Where coal, gas, hydro and nuclear just deliver, wind power delivers nothing but chaos.
If you’re looking for support for that truism, look no further than Australia’s wind power capital, South Australia.
It’s Premier, Jay Weatherill and his Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis are as deluded as they are dangerous, which means things will get a whole lot worse before they get any better.
Australia’s Summer guarantees rising temperatures and breathless days. Concurrently, and like clockwork, demand for power rises, as people head indoors and crank up their air conditioners, with businesses doing likewise.
A decade ago no one talked about ‘demand management’ (a marketing manual euphemism for Soviet-era power rationing). Now, thanks to the occasional and erratic delivery of wind power, it’s a very real thing. And nowhere is it more real than South Australia.
Weatherill and Koutsantonis, whose media rantings defy all reason and logic, occupy some parallel universe where windmills and batteries are (in their minds at least) powering their embattled economic backwater. Meanwhile, back on Earth, power prices are rocketing and South Australia’s grid is on the brink of collapse.
And the reason the fiasco is only a few mouse clicks away, thanks to the efforts of the boys over at Aneroid Energy. The graphic above captures the effort of South Australia’s 19 wind farms, with a notional capacity of 1698 MW, from 1 to 26 January.
With numerous output collapses in the order of 800-1000 MW taking place over the space of minutes, and 8 occasions where output dropped to less than 50 MW (or a piddling 2.9% of total capacity) claims that SA is the world’s ‘renewables leader’ seem more like an evil curse than any kind of god-sent blessing.
And all the more so, when temperatures rise and the wind stops blowing, as it did on 18-19 January.