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Australia Still Relies On Coal For Most Of Its Power

November 25, 2017

By Paul Homewood




I looked at the Australian Live Generation data yesterday, regarding the Tesla nonsense.


But it struck me just how much of the country’s electricity is still coming from coal.

I have just checked out the current position, which shows coal contributing 73%, and gas another 14%.

Wind power is running at a measly 3%.

It is still early morning down under, (and I am off to bed!), but solar is still only up to 6% at the moment. It will no doubt rise during the morning, but will still surely be virtually irrelevant.

Even the renewable wonderland of South Australia is mainly dependent on natural gas.

Perhaps I am missing something, but can anybody tell me how our Antipodean cousins are going to manage when Jay Weatherill and his chums get their way, and do away with fossil fuels?

Somehow I don’t think one of Elon Musk’s batteries will help very much.

  1. November 25, 2017 11:22 pm


    …can anybody tell me how our Antipodean cousins are going to manage when Jay Weatherill and his chums get their way, and do away with fossil fuels?

    Jay’s ‘chums’ being the other Labor state premiers. Who are committed to the same green insanity and renewables looting of the public purse.

    Short version. We won’t manage.

    For example. See here:

    for the most recent discussion at Catallaxyfiles on the subject.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 26, 2017 1:05 am

    They will get to a “coal free” situation in 2120. It will take that long to build the nuclear plants necessary to make it happen.

    If the battery is used, is there a safety switch to keep it with a charge so that it doesn’t become a big brick?
    They say 30,000 homes for 3 hours. Is that the name plate, or are those the numbers just prior to its programmed shutdown to save itself?
    SA has a population of about 1.7 million. I’d guess they need a bigger batter.

  3. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    November 26, 2017 1:06 am

    Geoff in Melbourne – it is not only Sth Aust, it is most of the Federal and State governing elite that are hell-bent on renewables to 50% or more penetration within by remaining lifetime, should I be lucky.
    Paul, your observation on the amount of coal and gas is important in the sense that if/when a policy reversal happens and coal becomes acceptable again, the elimination of much of the renewable part is not such a major exercise. The strengthening of the coal component is harder because of lead times for new plant, which ideally should be starting to build now as older coal plant is taken out.
    There was an announcement this morning that Victorian domestic electricity customers would receive rebates of up to several hundred dollars early next year because the government had convinced the suppliers that they had overcharged. Bad, because of more interference in free market principles, but good because it shows that the pollies are getting scared of voter backlash enough to try to bribe us.

    It is all a terrible mess, more terrible because it was also so predictable, as many of us have been commenting as it developed over the years. There is a need for an event like a tipping point that will finally convince pollies, government scientists on the gravy train and a few others who create or affect policy to abandon this irrational belief in the failed global warming hypothesis.

    In the meantime, the weather has continued over the decades to be that favourable, enjoyable, eccentric beastie that has long made Australia attractive for recreation. The Bondi beaches are alive and well and if anything, more CO2 in the air has grown not only larger vegetation but also larger, shapely beach girl boobs, always attractive, now better than ever.

    You must holiday here. Geoff.

  4. bushwalker permalink
    November 26, 2017 1:16 am

    The graphic you show for NEM generation is typical. However sometimes SA wind does get up to about 50% for SA. At 1200 MW of wind AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) implements his “curtailment” policy of dispatching no more wind. I don’t know how he chooses which windfarms to “curtail”.

  5. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 26, 2017 1:31 am

    What that chart doesn’t show is how much power is coming over the Heywood connector – all that Victorian lignite fired power helping to keep the lights on in SA. Potentially, there’s 800MW of interconnectors to help out.

  6. November 26, 2017 8:42 am

    If any state gets into trouble with electricity they can always turn to diesel, like Tasmania did.

    • November 26, 2017 9:22 am

      Not only Tasmania, South Australia and now Victoria has admitted that there are diesel generators that will transition to gas “in time”. Of course they are getting ready to say all their “Hard” work has paid off and please move along from all this!

    • Graeme No. 3 permalink
      November 26, 2017 10:43 am

      According to the electrician installing my generator the grid operator (SA Power Networks) was already installing 250MW of diesel generators in readiness for the summer peak demand. This was in line with the original (although unusually low key) Media release by the Premier.
      Then followed the 2 press releases about the change of mind and the renting, and subsequent, buying of 9 OCGTs of 270MW to be fueled by diesel for 2 years (owing to the shortage of natural gas. SA exports lots of natural gas via Qld. to Japan etc. Guess who approved that?). Once these 9 OCGTs have been moved to their final place they will be switched to gas burners. (Diesel causes higher costs and more emissions, not that this was mentioned in the Media Release).
      There has followed the government advertisements for subsidies for job starts (SA has lost a lot of industry in the last few years), Money for schools, How the new (expensive, very expensive hospital** with reduced bed numbers) was “revolutionising” Health Care and finally a Royal Commission to investigate water usage upstream in the Murray River (SA always has a fight with eastern States just before each election).
      By a peculiar coincidence the Leader of the Opposition, usually known as “What’s his name” and “Mr. Who” has appeared on TV promising cheaper electricity. How he would achieve this isn’t said, and as Premier Weatherill took the precaution of dynamiting the 2 coal fired power stations he forced out of business there is some scepticism on my part.
      It looks very likely that Victoria will have blackouts this summer if it is hot, which will mean SA as well. Exeunt Premier as if pursued by angry voters.

      ** It has the latest canadian devices to exclude snow flurries coming in the main doors. I have been unable to find any report of snow in Adelaide since before 1896.

  7. November 26, 2017 9:28 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    I looked at the Australian Live Generation data yesterday, regarding the Tesla nonsense.

  8. November 26, 2017 8:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism.

  9. November 27, 2017 2:48 pm

    We will find out how Victoria fares as they have been late on working out they needed diesel gen sets like SA after closing coal powered plants. Very hot there this week and their neighbors in SA will be burning tanker loads of fuel to keep themselves cool. But then again now that almost all the industry has gone from SA due to high costs such as electricity there are not as many people left to use that power. These idiot Labor govts seem to be in some sort of contest to see who can have the mantle of most expensive electricity on the planet. First South Australia and now Queensland but that clown in Victoria will probably beat them all.

  10. November 28, 2017 7:45 pm

    Dellers picks up on this story and gives our host good coverage.

  11. November 29, 2017 9:23 am

    One thing to watch now is the claim of “Success” in climate change. Mugs keep paying and the IPPC rubbish claim they have saved the planet. You think an exaggeration? Well “Scientists” are now claiming the have a system to regrow the coral reefs that get burned. Pay them millions and they do dances and regenerate the reef. What else can they do and everyone loves a winner!

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