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Surprise: Australia closed a cheap coal generator and electricity got 85% more expensive

Last year one of our largest coal power plants suddenly closed, with only five months warning, catching the market by surprise and taking out 5% of our cheapest generation. (This kind of improbable anti-free-market feat shows just how screwed our national market is). The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has looked at the effect the closure of Hazelwood had on electricity prices and concluded that closing cheap brown-coal plants and replacing them with black coal and gas will make electricity prices rise. This will come as no surprise to anyone who can count to 100.

Dan Harrison at the ABC reports:

A year on from the closure of the 1600 megawatt-sized plant in the Latrobe Valley, the report from the Australian Energy Regulator found wholesale prices in Victoria were up 85 per cent on 2016.

Because electricity retailers use hedging for wholesale prices, the rise in retail prices is still feeding through. In the wash, the wholesale increase is expected to add 16% to retail prices this financial year compared to last year. After that, through some miracle, the AEMC expects prices to come back down from Exorbitant to Slightly Lower Than Exorbitant in the next two years thanks to an increase in renewables.

For most of the history of the Australian National Grid prices averaged $30-$40/MWh. Now they are twice that. (A drought caused the bump in 2007, the carbon tax caused the hump from 2012-2014.)

Quarterly spot prices, Australian national Grid since 1999

Quarterly spot prices, Australian national Grid since 1999 | Source: AER. The arrow marks the spot after Hazelwood closed.

We learn a few things about the seismic jump in prices in Australia that occurred last year:

In the Australian national grid the prices for everyone are set by the highest successful bidder. Without enough brown coal fired generation to set the price, the price jumped up to the next highest bidders. The remaining brown coal generators were working flat out, no more to give, so Australians needed to draw on supplies from the more expensive black coal and gas to set the final bid prices. (And most electricity generators can’t have been too unhappy about that.) In addition, the commodity price of both black coal and gas jumped — in part surely due to the extra demand for these to replace the brown coal that would have been burned — and prices became, not just a bit higher, but a lot higher.  We can blame those commodity prices but if we’d had the flexibility to use cheap brown coal instead, who cares?

Whole flows changed: Victoria used to be a powerhouse, but stopped being a net exporter of electricity and started to be a net importer. Luckily, South Australia produced so much wind power it became a net exporter of electricity for the first time in years. Yet somehow, despite that gift of all this “free” and subsidized wind electricity,  prices still went up. Go figure. ;-)

SA Wind generation 2015,2016,2017, AER, Graph.

All the extra wind power in late 2017 …   | Graph: Jan 2015 to Jan 2018, GWh

The signs are not good that there is some loophole or tweak that will fix this mess. Ominously, the AER did not find much volatility in pricing. The high averages were not due to freak high spikes, but were caused by relentlessly higher averages. Also ominously, even though the states pay separate rates, the interconnectors “worked so well”, that losing a cheap plant in Victoria affected the price in all the states. Queenslanders paid more because of choices made by distant people they didn’t elect. In this conglomerate market influenced by five state and one federal government the incentives fold like an origami wallet.

Naturally, if any state was free to dump the RET and stop the market-destroying effect of the renewables subsidies, investors might be able to inject some cheap energy back into the grid. At the moment, the screaming Banshee price signals that call for cheap generators have been sealed in bureaucratic bunkers.

On the upside, the ABC reports that the closure of Hazelwood has “slashed” a piddling 4.1 mT of carbon “pollution” which might otherwise have improved our crop yields. At a cost of billions, this will keep the world 0.00 degrees cooler.

Victorian gas shortage only going to get worse

Victoria, which now doesn’t profit from exporting electricity, cannot profit from increasing gas exports at the new higher gas prices either. Victorian gas fields are running out and the government has banned people from exploring for new ones.

In a separate report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) predicts there will be a shortfall of gas in Victoria, due to the depletion of offshore gas fields in Gippsland and Port Campbell.

AEMO expects the state’s gas production to decline from 435 petajoules in 2017 to 187 petajoules in 2022, resulting in a shortfall of 19 petajoules for that year.

 Victoria is thus, the new “crash-test-dummy” of renewable-government.

The AER report on the closure of Hazelwood:

The problem isn’t that complicated — less of the cheap stuff means more of the expensive stuff.

The increased output of gas and black coal fired generators coincided with increased fuel costs for some of these generators. As highlighted in our NSW report11 , NSW generators’ black coal costs increased from late 2016, particularly under short term contracts. NSW coal fired generators were also facing problems with coal supply during 2017, which drove higher offers from these generators. At the same time, there have been increases in gas prices in recent years affecting gas-fired generators. Our review also found that brown coal plant set the electricity spot price in Victoria far less often following the closure of the Hazelwood power station. Higher fuel cost generators set the price more often, in particular gas fired and hydro generation, while NSW and Queensland black coal generation continued to set the price a significant proportion of the time, but at much higher prices. Our key finding therefore is that the exit of Hazelwood removed a significant low fuel cost generator which was largely replaced by higher cost black coal and gas plant – at a time when the input costs of black coal and gas plant were increasing. These factors in turn drove significant increases in wholesale electricity prices. Annual average wholesale electricity prices in Victoria in 2017 were the highest they have been since the commencement of the NEM. South Australian average prices were also consistently high.

 

Graph, AER, Electricity prices, set by gas, black coal, hydro in 2018.

Graph, AER, Electricity prices, set by gas, black coal, hydro in 2018.

 Significant? Ho yes. Australia changed net generation type and flow:

Victoria changed from being a net exporter of relatively cheap brown coal generation, to being a net importer. Flows from Queensland into NSW (and then through to Victoria) increased significantly as Queensland black coal generators increased output in 2017. South Australia also became a net exporter to Victoria, where previously it was a net importer. More generally, the interconnectors between the regions were constrained less often, resulting in greater price alignment between regions

What a difference a small deficit in brown coal generation makes

After Hazelwood (see the lighter columns) Australians had to rely on a different form of generation to set the price.

Ownership in the South Australian and Victorian markets is concentrated, with a few, largely vertically integrated participants controlling a significant proportion of capacity..

 The AER did not find evidence that the players were gaming the system much or doing “opportunistic” bidding or withholding generation. But there was less bidding at under $50/MWh, and more bidding at $90-$100. In the past it was spikes of high wholesale prices that drove averages up, this time there was less volatility, and more just plain old constant high prices. I don’t think this can be fixed any other way than the utterly obvious.

 Spot the problem — 3500MW of coal closed down and was replaced with 2500MW of unreliable wind and solar:

In the five years prior to Hazelwood closing there has been around 5000 MW of capacity withdrawn from the NEM, 3500 MW of which was coal generation. In NSW around 1900 MW was withdrawn mainly due to Wallerawang and Munmorah power stations (1600 MW combined capacity). In South Australia the Northern and Playford B power stations exited (740 MW combined capacity), while in Victoria Energy Brix and Anglesea (355 MW combined capacity). Over the same period there has been around 2500 MW of new capacity added to the NEM, 2100 MW of wind and 240 MW of solar. Around 1600 MW of this wind capacity is in Victoria and South Australia along with a 100 MW battery.

The capacity factor for wind is about 30% and for solar is about 20ish percent, meaning the real capacity added was more like 600MW, plus or minus 2000MW.

Curiously, about 750MW of previously uneconomic withdrawn power, which was mostly gas plants, made a comeback.

Look at these interesting graphs: What’s the cost of brown coal, black coal and gas power?

It’s difficult to say exactly what generation costs, but these graphs show the amount of time these different power sources were setting the price and what that price was. Worth an eyeball. Hazelwood closed at the end of Q1 2017. Prior to that, note the incredibly cheap winning bids from dirty, brown, outdated coal, which has “no future” (in a market controlled by the tooth fairy).

AER Graph, 2018, prices set by black coal power.

Bayswater coal plant used to be able to win bids at $40/MWh (or it used to have to bid that low to win). Thanks to the RET (Renewable Energy Target) destroying some of the cheapest power, that’s not happening any more. Costs are up and competition is down.

AER Graph, 2018, prices set by brown coal power.

One gas plant. Not cheap to start. Not cheap to finish.

AER Graph, 2018, prices set by gas power.

Hydro costs are up too:

AER Graph, 2018, prices set by gas power.

Unreliable wind and solar must be backed up by something and cheap brown coal is punished by pagan aims to control the weather. Thus it is inevitable that the more wind and solar we add, the more we need gas, black coal or hydro, code for “expensive”.

The AER report also noted that Victoria and SA have only three big “vertically integrated” players. That’s another story, but with convoluted incentives we can be sure all three are taking advantage of the perversity on offer.

h/t  Dave B

 

When warmist politicians distort,
The truth about climate, they thwart,
A grid’s power supply,
It’s then costly to buy,
Making many Australians go short.

–Ruairi

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155 comments to Surprise: Australia closed a cheap coal generator and electricity got 85% more expensive

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Have you ever noticed that the only time monopoly markets behave like the academic types theorize they should, ie reducing supply to squeeze out higher prices for an essential product, is when they are run by government? The busted trusts, from Standard Oil to the railroads, were all about increasing supply and reducing unit cost. Whether power in Australia or Conrail in the US, the govt reduces service and increases cost when is asserts global control. From the Post Office to Broadcasting, Forestry and land management to
    Telephony, the government acts like a cross between a sloth and an elephant, with the mean streak of a badger thrown in.

    SOmetmes I wonder why there aren’t more libertarians. The power of rent seeking, I guess.

    341

    • #
      Geoff

      So brown coal is cheaper than ANYTHING else. What a surprise!

      Victoria has arguably the cheapest source of power in the world. 395 Btons of it on land, 33 Bt easily accessed by shovel. We used to use it at a rate of 60 Mt per annum. Now about 40 Mt. So at full capacity 6,500 years. If you think this is a big number, there is another 600 Bt of black coal under the brown coal and another 1,200 Bt of brown coal under Bass Strait.

      It gets bigger!

      If the hydrocarbons, (n-anes, n-enes, phenols) could be extracted from the coals at say a 60% extraction of possible, that is 2,400 Billion barrels, at say US$50/barrel or about US$120 Trillion vs Australia’s GDP of US$1.5T. So just doing this one thing means we could mostly do nothing and still be richer than anyone else on Earth.

      Lets extend the current governments thinking. 6,500 years of capacity and being richer that Croesus is not going to get ANY votes. Only a crisis gets votes. Only a crisis allows the government to get bigger via enforced taxation and PAY THEMSELVES more for doing less and making any crisis last longer in order to STAY in POWER by turning off the POWER!

      So where are we now? Surprise, surprise, the government looks after the government.

      320

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        So anyone with half a brain can see the market is beibg pushed up with the only logical explanation of trying to choke off econonic growth. The other effect by banning gas exploration is to stop victoria from actually surviving by itself and create one big happy socialist australia-wide co-dependency on govt power regulation…..victirians will know its for real when MCG night games are banned coz the communist govt cant pay the power bill…..oh to watch the pollies digging their bunkers on that day….

        Its all going to end in tears…

        130

    • #
      mareeS

      Stories don’t come better than this, except in murder and rampant fraud cases.

      I and many colleagues spent years in courtrooms at such trials.

      I’m waiting for the fraudsters to front up to the bench over the GW scam. It is maddening that they seem to be free and clear.

      80

  • #
    Serp

    I remember listening in amazement thirty years ago when my brother related the difficulties of managing an overseas art show somewhere in SE Asia where mains power was only available for a couple of hours a day and now I’m wondering how near to that state we are.

    280

  • #
    Gerry, England

    So kind to provide us in the UK with a looking glass into our future as we follow along the same dumb path.

    As an aside, it seems that tampering in Australia isn’t just limited to temperature data. :-)

    341

    • #
      beowulf

      You can tell how the level of government interference has grown just by looking at the incredible number of agencies/departments whose electrical whims we are now subject to.

      Until a couple of decades ago in NSW we had . . . the Electricity Commission, full stop.

      We are now subject to:
      Australian Energy Marketing Operator
      Australian Energy Regulator
      Australian Energy Marketing Commission
      Australian Renewable Energy Agency
      Clean Energy Council
      Clean Energy Regulator
      Clean Energy Finance Corp.
      Federal energy and climate change departments
      State energy and climate change departments
      et al

      Energy bureaucracy is obviously THE growth industry in Oz. With that degree of oversight our power will just get cheaper and more reliable by the second. HA HA.

      410

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Good outline.

        100

      • #

        You could also add all the local level interference, eg ICLEI, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Back door UN creeps.

        110

      • #

        Yes, you can’t wreck a perfectly good grid which serves millions of people without a lot of bureaucracy.

