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Big Green Machine – GE makes $21 billion a year on “clean energy”

GE — A clean energy revenue machine

GE is so large that its annual revenue ($150 billion) is greater than New Zealand’s gross domestic product ($140.43 billion). But GE stands to profit in solving man-man global warming, whereas New Zealand will just pay.

In 2011 GE generated $21 billion in “clean energy revenue”. (GE Annual Report 2011, p 3).

GE boast that their “technology helps deliver a quarter of the world’s electricity”. “We are one of the largest clean energy companies in the world” (page 18) “GE wind turbines, among the most widely used in the world, will soon power the largest wind farm in the U.S ”

GE Logo

Not just a whitegoods company any more.

In other words, they are one of the largest companies in the world which makes profits that depend on a climate of fear. How much would their wind turbines be worth if western governments pulled the pins on all the subsidies?

Here’s how much:

“Manufacturers of turbines and other components will shed an estimated 10,000 workers in the U.S. this year in anticipation of a slowdown in orders, says the AWEA. If Congress doesn’t extend the production tax credit, that figure will hit 37,000 next year—about half the industry’s workforce. The incentive, first offered in 1992, grants owners of wind farms a credit equal to 2.2¢ per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced over a 10-year period. Extending the break for just one more year would cost $4.1 billion in forgone tax revenue over a decade,…” [Businessweek, June 7th 2012]

 

GE explain that they are concerned about the environment.

“The US industrial and financial conglomerate said it had long seen climate change as a valid concern after an internal evaluation of the scientific case in 2005.”     The Financial Times

Notably, GE entered the industry through the acquisition of Enron Wind in 2002. Did it buy into the market before it “bought” into the science? Who knows?

“We found enough data there to have a company like GE respond and we have responded,” said Mark Vachon, head of the “ecomagination” sustainable business initiative GE launched in that year. He said revenues generated by operations in his portfolio now totalled $100bn and were growing at more than twice the rate of those in the rest of the company.    The Financial Times

For GE the green revenue stream is growing twice as fast as the rest of the company’s income. No wonder GE is so enthusiastic about the alarming threat of carbon dioxide. It’s a problem that they are being paid handsomely to solve.

Otherwise, it’s been a tough five years for GE: Yahoo finance. No wonder they are promoting the sector that is growing, when so many of their other product lines are shrinking.

GE, General Electric, Share Price, Graph

Yahoo finance. GE Market cap is roughly $220 billion. (Click to enlarge).

 

GE stock price would suffer if governments stopped their anti-carbon policies:

Trefis estimates a quarter of the GE stock price is provided by it’s “energy infrastructure” — which is mostly wind turbines, but also some solar panels. GE has a high growth opportunity, apparently, “in the growing European wind energy industry, which has had an average annual growth rate of 15.6% over the last 17 years.”

Other parts of GE are being steered towards green income. “We redeployed capital from NBCU to support $11 billion of Energy acquisitions, which should provide an earnings boost in 2012.” (2011 Annual Report page 4).

GE sponsors and lobbies for Climate and Green projects:

How much of this sponsorship to help the planet, and how much is to help the bottom line?

GE helping to spend your tax, but are not so keen to pay it themselves

While GE appears happy to lobby for the US government to spend more tax dollars on subsidies and schemes it will benefit from, it’s very creative at reducing its own tax bills. In 2010, with a $14 billion dollar profit globally, it not only paid no tax in the US, but claimed a $3.2b tax benefit.

Ecomagination, Logo

More potential conflicts of interest

Here’s a wildcard: GE is so big it influences other companies in very direct ways. GE Capital Sponsor Finance acts like a bank, in a sense a financing source to private equity firms for buyouts, mergers, takeovers and such like. Who knows whether the “green” philosophy of GE influences the choices of groups that get finance?

Then there is GE’s ownership of many media outlets. It’s the vested interest that may not need to pay for advertising, it owns the station.

Not everything GE does is necessarily bad

“GE’s global fight against cancer is backed by a five year, $1 billion commitment to improve screening and diagnosis to help doctors fight cancer more effectively”.

I’ve no doubt they profit from selling the screening technology, but it serves a real market, and solves a real problem. Quite possibly GE got into the “clean” energy game with only the best of intentions. But none of that changes the fact that they now make billions supplying a market that would not exist if there was no climate scare. GE are making a bet that that scare will continue, and it would only be good business on their part to donate to groups and politicians that keep the scare alive.

That’s why the lesson for libertarians, conservatives and skeptics is that the carbon dioxide scare should never have been allowed to gain so much momentum. The next big scare (and it’s inevitable) must be assessed and critiqued, and if it fails the empirical data test, must be fought with a concerted organized campaign right from the beginning. Once markets have moved the momentum of vested interests makes it 1,000 times harder to slow the gravy-train.

I confess to being one of those asleep at the wheel in the 1990′s.

 

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101 comments to Big Green Machine – GE makes $21 billion a year on “clean energy”

  • #
    Mark D.

    Demonstrating why we tax payers need to insist on smaller government and severely restricting or banning lobbies. Until we get a handle on the money we’ll never get a handle on graft, corruption and corporate welfare.

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  • #
    Len

    I have people talk of the four American Generals: General Electrics, General Motors, Gneral Dynamics and another one. These are the power people.

    10

  • #

    Well may we say Big Oil, because nothing beats Big Electric.

    Apologies to Gough Whitlam.

    01

  • #
    Jaymez

    As far as GE is concerned, a turbine is a turbine. They don’t much care whether their turbines are powered by wind, hydro, gas, steam from nuclear or,(coal/bio-fuel), or, oil or even wave energy or thermal energy, just so long as the energy producer uses GE turbines built appropriately foe the conditions. However, there is no doubt that GE make more money from the wind turbines because there are more of them to produce less power compared to every other available source of electricity, and maintenance of the turbines is both difficult and expensive, which the company also contracts to do on an ongoing basis. It is the revenue source which just keeps on giving.

    If for instance we were to install a similar amount of windmills as they have in Denmark, which is 1 per 1,000 population, then we would need 23,000 installed around Australia. But they would all still be required to have back up to a base load electricity grid. Denmark import electricity from Sweden and Norway in addition to using power from their own coal fired power stations.

    This heavy wind power subsidy mean that half the electricity bill in Denmark is tax subsidy for the renewable energy. Despot all this, greenhouse emissions have dropped a paltry 0.3% since 1990.Nevertheless, the Danes claim to target getting wind energy up to 50% of all energy by 2020 and all energy through renewables from 2050. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/25/us-denmark-energy-idUSTRE7AO15120111125 They won’t achieve the goal by having reliable base load power from power stations perhaps fed by peat and trees. which is only a few hundred million years earlier version than fossil fuels!

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Jaymez:
      Denmark is buying electricity from Germany because it is cheaper than the charges for hydro from Norway & Sweden.
      So that comes mostly from brown coal fired stations, but Germany is interconnected to most of Europe, so there is every chance that Denmark is getting some nuclear power (apart from the bit ex Sweden).

