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Nearly a billion dollars for electricity for just one day — $500 per family

The Electro-pyre conflagration escalates.

The cost of electricity on Thursday in two states of Australia reached a tally of $932 million dollars for a single day of electricity. Thanks to David Bidstrup on Catallaxy for calculating it.

As Bruce of Newcastle says “ “Three days and you could buy a HELE plant with the money wasted.” That’s a power plant that could last 70 years, and provide electricity at under $50/MW. (Forget all the high charges for 30 years to pay of the capital (in red below), we could just buy the damn thing outright, paid off in full from day one.)

Cost of Coal plants, lifetime, USA. Institute for Energy Research (IER):

Cost of old coal plants in the USA. From the report by Stacy and Taylor, of the Institute for Energy Research (IER)

Burned at the stake: $500 per family

In Victoria, per capita, that means it cost $110 for one day’s electricity. For South Australians, Thursday’s electricity bill was $140 per person. (So each household of four just effectively lost $565.) In both these states those charges will presumably be paid in future price rises, shared unevenly between subsidized solar users and suffering non-solar hostages. The costs will be buried such that duped householders will not be aware of what happened. Coles and Woolworths will have to add a few cents to everything to cover their bills, and the government will have to cut services or increase taxes. No one will know how many jobs are not offered or opportunities lost. This is the road to Venezuela.

If Hazelwood had still been open, the whole bidstack would have changed, quite probably saving electricity consumers in those two states hundreds of dollars. Eight million Australians could have had a weekend away, gone to a ball, or bought brand new fishing gear. And this is just one single day of electricity. If Liddell closes, things will get worse, no matter how much unreliable not-there-when-you-need-it capacity we add to the system. Indeed, the more fairy capacity we add, the worse it gets. NSW will soon join the SA-Vic club.

This is what happens when an electricity grid is run by kindergarten arts graduates who struggle with numbers bigger than two.

This is utterly and completely a renewables fail

The socialist Labor-Greens are already trying to blame it on coal, but we ran coal plants for decades without these disasters. Right now, no one is investing in coal because of bipartisan stupidity. What company would pay the maintenance fees on infrastructure so hated by the political class? The coal plants are being run into the ground. Maintenance is even being delayed to keep the plants running through peaks like this.

No country on Earth with lots of unreliable renewables has cheap electricity. How many times do I have to repeat it? This is my mantra for 2019.

In Australia when we had mainly coal and no renewables our electricity was cheap and reliable. Now we are still mainly coal, but all it takes is a poisonous small infiltration of subsidized unreliable renewables to destroy the former economic incentives, the whole market, the system: our lifestyle.

The Liberal Party needs to grow a spine

This is surely a crisis. As long as the Liberals are a Tweedledum version of the Labor party, they can’t solve this and deserve to lose. New renewables installations must be stopped immediately — put on hold indefinitely — until they no longer need forced subsidies, until the RET is gone, the carbon taxes, the hidden emissions trading scheme and we have a proper free market. Then new renewables can be permitted to compete with all generation alternatives, though all new generators will also have to be responsible for paying for extra transmission lines, back up batteries, and any other frequency stabilization required. On net a generator must be able to guarantee that when the people call on it, it can provide, lets say, 80% of total nameplate capacity. When that day comes (thirty, fifty, years from now or maybe never) I will be happy to support renewables. Until then, we are global patsies handing over glorious profits to energy giants, renewables companies, Chinese manufacturers, and large financial institutions.

Lets have a plebescite: How many Australians would rather have a weekend away with their family or make the world 0.00 degrees cooler in 100 years in a symbolic display to assuage the Gods of  Storms?

Happy Australia Day!

h/t to Ian B

*Added the word unreliable post hoc. It’s more accurate. We are talking about Wind and Solar, not Hydro. h/t Claude.

 

 

 

 

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149 comments to Nearly a billion dollars for electricity for just one day — $500 per family

  • #
    StephenP

    Two questions:
    Where does the money end up, as someone is profiting from these high prices?
    Is there any politician who could make the decision makers realise the result of their policies?
    I think the idea of making any supplier of electricity responsible for supplying a definite amount of despatchable electricity is great.
    Who would patronise a taxi firm that was only available 25% of the time, when the taxi driver felt like it, and at the same time you had to pay him for virtual miles?

    380

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Living proof australians havent moved too far from what was shipped here at Her Majs pleasure…..intellectually at least.

      We are apathetic mugs, and its going to bite us….big time….

      241

      • #
        William

        As the descendent of convicts Steve, I feel obliged to point out that neither South Australia nor Victoria were established as convict settlements, unlike NSW and Tasmania. Yes there were a handful of convicts in Victoria but these were closer to white collar criminals and more like free settlers, the only real deference being that they could not leave the area.

        So Victoria and South Australia with their rush to the bottom of the electricity barrel are clearly lacking the intellectual benefits they might have had, had they had convict ancestry!

        80

    • #

      Where does the money go? Perhaps none changed hands. Were those bid or ask prices? Perhaps only speculators trading paper.

