JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Compare policies: Labor takes $900 per house to reduce CO2, Coalition $100

There are not many serious comparisons of the ALP vs Coalition policies on “climate change”. Don Young, a statistician and IT consultant in Canberra, with experience at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and in Washington, is now (happily) retired and has had time to take a close look at both. Strangely, The ABC Drum declined to publish this analysis. (Perhaps the details of reducing CO2 is not a high priority?)

  • The centerpiece of the Labor strategy is the carbon tax/ETS, which will end up raising $7.7b in financial year 2012/13. That’s $900 per household, and judging by the record of the last few years works out at an average cost of at least $640 per tonne of Co2 not emitted.
  • The Coalition propose to spend $800 million per year, or $100 per household, with a cap on the cost per tonne that is likely to be much lower, so a lot more effective per dollar. If it can be done.

The Labor Party want us to buy carbon credits overseas, which is “essentially foreign aid”. The Coalition are considering measures like increasing soil carbon, which might not be either verifiable or permanent. I would argue that most of the carbon abatement strategies accepted under the Kyoto Protocol suffer the same uncertainty. Soil carbon can be released into the air, and forests burn down.

Our national debate talks of reducing carbon emissions by at least 5% by 2020. Young points out that to achieve an ambitious 1.5 per cent reduction in co2 emissions per year (so 10% by 2020, 55% by 2050), another 4 per cent of co2 emissions needs to be abated each year (allowing for average GDP and energy growth of 2.5% per year). This amounts to an extra 25 million tonnes of abatements to be found each year. And if that will be hard to do next year, it will be even harder the year after that (and so on).

The stark fiscal inefficiency of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was news to me. Young notes that the CEFC was set up to invest $10 billion over five years. But after one year it has invested just $138 million, and at a cost to the taxpayer of $18 million per year in management fees to keep the CEFC running. The only good thing is that they are not successful at spending more money.

He writes from the perspective of a person concerned about CO2 levels, looking for the most economically efficient methods to reduce emissions. It’s safe to say he hasn’t read a lot of what’s on this site, but in the spirit of promoting logical analysis (starting from the basis that CO2 should be reduced) I found his thoughts, especially on costs, interesting.

 – Jo

 

Carbon organisms doing free carbon sequestration somewhere near Eucla WA (give or take 500km)

 

Australia – CO2 Emission Reduction Strategies

Guest Post By Don Young

The Labor Strategy

Treasury estimates that the government will raise $7.7 billion from the carbon tax for 2012-13.*

What happens to this revenue? Compensation for households is about $4 billion. Compensation for business (trade exposed industries, high co2 intensity power stations, coal industry, steel industry, etc.) comes in many forms and is difficult to find and quantify, but seems to be around $3.5 billion (jobs and competiveness $2.4b, coal program $1.0b, steel program $.15b). And a significant amount is needed simply to run the various government bodies set up to administer the carbon tax.

Labor’s strategy is to reduce co2 emissions by making energy more expensive. But energy demand is relatively inelastic, so even a large price rise will only modestly reduce energy usage. So its further strategy is to use the carbon tax to make high co2 emission intensive energy relatively more expensive, encouraging a shift to low co2 emission intensive energy. But because high emission energy is much cheaper to produce than low emission energy for technological reasons, the carbon price needs to be quite large before low co2 emission intensity energy can compete on cost.

Labor claims that its strategy has worked, citing economic growth and decreasing emissions in the last year. No doubt the $23 per ton carbon tax had some impact, but how efficiently and at what cost? Electricity prices have increased about 75 per cent in the last five years (Figure 19). This is mainly due to factors other than the carbon tax, which only accounts for 9% of current electricity prices.  Other factors include network costs (including much networking to remote wind turbines), generation costs, RET targets, and feed-in tariffs. The carbon tax has therefore contributed only 21% of the increase in costs over the past five years — and so can only be responsible for 21% of any decrease in co2 emissions due higher electricity prices. Other energy sectors, such as transport, are not yet covered by the carbon tax, so it is not responsible for any decreased emissions in these sectors. And the shift to renewables has been also driven by RET schemes, structural changes to manufacturing, and the loss of aluminium smelters.

The glossy government publication How Australia’s carbon price is working – One Year On summarizes the progress and performance of the government’s carbon tax strategy. Unfortunately this report might kindly be described as “boastful and superficial”, because it fails to provide the basic essential information. There is no detailed summary of money raised, money spent, or co2 emission reductions. There is no detailed analysis of the cost-effectiveness of programs, of other causes of changes to co2 emissions, of how much the carbon tax actually contributed, and no annual projections to 2020. One case study, about the Brisbane City Council, quantifies the savings in electricity costs, but does not quantify how much money was invested or how many tons of co2 emissions were saved, and thus omits the all-important efficiency of the savings ($/tonne of co2). Why was this information withheld?

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation was set up to invest $10 billion over five years. But after one year it has invested just $138 million, and even this was done in the last few days of 2012-13. The money is “invested” as loans (at commercial rates) to renewable energy projects; essentially, the CEFC is a bank, and could operate without funding from the carbon tax. Its operational funding is $18 million per year (that’s just the cost to run the CEFC itself). Their published quarterly reports to 30 June 2013 are underwhelming: less than one page, like a spreadsheet with four rows.

Labor proposes to purchase carbon credit permits overseas, so it can meet its co2 reduction target. This is essentially foreign aid: the money is raised by taxing Australians, it is given away overseas, and it does not directly benefit Australia though it may be worthwhile. The government will take credit for reducing global co2 emissions, but I would have thought Australia’s job was to reduce its own co2 emissions. Other countries will take credit for reducing their own co2 emissions, even if it was with funds from Australia.

“Labor’s carbon tax costs about $900 per year for an average household”

Labor’s carbon tax costs about $900 per year for an average household. ($7.7 billion dollars raised, 8.6 million households in 2012-13, the cost is ultimately borne by households. Like anything to do with carbon there is a dispute; the ABC says $550 – how did they lose $350 in the shuffle?) Labor argues that half the cost is returned in compensation to households, but there is no relief for ‘tax bracket creep’, which can be significant. Labor has recently moved to reduce the carbon tax from $24 per tonne to the floating carbon price (currently $6 per tonne) from 1 July 2014, which would appear to be an admission that $900 per household per year is too high.

CO2 emissions from electricity decreased by 7% (or 13 million tonnes) in 2012-13 compared to the previous year [page 4]. This is the ‘net’ decrease in co2 emissions, and when annual GDP growth of 2.5% is factored in, the ‘gross’ decrease in co2 emissions is 9.5% (or 18 million tons). Electricity prices have risen by at least 15% in most parts of Australia over the past year and roughly two thirds of the price increase has been due to the carbon tax [Figure 1], so the carbon tax has contributed to a ‘net’ decrease of 4.7% (or 8.7 million tons) and a ‘gross’ decrease of 6.3% (or 12 million tons). Therefore, the average cost is $885 in net terms ($7.7b / 8.7Mt) and $640 in gross terms ($7.7b / 12Mt) per tonne of Co2 not emitted.

This is an extraordinarily high price, and may account for the lack of support on this issue. Given the inelastic nature of electricity demand, these costs might not come down much in the future, and may actually increase.

The conclusion is that a $23 per tonne carbon tax has managed to reduce co2 emissions by about half what is required to meet the 2020 co2 reduction target. If we change to a floating price, and if Treasury’s estimates that the carbon price will rise from $6 per tonne to $38 per ton by 2020 are correct, then we can expect to fall considerably short of our co2 reduction target. If the floating carbon price does not rise as high as $38 per ton by 2020 (because the E.U. ETS Carbon system is ‘broken’), then we  can expect to fall even further short of our co2 reduction target.

Additionally, the carbon costs disadvantage the global competitiveness of Australian businesses, and require billions of dollars in compensation – creating a money ‘merry-go-round’ that does nothing to reduce co2 emissions (but is great for bureaucrats).

The Coalition Strategy

The Coalition propose to spend $800 million per year over four years on the most efficient co2 abatement strategies.

The cost is about $100 per year for the average household. The Coalition will fund submissions with the best value for money, and the total funding is capped. The efficiency of a plan that costs x dollars to abate y tonnes of co2 is x/y dollars per tonne of carbon not emitted. For example, if they aimed to abate 25 Mt then the ‘threshold’ amount per tonne is $32 per tonne ($800m/25Mt), and only projects below that threshold would be funded. The main advantage of this strategy is that it can potentially deliver co2 reductions at a fraction of the cost of the Labor strategy, without hurting Australia’s global competiveness. However, I have some reservations.

How co2 abatement efficacy is measured for energy generation measures needs to be better specified in the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan. For example, does renewable energy development qualify? Maybe yes, because it potentially reduces the use of coal fired power station; maybe no, because the renewables do not actually decrease co2 emissions per se.

“…about $100 per year for the average household.”

A secure funding source is necessary so people can be confident that funding will be sustained in the longer term. There is a real risk that the co2 emissions reduction budget will be reduced by other budget priorities, as circumstances change over time. There is also concern that the Coalition’s co2 emission reduction funding will prove inadequate to meet co2 reduction targets. The test will be whether the Coalition will increase spending if current funding is inadequate. A single website with clear statistics and KPI’s is required, bringing together all co2 reduction initiatives so we get a clear overall picture of progress and the plethora of spending.

Only co2 abatement measures recognised in the Kyoto Protocol, and are both verifiable and permanent, should be considered. Increasing the carbon content of soil, a central measure being proposed by the Coalition, is not included in the Kyoto Protocol — though the Coalition could argue that it is indirectly included via its “Australia clause” and is already taken into account in preparing Australia’s carbon accounts under the Kyoto Protocol. While this measure does not reduce co2 emissions, it directly reduces the co2 in the atmosphere. There is contention about whether abatement measures like soil carbon are either verifiable or permanent, which could undermine public confidence.

Apart from this “Emission Reduction Fund” (which would use 75 per cent of the co2 emission reduction budget), there are other initiatives such as the ‘One Million Solar Roofs’ (12 per cent of the budget). The cost of solar photovoltaics is over $220 per tonne not emitted (Figure 15), which is why it cannot be part of the much more efficient Emission Reduction Fund.