      That is the backup that Denmark will rely on.

      I agree that 7,000 wind turbines did not reduce Denmark’s emissions, but lately they have managed about a 15% drop partly from economic downturn and partly by installing many small scale gas fired CHP (combined heat & power) units in place of old coal fired stations.

      So wind works (so long as you have coal, gas, nuclear and hydro backup)!

      01

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Despot all this, greenhouse emissions have dropped a paltry 0.3% since 1990.

      “Despot all this … ?”

      Freudian slip there, Jaymez. True, but freudian … :-)

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  • #

    Though GE might have made $14b profit globally, how much profit did it make in the US? That’s what affects the rebate figure of $3.2b. Companies pay tax where they make profit.

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  • #
    Jeff D.

    My memory may be cloudy but I seem to remember a big stink with GE, a major contributor to Obama, earned 5 Billion in the US last year and paid zero tax. Makes one wonder. I feel another to big to fail bailout in the works.

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  • #
    Kaboom

    With that kind of exposure to rent seeking schemes GE stock can only be recommended as a sell.

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  • #
    Nick

    Sustainability? RAFLMAO Yeh good one noddy!

    Anyone seen what happens, throughout history of course, when Government and Private capital get married? It may be a match made in heaven, but it never works out heavenly.

    Not long now, tick tick tick…

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  • #
    MadJak

    Some possible GE taglines:

    “We have your childrens best interests in mines” – Laos office local tagline

    “Decarbonising the planet – one mine at a time”

    Any others?

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  • #
    Dylan

    More potential conflicts of interest

    Self evident really. What else did you expect from the second largest maker of nuclear reactors? (Areva is 1)

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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      I agree Dylan.

      Nuclear reactors are a great way of producing relatively cheap power(compared to solar and wind).

      KK :)

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      • #
        Dylan

        It seems to me that solar, hydro, geothermal, wind energy are all derived from the sun’s energy. Coal and gas energy is from the sun too. Fission energy is also derived from a sun. Why not ditch all the pretenders and concentrate scientific resources on replicating a sun. Only the French appear to be working seriously toward this end.

        It does seem self evident (at least to me) that a century from now all our energy will come from processes at nuclear scale. And a century or two later all energy will come from the elementary particles ie quarks, neutrinos, higgs bosons and even smaller unknown particles.

        A long story short- why even entertain solar panels, fission reactors, gas plants when the future of energy is already known, with absolute certainty, to be subatomic?

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        • #

          The Sun has a truly pathetic energy density. It is just that there is lots of it.
          Fusion research is trying to do something that doesn’t exist in nature. I hold no hopes that traditional thermonuclear fusion will ever work and be a practical energy source.
          However Inertial Electrostatic Confinement may just work. You can buy these things as commercial neutron generators right now(they don’t have energy breakeven)but do produce fusion and some energy plus neutrons. Look up Philo Farnsworth and Doc Bussard. The late Doc Bussard gave a Google tech talk a few years ago. See if you can find it. Best 90 minutes I ever spent on the web. The US Navy is funding a small effort in this direction and last I heard there were no show stoppers.

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          • #
          • #
            cohenite

            Yep, energy density is everything, which is another reason why wind and solar are jokes.

            I still don’t understand why Thorium is not being wheeled out everywhere.

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          • #
            Andrew McRae

            Cohenite, presumably you’ve seen Sorenson’s “LFTR in 5 minutes” video (which runs for over an hour).
            Do you think it is simply the size of the industry entrenched in Uranium that makes a game-changer entrant difficult to fund and supply?
            Not to mention a whole new regulatory framework will probably be thrown in their path by the entrenched lobbyists just to slow them down.

            Go Thorium.

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          • #
            Ross

            Cohenite and Andrew –I understand China and India are investing heavily in developing Thorium reactors.
            The way I see it they are thumbing their noses at the “west”. Yes they will say all the nice words at the international conferences etc but in reality they are just getting on with whatever suits themselves. In the case of thorium development they know who will queing up for the reactors in 10 -15 years time and they will happily devliver ( to the “west” )

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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Interesting that the Polywell site provided by Mike at 10.1.1.1.1 relies on the Climate Change scare as justification.

            Hopefully their understanding of what they are doing with Polywell is better than their understanding of the frauds in the so-called climate “science”.

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          • #
          • #

            Sam,

            I saw that, however the site covers the basics of the idea well. Thing is, most people who have not looked into it think all scientists are basically honest. This thing will take really trivial amounts of money to prove or disprove in the greater scheme of things. The Talk Polywell site has more but it is abysmally organised. The US Navy is funding investigation but can’t spend a lot because it would tread on US DOE turf but DOE won’t spend on it because they are all conventional thermonuclear fusion people. Oh for a von Braun who was prepared to give up his life’s work on liquid fueled rockets in a heartbeat when he saw a conventionally fueled model of Orion fly.
            The concept is really clean particularly if it runs p – B11 where the waste is helium 4. Of course you can run d – d or d – t but watch out when somebody notices that it is a great neutron source and if you have one of those you can make all the Pu239 you want.

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          • #
            NigeW

            Haven’t visited the Polywell website for a few years (not since Dr Bussard died), rather disappointed with the anti-carbon section. Only someone with Bussards reputation (and if the name doesn’t mean anything to you, well, you haven’t read much Science-Fiction) was able to garner much funding. A paltry few million at that too.

            The irony is that most physicists would say that electric confinement fusion is a pipe dream and that Bussard was defying the scientific consensus…

            The really sad thing is that it would take only around $100 million to prove the concept one way or another, and maybe 30 times that to iron out the engineering wrinkles..

            Call it $10 – 20 Billion to have literally limitless amounts of CHEAP electricity.

            Or we can stick with the consensus.

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi Dylan

          Your scientific comment that ” It does seem self evident (at least to me) that a century from now all our energy will come from

          processes at nuclear scale” does show great insight.

          In fact all of the methods now used to produce electricity are, as you say, “from processes at nuclear scale.”

          You have seen into the future.

          Every reaction to create heat by combustion, involves complex exchange of electrons, electron sharing and interactions of electrons in s, p, d and f sub orbital configurations.

          Wow!

          KK :)

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          • #
            Dylan

            @Mike Borgelt
            Thanks for energy density links.

            @KK
            Thanks for the high school lesson. I was thinking of smaller particles. Energy within quarks for instance.

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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Hi Dylan,

            Sorry but is seems to be counter-intuitive that smaller particles would have more energy than BIG particles.

            KK

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      • #
        Dennis

        Nuclear power should be operating in Australia, one of the most stable land masses with huge remote areas for waste storage and substantial Uranium deposits.

        00

  • #
    Gina

    The saddest thing about government subsidies based on false science is that it pulls, draws, lures potentially creative people out of productive, free market business and sets them up in idle, wasteful bureaucratic worlds. GE has abandoned looking at the real world and trying to determine what free consumers want and need. Now they only bow at the feet of bureaucrats.