      42

    • #
      ivan

      Where does the money end up,

      At a rough guess I think the answer is ‘the political parties coffers’. The quality of politicians we are seeing today is pathetic, after all they are only in politics for what they can get out of it, directorships etc. In other words they are all in it for the money, not the country or the people.

      120

    • #

      These are wholesale prices. Paid by industrial users and retailers. The money goes to generators. People in the street won’t pay yet, because they have fixed rate deals at retail rates, but the retailers who lost a lot of money will need to recoup that somehow sometime.

      Its complicated somewhat because some big retailers are also generators (gentailers).

      Some industrial users cut consumption, and some hedge with forward contracts. But ultimately spot prices in electricity are paid by someone somewhere. The less efficient way to power our nation will increase many costs and it will filter through.

      322

    • #
      Santa Baby

      Let’s not forget that this is marxism radical change of society dressed up as a green shift?

      31

    • #
      markx

      The money???!

      It goes to the suppliers. They just LOVE this pricing structure and and have structured their supply accordingly; to keep the market short and to maximize the situations there is extremely high bidding for supply.

      The brilliant economists who calculated this outstanding pricing mechanism should all be bent over a log and whipped… and then sent to dig in the coal mines where their lack of economic talent will not be an impediment.

      AGL full year profit almost trebles on higher electricity prices
      By business reporter Stephen Letts
      9 Aug 2018, 2:05pm

      AGL profit surges 194pc on higher prices and a big gain on loss making hedging contracts
      Shares tumble on a flat outlook and loss of earning momentum
      AGL CEO Andy Vesey urges support for NEG to boost investment in new generation to keep prices down
      AGL’s 2018 net profit of $1.6 billion rose 194 per cent from the previous year of $539 million

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-09/agl-profit-almosts-trebles-on-higher-electricity–prices/10092796

      20

      • #
        Analitik

        Don’t repeat the BS from the ABC – you might as well quite Richard DiNatale

        The sad fact is that OCGT generators cost a bomb to run since they are inefficient and since they aren’t run very often, their capital cost needs to be recovered across short, infrequent operating periods making for such high rates (which are capped BTW)

        It’s simple market based economics. Ranting about gouging by suppliers is lazy, Marxist behavior.
        If you want the peakers to be cheaper, finance one and operate it yourself.

        31

    • #
      Andrew Deakin

      The money represents the scarcity value of electricity at the time of high demand, and flows from retailers to the generators, via the wholesale bidding pool operated by AEMO. The costs are mostly offset by hedging contracts between generators and retailers. Hence the costs are not as melodramatic as some fear. The high price (which is the price cap of the bidding pool) is meant to signal the need for investment in more generation to meet high demand. The problem is that investors in conventional reliable power (fossil fuels) will not invest because their returns are undercut by renewables when available which are subsidized by the RET obligation. Thus, the average cost of power (as reflected in the hedging contracts) will keep rising as demand continues to outstrip supply on hot days. If Australians want to reduce GHG emissions, their politicians could not have devised a more expensive way of doing it. This problem is likely to continue until a majority of the population comes to accept that the damage likely to flow from increased GHG emissions is minor or negligible. Give it about 20 years. That’s how long it took the Club of Rome forecasts in the 1970s of costly resource depletion to be proven wrong. Each generation seems gullible for some sort of environmental scare. Possibly the next generation will be a bit more sophisticated about these relentless end-of-days fantasies.

      21

  • #
    wert

    Is this really true?

    Who paid the money, who pocketed it? Did they know this was coming?

    140

  • #

    This is utterly and completely a renewables fail

    While renewable supporters would see this as a bold claim to make, it’s absolutely true.

    Yesterday, wind power had a day of slightly above average power generation (CF 32%) and yet, all it could deliver across the whole day was 6.14% of what was actually required.

    Solar Plant Power, at the best time of the year, Mid Summer only managed 1.69% of what was actually required.

    So, Billions and Billions of dollars spent on wind and solar, and it can’t even manage a measly 8% of what is required to run the Country.

    Now just imagine if that’s all there’s going to be in the future.

    Tony.

    660

  • #
    crosspatch

    It’s your own fault, really. All of this could be avoided if everyone would simply go back to living in mud huts. No need for any electricity at all in that case. How long before homeowners begin to switch to natural gas / LPG generators?

    210

    • #
      Skeptikal

      How long before homeowners begin to switch to natural gas / LPG generators?

      I would switch now if I could find a generator which was quiet enough to run in a suburban backyard without disturbing the neighbours.

      240

      • #
        crosspatch

        They make several that are quieter than the average heat pump air conditioning unit. I went on a camping excursion once out in the desert and we brought along a towable 10kw generator that was so quiet one could sit next to it and hold a conversation at a normal speaking voice level.

        120

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Skeptikal:

        Honda or Yamaha if you want petrol driven. Diesels are usually noisier and cheaper. That’s because the first 2 are pure sine wave so won’t damage your computer etc.

        140

      • #
        sophocles

        You could try a quiet wind turbine ….

        Yeah, true, the wind has to blow for even this one to be useful …

        60

    • #
      Hivemind

      “switch to natural gas” ?