What can we do?

Whatever Australia does will make little impact on global co2 levels. However, if you believe that human emissions of co2 might dangerously heat the planet then we should reduce our emissions, and it might help other countries to follow suit. On that basis, what can we or government do?

“…this amounts to an extra 25 million tonnes of abatements to be found each year”

Historically, Australia energy usage has increased in line with GDP, about 2.5 per cent per year (Figure 5). To achieve a 1.5 per cent reduction in co2 emissions per year (so 10% by 2020, 55% by 2050), another 4 per cent of co2 emissions need to be abated each year (allowing for average GDP and energy growth of 2.5% per year). Ongoing decreases in energy intensity and co2 emission intensity will impact slightly, but this amounts to an extra 25 million tonnes of abatements to be found each year (we currently emit 550 Mt). It will become progressively more expensive to abate each tonne of co2, over time, with the best value-for-money measures being adopted first.

Australia cannot use zero energy, and everyone is in favour of more efficient use of energy. Arguably there is a much more that the government can do to encourage efficient energy use. But how much can we afford to spend, how quickly can we do this, and what is the lowest cost way to do this?

People want a reliable, sustainable, secure and cheap energy supply. Many people want to lower co2 emissions, but only in ways that are affordable, effective, efficient, do not cost one dollar more than necessary, minimize inconvenience, do not cause our economy to be globally disadvantaged, and are guaranteed to work. When you carefully analyse the Labor strategy, it is clear that Labor just “does not get this”.

One funding model would be to impose a 1% levy on all energy exports (to raise $0.8b per year, but not from Aussie households), and a 0.25% levy on individual taxpayer’s income ($1.6b per year) , or about $200 per year for the average household. With this model there is no new tax on business, so there is no need to compensate high co2 emission intensity industries so they can generate even more co2 emissions, and Australia’s domestic energy is not made more expensive thereby disadvantaging our economy. People have been led to believe they need to pay much more than necessary!

Both Labor and the Coalition advocate that co2 emissions will decrease by ‘x’ per cent after ‘y’ years. But the targets are so far into the future as to be next to meaningless, and the reporting along the way is grossly inadequate. Many people suspect that 2020 will roll around and we will suddenly be told that we have failed to meet out co2 emission reduction targets. But there is no reason that an independent body or the ABS cannot scrutinize the performance and publish annually – showing revenue raised, revenue spent, co2 emission levels, energy intensity levels, co2 emission intensity level, and the cost efficiency of each measure. I do not have confidence in the Climate Change Office to undertake this responsibility, because they have a natural conflict of interest.

The ETS model is a ‘financial engineering’ solution. While it may work to an extent, it is inefficient, makes Australia less competitive globally, and makes large profits for the financial institutions which trade the carbon credits.

There are a number of structural problem that need to be fixed. While these problems do not decrease co2 emissions in themselves, they do make energy unnecessarily more expensive, thereby reducing our capacity to fund co2 emission reduction measures:

(1)     Electricity prices have increased by 75% over the past five years (Figure 19). Even allowing for the carbon tax, this increase far exceeds CPI, which has led to considerable community anger. The government has acknowledged that practices such as so-called ‘gold-plating’ have been responsible for some of this increase. There is a need to better scrutinize and justify (or rectify) any price increases. [Jo wonders if "gold-plating" is not as important as some would make out. Our peak energy use on the hottest day of the year is not that much above peak use every day in summer. Don't we need a bit of safety margin in our infrastructure anyway? ]

(2)     State governments take dividends from their electricity assets, but the dividends are unsustainably large and have led to a long term deterioration of the electricity network, resulting in brownouts. If state governments are unable to maintain the necessary engineering and financial discipline, perhaps a more independent body should make those decisions.

(3)     Governments and business have a plethora of schemes to reduce co2 emissions, mainly uncoordinated and insufficiently focused. Reporting of these schemes should be done on a single website, so the full level of funding, actual schemes, and their performance is understood.

(4)     Some electricity customers receive bills that do not split supply (infrastructure) and usage (generation) costs. Others do split these costs, but not accurately. Infrastructure costs account for roughly 50% of the power costs, and electricity bills should reflect this. Households with solar panels only pay for the supply costs, but these are understated, so households without solar panels are subsidizing them. Typically, poorer people who cannot afford household solar are paying part of the electricity costs of wealthier people. This should not continue.

(5)     Feed-in tariffs above the wholesale cost of electricity reduce economic efficiency. Furthermore, poorer households are subsidizing the wealthier households who receive these over-generous feed-in tariffs. This should not continue.

(6)     Reducing peak electricity demand reduces the cost of electricity by reducing electricity generating capacity. Melbourne has installed ‘smart meters’, but they have not yet been activated. Households receive a ‘smart meter’ together with a small booklet. This is grossly inadequate, and much more needs to be done to help people actually increase the uptake of off-peak electricity voluntarily.

Some existing schemes need to be overhauled or scrapped:

(7)     The CEFC lends money at commercial rates, mostly to renewable energy projects. These projects should be considered for funding based on the cost for each tonne of co2 emission abatement, rather than returning a profit to the CEFC (even if this meant charging less than commercial interest rates).

(8)     The R.E.T. has resulted in a shift from high emission intensity energy to renewable energy. This should be replaced by a more general scheme to switch from high intensity energy to low intensity energy, rather than just renewables. As assistance may not fully compensate for cost increases, it is important to ensure price increases are sensible, affordable, and do not get ‘out of control’.

There are many measures available to reduce co2 emissions for a low cost.

The Coalition Direct Action Plan is short on details in this area. This should be a primary focus of using funds to reduce co2 emissions. Some suggestions for government:

(9)     Figure 15 shows the long run marginal cost for selected technologies. Onshore wind is $120 per MWh, compared to $85 per MWh for gas. Assuming gas emits 0.5 tons of co2 emissions per MWh, it would cost $70 to reduce each ton of emissions using onshore wind (ignoring the problem of keeping turbines spinning for when the wind drops). Solar PV costs about $200 to reduce each ton of co2 emissions, so it is more efficient to subsidize other measures.

(10) Converting from coal power stations to gas reduces co2 emissions by half for each MWh of energy, as well as providing a non-interrupted base load capacity. It is economically sensible to provide a partial subsidy capped at the co2 emission threshold (dollars per tonne). [Jo notes that coal is cheaper than gas, and also that upgrading existing coal plants to more efficient modern plants would reduce CO2 emissions from coal by 15%.]

(11)  LPG car co2 emissions are about a third less than petrol car co2 emissions. Therefore, LPG powered cars provide the same co2 emission savings as one electric powered car using renewable electricity (even assuming engineering solutions to supply renewable power to a usable electric car!), but for a fraction of the cost. Therefore more use of LPG should somehow be encouraged.

(12) Figure 28 shows that rail is some 10 to 15 times more energy efficient than road for freight transport.

(13) Fortunately other countries are investing heavily in vehicle fuel efficiency, and Australia can share in the results of this investment. Lower registration costs for low emissions vehicles might induce people to purchase fuel efficient vehicles.

(14) It is difficult to find out what is happening with R&D. Typically, you get a big government announcement, and then silence – you have no idea what progress was made, or if the money was even spent. What is happening to the Coal Industry Association investment of $1 billion in co2 emission reduction? With ORICA technology to store co2 in “rock”? What is happening with the CSIRO’s BlueGen technology? What of the government’s Carbon Tax R&D initiatives, as set out in the Clean Energy Future?  What has happened with the holy grail of clean coal? [Jo says carbon capture is not remotely realistic, it uses too much energy, and she'll post on this soon].  What is happening with the electric power car R&D subsidies – was there ever any analysis this money could be more efficiently spent converting from petrol to LPG? Were these merely PR opportunities for politicians and funding opportunities for researchers?

(15) Comprehensive audits of businesses might reduce energy inefficiency, though presumably businesses are paying for their energy use so it is their problem. Perhaps it would make economic sense to provide some funding assistance to businesses from the public purse? [Jo thinks companies will benefit from lower electricity bills, so they should pay for audits, but if they don't think the savings are worthwhile pursuing, why should the taxpayer fund them?]

 * From the Treasury Table C3. Alternatively, calculate it as $23 per tonne for the 550 million tonnes of co2 emitted ($12.6b), times 60% because only the top 500 odd companies are taxed and they do about 60% of emissions. The latest Clean Energy Regulator LEPID data suggests their share may prove to be nearer 50% (the final figures aren’t available yet), which would provide only $6.3b of revenue.

 

Don Young is commenting below. Look for the  star comment mark.

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Compare policies: Labor takes $900 per house to reduce CO2, Coalition $100, 8.3 out of 10 based on 36 ratings

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113 comments to Compare policies: Labor takes $900 per house to reduce CO2, Coalition $100

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    Peter Lang

    O/T comment: The Geological Society of Australia’s draft ‘Climate Change Statement’ (p6 here) is an example the other representatives climate bodies should follow (e.g. Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences, American Geophysical Union, Australian Academy of Sciences, etc.)


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      Peter Miller

      I sincerely hope the Geological Society of Australia is not government funded or the Climate Commission and the rest of the Climate Inquisition will be swift to react to this heresy of good common sense.


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      John Morgensen

      Issue 165 of The Australian Geologist that you linked to is December 2012. Has there been any movement from this body lately?


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      ianl8888

      @Peter Lang

      re the GSA and climate change attribution

      Some few years ago, the Executive Committee of the GSA opined a “Statement” on attribution of climate change (predictably, that anthropogenic CO2 emissions were destroying the planet as we know it)

      When challenged, the Executive further opined that it was within the jurisprudence of said Executive to issue such statements on behalf of the GSA without a poll of membership on the issue

      This arrogance (typified by Andrew Glikson) caused me to resign from the GSA after over 30 years continuous membership

      So, what’s changed ? The issue of TAG you link to is full of the evasive bureaucratic verbosity that caused me to despair of them earlier


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        Peter Lang

        ianl8888

        Thank you. I hadn’t followed the sequence and wasn’t aware of the history. I saw this statement and thought (and still do) what a breath of fresh air, what a careful, conservative statement, and what a contrast to the strong advocacy statements put out by IPCC, RS, NAS, AGU, and our own AAS.