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    • #
      Winston

      Excellent comment. Gina- blind alleys for the few who could actually drive us to real solutions to real problems. I think they would call it “collateral damage”.

      00

  • #
    Fred Allen

    And GE also makes lightbulbs: the CFL type. Doesn’t sound like much until you work out how many are involved.

    00

  • #
    elva

    Of course it doesn’t seem to occur to the minds in GE that if electricity becomes too expensive for ordinary and poor folk then sales of their white goods will fall in proportion. Maybe when the sales figures show this the enthusiasm for wind-farm production will wilt.

    On the other hand they might just shrug their shoulders and keep the big money from their big projects plus government subsidies for wind farms. They might leave white goods manufacturing completely.

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    • #
      inedible hyperbowl

      Whats more, if the peasants are not paying tax because they are no longer on the payroll of the “carbon industry” then the government can no longer afford the subsidy.

      00

      • #
        Dennis

        Explain this to the Australian union movement and their government in Canberra, and that Australia cannot grow its economy unless the workers are productive and paid relative to global competition and markets demand.

        00

  • #
    Bernie

    GE makes far more money from selling gas turbines than wind turbines. Gas turbines are marketed as green because they burn natural gas and produce less CO2 per MWh than coal fired power stations. Also gas turbines are required to supply backup power for their useless wind turbines so “global warming” is a win both ways for GE.

    00

  • #
    janama

    David Archibald was on Alan Jones this morning, hopefully Allan will post it in his highlights section.
    Amazing interview.

    Alan Jones

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    • #
      Allen Ford

      It’s up here.

      Some very straight talking by Archibald. The Libs need to wake up, fast, but judging by Greg Hunt’s pathetic performance on 730, last night, I don’t expect enlightenment anytime soon.

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      • #
        Mark

        Yeah, I saw that eminently forgettable performance too, Allen.

        God, what an utterly ineffectual, nondescript nonentity he is. Until Abbott gets rid of the little drip, I’ll never be convinced that he is serious about delivering the country from all of Labor’s scourges.

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      • #
        Dennis

        Don’t you mean the pathetic performance of Leigh Sales, the partisan left journalist?

        10

        • #
          Mark

          Dennis, if you really want to know, the 7.30 Report usually comes on as I’m still enjoying the evening meal. I like to keep it in my stomach and not see it back on the table.

          Yes, I know. That’s a long-winded way of saying I can’t stand her.

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  • #
    Mark

    I also heard that, janama. It seemed to me that Archibald spent much of the time responding “yes” or “no” to many of Alan’s prompts.

    Two points he did make though:-
    # The coalition bears much of the responsibility for our predicament in that they set up the bureaucracy to determine the “carbon” footprint of Australia’s industry.
    # He stated that when wise people refuse to lead or serve the country then don’t be surprised when the idiots take over.

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  • #
    janama

    It’s a very typical interview technique of Alan. He’s spent a long conversation with David off air and has written down all the points he wants to make and he then encourages David to confirm or deny all the points.

    00

    • #
      Mark

      I take your point, janama, but anyone who didn’t know that might have gone away with a less than favourable impression of David Archibald which would be a shame.

      I should add that I’ve been listening to Alan for at least twenty years. Anyone who thinks he’s a Liberal stooge should have heard him talking about Chris Hartcher and Mike Gallager (the State ministers for Energy and Police) over the last few months. He is also scathing about the former Liberal Premier, Nick Greiner, who is currently serving on the board of Infrastructure NSW.

      00

      • #
        Andrew McRae

        A less than favourable impression of… Archibald?? You’re kidding, right?
        If that’s how Alan Jones typically conducts “interviews” I’d hate to see how he dances the tango.
        One pair of shoes would be sufficient, know what I mean?

        Not sure how many long time listeners he has but his biggest fan is in 2GB.

        00

  • #
    Macha

    Just because GE may ahve paid no tax, it does not make them “bad”. In the immortal words of the late Kerry Packer; he said something like this during one of his ATO inqusiations “Son, paying more tax than you need to is stupid. Tax evasion is illegal, but avoidance is what evert man should endeavour to do”.

    If GE are opererating by the rules but you don’t like it – then maybe its the rules that need changing. LOTS of companies use their PR skills to ensure they are seen in a postive light by the “community” and its current ‘expectations”. It marries in with other assesmments of corporate performances and their directors due diligence.

    That being said – great article highlighting the difference between CAGW “community expectations” and current Australian political views – both sides have committed to 5% reductions in CO2! Why?

    Yesteraday on 6PR, both Plimer and Flannery went head to head. I coud not beleive Flannery made reference to the Muller/BEST report that their was “very high certainty of a human fingerprint on the recent USA heat/fires”. Most of us know this has been trashed as being junk science because of the inclusion of dodgy temperature sites by WUWT.

    00

    • #
      Mark

      Hey Macha, did you actually see the broadcast from the inquiry when KP made that immortal statement? It was in response to a snarky question from the odious former Canberra Labor (socialist) MP, John Langmore.

      KP made him look about 1 cm. “tall”. Priceless!

      00

  • #
  • #

    So then, would you like to see how Australia has passed legislation that effectively will send many (many) millions of Australian dollars off to GE.

    Hmm! Drawing a long bow there Tony, you might say.

    The Kyoto Protocol (hey! Remember that) had in all its huge length one short phrase that contained those ten fateful words.

    (Developed Countries which pay for all costs of developing Countries)

    Enter the Australian Carbon Tax (sic) Legislation and what is called the Clean Development Mechanism, which is a part of the coming ETS here in Australia.

    What this means is that Australian CO2 emitting entities can invest in Clean Development in those Annex 2 Countries (152 of them) to offset their own emissions back here in Australia. Those Annex 2 Countries are those considered by the UN to be still developing Countries. There are 40 Annex 1 Countries (already developed) and from those 40, 23 Countries have been further culled, and they have to pay all their own costs for (a) emissions reduction to within UN required levels, and (b) implementation of renewable power, and to also introduce a (UN approved) form of ETS and from that, this then is where those ten words come in, and Australia is on that short list of 23 Countries.

    So, let’s say a large scale emitter of CO2 here in Australia wants to offset its emissions.

    The Australian legislation already means that at the start of the year the emitting entity has to purchase from the Government an amount of Credits equal to their emissions, and these Credits are the same number that they then have to hand back at the end of that year. The entity can, at designated and controlled Credit Auctions, trade those credits if it wishes, but the same amount issued must be handed back, and here, can you see how the market will be manipulated come time to hand those credits back. The end of year auction, (when entities will be looking to equalise their Credits with the amount they need to hand back) will see Credit prices at the high end of the price.