      No, the Greens have already demanded that Canberra not allow natural gas to be used in any of the new ACT suburbs.

      110

    • #
      Curious George

      Mud huts .. what a progressive idea. Let’s move all government offices to mud huts. And no electricity.

      140

  • #
    RavenX

    Where was Mr Musks ‘Super Duper’ battery in all this ?

    200

    • #

      probably serving it’s purpose and making millions for it’s investors. That *was* it’s intended purpose.. right?

      Seriously though, questions need to be asked about how much profit they made on that day, they’ve already boasted in the past about the million dollars in-one-day profit made from energy price trading while “producing” electricity to a demanding market.. maybe this most recent day’s profit when made known might cause some to question more deeply the viability of the thing.

      140

    • #
      Curious George

      That happens when you measure a battery capacity in megawatts, not megawatt-hours. These two units sound similar enough to confuse politicians. To avoid any confusion, let’s measure it in gallons.

      100

    • #
      amortiser

      Discharging at $14500 mwh!!!

      20

  • #
    crosspatch

    Also, Elon Musk built a battery that would save everyone, remember? This is just unpossible. Was the battery on?

    240

    • #
      Hivemind

      It probably worked for all of 5 minutes.

      100

    • #
      shannon

      Was the battery on?
      Yes it lasted less than 30mins….!!.
      Victoria also indicating a battery on AEMO site….how long has this been operating ?…not that it lasted any long than the “sister” over the border !….
      What a blatant waste of tax-payers money !

      240

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Once drained they wouldn’t have had the power to recharge it surely because the power would have been needed to keep power on to vic and SA .

        150

  • #
    robl

    AEMO appears to be doing a good enough job. I hardly have a blackout these days and I would be sitting cool if lightning hadn’t struck my AC. I used to have 12 blackouts a year, the longest lasting 3 days.
    Now, not so many. Our masters have chosen this market system control and it is working. Probably one of the best in the world.(?) As for where the money goes, there has been some gaming of the system, but I am hopeful that it will be sorted out. The money is shuffled around like with any market but most ends up being used constructively.

    In Australia it seems as though we are transitioning to low CO2 emission.
    Our masters have somewhat stuffed up, however we will muddle through.

    Engineers and scientists work very hard to bring us this wonder. (electrical energy)
    Youse guys ought to toughen up, what if we have a Carrington Event sometime.

    432

    • #
      robert rosicka

      robl you don’t seem to understand how the whole energy system works , I used to have lots of blackouts too and yes things have slowly improved but have you blown up any water pumps lately or found the light globes just don’t last as long as they used to .
      Maybe a battery charger stopped working suddenly or some other electrical device ?
      In Victoriastan we have removed 25% of our supply but still expect 100% coverage , I’m not sure how to get that message through to you but we simply don’t have the generation to power our state 24/7 anymore.
      Why, because of ideology that’s why .

      451

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘In Australia it seems as though we are transitioning to low CO2 emission.’

      And you think this is a good thing?

      180

    • #

      Our masters have chosen, our masters have somewhat stuffed up, there’s been some gaming of the system, the money is shuffled round…but engineers and scientists work very hard to bring us this wonder. And we could always have a Carrington Event to make us grateful.

      What part of “nearly one billion for one day” don’t these people get? (I suspect it’s the “billion”.)

      250

    • #
      Serp

      These “masters” wouldn’t be our elected representatives would they robl?

      And by voting down the carbon tax surely Australia voted against “transitioning to low CO2 emission” back in 2013 wouldn’t you say? So isn’t there a contradiction in our “seeming” to be going there now?

      I too think AEMO is doing a fine job given its remit.

      And finally on toughening, I’ll see your Carrington Event and raise you a Tunguska asteroid strike.

      140

      • #
        ivan

        These “masters” wouldn’t be our elected representatives would they robl?

        I very much doubt it, the ‘masters’ are the UN that is striving to be the one world government aided and abetted by the likes of Soros, the Clinton Foundation and Goldman Sachs and other banks.

        140

    • #
    • #
      el gordo

      ‘The money is shuffled around like with any market but most ends up being used constructively.’

      Not really, its shuffled back to Beijing.

      ‘State Grid is now part-owner of Victorian electricity transmission and distribution networks, as well as Victorian, NSW and ACT gas distribution networks and transmission pipelines. It appears that major efforts have been made to reduce political sensitivities to Chinese ownership of essential infrastructure in Australia by initially taking only partial shares in these companies.’

      Low Institute 2015

      230

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        illuminating.

        71

        • #
          el gordo

          But wait there is more … Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) is a HK shelf company.

          ‘When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) looked into the gas market in 2016 it found evidence of monopoly pricing among the pipeline operators that transport gas along the east coast of Australia.

          ‘This is because the pipelines are owned by a small group of companies that can essentially charge what they like.
          CKI already owns a lot of gas pipelines, powerlines and electricity generators around Australia.

          ‘So if you combine the two companies, CKI would suddenly control 68 per cent of the gas transmission and distribution pipelines in Victoria, 86 per cent in South Australia and 72 per cent in Queensland.