        I think the contrast is worth pointing out. I don’t see anything I’d disagree with in the GSA statement, so I think it is worth supporting it and promoting it.

        Nut open to persuasion I’ve missed something or misinterpreted what it is saing or how others may use it in a a way I would not support.


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    [...] Compare policies: Labor will take $900 from each house to reduce CO2, Coalition $100 per house. « J…. Rate this:Like this:Like Loading… [...]


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    Peter Miller

    Leaving aside whether it is right or not to want to sharply reduce CO2 emissions from power stations – other than to note the time proven adage of: If it ain’t stuffed, don’t fix it – the important thing to note is that leaving the design of such a policy and its implementation to a coterie of left wing politicians, career bureaucrats, dodgy climate scientists and blood sucking consultants is a guarantee for disaster.

    If you decide you have to tackle this non-problem, then you have to do what you do in times of war – get rid of all the above and bring in the big names from the private sector, who have a proven record of getting things done and getting them done efficiently and on time.

    Generating electricity efficiently is obviously far more important than carbon abatement, but with a 75% increase in charges over the past five years (a time of ultra low inflation), this suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Australian electricity generating system.

    Whenever one of our ‘political elite’ thinks he/she can do something to “save the planet”, then you can guarantee the Law of Unintended Consequences will apply. In this case, “Let’s tax carbon dioxide emissions and save the planet” – so: i) individuals have less discretionary spending money creating a tendency for the economy to contract, ii) energy becomes more expensive, either bankrupting some industries or sending them overseas, iii) an environment amongst businessmen is created of: “What are these idiots going to do next?” causing domestic and inward investment to dry up, iv) new expensive, bloated, bureaucracies are created to administer the policy, which have to be paid for by the taxpayer, and v) a new industry of deception and fraud is created by those seeking to exploit the new rules/laws and/or avoid their consequences.

    Politicians rarely understand the concept of: “It is often better to do nothing.” Why? Because they are nearly all obsessed with leaving their mark on history and society, rather than doing what is right.


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      Peter, we may not be overly concerned with the cost/ton-avoided, (indeed, if we have to waste the cash, arguably we’d prefer the more pointless high cost variety, right? “Save the plants” and all) Still you’d think the ABC Drum coterie would want to discuss it… I mean, is the point of carbon reduction to reduce carbon or don’t they really care about the pollution. A gigaton here, a gigaton there,..


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        Speedy

        Jo

        Minor correction.

        “Labor takes $900 per house…”

        Given experience from the last 6 years, logic would dictate:


        “Labor takes AT LEAST $900 per house…”

        When was the last time labor UNDER priced/OVER delivered the taxpayer’s pain? Honestly, I thought you were smarter than that…

        Disappointedly Yours,

        PS: I’ll put it down to your better nature, not naivety.

        Cheers,

        Speedy.


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        Peter Lang

        Jo,

        I urge those people who are deeply concerned about CAGW and who advocate mitigation policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy to compare the options on the basis of, amongst other criteria, the cost per tonne avoided. IMO, it should be one of the key diagnostic criteria for evaluating and comparing the advocated policies.

        Here is an example: Figure 6 here compares the cost of mostly renewable versus mostly nuclear power to supply all of eastern Australia’s grid connected electricity. Four ‘mostly renewables’ and one ‘mostly nuclear’ options are compared on the basis of CO2 emissions avoided, capital cost, cost of electricity and CO2 abatement cost. These are for the total system to supply the electricity to meet the demand profile. When compared using these criteria it shows clearly that renewables are a very high cost way to reduce emissions.


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      Peter Lang

      Peter Miller,

      Generating electricity efficiently is obviously far more important than carbon abatement, but with a 75% increase in charges over the past five years (a time of ultra low inflation), this suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Australian electricity generating system.

      Excellent point.


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        Bulldust

        Although I don’t have evidence at hand, I think much of the recent increase was because of delayed infrastructure spending of prior years … I am pretty sure I read articles to that effect. Another key line from the OP was about the cost of networking distant wind turbines. It also doesn’t help when utility companies have a government mentality … that guarantees bonus inefficiency from the start.


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      janama

      but with a 75% increase in charges over the past five years (a time of ultra low inflation), this suggests there is something seriously wrong with the Australian electricity generating system.

      Peter in my district there has been a massive input into the infrastructure – new poles, transformers, distribution centres etc. We’ve gone from a blackout every time there was lightning in the area to relatively none.


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        Peter Miller

        Janama

        Paying for infrastructure is usually highly desirable and utilities throughout the world have a habit of delaying until late as possible most spending on this.

        There are two thoughts here:

        1. The infrastructural cost of gathering in the power from widely spaced wind turbines – I have never seen figures on this but I assume it is not cheap, and

        2. When governments start screwing around with national energy policies and begin implementing goofy rules and regulations, there is a perfectly understandable reaction by energy companies to do nothing and wait to see where everything settles out.

        An extreme case of the latter is the UK’s official energy policy, which you could not make up even in a satirical science fantasy story. Because of green BS, government dithering and incompetence, rolling blackouts are now imminent in the UK a couple a years from now – and still no new power stations are being built!!!

        At least blackouts were imminent until some bright spark thought “let’s get all the diesel generators in the country put on standby to avoid the blackouts and let’s pay them shed loads of money for being on standby and really insane amounts of money once they start generating electricity.” Another bright spark thought it would be a really great idea to burn wood chippings, imported from the eastern USA, in power stations, instead of burning much more efficient coal.


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          Col Andrews

          That is why the Brits are so frantic to get CSG up & running. But surprise surprise the Greens are down there protesting against it. Damn shame you can not isolate them on the grid and only give them their green power at its real cost, then we would never here from them again!


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      jon

      Nothing New here really, they just copied the thou should have no other God than Me, monopoly for Gods, and used that for their thou should not have no other culture than the culturalMarxist idea.

      Same shit just New wrapping?


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    handjive

    Quote:
    “What can we do?
    Whatever Australia does will make little impact on global co2 levels.
    However, if you believe that human emissions of co2 might dangerously heat the planet …”

    At this point, I read on with trepidation, as the words “belief” & “might” are like road signs indicating “doomsday climate crap” ahead.
    25 years of world wide carbon taxes and weather (nee climate) is still happening.
    None of this “cleather” is unusual or “unprecedented,” but tackling climate is the objective, not the “socialist re-distribution of wealth” and wasteful churning of money.

    Sadly, we have no choice but to give the ok to continue the fraudulent wasting of tax payer funds by making your vote count for either party.


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    Maverick

    Thanksfor your effort and analysis Don (it was a good read), but in essence it comes down to this sentence

    Whatever Australia does will make little impact on global co2 levels.

    To put it crudely if every man woman and child was murdered and dragged out into the desert by Prius’ running on magical power we would reduce the world’s carbon emissions by 1.5%


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    Being in the plant growing industry, it seems insane to me to want to lower CO2 or even halt the rise, much more is better …


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      much more is better …

      More CO2 means more food and thus less poverty. Less poverty means less population as prosperous nations go into population decline. More CO2 means more horizontal equalisation of warmth and thus less extreme weather. More CO2 makes biofuel more viable so it means cheaper energy. More CO2 means less desertification and less species becoming extinct. More CO2 means easier breathing so has obvious health benifits. The benefits seem endless. It is the essence of life.

      Time to have a look at that election candidate list and find the “more CO2″ people on it. These major parties are all victims of the mass delusion.
      VOTE 1 CO2.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    Don,
    Nice overview, thank you.
    Do you have Peter Lang’s estimates of the costs of not producing a tonne of CO2 by wind and solar?
    …………………
    The answer is very clear to me. Study Spain, going broke on solar.
    Study France, going fine on nuclear.
    Study Germany, a hopeless mess through dancing the green tune and ending up worse than the start point.


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      Don Young

      star comment
      Geoff, I will look into Peter Lang’s estimates. Peter Lang has raised a number of very good points, which I am keen to follow up and respond.


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      Graeme No.3

      Geoff
      Denmark – lots of turbines. Electricity very expensive, even more than SA.
      Germany – lots of turbines (& PV solar). Electricity expensive. approx. 600,000 people disconnected because unable to pay bills.
      South Australia – lots of turbines (& PV solar). Electricity most expensive in Australia. Household prices exceed Germany’s.
      France – very few turbines. Cheapest electricity in Europe. Selling to Spain, Italy and UK (and Germany).
      Poland – few turbines, lots of black coal fired. Selling quite a lot of power to Germany (favourable price difference).

      There seems to be a thread there, and it isn’t that wind power is cheap.


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  • #
    cedarhill

    I suppose there is still a chance Australia voters will realize the fraud of anti-CO2 political activists and start working on that next Ice Age that’s approaching, like clockwork. $100 per household isn’t hardly enough to buy enough votes to win next time.


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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo. I was shocked that “their ABC” did not require the Drum to publish the information, after all of their lectures about quality journalism etc etc ad nauseam. The authors are mostly pompous leftists, but the majority of the readers comments appear to be written by leftist ideologues suffering from terminal verbosity.


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    Peter Lang

    Don Young,

    Thank you for your excellent contribution. Many interesting figures and points to debate. Here is one to start:

    Electricity prices have risen by about 20% in most parts of Australia over the past year and roughly half the price increase has been due to the carbon tax [Figure 1], so the carbon tax has contributed to a ‘net’ decrease of 3.5% (or 5.5 million tons) and a ‘gross’ decrease of 4.75% (or 9 million tons). Therefore, the average cost is $1185 in net terms ($7.7b / 6.5Mt) and $855 in gross terms ($7.7b / 9.0Mt) per ton of Co2 not emitted.

    The reduction in GHG emissions is due to a number of factors including the shut down Yallourn brown coal power station in Victoria due to flooding of the mine; shutting down of large manufacturing plants such as aluminium smelters; and the effects of the RET which effectively mandates use of wind and solar power even when the demand is falling. The influence of the carbon price on the CO2 emissions reductions so far is probably minor. Of the 3.5% net decrease (4.75% gross) in CO2 emissions from electricity, the carbon tax’s contribution is small.


