Why Australia's power prices are going up?

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
No energy source is free.

Automation is not a cause for unemployment.
Partly true; depends on the industry doesn't it. Welcome back, Shane you haven't been on much lately.
And: Bring back the chimney sweeps!
Creates jobs doesn't it.

My retired friends in the Ballarat area were thinking of putting a wood-burner in to combat their astronomical electricity bill in the winter but they realised that they're kinda past chopping wood, shovelling ashes and getting the chimney done. Although timber is relatively cheap where they are being a small country town - $100 for a massive trailer of good quality box/redgum whatever.
don_dunstan
Was busy at work and home, won't be around much for a while.

Technology just replaces one job with another, the issue is where is that new job? I remember at school in 70's being taught in future we will all work part-time job sharing, hahahaha!! I think most of us wish this!

As for going back to the days of old jobs, like chimney sweep. Most of those jobs are still around to some degree. But to have them large scale are we willing to go back to those wages?

As for heating, my future intention is to go wood in my rural home (on wish list).
- Buying commercially in bulk is not that expensive when you do the sums.
- Doing yourself, helps keep you fit! My ex GF Father used to go chop wood for stress relief, but I think more to get away from his Mrs for a while which I think would likely explain the Armageddon sized wood pile they always had!

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I think the point many are saying is simple

- No issues with phasing out coal, but the alternatives must be viable and in place before hand, unlike what is being attempted now where we are on the back foot .

- No issue with rolling out RE, but it must be able to stand on its own two feet without subsidies.

- Bottom line is simple, lights staying on, affordable power and sustaining our industry should at no time ever be compromised in the push towards RE. If RE cannot achieve this, then build a new coal fired power station or two until it can. At least doing this will actually see reduced emissions from more efficient and cleaner coal power.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
As for heating, my future intention is to go wood in my rural home (on wish list).
- Buying commercially in bulk is not that expensive when you do the sums.
- Doing yourself, helps keep you fit! My ex GF Father used to go chop wood for stress relief, but I think more to get away from his Mrs for a while which I think would likely explain the Armageddon sized wood pile they always had!
RTT_Rules
The problem still remains that you've got to chop the chords into reasonable size bits that be chucked in the fire. Even with a very large slow combustion thing you've still got to lug the stuff inside get it going every afternoon (unless you try and keep it going around the clock), clean all the ash out the bottom etc etc. You've got to keep it topped up till bedtime and if it's freezing cold and/or raining outside it turns into a real chore going out the woodshed all the time... and where they live it usually snows a couple of times a year if that gives you an idea of how bloody cold it gets.

Anyway sorry to hear you're too busy to post much but nevertheless good to see you here.
  allan Chief Commissioner

... you've got to chop the chords into reasonable size bits...
don_dunstan
There's a special thread for near-useless units of measure. A cord of firewood qualifies - and a cord is of split timber.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
As for heating, my future intention is to go wood in my rural home (on wish list).
- Buying commercially in bulk is not that expensive when you do the sums.
- Doing yourself, helps keep you fit! My ex GF Father used to go chop wood for stress relief, but I think more to get away from his Mrs for a while which I think would likely explain the Armageddon sized wood pile they always had!
The problem still remains that you've got to chop the chords into reasonable size bits that be chucked in the fire. Even with a very large slow combustion thing you've still got to lug the stuff inside get it going every afternoon (unless you try and keep it going around the clock), clean all the ash out the bottom etc etc. You've got to keep it topped up till bedtime and if it's freezing cold and/or raining outside it turns into a real chore going out the woodshed all the time... and where they live it usually snows a couple of times a year if that gives you an idea of how bloody cold it gets.

Anyway sorry to hear you're too busy to post much but nevertheless good to see you here.
don_dunstan
All gets down to whats important to you. For me if retired a fire place is pretty important. Yes I would have back up heating for those lazy days. Having lived in Tas, the cold is fine if you plan ahead. My father inlaw doesn't spilt the wood fod kindling, he uses pine cones from trees growing on his property to start the fire and pretty religious to have a fire ready to light if going out and coming home after dark and there is always a small pile of wood in the lounge room.

Other Issue is Australians don't know how to design houses for cold climates or winters. Spot heating, cold in morning etc etc.