          ‘But it gets even more interesting when you add the assets controlled by other Chinese companies, particularly another company called State Grid, which is a Chinese Government-owned company.’

          News.com September 2018

          180

          • #
            Bushkid

            So, basically we’re stuffed?

            140

            • #
              Lance

              Yes. Stuffed. China essentially controls the AU economy by being able to distort national economics via infrastructure and grid resource control. Ultimate objective is likely to trade debt for controlling interest in AU mineral deposits. China has used the debt trap to control entire countries in South and West Africa already. Just a thought.

              190

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘…there has been some gaming of the system, but I am hopeful that it will be sorted out.’

      In your dreams, the only way to prevent outright theft by multinationals is for the Morrison government to build new coal fired power stations and eliminate subsidies for renewables.

      Then the government has to buy back the poles and wires.

      210

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Good one.

        And after that, undo the government induced th£ft in our natural oil and gas assets.

        Who, ie what PM, oversaw the export of all our gas?

        KK

        80

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Late note.

          Dennis has already addressed this.

          50

        • #
          el gordo

          Both majors went along with this debacle, but that is history.

          Before we get to the point of saying what did the Romans ever do for us, besides viaducts and fascism, its important that we respect the contracts signed.

          May I suggest we let the dictatorship build fresh water canals and bullet trains, but ease them out of energy and communications.

          20

    • #
      Slithers

      And I will probably not be here to see the coming Ice age be it little or God forbid large.

      120

      • #
        el gordo

        The Holocene Interglacial has reached its used by date, but we shouldn’t lose any sleep over that.

        80

      • #
        sophocles

        Skeptical Science has alleged that should a cooling ‘event’ occur because of the, say, impending missing sunspot cycle (Cycle 26) that temperatures will only fall by about 0.3°C. At most.

        It’s OK! The X-Spurts, the Galactic Klimate Scientists have said so!

        </sarc>
        Just in case Someone thinks I might be serious … :-)

        140

    • #
      robl

      A link for birdbrains?

      00

  • #

    This mad flushing of money profits some. Unfortunately, the some are those with great influence, especially by and through finance and media. A political leadership doesn’t really exist. Just think of how the ABC, the networks and Murdoch were able to inflict Turnbull on the public so easily. Now we have a neutered coalition government as we wait for Shorten. Cory should excite me, but a maverick conservative who takes a long sabbatical to the UN with a Labor chick is not likely to do much more than email me his deep reflections.

    A maverick who displeased those who plunder in the name of “the planet” would not last long. He might be 95% globalist, but that’s 5% short of what’s required. Someone would accuse him of eating live goldfish (or even wearing speedos while eating raw onion) washed down with a nice Grange Hermitage left on his doorstep. The slave media could and would do the rest. We’d soon wake up one morning to find a Macron or Turnbull or Baird at the helm. And for a while we’d be grateful, as the bankster appointee goes from policy triumph to policy triumph…according to the slave media.

    Really, I don’t see a solution beyond a rebirth of free media away from media. In a way, that’s what happens here. If dropping a comment on a well-attended forum or website is all one can do, then it must be done. A billion for one day and 500 dollars per family are pretty compelling numbers, and not hard to pass on. So let’s pass them on.

    211

  • #
    Hivemind

    The worst part of wasting that billion was that they couldn’t even keep the lights on. If they had managed to avoid rolling blackouts (euphemistically called “load shedding”), it might have meant something. As it was, they may as well have let all of them go out & made it obvious where Australia is going.

    120

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I’m wondering what a country like America spends in a day on electricity for comparison ?

    70

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Certainly not as much per head as Australia.

      91

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        We’re about to spend more here in sunny California. An outfit calling itself the Green Energy Alliance has managed trough subterfuge and plain old dishonesty to become the power supplier for I would guess, thousands of homes because it was arranged so you have to opt out.

        Soon a lot of homeowners are going to get a bill from some outfit they never heard of and be pissed off to say the very least. Since I managed to opt out at the last minute I’m going to enjoy watching the fallout when everything hits the fan.

        More on this later.

        210

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      Robert R.,

      See my comment #19.

      10

    • #
      RicDre

      “I’m wondering what a country like America spends in a day on electricity for comparison ?”

      I don’t know how average this is but my bill for December from Northern Ohio in the US is an average of about 1.48 US$ per day. The actual average usage charge is 12 Khr/day X $0.0659/kwhr or about $0.79/day, the remaining $0.69/day is distribution charges and other misc. costs mandated by the state and/or federal government.

      110

      • #
        RicDre

        Some additional information: our electric power comes from two nuclear plants (scheduled to close in a couple of years), a number of coal and gas-fired plants and some renewables and perhaps some hydro (the Niagara Falls power plant is or at least was attached to our part of the grid; when it tripped out in the mid 1960′s, it took our part of the grid down with it).

        90

      • #
        RicDre

        I should also mention that my heating comes from natural gas which keeps the electricity usage down in the winter. My natural gas bill is 47.00 $USD per month or about $1.57 per day.

