One year on. . .

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One year on. . .

Postby HBS Guy » 30 Sep 2017, 11:20

Two days ago was the anniversary of the statewide power blackout in SA.

I was actually in the lower North, the first day of a 2day trip to Clare Valley to buy wine etc. We came out of the restaurant in Mintaro to get a call from the caravan park—mandatory evacuation order because the high winds might cause the big gum trees to fall.

Drove through Clare to Burra, look at the antique shops then go home. in Burra—shops all closed, power out. Hmmm.

So drive back to Adelaide, making sure to arrive there in proper darkness—thinking that half light would make everything worse. On the highway lots of trucks: kicking up hue amounts of slush that made driving even more difficult. Bastard truck drivers were high, above the slush.

So drive back to Adelaide, making sure to arrive there in proper darkness—thinking that half light would make everything worse. On the highway lots of trucks: kicking up hue amounts of slush that made driving even more difficult. Bastard truck drivers were high, above the slush.

Drove around some more, found out the whole state was blacked out. Got to the northern outskirts of Adelaide in the dark. Really dark, no houselights, no street lights no traffic lights. Not too bad down Pt Wakefield Rd, a three lane highway. Was a bit worried about the right turn I wanted to make to get to South Rd but that was OK. South Rd OK—skyway fine, easy. Got to first intersection with Regency Rd, no lights, got over. Now in real suburbia—fucking weird driving in this total darkness. Was like the blackout in WWII, eerie! No lights, except the headlights on the cars. And it was shit weather, cold, raining, windy cars spraying slush.

Fortunately I was driving my quite new second hand Mazda not the 33yo Telstar—that had no heating, brrrr!

Onto the next main intersection, Grange Rd, complicated by roadworks—much more slush. No lights, lots traffic everywhere. Got across that, next intersection was Henley Beach Rd—ah, thank goodness, a copper on point duty. The rest of the trip home was easy enough but weird, you have no idea how weird! No moon or stars because of thick clouds, no house light, no neon signs, no traffic or streetlights. Turned into my street—thank goodness, the first house had the porch light on—power was back on!

The picture of that tower with one leg ripped out the ground showing just a collar of cement around it shows PRIVATISATION DOES NOT WORK! Long term planning gone, everything for quick profits and fuck the poor bunnies relying on it!

Weatherill should have sued the private owners and kept suing them for every penny until they returned the network to government hands! That is how to renationalise the grid! And it must be renationalised for long term national benefit. Re-regulate too, lay down the ground rules!

But, shit it was weird and it went on and on, took over an hour from about Gawler to home, all in the dark, dark everywhere. Cold wet windy weather to go with it. Weird tho, turned right from South Rd into Richmond Rd (getting off South Rd ASAP) and the traffic lights there were working!!! How???
Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: One year on. . .

Postby HBS Guy » 30 Sep 2017, 13:59

It’s a year to the day since the entire state of South Australia was plunged into darkness. And what a year it’s been, for energy policy geeks and political tragics alike.

Parked at the western end of the eastern states’ electricity grid, South Australia has long been an outlier, in energy policy as well as geography. Over the past decade it has had a tempestuous relationship with the federal government, be it Labor or Coalition. As with water policy, the South Australians often suspect they are being left high and dry by their upstream neighbours.


If Pt Augusta brown coal power station was still going would have made no difference when those towers collapsed like they were made out of papier-mâché! There was talk of a second interconnector from NSW quite some time ago. But NSW is just as desperate as SA is now. Liberal govts! So is Vic without Hazelwood!

The policy chaos over the carbon price left the Renewable Energy Target as a far more prominent investment signal than it would otherwise have been. South Australia carried on attracting wind farms, which earned more than their fair share of the blame for high electricity prices. [What I said in my OP]

On September 28, 2016, a “once-in-50-year storm” blew over a string of electricity pylons, tripping the whole state’s power grid. While the blackout, which lasted 5 hours in Adelaide and longer elsewhere, was still unfolding, critics of renewables took a leap into the dark as part of a wider blame game.


They all have agendas and journos seem to want to be players in the political game. Most are fools or idiots, windbags.

Because of all these events and consequent shitfights;
the federal government to commission Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s landmark review of the entire National Electricity Market, with a deadline of mid-2017.


Then there was the flip flop on an emissions intensity scheme do to the RWNJs controlling the coalition.

Coal power no real help:
February saw a series of “load shedding” events during a heatwave, which left some Adelaide homes once more without power and saw the grid wobble in NSW too. (It should be noted that the now infamous Liddell power station was unable to increase its output during the incident.)


Liddel is running, all it can do, at 50% output with frequent breakdowns. It WILL close in 2022, it is knackered!

Within days, both Weatherill and Turnbull had had conversations with Musk, and Turnbull announced a “Snowy Hydro 2.0” storage proposal.[I doubt anything will actually be built but storage is needed with renewables, that or nuclear (I prefer nuclear.)]

Meanwhile, Weatherill unveiled his SA Energy Plan, which the Guardian called a “survivalist fix of last resort”. We now know that the plan cost A$1 million to produce.

Then, on March 16, at the launch of a 5-megawatt “virtual power plant” in Adelaide, Weatherill had some choice words for Frydenberg who, entertainingly enough, was standing right next to him:

“I’ve got to say, it is a little galling to be standing here, next to a man that’s been standing up with his prime minister, bagging South Australia at every step of the way over the last six months… And for you to then turn around, in a few short months, when there’s a blackout, and point the finger at SA for the fact that our leadership in renewable energy was the cause of that problem is an absolute disgrace.”


Frydenberg kept a notably low profile for a while after this.


The whole saga shows how policy windows can open up in unexpected ways. An attempt to blast a new technology fails, and a politician at state level sees no option but to act because of federal inadequacy. It’s happening in California too.

Judging by his interviews with me and the Guardian’s Katharine Murphy, Weatherill has found his signature issue – making lemonade from the huge lemon he was served last September. As another commentator wrote:

Far from being the last nail in the Weatherill government’s electoral coffin, the power crisis has perversely breathed new life into Labor’s re-election hopes… It is turning its own failures on energy security into a single-issue platform on which to campaign.


Weatherill is trying to build an innovation ecosystem for clean energy technology. Announcing a tender last month, Weatherill said his government is “looking for the next generation of renewable technologies and demand-management technologies to maintain our global leadership”.


https://theconversation.com/a-year-since-the-sa-blackout-whos-winning-the-high-wattage-power-play-84416
Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: One year on. . .

Postby HBS Guy » 30 Sep 2017, 14:34

Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: One year on. . .

Postby HBS Guy » 30 Sep 2017, 14:38

Another thing hampering sensible management of the grid—the NBN!

A REAL NBN, ubiquitous FTTH, coupled with smart metres would allow sophisticated load shedding but with the MTM rubbish load shedding will mean, as in Feb, some suburbs have a hours long blackout in the heat of summer!

Adelaide will likely have a month of Queensland weather: hot and humid. Not when you want a blackout!
Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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Re: One year on. . .

Postby HBS Guy » 30 Sep 2017, 14:55

Abbott & Co are going to cause the mother and father of all recessions—be prepared!
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