    Also, the emitting entity can (via this CDM) purchase overseas credits by investing in Offshore Annex 2 Countries that seek to introduce Clean Development projects. These Offshore Credits are valued at less than Australian Credits, hence the incentive to only work with Australian Credits, but, providing detailed paper work on time of purchase, cost at that time etc etc, are kept, then, effectively these Credits can also be traded by the emitting entity, or kept to add to their total they need to hand back at the end of the year. They could also add to any overshoot of emissions that might occur, and this of itself will draw a further penalty from the Government as that overshooting entity will need to make up those extra Credits (at the last traded Australian Credit price) pay a further excess fine of 1.5 times their overshoot (at the last traded price) and then have that emissions overshoot deducted from the following year’s already decreased emissions total for that entity.

    Back to the CDM then.

    Let’s say a large scale emitting entity here in Australia wants to purchase some Offshore Credits to offset their emissions, trade those credits for, say, profit, or put those Credits toward their own emissions. They can then invest in this CDM and send their money Offshore, and in return, get those pieces of paper Credits, and the UN decides on the value of those credits with respect to that Offshore Clean Development.

    Let’s pick one then, say, umm, Macquarie Generation, who incidentally own Bayswater Power Station.

    Say MacGen wanted to upgrade its now 30+ year old power plant and invest a whole lot of money doing that. Fruitless thought bubble really, because there’s probably no way that would gain approval back here in Australia.

    Or, perhaps they could invest that money in an Offshore CDM, and get back those pieces of paper Credits.

    Now, you tell me what might be the best option here. Fight tooth and nail for donkey’s ages trying to get the local Upgrade up and running, probably to no avail, or the easy option of sending the money offshore for the pieces of paper Credits.

    Now what could be a better Clean Development than a huge Wind Plant in those still developing Countries.

    Crikey, that Country doesn’t even need to pay for it. Annex 2 Countries everywhere will be falling over each other to invest in them. Entrepreneurial Companies will even be moving into those Countries offering to build them, with the costs being borne by those Annex 2 Countries emitting entities.

    So, effectively, Australian money will be going to constructors of these CDM projects, GE included, as they are already large scale manufacturers of Wind Plants turbines and generators.

    So that money goes Offshore instead of being invested in Australian Companies, small businesses and everything that might be associated with any development here in Australia.

    And THAT is how Australian money will find its way into GE coffers.

    All that we here in Australia will see is, well, nothing really, because the emitting entity gets those pieces of paper Credits.

    Do not ever tell me that renewable power is the way of the future. It’s just another money making scam that big businesses like GE, aided by the UN, and Governments who introduce ETS mechanisms are using to pad their bottom line.

    Tony.

    POST SCRIPT: Here, I have used MacGen only as an example, because this CDM applies to every emitting entity in Australia on the Government’s list, relatively small now, but at the time of the introduction of the ETS will draw every emitting entity in Australia under its umbrella.

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    • #
      Mark

      And yet, Tony, we still have deluded people unwilling to accept that there are those in the UN and elsewhere who want to destroy our economy in their quest to enrich and further empower themselves.

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    • #
      rukidding

      And what the stupid greenies don’t seem to recognise is that every dollar sent overseas is a dollar less spent in this country on the renewable technology that is going to provide the jobs and energy of the future.
      And another laugh is that the CDM credit that an Australian company burning black coal has to buy may come from an Indian company burning brown coal to replace cow paties for energy.
      What was that hit movie from way back.Oh yes “stop the world I want to get off”

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    • #

      Want to hear something outrageous.

      The intent of the CDM is to see renewable power used in those Developing Countries, effectively (no derogatory comment intended here) Third World Countries.

      Most of them have virtually NO electrical power whatsoever, let alone the constant and reliable sources we have and take so utterly for granted.

      Three years ago now, I found an obscure article in an English Daily. It said that the UN through The World Bank, was diverting funds from those 23 Countries culled from the list of 40 Annex 1 Countries (those 23 who have to pay, and pay, and pay) for the construction of large scale coal fired power plants in those Developing Countries.

      World Bank Spends Billions on Coal-Fired Power Stations Despite Own Warnings

      Now, consider the outright failures that were Copenhagen and then Cancun, as the UN desperately sought to find a replacement for Kyoto, which has a Sunset Clause of Dec 31 this year, 2012, and now with nothing to replace it.

      Consider again those ten fateful words I mentioned.

      What Developing Country in its right mind wants to be taken off that list of 152 Countries that need do nothing other than report their emissions, oh, and accept all our money.

      Say, China is on that list of 152 still developing Countries. Now can you see why China was painted as the bad boy in the failure especially of Copenhagen.

      That’s why China is constructing those large scale coal fired power plants, all new technology Plants, at the rate of one a week.

      So, let’s then look at this CDM, keeping that in mind.

      Effectively, an Australian emitting entity could actually get Offshore Credits for sinking its money into this CDM, money that might be used investing in a large scale coal fired power plant in one of those Developing Countries, and realistically that might even include China.

      Yet, they cannot gain approval to construct a new one here in Australia.

      You’d almost laugh about it, if you could stop yourself from crying that is.

      Tony.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        … renewable power used in those Developing Countries, effectively (no derogatory comment intended here) Third World Countries.

        Can we please clear one thing up here, because it muddies the waters …

        The distinction between First, Second, and Third Word countries is a hang over from the cold war. First World countries were those aligned with the United States. Second World countries (funny you rarely see the term used these days) were those ideologically opposed to the First World – typically the Communist countries, including China. And the Third World countries where those who were not aligned with either of the other two groups. Thus the Third World included most of South America - some of the most vibrant economies in the world.

        It was a philosophical divide, and not an economic one. The UN Annex 1, annex 2, et cetera are distinctions based on economic factors.

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        • #

          Thanks Rereke,

          I can say Annex 1 and Annex 2 and it means virtually nothing. Developed and Developing is also ambiguous because China is still classified as developing.

          I wasn’t aware of that 1st, 2nd and 3rd World classifications.

          See, the older you get, the more you learn.

          Thanks again.

          Tony.

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  • #
    pat

    not a word about “clean energy” in GE’s Aussie strategy:

    30 July: Financial Times: General Electric likes the view Down Under
    By Neil Hume in Sydney
    Steve Sargent, head of GE’s operations in Australia and New Zealand: “If developing Asia is the growth engine of the global economy”, he says, it is mineral-rich countries like Australia, Canada, Mongolia and Peru that are “providing the fuel”.
    And there few are bigger than Australia, the world’s top exporter of coal and the main supplier of iron ore, a key steelmaking ingredient, to China…
    GE has invested $100m in a state of the art service centre in the Western Australian capital of Perth and in May launched a A$700m offer for Industrea, a Queensland-based coal-focused mining equipment company.
    However, Mr Sargent says his focus when making investment decisions in Australia is not on issues like the recent slowdown in Chinese growth, but on the underlying drivers of Asian growth.
    “People want to have a better life, a house with running water, electricity and maybe some appliances,” he says. “There will be bumps in the road. But the fundamentals are very powerful. Tens of millions of people a year transitioning from a rural lifestyle to an urban lifestyle.”
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f8ae8eda-da36-11e1-b03b-00144feab49a.html#axzz24EWch3dC

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    According to a friend of mine who has flown jets with P&W, Rolls Royce and GE engines, GE make the best engines. They probably just need to get rid of that CEO refugee from the villains line up in Atlas Shrugged to be a good company again.