        90

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Well, desal powered by wind….

    Oooeeer, Guv… I have wind in me water…

    The mind boggles….

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/game-on-what-happens-when-sydney-s-desalination-plant-gets-turned-on-20190124-p50tdl.html

    “Energy recovery systems extract as much as 90 per cent of the heat from the seawater concentrate, helping to cut electricity demand.

    All of the plant’s power is supplied from wind energy because of early worries about its energy hunger.”

    And…….not to be outdone…it gets better…

    This is just gold, Jo….enjoy!

    “Andrew Stoner, the NSW Liberals’ then spokesman on energy and utilities, also took a stance more in line with the Greens and environmental groups.

    “The water produced by a desalination plant is up to twice as expensive as recycling and up to four times as expensive as stormwater harvesting,” he said at the time. “It doesn’t make sense to allow hundreds of billions of litres of water to flow out to sea and to then draw in seawater to turn it into fresh drinking water at huge expense.”

    Stuart Khan, a water expert at the University of NSW, says having a plant built at such expense, ‘”heavily influences the economics of choosing to use it”, particularly as the margin cost of running the plant is dwarfed by the capital repayment costs.

    “If it hadn’t already been constructed, we’d probably be again waiting for a trigger of around 30 per cent of water storage capacity to be reached, before initiating construction,” Professor Khan says.”

    200

  • #
    NB

    No problem. People voted for penury and that is what they will have. That suits the ALP – there’s nothing worse for their brand than general prosperity.

    130

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Does anyone know how to scroll back through the AEMO notice’s on the bottom of the dashboard? I can’t remember seeing any non conformance messages yesterday for Victoria .

    30

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    In spite of all your troubles, from me to all my Aussie friends, Happy Australia Day. Enjoy. :-)

    I know you’ll recognize the song and the artist.

    The world is very troubled but change for the better is somewhere ahead.

    130

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Watching the fire is relaxing.

      81

    • #
      Annie

      Thanks Roy. It led on to The Seekers and I listened to my favourites from them too, ‘I’ll never find another you’ and ‘The Carnival is over’
      We had a great Australia Day; went to Marysville for the parade and then to a friend’s for a bbq. A country singing group came in and they were excellent…great fun.
      It became pretty warm again (this is Australia in the summer after all!). Overnight the wind came up strongly for a while and then we actually had a smidge of rain with some thunder, (2.8mmm). As my husband would put it, better than a kick in the teeth!

      40

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Sounds just like a good old fashioned 4th of July celebration. You and we have a lot in common when it comes to celebrating. I apparently had no control over what Utube sticks in to follow something but I’m glad it was all to your liking.

        30

  • #
    Slithers

    Unless SA and Vic electricity user’s are totally off the grid then they will pay for the extra costs $500mil for every day above 40 (and summer is not over yet!)

    Next years electricity bills in SA and VIC are going to be HUGE. And even if you were really responsible and turned off all your electrical systems you still suffered the black-out AND will still have to pay your share of the cost!

    200

    • #
      GD

      My electricity bill comes from Amaysim. They’ve already advised of a price rise starting in February.

      They were among the cheapest when I joined last July and offered the first month free (my first month’s bill was $0) and the 12th month free if I stay till then.

      Best of a bad bunch?

      80

  • #
    Turtle

    All I could think about on Friday was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

    60

  • #
    George

    The biggest winners from the increase in wind and solar could be the generators if they can get $932 million in a day, with $14,500/MWh at times.
    How on earth do they determine a sudden price rise to $14,500/MWh anyway.
    Actually I feel a bit nervous that these companies are in charge of our remaining coal plants.

    151

  • #

    I am just a humble Canadian. Yeah, as if there is such a thing. But what I have noticed while reading these comments is that everyone seems to have missed the most salient point made by Jo.
    “No country on Earth with lots of renewables has cheap electricity”
    Perhaps it is time to learn from example rather than trying to be the example.
    I would venture an unsupported guess.
    No country on Earth with a high standard of living has low emissions. That may infer what the trade offs will be.

    180

    • #
      GD

      No country on Earth with lots of renewables has cheap electricity.

      No country on Earth with boundless supplies of coal and uranium legislates a preference for wind and solar. Except Australia.

      200

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        And we are

        Slaves.

        131

      • #
        Dennis

        And at the same time ships enormous amounts of high quality coal to export markets, and natural gas.

        The Audit Office is investigating the revenue received from the gas companies, apparently Australia now exports more gas than Qatar but receives far less revenue from it.

        During the period November 2007 and September 2013 Labor governments signed the natural gas export agreement and introduced the 28 per cent renewable energy target.

        150

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Good, we need answers and prosecutions and a new political reality.

          What we have at the moment is very “Distorted”.

          KK

          70

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      But the “emissions” are not a problem anyway, being merely the plant food CO2, which has minimal effect (in my view zero effect) on climate.