Not sure how this will work, but my plan is to have my fire place with a water jacket to heat the concrete slab of the house via tubes in the concrete. That way the heat is more even and the floor acts like a heat sink for the next morning.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
When you pay $200 dollars plus for a tonne of firewood you might have second thoughts on that idea. I've cut a ship load in my time,and a mate  up the road was a full time lumberjack,and he's okay. The last he cut last year was $200 in Nhill plus freight to Adelaide, then double it. And you want a permit to gather you own, and a saw bench, chainsaw,splitter and the assorted tools for all that for starters.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

When you pay $200 dollars plus for a tonne of firewood you might have second thoughts on that idea. I've cut a ship load in my time,and a mate  up the road was a full time lumberjack,and he's okay. The last he cut last year was $200 in Nhill plus freight to Adelaide, then double it. And you want a permit to gather you own, and a saw bench, chainsaw,splitter and the assorted tools for all that for starters.
wobert
$200 for a tonne is pretty good value. Of course, it depends on what type of wood and how much the load is. The Macedon ranges is $340/tonne of split redgum or $170 a trailer load (box trailer). I could get redgum for about $155/tonne is I bought a complete truckload. I reckon splitting your own wood by hand is a task you'll do just once.....then you'll buy split or get a hydraulic splitter.

Then there's the stacking of the wood. Plus the cleaning. Plus the flue cleaning. Plus. Plus....

Our slow combustion is now removed as it's cheaper to run the A/C as needed. Our last power bill from Momentum was $150 for the month and we have a 380 sq m house. But we run the dishwasher and washing machine overnight when we're paying $0.12 per kwh for the privilege.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Yeah ParksHub its not cheap, the $200 is local only. We got rid of our slow combustion fire 10 or 15 years ago and just use the split system, cheaper, easier and cleaner. Even with our own wood,with the time involved, it was still not much cheaper than buying the stuff.

Around here wood  can be got a bit cheaper but only coz its all cash. And there is some pretty crap wood.  A lot of  box being used now, and you've really got to feed that in to get some heat. Stuff all bulloke left, fair bit of redgum, but dont get caught without special permits to get in swamps,even on private land.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Interesting read



https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/12/energy-lunacy-marches/
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
I reckon splitting your own wood by hand is a task you'll do just once.....then you'll buy split or get a hydraulic splitter.

Then there's the stacking of the wood. Plus the cleaning. Plus the flue cleaning. Plus. Plus....
ParkesHub
Wood, the fuel that heats you more than once...

Used to do all that. What fun. Ducted heating beats it hands down.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Other Issue is Australians don't know how to design houses for cold climates or winters. Spot heating, cold in morning etc etc.

Not sure how this will work, but my plan is to have my fire place with a water jacket to heat the concrete slab of the house via tubes in the concrete. That way the heat is more even and the floor acts like a heat sink for the next morning.
RTT_Rules
NCC and state efficiency requirements have raised the bar quite a bit. Not just more insulation but things like thermal bridging must be addressed.

Hydronic underfloor heating has the advantage that any source(s) of heat can be used to heat the water, yes even (OMG) the sun!
Use of thermal mass is also a gaining a following, e.g. building your home around a water tank.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I reckon splitting your own wood by hand is a task you'll do just once.....then you'll buy split or get a hydraulic splitter.

Then there's the stacking of the wood. Plus the cleaning. Plus the flue cleaning. Plus. Plus....
Wood, the fuel that heats you more than once...

Used to do all that. What fun. Ducted heating beats it hands down.
apw5910
As I said, keeps your fit!

i think I'd have both wood and a 2ndry option for the lazy days and marginal periods at shoulder season of winter.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
No energy source is free.

Automation is not a cause for unemployment.
RTT_Rules
Really!

1. When I go camping I have a battery a generator and some solar panels. Out of the box two give me electricity (at some point). Unless someone donates petrol the generator is useless. I paid nothing to use the sun so isn't the energy source free?Confused

2. Automation of a task never results in net job losses. How so? ConfusedConfused
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
NCC and state efficiency requirements have raised the bar quite a bit. Not just more insulation but things like thermal bridging must be addressed.

Hydronic underfloor heating has the advantage that any source(s) of heat can be used to heat the water, yes even (OMG) the sun!
Use of thermal mass is also a gaining a following, e.g. building your home around a water tank.
Groundrelay
Very true, I think we all remember as kids freezing our butts off for 3-4mth every year at home. Wrapped up in front of a TV with a 1-2kW bar heater pretending to add some heat to open plan house.

The age of the split reverse cycle probably saved Gen Y and Z from such frigid memories.

The  concept of using solar water heater to heat the concrete slab is excellent, hadn't thought of that. Perhaps that coupled with a wood heater would do the job nicely.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
No energy source is free.

Automation is not a cause for unemployment.
Really!

1. When I go camping I have a battery a generator and some solar panels. Out of the box two give me electricity (at some point). Unless someone donates petrol the generator is useless. I paid nothing to use the sun so isn't the energy source free?Confused

2. Automation of a task never results in net job losses. How so? ConfusedConfused
Groundrelay
1. You had to pay for the solar panel and if you want power 24/7, you need to pay for battery storage. On a full size grid the solar farm would cost $50-80 (whatever)/MW installed capacity then you need a back up source of energy or battery/pumped hydro) for night.