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    rukidding

    So how much of the emissions that their jet engines spew into the atmosphere does their wind turbines mop up.
    Makes you laugh 1000′s of aircraft flying around the world every day with GE kerosene heaters straped to them.So till they close down their jet engine division they are just another renewable energy carpetbagger.

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      Graeme No.3

      The Danes like to “less carbon than thou”, but they don’t count the CO2 from their shipping.

      So in addition to the nuclear and brown coal fired electricity they import, they are exporting CO2. A large container ship “off sets” 3 modern wind turbines, and one Danish shipping company has over 550 ships.

      Those who describe CO2 as an invisible gas are dead right.

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    pat

    let’s face it, we should be following germany and asia, use our coal, and build new coal-fired power plants:

    18 Aug: The Oregonian: Scott Learn: Will coal barges clog the Columbia River?
    In a few years, coal could be the No. 1 commodity traveling by river barge on the Columbia, supplanting wheat.
    Ambre Energy wants to be first to export coal through the Northwest to Asia, starting as early as next year…
    Opponents warn that beefed-up barge traffic could crowd out other commodities, interfere with recreation and tribal fishing, and harm endangered salmon…
    Ambre, an Australian company, has already signed contracts to supply Powder River Basin coal from Montana and Wyoming to two South Korean utilities. Its tight timeline depends on fast permitting…
    Profits could be big: Spot coal prices in Asia are far higher than in the United States. To win support, Ambre also plans to spread some of that wealth around.
    It isn’t asking for property tax breaks at the port, though it would probably qualify, Neal says. Its jobs would help make up for the planned closing of Portland General Electric’s coal-fired Boardman power plant in 2020…
    If Asian countries “are not going to get it from us, they’re going to find somewhere else to get it,” says Todd Lagers, a foreman and 15-year worker at Gunderson’s Northwest Portland plant. “Why not keep the work here?”…
    Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, notes Ambre had to withdraw its first bid for a permit in Longview after internal documents surfaced that showed it planned to export much more than publicly disclosed…
    Riverkeeper is part of an alliance that argues U.S. coal exports will help cement Asian use of coal for decades, increasing global warming…
    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/08/will_coal_barges_clog_the_colu.html

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    Macha

    The reliance and sustainability of various forms of energy is an entirely different debate than ‘attaching” it to CO2 and CAGW. ETS, CPRS, etc. is a moot point while its underlying claim is that plant-food emissions sorry CO2 emissions) are a bad thing.

    It also seems hypocrytical that so many of the “greenies” call is to save the plant, when really that’s code for save us and the human race. The planet will still be here long after humans have all gone the way of the Dodo bird and the dinosaurs. It’s quite ultruistic to think the race can extend its prescence on earth by trying to ‘control’ the weather. Playing god can lead to unintended consequences. SDo like all other species on earth, we simply must adapt or die. The current “price” of adaption by putting so much red-tape into CO2 emission controls and so many tax dollars into wind and solar energy for a potential, might, maybe, if, projection in 100yrs or so, is too high compared to adapting AFTER/DURING the event. If alternaive energy is really worth pursing RIGHT NOW, then private investment and entreneurship will deliver – as it always has.

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    Here’s me trying to seem philosophical.

    I see these hulking great wind turbines being constructed, and I think 50 years into the future.

    My mind harks back to that wonderful sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

    OZYMANDIAS

    I met a traveller from an antique land,
    Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    And on the pedestal, these words appear:
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

    Tony.

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      Winston

      Cervantes took “the beast” head on through the gallant, rustic knight Don Quixote:

      “Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain.

      And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”
      “What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

      “Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

      “Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

      —Part 1, Chapter VIII. Of the valourous Don Quixote’s success in the dreadful and never before imagined Adventure of the Windmills, with other events worthy of happy record.

      I think perhaps had the noble Don merely allowed them time to fall into rusting disrepair, he may not have had to battle them at all.

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        Winston

        Even more appropriate to the debate, and the search for truth amongst the storm and tempest in the climate war we wage:

        Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter.

        JOHN MILTON, Areopagitica

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    John Kettlewell

    You say “not everything GE does is necessarily bad”.

    I say: http://www3.gehealthcare.com/en/Global_Gateway

    US$1bil over 5 years is called “utilizing the Tax Code” and “good investments, advertisements, and goodwill”, but not “we like giving away stuff because we care and we’re kind”. I understand it’s nice to see “donations”; but I’d equate it to anti-military Democrats in the USA pretending support to those who serve and their families over the past decade.

    Reality is the only thing that matters; therefore I respectfully disagree with your golf-clap for their ‘donation’.

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    pat

    this one is now a done deal:

    6 Aug: Globe&Mail: AP: Jon Gambrell: U.S. to offer South Africa $2-billion in clean energy loans
    The U.S. will offer South Africa up to $2-billion (U.S.) in loans to fund renewable energy ventures involving American companies, a top official said Monday, a potential boon for both the electricity-hungry nation and U.S. business interests.
    The 18-year loans will be funded out of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales by providing low-interest loans for services and goods produced by American industries. The funding could be applied to a variety of projects, including wind, solar and thermal power, said Fred Hochberg, the bank president and chairman…
    Companies that could benefit from the funding include General Electric Co., Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve LLC, and Siemens AG, Mr. Hochberg said…
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/african-and-mideast-business/us-to-offer-south-africa-2-billion-in-clean-energy-loans/article4465483/

    india has concerns about Ex-Im Bank loans:

    18 Aug: Hindu Businessline: US cheap credit is ruining Indian solar panel industry: CSE
    The US Exim Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) are offering loans at about three per cent interest rates to Indian solar project developers on the mandatory condition that they buy the equipment, solar panels and cells from American companies.
    Terming this practice as “unethical”, a CSE release on Friday said, “Currently, 80 per cent of Indian manufacturing capacity is in a state of forced closure and debt restructuring with no orders coming to them, while US manufacturers are getting orders from Indian solar power developers.”…
    The US Exim Bank and OPIC have been offering low interest rates and a repayment schedule of up to 18 years to Indian solar project developers on the condition that they buy thin-film panels manufactured by US companies, they said.
    Since Indian banks offer interest rate of close to 14 per cent or more, this has skewed the market in favour of thin-film panels imported from US, they said, adding that thin-film had lower efficiency as compared to crystalline panels. Close to 60 per cent of the panels installed in India are thin-film type, they added.
    According to the US Department of State reports of the year 2010 and 2011 on fast start financing, $248.3 million has been disbursed by the US Exim Bank and OPIC for grid-connected solar plants in India. The major beneficiaries in this case have been American producers such as First Solar and the now bankrupt Abound Solar.
    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article3795888.ece?ref=wl_opinion