        240

        • #
          Bobl

          Jo,
          I’m just an old EE and my opinion on energyo might not count but you, like Tony focus on Capacity factor. Capacity factor is an annual average, but people’s energy security is not annualised, it’s a minute to minute thing. It is wrong to compare coal which is around 99.5% reliable (n-1) with solar that is around 5% reliable and wind which is about 1% reliable.

          What is important therefore is the reliable energy delivery of the source, IE, how much reliable fossil fuel energy can be shut down and be permanently replaced by other sources, and what price that has. For example given energy storage, Solar could theoretically provide about 3-5% of nameplate reliably over 95% of the time. This means that to get say 1 kw of solar reliably 24x7x52 you need to install around 20 kw of panels. On average over the year yes you might get 20% CF (4kW ) but the important point is that the minimum output will be 1kW. Of course at 20:1 overbuilt, Not 1kg of CO2 will ever be saved so this is kind of pointless.

          Wind is worse because in most installations in Australia, wind isn’t anywhere near as reliable as the sun. It’s possible to have outages for weeks.

          Finally you should at least occasionally mention that by its very nature energy scavenging tech needs to be exposed to the environment which makes it fragile. Providing I can get air to it, I could build a fossil fuel energy plant under a mountain, nuclear bomb proof. Can’t see solar panels and windmills surviving any sort of war or even a cyclone or hailstorm ( Puerto Rico is the perfect example). All the islands renewables were wiped out simultaneously in one storm.

          So when you write these stories please avoid the myth that Capacity factor represents the true output of these technologies, no, the true reliable output, without storage is Zero or even negative and even when battery backed is 1-5% of nameplate.

          120

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Thanks Bob for opening up a new path for us to follow on our journey towards exposing the truth of our current perilous electricity generation.

            In the case of “renewables”, more and more always means Less and Less.

            Somebody should be held accountable for this deliberate assault on our wellbeing.

            KK

            60

      • #
        yarpos

        All part of Lily D’Ambrosio’s downward pressure on energy prices

        80

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        This kind of ‘total beurocracy’ reminds me of somewhere . . Like the European Union perhaps?
        GeoffW

        100

      • #
        john karajas

        We really are a great country aren’t we!

        Coal and uranium reserves that other countries would have no hesitation in developing and utilising as well as huge gas potential yet to be properly delineated all because we are now pandering to inner city prats who have no concept of how the real world operates and have practically no real understanding of science and technology.

        150

  • #
    pat

    heard Matthew Warren, Chairman, Australian Energy Council on 2GB (Ross Greenwood, Money prog) earlier this evening, but it is not a stand-alone highlight on the 2GB website and I can’t find a way to access the full prog without subscription.

    subject was basslink being down again. Warren was flippant throughout the interview. no problem. it’s autumn, power demand down, it’ll only be down for 2 weeks, etc. no baseload isn’t a real problem. solar and wind now cheapest energy. as long as it’s all managed well, we’ll be fine blah blah. will try to find more on this tomorrow.

    however, also heard mention of this on the same program. talk about gambling on energy via a chinese Jewellery Group!

    29 Mar: BusinessInsider: Chris Pash: Two Hong Kong families just bought into Australian casino operator Star
    The Star just raised $490 million by selling 10% of the casino operator to two Hong Kong-based trading families…
    The two Hong Kong companies are Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium…

    The Cheng Family also controls New World Development Company Limited, a HK Exchange-listed conglomerate, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, a leader in the jewellery industry, also listed on the HK Exchange.

    ***In Australia, the company owns energy utility Alinta Energy and the Loy Yang B Power Station in Victoria, which supplies nearly 20% of Victoria’s energy needs…
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/two-hong-kong-families-just-bought-into-australian-casino-operator-star-2018-3

    April 2017: Bloomberg: Australia Says Chow Tai Fook’s Alinta Takeover Has Won Approval
    By David Stringer and Ed Johnson; With assistance by Narae Kim
    Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd., the Hong Kong conglomerate best known for its jewelry stores, has won Australian regulatory approval to acquire gas and electricity provider Alinta Energy Holdings Ltd.
    The deal has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board and is subject to strict conditions, a spokeswoman for Treasurer Scott Morrison said by phone Sunday, without elaborating on the details. Morrison decides on approvals for overseas investors on advice from the investment board.

    Chow Tai Fook in March agreed to pay investors including buyout firm TPG Capital more than A$4 billion ($3 billion) for Alinta, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Alinta’s assets in Australia span nationwide energy retailing through power generation for industrial customers…

    The transaction follows in the path of Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd., which on Friday won approval for a A$7.4 billion takeover of Australian power provider Duet Group. Li-controlled companies already own stakes in Australian assets including SA Power Networks, Powercor Australia and Australian Gas Networks.

    Australian utilities such as Alinta and Duet have attracted foreign interest because of steady cash flows from their gas and electricity assets. The country’s power companies are overseen by national and state regulators, which decide how much network operators can charge.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-23/australia-says-chow-tai-fook-s-alinta-takeover-has-won-approval

    90

  • #
    pat

    comment re Matthew Warren, Australia Energy Council, plus Alinta etc has gone into moderation.

    for the record, interesting to look at some backgrounds at the AEC:

    Australian Energy Council: Matthew Warren, Chief Executive
    Matthew Warren was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Council in December 2015. Prior to this he led the ESAA from 2012 to pursue the deregulation of energy markets, the development of comprehensive, efficient and durable national climate and energy policy and to manage the aggressive transformation facing the sector.
    Matthew was previously Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council, where he made a significant contribution to Australian policy debate on the role of renewable energy in meeting the challenges of reducing emissions…
    Matthew has also worked as a journalist, most recently as the environment writer for The Australian newspaper. He was a trainee in the Environment Directorate of the European Commission.
    Matthew holds a Bachelor of Economics with Honours from the University of Adelaide…

    Sarah McNamara, General Manager Corporate Affairs
    Sarah is a corporate and government relations professional with more than 10 years’ experience working with policy and regulatory frameworks across the resources and energy sectors.
    Most recently she was Chief of Staff to the then Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane, and prior to that worked as a senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister (energy, resources, environment, agriculture and communications).
    Sarah has also worked for the industry – between 2008 and 2013 she worked in AGL’s Corporate Affairs team as Head of Government Affairs (and for some of that time also headed up its Community Engagement team)…ETC
    https://www.energycouncil.com.au/about/executive-staff/

    60

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      The profile of the first contestant reads like that of our new council manager who, still just a boy, has managed to get himself the AUD $400,000 p.a. position as top Dog.

      Politics is such a wonderfully rewarding vocation for those who believe in Dog and equity, equality, diversity and the potential of government to accumulate more debt to fund the new, Brussels inspired, lifestyle.

      In the name of CO2, The Gas Almighty, may it ever be so.

      KK

      100

      • #

        Kinky Keith March 30,18 at 2:34 am

        In the name of CO2, The Gas Almighty, may it ever be so.

        In the US it is still good Friday; although I never noticed anything good about Friday!
        More and more this Earth seems to be remote isolated reserve for the MAD, (beththeserf)’, The IGNORANT (those that ignore the obvious -will-), then KK, who may learn from Earth’s nice critters (not to worry about it)! :-)

        80

        • #
          Annie

          It’s Good Friday here Will; you must mean that it’s still Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) in the US, surely?

          41

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        KK, my thoughts are the shiny rear end professional trough lickers wont be worth squat when the grid goes bang. Those of us here who actually know how to handle a grid down situation will survive, where as the useless ( bureaucratic ) class will die off. A few might survive, most wont…

        40

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          We had 10 days without power here in a section of Newcastle a couple of years ago.

          I don’t look forward to a repeat of that.

          30

  • #

    Close coal, power bills up.

    Weird being skeps, isn’t it? We get to state the flaming obvious all the time and the climatariat gets to ignore the flaming obvious all the time. All the flaming time. Like a flaming game.

    340

  • #
    Dave in the States

    Alluding to the previous topic, its a brutal irony that those who espouse the end of coal usually also espouse replacing ICE vehicles with EVs.

    220

  • #
    Idiot_Wind

    All across the Western world the so-called democracies (or, at least, the elites in those countries) have spent the last few decades adopting renewable energy schemes. These have increased energy costs for ordinary people and reduced grid reliability, but were claimed to be saving the world from “catastrophic global warming”; that claim has been attenuated to saving the world from the much less frightening “climate change”. However, as judged by the outcome of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the rest of the world seems to care little for the level of atmospheric CO2, which would be odd if CO2 really was the atmosphere’s master temperature control knob that the alarmists claim it to be.

    Thus my question is this. How has the West come to adopt energy policies which are so expensive for ordinary people? Where has been the independent due diligence critique of these policies which seem to be profoundly anti-democratic in that that they adversely affect ordinary folk. Have our democracies been so severely compromised that they are no longer effective democracies? If they have been compromised, what are the mechanisms by which they are being/were compromised?

    Here in the UK the recent Helm report [Ref. 1] mentions ‘policy’ several times; the word ‘capture’ is usually not far away. Also, the secret lobbying of government ministers [Ref. 2] may also be a significant factor. Lastly, Crouch in his book ‘Post-democracy’ [Ref. 3] speaks of the parabola of democracy in terms suggesting that the period of closest approach to egalitarian democracy occurred in the decades immediately after World War II (i.e. we are now fast receding from the democratic high point). The future does not look bright!

    References
    1. Dieter Helm, “Cost of Energy Review”, 25th October 2015: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/654902/Cost_of_Energy_Review.pdf
    2. T. Cave & A. Rowell, “A Quiet Word – lobbying, crony capitalism and broken politics in Britain”, Vintage, 2015.
    3. Colin Crouch, “Post-Democracy”, polity, 2004.

    Regards,
    Idiot_Wind.

    220

    • #
    • #
      Yonniestone

      Karl Marx has some interesting insights into the future direction of societies classes, even though Marx did not complete the manuscript that would have presented his overall view of social class. Many of his writings concern the class structures of capitalism.

      From this link Marx’s Theory of Social Class and Class Structure it states; Marx’s view was that the successful members of the middle class would become members of the bourgeoisie, while the unsuccessful would be forced into the proletariat.

      Increasingly we see/hear Marxism being utilised for laying blame on the actions of those that desire to rule unelected (myself included), one important aspect of this is that simply writing ideas on paper doesn’t mean those ideas have to become law as its the actions of others that are influenced by those ides that become the problem, the Manifesto was published in 1848 and even though much has changed somethings stay the same.

      80

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      How has the West come to adopt energy policies which are so expensive for ordinary people?

      In part, at least, because elites throughout the West (as was) have utter contempt for ordinary people. Elites—found in universities, government bureaucracies, the media, high tech companies (the likes of Apple and Google, for instance) and elsewhere—long ago rejected any concept of the person, of the irreducible dignity of the person.

      Should you read, for example, the publications of any academic historian writing of the Australian public during the Great War, you will see that contempt by the shovel-full. Truth, or rather truthfulness, counts for nothing. All is in the argument; evidence, to the extent it was researched, appears only as illustration. Historical method is no less scientific—even if it differs greatly in its type of results—than any other. Yet historians, to continue the instance, have abused (even traduced) that same method no less than those who, for some reason yet to be revealed, call themselves climate scientists.

      It is probably foolish to expect any change but, it seems to me, that the only hope for science generally, and climate science in particular, is in a revival of the humanities as moral science. The point is one of method, not of outcome.

      80

      • #
        el gordo

        ‘….in a revival of the humanities as moral science. The point is one of method, not of outcome.’

        Beijing is right onto it.

        ‘China’s education authorities released new curriculum standards for high schools on Tuesday that will contain more content about traditional Chinese culture.

        “According to the new standards, high school students in China will be requested to read more classics of ancient China, such as The Analects of Confucius, Mencius and Shi Ji (The Historical Records) both in and outside class,” he said.

        ‘In addition to Chinese language, traditional culture will also be emphasized in other subjects such as fine arts, music, math and physical education, Zheng said.

        For example, the new standards for the curriculum of fine arts stipulate that there will be new lessons about Chinese calligraphy and painting, which will teach students how to appreciate traditional works.’

        China Daily

        40

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Does that include billing the family of an executed prisoner for the bullet used, as is normal now? Or will it be a softer, installment plan method ?

          / sarc

          20

          • #
            el gordo

            The bullet story is an urban myth and doesn’t happen in contemporary China.

            It was practiced in Mao’s time, but the tradition may go back even further. The parents were blamed for their son’s poor behaviour and had to pay for the bullet and funeral expenses.

            Xi intends creating world class statesmen and women trained in Confucian principles, do you have problem with that?