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    • #
      Peter Lang

      Don Young,

      Further to my comment that the carbon price has probably had little influence on CO2 emissions so far, you may be interested in these:

      Trends in Production and Spot Revenues at 4 coal-fired stations

      What’s caused the drop in brown coal production?

      Therefore, the average cost is $1185 in net terms ($7.7b / 6.5Mt) and $855 in gross terms ($7.7b / 9.0Mt) per ton of Co2 not emitted.

      I haven’t yet looked into these figures. These really are the key result of your post. If correct, they are extremely significant.


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    • #
      Don Young

      Peter,
      Please note that I have revised my figure for the increase in electricity prices for 2012-13 from 20% to 15% (for calculation purposes). This is based on data that I subsequently found from the AEMC, which is an authorative source, but their data was provided is from March 2013 and does not consider all components of electricity cost. This does change the figures to $885 (net) and $640 (gross) which are still extrodinarily high. No doubt other commentators will use different figures, but I am confident the end result ($/ton) will still be extrodinarily high. Factors that have not (necessarily) increased prices such as Yallourn will reduce co2 emissions and not all money spend and causing prices to rise will reduce co2 emissions equally (e.g. money spent upgrading a transnmission line will not reduce co2 emissions and money spent on RET will reduce co2 emissions etc.). Additionally, there may be a time lag for price increases to translate into co2 emission reductions. I have assumed that 2/3 of the price increase has caused 2/3 of the co2 emissions decrease. More detailed modelling and analysis would provide a different result, but I expect my result to be reasonably accurate, and conclusions drawn to be the same.


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      • #
        Peter Lang

        Don Young,

        Thanks. I noticed you’d changed the figures after I posted my comment. But I haven’t started looking into the basis of your estimate yet.


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      • #
        Peter Lang

        Don Young,

        Your calculation of the abatement cost of $640/tonne (gross) for the ETS alone is interesting. Rather than try to review the basis of your estimate, I took a different approach to do a sanity check. I calculated the CO2 abatement cost using the estimated costs of carbon price, renewable energy targets and other budget costs, and Australia’s emissions projections avoided for the period 2013-14 to 2019-20.

        Total cost, 2013 to 2020 = $143.5 billion
        Total projected emissions avoided in Australia = 307 Mt
        Total projected emissions avoided including from overseas = 756 Mt

        CO2 abatement cost (domestic emissions avoided) = $468/tonne
        CO2 abatement cost (domestic and overseas) = $190/tonne


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        • #
          Peter Lang

          So my rough sanity check of the abatement cost using the government’s budget costs and emissions projections avoided by the carbon price, RET and other federal government assistance to renewable energy, is in the same ball-park as your estimate of $640/tonne (gross) for emissions avoided in electricity generation by the carbon tax alone in its first year.


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  • #
    Peter Lang

    Don Young,

    The cost of solar photovoltaics is over $220 per tonne not emitted (Figure 15), which is why it cannot be part of the much more efficient Emission Reduction Fund.

    Actually, the CO2 abatement cost with residential solar PV is about $600/tonne. I’ll explain the basis of that later if anyone wants to know.


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    • #
      Don Young

      star comment
      Peter,
      I have found a wide range of costs for Solar PV, ranging from $220 to $1000 plus. I chose to use the figure provided by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) as I hoped it to be impartial and based on sound methodology. I considered it to be the lowest reliable based figure I had encountered. The lowest I had seen (before the BREE figure) was $400. There is widespread dispute excactly what the correct figure should be. However, the point is that Solar PV is expensive relative to other technologies, even at $220. This means that subsidizing solar PV ahead of other ‘better-value’ technologies (even large scale wind turbines) makes no economic sense at all. You may well ask why would Labor and the Coalition spend hundreds of millions of dollars investing in measures that are not economically efficient. I guess that is for them to answer, but I would make two points – Government subsidizing household solar PV is popular and a vote winner. It is far less glamourous to invest in large scale renewables, which arguably, are some 5 times more efficient than household solar. The second point is the influence of ‘lobby’ groups. The household solar PV ‘lobby’ group has a high profile – they want to sell and install the products, obviously. I think the impact of ‘lobby’ groups is often overlooked. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist – Perhaps the reason ETS got any traction in the E.U. was due to financial institutions seeing a way to make a quick squillion.


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        Peter Lang

        Don Young,

        BREE “Energy in Australia, 2013” Figure 15 is of LCOE, not CO2 abatement cost. It is not correct to assume that intermittent renewable energy technologies displace coal fired generation, nor the average emissions intensity of the grid. They mainly displace gas generation. There are also many other costs that need to be included other than just the LCOE of the displaced plants. An excellent recent paper by Melbourne Engineer, Graham Palmer, explains.

        Graham Palmer (2013) ‘Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power?

        (Note: Palmer, being cautious, understates the abatement cost).

        PV is a hugely expensive way to reduce CO2 emissions. The CO2 abatement cost is around $600/tonne CO2. This is in the range estimated by the Australian Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission’s estimate of the abatement cost with PV was $432 to $1,043 tonne/CO2-e in 2011. Compare this with the EU carbon price of around $6/ tonne CO2.


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        • #
          Don Young

          Peter,
          Good point. Let me look into this, and I will try to respond. It may take me little time to think about it.


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          • #
            Peter Lang

            Don Young,

            You may want to download the Excel spreadsheet from here to see the conventional way to estimate CO2 abatement cost from electricity generation technologies. Graham Palmer’s method is more sophisticated and far better. Happy to debate the input assumptions once you are ready.


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      • #
        Peter Lang

        Don Young,

        This means that subsidizing solar PV ahead of other ‘better-value’ technologies (even large scale wind turbines) makes no economic sense at all. You may well ask why would Labor and the Coalition spend hundreds of millions of dollars investing in measures that are not economically efficient. I guess that is for them to answer, but I would make two points – Government subsidizing household solar PV is popular and a vote winner.

        I agree with most of that. But you imply that it makes sense to subsidise and mandate large scale solar and wind power. I strongly disagree. It is all extremely expensive.


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        • #
          Don Young

          Peter,
          I was trying to say that it makes more sense to subsidize large scale wind farm than it does to subsidize household solar PV, if it provides 5 times more energy and co2 emision reductions for the same cost. Likewise, if a subsidy applied elsewhere (e.g. upgrade coal power station provides more energy and co2 emission reductions than large sclae wind farm for the same cost, then that would make more sense again.


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    Peter Lang

    The ETS model is a ‘financial engineering’ solution. While it may work to an extent, it is inefficient, makes Australia less competitive globally, and makes large profits for the financial institutions which trade the carbon credits.

    It won’t work. The problem is global. The ETS will not cut global emissions. Businesses that are forced out of Australia by high energy prices will move elsewhere. Global emissions will not be avoided by carbon pricing unless it is global. See: “Why the ETS will not succeed


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    pat

    what quantity of emissions do we export annually?

    even based on the outdated figures below, published by CAGW front, World Resources Institute, it is beyond ridiculous that we waste one minute more on the PRETENSE of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. all we should be doing is building coal-fired power stations…period:

    World Resources Institute: Global Coal Risk Assessment: Data Analysis and Market Research
    Ailun Yang, Yiyun Cui, Working Paper November 2012
    Key Findings:
    •According to IEA estimates, global coal consumption reached 7,238 million tonnes in 2010. China accounted for 46 percent of consumption, followed by the United States (13 percent), and India (9 percent).
    •According to WRI’s estimates, 1,199 new coal-fired plants, with a total installed capacity of 1,401,278 megawatts (MW), are being proposed globally. These projects are spread across 59 countries. China and India together account for 76 percent of the proposed new coal power capacities.
    •New coal-fired plants have been proposed in 10 developing countries: Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Laos, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. Currently, there is limited or no capacity for domestic coal production in any of these countries.
    •Our analysis found that 483 power companies have proposed new coal-fired plants. With 66 proposed projects, Huaneng (Chinese) has proposed the most, followed by Guodian (Chinese), and NTPC (Indian).
    •The “Big Five” Chinese power companies (Datang, Huaneng, Guodian, Huadian, and China Power Investment) are the world’s biggest coal-fired power producers, and are among the top developers of proposed new coal-fired plants…
    ***•Motivated by the growing Pacific market, Australia is proposing to increase new mine and new port capacity up to 900 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) — three times its current coal export capacityhttp://www.wri.org/publication/global-coal-risk-assessment

    World Resources Institute: Board of Directors
    (includes)
    William D. Ruckelshaus (Chairman Emeritus)
    Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group; former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States
    Daniel L Doctoroff
    President of Bloomberg, LP, United States
    Al Gore
    Chairman of Generation Investment Management, London; and former Vice President of the United States
    http://www.wri.org/about/board


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    • #
      Bulldust

      I had an article here some time back discussing how much energy Australia exports both as energy products and energy embodied in other products. This is not easy to estimate, but we are clearly massive net exporters of energy of both types, something which is intuitively obvious for a country which traditionally enjoyed low power costs in the past. For a relatively energy-intensive economy, I can’t fathom why politicians want to hobble this key pillar of our economy … terminal stupidity, I guess…


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      Don Young

      star comment
      Pat,
      The latest BREE ‘Energy in Australia 2013′ publication, which is well worth a read, states that Australia produced 16,640 petajoules of energy in 2010/11,(the latest figure available), with 63% of this energy was exported and 37% used domestically. We would have imported energy as well, so total domestic (usage) is actaully a bit higher. If you assume that the co2 emissions from the exported and domestic energy is the same (uranium may cause exported to be a bit lower, renewables a bit higher), then about 63% of our co2 emisions are exported and we keep the rest for ourselves.


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    Peter Lang

    But there is no reason that an independent body or the ABS cannot scrutinize the performance and publish annually – showing revenue raised, revenue spent, co2 emission levels, energy intensity levels, co2 emission intensity level, and the cost efficiency of each measure.

