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Australian grid wars: MP says Queensland should cut off other states to make electricity cheaper

Guess which state, big business will be headed to next?

Brilliant! Let’s talk about a Quexit of the NEM. Nationals MP, Keith Pitt is suggesting that Queenslanders could cut their power bills if Queensland stands alone and disconnects from the rest of the Australian National Grid. There are concerns from experts within the energy sector that this could result in blackouts in other states… (is there an “e” in electricity?).

Keith Pitt says these are Queensland assets paid by the Queensland people, owned by the Queensland people, but we can’t continue to prop up states that make silly decisions. He’s driven by one motivator, and that’s price for consumers.

Check out the AEMO data dashboard. On any given minute Queensland is probably sending electricity to most of the NEM.

 

 

 simon holmes à court
@simonahac

this is _the_ dumbest idea i’ve heard @keithjpittb since gina’s dad suggested using nuclear bombs for earthmoving. while you’re there, you may as well blow up the highways in and out of queensland — the oversupply of bananas would drive the costs down. for a time.

The Nationals haven’t decided if they will back this at the next state election. Send them a message.

Just asking the question changes the game

In the long run, it would be silly for Queensland to own large assets that could turn a profit but say “no thanks” and just blow off the excess. But if they seriously threatened to leave, suddenly contracts would be up for negotiation. Perhaps more importantly, an excess wouldn’t last for long if big business from NSW and Victoria moved to Qld to use that excess power. It could work out well for a lot of people.

For decades each state managed its own grid just fine. As I say in my speeches, to truly wreck a grid, it needs to be nationalized. Only a big groupthinky grid can be mismanaged by one sole mismanager. Not mentioning any names, Audrey Zibelman.

But let’s not forget, Queenslanders still need to cut off the RET next.

Electricity prices fell for 25 years in Australia, then renewables came…

Australian electricity prices, NEM, graph.

The NEM formed in 1998. For most of the first 15 years of the NEM, prices stayed around $30/MWh.

 

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Rating: 9.8/10 (69 votes cast)
Australian grid wars: MP says Queensland should cut off other states to make electricity cheaper, 9.8 out of 10 based on 69 ratings

168 comments to Australian grid wars: MP says Queensland should cut off other states to make electricity cheaper

  • #
    Bright Red

    Given the transmission losses who on earth thought having a national grid was a good idea? It seems the only benefit is that the bludger states get to sponge off the states that have so far gotten it right.

    310

    • #
      Tel

      If most of the major cities can guarantee most of their supply from local generation capability then having the “national grid” is an insurance policy that only does the job of leveling out the differences. Therefore a small fraction of the power travels long distances, and transmission losses are not too bad overall.

      However if we get serious power deficit in some states and power surplus in others then yes, as that process continues the total amount of transmission loss must surely go up. From a planning perspective it makes more sense to move industry near the power, instead of moving power to the industry … but sometimes things don’t get planned. For example: the Sydney CBD has a lot of power hungry buildings and the Snowy Mountains is where the hydro power happens to be. Neither of those is easy to move.

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      • #
        Bright Red

        Long high voltage high capacity transmission lines are expensive so it is most likely better to have local standby generation as backup. There is also the assumption that another state has the capacity at any given time to provide a backup for a deficit in another state. This is not good planning. Hydro is just for peaking and is not a significant generator in Australia as we simply do not have the water. Tasmania excepted but even so they have run out of water exporting power to the mainland and had to revert to diesel generators

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        It would almost certainly be cheaper to have local supply as you mentioned and take a little bit of the extra that a national grid would cost and then build reliable redundancy locally. Win win for the workers.

        90

        • #
          Hanrahan

          One problem, local peaking or “emergency” power can only really be be open cycle gas. Closed cycle needs to work to pay for itself. It is unlikely to have enough guaranteed gas demand to justify a gas line so it will be fuelled with AVGAS in a storage tank. These were being installed in the ’70s.

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          • #
            Hanrahan

            BTW There is no local employment involved. I think there is one such plant a few Ks from me but nobody works there and the vast majority of locals would have no idea it is there. A jet engine does thousands of hours between services and that can be done in a day or two by a RR techy.

            50

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            I wasn’t thinking of that type of redundancy.

            The best and most efficient thing to do is build normal plants, say HELE, with a slight but real excess of capacity to do two things: first to cover all running eventualities like programmed maintenance and also to cover future expansion.

            Gas and diesel reserves are so “renewables” and something to be avoided.

            KK

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            • #
              Hanrahan

              It still doesn’t work. You can’t just look a a couple of maps showing demand and the HV grid and decide: That’s where we build our multi million HELE plant. Coal is heavier than electrons.

              I’m in N Qld and I really don’t know where you would build a HELE plant to reduce the heavy one way load on the Gladstone/Nebo feeder other than Collinsville and that would be a disaster. The unions still own the [dead] town. Hells Gate hydro is the only alternative and that is no trifling matter to build.

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            • #
              Graeme#4

              I don’t believe gas should be regarded as “renewables” KK. The U.S. Achieves very low energy prices from fracked gas, and WA seems to be keeping their energy prices low while using 40% gas. At least gas can deliver energy 24/7.

              40

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                When gas is used to make outrageous profit from exporting it, it then becomes a renewable.
                Here locally we are sitting on top of a massive supply of cheap coal that could generate electricity but I don’t want us to be involved with the Vic and S.A. Solutions where production by renewables has to have duplicate gas/diessel that is super expensive.

                If WA has no coal but loads of gas and all production is by gas then gas loses the stigma of repeatability.

                Horses for courses.
                :-)

                30

          • #
            Graeme#4

            I believe Perth uses both open and closed cycle gas generators. The key for Perth was having the major gas pipeline running down the north-south axis where the majority live around Perth. So it was easy to instal local gas peaking generators along this pipeline.

            30

      • #
        Hanrahan

        “From a planning perspective it makes more sense to move industry near the power, instead of moving power to the industry …”

        It was once so. It is no coincidence that Gladstone has both aluminium smelters and power stations. Collinsville power station was built on top of a coal mine and close to the Bowen Basin. It is far cheaper to transport electrons than coal. Sadly not even Joh could bust the Collinsville unions and they eventually forced closure of the power station, the mine and the town. I tried to do business there. If it isn’t the aole of the world, you can stand on a milk crate and see it from there. :)

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        • #
          Kinky Keith

          OK, now I understand.
          You aren’t talking about a theoretical electricity grid problem but the more difficult issue of Unions.

          Here in Newcastle the city had a State Dockyard where the unions made hay while the Sun shone. They had a great time being tough: so the dock closed and the work was done in South Korea.
          At the time it was reported that the Korean workers were getting so much work that they could get the same pay as the Australians. This was a bottom up problem.

          On a national and international level we now have the reverse problem, top down rorting. The elite are really doing well but the collapse isn’t far off.

          Tomago Aluminium smelter has held on but are being finished off with the death of a thousand cuts.

          What happened at our dockyard is exactly what’s now happening to Australia: imminent closure because of bad, self serving management.

          We need to confront that and read the lessons from Trumpit, Brexit, the Yellow Vests movement and the Hong Kong activists trying to maintain their Democratic rights.

          Seems like we don’t have any leaders to fix the problem.

          Maybe we could start with Audrey. Audrey who?

          Yes that’s the problem.

          KK

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    • #
      RickWill

      star commentBright Red asked:

      Given the transmission losses who on earth thought having a national grid was a good idea? It seems the only benefit is that the bludger states get to sponge off the states that have so far gotten it right.

      I was involved in establishing the national grid from the perspective of a large consumer in the early 1990s. It followed Keating’s Industry Commission review into energy and distribution released in 1991:
      https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/energy-generation/11energyv3.pdf
      I provided evidence on behalf of large electricity consumers and cogenerators. The main reason for my involvement was to break the hold that bloated state monopolies held on the supply and distribution of power. For example, large Australian wide businesses could purchase power at very low cost in Victoria and use it in NSW but the NSW authority would simply add an exorbitant charge, way above the wheeling cost, to make up the difference. The actual power station in Victoria could be closer than the power station in NSW in certain circumstances. The same situation existed in northern NSW with QLD generators being closer to loads than NSW generators. Also cogenerators, producing excess power at one site, were paid a tiny fraction for the excess exported compared with the cost of power at another site. The sites could actually be within a short distance of each other but the state monopoly prevented transmission of power by any other body across property boundaries.