            21

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Coukd you trust the Chinese?

              20

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Steve,

                A good question.

                Others might be; can we trust the Russians, or more importantly, can we trust any level of Australian government?

                This thread has made me feel very uneasy.

                We have been enslaved.

                KK

                21

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                And just in case you might have thought I missed the point; I don’t think that too many Tibetans would trust China.

                And that’s also bypassing the recent annexation of the Spratley islands.

                But for the moment, at least, we have bigger problems at home.

                Our President Trumble governs for all those living within a 2 km radius of his Sydney Harbour waterfront home.

                20

  • #
    wal1957

    Hi Jo,
    So us banana benders in Qld are also hit with the higher prices due to the folly of the precious gerbil warming politicians in the southern states? Why does that NOT surprise me? Never mind, our fearless Premier Palachook in Qld is also on the gerbil warming fixit trail. We’ll be able to raise those prices even higher in a couple of years.

    At what point will our supposed intelligent leaders realise what the problem is, and address it? I don’t think they will ever acknowledge the obvious.

    We have seen Brexit, Trump, and the rise of far right parties in Germany. This happened even though the so-called experts said it would never happen. People do get angry when they are ignored. I wonder how angry the voters are going to be at the next election?
    I hope they are angry enough to ignore both major parties!

    281

    • #
      Dennis

      This voter and some others intend to ignore the major party candidates.

      131

    • #
      James Poulos

      It’ll take about the same length of time to recognise the mistake as it did to finally decide to dismantle monorails in the various cities that bought them off the same people that are now selling wind turbines and solar panels.

      120

    • #
      PeterS

      Our leaders will not realise what the problem is until the people wake up and act accordingly. In fact both major major parties don’t even perceive there is a problem in the first place that warrants a solution. As usual it’s up to the people to make the leaders understand there is a problem. That’s what democracy is all about but unfortunately it’s not working, not yet anyway. So don’t blame the politicians, blame the voters who put them there knowing full well what their energy policies are. Career politicians only do what they think will maximise the number of votes they get in order to win office. Although more people are now complaining about their power bills they are not doing so in droves and most are not aware of the reasons their power bills are too high. In other words, most voters are still asleep and so power bills will have to go a lot higher before the pain threshold is breached and the people wake up to the fact we have a major problem. To be honest it’s already too late to act so by the time people wake up and change their voting patterns this nation will have much bigger problems to try and solve.

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        Dennis

        The National Party NSW State MPs are asking for comments from constituents based on the question do we need more coal fired power stations. I emailed my detailed recommendation and some links.

        They were acknowledged with a standard response email.

        I therefore assume that the exercise is all about the next state election and appearing to be working on solutions. Voter perception in mind.

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      Graeme No.3

      wal1957

      Don’t forget that your beloved Pale Chook dumped $700 million of State debt into the 2 suppliers (Qld. State owned). You have a choice of the instructions to them:
      1. Pay the debt and interest but maintain the dividend to the State Govt. ( i.e. find more money )
      2. Pay the debt and interest and pay the State Govt. anything left over (if any). ( i.e. keep prices down).

      If you think Option 2 applies please contact me urgently as I have Shares in the Sydney Harbour Bridge that you would want.

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    Geoff Chambers says:23 Mar,18:23:08 pm

    There is confusion around the 255K presented as a temperature, rather than the internal energy input by the sun which manifests as temperature.

    There is even more deliberate SCAM about some vile concept of “internal energy”; somewhat related to temperature as (so called sensible heat)! Can you even define such nonsense? Is the static gravitational compression of Earth’s atmosphere as delta temperature considered as internal energy? Internal to what?
    InSolation Power flux manifests near Earth mostly as continual transfer as latent heat of evaporation of ‘airborne’ colloidal water to the phase of WV then back to ‘airborne’ colloidal water on the night-side via spontaneous atmospheric EMR emittance of left over “entropy” to low radiance space. No need for accumulation of steenkin ‘entropy’ here! :-)
    All the best!-will-

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      Kinky Keith

      Will,

      That’s the closest you’ve come to “hitting” the nail on the head.

      I have been wondering if Jo might do a post on the “science” of CO2.

      Once and for all, can CO2 trap or delay energy from moving back out to space at night.

      ?

      The science is out there somewhere, but it never gets debated.

      We can do that!

      KK

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        Kinky Keith March 30, 2018 at 2:51 am ·

        Will,That’s the closest you’ve come to “hitting” the nail on the head.
        I have been wondering if Jo might do a post on the “science” of CO2.Once and for all, can CO2 trap or delay energy from moving back out to space at night.?

        NO!

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          Kinky Keith

          And we need to shout that out.

          CO2 cannot “trap heat” and make our Earth’s atmosphere hotter than an equivalent CO2 Free atmosphere.

          Further, atmospheric gases have a universal way of behaving in this situation that makes their individual effects indistinguishable, one from the other.

          ?

          KK

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            Yonniestone

            Earths systems are too dynamic for short term predictability and this is where the CAGW hypothesis fails, if physical tests and observations nullified the idea then politics was the only direction for success.

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            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              I think their hypothesis fails every night when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.

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        Peter C

        Once and for all, can CO2 trap or delay energy from moving back out to space at night?

        The science is out there somewhere, but it never gets debated.

        The Science might be out there, or still unknown. Some experiments may still have to be done.

        Professor Myles Allan gave evidence at the Tutorial stage of the #Exxonknew trial. After explaining a molecular vibration mechanism of IR absobtion by “greenhouse gas molecules”, he segways to the outgoing IR from the Earth (as seen by satellites and can be only partially measured by current instruments) and from there hypothesises that the variation of the observed spectrum from an ideal black body spectrum must mean that some energy is retained in the atmosphere, or the Earth surface.

        That is the greenhouse gas blanket hypothesis!

        That step has not been shown by controlled experiments.

        Furthermore the real atmosphere is quite complex and the role of various pathways by which heat might be lost has not been examined. David Evans produced a multiple pipes model which also has not been tested. Maybe the heat just passes out by the wavelengths which are not blocked!

        If water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, how is it that wetter areas of the Earth are cooler than drier areas that get the same solar exposure?

        That part of the problem alone should be worthy of considerable debate.

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        • #

          Slow-down ain’t an impervious glass-house-barrier.
          The oceans won’t boil… thank goodness fer that!

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hi Peter,

          I was asking a rhetorical question above.

          Many of us know the answer.

          As Will categorically states; NO!

          The outline you give of Professor? Miles Allen making statements about black bodies and energy balances in the atmosphere is a disgusting abuse of science and his title, Professor.

          The conclusion he draws that exiting IR doesn’t balance the ingoing solar energy, principally UV, is just nonsense.

          Nobody can do an accurate energy balance on the atmosphere. Accounting for every item is impossible. As an example I would ask the professor to account for the energy taken, quite greedily, by plant life on Earth each day.

          The other truth, apart from any possible science, is that quantitatively humans contribute so little to Earth’s atmosphere that we would be irrelevant. That’s especially so considering the CO2 migration between the air and the oceans where 98% of the world’s CO2 exists.

          We are being threatened, not by CO2. but by big government.

          Happy Easter :-)

          KK

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    Leonard Lane

    What a curse and an insult to America Obama was and is. I do not think President Trump can straighten it all out in 4 years. In a democratic republic such as the USA, it seems the leftist and others that hate their country and detest the will of the people can conspire to subvert and destroy much faster than it takes the patriots (conservatives) to rebuild and restore the democratic institutions.
    And in the USA the greens seem to be a less rational subset of the leftists. Love of country is required for patriotism and the rebuilding needs to first uncover and understand the destruction before they can repair it. We are making rapid progress, yet there remains much to be done.

    Whenever OZ comes back to patriots, give them time to find and correct all the shenanigans and secret deals the left has burdened your country with. Prayer and patience will help.

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      Leonard Lane March 30, 2018 at 3:53 am

      What a curse and an insult to America Obama was and is. I do not think President Trump can straighten it all out in 4 years. In a democratic republic such as the US

      The USA has been strangled by Greedy commercial advertising selling only what you do not want, from China! No economy with craftsmanship product need ever pay slick talkers! Tax not craftsmanship;(work) but only slick talkers! :-)
      All the best!-will-

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        Kinky Keith

        I would love to see a tax on Verbosity.

        Excess verbosity only serves to cover the real message and should be taxed heavily to encourage Plain Talk.

        I’m sure that special VerboTax meters could be fitted with voice recognition software and BS Pattern recognition software to monitor radio and TV output with invoices sent to offending individuals weekly.

        KK

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          Yonniestone

          Verbosity can be seen as by many as the over utilisation of nouns verbs or adjectives used in languages spoken globally for the end result of either making oneself to seem to be a lot more intelligent than what they might actually be or to make something such as a speech or writing a lot more extended than it initially should be for the purpose of making it look like the person giving the speech or oration has a lot more to say or write than what the actual subject at hand is.

          The latter is used by politicians to great effect.

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            Kinky Keith

            The invoice for your fine of $100 is in the mail.

            VerboFine recovery action will commence 10 working days after mailing.

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            • #
              WXcycles

              ” …It is unlikely that you’ll have anything emerge from MEF (Major Economies Forum) by way of detailed programmatic specificity … ” – KRUDD

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            Another Ian

            Y

            Recall that description “Inebriated by the exuberance of his own verbosity”?

            Which leads to this one

            “Vehemence and veracity are seldom synonymous”

            which was a UK newspaper summary of Ralph Nader’s first launch on the UK

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          Allen Ford

          That tactic would bankrupt, you know who, in short order, KK. I could foresee a certain harbourside mansion coming on to the market, tout de suite!

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    Ruairi

    When warmist politicians distort,
    The truth about climate, they thwart,
    A grid’s power supply,
    It’s then costly to buy,
    Making many Australians go short.

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    Lance

    A decent companion article on this precise subject. “The Levelized Cost of Electricity from existing generation resources”.

    https://instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ier_lcoe_2015.pdf

    Intermittent generation imposes a parasitic cost of USD 29.94 / MWh upon conventional thermal generation by reducing thermal plant run time without decreasing fixed operating costs. This cost ought to be included in the cost of the unreliable rate charges.

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    Lance

    One rarely finds the additional cost of transmission lines needed to connect the wind/solar to the grid.
    Those costs are very significant and ought be borne by the wind/solar plants connected to them as they would otherwise be totally unnecessary.

    Typical costs in USD / km

    69 KV $932K /kM overhead $1,240 K /kM, underground

    Transmission Line Losses are 6.8% / 1000 kM. Roughly 3.5% resistive losses and 3.3% corona discharge losses.

    The transmission losses ought as well be borne by the unreliables producers from their point of origin to existing transmission infrastructure.

    Reference links on request. Evidently this site’s filter doesn’t like some of them or there were too many, so I took most out.

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  • #
    Lance

    Got bounced by the spam filter again. Will try this in parts:

    Energy Subsidies

    http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/studies/energy-subsidies-study/

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    Robber

    So it’s taken the bureaucrats at AER (does anyone know what they “regulate”?) a year to see what blind Freddy could see three months after Hazelwood was shutdown in March 2017.
    Per AEMO, average wholesale prices:
    FY 2016: NSW $52/MWhr; Qld $60; SA $62; Vic $46/MWhr (Note it was May 2016 when the last SA coal station at Port Augusta was shutdown)
    FY 2018: NSW $82/MWhr; Qld $74; SA $98; Vic $96/MWhr

    Even the Finkel Report published in June last year provided indications of the problem despite attempting to show a glowing future for “renewables”.
    Dr Finkel reported levelised costs as follows:
    Wind $92/MWhr (without backup)
    Solar $91/MWhr (without backup – with 12 hours storage $172/MWhr)
    Gas $83/MWhr (and this was before gas prices doubled as SA and Vic suddenly increased demand to replace Hazelwood)
    Open cycle gas $123/MWhr
    Supercritical coal $76/MWhr (and that’s for new plant, not for existing plant with far lower capital costs)

    Conclusion: As we continue to increase intermittent “renewables” into the mix to meet the government’s 23.5% RET by 2020 (currently about 15%, of which hydro is 6%, so wind/solar must increase from 9% to almost 18%), and then use scarce gas as backup, wholesale prices will continue to escalate.

    Note: Dr Sims is due to report on retail electricity prices in June (having been studying the problems since June last year) and he has recently made some comments about affordable electricity being a priority. We can only hope.

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      Lance

      Good info there, Robber.

      Existing coal/nuke/gas plants in US produce power at about $38 to $45 per MWH.

      Solar / Wind are closer to $112 / MWH.