    One significant issue is that Australia does not have measurements of CO2 emissions from power stations, let alone from any other GHG emissions source. Australia has very rough estimates of emissions from power stations. The emissions are estimated from averages of the nominal emissions factors for a whole power station. The estimates do not allow for the different efficiency of the various units nor for the efficiency variations as the power station operates at less than optimal efficiency. Unless we have precise and accurate estimates of the emissions from each unit at 15 minute intervals, or less, we cannot accurately estimate the emissions avoided by intermittent renewable energy generators, like wind and solar power. For example, Ireland estimates its emissions from electricity as follows:

    EirGrid, with the support of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, has together developed the following methodology for calculating CO2 emissions. The rate of carbon emissions is calculated in real time by using the generators MW output, the individual heat rate curves for each power station and the calorific values for each type of fuel used. The heat rate curves are used to determine the efficiency at which a generator burns fuel at any given time. The fuel calorific values are then used to calculate the rate of carbon emissions for the fuel being burned by the generator.

    From these figures Joe Wheatley ‘Quantifying CO2 savings from wind power: Ireland‘ estimates that wind power was just 53% effective at reducing CO2 emissions in 2011; i.e. 1 MWh of wind generation avoids just 53% of the CO2 emissions from 1 MWh of electricity generated by fossil fuel plants if there was no wind generation in the system (all else equal). The generating mix of the EirGrid is similar to the South Australian grid in many important respects, so it is likely that wind power in SA is about as effective as in Ireland at reducing emissions. But the effectivness is not taken into account in Australia. It can’t be because we do not have the measurements. And to regulate they be collected would add more to electricity costs, and ultimately to prices passed through to consumers.

    The USA actually measures emissions from each generating unit at 15 minute intervals. However, there are many loopholes. The EPA Reporting Instructions and EPA guidance show how complex this is. Australia has nothing like this. The compliance cost would be huge,. And the compliance cost for all other industries would be even higher, per tonne CO2, for smaller emissions sources. The compliance cost for carbon pricing would become prohibitive if the world tries to implement global GHG emissions pricing and as the proportion of the emissions sources required to be measured increases, as would inevitably be required: see The ultimate compliance cost for the ETS

    All in all, the ETS will not succeed and not survive. This explains why: Why the ETS will not succeed


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    • #
      Don Young

      star comment
      Peter,
      You are correct. It is not possible to measure co2 emissions 100% accurately. The question is – can we measure them sufficiently accurately so that they are fit for the purpose we require? Essentially, can we measue them sufficiently so that we can actually tell with any degree of confidence whether they are going up or down and by approximately how much? The ABS has considerable experience in devising methods to do this in practical and low cost ways. For example, they would likely measure co2 emissions from (petrol) cars simply by measuring the litres of petrol consumed and multiplying that by the established benchmark kg of co2 emissions per litre of petrol. For power stations, they would likely measure the number of MWh of power produced (simple) and multiply that by the co2 emission intensity of the power station which would perhaps be reviewd annually (e.g. 1.6 for Hazelwood). They would likely employ sample survey methodology, whereby only a percentage of emisions are actually measured and the results factored up to calculate the total value. The point is that we do not currently have annual figures – the most basic essential information that is required to have an informed understanding and discussion of what the carbon tax has (or has not) achieved. I acknowledge your point that co2 equivalent emisions is what matters, but I tried to not make the article even more technical.


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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        If Australia is held to annual reductions, this will become harder each new year. This is because some low hanging fruit have already been harvested, and because they are one-offs. Electricity from fossil fuels that used to help power aluminium refineries and smelters that have now closed is an example. (Note that big hydro is in there also).
        They are unlikely to open anew on windmill power. A key factor, to avoid pot lines freezing, is reliability of supply.
        Surely it is time to re-examine hydro potential and to revisit the Gordon below Franklin?


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        • #
          Don Young

          Geoff,
          It is interesting to look at energy and co2 emission growth since 1990 and factor in GDP growth of 2.5 percent. It would have taken far less money to hold co2 emissions to 1990 levels, had we started in 1990. Delivering 2020 targets would be (relatively speaking) a piece of cake!


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          • #
            Peter Lang

            Don Young,

            It is interesting to look at energy and co2 emission growth since 1990 and factor in GDP growth of 2.5 percent.

            You may find this excellent article by Roger Pielke Jr. ‘Decelerating Decarbonization of the Global Economy‘ of interest. Figure 2 shows that the rate of decarbonisation (tonnes CO2/$GDP) has slowed from 2% pa in 1990 to 0.7% pa in 2009. A rate of 5% pa is needed to achieve the advocated global targets.

            It would have taken far less money to hold co2 emissions to 1990 levels, had we started in 1990. Delivering 2020 targets would be (relatively speaking) a piece of cake!

            I have to disagree with you that “Delivering 2020 targets would be (relatively speaking) a piece of cake!“. In 1992 the Australian Government committed to the ‘Toronto Targets’ (but precluded nuclear power as an option). The commitment was to cut Australia’s CO2 emissions to 20% below 1988 levels by 2005. These targets were unrealistic then; similarly, the existing targets are unrealistic now (because of the politically unacceptable, huge cost of achieving them).

            Roger Pielke Jr. explains how difficult and unrealistic are the current targets in his excellent article ‘Reality Check’ which is an op-ed of ‘An evaluation of the targets and timetables of proposed Australian emissions reduction policies‘.

            Treasury also advised how unrealistic are the targets in a 1 April 2011 Minute released under FOI.


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            • #
              Peter Lang

              Since most readers will not click on the link to read the Treasury minute released under FOI, ‘size of abatement challenge‘ here’s most of it:

              As an indication, the task of achieving Australia’s unconditional emissions-reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 would be roughly equivalent to:

              • removing emissions associated with all cars on the road, and nearly half of Australia’s electricity generation, in the year 2020 (pg. 77, IGR);

              • planting new forests equivalent to four times the area of Tasmania by 2020 (pg. 77, IGR).

              • two-thirds of Australia’s total current emissions from the generation of electricity (speech by Martin Parkinson, March 2010)

              • twice our road transport emissions (speech by Martin Parkinson, March 2010)

              • the emissions displaced by 35 snowy hydro schemes (press release from Greg Combet, June 2010)


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        Peter Lang

        Don Young,

        Thanks you for your reply.

        The question is – can we measure them sufficiently accurately so that they are fit for the purpose we require?

        Australia does not measure emissions sufficiently accurately. I explained why in my previous comment and the links.

        Essentially, can we measue them sufficiently so that we can actually tell with any degree of confidence whether they are going up or down and by approximately how much?

        Just knowing whether emissions are increasing or decreasing is nowhere near good enough when there is so much money involved in carbon trading or taxing.

        The ABS has considerable experience in devising methods to do this in practical and low cost ways. … For power stations, they would likely measure the number of MWh of power produced (simple) and multiply that by the co2 emission intensity of the power station which would perhaps be reviewd annually (e.g. 1.6 for Hazelwood).

        The world has been developing methods to estimate (EU) and measure (USA) CO2 emissions from power stations. I provided links to the US requirements and the EirGrid methodology. Australia has nothing even close to either of these. The method you suggest is what we are doing now (see AEMO regulations on this). But it is not close to being good enough, for the reasons I explained in my previous comment and supported by the six links.


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  • #
    Tim

    Because prostate cancer often grows very slowly, some men may never need treatment for their cancer. Instead, their doctors may recommend approaches known as expectant management, watchful waiting, or active surveillance.

    This could show the way for all political parties.

    Here’s a clue guys: save billions and unnecessary disruption to many thousands of lives by simply instituting a watchful waiting program. Your discredited Armageddon may never arrive.

    Or is that too simple?


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      LevelGaze

      “Because prostate cancer often grows very slowly, some men may never need treatment for their cancer. Instead, their doctors may recommend approaches known as expectant management, watchful waiting, or active surveillance.”

      Tim – in my day it was sagely known as “masterly inactivity”… :)


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        amcoz

        LG, I also wish for the return of ‘masterly inactivity’ but I’m afraid that PM is right: “[politicians] are nearly all obsessed with leaving their mark on history and society, rather than doing what is right.” And therein lies the fundamental problem for us all; how can we get our pollies to do nothing but let them think their egos glow in the glory of doing something that won’t screw us over.


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  • #

    Just a few comments on point (10)
    a) per unit of input energy natural gas emits more “greenhouse” gases than coal. CH4 produces lots of water vapor which is has at least ten times the radiation absorptivity of CO2.
    b) from actual experience with conversion of a coal fired boiler with steam generator to natural gas, because of lower flame radiation the boiler efficiency is lower for natural gas firing by at least 20%. This requires capital to be spent on economisers to recover some of the waste heat. Even then it is likely that the generation output will be lower (as in the case of my experience by some 10%) mainly due to volume restrictions.
    c) Few large power stations have natural gas available so capital would need to be spent on pipelines, compressors, valves, safety etc.
    d) There is insufficient natural gas available to replace most of the existing coal fired power stations but there is hundreds of years of coal supply available.
    e) Has anyone thought out why China is building a coal fire power station about every week and why Germany is building some new coal fired power stations.

    Altogether, it is a stupid exercise which unqualified advocates are incapable of assessing.


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    Mark D.

    But energy demand is relatively inelastic, so even a large price rise will only modestly reduce energy usage.

    Says it all really. Pain and suffering is what it translates to. Either one gives up comfort and/or gives up recreation. Both affect productivity and the economy especially tourism (which I believe is pretty big in AU).

    Never mind the financial “inefficiency” all the anti-carbon crusades hurt real people without any serious impact on the globe.


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    Matt

    Steal $100.00 or steal $900.00; the morality of what you are doing is still the same.


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      Joe V.

      Rubbish, if you’ll pardon the expression. There’s a world of difference and quite apart from the x9. The Libs are only covering their position, whereas the Labs are profligate wasters.
      The Libs. believe in economy whereas the Labs. think an e conomy is for spending.

      Anyway it’s guvmint, so it isnt stealing. its just a racket.


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    Eddie Sharpe

    The trouble with focussing a scam on CO2 is its so easy to rubbish it.
    Sustainability on the other hand, now that’s brilliant. Impossible to knock it because its such an fluid and ill defined concept it just changes to avoid criticism.
    The sustainability agenda is a much more dangerous beast than AGW catastrophism.
    But you knew that anyway.