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    pat

    21 Aug: UK Telegraph: Rowena Mason: Energy companies ‘overcharge customers by £600m’
    The Government believes companies have been “profiting unfairly at the expense of [the] consumer” by overloading the national grid with electricity.
    They are then able to claim “unduly high” compensation payments to switch their wind farms and power plants off when the system becomes too full.
    Official estimates suggest that some companies have been over-claiming for up to five years at a cost of up to £125 million per year – the equivalent of £25 for every household in Britain…
    The problem has been made worse by vast numbers of new wind farms in Scotland, where the grid is regularly unable to cope.
    Last year, some of the biggest compensation payments in the wind market went to Scottish Power, SSE and RWE npower.
    Ofgem says power firms are able to “exacerbate or create” too much electricity for the grid to cope with in areas where capacity is limited, such as the border between England and Scotland. The power plants and wind farms are then able to claim compensation — constraint payments — for having to switch off their plants when the network becomes “unbalanced”…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/9490712/Energy-companies-overcharge-customers-by-600m.html

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      Graeme No.3

      It works by the wind farms offering electricity at a high price when there is plenty; e.g. £999 instead of the likely bulk price (when lots available) at £90.

      Naturally the grid doesn’t want to buy it, and destabilise the grid. But if it comes from wind they must accept it or pay that price if they refuse it. If a coal or gas based producer tried the same trick they would be fined.

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    bananabender

    GE subsidiary Utah International once owned the world’s most valuable coal mines located in the Bowen Basin in Queensland. However the GE management had no real idea of their value and sold them cheaply to BHP in 1976.

    Oh the irony!

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      Off topic I know, but history is so much fun, so forgive me a small indulgence here.

      Oddly, Utah has a rich history in Australia in the electric power area, and some may wonder at that.

      When the Snowy Scheme started, William Hudson had to go to the U.S. and the Continent, mainly the U.S. though, for expertise. In all there were 70 or so Contractors, but the big early ones were the Americans. One of those early contractors was big in Dams and hydro in the U.S. a firm euphemistically called Kaisers, actually a combination of 4 entities Kaiser, Walsh, Perini and Raymond. (KWPR)

      Utah was also there but not as big as Kaisers was at the outset.

      The Walsh part left after a few years and ‘Kaisers’ then took on another American entity Morrison-Knudsen, also versed in Hydro, to now become KPMR. Morrison Knudsen were also a subsidiary of the Utah Construction Company, so Utah now had a hand in both big contracting firms.

      They did a lot of the early work, and there was a lot, and while some of you may think huge dams, the tunneling was the big work, and here we’re talking tunneling, twelve tunnels in all, the longest two of those being 15 miles in length each, and 26 feet across, cut through mountains, in the 50′s and 60′s no less. They’d start at one dam, and another lot would start at another dam, and tunnel through the mountain to meet in the middle. Easy, eh! Two separate contracts so they all had to work together on this.

      The big Americans got a little miffed when a tiny Queensland engineering firm from Toowoomba got one of the relatively big contracts. Thiess not only fulfilled that contract well before time, but also hugely under budget, which was pretty impressive, so they got more of the bigger contracts, and as a result, the Americans were squeezed, and sidelined a little. Kaisers pulled out after some years, and Utah took most of their people and combined with their existing entity that was part of Kaisers, Morrison-Knudsen, they became the biggie in the scheme.

      However, the Americans had problems with safety aspects, and a lot of their workers were easily poached by the other contractors. This was exacerbated by just two safety disasters, Kenny’s Knob, and then Island Bend, this latter Island Bend accident in reality happening at the Geehi Control Shaft, just two of the most horrific accidents that drew attention to the American practices.

      Because the Americans were not so ‘tight’ with their safety aspects, a lot of those Europeans on the scheme were keen to move to the non U.S. Companies.

      In the latter days of the scheme, the Japanese came on site. The Japanese led the World in Hydro technology, especially with respect to the actual generators themselves, and the Japanese moved in to do the work at Tumut Three, which has the biggest generators in the Scheme.

      In much the same manner, perhaps eyes might turn to a form of renewable power that here in Australia has perhaps been overlooked.

      Those 7 power stations on the Scheme could be upgraded big time.

      All the infrastructure is in place, the 16 dams, the tunnels the whole bit.

      New Francis turbines and newer and comprehensively larger generators could be fitted to replace existing generation, some of it more than 50 years old now.

      Still, mention the word Hydro, and the Greens will probably go into apoplexy at the mention.

      Something like this would in fact be good renewables instead of Wind and Solar Power, but hey, who am I to even express a thought bubble like this.

      That Hydro Scheme is without doubt one of the engineering marvels of the World. Pity to see it be neglected like this when it could provide a real answer for renewable power.

      Again, sorry to be off topic like this.

      Tony.

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        Dave

        .
        TonyfromOz,

        Great info,
        How much would it cost to upgrade just the 7 power stations in the scheme and how much increase would or could be achieved?

        And then with the same amount of money invested in GE windmills – how much would that achieve?

        Baseload power etc?

        Thanks

        Dave

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          Bob Malloy

          Dave: This maybe of some help to your question.

          “New large scale coal fired plants have generators that can produce considerably larger amounts of power, they use better turbines to drive the generator, have better boilers to make the steam to drive the turbine, and have better furnaces to make the heat to make that steam, and most importantly in this case, they burn less coal, do that more efficiently, and in the process emit less CO2.

          They are already using these new coal fired plants, especially in China, where large scale plants of this nature are being brought on line delivering power for consumers at the rate of one new plant a week.

          So, if those older plants here in Australia were to be replaced with these new plants, there will be an overall reduction in the current emissions of CO2, and the most surprising thing in all of this is that those reductions could be in the vicinity of 25 to 30%.”

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            Dennis

            Isn’t China a significant part of Australia’s emissions per capita, we should be proud that our coal is helping them to prosper. Although Lang Hancock once remarked that the best way to help the poor is not to become one of them, following his advice the present greening of Australia appears to be very one sided in terms of prosperity rise and fall.

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    John Brookes

    Forgive me for being naive, but didn’t GE once make things, and then they set up hire purchase, so that people could afford to buy the things they made? And didn’t they then realise that making things was overrated, and it was easier to make your money out of lending money?

    Or am I wrong in thinking of them as some sort of giant blood sucking company?

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      Streetcred

      You are not wrong in your thinking, Brooksie, they are a “giant blood sucking company”. And, our feral government has provided them with the tools to suck out more blood … at the taxpayers expense.

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    memoryvault

    Or am I wrong in thinking of them as some sort of giant blood sucking company?

    Is there any kind of giant (multi-national) company?