      The alternatives impose a $30/MWH parasitic cost to the thermal plants by decreasing run time and production without changing the fixed overhead costs.

      It would appear that the $30/MWH cost is showing up in your 2018 numbers for thermal plant generation costs. That $30 should have been added to the cost of renewables. See link at comment #13 above for in depth analysis of this.

      Sooner or later the populace will revolt against this sham and take to the streets with torches. Elected officials ought keep that in mind. The lies are coming face to face with reality and economics. This isn’t going to be a smooth ride.

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        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        Good one Robber, and thank you. This is an update to reflect your reply, at 17.2.1

        For some time I’ve been trying to grasp, and then simplify, how these numbers come together into a reatil price. For what it’s worth I’ve come with an equation, which I decided to present in old style mathematical form.

        Let x be the wholesale price in $/MWh, y be the retail price in the same units, z be the network costs, converted to the same units, and a be the price of LGCs , also in $/MWh.
        Then:
        y = 2.1( x + z + a) where 2.1 = retail markup plus GST — V2

        I emphasise this is my interpretation, for evaluation.
        The government does rather well out of it, with GST on the impost
        (Large Generation Certificates) which is not a tax.
        Cheers,
        Dave B

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      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Good one Robber, and thank you.
      For some time I’ve been trying to grasp, and then simplify, how these numbers come together into a reatil price. For what it’s worth I’ve come with an equation, which I decided to present in old style mathematical form

      Let x be the wholesale price in $/MWh, y be the retail price in the same units, and a be the price of LGCs , also in $/MWh.
      Then:
      y = 2.1( x + a) where 2.1 = retail markup plus GST

      I emphasise this is my interpretation, for evaluation.
      The government does rather well out of it, with GST on the impost
      (Large Generation Certificates) which is not a tax.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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        Robber

        Dave, the hidden components in the retail price are network costs and retail margins. While wholesale prices are readily available, try uncovering network costs. I have seen estimates of around $100/MWhr, ie equal to or greater than the wholesale price. Re your formula, the price of LGCs should be multiplied by 0.15, as they only apply to about 15% of supply.
        So, retail price = (wholesale price + network cost + 15% of LGC price + retail cost)x 1.1 for GST
        Eg, for SA, retail price = ($100 + $100 +.15*85 + 5)*1.1 = $240/MWhr or 24 cents/Kwhr. However retail prices are generally split into a fixed element of about 1$/day plus the variable usage charge.
        However I saw one report that said prices for the typical South Australian customer are 37.79 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh).

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          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Thanks Robber,
          I did omit the network charges, and I’ll rework the above to include an additional tern, z, to include them, and repost.

          My factor of “2.1″ was intended to cover your “retail margins”. I used “2″ as I believe it is a fairly standard factor to apply by retailers to convert an incoming wholesale price to outgoing retail. And to emphasise that (I think) it applies to the LGC charges as well. The “.1″ is the GST cost of 10%, added in there as a shorthand.

          And on the LGC charges, again it’s my understanding – and I hope TdeF is reading here today, and can confirm?? – that the retailers are required to buy those certificates for all the power they sell, from the Govt if necessary. So I will leave my “a” inside that bracket for now.

          Cheers,
          Dave B

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            Robber

            I suspect that your retail factor of 2 probably explains how retailers come up with “standing offers” and then offer 30-40% discounts. And of course for the unwary they get hit with massive prices if they don’t shop around for discounts. I have asked the ACCC to explore this oddity in the interests of clearer pricing.

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            TdeF

            David, I have yet to trawl through the changes to the original Act. There is the idea that the compulsory purchase of LGCs has some limit but I have not see it. As far as I can read, the LGCs are mandatory without exceptions. The factor of 2 is also normal for retailers. The government is even cheeky enough to say the reason we are being ripped off is that we are not shopping hard enough.

            The core reason Hazelwood, the biggest, cheapest supplier of electricity closed was that it could not make money. Why is no one asking the question why? In a fair society the biggest and cheapest supplier was forced to close, assisted happily by Daniel Andrews. The world’s highest Carbon Tax, $200 a tonne for coal and $400 a tonne for gas is the reason. Except it isn’t a tax but a cash grab by the windmill people, legislated by Federal parliament.

            Our laws quite simply aim to force the closure of every fossil fuel power station. How can anyone doubt this? It is working as intended and our politicians act amazed. That is the really awful part. As Malcolm Tunrbull said, the closure of Hazelwood and the closure of Liddell are private matters. No, only wrong laws make it unprofitable to sell coal based electricity and our politicians claim ignorance, blame the market, demand more power?

            No fracking, no exploration, no coal but diesel is OK? What sort of science madness is this? Why does destroying our country make politicians so smug? We are being betrayed. Turnbull’s eternal smirk tells it all.

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          Graeme#4

          The SA electricity consumer costs mentioned in The Oz were 46c, which puts them close to the world’s highest cost.

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    Robber

    An interesting observation tucked away in the AER report: “AEMO required at least three gas generators in South Australia to operate at all times from July 2017, to help maintain system security, which contributed to high levels of gas fired generation through 2017 and constrained wind generation at times”.
    Yet more wind farms are being built to meet the 23.5% RET by 2020, without backup. “There is around 3800 MW of capacity (1800 MW of wind and solar each) that is committed to being built across the NEM, according to AEMO.”

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      RickWill

      As market share increases the capacity factor becomes constrained as a geometric progression. This paper puts into clear perspective for the German grid:
      http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017%20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf

      If you bought solar panels and placed them on your roof with the intention of going off-grid you would soon find that the potential capacity factor is nothing like the constrained capacity factor. For example, during January when my off-grid demand is greatest I have the battery fully charged at 10am on most days. The solar panels do nothing from 10am to 8pm although they could if I had other loads to supply. By contrast in late June when the load is least (fridge and freezer) the battery may not recover any day for a week.

      To meet a daily demand equivalent to the current NEM demand there needs to be around 100 times the present wind capacity of 4GW; say 400GW to meet a typical demand of 30GW. Clearly the constrained capacity factor is much lower than the unconstrained capacity factor. AER are suggesting the constrained capacity factor is being caused by stability constraints but the constraints are as much due to the variability of the wind. For example the minimum demand in SA was 530MW in 2017 and is continuing to decline. The State has 1600MW of installed wind capacity and the Vic link can only handle 600MW so it is inevitable that the wind generators will be demand constrained more often. The penny is yet to drop with wind and solar project proponents.

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        Graeme No.3

        RickWill:

        And when those superfluous wind farms are constrained, how long before they demand to be paid for NOT generating?
        Answer in milli-seconds.

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        RAH

        In order to supply the needs of the greater metropolitan area of NYC it would require the whole state of Connecticut to be used as a wind farm and then hope the wind keeps blowing.

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    RickWill

    None of this comes across in the AER submission to the AEMO-ISP:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-2-Submissions/AER—Submission-on-ISP-Consultation-Paper—March-2018.pdf

    This submission makes some serious points that I expect will not get into the ISP:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-2-Submissions/Denis-Cooke-and-Associates—20180228-Denis-Cooke-submission-to-AEMO-re-ISP-Consultation.pdf

    This one shows the real world away from big business and big government:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-2-Submissions/Dennis-Lambert—AEMO-ISP-response.pdf

    This one from Dow Chemical pushes their own barrow but also makes valid points on prices and industry closures:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-1-Submissions/Dow-Chemical—31012018132314-0001.pdf

    The summary from AEMO does recognise the likelihood that local generation (DER) will be increasing. This is a point that many of the distributors made. There does not appear to be any acknowledgement of the need for better modelling. There is a general acceptance that having geographic dispersion of wind and solar all connected on a solid grid will solve the problem.

    Surprisingly SACOSS focused on model granularity:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-2-Submissions/SACOSS—180226_Submission-to-AEMO-on-ISP.pdf
    Some of the distributors mentioned granularity.

    SnowyHydro has an interesting chart for the projected 2025 demand:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-2-Submissions/SnowyHydro—Submission-to-ISP-Consultation—28Feb2018.pdf
    It shows the destruction of base demand for coal generation. That will threaten the viability of more coal generators.

    This is the AEMO summary:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/ISP_Consultation_Submission_Summary-March-2018.pdf

    This link has all the submissions listed with links to them:
    https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Planning-and-forecasting/Integrated-System-Plan

    I cannot see any of this leading to lower prices. Herald Sun had a brief story on rising disconnections in Victoria.

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      OriginalSteve

      So the whole outcome seems to be a greenwash?

      Time to be fully energy self sufficient if so….

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    Robber

    Thanks Lance. Assume your numbers are US$, mine are A$.

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      Lance

      Yes, Robber, sorry for that. They were USD.

      I shall try to remember to identify as USD or AUD in the future.

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    robert rosicka

    Not sure if anyone caught the interview between John Fein ? (The Abc greentard) and Frordenberg yesterday , Fein claimed renewables powered 90% of Victoriastan needs or some similar stupid figure .

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    Mark M

    Best Easter laugh goes to PM Twistcow and his Easter message of compassion for Australians worse off.

    The same ones he screws over with expensive electricity to placate his United Nations.
    * * *
    It’s not as if there weren’t warnings …

    Jun 2015,
    Port Augusta power stations, Leigh Creek coal mine closures set to drive up electricity prices, economist says

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-12/port-augusta-renewable-energy-nuclear-power-jobs-outlook/6540200

    CSIRO, dec 2015
    We expect retail prices to rise further in coming decades, but not as much as we originally thought.

    https://theconversation.com/the-electricity-network-is-changing-fast-heres-where-were-heading-51652

    ~ ~ ~

    South Australia is a world leader in wind and solar power generation.

    “The big challenge is that they can’t be switched on when you need them.

    So they run when the wind is blowing, they run when the sun is shining.

    The challenge with renewables is that they are fundamentally more expensive to supply than thermal generation.

    If they were cheaper, we wouldn’t need a carbon price, we wouldn’t need renewable policy to bring them to market.

    Matthew Warren is the chief executive of the Energy Supply Association of Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4372538.htm

    * * *
    2013, Julia Gillard @2.25:Now I want to build the transmission lines that will bring that clean, green energy into the national grid.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EyW7oFk6n8

    2017: Overspending on ‘poles and wires’ is the key reason why electricity prices have soared in Australia
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/accc-overspending-on-poles-and-wires-is-the-key-reason-why-electricity-prices-have-soared-in-australia-2017-10

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    pat

    how often do we hear renewables aren’t responsible for higher electricity prices. and that “poles and wires” play a big part, etc. but what percentage of the cost of “poles and wires” can be laid at the feet of “renewables” policies? that is something I have never seen properly explained. however, the same mob that pushed/push “renewables”, scream the most:

    25 Mar: ABC: Grattan Institute urges compensation for higher power bills caused by energy grid ‘gold plating’
    Consumers must be compensated for higher bills caused by the excessive “gold-plating” of electricity networks and the value of energy assets should be written down, according to a report out today.
    The Grattan Institute blames “poor decisions” by governments in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania for driving unnecessary investment in power networks, which has ultimately left consumers footing the bill.

    In the Down to The Wire report (LINK), the Grattan Institute estimates consumers in those three states are being slugged between $100 and $400 more a year as investment outstripped population growth and demand.
    “Consumers connected to the National Electricity Market are paying for a power grid that grew from around $50 billion in 2005 to $90 billion today,” the report said.
    “The expenditure significantly outstripped growth in population, demand and even peak demand…
    “There have been some improvement in reliability of supply but not enough to justify the expenditure involved.”…

    In the case of NSW with the sale of Ausgrid, the report said the State Government should provide a rebate “to compensate consumers for historic over-investment”.
    The over-investment in energy infrastructure — or “poles and wires” — comes as the Federal Government pressures the energy industry to deliver relief to consumers and businesses reeling from surging energy prices…

    “Continuing high prices will lead to inefficient future investment decisions, contributing to the ‘death spiral’ for networks.
    “Consumers who can afford it may reduce their grid use through solar power, batteries or diesel generation. Meanwhile, those who cannot end up paying more for the same grid.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/grattan-urges-consumers-to-be-compensation-for-energy-grid-22g/9585284

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      pat

      ABC piece is by:

      senior business correspondent Peter Ryan

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      robert rosicka

      Tell the people that have just had their lives turned upside down by fire caused by falling rotten power poles about the gold plated poles and wires , not sure where this money is going .

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    pat

    how ABC has been spinning this story for years:

    Apr 2015: ABC: Electricity should cost more in peak periods, Federal Government white paper says
    The World Today By political correspondent Louise Yaxley
    People should pay more for power used at peak times and should be better able to take advantage of off-peak rates to reduce electricity bills, the Federal Government’s energy white paper says.