      Cheers,
      Dave B

      110

  • #
    DaleC

    It’s been a bloodbath, but prices have been as bad in the past. I’ve been amusing myself with creating a set of charts from the AEMO 30 minute Demand and Price data (1999-1Jan2019)

    http://redcentresoftware.com/wp-content/uploads/AEMO_Demand_and_Price_by_State.xlsx
    http://redcentresoftware.com/wp-content/uploads/AEMO_Demand_and_Price_All_States.xlsx

    The state comparisons are interesting – for all the noise regarding SA and Tasmania, they barely register in the big picture.

    For those who understand these things: Why such a dramatic drop in total demand since 2008/2009? Why, as Victoria goes down, does Queensland goes up?

    90

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Just so y’all have a comparison – and I know this is a difficult thing to do – I will give you our costs. Central Washington State, USA.; so using $USD.
    We have a modest free-standing house that is 100% electric. Our utility is a coop. It buys Hydro generated power from large Columbia River dams (via a regional balancing authority).
    Average use in December (highest in 2018) was 3,800 kWh, lowest last year (several months) was under 800 kWh.
    We pay a”facilities charge” of $21.25 per month.
    The energy charge is $0.0908/kWh.
    About once a year there is a small price adjustment – up.

    December: $345.04 + $21.25 = $366.29
    October: $69.10 + $21.25 = $90.35

    In 30 years there have been a half dozen outages, none over 4 hours. Usually trees are the culprits, but once a truck ran through a pole and took down the main line to our section.
    We have never had a rolling outage, blackout, or been asked to shed load.
    Excuse me, but those things are unheard of for us, and sound ridiculous.
    Think of the ice cream!

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Yes John,

      Problem for us here is that we have never had to really fight for our democracy: it arrived pre packaged from Britain.

      Wasn’t perfect but good enough for a while: then every Tom, Dick and Harry began to insert their own drip feeds to extract from the system and now we only have one industry: Mining.

      We have become very “progressive” with much if our industry and commerce progressively taxed into oblivion.

      The Fight for our Democracy is here, waiting, can we respond.

      If voters can see that Mr. Morrison is acting out the remainder of the script left for him by his predecessor, and that Mr. Shorten is the front for worse, they still have the problem of working out what to do.

      It seems unlikely that Voting will save the day.

      The first step is never to vote for either of the two main partis, Laba or Greeens.

      Only vote Libl for exceptional candidates but mostly vote Definite Independents.

      As someone said yesterday: we need to scrub the current judiciary and insert total independents there to stop the Rope, Pillage and Plunder that’s been accelerating since the early seventies.

      We got a fight on our hands but most of the population are Stoned and unaware.

      KK

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      • #
        Serp

        Thanks for this remark Kinky Keith: “Mr. Morrison is acting out the remainder of the script left for him by his predecessor”

        I was beginning to wonder if anybody else had noticed…

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          I don’t think that he’s totally stupid, and that leaves the option we both seem to share.

          Currently, acts of favouritism or outright cronyism, which may have been viewed as unlawful or seditious in earlier times are now invisible as the judiciary and governments throw up the smokescreens of equity, gender, and fairness to all.

          In the meantime Rope, Plunder and Pillage continue.

          Last man out on the last flight to New York please turn out the lights.

          Perhaps more accurately: turn off the battery.

          KK

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  • #
    pattoh

    Does anybody know what the status of Wallerawang is.

    Surely it still is a site which has fuel, water & reticulation & other infrastructure.

    I recall the the cooling towers were slated for [ petulant ] destruction.

    However, unless it will been turned into another bitcoin mining site or Green tourist park, how long would it take for it & others be fitted with HELE?

    This next Federal Election would be a lot more entertaining if a few cross bench senators took a fancy to yellow HiVis & forced to debate energy policy & get declarations onto the record.

    We are all still too comfortably numb[ by design].

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  • #
    Hanrahan

    I am not qualified to give investment advice but but buying AGL sounds a safe bet. That near billion has to end up somewhere.

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  • #
    Hanrahan

    It’s been pithing down up north in the last couple of days so the Atherton Tableland hydros will be able to open their taps wide and provide 100% of nameplate [118 MW] ’til the end of summer.

    Now, that’s how a good system works.

    BTW what’s up with BassLink? 0 import or export for days.

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  • #
    jrbeatty

    Yes Basslink. What the heck is going on?

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  • #
    Gan Do

    In a capatalist free enterprise country you cannot blame individuals and companies for trying to maximise the making of personal or corporate profit. It goes with the territory. As long as it complies with the rules of the Australian Tax office and is legal. The only quarrel all of us should have is with those who make the rules,and that clearly is the members of parliament. That they as a class have lost sight of their responsibilities to their electorate in favour of personal gain & glory has become a reality in all democracies it seems. The French are rising, so to in the UK & the USA has it’s Deplorables. Alas Australians have show time and time again to be the most compliant bunch of lemmings on earth. It makes it easy for self-aggrandising parliamentary pettifoggers to continue to line their own pockets when they know that the population will cop it sweet like frogs settling into a nice warm pot of water on the stove.

