Renewable energy promotion could power outages in Australia without reforming the entire grid

There is an urgent need for a complete reform of Australia’s power grid. Otherwise, the transition to renewable energy could be catastrophic to energy security, says the government’s Energy Security Commission.

The board told state and federal leaders of the State Cabinet on Wednesday that accelerating Australia’s coal-to-wind and solar conversion would require a complete overhaul of the country’s energy network.

“This isn’t just about adjusting the edges,” said Kelly Schott, chairman of the Energy Security Commission. “It’s about the overall redesign of the national electricity market.”

This is because both Victoria and New South Wales announced their own plans to reach Net Zero earlier this year. The Prime Ministers of both states need to face the Energy Security Commission to address Australia’s difficult challenges in the safe transition to solar and wind power.

“This is what we must do to confidently embrace the future of Australia’s energy while reducing the risk of price shocks and power outages.”

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Kerry Schott, Chair of the Energy Security Commission, will speak at the Discussion Forum at the Clean Energy Summit at the International Convention Center in Sydney, Australia, on July 30, 2019. (AAPImage / Peter Rae)

This year alone, Australia has been struck by power outages and rising prices many times.

In May, a fire at the Callide coal-fired power plant and a lack of backup power turned off the lights of 400,000 Queenslanders.

Also, in May, Australia’s largest aluminum smelter could not afford to pay electricity charges after the plan, forcing power outages five times in two weeks, and energy prices soared due to an unplanned shutdown of coal-fired power plants. Did. ..

After a power outage worsened by the cold, Australians remained eye-opening in June after showing that electricity prices had nearly tripled compared to the same month last year.

However, signs of instability are that the Hazelwood coal-fired power plant in Victoria was closed in 2017, supplying electricity to meet 25% of Victoria’s electricity demand and about 8% of the national electricity market as a whole. It began to appear even earlier at the 1,600 MW exit. ..

The resulting turmoil was felt across Australia’s east coast, with average energy prices rising 85% in Victoria, 63% in New South Wales, 53% in Queensland, and 32% in South Australia. ..

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Workers will leave the Hazelwood power plant after the final shift to Hazelwood, Australia on March 31, 2017. About 750 workers were unemployed after the factory was closed. (Scott Barber / Getty Images)

Schott recommended strengthening Australia’s path to energy-free energy with a series of significant reforms. One was to strengthen Australia’s fleet of reliable energy production and storage.

“We have had a very mild summer and everyone is very happy, but there is one hot summer in three jurisdictions, or a large unexpected outage at a large coal-fired power plant. There is only a need, and there is a question of the suitability of the actual resources. Above us, “she said.

The second recommendation was to quickly track large renewable energy hubs to support vast renewable energy generation at even lower prices. This direction is gradually evolving with a recent proposal for the world’s largest $ 95 billion renewable energy hub in Western Australia. ..

A third, but equally important, proposal was to address the fundamental technical constraints built into the country’s energy infrastructure: maintaining grid inertia and stabilizing grid frequencies.