    The paper also suggested the rise in air conditioner use on hot days had driven up electricity prices because ensuring the power remained on in those peak periods meant heavy investment in the poles and wires network.
    The white paper said that investment was behind the sharp rise in electricity prices over the last few years.

    ***It found the carbon tax and solar feed-in tariffs also played a part but had a smaller role…

    Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said he wanted consumers to have more control over how much they were spending on power.
    “We support the introduction of smart meters – that is – meters which will allow consumers not only to tell how much electricity they’re consuming at any point in time, but also what it’s costing them,” he said.
    “And with that then comes the technology which allows them to be flexible about when they used that appliance.
    “Now in the case of refrigerators, it’s a non-optional appliance, you run your refrigerator all the time, but in terms of when you do your washing, when you do your ironing, when you run your pool pump, how you cycle your air conditioning, those are options which can be managed through a smart meter.”…

    It noted some questions about fairness saying some people could not change their consumption to avoid peak times but Mr Macfarlane said most consumers would benefit from having higher tariffs at peak times and lower charges for other times.
    “The opportunity, particularly for high energy households, to save money through the use of smart meters and technology, time of use charging and varying the times they use their significant consumers of electricity and their appliances, will allow households to manage their demand better and also then enable the networks to be built and maintained in a way that keeps the capital costs down,” he said…

    Air conditioning was singled out as a fairness issue.
    The white paper said large air conditioning consumers were subsidised by people who did not have air conditioning at all.
    It found the real cost of using an air conditioner during peak times was $1,000 a year because that reflected the investment needed in the network to ensure the power demand was met on extremely hot days.
    But the person with that air conditioner would only pay $300 more on their bill and the other $700 would be spread between all other power users…

    Mr Macfarlane reinforced that the recent heavy investment in the power networks caused the higher power bills.
    “What we have done in Australia over recent years is literally gold-plate the distribution network which consumers will end up paying for,” he said.
    “And if you look at the cost of electricity, whilst the costs at the power station has basically remained static for over a decade, the cost to consumers has doubled and a lot of that cost increase has come from the distribution network…

    “So in the end, even with a smart meter, a consumer can use electricity whenever they feel like it, but they will pay more at certain times and less at certain times and on the swings and roundabouts they’ll pay less overall.”…
    The white paper also encouraged the privatisation of state energy assets, arguing private ownership was more productive.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-08/electricity-should-cost-more-in-peak-periods-white-paper-says/6378368

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    • #
      el gordo

      ‘But the person with that air conditioner would only pay $300 more on their bill and the other $700 would be spread between all other power users…’

      That is surely a vote loser, wonder how it turned out?

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    • #
      RickWill

      The peak times occur when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. How can anyone plan a modern existence around those variables.

      Here we on Good Friday in SA, when all office are closed; most commercial businesses are closed and light and medium industry are closed yet the forecast retail power price is $13,000/MW at 12:30pm:
      30/03/2018 12:30 $13,100.02 836.96 451.00 67.53 -307.21 Forecast

      I figure the wind and solar have let SA down AGAIN – who could have predicted this! The battery may kick in and prevent the price spike!!

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    • #
      yarpos

      “It found the real cost of using an air conditioner during peak times was $1,000 a year because that reflected the investment needed in the network to ensure the power demand was met on extremely hot days.
      But the person with that air conditioner would only pay $300 more on their bill and the other $700 would be spread between all other power users…”

      Absolute fairness and equity, with highly granular use pays doesnt exist. Cross subsidy exists in every public good or service.

      The logic of the refrigerator as a non discretionary item falls over with any visit to a show room. Want a vast side by side model with water dispensor and crushed ice ? no problem or amybe just a simple little unit for a single person.

      All this comes down to a basic need to control people and try to arrange an impossible equality, as defined of course by the liberal elite.

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  • #
    pat

    28 Mar: Daily Caller: REPORT: Coal Plants Facing Closure Prevented ‘Widespread Blackouts’ This Winter
    by Michael Bastasch
    Energy analysts at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory found (LINK) that coal power kept the lights on for millions of Americans during the bomb cyclone that pummeled the eastern U.S. from late December to early January.

    NETL analysts found that coal plants made up most of the incremental power utilities relied on to keep electricity flowing during the cold snap. Nuclear and oil power plants played a big role, NETL found, but coal provided 55 percent of extra power across six grid operators…READ ON
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/28/report-confirms-coal-stopped-blackouts/

    29 Mar: WUWT: Anthony Watts: DOE: If it weren’t for coal-fired electricity plants, the Northeast would have blacked-out during recent bomb-cyclone
    From the “when the going gets tough, renewables can’t cut it” department. Wind power generation actually dropped 5% during this period
    From the Daily Caller: Coal-fired power plants kept the lights on for millions of Americans during January’s bomb cyclone, according to an Energy Department report warning future plant retirements could imperil grid security…READ ON
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/29/doe-if-it-werent-for-coal-fired-electricity-plants-the-northeast-would-have-blacked-out-during-recent-bomb-cyclone/

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  • #

    The player are not gamling the system, the system is gaming the taxpayers and consumers and pointlessly driving them into pentry.

    50

  • #

    Consider this for a minute.

    You know that old meme …..repeat a lie often enough and it becomes fact.

    It applies especially with the new meme that renewables are cheaper than coal fired power.

    Nothing is further from the truth, but because that ‘fake fact’ has been spread far and wide, everyone believes it verbatim now.

    You’ll all remember that when Hazelwood closed, I detailed it on a daily basis for the last 28 days of operation, and the conclusion (not rumour, not opinion, but from the actual data) was that the ancient Hazelwood generated 15% more power than EVERY wind plant in Australia COMBINED.

    That still applies now. Take any 1600MW (the same Nameplate as Hazelwood was) of coal fired power and it generates 15% more power than every wind plant in Australia, and the same would apply with a new technology coal fired plant of 1600MW.

    For the sake of comparison, let’s take the largest, and one of the most recent wind plants in Australia, Macarthur Wind in Victoria. It has a Nameplate of 420MW. So, at its current Capacity Factor of 30%, that gives it the equivalent of 125MW. For the sake of this exercise, any new tech coal fired plant would have the same Nameplate of that 1600MW, so now, just to equal that power generation, you need 13 Macarthur’s. (1600MW divided by Macarthur’s current average CF Nameplate of 125MW)

    Macarthur cost $1 Billion, so now, just to equal that ONE coal fired plant output, you have a cost of $13 Billion. Add 15%, and it’s now $15 Billion. The new tech coal fired plant has double the lifespan, 50 years as opposed to the (hoped for best case scenario) 25 years for wind plants.

    So now we have $30 Billion for wind power for the equivalent power generation from just one (relatively small by HELE USC standards) coal fired power plant.

    There is no way on Earth that a new technology coal fired power plant is going to cost $30 Billion.

    I could do the same exercise for the proposed solar plant in SouthAus, at $650 Million for effectively only 50MW, and that total comes in at $42 Billion.

    And yet, everyone just blindly believes renewables are cheaper than coal fired power.

    The reverse applies however, because coal fired plant is so much cheaper, then it stands to reason they can sell their generated power (a helluva lot) cheaper.

    Tony.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Your costs are way below what would be required for wind or solar to replace thermal. Unless there is unlimited storage there has to be massive overbuild. By making comparisons as you do you are underestimating the cost by a factor of 2 to 3 for wind and 4 to 5 for solar. Even CSP needs a factor of 3 to 4. Plus they need storage.

      No one is doing proper analysis of what is actually required in Australia. This linked paper details the challenges for the German grid to give a realistic perspective:
      http://www.hanswernersinn.de/dcs/2017%20Buffering%20Volatility%20EER%2099%202017.pdf
      There is nothing comparable to this modelling in Australia. AEMO are using the same flawed method that you are using, which assumes the capacity factors are constant irrespective of the amount of intermittent generation to the grid. IT IS NOT. The capacity factor becomes demand constrained at about 30% market share for wind and 20% market share for solar.

      My off-grid solar panels operate at a capacity factor of 4% to achieve around 1 day under supply in 1000. My battery has capacity for two days supply.

      All your costs should include the cost of storage as well, or the cost of gas plant to fill the gaps in supply. There is absolutely NO WAY that 13 Macarthur wind farms could replace a 1600MW coal plant. It would need either 1600MW/4000MWh of battery plus 30 or so more Macarthur wind farm to cover the constrained capacity factor or 1600MW of gas or Snowy2 and three more Macarthur wind farms to make up the losses. The Snowy2 option might need more wind generators than I suggest because it is not unlimited storage. It would need proper analysis based on likely wind conditions.

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      • #

        Rick,

        I understand EXACTLY what you are saying here, and, be that as it may, the ‘target audience’ here is not engineers or those actually willing to work it out, or even attempt to understand it. That target audience wants to hear it in as simple a manner as is feasibly possible, in a manner they can easily see.

        To that end, all I use here is the most simple format I can to make it understandable. I have even stopped converting the maths to GWH for the sake of comparison, because people cannot even understand that. So I use the CF to reduce the Nameplate, eg, for Macarthur 420MW at a CF of 30%, hence a ‘realistic’ Nameplate of only 125MW, and then comparing Nameplates of both as a fraction, and then using that fraction to extrapolate the cost out.

        Even though grossly simplified, it is now something they can understand, and if that then piques their interest, they can then chase up the finer detail themselves, but if I quoted it in the manner you have here, I would totally lose them right at the outset.

        I am guided here by a conversation between Maxwell Smart and The Chief, where the Chief has just explained to Max how he wants it done.

        The Chief – “Did you get all that Max?”

        Max – “Ah, not really Chief. I missed a bit.”

        The Chief – “What bit would that be Max?”

        Max – “Ah, the bit right after Now listen closely.”

        I do this all very deliberately, not in an attempt to mislead, but to put it in a manner that can be more easily understood by those with no electrical engineering understanding at all. I’ve tried it out on family, and trust me, even though they give the impression of interest, you can see their eyes start to glaze over, as it goes straight over their heads.

        Tony.

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        • #
          robert rosicka

          Understand both points of view and next to dumbing it down the only other thing the sheeple will understand is rolling blackouts because of insufficient generating capacity.
          But suspect this will be blamed on something else anyway .

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          • #
            PeterS

            Indeed robert, I suspect the ONLY thing the sheeple will understand is rolling blackouts and the closure of many businesses and massive layoffs. As long as the economy holds its head above water most people will only whine for a moment whenever they see the next power bill, and forget it the next day.

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            • #
              OriginalSteve

              To a point….the death of a loved one on an operating table when the power fails in a hospital and the back up gennie doesnt work, will become a turning point….

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          RickWill

          I take the view that if you are going to educate people you need to be honest. Give them the true picture not some rose coloured version that understates the cost by a factor of 6 to 10.

          The cost to replace the existing coal generation in the existing NEM with wind and solar plus storage is estimated at AUD1.5tr. Even CSIRO are forecasting close to AUD1tr:
          http://www.energynetworks.com.au/sites/default/files/entr_final_report_web.pdf
          See page 9. Note their roadmap is not a simple replacement but very heavily focused on distributed generation and storage. Replacement of grid scale coal generation with grid scale wind and solar is considerably more expensive than AUD1tr.

          We have all State governments and the Federal Government, including the Federal opposition, set on this path of economic Armageddon for Australia. People need to realise this and be vocal against it.

          Of the 64 submissions to the AEMO ISP process there were only three waving a red flag. Very few people have any appreciation of the true picture. In my view there is no point in giving anyone some sugar coated version of the true picture. There is an economic disaster unfolding.

          On a related matter, SA businesses feel they are bearing an unfair share of the pain of the Federal Government Paris commitment and feel the pain should be spread more evenly:

          It is our view that the costs of achieving a national emissions reduction task, to the extent that is practicable, should be evenly distributed, no differently to how the existing system of horizonal fiscal equalisation of the GST works to even out GST payments to mitigate against the natural advantages one state might have over another, for example access to mineral resources.

          https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/ISP/2018/Round-1-Submissions/Business-SA–180201FINALsub-AEMO-ISP.pdf
          What they do not appreciate is that this is only the beginning of the pain. It is going to get a lot worse. The other States are a long way behind SA and SA is already costing the other States dearly as we see with the closure of Hazelwood. AND note the higher costs in Queensland wholesale market as a result. All primarily caused by the high penetration of wind and solar in SA. So SA is already sharing the pain but not in an obvious way.

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            PeterS

            That’s the main reason why “poorer” (read smarter) countries are building lots of coal fired power stations while we stuff around and introduce policies to make them uneconomic to run and build. We are committing economic suicide yet the vast majority of the people couldn’t care less. Bend over Australia.