      The Inquiry report had an almost immediate impact on changing the trajectory of electricity prices. The industry efficiency improved through most of the 1990s. NEMMCO was formed in 1996. Setting up market trading system was slow and complex and it was way simpler than it is now. Removing the state monopolies and creating a competitive market no doubt lowered electricity prices.

      I was not involved in the NEM when intermittents were permitted to connect. I had been involved as a customer in getting large, dirty loads connected. The process involved when dealing with the monopolies was technically tedious. They spent months modelling the impact of the load on the system. In one case the permitting process took more than a year for a meagre 10MW load.

      I am certain that no one has thought through the impact of intermittents on the grid. South Australia is at the bleeding edge globally but has got to the current position by relying on its interconnection with Victoria.

      If QLD pulled the plug on NSW I expect its increasing rooftop solar capacity will hurt the coal generators economically as wind has done in SA and VIC. There is also load side changes that could harm QLD coal generators such as the closure of Bell Bay and Tomago smelters. Losing these large base loads will reduce the need for base load generators.

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      • #

        Thank you RickWill – two grateful stars from me. #1.2 and #2.3.4

        To sum up:
        While the NEM made it possible to wreck the grid, the RET did the damage, but it can’t be undone easily or without spending more billions. The NEM itself could be a good thing (especially since we’ve paid for those transmission lines).

        But here’s the catch — now that we have vandalized the generation pool with so many random generators the interstate lines and the NEM is a liability. As long as we force the market to take the random green electrons no baseload generator is safe in any state.

        Even though the RET will “end” in 2020, the subsidies to current RET players will continue to 2030 won’t they?

        Rudd’s last minute gift to renewables -industry $7 billion extension til 2030

        Back in 2010 Rudd signed off on an extension of subsidies to renewables generators that would apply from 2020-2030, long after he would be gone. Effectively this decision will take up t0 $300 per Australian over that decade – in the order of $1000 per family – and gift to the renewables industry. Naturally, in the public arena, an issue this big was decided with major, some, no discussion at all.

        The real and only solution is to return to a free energy market as soon as possible by a path that wastes the least amount of money while recognizing sovereign risk, existing contracts and the massive number of pointless but real jobs that depend on crippling our energy market. These people need retraining to advance from regressive green employment into industries which have a future, like coal.

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  • #
    Tel

    In the long run, it would be silly for Queensland to own large assets that could turn a profit but said “no thanks”.

    Why would it be silly? Queensland is run by a democratically elected government, nominally dedicated to serving the needs of it’s citizens … it doesn’t have shareholders, so it cannot disburse a profit, and it isn’t intended as a profit making venture in the first place.

    Queensland could:
    * Collect the power generation profit and return that to the citizens in the form of lower tax.
    * Sell off the profit-making power infrastructure to private owners and use the lump sum to build something else.
    * Cut power to the other states and make power cheaper for Queensland citizens.

    There’s no obvious reason why one would be better than the others, that’s largely a matter of what Queenslanders want. Cheap power and higher taxes might attract some industries (e.g. Aluminium) while more expensive power and lower tax might attract different industries. Not only is it difficult to say what would be better in the long run, it’s something of an ill-defined question to begin with, because different people have different preferences. That’s why we have elections.

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    • #
      Hanrahan

      it doesn’t have shareholders, so it cannot disburse a profit,

      But it does. I got a $50 dividend on my last bill.

      The only thing keeping Qld’s budget barely above water is coal royalties and profit on electricity generation. We have the coal and [at least for now] the generating capacity. Best we use them.

      Once upon a time when Qld had Joh as premier he made a motza outa coal and electricity but even more importantly haulin’ coal on monopoly contracts, so much so that we had a low tax state and a free hospital system simultaneously. What a business model but pluckachoock cut off her nose to spite her face and refused to finance either the railway or the port for any new mines. Legend has it that the Chinese made the most money during the gild rush by selling picks and shovels. I know and like Chinese, no offence meant, but let the miners mine and the state run the railways and ports.

      Open Qld for business by guaranteeing supply with a price cap which can be met by not bidding to supply the south when the wind don’t blow.

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      • #
        Tel

        But it does. I got a $50 dividend on my last bill.

        Lol, you still have to pay a bill, right?

        They can put all sorts of numbers on the bill … if that makes you think you are getting something … but the bold number at the bottom is the important one.

        If overall electricity prices dropped by half (which is only back to where they were before) you would probably save a lot more than $50.

        70

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      There is the “little matter” of State debt. The Qld government dumped $700 million debt onto the books of the 2 (State owned) electricity resellers. They have to maintain dividends to the Government while paying off the debt & interest. The more they sell to NSW the better for Queenslanders (and the Govt. gets to borrow more).

      120

      • #
      • #
        Tel

        Government debt is simply future tax. Where they choose to hide that debt is shenanigans … meaningless.

        It still remains an exchange between expensive electricity and lower taxes vs cheaper electricity and higher taxes. Indeed, you could even regard the electricity price as already being a type of tax since it’s artificially much higher than the cost of production. So the choice is tax by electricity or tax by other means.

        31

    • #

      Tel, I’m assuming Qld makes a profit at the moment and returns that to Queenslanders somehow (probably very inefficiently).

      But it’s also true that power in Queensland is more costly because the price is pulled up by the southern states. So cutting off the other states would mean prices would fall, but there would be excess electricity that isn’t being sold south, and the Queensland govt owned generators would not make as much money from locals or interstaters. Surely that would hit state coffers? (Which isn’t a bad thing, because it leaves most of the money in the hands of the people instead).

      I don’t think the excess would last long, as cheaper electricity would draw in both people and businesses to take advantage of it.

      But aside from all that, they still have to Quexit the RET. Electricity won’t return to cheap rates until we stop subsidizing unreliables.

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      • #
        toorightmate

        All good folk,
        Perhaps I am slightly off track here, BUT remember Sir Jo had Queensland as the bonanza state for almost 20 years.
        He had a few simple tricks (all coal related).
        1. He put in the coal transport infrastructure and charged the producers through the teeth for the next 20 years.
        2. He put in significant coal port infrastructure and charged the producers through the teeth for the next 20 years.
        3. He did this with NEGLIGIBLE royalties which encouraged investors to develop coal AND power stations in Queensland.
        The supposed “greatest Queensland premier” Wayne Goss dismantled all of this which led to Queensland people being as heavily taxed as the rest of the lazy country.
        Amnesia Palace Chick has missed a magnificent opportunity to do in the Galilee Basin what Sir Jo did in the Bowen Basin.
        The CO2 horsesh*t has to stop.

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        • #
        • #
          RickWill

          You are wrong on the following two points:

          1. He put in the coal transport infrastructure and charged the producers through the teeth for the next 20 years.
          2. He put in significant coal port infrastructure and charged the producers through the teeth for the next 20 years.

          The state did not put in any infrastructure. It released the land for the infrastructure to be built on and gave permission for the miners to build the infrastructure. In some cases the state authorities contracted to supply certain infrastructure to the miners. Once it was built, it was the property of the state and they then set the charges for the miners to use the infrastructure they had gifted the state. The miners provided the coal wagons, handed them over to QLD Rail to operate and maintain them and QR charged the miners accordingly.

          QLD coal was in high demand globally and miners plus the state could make a bundle from it. The arrangements that Utah Coal and one early BHP mine had were prior to the Joh period and they made more money but Joh recognised the state opportunity in profiting from coal. I think Gladstone was a little different with its Port Authority building and owning the export assets. But the QR model feeding into Gladstone was similar albeit with different wagon design than the Mackay/Bowen lines.

          40

      • #
        GD

        Electricity won’t return to cheap rates until we stop subsidizing unreliables.

        Ain’t that the truth. Why can’t Josh Freudenberg, Angus Taylor, and other highly paid public servants understand that?

        Craig Kelly gets it, but he is in a minority

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      • #
        RobK

        Queensland is savy enough to have invested in wind power in Western Australia, which isn’t connected to the NEM, so it can collect energy certificates in W.A.without encumbrance on the profit of Qld coal power. Instead they harvest WA subsidies.