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      Yonniestone

      Eddie bang on the money there, whilst Jo has provided yet again a well executed article on CO2 reductions, and the folly of, This other “Beast” is the real danger an example today from my local Fairfax rag http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1743637/farmer-kevin-slorach-heartbroken-after-stock-culling/?cs=61
      The main points and issues I take with this story, as they want to project, is.

      - Demonizing guns and the collective idea that no farmers can be trusted with them.
      - Temperamental weather (hint at AGW) it’s Australia FFS !
      - High AUD and the GFC, no mention of government endorsed cheap imports and the big 2 monopoly.
      - The emotional hype of livestock slaughtered on a farm, yes it’s a first folks!
      - The DEPI and their increasing infringement and powers over the lives of rural life.

      Now, I know a person from this area and I will get an entirely different viewpoint (truth) on this article so much so I would say it’s mostly convoluted brainwashing crap! dished out in this paper, this is the sort of ponced up tripe I would expect from the “Yuppie Times” in the cities but sadly it’s seeping into rural areas and doing more harm than good, because believe it or not country folk have been supporting each other since this country started and without a Government holding their hand.
      Once again I’m pointing out the personal impeding of the government on rural living and not the so called financial support or hand out’s from the government, that’s another story altogether.


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    handjive

    I’m giving up chocolate eclairs to save the environment!

    Climate campaigners start ‘hunger strike’ to block Queensland coal project

    One look at ex politician Andrew Bartlett and his doctor would only be happy with the reduction in calorie intake!
    That’s alotta climate debt to turn into climate credit.


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      Bulldust

      Reminds me of the people who answered ‘yes’ to the survey run in Perth when asked if they thought it would be a good thing if there was less carbon in their food.


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      handjive

      Over Our Dead Bodies?
      No politician was hurt in this protest.

      Here is the video! Doomsday is coming!
      The organisation is called “Over Our Dead Bodies.”

      To Quote Andrew Bartlett, now the convener of the Queensland branch of the Greens, from the original link:

      “Bartlett told me he felt the world was “heading over a cliff” on climate change and that he was willing to try a new activist approach.
      On the hunger strike, he said he was not planning to do himself “any great harm”.
      .
      Maybe he could wear a sandwich board around the streets saying, “The end of the world is 95% certain heading over a cliff,” whilst not eating.

      File under “doomsday idiots”


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    warcroft

    .
    I like how it says “government will raise $7.7 billion from the carbon tax for 2012-13.”
    Raise? Like, a charity drive? lol.


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    • #

      Good point warcroft. We should not succumb to speaking in their spin-language.


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      Joe V.

      Raise ? I think it means raise from you and me, as in raise to the ground, because they is guvmint.
      . You know, like King John would have the Sherrif of Nottingham raise his taxes from anyone who could breathe.
      The citizenry exist to feed guvmint, while ostensibly it’s now presented as being the other way.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      “Government will take $7.7 billion from the population, in the 2012-13 tax year, by demanding money with menaces, couched in terms of a tax on climate (whatever that means) to try and obscure the theft.”

      There, does that make it sound any more realistic?

      Of course, the act of demanding money with menaces, is probably an antiquated term. Perhaps in Australia, it is called “Extortion?”

      Curious people would like to know.


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  • #

    There’s something worrying in all of this, where it says that electricity costs have risen 75%.

    Let’s look at the unit cost of electricity, now around 26 cents per KWH, and keep in mind that is just the cost for residential power, as Commerce and Industry are on different plans, as they are considerably higher users than a single household, so their unit costs are slightly lower, although nowadays they are closer to that residential cost than before as power retailers want to spread the increases across a wider base.

    Dropping the CO2 Tax/ETS is not going to result in any major lowering of those electricity costs, because that incremental part of that unit cost is only around 3 cents per KWH at most, so in fact, household power bills will fall very little indeed. The bigger effect will be on commerce and industry but only because they consume vastly more than a home does.

    So then that 75% increase.

    The spin is that it is greedy power companies, gold plating the grid etc, anything to hide the real increase to those costs.

    Why, especially when the wholesale cost of electricity (in other words, that cost per MWH) that the power generating entities sell their power to the grid (the power retailing outlets) is lower than it has been for some time.

    Traditionally, large scale coal fired power can still make a profit selling its power at around $30/MWH, which equates to 3 cents per KWH on your household power bill.

    The rest is what they spin it up to be, because even though retailers have to turn a profit, that profit margin is steady, because if they did gouge and could be shown to gouge, there would be hell to pay.

    Gold plating the grid ….. why do they need to do that?

    Earlier on there were large scale power plants with, say, 4 generating units. A dozen or so of these huge plants feeding the grid in each State.

    Now we have wind plants, some with as many as hundreds of towers, each an individual generator, each now feeding the grid.

    We are told that there are now (more than) a million household rooftop systems, so now we add a million more little teensy generators to the grid. Instead of the grid having to handle (absolutely 100% perfectly) a dozen or so power plants, it now has more than a million and an extra thousand plus intermediate (well small really, but nowhere near as tiny as rooftop power) wind generators.

    Now the grid has to (absolutely 100% perfectly) be capable of handling all that. Voltage phase, frequency, etc etc, and not just for set in stone times when huge generators come on line after maintenance, but as each individual rooftop system comes om line each morning at odd times all across the grid, and as the wind picks up and the huge fan starts turning the turbine in the wind tower nacelle, one and off at random times, as the wind picks up and fades away.

    Now think of the cost, both the generating cost (for wind and commercial scale solar) and the secondary costs of rooftop solar.

    Wind is up to seven times more expensive than coal fired power to generate. Those costs, the power sold at the per MWH rate to the grid, even while seemingly small, add to the unit cost for electricity spread across the whole grids. Commercial solar up to ten times and more expensive than coal fired power again, even small, but again spread across the whole consumption total. This increases the unit cost for electricity. The grants and low cost loans paid to renewable plants at construction have to be recovered by increasing the unit cost for electricity. The subsidies paid to renewables for the power they generate also have to be recovered also by increasing the unit cost for electricity.

    Rooftop solar. Note the pride they place in more than a million units. However, as people only purchase what they can afford the main ones sold are the smaller ones of 1.5KW. In fact the average rooftop power supply for those more than a million units is still slightly under 2MW.

    The rebate paid to those purchasers is hefty, and even for the smallest, (1.5KW) amounts to (from) $2400.

    So, more than a million of them at that average comes in at around $3 Billion, and that’s the low end estimate.

    THAT has to be recovered, and they do that with the increased unit cost for all consumers in every sector.

    The FIT, as high as 44 cents per KWH, which is in fact double the retail, and in fact 14 times higher than coal fired power can be generated for.

    THAT has to be recovered, and they do that with the increased unit cost for all consumers in every sector.

    So now, we see incrementally small levels of costing added to your per unit cost for electricity, all adding up, and as more renewable power plants get constructed, as more rooftop systems get installed, that price increase march will continue.

    So, cancelling the CO2Tax/ETS will result in a small saving at the outset, but relatively soon, will disappear, as what happens ….. happens.

    Therein lies the dilemma.

    Cutting the CO2Tax/ETS will lower that unit cost for electricity ever so slightly, and in fact most consumers at the residential level may probably not even notice it.

    The damage has been done already as those added costs I explained above will still need to be recovered, and that will take decades even if they stopped all those other things right now.

    See the problem.

    If the coalition win and can that CO2Tax/ETS, Labor can still make great claims that they have done virtually nothing to lower the cost, because all those other things are assiduously left unmentioned, and unexplained.

    Power prices will not magically come down.

    Those days are gone forever, over a long time ago, oh yeah. (apologies to Steely Dan)

    And in all of this, who gets the most blame?

    Coal fired power ….. the source of cheap power.

    It’s complex, and the real answer lies in the past, now obscured by the fog of spin.

    Tony.


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      Sometimes it’s an easy thing to say that coal fired power is cheap and that renewables are expensive, and the usual comeback is ….. look at LCOE and see that renewables are now approaching the low price electricity of coal fired power, but I can actually show you what a future with no coal fired power, and a reliance upon renewables looks like, and so that you don’t just think I am just saying this, you, yourself, can actually do the exercise.

      I don’t need to search the Planet and find an example (you know and there’s the usual reply….. aha! see how you cherry picked this) because I can point you at South Australia.

      They did have two, (positively ancient) coal fired power plants. The day the CO2 Tax came in, one of them closed down forever, and following the end of Summer, the second one shut down because it was considered uneconomical to keep running.

      During Summer, South Australia had five days when the wholesale power costs spiked beyond $100/MWH. After the plant shut,costs spiked, and from late Autumn until now, and especially in May June and July, virtually every third day spiked beyond that $100/MWH. In fact there were two Months when the average cost was (well) beyond that figure, with some days beyond $200, a couple of occasions beyond $300 and $400, and one day at $866, meaning that power retailers had to purchase power that cost almost 4 times what they could sell it at retail.

      This isn’t just a momentary spike but the average across the Peak Power period 7AM until 10PM, 15 hours.

      Here’s the Link to that site, the Australian Regulator, AEMO Average Price Tables

      So then, follow the link and when it shows up, scroll down to the heading Average daily prices – Historical, and you’ll see the Months are highlighted and each orange title is the link for that Month in that year.

      Now, click on December 2012, January and February 2013, opening them in new windows and look at the prices for S.A. and this is with one coal fired plant in operation.

      Now click on the later, more recent Months one at a time, or all of them in new windows and navigate from window to window. It’s easy enough to do.

      Note the costs for electricity (the wholesale cost) and see how they are not only consistently higher, but more than double plus what they were with that now closed coal fired plant in operation.

      Now that you’ve done that exercise, perhaps go back and compare the S.A. costs with the other States where there is plenty of coal fired power, oh, excepting the cheapest of all Tasmania which has beaucoups Hydro power.

      Note how those States with plenty of coal fired power, the cost stays relatively stable, and consistently cheaper than in S.A.

      Oh, and the CO2 Tax.