    Oh! For a yellow vest…

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  • #
    ivan

    Stellar article Jo

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    Gerry

    Nothing will happen politically until NSW residents get jack of it in a few years time ….politics is run from NSW – when it hurts the pollies listen

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  • #
    John

    HELE is an acronym for ????

    10

    • #
      amortiser

      High Efficiency Low Emissions

      Don’t know why they need the latter part. They must think plants need to diet.

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  • #
    Tom Anderson

    Andrew Roberts’s new biography of Winston Churchill notes a comment in one of Churchill’s speeches that, “Government creates nothing; it gives only what it has taken from elsewhere. One lot of Englishmen get what came from the pockets of another lot of Englishmen, most of it lost along the way.”

    Once again Australia improves upon the old country by allowing no set of Australians (at least not a significant one) to get anything from the money taken. To the contrary.

    Also prominent in the biography is how in the 1930s the majority of Britons, and certainly their government, refused to believe that Herr Hitler (evidently a nice man when diplomats met him) was a threat to the peace and tranquility of the realm. Will Rogers, an American comic philosopher, said Calvin Coolidge was the only president to figure out that all Americans wanted was to be left alone. Apparently the same can be said for some governments.

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    Robber

    The current AEMO system to manage electricity supply and pricing is unacceptable. It is ridiculous that last week every generator in Vic/SA received $254/MWhr on Jan 22, $3,300/MWhr on Jan 24, and $750/MWhr on Jan 25 when the system failed to ensure reliable supply.
    A proposal to governments/AEMO to change the wholesale electricity pricing structure:
    1. AEMO tables an estimate of hourly electricity demand for the next week (as they already produce quite accurate weekly forecasts).
    2. Each generator submits an offer of guaranteed supply at a fixed price for the week. (ie not just for the next 5 or 30 minutes)
    Note: Guaranteed supply means that it must be dispatchable, so for example a wind generator must team with a gas or hydro generator so that together they can deliver the contracted amounts each hour. A solar generator must have storage or team with another generator to deliver 24×7. A coal plant must have peaking gas or hydro to meet peak demands.
    3. AEMO now contracts with the lowest bidders to meet demand at their tendered prices.
    Note: Compare this to the current system where a wind generator can bid low to be accepted, but then gets paid whatever the highest accepted bidder tendered.
    4. Failure to meet contracted amounts incurs not just a loss of income for the shortfall but also a penalty equal to the cost of replacing that supply. (For example, the cost of running an emergency diesel generator or the cost of cutting demand by industry).
    5. As wind is the most unpredictable source, it cannot simply offer excessive power when winds are strong, forcing other suppliers to curtail generation. It must have a partner that cuts back supply.

    This system will stop the absurd pricing that occurred last week when every supplier in Vic/SA received $3,300/MWhr on the 24th. If they had tendered $90/MWhr, that’s what they would have been paid, provided they delivered their contracted amounts. AGL would have paid a penalty for the failures at Loy Yang, rather than simply passing the buck to other suppliers, and actually profiting from the higher prices received by their other generators.

    This approach could also be extended to enter into 10-20 year forward contracts. It would also stop governments selectively committing to intermittent new supplies without backup. For example: The Victorian Government has established the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) to support achievement of the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET). These targets seek to ensure that 25 per cent of the State’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 40 per cent of generation by 2025.

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  • #
    yarpos

    We have only lived in Victoria for 37 years. I recall when the State Electricity Commission was run by the State Govt. The SEC did generation and billing.

    Blackouts were and oddity and electricity cost the same amount regardless of the weather/season. Such is progress I guess.

    I’m not sure how much more downward pressure I can continue to enjoy.

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  • #
    Claude

    “No country on Earth with lots of renewables has cheap electricity. How many times do I have to repeat it?”

    I advise repeating zero times. Iceland is almost 100% renewables, and electricity is about 5 cents per kWh.

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    • #

      Claude,
      Iceland is mostly hydro and geothermal. It’s not a wind and solar success story.

      But to be spot on accurate, I’ll add one word:

      “No country on Earth with lots of unreliable renewables has cheap electricity. How many times do I have to repeat it?”

      Thanks, I like to be accurate.
      Jo

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      • #
        Claude

        Hi Jo,

        Yes, Iceland is definitely not wind or solar. Since my post I also found some other countries that have similar success stories with renewables (Canada, Norway, maybe Brazil) and these too are predominantly hydro.

        I prefer “intermittent” or even simply “solar/wind” to “unreliable”, but that is splitting hairs.

        The NSW government has (apparently) identified 22,000 potential sites for pumped-hydro storage. Do these make economic sense? How long will they take to build and what happens in the meantime? Will the landowners and/or environmental lobby allow any to be built? The NSW govt is pretty quiet on all these important questions.

        Australia has a diverse wind environment due to the sheer size of the continent. This in theory would allow reliable wind generation to be constructed. But at what cost, and how long would it take? Sadly, questions rarely addressed.

        Cheers,

        Claude.