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            • #
              OriginalSteve

              This is what happens when PC ( marxism) anitizes language. We need to use plain language like :

              “There seems to be a concerted effort by all the 3 major parties to collude in bringing in policies to collapse our economic well being through crippling its energy infrastructure and to pursue the green UN- driven agenda to implement socialism in Australia via creating an inability of Australia to function properly and also damage its ability to defend itself.”

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          • #
            lance

            Rick. An analysis was made of what it would take to replace the US baseload grid with solar for base load only. Answer: 900 years at 1 sq. M / second and over 3 Trillion USD for the batteries alone.

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/04/going-solar-system-requirements-for-100-u-s-solar-generated-utility-baseload-electricity/

            Methinks I’ll keep my coal, gas, and nukes. At least they are affordable and actually work.

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        • #
          Bobl

          Not true, using capacity factor, an annual average is simply Wrong because energy systems are not dimensioned based on annual averages, they are dimensioned based on capacity and reliability, that is that the demand is met for all but around 20 hours a year. That corresponds to an OEE of 99.8%.

          You are therefore trying to sell a lie.

          Better people are presented with the true picture, that the reliable output of a plant is its minimum generation over it’s best 364.75 days a year. For unbacked solar that’s pretty much zero, and for unbacked wind it is negative. If these technologies displace coal (eg hazelwood) then the reliability of the total system falls precipitously. Soon that “except for 20 hours a year supply exceeds demand” rule can’t be met… SA being the canary in the coal mine.

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    TedM

    Speaking of coal generators, SA could do with one just now. Wind producing 174mw, solar 154mw, gas 451mw and 408mw being imported. Imported power must be cheaper than gas since they choose to import power rather than crank up the gas.

    30

    • #
      yarpos

      Must be a day to mark on the calendar for VIC power generation today, exporting over a GW (300SA 700NSW)

      Wind power in SA rocketing along at 60MW,

      30

    • #
      Robber

      Suspect one of the Pelican Point gas generators may be offline – planned maintenance during a quiet easter?

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      • #

        planned maintenance during a quiet easter?

        The same applies in NSW where two of the ‘biggies’, one Unit at Bayswater 660MW and one Unit at Eraring, 720MW both closed down during Thursday evening after the Peak. It gives then 4 days of low power consumption to get the work done.

        That’s 1380MW out of the system, you know, the same as turning off every wind plant in Australia.

        Tony.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Never forget that in the last four weeks Hazelwood was operating, it was at over 95% of design capacity. The idea it was ‘old’ allegation is rubbish. A factory or power station is not ‘old’. It just needs service. Like father’s axe with five new heads and four new handles. Windmills cannot be serviced and will die. Hazelwood had another 20 years to run on the lease.

    As the same time, our Victorian Premier instantly and without warning increased the price of Victoria coal to Hazelwood by 300%! Hazelwood promptly closed. The energy minister explained that the price had not been increased for 10 years.
    So we get nothing, not even power from our own coal. We are not allowed burn it. Loy Yang is the next to go in Andrew’s Green plan.

    Once again, Premier Daniel Andrews who spent a million of our money stopping the Ombudsman reporting his theft of a minimum $388,000 from the public treasury to fund his campaign has pleased his friends. It all pales against the $1.2Billion he spent NOT building a road under a cemetery and forcing 40,000 unwanted cars through the inner city. Then the opposition spent $400,000 of our money trying to get the Ombudsman’s report published. He has trashed our fire services trying to please his friends who helped in the election. The ambulance people on strike took the same deal they refused from the Liberal party. It was all fake. As for the real total of the theft from the government by the Labor party, we will never know as the lower house MPs refused to cooperate with the ombudsman. The total is millions. There is no other word than theft by elected officials, planned and executed by Daniel and friends.

    Consider that the premier of NSW resigned on principle over receiveing a bottle of wine he had not reported.
    The Victoria Labor party has stolen millions to get elected and cannot see the problem.

    Then you get the 300% increase in the coal price, the forced closure of a fully functional Hazelwood and a Green PM who said it was a private commercial matter for the Engie owner?

    How do you choose between an openly thieving Labor party and a Green Labor PM who approves of their behaviour in forcing Hazelwood to close? As long as it pleases their Green friends.

    We are being run by the most arrogant politicians in my memory. No sense of decency. No responsibility. You should not be able to open call so many sitting MPs proven thieves. They will never see a magistrate. They write our laws.

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    • #
      TdeF

      Dont’ forget that closing Liddell is being accelerated. It could be gone completely in two years. Unlike Hazelwood, the owners AGL paid nothing and have done nothing. They want it closed. Tony Abbot wants it open and Malcolm Turnbull wants it closed. His cunning plan is to punish everyone with laws if we run out of power. How does that work if we run out of power?

      Very soon we could be in a position where we cannot get petrol, cannot get enough power, cannot make metals, do not make electronics, cars, aircraft, batteries or even a transistor and running out of gas and petrol, even if we have vast reserves. We will have the manufacturing capacity of Fiji and all our raw materials will go overseas unprocessed, as required by the EU, China and the UN.

      All approved by our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, all so intent on making friends overseas. The ability to defend ourselves in time of conflict will soon be absolutely zero. So when the lights go out, you have to choose between the Labor party of Weatherill and Andrews and Shorten and Turnbull’s Liberals. What a choice?

      Can we have Tony Abbott back soon? Before the place is destroyed.

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        PeterS

        Throw into the mix the possibility we won’t even have sufficient damned water to grow our own food as the population keeps blowing out due to excess immigration. This nation is heading full speed to the cliff’s edge. As we go over it then the people will wake up and yell “we won’t be voting LNP, ALP or Greens anymore”. Of course it will be too late as the economy crashes and burns. Bend over Australia.

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    • #
      TdeF

      You have to be staggered by the blatant and unrepentant theft of Victorian government money by up to 20 Labor Party members. If it was all so obviously innocent and blameless, why spend a million trying to stop the ombudsman’s report being published. Three different court action. Total refusal by Lower House MPs to cooperate.

      To have one public official caught stealing is bad enough, to find half a parliament stealing? It is not even deniable. Has Daniel Andrews apologised for being caught yet? This is a group who forced a Liberal member out of parliament for using his car for non State Government business. This is a government where ministers sent government cars to ferry their dogs around. Who knows what secret payments are being made to keep Alcoa going after Hazelwood’s closure?

      What hope do we mere mortals have in getting them to see the light on electricity? The lights are not on. They are simply not accountable, except to their friends who put them in the job. Daniel’s focus is to get 60,000 CFA volunteers to pay $600 a year to join the union.

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      • #
        yarpos

        Agree. There is a thread of dishonesty and public purse thieving that does not seem to be generating the outrage it deserves. Added to the list that TdeF mentions there were also two members caught out claiming expenses for supposedly living in country areas when they were not. I can only hope that the response is there just waiting for the election.

        If the Libs dont have an advert scrolling through all this stuff in the next cycle , they have rocks in their heads (which of course is a possibility)

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        OriginalSteve

        I think any polutician stupid enough to cripple the grid will discover the bolshie core of australians when they are severely ticked off.

        Ive said it before and i dont want ut to happen, but i think the day will come when the people will square off with the govt in the streets, and win. People will only take so much and then shove back. Human nature. The govt clearly are too arrogant to realuze this. More fool them…

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        • #
          PeterS

          Yes in time the people will react but by then it will be far too late. Our economy will be in ruins. The time to act was yesterday. Too bad the people are still asleep.

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      Another Ian

      ” Like father’s axe with five new heads and four new handles. Windmills cannot be serviced and will die.”

      Slight correction. You can get an ancient Southern Cross windmill rebuilt after years of pumping. Seems though you can get a new mill head for around the same price.

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    • #
      Dennis

      The DPP is the son of a former Labor premier, grandson of a former Labor premier.

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    pat

    don’t know why this story isn’t a major headline. heard about it on 2GB yesterday. it was said “2 bluescope blasting furnaces” not 1 as in the following. Bluescope are not accused of any wrongdoing:

    29 Mar: AFR: Johanna Mather: Michael Issakidis gets 10 years’ jail for $135m for tax fraud
    Disgraced Gold Coast businessman Michael Issakidis has been sentenced to a decade in jail for his involvement in a $135 million tax evasion case, the largest ever successfully prosecuted in Australia.

    Issakidis and his co-conspirator, former Ernst & Young executive Anthony Dickson, used a web of companies to evade $135 million in corporate tax, netting themselves $63 million in fees after pitching schemes to ANZ and some of its blue-chip clients including Bluescope Steel, Gunns and Incitec, none of which are accused of any wrongdoing.

    The Supreme Court of NSW handed Issakidis the jail sentence, including a non-parole period of seven years and 6 months, on Thursday. Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said it was the “largest and one of the most complex investigations into tax fraud in Australia’s history”…

    The pair created a web of false identities to aid their deception and siphoned money through the UK, Hong Kong and the UAE via fake domestic and international companies. They deliberately absorbed $450 million of otherwise assessable income through falsely created losses in order to evade $135 million. They profited to the tune of $63 million, spending the money on lavish lifestyles…

    At the centre of the scam was Neumedix Health Australasia Pty Ltd…
    Neumedix advertised in medical journals for ideas that could be commercialised. Genuine applicants were selected and Neumedix provided upfront funding of between $100,000 and $1 million for stage one clinical trials, but only on the condition that the inventor sign over all intellectual property rights to an “offshore IP warehousing company” based in the Cayman Islands…
    While the inventions were in their infancy, Karkalla valued them as if it they had moved through stages of clinical trial and were ready to go to market…

    Dickson and Issakidis pitched sale-and-lease-back ventures. In one example, this involved a blast furnace owned by Bluescope Steel. ANZ agreed to lend $300 million to Neumedix to buy the furnace via a trust.

    The furnace was then leased back to Bluescope Steel.
    Neumedix used the majority of the lease money to repay the loan, with interest and fees, to ANZ. But the deal also generated an obligation for Neumedix to shoulder the burden for taxable income, which is where the fake losses generated offshore were useful…
    ANZ and Bluescope were not subjects of the investigation…

    When AFP officers swooped, they were in the process of taking the scam to London.
    http://www.afr.com/news/policy/tax/michael-issakidis-gets-10-years-jail-for-450m-tax-fraud-20180329-h0y3v3

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    pat

    Independent asks no questions:

    28 Mar: UK Independent: Josie Cox: Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Softbank to create world’s biggest solar power project
    (Additional reporting by newswires)
    Planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030
    Softbank Group has announced a $200bn (£141bn) investment to create the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia through its Vision Fund private equity arm.
    The Japanese conglomerate’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, told reporters on Tuesday that the planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) of energy by 2030.

    According to Reuters, that would add to around 400GW of globally installed solar power capacity and is comparable to the world’s total nuclear power capacity of around 390GW as of the end of 2016…

    Last May, Softbank – which is known in the UK for buying chip designer ARM in 2016 – raised more than $93bn for the Vision fund, which is the world’s largest private equity fund and ***is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and Apple…

    Mr Son said that the panels used for the project will initially be imported. Later the project will include a panel manufacturing and assembly site of its own. Construction is due to start immediately and power generation will kick off at the beginning of next year.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/solar-power-saudi-arabia-softbank-masayoshi-son-energy-oil-a8277201.html

    28 Mar: WaPo: Why Saudi Arabia is trying to launch an utterly massive new solar project
    by Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson
    But several analysts cautioned the agreement between the massive Japanese firm and the desert nation might not be fully realized, both because of its ambitious scale and because it is at present a nonbinding memorandum of understanding…

    Initially, there would be two large Saudi solar electricity generation projects, one with a capacity of 3 gigawatts and one at 4.2 gigawatts…

    In the past year, the kingdom has signed agreements with U.S. and other foreign companies, but only a small number of deals have moved forward.

    ***Mohammed is touring the United States in an effort to woo foreign investment in the kingdom as part of his effort to transform and diversify the economy there…
    But some analysts were skeptical that the plan will emerge as it is being described…

    (Bloomberg’s Jenny) Chase wrote about her skepticism on Twitter Wednesday:
    TWEET: Jenny Chase: Seriously, I’ve probably made more binding agreements to grab a coffee than that Saudi/ Softbank MoU for 200GW of solar by 2030.