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    AndyG55

    I wonder how all the self-righteous, mostly far left wing, warmists will feel once they realise THEY HAVE PLAYED by the energy multi-nationals. !

    oooooooh !!!! MUCH EMBARRESSMENT !!!!

    The very anit-thesis of all the socialism / anti-capitalism they pretend to strive for…… CONNED by the corporate energy giants.

    ROFLMAO !!!!!! :-)

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      wes george

      One of the great confusions of our era is to believe that capitalism and communism are somehow mutually exclusive polar opposites.

      In fact, communism (and socialism) are simply forms of capitalism where all, or most, of the capital is confiscated by the state through revolution or by incrementally increasing taxation/redistribution until the government is the largest sector of the economy.

      That socialism is statist capitalism becomes obvious when one recalls old Soviet and Maoist propaganda always featured glorious people’s industrial projects. Communism was never against industrialised advance and the power of capital, it just insisted capital be centrally controlled by a totalitarian party elite. Every one else is reduced to serfdom.

      Something creepily similar is going on when multinational corporations collude with governments to seek various types of legally enforced barriers to entry –including massive government boondoggle grants— into the markets they dominate.

      President Eisenhower long ago warned about the power the “military-industrial complex” could wield over American political life. But what he really should have feared was the “government-industrial complex,” the military being but a small part of the government.

      Recently, President Obama has usurped almost 1/3 of the US private economy for the government with his Obamacare legislation, thus provide a trillion dollar closed market for corrupt crony capitalism where business is awarded based on political correctness rather than productivity or innovation, just like in the old Soviet Union. America might well sink under the weight of the multi-trillion dollar medico-industrial complex yoke of wealth transferred from producers to sycophants.

      This is exactly how the carbon tax, the mining tax and the whole climate change wealth redistribution complex works. It reallocates wealth from the creative minority that produces livelihoods through hard yakka innovation and productivity advances to the foppish parasites that produce nothing, but are sure to toe the Labor/Green party line because they are quite literally paid to do so.

      It’s the natural cycle of life for businesses which grow large on the back of yesterday’s innovation to seek to lock in their advantage by freezing the market with government sponsored regulations, licenses, grants, tariffs or whatever political machinations they can grasp. In a truly free market, one is only as good as one’s latest innovation. Constant creativity and corporate evolution is the only way forward. But that’s a bit like surfing. No wave rolls forever. So corporations and corporate associations seek advantage by lobbying government to pass laws which impede new entrants into “their” markets.

      The current political fad of climate millenarianism has provided a bonanza for corporations to endear themselves to wannabe central weather planners by flattering their quixotic ambitions in order to secure billions, aye ultimately trillions, of someone else’s money to fund various windmill tilting exercises. The bottom line is quarterly profits. Corporate bosses will tell morons like Wayne Swan whatever they want to hear to achieve a feted position… The shareholders mightn’t care less how market dominance was achieved.

      This all leads to the confusion of who is to blame. Is capitalism bad? Evil multi-nationals? Unfair globalism?

      Of course, the answer is we need even bigger, more muscular government and always, always more regulation! That’s how the Orwellian Left spin the politics. Even as they collude with their crony capitalist clients to close markets, expand state control, limit civil liberties and award monopolies such as the NBN to political favorites, the left blames big business and the obscenely wealthy for all that ails the world. Lenin would be proud.

      But the fact is that markets are distorted by the preverse incentives that power hungry governments provide, not the other way around.

      Corporations, like GE, are corrupted by the temptation of governments which seek to expand their statist power in tandem with the interests of multi-national corporations. The solution is not more power to governments to redistribute the property of their citizens for whatever the latest fad is… But to severely contract and limit big government power to appropriate property or to in any way seek to influence private markets other than to police the markets for fairness and accessibility.

      Small and limited government is the only way to curb the power of corporations because limiting government liberates the natural selection power of free and easily accesible markets to demand the best of all participants…which is the only way to keep big corporations on the straight and narrow path towards allocating their resources to find the next innovation rather than trying to manipulate political hack governments into locking in their monopoly through legislation and onerous taxation/redistribution schemes.

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        Andrew McRae

        Executive Summary: Big government breeds fascism, which throttles society’s potential.

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        Mark D.

        Wes said:

        Small and limited government is the only way to curb the power of corporations because limiting government liberates the natural selection power of free and easily accessible markets to demand the best of all participants…which is the only way to keep big corporations on the straight and narrow path towards allocating their resources to find the next innovation rather than trying to manipulate political hack governments into locking in their monopoly through legislation and onerous taxation/redistribution schemes.

        Definitely worth repeating!

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    inedible hyperbowl

    Never underestimate GE. From experience I can tell you that they can sell anything. Good or bad.

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    Bob Malloy

    O/T

    Sorry for straying from topic, just watched our ABC, 7.30, no doubt the laborites are salivating over Leigh Sales questioning of Tony Abbott, but as a former Labor voter I find her whole tone hostile and agenda driven, right from the start of the interview there was a venomous tone to her voice and aimed only at discrediting Abbott.

    While we all despair at the lack of investigative journalism this interview got no where near it.

    For what it’s worth IMHO Abbott acquitted himself quite well.

    Just for (SALES) benefit when she questioned Abbott on boat people coming to Australia not being illegals, that they have the right to pass through several countries before lobbing up in Australian waters and still can claim refugee status the convention and protocol relating to the status of refugees states the following.

    refugees unlawfully in the country of refugee
    1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their
    illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory
    where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1
    , enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

    So unless my comprehension of the english language is worse than I realise it looks to me that by not seeking asylum in the first safe nation after fleeing their native country the have failed in meeting the UN’s terms for seeking asylum, this to my thinking makes them illegals.

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      KinkyKeith

      Good investigative stuff there Bob,

      Of course this was just a “slip up’.

      Surely the “compassion industry’ would not deliberately hide this detail?

      KK :)

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        Bob Malloy

        Good investigative stuff there Bob,

        Google is friend to everybody.

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          The Black Adder

          Inbetween washing and putting my kids to bed, I saw that too Bob….

          Leigh Sales was like a female Vampire, ready to pounce, licking her lips and eyes wide open!

          It was a disgrace and the ABC has a lot to answer for… ( for example Connor Duffy, Environmental Reporter )..

          Tony Abbott held himself well, which is more than can be said for his drip Enviro Minister Greggy Hunt!

          Election now please, and why not have a referendum on the ABC at the same time?

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      Dennis

      Excellent comment Bob Malloy

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    Wayne, s. Job

    GE from its inception has been about extracting money from the unwary. They screwed Tesla and gave us an AC pulsating leaking monster that is our power system.

    Take your banned light globe and power it with DC, it will last a life time,hmmm.

    Telephones computers and most widgets and gadgets work because of Direct current.

    To transmit large current over long distance with minimal loss AC is converted to 30.000V DC
    Then converted back to AC at the other end, this tells us some thing is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    GE have foisted their system on the entire world, the losses are huge in the transmission, the unrecoverable reactive load in the grid is monsterous 10 to 20 % Tony from Oz may have a figure. Line losses, radiation and reactive load losses make Ac an ordinary proposition.

