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Momentum shifts on Renewables Targets in Australia (mini revolt brewing)

Posted By Jo Nova On September 15, 2017 @ 3:25 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Things are heating up to stop other things blacking out

Last week the AEMO (which controls our electricity grid) said we needed 1,000MW of spare power to keep the lights on in SA and Victoria this summer. Didn’t that light a fuse? Then AGL (a major energy player in Australia with coal, gas and wind assets) dug in and repeated that it was going to be hero and definitely close another coal plant (called Liddell) in 2022. At this point, the Prime Minister, no less, had to suddenly enter into talks to convince AGL to sell Liddell or keep it running a bit longer — anything but a shut down. (Figure how screwed up a market has to be for the owner of an asset to need to be talked into perhaps, maybe selling it for money instead of throwing it away? Isn’t any money better than none? Well, maybe not in a river of subsidies… more on the games going on in AGL soon.)

Desperate, Turnbull even offered to buy a stake in Liddell (with tax dollars). So the government may have to buy up exactly the kind of project the government has been working to close with RET schemes and clean energy targets. It’s emergency nationalization to repair the damage from the unnecessary, mindboggling government schemes to control weather with power stations. The bandaid on a leech.

Amongst this mess, finally, this week the National Party got the mojo to vote to axe all subsidies for renewable energy. And not a moment too soon. (For foreign readers, the “Nats” are a part of the coalition goverment with the Liberals. )

The Nationals have voted to remove all subsidies for renewable energy providers over a five-year period and to freeze them at their current level for the next year.

There is a big pie for people to fight over:

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are set to receive subsidies of up to $2.8 billion a year up to 2030according to research by economic consultancy BAEeconomics commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia.

Renewables are so toxic now, that the “Clean Energy Target” is being revamped into a “Reliable Energy Target”

The former prime minister [Tony Abbott] told 2GB on Thursday he welcomed signs from Malcolm Turnbull that the government was moving away from the clean energy target recommended by the chief scientist to what he is characterising as a “100% reliable energy target.”

“I welcome these signs that we are moving away from a clean energy target to a reliable energy target, and, frankly, nothing less than a 100% reliable energy target will do because we’ve got to keep the lights on all the time … if we are to be a first-world country,” Abbott said.

Abbott declared the government should end all subsidies for renewable energy, and that would mean there was no need to subsidise coal.  … “I don’t want to see subsidies, I want to see a market”.

Turnbull has been PM for two years after the coup to oust Abbott, but faces the whiff of a revolt. Carbon emission schemes were his undoing in 2009, and the pain of pushing a myth continues. MP’s in the Liberals are getting fed up with renewables too (paywalled):

“…between five and 10 Coalition MPs thinking about crossing the floor and voting against any new or remodelled renewable energy scheme.

It should be 50 MP’s.

As debate about the future of energy policy rages, former prime minister Tony Abbott has been doing the rounds of his colleagues in a bid to get support for dumping all government funding for renewables.   h/t GWPF

There were rumors Abbott was raising the idea of exiting the Paris agreement, but today he admitted that the Paris agreement can be worked around, which is true, it is mostly a symbolic scam:

Abbott now argues we are not obliged to abide by the commitments made in the international accord.

Abbott said there was no need to walk away from the Paris agreement, because the emissions reductions commitments contained within it were not binding on Australia.

The Timetable: The RET scheme must be decided before this summer.

MPs concerned about the power bill impact of the policy proposed in a report by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel have been emboldened by last week’s Nationals conference passing a motion opposed to a clean energy target and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s push to wind back renewable energy subsidies.

Mr Abbott will double down on his position in delivering a speech, entitled Daring to Doubt, to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation on October 9.

It is understood the prime minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg are seeking to finalise the design of a new policy by the end of November.

But at the moment, whatever the solution is, it’s likely to be a mash of competing demands still swamped by the ridiculous notion that we need to reduce a healthy beneficial gas produced by every plant, fungus, microbe, animal and ocean on the planet in order to change the weather for our great grandchildren. Get over it guys.

Forecast wind generation a day ahead?

The AEMO’s chief has an idea that wind farm operators surely won’t like:

Earlier in the day, the head of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, told a parliamentary committee she favoured the creation of a day-ahead market – a system where the market operator identifies the energy demand for the next day, hour-by-hour, then generators bid in to supply the market.

She said a day-ahead market would create more certainty and stability in the system, and also allow tools like demand management to be deployed in the event there was insufficient dispatchability in the system.

This is an idea similar to one India put into action in 2013:

 To make the grid more stable, an official somewhere decided it would help to have at least one day’s warning of how much electricity will flow from those towers.

A directive took effect this week ordering wind farms with a capacity of 10 megawatts or more to forecast their generation in 15-minute blocks for the following day. Missing estimates by more than 30 percent will incur penalties. “Forecasting at 15-minute intervals is very challenging,” and could cost a 100-megawatt farm an estimated 250 million rupees ($4.2 million) a year, Tata Power said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Developers will see this as a further handicap” and penalties will “jeopardize” the industry’s growth, the nation’s second-biggest developer said.

h/t GWPF, David B, Pat, TdeF

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