      Click on June 2012 and July 2012. The CO2 Tax came into effect July 1st 2012. Note the spike, and now note the earlier cost for power, that per MWH cost. With a mix of plants, the cost is mid thirties, and coal fired power makes up around $30/MWH of that overall mix.

      So, S.A has a huge reliance on Wind Power and an almost total lack of coal fired power, and I say almost here, because sometime in Mid July, Northern ran up one unit to dump 250MW of cheap coal fired power into S.A. grids, lowering the overall price. (somewhat)

      That is the future with a reliance on renewables and the running into the ground of old coal fired plants that are not being replaced.

      You be the judge.

      Tony.

      Post Script. Other States do have spikes, but note they are not as frequent as they are in S.A.


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      Don Young

      Tony,
      The setting of electricity prices is a complex subjest. I have looked at some material, and I may try to investigate and analyse in detail when I can find sufficient time (perhaps another blog article). I would like to make two points, however.
      (1) There is widespeard reporting of price increases over past years. I think most people would agree that price increase in line with CPI are acceptable. And that improvements in service (improved reliability and safely, for example) may increase the price above CPI and could be deemed reasonable. However, it is clear to anyone that price increases are far beyond these levels, and furthermore, there seems be a complete absence of proper and serious analysis undertaken to put pressure to hold governments to account. I feel that I am being ripped off with these increases, I expect most other people feel the same.
      (2) There is general acceptance that the carbon tax has added 10% to electricity bills. Therefore, removing the carbon tax should reduce electricity billls by the same amount. Reducing the carbon tax from $24 to $6 should reduce electricity bills by 3/4 of 10% i.e. 7.5%. Note that if during the same year, other factors increase prices by say 5% then the net decrease would be 5% less. If the decreases are less than this, then I would conclude we are being ripped off (again).


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    ianl8888


    … the real answer lies in the past, now obscured by the fog of spin

    Hence my comment many months ago that the war is lost to us. I’m well aware that most people here, likely including Jo Nova, do not want to believe this … but I’ve been involved in the raw fuel supply end for over 30 years (actual operating mines) and my observation is precise


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      Ian, with respect, the war is not lost, but I understand why it sometimes seems overwhelming — there is a lot to do. The GSA story is good one, in the sense that each and every science association is eventually going to have to go the same way, and if members copied what happened in the GSA the dominoes would start to fall. It’s happening with the Royal Society, and The APS… as long as members feel it is pointless to complain, the serf slaves who run those “statement” committees win.

      I should hold the GSA up as an example for other groups. Honestly, people have barely begun to get organised within these associations. They keep their thoughts to themselves for fear of being called names.

      But bullying is brittle. Once it is exposed it collapses.


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        ianl8888

        Hard to reply to, Jo, many “unconnected” dots – sorry, but it’s all Pollyanna stuff. I have long understood that aspect of your website

        I was a member of the GSA for over 30 years. The academics always gravitated to the Executive and mostly I had no issue with that. In fact, these people (and especially those in the CSIRO) were always contacting people like me looking for joint mining projects in active mines. Mostly this was a quite useful symbiosis

        Then about 20 years ago, Mr Greenie turned up. Slowly and surely green funding from both Govt and NGO’s (fanned by a deliberately alarmist MSM) seduced the academics. An all-out war ensued in the CSIRO, which the existing geoscientists lost, and lost heavily. Separately, the GSA Executive took to “Statements” which were deliberately designed to exclude those members who could claim active empirical experience and knowledge, especially excluding specific, difficult questions from such members. Only peer review allowed

        Of course I complained. No, I was NOT afraid of being called names (and was, many times) … but I could not offer the same levels and guarantee of funding. Nor could any of my similarly-minded colleagues. So, the green funding and CAGW mindset became mutually bound, fundamentally destroying the initial,long-standing nature of the GSA. This change is now set in concrete; any shift to this will take decades more, just as it took >10+ years to form

        And in the meantime, Govt decrees, statutes, funding and destruction of the reliability/affordability of our energy grid with “renewabubbles” continues to accelerate at all levels (local, State, Federal)

        The biggest, most cynical betrayal is that of the MSM, who persistently refuse to publish the simple, factual truths of base load requirements. Posts from TonyOz and mine to a much lesser extent, detail this time after time but it never surfaces in the MSM. Not a skerrick of it, ever. I noted your interview with the ABC, wherein you wisely insisted on filming it yourself as well. Of course you exposed their dishonest editing … this made absolutely no difference to public opinion, because the public remained resolutely ignorant of it

        That’s for over 20 years now, Jo. I wonder if even Pollyanna could hold out that long before accepting the now-existent status quo ?


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          Peter Lang

          ianl8888,

          Thanks for this. Many good points. I am listening.


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          Yonniestone

          “The biggest, most cynical betrayal is that of the MSM” I agree, considering the digital age of media being even more far reaching,accessible and fast globally most facets of the MSM have gone to great lengths to spread the pro AGW lie.
          I had to deal with Fairfax media for advertising and the overall ignorance/arrogance of these people was shocking, the worst thing was discovering how uneducated and basic they were and having to listen to the new age mantra’s spewing forth.
          My old coach once said “Be careful not to take yourself too serious, you could start to believe your own s%$t.”


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    handjive

    Here is an alternative comparison of policies.

    The doomsday greens & it’s useful idiots have a site, iamreal.com.au -support climate action

    Scroll down to foot and find hotlink, ETS v Direct Action
    .
    Apparently they support action, as long as it’s not direct.
    Note that neither comparison of policies cites one example of a successful tackling of a extreme climate event, the very purpose of it’s existence.
    But much discussion about money transfer.


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      Dave

      handjive,

      Those video’s in the “I am real link” are woeful.

      Bryan Brown USED to be a favourite actor of mine, now he’s at the bottom of the list. He states that climate change is causing bush fires and all the Eucalyptus will die, and then the Koalas??? Maybe a short course in Botany for this dill wouldn’t go astray in relation to bush fires and Australian native plants.

      The Greens just want money to live the high life while the rest of Australia gets ruined. These Green Vandals are the worst, with windmills, solar schemes, wave energy, RET’s FIT’s etc that have caused the 75% increase in electricity. Tony’s post above explains why the cost has gone up so much.

      Why not just abolish the CO2 emissions target forever, and take advantage of the beautiful weather Australia enjoys.


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        Joe V.

        The Green vote is an appeal to emotion. Aus has now had its little weepie and will get back to reality shortly. The difficulty though is, these Greens spokespersons sound so plausible and will always have an appeal to the innocent & gullible, who get to vote too.


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        Graeme No.3

        Dave,
        the greenies are largely paid by the government. That is, you will find them very much as University staff, school teachers, civil servants, and the permanently (if they can get away with it) unemployed. Add in what Bishop Hill memorably referred to as “spotty adolescents with learning difficulties” and you have practically the entire range. There are a few odd ones i.e. odd in the sense that they aren’t as odd as the others.

        They all believe that the Government has a big bag of money somewhere, and if they squeal long and loudly enough it will get spent on their desires. Thus you rarely see greenies taking any action to help the environment (unless protecting skin bacteria from the harmful effects of soap & water) and always expecting someone else to do the work, carry the burden and pay for it.

        Thus they regard wind and solar as ‘cheap’ because the money to build them will come out of the big bag, and doesn’t count. And for some reason the costs of transmission lines to woop woop to collect that power, and the cost of maintenance aren’t included either.


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          Joe V.

          That’s it. Guvmint is a big stick for extracting other people’s money, to pay for the whimsical fancies of Greenies , because we think they should.
          Tyranny in reverse is still tyranny.


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      Don Young

      Handjive,
      A quick look at the links you have provided shows just how ill-informed and irrational these views are. They state that ETS is the best and most efficient approach. If that is the case, why have they not quantified just how wonderful and efficient it is. It should be a concern that such people want to manage the Australian economy. I would much prefer to have the data avaliable, serious and informated analysis, and vigorous discussion and debate.


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    pat

    Don Young –
    thanx for the info.

    30 Aug: SMH: Tom Arup: Polluting power plants to reap carbon tax windfall
    Australia’s highest polluting power plants will receive compensation worth $1 billion on Monday – just five days from polling day – in the next tranche of energy industry assistance under the carbon price.
    Generators in line for the compensation, which comes as free carbon credits, include Victoria’s brown coal power plants.
    The Latrobe Valley’s largest plants, Hazelwood, Yallourn and Loy Yang A, will get credits worth $268 million, $259 million and $241 million respectively…
    The free credits come on top of $1 billion in cash compensation given last year to eligible plants, which also includes smaller Victorian generators, Loy Yang B, Energy Brix and Anglesea…
    Opposition leader Tony Abbott was grilled about the reports on Friday morning on ABC local radio.
    Mr Abbott did not specifically address questions about whether he would legislate to annul the billion dollars worth of compensation due to be paid to coal stations, but said the Coalition had made it clear that it would scrap the carbon tax and keep carbon tax for households – not for companies.
    ”There will be no windfall gain for business. I don’t want to close down Victoria’s power stations, I want to clean them up,” Mr Abbott said.
    ”I want Victoria to continue to have affordable energy because the affordable energy of the La Trobe Valley is the foundation of Victoria’s manufacturing strength.”
    Coalition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said: ”We have always said that the carbon tax could not be repealed retrospectively and nothing has changed. It is the law until it is repealed.”
    If the carbon price is repealed the free credits will become worthless. But the credits can be cashed-in by generators from Monday by selling them to the government at a slightly discounted rate…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/polluting-power-plants-to-reap-carbon-tax-windfall-20130830-2sudb.html


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    pat

    lengthy, worth reading it all:

    30 Aug: Courier Mail: Steve Lewis/Stephen McMahon: Billions wiped from blue-chips as carbon tax hits Australia’s top companies
    VIRGIN Airlines has blamed the carbon tax for contributing to a $98 million full-year loss, adding to corporate concerns that Labor’s climate change scheme is wiping billions of dollars off blue-chip profits.
    Australia’s second biggest airline on Friday morning announced the carbon tax had added nearly $50 million to its 2012/13 expenses – around half the amount booked by Qantas, which said the green impost added $106 million.
    Chief executive officer John Borghetti explained the $47.9 million cost could not be recovered by Virgin, “due to strong competition in the market” – a common complaint from businesses facing a carbon squeeze.
    A week from polling day, the impact of Labor’s greenhouse scheme on corporate balance sheets can be revealed – with the carbon tax costing the country’s four biggest energy companies close to $1.7 billion…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/billions-wiped-from-bluechips-as-carbon-tax-hits-australia8217s-top-companies/story-fnic6klz-1226707540083


