Dispatch from SA: Wind provides 41% demand in the third quarter


Wind energy watcher, David Clarke of South Australia has sent through another dispatch:

Dr Graham Bethune (CEO of Energy Quest – an energy advisory and research firm) said on ABC 891 Radio on 9 December, 2013 that in the third quarter of the year, 41 percent of South Australia’s electricity was generated by wind turbines.  He said that a further 4 percent came from solar power.

The wind power figure might well be higher than expected – I believe that September was unusually windy. However, SA’s installed wind power is to be increased by a further 22 percent when the currently under construction Snowtown Stage 2 is completed, so we could see 50 percent of SA’s power coming from the wind by 2015.

That’s right folks. South Australia’s continues to make incredible progress on renewable energy.

As noted in previous Yes 2 Renewables posts, the state is speeding towards 50 percent renewable energy generation. The Snowtown II wind farm is nearing completion and will boost South Australia’s wind energy capacity by 25 percent.

Just last week, South Australian planning minister approved a Pacific Hydro wind farm for Keyneton near the Barossa Valley. That project would install 42 turbines, power the equivalent of 68,000 homes a year, and avoid 240,000 tonnes of carbon pollution.

South Australia has cemented it’s position as national leader on wind energy, leaving behind state’s with restrictive ‘brown’ tape that stall wind farm developments.


19 thoughts on “Dispatch from SA: Wind provides 41% demand in the third quarter

  1. Another solid piece of evidence that the denialists ignore. Well done south Australia, the state that will be sitting pretty and earning some good income selling excess electricity to other states while the rest of us play catch up.

      1. Sorry, I did not realise comprehension was something of a problem for you. I did not collect the data. I’m happy to trust Dr Bethune’s findings because it matches similar findings from other groups.

        Your problem Chris is that you are so used to lies and fiction from your buddies that you can no longer discern credible evidence from your anti-wind make-believe. Keep it up, you’re demonstrating all the denial and excuses I see frequently from anti-vaccers, creationists and the flat earthers.

        And just to avoid confusion on your part, that is not intended to be a compliment.

        Why don’t you provide the evidence that disproves Dr Bethune? Oh that’s right, you don’t have any.

    1. Hello Callous,

      As I mentioned on Facebook, you’re mixing up ‘power’ with ‘energy’. Over time, wind resource varies, as does the output of wind farms. These data are measurements of energy, in watt hours, not power.

      As such, the statement is total energy generated, as a percentage of total energy consumed.

  2. A 4°C increase in global temperature means that by the end of the century living in Melbourne could become climatically like living in southern NSW, Sydney like Rockhampton, and Alice Springs like the Sudan. In Darwin, the number of days over 35°C is projected to rise from an average of 10 a year now to more than 300 – which would be like nowhere on Earth today.

    Peter Christoff, Associate Professor at University of Melbourne

  3. Hi Chris and TCW,

    The data is freely available from AEMO’s database. I just downloaded all the data and plugged it into Microsoft Excell and got:
    – SA total demand for Q3 was 3077 GWh
    – SA total wind generation for Q3 was 1168 GWh
    – So I calculate it at 38%.

    I’m not sure if Dr Bethune’s sums or my sums are a little bit off (probably mine) but it’s pretty much the same result.

    By the way, wind farms aren’t built in order to supply power “all day, every day”. That’s not their purpose. They’re built to provide low pollution energy.

    Hope this clears it up for you,

    1. Thank you for that Mike, at least you and Ketan Joshi have tired to explain how the system works, that’s more than the others have. I am still not convinced the positives outweigh the negatives though and neither do many others around the world.


    2. Mike,

      Out of curiosity, which ‘demand’ value did you use? I’ve done a few of those sorts of sums myself, and can get a different answer using different definitions of demand – I try and use whatever value gives me a lower percentage, to ensure I’m being conservative.

      AEMO sort of incorporates non-scheduled generation as demand, sometimes, but then sort of doesn’t, sometimes. Might try pulling the data myself at some point just out of curiosity.

      1. Hi Ketan,

        For demand and price data I use:

        The CURRENT data gives you 5 minute intervals from the just completed interval to the past 48 hours. The ARCHIVE data gives you 5 minutes intervals from the previous day to as far back as you wish to go. The data in these files matches the AEMO graphs at http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity so I assume it’s the actual demand (or the total generator output that is dispatched in order to meet the actual demand).

        For generator data (wind, coal, hydro, gas, oil, bagasse, etc) I use:

        I’ve learnt a lot from this data. For example, if you graph regional price versus regional wind farm output you can see that when there’s more wind the price goes down. And it’s not linear. Modest wind farm contributions cause large drops in price. I’ve also noticed that many gas-fired power stations only operate for a few hours per month. How do those guys make any money?


      1. Hi TCW,

        I can totally sympathise. If I was lucky enough to have a home in the bush I’d be pretty upset if someone stuck a wind farm in my back yard.

        As it happens, someone recently built a bloody great McMansion next door to me and filled it with screaming kids, a ceaselessly barking dog, and a very noisy car. I try to ignore it but sometimes I feel like lobbing a bomb over the fence. I did nothing to deserve this and there’s not much I can do about it. I’d move to the bush but my livelihood is tied to the city.


  4. Maybe you should ask Dave Clarke about the communications tower, Telstra wanted to erect, a few hundred metres from his his house in his town. He complained to the Council, because he didn’t want it in his back yard. Now he is complaining to the local newspaper because his internet service is unreliable.

    Then he has the audacity to call us NIMBY’s, because we object to having 199 wind turbines in our back yard.

    I rest my case!


    1. well said TCW it is often a case of the pot calling the kettle black with these type of people that’s why they want to put them in our backyard. I.m for not in any backyard if it will harm you.

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