It is seriously worrying that the South Australian government is currently spending $2.6 million of taxpayers money on an advertising campaign about energy. It now says that it is “taking control” of the situation. That is bad. Very bad.
Electricity here is already 3 times as expensive as in the US, and I have had many power cuts this year. So a bad situation looks like it is going to get much worse before it gets better.
So I have installed a solar system on the roof. This is not because I think solar is great. It is because I think the grid supply is really bad, and getting worse. It comes with an internet based dashboard, so I can see what it going on. Right now, for example, my panels are generating 5kW. Most of that is powering the house. Some is charging up the battery which provides power at night. And I am exporting a bit of it to the grid. It is surprisingly compelling, watching the dashboard as the sun comes out and then dives back behind a cloud.
Daft ideas from the State government here (having shut down the big power station that used to provide the power) include a big battery from subsidy farmer extrordinaire Elon Musk (which will power the State for a few minutes when the wind turbines fail, and which will be toxic landfill within a very few years) and diesel generators (yes, diesel, the stuff that many cities are banning as bad bad bad).
Meanwhile, the floppsies at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology have got a great idea for getting the temperature up. Since the climate has stubbornly refused to get much hotter for the last 18 years or so, their idea is new thermometers. Yes, nice new electronic sensors. Why, you might ask? Well, I can tell you. Because they are much quicker at detecting very short term variations in temperature. With one of these boys, you can take the temparature every second. Which means you have a much better chance of capturing a lovely new maximum! In the UK, the Met Office does 1 minute averages. In the US it is 5 minutes. But not here. Oh no. So you can expect the government will be telling us that we have to put up with spiralling electricity prices to save the planet – look at all these new heat records. What they will not be telling you is the the recorded temperatures come courtesy of this new way of capturing temperature spikes.
I wonder if BoM have got solar panels on their roof? So that they can continue to try to record temperatures spikes during the power cuts?