    The news comes just as Saudi Arabia, home to some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves, is also pursuing the construction of a pair of nuclear power reactors…

    Saudi electricity consumption doubled between 2005 and 2015. During the peak summer months, when temperatures soar past 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the kingdom burns about 700,000 barrels of oil a day for air conditioning. Add in industrial and transportation use, and Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude consumption has neared 3 million barrels a day, more than a quarter of its total output…
    And with a growing population, Saudi Arabia will need more electric power for water desalination plants…

    “This MOU and the sub-project coming out of it will enable the exportation of more oil,” said the Saudi embassy statement.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/28/why-saudi-arabia-is-trying-to-pull-off-an-utterly-massive-new-solar-project/?utm_source=rss_energy-environment&utm_term=.f5de3c577b25

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    pat

    UK Times happy to go along with it, judging by what’s not behind paywall:

    29 Mar: UK Times: Richard Spencer: Saudi Arabia plans $200bn solar park for an oil-free future
    Crown prince due to meet Oprah
    The project, which would result in panels taking up vast tracts of the desert equivalent to a million football pitches, has been secured by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and could mark a change in the world’s environmental management.

    Under the terms of the arrangement, solar-power plants would supply enough electricity not only for Saudi Arabia but much of the Middle East. In doing so it would allow the country to export more oil for money and, it is claimed, help in the spread of renewable, low-carbon energy worldwide…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/saudi-arabia-plans-200bn-solar-park-for-an-oil-free-future-ghzsnhxt7

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    • #
      Ted O’Brien.

      Yairs. Now show us the data.

      What costs are included and excluded in that $70? What costs are included and excluded when comparing coal?

      We’ve been told too many lies over the years to accept this without hard facts. Add that a politician who speaks in percentages is probably lying, and a politician who always speaks in percentages is always lying.

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      yarpos

      Its really not worth comparing costs when the alternative power source is intermittent and there is no generally deployable grid scale storage system. When they do get to costs duplication should be added but never is.

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    pat

    TAI says! Guardian has such contempt for its readers.
    also note: “The research follows a declaration on Wednesday”. instant online poll known mostly to anti-coal friends by any chance?

    29 Mar: Guardian: Majority of Australians support phasing out coal power by 2030, survey finds
    50% of Coalition voters and 67% of Labor voters want to phase out coal, and majority also support striving to cut greenhouse gas emissions
    By Katharine Murphy
    The research funded by the Australia Institute says 60% of a sample of 1,417 Australians surveyed by online market research firm Research Now supported Australia joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance to phase out coal power by 2030…

    The research follows a declaration on Wednesday at the National Press Club by the resources minister Matt Canavan that he was not interested in contemplating a discussion about a just transition for workers displaced by any phase out of coal consistent with Australia’s international climate obligations.
    Canavan said workers suffered when industries shut down or were phased out so euphemisms like “just transitions” were best avoided. “I don’t like the term transition, let’s be frank, if you want to shutdown the coal industry, say it – that’s what will happen.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/29/majority-of-australians-support-phasing-out-coal-power-by-2030-survey-finds

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    pat

    28 Mar: Gallup: Global Warming Concern Steady Despite Some Partisan Shifts
    by Megan Brenan and Lydia Saad
    •Partisan gaps across global-warming measures slightly wider than in 2017
    •Democrats view global warming seriously; Republicans view it skeptically
    •69% of Republicans, 4% Democrats say global warming is exaggerated

    •Eighty-six percent of Democrats versus 42% of Republicans think most scientists believe global warming is occurring. The percentage of Republicans who say most scientists believe this is down 11 percentage points since last year.
    •Almost nine in 10 Democrats say increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century are due to human activities more than natural changes in the environment. Just 35% of Republicans agree, while 63% attribute the temperature increases to natural environmental causes…

    ***This story is part of a special series on Americans’ views of the environment, global warming and energy (LINK)…
    http://news.gallup.com/poll/231530/global-warming-concern-steady-despite-partisan-shifts.aspx?g_source=link_NEWSV9&g_medium=TOPIC&g_campaign=item_&g_content=Global%2520Warming%2520Concern%2520Steady%2520Despite%2520Some%2520Partisan%2520Shifts

    ***22 Mar: Gallup: New Series: Where Americans Stand on the Environment, Energy
    by Frank Newport, Gallup Editor-in-Chief
    Beginning Wednesday and continuing over the next two weeks, Gallup will publish a series of articles based on Americans’ views of the environment and energy. This series will cover:
    •Americans’ views of global warming and climate change, their perceptions of its seriousness, whether the effects of climate change have been exaggerated, and whether it will cause a threat in their lifetimes
    •The growing partisan divide in views of global warming, one of the most remarkable examples in political polarization of the past two decades…ETC

    To get these stories as they publish, sign up for Gallup News alerts (LINK)…
    http://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/231386/new-series-americans-stand-environment-energy.aspx?g_source=link_newsv9&g_campaign=item_231530&g_medium=copy

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    pat

    from FT’s “50 ideas to change the world” series:

    29 Mar: Financial Times: Martin Wolf: How to make a carbon pricing system work
    Compensation for those who lose out and sanctions on non-compliance are needed

    Carbon pricing is a good idea whose time has not yet come. But it has to do so. The world committed itself to keeping average temperatures at less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and ideally to less than 1.5°C at the Paris climate conference in December 2015. If it is to achieve this goal, it will find the price mechanism the most powerful weapon in its arsenal.

    Prices affect people’s behaviour powerfully and systematically. A price — via a cap and trade system or via simple taxation — on the carbon content of fossil fuels would influence the choices made by all producers and consumers of goods or services that demand commercial energy in their production and consumption. That is just about everything in a modern economy…

    They would also raise revenue, which governments can use to offset the burden of carbon pricing on vulnerable or badly affected groups, ***and promote investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    ..

    So why has the adoption of carbon pricing been far less widespread and effective than it needs to be?…
    One explanation is that some jurisdictions — notably, the US of Donald Trump, at least at the federal level — reject the argument for tackling climate change…
    Another reason for the limited adoption of carbon pricing is that even countries which have made commitments to lower national emissions may not mean what they said…

    To make the proposed carbon pricing schemes work politically, sanctions for the recalcitrant — countervailing tariffs, perhaps — will need to be considered…

    The difficulties in meeting agreed objectives in our fractured world are enormous. The chances are high that the effort will fail. If so, our goose will be cooked.

    50 ideas to change the world
    We asked readers, researchers and FT journalists to submit ideas with the potential to change the world. A panel of judges selected the 50 ideas worth looking at in more detail. This fifth and final tranche of 10 ideas (listed) is about meeting challenges on a planetary scale and beyond.

    LINKS
    •Oceans harnessed for carbon storage
    •How to create a carbon trading system that works
    •Lasers and bots track carbon in the forests and seas
    (non-CAGW “smart ideas” follow)
    https://www.ft.com/content/2d9490f2-1291-11e8-a765-993b2440bd73

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    pat

    28 Mar: Desmog: Climate Science Deniers Have a New Hero and His Name Is Peter Ridd
    By Graham Readfearn
    Climate science deniers and conservative media have found themselves a new “free speech” hero — an academic who is suing his own university and thinks the multiple human threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are overblown.

    Professor Peter Ridd might be a new name to some, but the marine geophysicist has a long association with groups pushing denial of the well-established links between human activity and dangerous climate change.
    Outlets including Breitbart and Fox News have joined a steady flow of columns and interviews across Australia’s conservative media landscape covering Ridd’s case, sometimes handing over space to him in their column pages.
    Each time, Ridd, of Australia’s James Cook University, has been painted as a bastion of truth pushing back against the establishment. But how does that image hold up to scrutiny?…

    SMEAR SMEAR SMEAR

    Many of Ridd’s cheerleaders have taken his scientific claims without skepticism and have not entertained the idea that he might be wrong…

    SMEAR SMEAR SMEAR
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/03/28/climate-science-deniers-new-hero-peter-ridd-institute-public-affairs

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    pat

    29 Mar: BillingsGazette: EPA head visits major coal mine
    by Heather Richards
    Scott Pruitt, the controversial leader of the EPA, came to Wyoming at the invitation of Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi to see the coal industry first hand. The state provides about 40 percent of the thermal coal burned in the U.S. for power and would be uniquely affected by a carbon dioxide rule like the Clean Power Plan.

    The rule’s goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the electricity sector by about 30 percent compared to 2005 levels would have pressured utilities that buy Wyoming coal, wiping away customers that the coal industry around Wright and Gillette depend on.
    Those in favor of the rule are largely concerned about emissions’ contribution to climate change. Those opposed see it as an attack on the coal industry.

    Pruitt echoed that sentiment in an interview after touring Black Thunder. He said it was time for the agency to reverse what he described as a political attack on the fossil fuel industry. The review of the Clean Power Plan, a signature regulation from the Obama administration, is part of that, he said
    “Our job is not to coerce markets,” Pruitt said. “Our job is not to come in and say this type of fuel is good or this fuel is not good.”
    The EPA’s regulations and guidelines should follow behind industry choices, not dictate them, he said.

    Pruitt said Thursday the final decision on the Clean Power Plan is not certain. The agency would review the new round of comments on repeal and move forward.
    “What we are in the process of doing is providing regulatory certainty,” he said. “Then we need to look forward and say what authority do we have?”

    However, Pruitt also said the Clean Power Plan appeared to be outside the bounds of the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act.
    That is a position shared by others present at the mine Thursday including the senators, Gillette mayor Louise Carter King, Campbell County Commissioner Mark Christensen and the mayor of nearby Wright, Ralph Kingan.
    “We cannot allow this incredible resource to be stranded in the ground,” Barrasso said. “There is just so much energy here.”
    Enzi, once the mayor of Gillette, thanked Pruitt for coming in person. It’s one thing to tell people about the size and scope of a mine like Black Thunder, owned by Arch Coal. But a visit to coal country, he said, “is worth a thousand pictures.”
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/epa-head-visits-major-coal-mine/article_5f8a124b-dc58-55f5-ab89-a21e6e417947.html

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    pat

    29 Mar: Houston Chronicle: Ohio power company asks Perry to step in, save coal and nuclear plants from closing
    By James Osborne
    The Ohio power company FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry Thursday to issue an emergency order to stop coal and nuclear power plants in the region controlled by the grid operator PJM Interconnection from closing.
    FirstEnergy announced Wednesday it planned to close three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania within the next three years and is asking the the Department of Energy to order PJM to compensate coal and nuclear plant owners “for the full benefits they provide to energy markets and the public at large, including fuel security and diversity.”

    “PJM has demonstrated little urgency to remedy this problem any time soon – so immediate action by the Secretary is needed to alleviate the present emergency,” FirstEnergy President Donald R. Schneider said.
    A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy said it had received the company’s application for an emergency order and “will now go through our standard review process.”

    Coal and nuclear power plants across the region have been struggling to compete on a power market awash in cheap natural gas and a rush of new solar and wind farms.
    Last year Perry requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adjust regulations to raise electricity prices paid to coal and nuclear plants – a request FERC commissioner rejected…

    Without action by Perry, those plants would close, threatening the stability of the grid and causing “significant, negative outcomes for the approximately 65 million people living and working within the PJM footprint,” Schneider said.
    “Such quick and decisive intervention is necessary to avoid a crisis point where such baseload generation will cease to exist in competitive markets,” he said.
    The plea quickly drew skepticism from critics, who argued FirstEnergy was looking for a government bailout to prop up a coal power industry that faces a uncertain future…

    “First Energy is desperate to pad its bottom line at the expense of its customers. The region is awash in cleaner and cheaper resources, and First Energy can’t compete in the market,” said John Moore, of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
    https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Ohio-power-company-asks-Perry-to-save-coal-and-12791171.php

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    pat

    29 Mar: Adani said to delay Australia coal shipment over funding hitch, eyes deals
    Firm abandons a 2020 target date to begin mining coal from Carmichael project in Queensland after failing to obtain $2.3 bn from lenders by a March deadline
    by Perry Williams & Ruth Carson | Bloomberg
    The company now expects first production to be delayed by up to a year, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.
    The group is also considering “unconventional” funding sources, one of which could include capital injections from other parts of Adani’s businesses, according to the person. Other avenues could include the potential sale of equity stakes in the rail and port infrastructure which Adani controls. The firm still plans to seek up to A$3 billion from lenders, the person said…

    ***Lenders from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to three of China’s largest banks have ruled out providing loans for the project. The development comes at a time when coal prices are rising, with Newcastle coal futures up 8.6 percent in the past 12 months to $89.95 a ton.

    As Adani’s Australia arm explores new funding avenues, it’s also considering deals in China, Vietnam and Taiwan as it seeks more customers for its coal to bolster revenue for the project. A sizeable chunk of Adani’s targeted 27.5 million tons of coal from the first phase of production could be supplied to buyers in those three countries, according to the person…
    “There has been no change to our marketing strategy,” Adani Australia’s Brisbane-based spokeswoman said in an emailed response to questions Wednesday. “India will remain the key market for Carmichael coal. We are also targeting growth in demand for seaborne thermal coal from Southeast Asia and continued strong demand from North Asia.”

