back to article Buy a Tesla for the good of Australia, say country's dino-burners

Australia's energy industry, overwhelmingly dominated by the burning of dinosaurs, has decided the country needs more electric vehicles (EVs). Facing something of a crisis in demand, with renewables (particularly solar power) severely denting the lavish margins wholesalers formerly expected during daytime peaks, the Energy …

  1. ifconfig
    Holmes

    Death of the distribution network.

    This is beyond hilarious. When the NSW, Australia government was providing generous rebates on solar-generated power, a relative close to the electricity generation industry told me that the entire push was a cynical scheme to defer the cost of upgrading centralised plant to meet demand, thereby putting the burden of providing capital onto the punters themselves. We might now consider this scheme to have backfired in a glorious way.

    However, it does perhaps indicate that the economies of scale which have been the enablers of the industrial revolution, are starting to fall apart. It might not be a big deal, but it's interesting none-the-less. Would love some new economics around this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Death of the distribution network.

      I also hear that QLD power companies put their prices up to compensate for the loss of revenue caused by people switching to solar.

      How very Australian.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Death of the distribution network.

        It's better than that. The poles and wires monopoly (QLD State Govt. owned) will be charging like a wounded rhino for meter switchover on solar installations that the State Govt. encourages. That it encourages solar is ironic given it is an owner of a large amount of coal power plant - ironic because as they undermine their assets they reduce the annual dividend from them and thus hamstring the State budget.

        There's also talk amongst the retailers and the poles and wires duo about increasing standing charges for those with solar. This is on top of increasing power prices. What they don't seem to realise is that with each charging rort and each c/kWh increase they are actually bringing closer the death spiral of off grid housing.

        Given that the per kWh cost includes generation, poles and wires, and retailer premium I find it disgusting that I am charged a daily "supply fee" which isn't for supply at all - it's just bloody retailer margin!

  2. Charles Manning

    A wee bit of common sense

    Due to all the extra PV, the daytime usage is down, but the night time usage is not. People still want to cook and watch telly while the the sun isn't shining.

    So they really want you to increase your daytime use and not your night time use. That flattens out the demand curve too, which allows big generation plants to operate more efficiently.

    When are you going to want to charge your car? At night surely, while you're at home.

    The only way to get daytime charging up to any significant level is by fitting charging stations in office car parks, malls, etc etc etc. That's a hell of an infrastructure that would make the whole smart meter fiasco look tiny. Lots of gravy for the industry.

  3. Tannin

    I don't see any major market for electric cars in Australia in the near future. Not for Mr Ordinary. Thre are particular special circumstances which will suit a significant minority, of course, but we don't have the sort of major generation facilities (nuclear, in some places run-of-river hydro) which make overnight off-peak charging sensible. Here, overnight charging = mostly coal which is madness.

    Best to focus on other tasks first and revist non-fossil transport in a decade or so when the technology mix and the cost reductions have both evolved a little furter.

    1. Weapon

      That is nonsense. One does not stop the other. If every new car sold was an EV it would still take almost 2 decades to replace every car on the road. Start now on BOTH.

      Solar is dropping in price, batteries are dropping in price. Take advantage and push both or be left out of the market.

      1. Tannin

        If every new car sold today was electric, emissions would go up - yes, burning petrol is bad, but we'd be charging most of those new electric cars on coal, which is worse. Naturally, where there is an opportunity to go EV and charge it using renewable power instead of coal off the grid, it should be taken. The point is that these opportunities are - as the article itself makes clear - quite limited at present.

  4. -tim

    The duck graph is already starting to bite in Victoria as the 4 pm drop off of solar is currently offset by old coal plants that have to start heating up well before noon.

    Another small issue with abandoning coal in Victoria comes down to who will protect the brown coal from wild fires if it isn't the power generators? Eastern Victoria has some places that are a wild fire away from a century of underground unstoppable coal fires.

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