        70

      • #
        RickWill

        star commentJo stated:

        But aside from all that, they still have to Quexit the RET. Electricity won’t return to cheap rates until we stop subsidizing unreliables.

        The subsidies related to the RET are very low now and reducing. There is no way of getting back to the prices of a decade ago. The cake is baked. The rot started at the time of permitting the first intermittent generator to connect. There has been massive investment in generating, transmission and distribution assets that is all looking for a return. Removing the RET will not change that now.

        I think South Australia is saturated with intermittents. I expect it will be difficult to justify adding more intermittent capacity into that network. There may be a slight reduction in price when Electranet’s $166m network strengthening project is complete and the reliance on gas drops. The electricity price will also benefit from the continuing reduction in price of generating certificates.

        Coal generators have got smarter in their pre-dispatch bidding so they have priority dispatch for their minimum operating capacity. At this stage they can hang in there and force grid scale wind and solar to curtail when price goes negative. At some time in the near future another coal generator will fall off the perch as more intermittent capacity is added. That will cause another price hike. However with the RET at its present level and state governments partially funding rooftop solar from general revenue, it will be difficult to finance much more grid scale intermittent generation.

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        • #

          RickWill, this is all very useful. See my reply above, but also, how then do we craft the lowest cost rescue?

          1. Stop more money going on infrastructure that is only there to help renewables profit — snowy hydro 2, extra transmission lines, more subsidies, cheap loans, easy land access.

          2. Change the market rules to reward frequency stability more and energy on demand Eg bring in rules about minimum and maxium supply limits (the Terry McCrann solution).
          3. Something else…

          90

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Hi Rick,

          Part of your comment invites an obvious response;

          “There has been massive investment in generating, transmission and distribution assets that is all looking for a return”.

          I have little doubt that the “investment” you speak of has had the principle returned in absolute record time; just look at the surge in power pricing since privatization.
          This is what I have described as Gold Plating.
          The various arms of the “modern” electricity system are privately owned companies and instead of budgeting to recover costs over say 15 years they are now being recovered in 2 or 3. The companies are almost miraculously worth twice what was paid for them.
          A good business at our expense, all facilitated by the Political Class who work for us.
          And I hasten to add that they received no personal benefits for their actions.

          Absolutely none.

          KK

          40

  • #
    Peter C

    Queensland Goes it Alone?

    OMG! I hope they don’t do it. Catastrophe for the Southern States.

    130

    • #
      GD

      Catastrophe for the Southern States.

      Yes, and a wake-up call for leftist climate crazies like Premier Daniel Andrews.

      I live in Victoria, but it would be worth it to see the sh*t hit the fan when the Andrews’ government can no longer provide power to their constituents because they have closed power stations and Queensland has ‘pulled the plug’.

      I’d stock up on batteries and a plane ticket to the Gold Coast just to see that.

      220

      • #
        DaveR

        GD, in similar vein to Qld, Victoria should then shut off the two interconnects to South Australia, thereby increasing available power for Victorians and lowering the price.

        South Australia, a net taker of Victorian grid power, would be in deep trouble, but thats their problem.

        Andrews could use regulation to close the links, in the interest of the State.

        100

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I think its a very good idea.

    Here is the conservative, right wing, family focussed ( not Socialist ) state with stable cheap power and a viable economy. Now compare to Communist SA and Victoriastan…. Coincidence?

    Now watch the Socialists try and tear the Qld power grid apart, as you can never have enough failed states….just as far left wing Bubonic plague ridden renewable living California about how great socialism is…..

    If socialm was a dog, you couldnt give it away….

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Checkit….appears Michael Moore is trashing renewables…beginning of the end for unreliables….

    https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/08/08/michael-moore-backed-doc-planet-of-the-humans-tackles-false-promises-of-green-energy/

    “”The film, which does not yet have distribution, is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still “addicted” to fossil fuels. Director Jeff Gibbs takes on electric cars, solar panels, windmills, biomass, biofuel, leading environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club, and even figures from Al Gore and Van Jones, who served as Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, to 350.org leader Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and advocate for grassroots climate change movements.

    “Gibbs, who produced Moore’s Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, didn’t set out to take on the environmental movement. He said he wanted to know why things weren’t getting better. But when he started pulling on the thread, he and Moore said they were shocked to find how inextricably entangled alternative energy is with coal and natural gas, since they say everything from wind turbines to electric car charging stations are tethered to the grid, and even how two of the Koch brothers — Charles and David — are tied to solar panel production through their glass production business.

    ““It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

    “Both know the film is going to be a “tough pill to swallow.” It was a difficult eye-opener for them as well.

    150

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    O/T but interesting….Sydney appears to also have a rat problem….as long as bubonic plague doesnt appear, well be right….for now….?

    https://www.foodsafety.com.au/news/sydney-struggles-get-rat-problem-under-control

    “While rats have always been a problem in Sydney, recent estimates — which put the city’s rat population between 500 million and a billion rodents — and an outbreak of the rare bacterial infection leptospirosis has Sydney’s city council scrambling to get the problem under control.

    “Chilly weather, a new light rail network and various construction projects are thought to be behind the explosion of rodent sightings, as rats are forced out of hiding by underground vibrations and the demolition of ageing buildings where many rats had made their nests.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4983400/Giant-rat-size-CAT-terrorises-Sydney-family.html

    “A gigantic rat has been found dead in a Sydney family’s backyard as the city’s rodent problem worsens.

    “The family, from Alexandria in Sydney’s inner-west, told The Daily Telegraph they were so afraid of the creature they wouldn’t let their young daughter play in the backyard.

    “Pictures of the monster rat shows a man with a plastic bag holding the enormous animal by the tail.

    50

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    So glad privatisation, which also started the same time as the NEM had nothing to do with it.

    /sarc on Those renewables, they just keep on giving. /sarc off

    015

    • #
      AndyG55

      No evidence again, hey PF.

      Prices have gone up everywhere that renewables make any slight penetration into the grid.

      130

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Spot price hit zero twice yesterday, due to renewables.

        Profits for energy companies remain strong, and that all happens after NEM and privatisation.

        Yet you ignore that impost on our electricity bill!

        112

        • #
          AndyG55

          Price often hits $14,000 and is often way over $300-$400, because of renewables.!

          Yet you ignore the impost of everyone’s electricity bills.

          Wouldn’t it be nice if it were a nice regular $50-$80 without all the swings

          but its NOT.. and guess why.. because of renewables

          —–

          Companies are allowed to make profit, PF. Otherwise they wouldn’t exist

          They are going to “play the system” if the system is so bad that it allows them to.

          It is all the crap of the NEM, RET etc that allows them to play the system

          And that crap is there… because of renewables

          Your comprehension of economics is near to zero as your comprehension of climate and weather.

          Time to go and do some basic learning, if learning can get passed your deep-seated socialist ignorance.

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    • #
      glen Michel

      Of course the Left was in opposition to privatisation in NSW. Turned out OK for their renewables eh.

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      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Australia, March 2019: The price of electricity is 0.25 U.S. Dollar per kWh. For comparison, the average price of electricity in the world for that period is 0.14 U.S. Dollar per kWh. The chart below shows the price of electricity in the country relative to other countries.

        It’s not about renewables

        https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/Australia/electricity_prices/

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Notice the two in 2nd and 3rd place for cost

          Because of renewables.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Peter Fitzroy:

          Are you a fool or just gullible?

          The price for Australia is reduced by cheaper electricity in WA (gas) and Qld (coal).
          Poor old South Australia lumbered with renewables is quite comparable with Germany and Denmark, home of renewables in the EU.
          And Australia is in the same range as Spain, Italy and Portugal, all of which went into renewables and suffered economic damage. Unlike Poland and Hungary which oppose renewables, carbon tax etc. but have to put up with prosperity.
          So what good are high electricity costs for Australia? Don’t say reducing CO2 emissions as national emissions in Germany haven’t declined in 10 years. They will in the next year as they go into recession. Do you really want a deep recession for Australia? Are you capable of rational thought?
          But the “good” news – if you count hydro as renewable – is that Norway is 98% coal free and with cheap electricity. Why not go there? Somewhere north of North Cape and you can escape Global Warming as well.