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    hunter

    Australia is now a typical 3rd world country:
    Corrupt oligarchic political rule imposing ridiculous costs for basic needs. And the money for those basic needs goes to political insiders.
    Radicalized teachers spreading political dogma instead of teaching.
    Decreasing personal liberty.
    Extraction and export based economics and declining domestic industrial base.
    Not to brag, but why not:
    In Texas last year, including summers, thanks to a high-tech roofing system my highest power bill on my home, with plentiful natural gas, and a sweet power deal, was $28.00 US.
    I kid you not.
    Australia is being robbed by the climate hustlers and the weak corrupt oligarchs who believe the hustlers

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  • #
    hunter

    ….And I pay monthly, not daily or weekly.

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    angech

    Anthony
    Worth a post on its own
    Channel 9 news site Australia 2 hours ago
    “energy bill from last week’s heatwave has been revealed with Victoria and South Australia spending $1.1 billion during 48 hours of scorching weather.

    Tremendous pressure was placed on power supplies at the height of the heat as temperatures reached the mid to high 40s.

    The Australian Energy Market was forced to order rolling power cuts across both states to prevent widespread blackouts.

    The power bills for Victoria and South Australia have topped $1.1 billion.
    The power bills for Victoria and South Australia have topped $1.1 billion. (Getty)
    In Victoria alone, that meant 200,000 homes and businesses were left without power in the middle of the heatwave.

    Three generators in Victoria, two at Yallourn and one at Loy Yang, failed in the lead up to the extreme heat.

    Despite the inconvenience to many thousands, compensation is not currently being offered.”
    I cannot believe the figure of 1.1 billion.
    Puts this little town in the shade.
    Perhaps JoNova’s husband could write it up properly.
    1.1 billion!!
    There was a film where someone says something like that

    Channel 9 news 2 hours ago.
    See you have already got it up sorry

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  • #
    robb13

    Rather ironic that this energy disaster, caused by the policies of a closet communist Premier, put hundreds of millions of profit into the coffers of big generating companies.

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    Jack

    What a redneck site. So this is were all the Trump loving KKK fans hang out. Yes and if all these self interested scientist and environmentalists who only care about their own huge profits and don’t give a fuck about their kids and grand-kids futures and what legacy this generation will leave our descendants on this planet the way things are going, were eradicated, that would meet all your objectives and you could continue living you lives like nothing but your own selfish interests, wants and comforts matter. Maybe if the worlds forests were increasing and biodiversity was at least maintained every year and the human population was declining, excess CO2 could be beneficial as “Plant Food”, but until that happens we urgently have to become a lot more sustainable, conserve the worlds precious water, energy and natural resources and start paying much more for our excessive consumption of them so we can learn to appreciate them more. Of course if you believe that “God” has a higher place for you when you die and we all should think like that so we look forward to that place that’s pure “Heaven” and so much better than this “Staging Post”, well of course you’re not going to give a fuck about what state we leave the planet in for future generations and don’t need to change your 1950′s mindset or attempt to stop the planet heading flat-out into oblivion. It’s obviously going to be impossible to get it 100% right and please everyone on the planet every time, and we have to try and stop unscrupulous profiteering but we have to get our heads out the sand and do everything possible to turn things around and LIVE WITH the natural world, not forever fighting AGAINST IT, trying to dominate it and not respecting and appreciating it. We just have to understand how bloody lucky we are. As my parents always said there’s always someone worse of than you.

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    • #

      I dare you to stick around and find out how you’ve swallowed the propaganda and the world is the total opposite to the vision of hate you’ve been fed.

      Skeptics are the ones who work for nothing, care for the environment and look after the next generation.

      Believers are either profiteers who do science through bullying and namecalling or the suckers who fell for groupthink, derision and scorn.

      Look, lots of us (even me) once believed the PC fantasy world. We’ll be nice if you are here for an honest conversation and withering if you are not.

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    • #
      AndyG55

      “you could continue living you lives like nothing but your own selfish interests, wants and comforts matter”

      You mean like the AGW glitterati ?

      Al Gore, DiCaprio, many Hollywood “self-celebrities” who make their money acting?

      I’d rather see CO2 continue to increase so that the world’s population can be fed.

      I know people like you would see it otherwise.

      You want population reduction, so long as it isn’t YOU leading the way.

      “Maybe if the worlds forests were increasing “

      YES, The world’s biosphere has INCREASED 15-20% in the last 50 or so years..

      “about their kids and grand-kids futures and what legacy this generation will leave our descendants “

      YES, the AGW socialist agenda MUST be defeated, for the benefit of ALL future generations

      Also, the anti-CO2 farce MUST be defeated, to provide solid dependable energy to future generations and developing countries.

      Fortunately, there are over a THOUSAND new coal fired power stations being built around the world, so the anti-CO2 stupid that has over-taken so many so-called developed countries will have basically ZERO effect on reducing world CO2 emissions, they will continue to climb for the foreseeable future.

      And guess what.. there is NOTHING all you manic ranting can do about it :-) .

      Pity we don’t have someone like Trump here, to bring the populace back to a rational level of COMMON SENSE

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      AndyG55

      “We just have to understand how bloody lucky we are.”

      That we live in a capitalist society !

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    Jack

    Sorry; worse OFF

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