Total dishonesty about last Thursday's blackout in South Australia
The S.A. government is shrilling that the new blackout had "nothing to do" with the previous big one in September. I suppose that there is some trivial sense in which that is true but the root cause of both blackouts is the same: South Australia does not have ANY baseload power of its own. Had they not decommissioned all their coal-fired stations, neither blackout would have happened. Their windmills are just not a reliable source of power. During the latest incident they were delivering only 6% of their capacity.
When the big wind hit in September and shut down the windmills the South Australians could easily have spun up their coal-fired generators to take the load -- if they still had them. And the same thing applies to the recent loss of supply.
You have got to have hydrocarbon or nuclear powered generators to get reliable supply and S.A. just does not have enough. All they have are some small gas-fired ones. They rely on importing power from hydrocarbon-powered generators in Victoria but Victoria has its own problems -- and will soon have much bigger ones with the closedown of the Hazelwood generator.
The South Australians were so proud of themselves for having such a "Green" electricity system but it was a fantasy. They need to get a couple of their coal-fired generators spinning again or businesses will start leaving the state and taking jobs with them. New investments will CERTAINLY grind to a halt now. See below
South Australia's electricity system separated from the national power grid overnight, prompting a stern warning from BHP Billiton about threats to Australian jobs and investment.
About 200,000 homes and businesses lost power for over an hour, but BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in the north of the state were interrupted for about four hours.
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.
“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.
“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone. “This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”
Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said Labor had “chased cheap and reliable power out of South Australia”.
“South Australians are now saddled with the most expensive and least reliable electricity system in Australia,” he said.
“The statement from BHP this morning demonstrates how dangerous this situation has become. The CEO of the world’s biggest mining company has singled out South Australia’s fragile electricity system as a threat to mining in Australia.
“Affordable and reliable power is critical to running a business – it’s not a luxury, it’s an essential!”