          100

    • #
      RickWill

      The corporatisation and eventual sale of GBEs dramatically increased efficiency supply of services. The linked paper might remind older folk of the changes and inform younger people of the compelling issues:
      http://www.oecd.org/governance/budgeting/1901735.pdf

      I was involved in fostering the changes in the electricity industry. The state monopolies mining coal, generating and transmitting electricity answered to no one provided the lights stayed on. They benefitted from significant return on scale from the 1950s to the 1980s. They became bloated and lazy by the mid 1980s.

      Keating’s Industry Commission, reporting in 1991, provided the most significant step toward the national grid. Electricity prices changed from a rising trajectory to return to its long term falling trajectory after the Inquiry report was released. Electricity prices declined through the 1990s right up to the time intermittent generators were permitted to connect. That is when prices started to reach for stars for what are now obvious reasons to any critical thinker.

      The RET was introduced in 2001 to encourage intermittents without any analysis of the consequence. No doubt it was considered insignificant at the time. It was not until 2007 that the NEMMCO rules were changed to bring in the semi-scheduled generator classification as they were having an impact on dispatch by that stage so needed to be involved in the pre-dispatch bidding. It was simple for them initially as they bid in at the floor price on the basis that all output would be dispatched. It was up to NEMMCO to determine their likely output. Now the curtailment of intermittents is common their bidding has become much more complex.

      50

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Imagine that? First be responsible for your self and produce for yourself. Then freely trade with others your excess production on a win-win bases. No disconnected from reality (politicians, thugs, et.al.) are permitted to have a thumb on the scale of trade nor allowed to siphon off unearned wealth (taxes, rules, regulations, theft, extortion, and the like) to use as he wishes.

    This means an actual free market economy in which the government controls only the moral criminals (those who use force to violate the individual rights of others) and THAT is all the government does.

    Historically, it is the part of the economy that is free to produce, keep, and trade that has produced beyond a mere subsistence level of living. A top down heavy handed micromanaged economy never has worked. It only appeared to work as long as there was excess wealth to steal and individuals willing to be sacrificed. Once these things are consumed, everything collapses into chaos, destruction, suffering, and death.

    What about the poor? What about them? To consume means that which is to be consumed must first be produced. Without abundant production, the poor will have nothing to consume. Someone must have the knowledge of how to produce, expend the effort to produce, and have the freedom to do what is necessary to produce. Without those things, nothing is produced and the poor along with everyone else have nothing to consume.

    Yet, there are those who dream of a world where they and their wishes are in absolute control (left, right, and the muddled middle). Others are not to be permitted to be anything but a bottomless ATM to be endlessly looted to pay for the wishes and whims of the dreamers.

    The fact that this hasn’t worked, can’t work, and will never work doesn’t stop the dreamers. Reality is to obey their whim without restriction or delay. That it doesn’t is used as a justification of forcing all to be slaves to all and to be without individual rights. Even to the point of not even having a legitimate claim to their own lives.

    Bottom line: why do we keep feeding the dreamers who believe they have a right to take and consume the efforts of others for no other reason beyond they want to? Let them feed themselves. If they can’t, let them learn what it takes to be a human living on earth. They will either learn or soon not be an issue to deal with.

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    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      We had that before, it was called feudalism.

      115

      • #
        AndyG55

        And if your fellow Marxist/socialists have their way, we will be back there again.

        And you will still be at the very bottom of the human ladder.

        90

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        It was also called Altruism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Collectivism, Tribalism, and many other isms too numerous to mention. They all have one thing in common. An elite ruling class (or mob) who thinks they deserve to live off the lives of others without creating anything of value themselves. Further, they believe the others only value is the degree to which they can be sacrificed to the ruling elite’s whims.

        120

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Who pays for the police, the defence? Certainly not our 1%

          18

          • #
            AndyG55

            “Certainly not our 1%”

            Of course they pay.

            Its the people on the dole or bludging off others, that don’t pay.

            The 1%, who you are so jealous of, pay company tax, they employ people who in turn pay taxes.

            Without the 1%, Australia would not function.

            Again, you are displaying your ignorance of economics, brought about by your Marxist/socialist idiocies.

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          • #
            Lionell Griffith

            If that were all we had to pay for, a minute fraction of what we now pay is all that would be necessary to fund them. It is all the other crap that government does incompetently and intended to fail that costs so much. Partly because it pays for people not to work and produce and mostly because it is used to fund an endless Mother-may-I bureaucracy that stands in the way of doing anything without permission. Eliminate all of that and the government could be supported using pocket change.

            Question: Have you ever, in your entire life produced, a value that supports humans living as humans? Then traded that value on the open market? Alternatively, are you nothing a parasitical government wanker who only works to keep such things from happening and gets paid with wealth taken from its producers at the point of the government gun?

            Inquiring minds want to know.

            50

            • #
              el gordo

              Lionel the world consists of mixed economies and your laissez faire economic model is a thing of the past.

              The market is only free and fair until corrupted.

              31

          • #
            Graeme#4

            If you exclude all taxpayers on the public purse because their government income exceeds their tax paid, then you only have around 20% of adults actually paying tax to the government.

            60

  • #
    Brett

    Dan Andrews Twitter: Aug 12

    50% Renewable Energy by 2030

    “Enshrined in Law”

    RIP VIC Manufacturing…

    110

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    There are a number of enterprises that, across countries, government has chosen to run. These are services which the government considers a
    “natural monopoly”. However, government, in general, performs so badly that even a natural monopoly breeds competition….funny how the market
    works. The sheer natural efficiency of huge dispatch power plants and a large scale grid provides a lot of room for government fol-de-rol
    before alternatives (pun intended) rear their head, but here we are.

    The obvious response of a government is to declare attractive and cost effective alternatives illegal, immoral, or fattening, thus preserving,
    monopoly. This is as true of ‘superior’ branches of government towards inferior as it is of government towards the private sector.

    Strangly enough, it is probably possible to bollex up power delivery so badly that ‘renewables’. on a household scale, make economic sense; the price of this
    being an economy that overall is an international basket case.

    We are likely to see much the same here in the states, one thinks, as California, wishing to become pristine, sucks power at an increasing rate from it’s western
    neighbors with the complicity of a socialist FERC…..and a frackless New York wishes to plunder the riches of Pennsylvania without paying for the privilege.
    We are organized into “Regulated investor owned utilities” rather than by states….which seriously messes up the picture by giving far more folks standing in US courts,
    the purgatory of progress.

    Still, folks in Montana and Idaho don’t wish to subsidize California’s vanity, & no one foreign to the state likes New Yorkers much, so as in Queensland there will likely be conflict.

    I predict People with lower costs will fight hard on this one; who wished to pay for another’s vanity.

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  • #

    Renewables are the dagger at our hearts. Coal is the dagger at the globalists’…well, whatever they have to animate them.

    Remember: these cosmopolitan cliques who conjure money as unpayable debt, flip Prime Ministers and drill into our heads with their vile media all the long day have not the slightest interest in climate or conservation. The waste and mess are a goal. Civil dissension is a goal. Impossible to pay debt is a goal. (Wall Street gave Trotsky $20 million and a ship for a reason.)

    Energy in Oz should be available and cheap all over the shop. But energy is critical. Rather like airport baggage handling, energy is perfect for extortion. You just have to make a common thing rare, the way De Beers did (and still do) with diamonds.

    That’s what Big Green is up to. The plunderers know we’ll go on digging and burning coal…they just want make it a privilege rather than a common commodity. Water’s next. Why build dams and make it cheaper when you can buy TV stations and newspapers to tell the punters they’re naughty for turning on their taps?

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    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      Once upon a time we had state owned and operated energy supplies, distribution and sales,with no profit requirement. Now we have private generation with a 10% profit requirement, private distribution with a 10% profit requirement, and private resellers with a 10% profit requirement.

      But let’s blame ‘big green’

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      • #
        glen Michel

        I gave you a green one Peter. Correct.

        36

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          True but, and there’s a Big butt in this one.

          One of the reasons the government was able to persuade the electorate to accept getting rid of the old electricity structure was that it was run by the unions.

          Now it’s run for the benefit of the Chinese renewable industry, the politicians and the unions who still have very good conditions.

