher bills.

The money being used to fund the 60c figure would be better used as a tax incentive for solar producers or a cash back for consumers.

wotsinaname 11:20 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :


a) it is not the daily peaks that are causing the big infrastructure costs – it is the heatwave days. …

c) again you are not comprehending how extensive the expense is to upgrade the network to cope with summer heatwave loads due to the incredibly rapid roll-out of household a/c. I worked in the Brisbane City Council Air and Energy Team in 2004 and the industry was getting freaked about it back then. It has got a whole lot worse now. Exacerbated by the complete intolerance of blackouts we now have.

So the industry finds themselves having to spend billions (yes billions) to cope with VERY infrequent but VERY big peaks. …the industry feels boxed into it by unrelenting media criticism following any blackouts.

To Regulate – and reduce electricity prices for 75% of customers?
—————————————————————————————–
Queensland Energy and Water Utilities
The Honourable Stephen Robertson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bligh Government moves to create fairer system for electricity prices

Future electricity prices in Queensland will be set using a fairer pricing framework and new tariff structure from 1 July 2012, Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

“We …estimate that more than 75 percent of customers will be better off under this system than the current system.”

“Our research estimates that a family of four in South East Queensland could save up to $220 per year under the new methodology (based on consumption of 10,000kWh per year).”

Other proposed changes to the existing tariff schedule include: …
• removing the remaining declining block tariffs;
• removing access to notified electricity prices for all large non-residential consumers in south east Queensland who use more than 100 megawatt hours per year.

Minister Robertson said another proposed change is to establish a voluntary residential Time-of-Use tariff for those customers with an interval meter installed.

“This type of tariff gives customers the power to choose,” he said.

“It would allow for electricity prices to be varied across different times of the day and give customers an incentive to shift their major electricity consumption away from higher-priced peak periods to times of the day when prices are lower.”

“Knowing they will pay a lower price in the morning than during the normal early evening peak demand period means customers can pick and choose the best time to use energy. “

http://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=74690

Or to partially deregulate, and trust in a “market mechanism”
———————————————————————————-
Julia Gillard: Speech to Australian Agenda UBS Lunch
posted Monday, 16 May 2011

“We will pursue the reforms at the heart of this Budget in tandem with our other long-term and profoundly economy-changing reforms – particularly our reform to price carbon.

We all know that we need to break the nexus between economic growth and emissions growth, and despite all of the huff and puff one would see in the daily media, in fact cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 is a bipartisan objective.

So, the only question we’re asking ourselves, really, is what’s the best way to get it done, what’s the most efficient way to get it done: using a market-based mechanism or using excessive regulation? Well, I’m in the cart for the market-based mechanism and that’s the reform that we will drive and deliver from 1 July next year. “

http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/julia-gillard–speech-to-australian-agenda-ubs-lun/

“…the industry feels boxed into spending billions by unrelenting media criticism following any blackouts???”
—————————————————————————————————————————-
(or – Enron cried all the way to the bank….)
———————————————————-
The California electricity crisis, also known as the Phony Energy Crisis of 2001 was a situation where California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns …by Texas energy consortiums.
A demand supply gap was created by energy companies, mainly Enron, to create an artificial shortage.
Energy traders took power plants offline for maintenance in days of peak demand to increase the price.
This enabled them to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20 times its normal value.
California suffered from multiple large-scale blackouts.
At the time it had an installed generating capacity of 45 GW, but the blackouts occurred when demand was only 28 GW.
The crisis was possible because of partial deregulation legislation instituted in 1996 by Governor Pete Wilson.
Enron took advantage of this deregulation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_electricity_crisis

Does any Australian company have a profit-motive to copy Enron’s supply manipulation???
———————————————————————————————————————————–
AGL Energy held an information day recently to notify residents of its plans to build a $1.5 billion peaking power station.
AGL project manager Neil Cooke said the gas turbine power plant would only operate between 200 and 400 hours a year during periods of peak demand and could be switched off for months on end.

THE CANBERRA TIMES Saturday, May 7, 2011 page 15.

A better approach?
————————–
Identify the largest electricity consumers in peak periods and have them convert from electricity to gas. (i.e. “Peak Demand Management”)

wotsinaname 11:16 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :


a) it is not the daily peaks that are causing the big infrastructure costs – it is the heatwave days. …

c) again you are not comprehending how extensive the expense is to upgrade the network to cope with summer heatwave loads due to the incredibly rapid roll-out of household a/c. I worked in the Brisbane City Council Air and Energy Team in 2004 and the industry was getting freaked about it back then. It has got a whole lot worse now. Exacerbated by the complete intolerance of blackouts we now have.

So the industry finds themselves having to spend billions (yes billions) to cope with VERY infrequent but VERY big peaks. …the industry feels boxed into it by unrelenting media criticism following any blackouts.

To Regulate – and reduce electricity prices for 75% of customers?
—————————————————————————————–

Queensland Energy and Water Utilities
The Honourable Stephen Robertson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bligh Government moves to create fairer system for electricity prices

Future electricity prices in Queensland will be set using a fairer pricing framework and new tariff structure from 1 July 2012, Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

“We …estimate that more than 75 percent of customers will be better off under this system than the current system.”

“Our research estimates that a family of four in South East Queensland could save up to $220 per year under the new methodology (based on consumption of 10,000kWh per year).”

