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SE Australian Heatwave shows need for energy resilience

After South Australia sweltered through extreme temperatures and a stuff up by AEMO in load shedding when gas turbines were available, NSW and SE Queensland are now under the heatwave torch.


  1. According to the market notice, "The Actual LOR3 condition is forecast to exist until 1800 hrs. The maximum load to be interrupted is 310 MW at 1706 hrs 10/02/2017 Manager NEM Real Time Operations". Tomago Aluminium had cut its power use plus other outages meant that most residential power users were not affected.
  2. Summary - 10 February NSW and Qld heatwave response

    5.06pm - Loadshedding of 310 MW at 1706 hrs 10/02/2017 Manager NEM Real Time Operations

    3.45pm - NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin saying businesses are reducing demand, asking consumers to use air-con on 26C and avoid unnecessary appliance use. No load shedding likely if people can limit their demand. Peak period 4.30-6.00pm

    2.20pm - Shadow Environment and Energy Minister Mark Butler speaks to media calls for end to blame game

    2.15pm - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to media and continues criticism of renewables targets for SA blackout

    10.34am - Climate Institute draws attention to stronger more intense heatwaves driven by climate change, with the electricity system needing to become more resilient and address emissions reduction.

    10:00am - NSW Emergency Services media conference on heatwave conditions

    6.31am - BOM says Sydney forecast to reach 38C, low to mid 40s in the west

    6.17am - NEM watch forecasts Lack of reserve Level 2 in NSW region

    4.17am - NEM watch forecasts Lack of Reserve Level 1 in Qld region
  3. The Climate Council is calling for Australia’s energy system to be overhauled, in a bid to ensure reliable power in the face of severe heatwaves and other extreme climate change driven events.

    Climate Councillor and energy expert, Andrew Stock said coordinated brownouts and load shedding in South Australia and now in the ACT and New South Wales, one of Australia’s biggest coal states, shows the system is crumbling under the pressure.

    “This government has had years to prepare strong climate and energy policy. The Turnbull Government needs to focus on bringing our ageing and polluting energy system into the 21st Century,” said Mr Stock an energy expert with more than 40 years experience.
  4. Mr Stock said Australia is in desperate need of a decentralised energy network in order to offer residents secure and reliable power while facing extreme weather such as rolling heatwaves.

    “Highly centralized systems can’t adapt to the rapidly changing physical environment we’re experiencing with more and more severe weather. Highly centralized systems also can’t adapt quickly to rapidly changing technology, which is being embraced globally – but not in Australia.”

    “Instead of putting all of our eggs in the coal basket, it is far better to modernize our system for the challenges of the 21st Century, using technologies than don’t exacerbate climate change.”
  5. Mr Stock said the current energy system also cannot afford to undertake load shedding or purposely shutting down power at the expense of the health of Australians and must be changed to adapt to worsening climate.

    “Load shedding on a day exceeding 40 degrees is extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly and for young people who are particularly vulnerable in such heat. Doing this is actually putting lives at risk.”

    Australia’s new energy system must continue to lower emissions, while also maintaining our international commitment to the Paris Agreement.

    “The energy system must be zero emissions. The challenge is now to design a system that can provide that and there are technologies that can do it, we just need to use common sense and get started quickly. Otherwise the result will be an absolute train wreck.”