    The company remains “confident of securing finance” for the project, according to the email…
    http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/adani-said-to-delay-australia-coal-shipment-over-funding-hitch-eyes-deals-118032900447_1.html

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    pat

    mentioned in BusinessStandard’s Bloomberg piece, but not in the Bloomberg original I have seen:

    Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., Bank of China Ltd., and China Construction Bank Corp. all said in December that they won’t loan money for the project.

    am presuming they might be the “three of China’s largest banks” mentioned in Bloomberg’s article.

    28 Mar: Caixin Global: Bank of China, Goldman to Fire Up Fundraising for Alaska Gas Project
    By Yang Ge
    Bank of China will join with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs as capital coordinators for a massive natural gas project in the U.S. state of Alaska, as details of China’s participation in the project get ironed out following the deals’ announcement last November.

    China signed two major deals last year to develop natural gas resources in the U.S. during President Donald Trump’s first visit to Beijing since being elected. One of those was the Alaska deal, which could take up to $45 billion to develop. The other was a project to develop shale gas in the state of West Virginia.

    China is aiming to secure more supplies of clean-burning natural gas to lower its reliance on the dirtier coal that has traditionally provided much of its electricity. At the same time, Beijing is under pressure to reduce its large trade deficit with the United States, which last week prompted Trump to announce a plan to roll out new tariffs affecting $50 billion in Chinese imports as punishment for unfair trade tactics.

    Under the latest development in the Alaska project, Bank of China and Goldman Sachs will assist Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC) in raising debt and equity financing to advance Alaska LNG, a massive project including a liquefaction plant, 800-mile gas pipeline and a gas treatment plant on Alaska’s North Slope, AGDC said on Wednesday.
    The trio aims to raise money in multiple rounds, which will include offerings to Alaska residents, local municipalities, Alaska Native corporations and private equity.

    Bank of China was one of three major Chinese parties to sign a deal to participate in the project during Trump’s visit to China last November. The other two are energy giant China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec) and China’s sovereign wealth fund, CIC Capital Corp.
    https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-03-28/bank-of-china-goldman-to-fire-up-fundraising-for-alaska-gas-project-101227761.html

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    Often wondered what a genuine hockey stick chart would look like. Apart from the fear we should all have about how badly the grid will fail in the next drought that spot price chart is one.

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    pat

    29 Mar: Edmonton Journal: Chris Varcoe: Electricity agencies in fight over mothballing of coal-fired power plants
    In just a few days, TransAlta Corp. will mothball two of its coal-fired power generating units in Alberta.
    But days before the move occurs, a high-stakes battle has erupted between two influential agencies within the deregulated power system: the Alberta Electric System Operator, which manages the province’s power grid, and the electricity industry’s watchdog, the Market Surveillance Administrator.
    The outcome will have consequences for consumers across the province, who face the prospect of higher electricity prices next month.

    “It is absolutely affecting pricing,” said Vittoria Bellissimo, executive director of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta.
    “This will affect everyone in Alberta.”

    Earlier this month, the watchdog group filed a complaint with the Alberta Utilities Commission, a quasi-judicial regulatory agency, over the issue.
    In its filing, the Market Surveillance Administrator argues an AESO rule that allows existing generating units to be temporarily parked for up to two years should be removed or altered.
    The mothball rule, as it is called, “does not support the fair, efficient and openly competitive operation of the market (and) is not in the public interest,” the document states.
    “In the short term, the MSA expects consumers will pay increased costs by virtue of the announced mothballs … since removing the anticipated level of TransAlta’s supply has increased pool prices.”…

    Last spring, TransAlta announced it would mothball one of six units at its Sundance facility, the largest coal-fired generating plant in Western Canada, at the start of 2018.
    In December, the Calgary-based company said it would idle two more Sundance units on April 1. Another generating unit at Sundance, located west of Edmonton, will be mothballed in the spring of 2019.
    Combined, these steps will withdraw 1,054 megawatts of capacity from the market; “a significant quantity,” according to the MSA.
    After December’s announcement, power markets reacted quickly.

    According to the administrator’s analysis, the forward power price for April rose $4.65 to $59.28 per MW-h, although the market has also been influenced by some natural gas-fired plants coming off line for maintenance next month.
    In its filing, the independent enforcement agency contends AESO’s mothballing rule gives generators “an unfair competitive advantage,” permits physical withholding of power and may impact the system’s reliability…

    The system operator has the ability to recall mothballed units if they’re needed; outages are limited to 24 months, at which point a “return-or-retire” provision is triggered.
    AESO is reviewing the watchdog’s complaint and anticipates it will participate in the regulator’s process.
    TransAlta, meanwhile, is moving ahead with its plan to park the two Sundance units next month…

    As for the impact on power markets, (TransAlta chief legal officer, John Kousinioris)noted residential consumers are protected from higher prices because the provincial government has capped prices for those on the regulated rate at $68 per MW-h…
    http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/varcoe-electricity-agencies-in-fight-over-mothballing-of-coal-fired-power-plants/wcm/2a18ff96-c483-406f-830d-67c5d14ba099

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    pat

    30 Mar: Newcastle Herald: Coalition MPs want government to buy Liddell power station
    by MICHAEL KOZIOL
    A group of Coalition MPs are so intent on propping up AGL’s ailing Liddell power station they are calling on the Turnbull government to forcibly acquire the coal-fired power plant.
    But Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg all but ruled out the idea on Thursday, insisting the federal government was not going to start nationalising assets.
    The charge for intervention is being led by Nationals MP George Christensen, but other MPs are said to have a degree of support for the idea, including former prime minister Tony Abbott and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

    Mr Christensen told Fairfax Media a compulsory land acquisition would mean the government could run Liddell itself or, if necessary, sell it to interested Chinese giant Shandong Ruyi…
    “I don’t like the idea of Chinese owning stuff, particularly if it’s a state-owned enterprise, but the government could facilitate ownership to another party if the government doesn’t want to own it,” he said.
    “We own Snowy right now, so it’s not a new thing for the Commonwealth to actually own a power station.”
    But Mr Frydenberg quickly rebuffed the idea…

    Nationals MP Andrew Broad, who chairs the House of Representatives’ Environment and Energy committee, said a compulsory acquisition was not the way to go, but the government could get involved in building an entirely new coal-fired facility…
    A Liberal MP on that committee, Craig Kelly, said a compulsory acquisition of Liddell was a “very, very large step” but stressed: “We have to do everything we possibly can to keep it open.”
    But he said the Turnbull government should firstly pursue AGL through the courts using previously untested arms of the Trade Practices Act.
    “There is arguably a case that you could at least run a test case under the new competition laws to force AGL to offer it to a competitor, to put it on the market,” Mr Kelly told Fairfax Media…

    Conservative Liberal senator Eric Abetz was quoted by The Australian saying AGL should sell Liddell to a willing buyer or “the government should take it over”. LNP Luke Howarth, also on the energy committee, said he would support that “if it means it’s going to help lower power prices”.
    Resources Minister Matt Canavan declined to endorse a takeover. He called on AGL to financially commit to its entire plan to meet the 850 megawatt shortfall from the closure of Liddell in 2022.
    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/5315534/coalition-mps-want-government-to-buy-liddell-power-station/

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      PeterS

      Clearly the LNP do not consider Liddell important enough to keep working. This proves they are no better than the ALP+Greens. Yet so many will still vote for either. Then again that’s why the LNP is reluctant to buy it – they fear a backlash from Australian voters who have been conned into believing the anti-coal propaganda by both major parties. Let’s face the truth – we are heading for a major financial crisis of our own making.

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        Lionell Griffith

        Has there ever been a major financial crisis not of our own making? “Our” meaning the psychotic reality blind people who fantasize that the government is an unlimited source of wealth to pay for all the free lunches and the pandering politicians who pretend they can make it so.

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        robert rosicka

        I honestly think the liberals changed for the worst sometime in the Howard years , it’s been a down hill slide since then .
        Trying to out green the Labor and the Greens is a lose lose scenario for us deplorables .

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    Lionell Griffith

    The basic laws of collective action – aka Groupthink gone bad.

    1. The normal state of a collective is “business as usual” as in “We have always done it this way.”

    “Always” means within the short term memory of the collective. This is a stable state until a crises is perceived by the collective. The collective then transitions to a crises state and demands “They” do something about it.

    Keep in mind that change in “normal” can occur only when a crisis is perceived by the collective. The crisis need not be real. It only needs to be perceived as a real threat to “business as usual”.

    2. The “They” do something not really connected to the perceived crises that converts the perceived into an actual crises.

    3. When a real crises is seen to exist by the collective, it demands that “They” double down on what they did in response to the perceived crises. Which fixes nothing and only deepens the actual crises. The collective is blamed for the failure because they “didn’t do enough.”

    4. When the collective sees the actual crises becoming more intense, they act by granting more power and control to the “They” they demanded to “do something” about the non-existent but perceived crises in the first place.

    5. Soon, the crises state becomes “business as usual” and the collective returns to the previous stable state demanding only that it be continued. The “They” oblige and keep on doing something other than really responding to the actual crises.

    The driving power behind this is that the “business as usual” state is seen as the identity of the collective so the collective holds tightly to it to maintain a sense of existence.

    The net result is the “They” have increased their power and control over the collective and the collective is grateful for the incremental enslavement of them. The collective holds onto the fiction that they are now safe as if their lives depended upon it.

    The only impact upon the actual crises is that it is allowed to continue to deepen because it is perceived as the new “normal” and part of the identity of the collective. Rather like that snake who wants to gain weight so starts eating its tail.

    Rinse and repeat until the collective and the “They” cease to exist as an identifiable collective.

    As it was in the movie “War Games”, the only way to win in this game is not to play.

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    DonS

    Hi Jo

    I saw our energy minister Josh Frydenberg interviewed on the Sky Business channel yesterday and he said that the crackpot (my words) Snowyhydro 2.0 would PRODUCE electricity for 500,000 homes. Can anyone tell me how using electricity to pump water up a hill will generate even 1 milliamp of electricity? It can only work if the electricity to pump the water up the hill comes from so-called renewables otherwise they will need to take it from the already over worked grid. More demand=higher costs for consumers.

    Don’t worry because Josh also has a plan to get business to turn off their power during the day and help lower demand, this bloke is a genius. Australia will be the first country in history to go from the 1st world to the 3rd world in less than 1 generation.

    On top of the cost to build this mad pumped hydro (8 billion and counting) will be cost of the massive expansion in wind and solar needed to run the pumps and the poles and wires to distribute it. Who will pay? The usual suckers who go off to work everyday and have their wages pilfered by the tax department I suppose.

    Frydenberg and most of his political mates seem to think electrons will appear from nothing. Batteries really do PRODUCE electricity don’t you know. If we build it they will come. No dirty filthy coal required.

    If you think we are stuffed now just wait until we have a Labour government next year.

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      robert rosicka

      If building dams is the answer build more dams not pumped storage battery ones proper dams that mitigate floods and release precious life giving water during the summer when demand is high

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        yarpos

        We had a simple road renewal safety upgrade project delayed for over a year because somebody saw a legless lizard. In todays world what do you think your chances are of building a dam and floodind a valley? Never mind none of the idiots blocking such things would have a life without assorted existing dams around the country.

        “If you think we are stuffed now just wait until we have a Labour government next year.” yep, as incredible as it seems we are a long way from peak stupid.

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    Roy Hogue

    Let me see here. Isn’t this what used to be called cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    Both wisdom and ignorance are rewarded appropriately. The problem here is that so many will suffer because of the ignorance of a few who can’t figure out what their responsibility really is.

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      OriginalSteve

      I blame smart phones. Even my wife who is an advocate of the damm things, admitted smart phones give a voice to people who are too stupid or nasty to be allowed to have a voice in the public sphere…even though i advocate free speech, there ate timed when some limits are necessary on some topics, lest fools mislead the population….

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        Roy Hogue

        Blame Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if you want something you can point a finger at and still be credible after you’ve done it. Those social media icons have made human communication into trivia. They waste time with nothing to show for it. I never found an honest debate or dialog on Facebook even once. I finally gave it up. Good riddance as far as I can see.

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        yarpos

        However, if you didnt have Internet channels you would have no scpetical comment at all. The MSM seems to have swallowed the AGW propganda , or are active promoters, or dont have the skills and basic knowledge to even ask a sensible question.

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