Other proposed changes to the existing tariff schedule include: …
• removing the remaining declining block tariffs;
• removing access to notified electricity prices for all large non-residential consumers in south east Queensland who use more than 100 megawatt hours per year.

Minister Robertson said another proposed change is to establish a voluntary residential Time-of-Use tariff for those customers with an interval meter installed.

“This type of tariff gives customers the power to choose,” he said.

“It would allow for electricity prices to be varied across different times of the day and give customers an incentive to shift their major electricity consumption away from higher-priced peak periods to times of the day when prices are lower.”

“Knowing they will pay a lower price in the morning than during the normal early evening peak demand period means customers can pick and choose the best time to use energy. “

http://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=74690

Or to partially deregulate, and trust in a “market mechanism”
———————————————————————————-

Julia Gillard: Speech to Australian Agenda UBS Lunch
posted Monday, 16 May 2011

“We will pursue the reforms at the heart of this Budget in tandem with our other long-term and profoundly economy-changing reforms – particularly our reform to price carbon.

We all know that we need to break the nexus between economic growth and emissions growth, and despite all of the huff and puff one would see in the daily media, in fact cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 is a bipartisan objective.

So, the only question we’re asking ourselves, really, is what’s the best way to get it done, what’s the most efficient way to get it done: using a market-based mechanism or using excessive regulation? Well, I’m in the cart for the market-based mechanism and that’s the reform that we will drive and deliver from 1 July next year. “

http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/julia-gillard–speech-to-australian-agenda-ubs-lun/

“…the industry feels boxed into spending billions by unrelenting media criticism following any blackouts???”
—————————————————————————————————————————-
(or – Enron cried all the way to the bank….)
———————————————————-

The California electricity crisis, also known as the Phony Energy Crisis of 2001 was a situation where California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns …by Texas energy consortiums.
A demand supply gap was created by energy companies, mainly Enron, to create an artificial shortage.
Energy traders took power plants offline for maintenance in days of peak demand to increase the price.
This enabled them to sell power at premium prices, sometimes up to a factor of 20 times its normal value.
California suffered from multiple large-scale blackouts.
At the time it had an installed generating capacity of 45 GW, but the blackouts occurred when demand was only 28 GW.
The crisis was possible because of partial deregulation legislation instituted in 1996 by Governor Pete Wilson.
Enron took advantage of this deregulation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_electricity_crisis

Does any Australian company have a profit-motive to copy Enron’s supply manipulation???
———————————————————————————————————————————–

AGL Energy held an information day recently to notify residents of its plans to build a $1.5 billion peaking power station.
AGL project manager Neil Cooke said the gas turbine power plant would only operate between 200 and 400 hours a year during periods of peak demand and could be switched off for months on end.

THE CANBERRA TIMES Saturday, May 7, 2011 page 15.

A better approach?
————————–
Identify the largest electricity consumers in peak periods and have them convert from electricity to gas. (i.e. “Peak Demand Management”)

monomania 5:50 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al said :

shadow boxer said :

No i’m talking about the fact this scheme is middle class welfare, i’m all for solar panels, just think roll out should be fair.

Welfare? To me it seems more like leveraging the buying power of those who can buy, into a particular direction that has more profound benefits for the wider community than just that household, that is, driving the unit price of PV downward, making it more affordable for many many more people than it ever was before, and decreasing the degree to which the network infrastructure needs to be over-engineered to cope with the aforesaid heatwave peaks.

Al give it up. You’ve got solar, the Gungahlin Community Centre has solar that it didn’t have to pay for but we do. Solar on roofs is not a lot cheaper than it was three years ago. Solar electricity production falls due to high temperatures and also towards sunset at the very time it is needed on hot summers days. Electricity has to be brought in along transmission lines. You complain that there is no tolerance for blackouts. Maybe there is no tolerance for death by heatstroke. Not all of us live in five star insulated new homes.

chewy14 4:13 pm 18 May 11

Gungahlin Al,
surely there are far more efficient ways to reduce those summer peaks than providing more inefficient middle class welfare to house owners in Canberra?
And what are we paying for the reduction in carbon due to these panels $400-500 per tonne?
What a joke.

shadow boxer 4:11 pm 18 May 11

Now we are talking, when I get my free panels my bill will drop, they could put it back up for 5 years to offset some costs and then i’m away.

We could have every house in Canberra with panels at no cost.

Gungahlin Al 4:06 pm 18 May 11

shadow boxer said :

No i’m talking about the fact this scheme is middle class welfare, i’m all for solar panels, just think roll out should be fair.

Welfare? To me it seems more like leveraging the buying power of those who can buy, into a particular direction that has more profound benefits for the wider community than just that household, that is, driving the unit price of PV downward, making it more affordable for many many more people than it ever was before, and decreasing the degree to which the network infrastructure needs to be over-engineered to cope with the aforesaid heatwave peaks.

grundy 4:00 pm 18 May 11

So we all agree?
Solar Panels are good and the government should do more about getting panels installed for every suitable household without costing those who can’t?

Chop71 3:57 pm 18 May 11

shadow boxer said :

No i’m talking about the fact this scheme is middle class welfare, i’m all for solar panels, just think roll out should be fair.

Oh wow, imagine if Julia had a National Solar Panel Scheme where they just gave out solar panels like they did insulation and set top boxes. 🙂

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