2. For example, 1950 as an example, I believe it was near full employment, we had high immigration to fill the job gap. However most women did not work or did not work full time. A size-able percentage of Australian homes didn't even have electricity, mains water or sewered. No TV, only the big bulky radio. Very limited automation and only just starting to leave the steam era. We made lots of stuff ourselves from clothes etc.

Today,  unemployment
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
... full time lumberjack,and he's okay. ...
wobert
Only just noticed that reference, too funny.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
... full time lumberjack,and he's okay. ...
Only just noticed that reference, too funny.
don_dunstan
Razz
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
1. You had to pay for the solar panel and if you want power 24/7, you need to pay for battery storage. On a full size grid the solar farm would cost $50-80 (whatever)/MW installed capacity then you need a back up source of energy or battery/pumped hydro) for night.
RTT_Rules
Family member on Kangaroo Island has a house with a stand-alone solar system constructed in the 2007 - it's got old school lead-acid batteries and he's had a few problems lately just because it's aging and will probably need replacement in the next few years. Nevertheless he's already got 12 years out of it and although he can't run an air-conditioner or heater off it (he's got the option of running a combustion stove in the winter) it still lets you run a full range of appliances including a modified electric oven/stove and fridge. I recall it cost something like $30,000 at the time as it was relatively new technology but at the time it was cheaper than getting the grid to where he was living.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

At present solar makes sense, it returns around 20% at 11 cents feed in tariff. Only problem is you cannot take it off the roof so it is sunk money until the house is sold. Still at today's interest rates it is a good investment.
At the present costs and capacities batteries don't make sense. You are better off just importing night time power from the grid.
Maybe batteries will get cheaper and better but progress in this area is slow.
If the move to price power in blocks comes to pass night time power could become very expensive, especially if the projected increase in electric vehicles comes about with all the commuters charging their vehicles overnight. That might make batteries a more attractive investment but it will be bad for consumers because their average cost of power will rise (again).
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Ponder this

https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/12/king-energy-wrecker-whinges-wreckage/
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
You just shake your head sometimes, coz there's not much else to say or do. Unbelievabubble
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
At present solar makes sense, it returns around 20% at 11 cents feed in tariff. Only problem is you cannot take it off the roof so it is sunk money until the house is sold. Still at today's interest rates it is a good investment.
At the present costs and capacities batteries don't make sense. You are better off just importing night time power from the grid.
Maybe batteries will get cheaper and better but progress in this area is slow.
If the move to price power in blocks comes to pass night time power could become very expensive, especially if the projected increase in electric vehicles comes about with all the commuters charging their vehicles overnight. That might make batteries a more attractive investment but it will be bad for consumers because their average cost of power will rise (again).
neillfarmer
At 11c in feed in tariff, you are talking $110MW/h, that's very expensive power and hence its a subsidy or your are profiteering off others at their expense. Although this is fed directly into the local grid so there are some savings in transmission. Even SA's very high whole sale prices are now averaging below $100, Qld 2/3 this. 5-6  years ago it was $30/MWh.

EV's would be mostly charging in off-peak rates for which there is currently significant spare capacity, not prime evening peak power prices. If you look at the AEMO live trends of demand, you can see the off-peak hot-water systems all cutting in around 10pm.

Batteries are dropping in price quite rapidly as did solar PV, however demand is also very high.

My understanding of some data my dad sent is that power companies are now putting some people on very high prices for power used in the evening, exceeding above 50c/kWh, maybe higher cannot remember. To be fair, the domestic market should be exposed to the peak pricing in the evening because they are the ones that cause it. This creates significant investment in short term power production using high cost generation capacity as well as higher capacity grid requirements. If people learn that running the washing machine at 7pm will cost them 3 x as much as 11pm, attitudes will change.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

My 10.6 KWhr feed in is available to all in Queensland on the standard AGL tariff. If you want to pay more for your imported power AGL will give you 20C a KWhr. There are people spending Over $30,000 on batteries that will not run their bedroom airconditioners all night. They will never get their money back. If your conscience demands you do all you can to lessen global warming then do it, but don't pass batteries off as a good investment or a way of lessening power costs. Maybe in the future it will be, but not now.
Peak power in the evening is not caused by washing machines, but people trying to cook their evening meal contributes. I would not want them to be unfairly impacted.
Too much emotion in this subject, and the desperates on both extremes peddling half truths is not helping.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
We had some stupidly high feed-in tariffs in SA thanks to the desire to banish the carbon fairy - if you signed up before 30/9/2011 you were able to get 44 cents an hour and you were able to lock that in until 2028; it then went down to 16 cents which lasted till 2016.

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