          It’s a big load for any power system to carry.

          Maybe the system needs a bit more “resistance”.

          KK

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      • #
        PeterS

        No, let’s blame Big Green and Big Business. The latter by and large are Big Green.

        80

      • #
        el gordo

        Big Green said the world was coming to an end and big business was forced to take financial advantage.

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      • #

        Whether you are being plundered by the emperor’s troops, by mercenaries, or by freebooters exploiting the times…you are being plundered.

        90

      • #
        RickWill

        When we had state owned monopoly generators they charged what the liked providing the lights stayed on. They were bloated and inefficient. The state monopolies could not sell power across state border despite there being existing interconnections for security reasons.

        People in Ballina got power from Queensland and the NSW monopoly supplier charged what they liked.

        People in Wentworth got power from Victoria but the prices were set by NSW.

        A business using process heat for cogeneration at their production plant in Sydney could not connect to their nearby packaging plant to supply that electricity without the NSW monopoly metering what went across the boundary; paying less than the cost of generating in their lowest cost power station and charging as much as any industrial user of comparable size. The cogenerator ended up paying 80% of the price they would pay if they did not have the cogeneration. This pricing practice usually made cogeneration uneconomic. They State monopoly made a bundle of money simply because they were the monopoly controlling power flow across boundaries.

        90

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          And yet the prices were lower than when the privatisation went through. Also people in Texas (QLD) get power from NSW as do those in Bombala (VIC)

          18

          • #
            AndyG55

            ” Also people in Texas (QLD) get power from NSW as do those in Bombala (VIC)”

            Wrong.! (as if it needs to be said)

            No Qld electricity makes it to Victoria.

            Imports from Qld to NSW are used in northern NSW.

            NSW very rarely export electricity to Qld.

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  • #
    toorightmate

    The only difference between Simon Holmes a Court’s dad and Allan Bond is that Bond was caught.

    110

  • #
    pat

    tired of all the talk while China gets on with it:

    19 Aug: Reuters: China provides $1 billion in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year
    by David Stanway
    Chinese financial institutions provided at least $1 billion in “green” financing to coal-related projects in the first half of this year, a review of financial data showed, with fossil fuels still playing a major role in Beijing’s energy strategy.
    According to Shanghai-based financial data provider Wind, 7.4 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in green corporate and financial bonds were issued by 13 coal projects in the first half of the year. They involved power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects…

    Thus, while many global financial institutions have said they will no longer fund coal projects, their Chinese counterparts have not followed suit.
    Last year, more than a quarter of the green bonds issued in China failed to meet international criteria, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), a non-profit group that promotes global green bond standards…
    “Coal is obviously never green,” said Liu Junyan, senior climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia…

    China Energy News, a publication run by the Communist Party-owned paper the People’s Daily, reported this year that more than 80% of a central government renewable energy fund was used to fund fossil fuels like coalbed methane and shale gas in 2018.
    China also approved 141 million tonnes of new annual coal mining capacity in the first half of this year, compared to 25 million tonnes for the whole of 2018.
    More coal-fueled power stations are also expected to be built, with an industry lobby group predicting total coal-fired capacity to peak at 1,300 gigawatts, meaning another 290 GW could go into operation.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-greenbonds-coal/china-provides-1-billion-in-green-finance-to-coal-projects-in-first-half-of-the-year-idUSKCN1V90FY

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  • #
    pat

    20 Aug: FinancialExpressIndia: India looks to rope in China, emerging markets to push Paris climate deal, seeks $100 bn from rich nations
    By Samrat Sharma
    Ministers from BASIC nations have urged the developed countries to undertake ambitious actions to reduce emissions and to fulfill their financial commitments.
    “Brazil, South Africa, India, and China put together has one-third of the world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of the global population and when we unitedly speak in one voice, it shows our determination,” said Prakash Javadekar in the 28th Ministerial meeting on climate change in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He further added that the BASIC nations — India, China, Brazil, and South Africa could play an important role in making the Paris agreement universally accepted in its true letter and spirit, according to a statement by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change…

    The ministers have urged the developed countries to undertake ambitious actions to reduce emissions and to fulfill their financial commitments.
    The developed nations had committed to mobilise $100 bn every year by 2020 for developing countries in a transparent manner and on a grant basis. The participating countries underlined the concern regarding insufficiency and inadequacy of the support provided by the developed countries. The ministers have also urged the developed countries to provide funding for loss and damage due to climate change in developing countries…
    https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/india-looks-to-rope-in-china-emerging-markets-to-push-paris-climate-deal-seeks-100-bn-from-rich-nations/1679367/

    19 Aug: WhiteHouse: Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Detroit Economic Club Luncheon
    So, we’ve cut taxes, rolled back regulation. We’ve expanded opportunities for Americans. And as the President promised three years ago at this very podium, we also unleashed American energy.
    Early in this administration, the President withdrew America from the disastrous Paris Climate Accord. And today, the United States is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world. (Applause.) In fact, next year, America will become a net exporter of energy for the first time in 70 years. (Applause.)…READ ON
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-detroit-economic-club-luncheon/

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  • #
    pat

    Adani coal mine: Global firm Aurecon cuts ties after climate change protests
    Courier Mail – 20 Aug 2019
    A GLOBAL engineering firm has quit working with controversial miner Adani after being targeted by climate change activists.
    “As part of this decision the firm has also ruled out working on any other Adani group of companies’ projects,” the company said…

    VIDEO: 16min50sec: 20 Aug: news.com.au: ‘No way’ renewables are cheaper than coal
    Jones & Credlin/Sky Australia
    Businessman Trevor St Baker says “there is no way” that changing from coal to renewables is cheaper, due to the costs to building, subsidising and transmitting the power as well as storing it.
    Speaking to Sky News Mr St Baker said it’s “the easiest political shot” to campaign for a policy like a 2050 net zero emissions target, a time that is 10 elections away. He said the Australian Energy Market Commission and the Australian Energy Market Operator are not telling people “the real cost” of the plan to build more renewable power stations.
    https://www.news.com.au/video/id-5348771529001-6074741399001/no-way-renewables-are-cheaper-than-coal

    20 Aug: SMH: Warming climate to stir up more damaging waves as ‘rare event’ nears: research
    By Peter Hannam
    Waves are forecast to become larger and more powerful and to shift direction if the climate continues to warm at its current rate, with southern Australia among the regions to be hardest hit globally, new research says.
    The study, led by scientists from Griffith University and published in Nature Climate Change on Tuesday, comes as meteorologists forecast a “quite rare event” later this week as a potentially damaging swell hits eastern Australia…

    Using about 150 model simulations, the researchers found about half the world’s coastline was “at risk from wave climate change” by the final two decades of this century if greenhouse gas emissions remained at their current “business-as-usual trajectory”…

    Jordan Notara, a forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, described the predicted swell as “quite a rare event” for August, and said waves could be damaging. The bureau has also issued a warning about the surf conditions…READ ON
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/warming-climate-to-stir-up-more-damaging-waves-as-rare-event-nears-research-20190819-p52ijl.html

    32

    • #
      glen Michel

      I took it that Jones twice said about Chimney stack photos that it wasn’t CO2 coming from them, but Carbon. CO2 is invisible he declared. What no O2.?

      30

    • #
      Greg in NZ

      ‘Charlie don’t surf!’
      And it’s obvious Jordan (BoM) and Griffiths/Nature/SMH don’t surf neither. If he/she/they did, they’d be well acquainted with the good ol’ Tasman southerly, a rare event regular occurrence both yachties and surfers are familiar with – yachties try to avoid it (or seek shelter) while surfers get amped and begin frothing at the mouth (get very excited) at the prospect of their local beach, reef, point, slab/bommie about to GO OFF BIG TIME!

      Surfers from around the globe will be flying en masse to Fiji to catch this weekend’s MONSTER SWELL as it explodes on the outer reefs of Frigates and Cloudbreak and Tavarua (Sat/Sun) before moving on to Tahiti where Teahupo’o will start cranking a few days later:

      https://www.marineweather.co.nz/regionalswellchart (Aus/NZ/South Pacific ‘Code Red’ swell 5 m/20 ft and larger)

      Even Abel Tasman and James Cook wrote in their logs about massive southerly swells – and the dreaded Southerly Buster wind – roaring up out of the frigid depths of Antarctica’s Great Southern Ocean and squeezing between NSW and NZ on their way northwards.