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    pat

    31 Aug: Queensland Times:
    Zanows’ Sand and Gravel manager Brad Zanow said the business has shed five of its 48 staff to cope with a rise of $15,000 a month in the firm’s overheads
    The company does not pay the carbon tax itself, but Mr Zanow claimed the tax had led to increases in electricity bills, as well as the cost of oil, cement powder and air-conditioning gas.
    Mr Zanow said he believed confidence will only return to the economy if there is a change of government on September 7.
    He said private firms within Ipswich were inquiring about contracts with Zanows’ – but will only go ahead with future projects if the carbon tax is scrapped and bills are lowered…
    “Since the election has been on the cards business has not gone up but there has been a lot more quoting.”
    But sitting Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann said Mr Zanow’s business was not paying the carbon tax directly and he was leading an anti-Labor campaign.
    Mr Neumann said Zanows’ had made no attempt to seek assistance from the Federal Government to offset the flow-on impacts of the controversial tax.
    “He doesn’t pay the carbon tax. The impacts that they have got would be indirect impacts,” he said.
    “If he says he has put workers off as a result of the carbon price in his industry, it is from an indirect flow through.”
    Mr Neumann said Queensland’s electricity prices had jumped up 50% in recent years, but only 0.09% is attributable to the carbon tax. The carbon tax has reduced emissions by 7.7% since its introduction…
    Mr Neumann and Mr Zanow clashed at the Australian Christian Lobby debate early in the election campaign.
    Mr Zanow was asked to leave the debate after asking Mr Neumann a question on the carbon tax…
    http://www.qt.com.au/news/business-blames-carbon-tax-for-local-job-losses/2004557/

    yes, there’s a lot of us paying that INDIRECT cost, mr. neumann, but so appropriately idiotic for u to suggest the govt might have provided taxpayers’ money (INDIRECT COST TO US, MR. NEUMANN) to help out the company!


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      pat says here

      But sitting Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann said Mr Zanow’s business was not paying the carbon tax directly and he was leading an anti-Labor campaign.
      Mr Neumann said Zanows’ had made no attempt to seek assistance from the Federal Government to offset the flow-on impacts of the controversial tax.
      “He doesn’t pay the carbon tax. The impacts that they have got would be indirect impacts,” he said.

      See how people like this with a political agenda have absolutely no idea whatsoever about what the impact of the CO2 Tax really is.

      He looks at his own home power bill and sees a small cost, and the CO2 tax looks relatively small, so he thinks that all power bills are as low as his. For a large semi Industrial concern like this, then multiply that figure you see on your home electricity account by anything from 20 to 100.

      Then there’s that imposed tax on refrigerant gases. As graphically shown on an ABC Q and A program recently, even Government Ministers think that tax is only the base rate. On refrigerant gases, that tax has multipliers ranging from 300 up to 7500, and if you use a lot of refrigerant gases, then that impost is staggeringly huge.

      Now, as you see this Company has had to shed 5 workers, so just going on that, then his impost from this CO2Tax comes in at close on an extra $300,000 a year, paid directly to the Government, via the middlemen, electricity generators and refrigerant gas suppliers, and everyone who supplies his business with those products.

      For this Labor person to say that here in Queensland the CO2 Tax only amounted to an increase of 0.09%, then he’s an absolute lying tu*d, because even his Labor buddies trying to minimise it to as low a figure as possible say it’s closer to 17%.

      And as to the CO2 tax lowering emissions by 7.7%, what an absolute joke. This MP is talking out of his fundament.

      Tony.


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        MemoryVault

        Mr Neumann said Zanows’ had made no attempt to seek assistance from the Federal Government to offset the flow-on impacts of the controversial tax.

        And precisely how does Mr Neumann know this, except by accessing sensitive, confidential public service records with the specific aim of discrediting a vocal opponent?


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      Don Young

      Pat,
      This example, no doubt one of many, shows some serious problems with the design of the current carbon tax. The government has imposed the tax on the ‘big polluters’ so that everyone would say – great! they are causing the co2 emissions, so it is only fair they should pay to reduce them. Then, they provide compensation to everyone, so everyone would think – great! I am not paying anything, so I am happy. IMHO, imposing the tax on busines is probably about the most stupid way possible to design the tax. Aloso I calculated cost per household as $900, not somewhere around $500 as the governmnet has. Without the carbon tax, the busines you mentioned would be 10% better off with electricity bills. That does still leave another 40% od so, but this is another issiue (the management of the electricity system itself). IMHO, Tony Abbott has a valid point – the carbon tax does not in itself cause busineesses to fail, but it does not help, and can be the straw tat breaks the camels back. Alos, if ever there was a case for governmnet to assist business, it is with the very high impost to change refrigerants – as they are not always able to pass on all the extra costs. Some share of this should be borne by the community.


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    pat

    29 Aug: Bloomberg: Alex Morales: Global Warming Slowdown Data Sought in UN Climate Report
    U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.
    They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-29/global-warming-slowdown-data-sought-in-un-climate-report.html

    sounds good so far…but wait, what’s the next line?

    “Including more information on the hiatus will help officials counter arguments that the slowing pace of global warming in recent years is a sign that the long-term trend may be discounted, according to Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.”

    read it all for more fun & games…


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    pat

    just to be on topic for once in this thread:
    don young couldn’t get published on The Drum (who would want to be published there?) because he’s being objective & not following the crony agenda behind CAGW. no-one ever said it better, or funnier, than chris horner.

    5 mins: Youtube: Cap and Trade and Profit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsgzRnNSD8A


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    MadJak

    So then, how long will the Ruddashian last as an opposition leader?

    I wonder how long it will be before the faceless ones put one of their other union puppets back in?


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    Roy Hogue

    The glossy government publication How Australia’s carbon price is working – One Year On summarizes the progress and performance of the government’s carbon tax strategy. Unfortunately this report might kindly be described as “boastful and superficial”, because it fails to provide the basic essential information. There is no detailed summary of money raised, money spent, or co2 emission reductions. There is no detailed analysis of the cost-effectiveness of programs, of other causes of changes to co2 emissions, of how much the carbon tax actually contributed, and no annual projections to 2020. One case study, about the Brisbane City Council, quantifies the savings in electricity costs, but does not quantify how much money was invested or how many tons of co2 emissions were saved, and thus omits the all-important efficiency of the savings ($/tonne of co2). Why was this information withheld?

    So stop me if I’m wrong. Doesn’t this say the money is going down a giant sinkhole? “Why was this information withheld?” Indeed, why? By the time every opportunist in Australia — and more than a few from abroad — gets his piece of the action nothing is really done except a big show. That’s how government programs work, is it not? I would hide that bottom line too.

    The fastest growing industry in America is lobbying in DC. Deals are made and the dealers get rich. But it’s always, “Screw the people who pay the bills.” I daresay that if you looked for it there’s a similar growth industry in Canberra.

    For many years already, the political left has always talked about a tax reduction as the government losing money. They think your money is theirs, plain as day.

    Let’s be honest about it. Government is big business with the intent of enriching those who can pull the strings the right way. What we so carefully put together to be our servant, to do essential functions that individuals cannot do for themselves, has become our master instead. We failed to keep watch and have lost control.

    We either find a way to take our nations back or we descend into something I don’t even want to think about. It’s not the carbon tax that’s the problem, nor is it CO2. Those things are just the convenient excuse. It’s a moral problem. I know I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. If there isn’t a change of heart, a moral revival right across this planet, civilization is doomed. Nothing can stand for very long against the dishonesty, the secret deals and the lying that now passes for government, not to mention big business.

    They’re all acting on the incentive we’ve given them and we need to change the incentive. And it all starts with the individual. We can do it. But will we?


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    [...] “klimaatvermijding” met wél een opgelegde maximum (meer)prijs per ton vermeden CO2. Jo Nova schrijft dat een studie laat zien dat gezinnen onder Labour voor $900 worden genaaid en onder de Coalitie voor $100. Toch geen lood om [...]


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    Don Young

    I have found that the Department of “Industry, Inovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and tertiary Education” does publish Greenhouse National Accounts. data is available 2008 with the latest quarterly update being for for December 2012.
    I will be interested when the June 2013 quarterly update is available, so I can check the Government claims regarding GHG and CO2 emission reductions. Looks like I need to wait another 3 to 6 months.
    I would have expected data to be published for a considerly longer time period (back to 2000 at least), and quarterly data to be available by the end of the subsequent quarter.
    I have not read the published data in detail, so cannot comment whetehr the methodology measurement methodology is sound or accurate, or whether it is provided as explanatory notes together with the published data.


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      Peter Lang

      Don,

      The CO2 emissions estimates have been published for about two decades, initially by ABARE. Department of Climate Change (previously Australian Greenhouse Office and now included in the “Department for everything” as Jo once dubbed it), has been publishing the emissions projections and estimated actuals for many years too. It publishes them in two ways: compliant with UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. You choose which way to view them and also drill down by gas, sector, state, etc. here. The most recent year is 2011.

      However, the important point I was making is that the emissions are very rough estimates. They are nowhere near the precision and accuracy that will eventually be needed for taxing or trading a commodity. The emissions from power stations – which are a large component of total emissions should have about the lowest compliance cost to measure, monitor and report – are nowhere near sufficiently precise and accurate for trading the commodity. I suggested you read the AEMO site which explains how Australia estimates the emissions from power stations and compare this with how EU estimates them and how USA measures them. Also read the Joe Wheatley paper on Quantifying Emissions avoided by wind generation in Ireland in 2011, as this will provide some insight as to why precise and accurate emissions measurements are needed if we want to make informed policy decisions. I’ve provided the links in previous comments.


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