Analytical Challenge – keeping an open mind to positions expressed by a broad range of people

Just throwing this one out there, as I’ve been asking myself the question:

      when did it become the case that “Incumbency” automatically means any views they express are wrong?

It seems to be that I have been seeing this lazy linkage used more frequently in recent times  as the debate and discussion mounts about this energy transition – so it’s probable that I will refer back to it increasingly in future posts.

If time permits, I will (belatedly, admittedly) flesh out this post with more details – just need to throw it up now as a reference point.

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

2 Comments on "Analytical Challenge – keeping an open mind to positions expressed by a broad range of people"

  1. I realise this is largely a rhetorical question, but I’m going to answer it anyway. Presuming you mean ‘x works in the industry, therefore rather than x being an expert whose opinion should be respected, x is a vested interest who should be ignored’, I reckon I’ve been noticing this sort of sentiment in these circles for nigh on ten years.

  2. Mark,
    My attempt below to correct just such a thing in a previous post “Noteworthy analysis of the state-wide blackout across SA 28/09/2016”; the only question I have is what were you looking at prior to the last 10 years? This stuff is standard fare in politics.

    I think you are missing a few things e.g.
    1) SA Spot prices compared to Qld for the last 2 Calendar years and 2017 so far yield the following:
    2017 $108.99 $109.13
    2016 $69.67 $67.44
    2015 $49.58 $51.97
    Which makes me doubt those who spout the economic benefits of coal.
    2) . It appears highly variable and unpredictable because it is variable but predictability is improving according to AEMO at least. In any case there are numerous extended periods when the SE Interconnector flow is SA to Vic but it works as intended generally so we get the benefit of lower prices in both regions and the highly flexible gas fired plant in SA is more than capable of operating counter cyclically with the wind generation.
    3) Reliance on the Interconnector has always been high but not nearly so much since the wind generators were installed and Victoria benefits considerably from SA exports at times of high wind generation. Far from SA not thriving on wind it does, and so does Victoria.
    4) True up to a point but not nearly so much as in the past. The interconnector was initially installed to allow SA to benefit from “opportunity” power purchases from Victoria whenever their price made it economical. Since the NEM start quite a variety of scenarios (draught, plant failure, Basslink OOS etc.) have led to a wide variety of inter-regional power & FCAS provision outcomes.
    5) The Heywood interconnector is subject to a lot of constraints for all sorts of reasons but only some are related to wind generation. Apparently Basslink’s availability and its import to export deadband can have significant impacts. Even deep-in-the-system Victorian transmission line, transformer and SVC availability (I believe) can have significant effects. It is even affected by outages in NSW & Qld but so are other interconnectors, though I suspect that SA’s small size and unique location at the far end of a much larger system has an impact as well.
    6) I would be surprised if Tasmania hadn’t learned the lesson of the Basslink outage which occurred just after they ran their reserves very low. Remember all those diesels they had to import! I think many of them are now in SA for a couple of years but I doubt they will run now the ride-through settings on the windfarms have been corrected. I probably just missed it but I don’t remember AEMO fessing up to their lack of diligence in that instance, maybe their lawyers wouldn’t let them.

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