      P.S. My nomination for 2019′s Most Stupidest Ignorant CCCrap Sentence EVAH™ is from Pat’s smh link/quote above:

      “Jordan Notara, a forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, described the predicted swell as ‘quite a rare event’ for August, and said waves could be damaging”. It’s as if these citified computer programmers have never heard of something called ‘winter’ or ‘storm’ or ‘big seas’. Or history.

      90

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Further to my little sea shanty rant above, found this half-hour doco of NSW’s 2016 epic monster swell which was unique as a low coming off the QLD coast was blocked, and stuck in place, by a mid-winter high pressure system over us (what surfers call a ‘high pressure squeeze swell’ as it’s usually lows or cyclones generating waves, not highs).

        A ‘coastal scientist’, Professor Andrew Short, on the resultant beach erosion around Sydney’s beaches, stated “what we’re seeing is nothing new [it happened in] 1920, 47, 57, 67, 74, 78, 86, 98 [and 2006]“. Great, a voice of sanity and reason! Beach erosion and loss of homes/buildings in an “Active Beach Zone [is] a recurrent event [the beach] oscillates… it’ll happen again and again and again”. Just when I thought this elderly wise man knew his stuff, he completely blew it by saying “climate change will make it worse”. Noooooo…

        The ‘damaging surf warning’ your BoM nutters have issued for this week’s storm is just a good old regular southerly stormy providing hours of fun for seaweeds while climate worriers in the city will be fretting about the end of the world and where their next soy latte will be coming from – and don’t forget the marshmallow darling! If you’re near the coast, head down and watch the wipeouts… they’re always fun.

        The once-in-a-lifetime swell, June 2016, East Coast low:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YYzhu8Jjlw

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  • #
    PeterS

    Wouldn’t it be nice if SA did the same.

    50

  • #

    This is o/t, but worth a look. The global warming movement sometimes is so smug, they don’t realise when they are posting evidence which undermines their hypothesis:
    Mourners gathered Sunday in Iceland to commemorate the loss of Okjokull, which died at the age of about 700.

    60

  • #
    Another Ian

    Somewhat O/T

    “Not much more that I can say after that most devastating indictment of wind turbines. In a mere ten years, the UK wind farms are producing less than half of what they produced when they were new.”

    “Paying Much More For Much Less”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/08/20/paying-much-more-for-much-less/

    50

    • #
      Another Ian

      Next paragraph!!

      “So … why do people still want to build wind farms in the UK? The simple answer is … subsidies. The UK populace is getting royally screwed by their government with its insane subsidies. Here’s an example, the subsidies for some of the largest solar plants in the UK:”

      Table follows

      60

      • #
        Another Ian

        And

        “I’m sure that you noticed the oddity … in each and every case, the government subsidy is more than the value of the energy produced … I gotta say, that’s dumber than cubical ball bearings. ”

        Plus the comments!

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  • #
    Another Ian

    O/T but developing

    “Blacklist by Nature follows defamation by BioScience: journals reject ethics of science”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/08/20/blacklist-by-nature-follows-defamation-by-bioscience-journals-reject-ethics-of-science/

    Article, cartoon and comments!

    40

    • #
      Serp

      The old “if you can’t beat ‘em disappear ‘em” tactic habitually used by repressive dictatorships; all our IP addresses have been noted…

      Wouldn’t it be awful if a troll was inadvertently vacuumed up when the time comes?

      20

  • #
    yarpos

    Australia seems to like this type of parochial thinking. QLDers will talk about bludger States and conveniently forget when they where a backwater propped up by the rest of Australia, NSW has the camping out if you dont live in Sydney mentality, Victoria is governed as though its only Melbourne, WA wants to secede during booms and bleats about GST share when things are tight, and then of course we have SA a glowing beacon of virtue trying to drag everyone else down. Its little wonder we are where we are.

    131

    • #
      glen Michel

      We have short memories Yarpos. We need a new Federalism to sort out State/commonwealth arrangements. This country is heading to an abrupt halt AGainst a very hard reality.

      70

    • #
      PeterS

      It’s actually a sign of the times. It will get much worse but how bad it will become only time will tell. I expect the US will fall apart and no longer be “United” once the polarisation continues to the breaking point. Calexit, the secession of California has been gaining popularity lately. Some other states are heading the same way. The US Constitution doesn’t allow for a US state to secede but that won’t stop any state from doing so if they really wanted to go that way, with violence if necessary. The increase in violence in Hong Kong is another example. The people there are refusing to be totally part of China even though it was part of the handover agreement from the UK. Rough times dead ahead.

      60

    • #
      WXcycles

      What are you talking about? As long as you have conceited political dip-sh*tz like Daniel Andrews running Victoria, refusing to develop the essential energy resources they need (just so he can virtue signal and hypocritically import it regardless, at higher cost) and the infrastructure that actually works (just so he can virtue signal and import electrons anyway, at higher cost to others), and which works economically for all (except those he bludges off so he can get away with unconstrained virtue-signalling) what do you expect?

      I can’t even understand your ‘high-minded’ objection to protecting our own interests and constraining such gallivanting fools and their economically ruinous useless ‘ideal’. That’s all just sheep jumping over nothings.

      To hell with other agendas, we want cheap electricity back, we’re over the excuses for paying for others to virtue-signal and degrade lives and economies of others, purely for ideological, narcissistic pretend ‘world-saving’ BS reasons.

      50

      • #
        PeterS

        The only way we will ever get cheap electricity back is if we as a nation wake up and stop supporting any party that keeps running with the “reduce emissions” agenda, which happens to include the LNP as well as the ALP+Greens. Unless one of the major parties changes direction soon, we will have to suffer a crash and burn scenario before enough people wake up. There is simply no other way apart form another so called miracle whereby Morrison does a complete back-flip and admits emmission reductions are a total waste of time and renewables are forced to pay a heavy penalty for destroying our economy and making us less and less competitive on the world stage. China must really think we are a bunch of m0r0ns, and to be honest they are correct.

        80

        • #
          WXcycles

          Sad but true.

          40

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘ … we will have to suffer a crash and burn scenario before enough people wake up.’

          Democratic government works slowly, not revolutionary, so no crash and burn.

          ‘Matt Canavan says Aurecon was “weak as piss” for cutting ties with Adani in wake of activist attacks.’ Oz

          30

        • #
          el gordo

          In the meantime, a possible crash and burn situation is looming.

          ‘More than a million Victorian households are at risk of being without power this summer during extreme heat if coal and gas plants are not returned to service in time for peak periods, the energy market operator has warned.’ ABC

          30

  • #
    RicDre

    BlueScope invests $1 billion in the US amid concerns of Australian energy prices

    “The energy costs for our investment in North America are about a third of what we would pay in Australia.”

    https://www.2gb.com/bluescope-invests-1-billion-in-the-us-amid-concerns-of-australian-energy-prices/

    60

    • #
      PeterS

      In other words we have both major parties on a unity ticket to destroy our economy by allowing power prices to get out of control for some mythical CAGW that no other country of any significance is taking as seriously as we do. Nice work both LNP and ALP+Greens. I hope one day both parties end up defunct and be replaced by new ones with real-world agendas to make Australia great again. However, that can only ever happen by way of people power through the ballot box. So far it’s not looking good. Stupid is as stupid does.

      60

  • #
    Robber

    Remember the good old days when electricity was cheaper and Australia had internationally competitive energy costs?
    Way back in 2015/16 before SA blew up its last coal-fired power station and the Vic premier destroyed Hazelwood, average wholesale prices per AEMO:
    Vic $30.35/MWhr; SA $39.29; NSW $35.17; Qld $52.52
    But now, 2018/19 average costs:
    Vic $109.81/MWhr; SA $109.80; NSW $88.56; Qld $80.29
    Added renewables and increased gas usage are the major changes.

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  • #
    Ian1946

    It appears that only Queensland and Tasmania can supply reliable power to NSW and VIC respectively. If Tasmania and Queensland disconnected from the grid, would NSW, VIC and SA have enough generating assets to cover the shortfall.