    It is easy to put up an aerial near a high tension power line and power your house from the radiation, it is illegal but is power going to waste into the ether. Entire villages could be powered this way without any loss at the other end of the wires. They would be powered by the Kvars other wise lost in the system [ kilo volt amp reactive] totally wasted otherwise.

    Most of Tesla’s work for GE was exotic DC and static DC alas no money in t for GE.

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      Mark D.

      Wayne, I think you have some of this wrong. Tesla invented the AC systems for low cost and low loss transmission. Tesla also found that 60 Hz was the optimum frequency to minimize flicker while maintaining economical transformer design. He sold the rights to his AC systems to George Westinghouse not General Electric.
      The other player in the field of generation and transmission was Edison. He was promoting DC systems for generation and transmission through his company: Edison General Electric (later General Electric).

      As I understand it, DC transmission is only viable at very high voltages. At the turn of the century such voltages would have caused safety issues and without solid-state conversion systems very impractical for power delivery to homes.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I lived in an apartment in SFO for a while, that had both 220V AC and 110V DC sockets. The only appliance I had that would work from 110V DC was my electric razor, and I wasn’t game enough to try it.

        Apparently DC is still supplied in NYC, because I read recently about an incandescent globe that had been burning continuously in the stairwell of a firehouse for a record number of years. The firehouse was moving elsewhere, and the article was around how they were planning to keep the light going while they moved it to the new firehouse.

        It may have been an article from the beginning of last April. I didn’t think to check at the time.

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      BobC

      Wayne, s. Job
      August 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm · Reply
      GE from its inception has been about extracting money from the unwary. They screwed Tesla and gave us an AC pulsating leaking monster that is our power system.

      You seem to have an axe to grind Wayne. See Mark D’s reply at 36.1 for a correction of your history.

      As to your science, I can respond to some of that as an electrical engineer:

      Take your banned light globe and power it with DC, it will last a life time,hmmm.
      Telephones computers and most widgets and gadgets work because of Direct current.

      True, but has nothing to do with the decision to use AC in power transmission.

      To transmit large current over long distance with minimal loss AC is converted to 30.000V DC
      Then converted back to AC at the other end, this tells us some thing is rotten in the state of Denmark.

      This sort of conversion would have been prohibitively expensive and inefficient when the power grid was being built. The only way it could have been done is by motor-generator pairs. Even with today’s technology, this is only done for extremely long-haul lines (for example, submarine cables).

      On the other hand, transformers are relatively inexpensive (no moving parts) and efficient; Hence AC power voltages can be changed nearly anywhere, including right outside your house — the transformer on the pole in the alley behind your house transforms from 13,000 volts to 120/240 for household use. (You should see what happens when you drop a tree limb on them!) Converting all these to DC would cause your power costs to skyrocket.
      The vast majority of long-distance power transmission is done with high voltage AC — up to 750Kv.

      GE have foisted their system on the entire world, the losses are huge in the transmission, the unrecoverable reactive load in the grid is monsterous 10 to 20 %

      Commercial users get charged for their contribution to the reactive load, so have an incentive to minimize it. Not enough motors in the average home to worry about this for residential use, however.

      Line losses, radiation and reactive load losses make Ac an ordinary proposition.

      Conversion costs currently still make DC an uneconomical proposition — maybe in the future? DC lines still have losses, primarily resistance and high voltage leakage into the air (as well as conversion losses). AC lines reduce reactive losses by reducing the inductance of the lines — many high voltage AC lines use multiple wires held about 1 ft apart by periodic spacers to accomplish just this.

      It is easy to put up an aerial near a high tension power line and power your house from the radiation…

      Well, if your idea of an “aerial” is several miles of wire wound into a 30 ft coil. I considered doing this once in the attic of a house I had under some 100Kv lines, but they only carried power to a couple of little mountain towns and field measurements showed they didn’t have enough current continuously.

      Entire villages could be powered this way without any loss at the other end of the wires.

      Well not true, actually, else ordinary transformers (what your ‘aerial’ is w.r.t. the power line) would be over-unity devices and would produce power from nowhere. Most of the energy in the magnetic field outside a transmission line goes back into the line each cycle (one reason to put the lines far from the ground). If you cause it to induce a current in an outside circut (your aerial), then that power is lost and will show up as an additional loss at the receiving end of the transmission line. Some power is, of course, radiated — but to get a useful (as opposed to detectable) amount of power from that would take an ‘aerial’ hundreds of miles long.

      Most of Tesla’s work for GE was exotic DC and static DC alas no money in t for GE.

      You’ve got this exactly backward — see Mark D’s comment above. (You would benefit from the Wikipedia article on electric power transmission as well.) And, your implication that GE should have made a decision that resulted in their making no money (hence going bankrupt) is absurd — should we have just not built a power grid at all until we could do it perfectly (according to you)? We would still be using kerosene lamps.

      As the technology becomes economical, long distance transmission lines will be converted to DC — not just for economy, but because it insulates the rest of the grid from syncronization problems if a section of the grid becomes overloaded. Maybe someday DC conversion technology will make it all the way to the “power pig” on the pole in your alley — and the driving force will be that it allows the power companies to save money (hence make more of it).

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    Andrew McRae

    Jo, is that some new CSS styling rules I see? Block Quotes do seem less confrontational in blue.

    Do you concur, Dr Smith?
    Dr Smith?
    Paging Dr Smith…. ;)

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    Turtle

    Thomas Edison is rolling in his grave. Technology turns around and moves backwards, toward more primitive forms. The environmental movement goes against everything that man stood for.

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    Sean

    Boycott GE consumer products.

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    elva

    One of the most positive items regarding future energy sources, IMO, I saw on ‘CATALYST’ ABC 23 Aug 2012. It showed a fuel cell for houses built by BLUEGEN in Melbourne.

    It is about the size of a small refrigerator attached to the side of a house. It uses water, air and gas. A series of plates (patented formula) are stacked to cause an electrolytic effect as in a battery. Total output is well above what a normal house needs. So some can be sold to the grid. About 50 houses in a street currently are trialling it although units have already been sold overseas.

    Certainly gas is used and it is not some ‘you beaut’ solar or wind device. But it does show a bit of progress in creating power at home for low cost and saving without the need for the mind boggling plans such as wind farms.

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      Mark

      Hey elva.

      Yes, I saw that too. Very interesting and I was wondering if TonyfromOz might comment on it as he always seems to be on top of this sort of stuff.

      Did you hear the price? Around $40k, so definitely not cheap!

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    [...] JO NOVA BLOG Big Green Machine – GE makes $21 billion a year on “clean energy” August 22nd, 2012 http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/big-green-machine-ge-makes-21-billion-a-year-on-clean-energy/#more-… [...]

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