Storage is a distraction. The current plant has enough gas …

Comment on Too much sun power in Alice? by David de Vries.

Storage is a distraction. The current plant has enough gas powered generators to address night and sunless events. Put some small PV in Hermannsburg and Santa Theresa to address cloudy days and quadruple solar in town.
Then have pricing that incentivizes solar use – cool, heat, dishwasher during sunny days. Double the buy back rate.
Halve the sunny day usage rate. Double the nighttime usage rate. The cheap option. In fact it would cost nothing if you guaranteed buy back rates for 10 years.

David de Vries Also Commented

Too much sun power in Alice?
Bob: Agreed, a systemic approach involving several technologies and a range of behaviors can afford energy security. Simplistic ideas like Go Gas and Go Solar create dependency, generate excessive CO2 and ignore the role of consumers in creating security
Gas is great. We have a recently commissioned gas power plant that can satisfy night time requirements for the next 20 years. Then we have pollies who insist we go on a gas binge and spend the whole power budget on more gas gensets.
Then we have this article saying we don’t know what to do with all the solar electricity.
We have two good technologies at hand, gas and solar. They are not incompatible. With some smarts they can be harmonious.

Too much sun power in Alice?
Bob you have encapsulated the argument of the state as to why “solar is a nonsense”.
We need a real power supply, one that gets us through thick and thin.
A storage system for the town would cost a billion in dollars and a billion in CO2 emission. Household storage is affordable, but only for those with a spare 20k.
Minor point, we have successfully survived a rickety irregular supply. Essential services have backup generators. Gold plated supply is not on the table nor necessary.
Summer peak demand: Big clouds happen. How often when the resident population is greater than 10,000 and the tourist population greater than 500? One in 50 years?
Winter peak demand: Big cold clouds happen. If half the town relies on electric heat then there will be major brownouts and areas of no power rationing – unless alternatives incentivised: Thermal mass, insulation, NT gas.
Most public houses survive no power card winters and summers. It is not life threatening.
Am I suggesting a First World scenario? No. I am suggesting a responsible world one.

Recent Comments by David de Vries

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Trying to understand the transition from hyrdrocarbons to solar is like trying to analyze the shift from horse and cart to internal combustion. You cannot use the old yardstick (to give you another anachronistic term).

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@ Harold. You have a lot of good questions. Unfortunately there is no one to answer them.
An untested resource to be accessed by an untested technology in an environment no one has studied.
You are in the dark, as is this is “expert”, as am I.

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Fracturing rock provides a very short term operational well – months not years, not 20 years.
Government loves spending billions on pipelines. After a coupla billion we have Mereenie connected to Darwin and soon Isa.
Who funds connecting the next 500 wells and 8000 km of pipe? Pipe dreaming.
It is an elementary error to raise the topic of veto given the narrow window. Some traditional owners have a veto right.
They can exercise this prior to exploration. Most TOs have consented to exploration and foregone this right.

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There is a common sense answer to the type of waste that needs to be deposited in this repository – expensive waste.
The kind of waste that no local authority within 1000 km will accept dumping or storing on their disused mine sites.
The kind of waste that you need to put on a tanker and have driven 1000 km+ then pay a significant fee to dispose of.
Hard core, top dollar, don’t put your hands in it, waste.

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