    Tony?

    41

    • #
      AndyG55

      Tasmania has to play a very careful balancing game.

      If they run out of water for hydro, and they are again reliant on Bass-Link power from Victoria.

      They are not a guaranteed supplier

      90

      • #
        Ian1946

        Andy, where would Victoria get the power from?

        50

        • #
          AndyG55

          good question. !

          When windy, they can send some to Tassie.

          The thing to do is watch the transfers from state to state under different weather conditions.

          (I’m at work and don’t have the link, but I’ll post it later if someone hasn’t already done so)

          50

        • #
          Analitik

          Demand reduction/load shedding, ie rolling blackouts like one in January, just 30 minutes after Lily D’Ambrosio (Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes) said would not be occuring

          40

          • #
            Serp

            They’re fine tuning the rolling blackouts which have been short enough not to spoil food in people’s freezers.

            Now users are being sent a questionnaire for response by people who are on a domestic life support system with confirmatory statement from the physician; presumably this will result in such vulnerable people’s locations being protected from cuts.

            I still haven’t bought that diesel generator I priced towards the end of last year preferring to wait and see…

            20

      • #
        PeterS

        True they are not a guaranteed supplier. No one is. That’s why we need more coal not less, and introduce nuclear into the picture like so many other countries have been doing and still are doing to keep their economies growing. For whatever reason we as a nation prefer to let our power prices go as high as possible and power supply to be as unreliable as possible all for no benefit to anything or anyone, apart perhaps for China when they might be requested by us to take us over to avoid a crash and burn scenario. WAKE UP AUSTRALIA!

        50

        • #
          AndyG55

          “True they are not a guaranteed supplier. No one is.”

          Queensland is a guaranteed supplier.

          They have excess dispatchable coal fired electricity.

          They essentially carry the whole system on calm hot days.

          80

        • #
          Serp

          As I keep maintaining, the purveyors of conventional nuclear plants are scoundrels way beyond the renewables racketeers and the life cycle is shorter than for a coal plant and as to the delivery time, have a look at the on again off again shenanigans over Britain’s Hinkley Point.

          20

    • #
      AndyG55

      ps, Quite often electricity flows from Vic to Tas when available, so Tas can conserve water storage

      50

      • #
        Chad

        VIC commonly feeds (coal) power to TAS overnight when demand is low in VIC,…such that TAS can conserve its water ready for the PEAK demand periods bak in VIC when it feed it back across the tasman…Its the same process as used with the Snowy Hydro in VIC and NSW, but just using the Tas interconnector.
        I hav’nt looked at the financial arrangements in this , but im sure someone will be makinf a dolla out of it !
        There is a proposal to double up on the interconnector capacity to make TAS the “Battery of Australia”. ??

        40

        • #
          Analitik

          Tasmania relies on the arbitrage to fund the costs from deploying and maintaining BassLink (which was originally proposed to prevent Tasmania running low on power during low rainfall years). A second interconnector would not be financially viable (like most V/U HVDC links) without electricity costs boosted by political shenanigans (eg carbon abatement rubbish)

          40

        • #
          Serp

          D’Ambrosio shows no sign of understanding that Victoria would have “gone black” had the Basslink interconnector failed on Jan 25; for her no sufficient insult exists.

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    • #
      Robber

      Vic has nameplate fossil fuel capacity of 7,000 MW that matches current peak demand, but peak summer is probably 8-9,000 MW. Vic also has 2,231 MW of hydro, add some Tas hydro and peak demand is theoretically covered without solar or wind.
      SA has gas/diesel capacity of 3,214 MW so again theoretically covered for peak summer demand.
      NSW has 12,394 MW of fossil capacity versus current peak demand of around 11,000 MW and probably well over 12,000 in summer. NSW also has 2,525 MW of hydro to call on, but generally relies on Qld imports.

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day Ian,
      The short answer is “No”. I think.
      I regularly (3-4 times per day) look at the AEMO dashboard, and observe that NSW is a regular importer of electricity from Qld, and even Vic. It is also a rare exporter, and then (in a shorthand of which Tony would disapprove) when it passes through an excess from Qld.
      My hesitation is that their may be capacity held in reserve when it’s cheaper to accept the excess from Qld??
      The link I use is:
      https://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview
      Cheers
      Dave B

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  • #
    pat

    first I’ve seen anything about this:

    21 Aug: BusinessInsider: Walmart slams Tesla with a lawsuit claiming its solar panels caught fire at 7 stores
    by Graham Rapier
    Walmart on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Tesla, accusing the company’s solar-energy subsidiary of gross negligence after multiple stores experienced fires they say stemmed from solar panels on their roofs…
    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/walmart-sues-tesla-after-solar-panel-fires-at-stores-2019-8?r=US&IR=T

    21 Aug: Reuters: Walmart sues Tesla over fires at stores fitted with its solar panels
    by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru
    The fires destroyed significant amounts of store merchandise and required substantial repairs, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket losses, Walmart said in the lawsuit.
    As of November 2018, no fewer than seven Walmart stores, including in Denton, Maryland and Beavercreek, Ohio, had experienced fires due to Tesla’s solar systems, according to the lawsuit…

    Tesla is also facing a federal field investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board after several Model X and Model S owners across the globe said their cars burst into flames, a major disruptor for the company as it tries to ramp up deliveries of its cars.
    Shares of the California-based company were down about 1% in extended trading.
    Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walmart-tesla-solar-lawsuit/walmart-sues-tesla-over-fires-at-stores-using-its-solar-panels-idUSKCN1VA26B

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  • #
    pat

    lightning strike done it:

    20 Aug: UK Telegraph: Lightning strike to blame for blackout affecting more than one million people (CUSTOMERS/HOUSEHOLDS, TELE)
    by Steve Bird
    Energy experts and critics of the UK’s increasing reliance on renewable energy are warning that new infrastructure, including battery systems to store power to cope in the event of an outage, is now desperately needed, raising the prospect of soaring energy bills…
    The lightning strike was one of many to hit the grid that day with strikes “routinely managed as part of normal system operations”.
    The report explains how 1.1 million customers lost power for between 15 and 50 minutes…

    Thousands of rail passengers had their journeys severely disrupted. In total, 371 trains were cancelled, 220 partially cancelled and 873 services delayed. London St Pancras and Kings Cross stations were temporarily closed due to overcrowding.
    Some 60 trains operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) in the South East “reacted unexpectedly to the electrical disturbance” – half of which needed an engineer to be sent out to reset the train. The issues will be investigated by Network Rail and GTR.
    The outage also stopped traffic lights from working, etc…

    Ofgem’s investigation will also be looking at whether energy companies “made the right decisions both in the numbers of customers disconnected and whether those customers disconnected were the right ones”.
    Keith Bell, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Strathclyde, said the report questions whether Network Rail has sufficient safeguards in the event of a power cut…

    Professor Dieter Helm, a government adviser on the country’s energy policy, wrote online how “something fundamental has gone wrong” when a lightning strike can cause a power cut “that should never have happened in the first place”.
    Explaining how key infrastructure needs a reliable supply of electricity, he said new equipment is needed to improve energy “security” on a network which is becoming “fragile” because it is relying on more “intermittent renewable energy”.
    However, investment in huge batteries to store power and more cabling to transport energy from remote wind farms is likely to see an increase in consumers’ energy bills.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/20/lightning-strike-blame-blackout-affecting-11-million-customers/

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  • #
    pat

    19 Aug: DieterHelm.co.uk: Power cuts and how to avoid them
    Whatever the approximate causes of the particular power cuts in mid-August this year, the very idea that the electricity system could be brought to its knees just because a couple of power stations dropped off at short notice should send alarm bells ringing in BEIS and the Treasury…
    The power cut lasted for less than an hour. There were failures by the multiple parties that are jointly providing and distributing the power…

    Three lessons
    There are three lessons from this power cut. First, what happened in that hour reveals a central truth about our economy, and that is that security of supply is much more valuable now than even a couple of years ago. The economy is digitalising, and almost everything digital is electric. All our main infrastructures now depend upon a reliable supply of electricity. They all depend upon the communications networks, and they need electricity. When the trains ground to a halt, the transport dependency was stark. When the lights went out, so did all the digital devices in houses and commercial buildings. Even the traffic lights failed. We need a higher level of security of supply than ever before, and as we complete the transition to a digital economy (and net zero) we will need ever more security. What was good enough a couple of years ago is not now. What we need in the next decade is a lot more security.

