Assuming for the moment that you are not trolling, I suggest reading some of the salient reports from the electricity regulator.A few points of order
SA has the most reliable power generation in Australia
It generates and sells renewable power into the network at a lower cost
SA is a net power exporter
A small but critical number of batteries have brought stability to the frequency issue and at orders of magnitude savings cf keeping traditional power stations on standby. Batteries can be brought on line in nano seconds.
Large scale storages are in the planning and preconstruction stage. In SA, I understand there are 4 planned.
New power stations utilising coal or nuclear power would produce power at significantly greater cost, the former producing greenhouse gases and the latter long term radioactive waste which we are yet to find a safe long term means of disposal.
Renewable energy is ideally suited to a decentralised grid which is, by its very nature, more robust and cheaper in the longer term.
Many existing coal fired power stations are reaching the end of their financially viable life span. Now is the time to plan for their decommissioning and replacement by more suitable sources of power.
Australia has an abundance of renewable resources. Indeed, there are active plans to export renewable power to Singapore.
The world's major investors will bring about the necessary shift to renewable energy as the risks of stranded assets associated with traditional generation are too great
SA is heavily dependent on coal when the wind, sun and gas fall short and led to price hikes exceeding $11,000 Mw last week.
I agree SA has finally turned the corner and now feeding itself power wise and exporting, however there is a gas plant due to close shortly and was only kept on line over summer at request of AMEO.
For Jan, SA power prices were 3rd highest out of the five NEM states, more than the cost of new coal power.
The reduction in whole sale price has now seen investment in RE in SA such as wind and solar almost cease.
AEMO has instructed a number of RE operators and projects to change their technology to better look after the grid, it was not an input, they were told to do it. Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas don't have such an issue due to their large numbers of mechanical turbines and this frequency control is also used by SA, not just the battery.
There is currently no viable alternative to most of the remaining coal power stations, including gas and hydro. What SA has achieved is only made possible because SA is small. You could not achieve the same in any of the other east coast states.
Exporting electrons to Singapore?
I'm a supporter of RE, but lets no throw the physics out with the bath water.
Dependence on coal when no wind and sun - of course! Because gas is so inordinately expensive, other sources of lower cost power are sort and hence SA gas based power as a % will drop. This is why an adequate and functional interconnector system is so important.
$11000 per Mw - beware of conflating 30 min spot prices with longer term prices. The bidding system is such that it lends itself to manipulation and some power suppliers exploit this. EG, withholding power at high demand periods to force up spot prices! If you look at the NEM overall you will find high spot prices in every jurisdiction.
January is a known low month for wind power. Large highs sit over Australia for long periods. The NEM factors this in advance. More gas than usual is used and the price goes up accordingly. In Australia we have the scandalous situation where we pay very high prices for domestic gas while exported gas is much lower. Most, if not all, large gas exporting countries have a set and lower gas price cf export prices.
Investment in RE stalled in SA? Talk to the other states as well, especially NSW and Vic where new and in construction solar farms have had their production curtailed by up to 50%. Why? Because of the mendacity, incompetence and greed of the LNP re planning sound policies and funding for the provision of an adequate rural grid to move the production based on the old central grid system. [See article in ABC News today] We currently subsidise coal to the tune of $1050/person/annum. This money could be better spent expanding the RE industry. No wonder they don't want a Federal ICAC!
I understand that all States are committed to net zero emissions by 2050. While progress will undoubtable be made by the States, to do it in the most efficient and effective way, talking into account the financial, economic, social and environmental factors requires Commonwealth participation and commitment! Transitioning needs to start early to minimise wastage, loss of
investment and minimise negative social impacts.
Changing the technology for RE to better manage the stability of the grid - absolutely. Note that it was not a requirement when these plants were designed and commissioned.
No existing alternative to the current coal fired power stations. Precisely - that is the problem that those who understand the issues have been pressuring the Commonwealth Govt to get off their butt and stop propping up coal because of the donations. It is the tobacco industry problem all over again, with the same playbook being used.