    Second, the power cut revealed just how fragile the system is becoming as it relies on more and more intermittent renewables generation. This may not have caused the power cuts, even if a wind farm drops off, the intermittency of the capacity on the system makes it harder to secure supplies. It is just a fact that a power system with lots of intermittent renewables is harder to manage, and need a lot more extra capacity to absorb and manage both anticipated and unanticipated events. Most renewables power is not firm power. More renewables mandated, by the net zero legal requirement, mean more equivalent firm power…READ ALL
    http://www.dieterhelm.co.uk/energy/energy/power-cuts-and-how-to-avoid-them/

    40

  • #
    Chad

    Thorium Reactors.
    Alan Jones // P Credlin had another good poke at the Energy situation last night (sky news) …
    …but also this time raising the issue of Thorium Salt Reactors as a potential solution that could satisfy all parties.
    Quite a clear simple outline of the technology for the average viewer to get a feel for the potential,
    IE no CO2, lifetime supplies of fuel..in Au, , low radiation waste, etc etc, ..
    …..and highlighted with the statement that China will be commissioning 3 TSR units next year

    60

  • #
    Chad

    For those unfamiliar with the Thorium reactor technology,..
    This is not some new , unproven, pipe dream, it was developed, built, tested and operated as long ago as the 1960’s.
    If it had not been for a few megalomanic politicians who wanted Uranium for Nuclear weapons, we could all be living a much better , Thorium powered , life now , without this economy crippling CO2 distraction.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Salt_Reactor_Experiment

    80

  • #
    Ruairi

    Let Australian people delight,
    When their state gets the grid about right,
    While the neighbouring states,
    Pleading grid dire straits,
    Give renewable flops the green-light.

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  • #
    Michael

    But the Palaszczuk government is committed to 50% renewables by 2030 and 0% net carbon emissions by 2050. While this type of madness precipitates our thinking, maybe going it alone is not the answer.

    60

  • #

    Queensland provides the best opportunity to work out the interconnection of power in this vast AEMO coverage area, as for virtually the whole day, the flow of power is one way, OUT of the State.

    So then, let’s cherry pick take one day in isolation, yesterday in fact, 20th August 2019.

    Total Power Consumption – 139.44GWH
    Total Power Generation – 162.72GWH – so an excess of 23280MWH

    The breakdown of power generation is this:

    Coal Fired Power – 128.64GWH
    Natural Gas Fired Power – 16.08GWH
    Smaller Other Sources – 3.84GWH
    Hydro Power – 3.6GWH
    Wind Power – 1.92GWH
    Solar Plant Power – 8.64GWH

    Total Generated Power – 162.72GWH

    So, fossil fuels deliver 106.54% of all generated power.
    Renewablwes deliver 10.15% of all generated power.

    (and yes, that does come to more than 100%, well fossil fuels is more than 100% as it is, but the remainder is exported South into NSW)

    That exported power of 23280MWH gave the Queensland Government an amount of around $1.2 Million (on just this ONE day) considering the cost would be greater at the peak time when power cost is greater.

    It gives context to the Queensland Government’s plan to be 50% Renewable by 2030, and that’s an awful long way to go in a very short time. It came in at just 10.15% for this day in its totality. You could add rooftop solar power in there, but none of that gets into the wider grid outside of the local area where the home with the panels is, and that’s barely 4% anyway.

    When I raised this matter of excess power generated and exported into NSW and how large it really is with the visiting ‘Expert Panel’ convenor at their State wide tour to ‘sell’ their 50% renewables plan, he informed me that the excess power exported into NSW would not count towards power generation totals, and he said it with a straight face too. For that renewables target to be achieved, they MUST close down coal fired power, and one of the major statements from the Expert Panel is that NO coal fired plants will be closed before that time, 2030, and they can’t even see that without closing them, they cannot achieve 50%, as the Maths doesn’t work, but hey who ever said a Government Yes Man bureaucrat needed Maths on his job application.

    What you need to realise here is that the exported power is just that ….. electrical power as a whole, so not selectively just the excess coal fired power, but the whole mix of power from every source on the grid.

    Incidentally, that (averaged) exported power from Queensland only makes it into Northern NSW anyway, and that total is (around) 8 to 12% of NSW total power requirement. Without it, NSW would struggle.

    Tony.

    90

    • #

      Tony — thanks. Just what I was wondering. How large is the excess each year that QLD generates as a percentage of its total generation?

      Aim I right — QLD generates 16.5% more power than it uses itself?

      And how much is that worth in the current market? (What would be the loss pa if it were “cut off”.)

      70

      • #

        Joanne,

        If it stays around the average for yesterday, that’s around $440 Million a year in added income from the sale of that electricity into NSW.

        When I did my Submission for the 50% Renewables, (and what an immense waste of time that was, as it went unread, as told to me by the convenor of the Expert Panel Tour) the interconnector was feeding around the same as it still is now into NSW, so yes, Queensland does generate around 16% more power than it consumes, but that doesn’t count when it comes to that Renewables Target.

        That Submission was 15 pages of long and accurate research, and is only worth reading (now) for one very short paragraph, the very last thing I said in that Submission, and that is as follows:

        If I might close on a personal note here, in 2030, I will be in my late 70’s. I most probably will have long forgotten this submission, as will perhaps everyone on the panel, and even everyone in Queensland. However, I can guarantee you this. In 2030 Queensland will not have 50% of its power sourced from Renewable power, no matter who says it is achievable.

        Tony.

        110

  • #
    Robber

    Queensland Labor to change its official platform in coal-friendly revamp.
    “Labor supports the Queensland mining industry as a major economic driver in regional communities that has benefits for every Queenslander no matter where they live,” the draft changes state.
    How does that stack up versus the Qld government’s 50% “renewables” target?

    50

  • #
    Analitik

    AEMO warns of increased blackout risk in Victoria if there is an early heatwave this summer due to

    the continued deterioration of the reliability of ageing brown coal units

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-22/nsw-vic-blackout-risk-if-power-supply-not-improved-aemo-warns/11436518

    Funny how it was barely a possibility when the older Hazelwood was still operating..
    Audrey go home.

    40

  • #
    Robber

    An example of how daily wholesale electricity prices in Victoria vary with the wind:
    Wed Aug 7 $126.4/MWhr; Tues Aug 20 $59.7/MWhr
    Min/Max Total Demand: 19.2/28.5; 19.5/28.9 GW
    Coal min/max: 14.2/17.4; 13.5/17.9 GW
    Gas min/max: 2.1/5.8; 0.8/3.6 GW
    Hydro min/max: 1.4/4.3; 1.3/3.5 GW
    Wind min/max: 1.0/2.5; 3.3/4.5 GW

    So when the wind blows as on Aug 20 supplying 16% of demand on average, every generator must bid low to get a slice of the pie and the major cutbacks are in gas and hydro. But when the wind is lower by 2 GW, supplying just 6% of demand on Aug 7, gas and hydro get their opportunity and prices double. Coal met 65% of demand on Aug 7 and 65.9% on Aug 20.

    On Tues Aug 13, wind varied from just 0.3-1.2 GW supplying just 2.5% of demand, and Vic price for the day was $248.7/MWhr.

    Thanks to Tony for his daily reporting of the generation data.
    Daily prices from AEMO.

    20

  • #
    Chad

    Tony, Rick, Robber , etc
    Ref NSW coal generators ramping daily…
    Can anyone explain why the NSW generators ramp down from their 7Gw morning peak to around 5 GW during the day…whilst imports from QLD are used to meet the demand level ?
    EG.. http://nemlog.com.au/gen/region/nsw/
    Is it simply that QLD power is cheaper… or some sneeky way of subsidising the QLD ( state owned) generators !

    10

    • #

      Coal fired power has ramped lower in that period between the morning and evening peaks during these Months of the year since generated power arrived at the grid.

      You need to be aware of power as it is generated , and then how it is distributed. The generated power in Queensland that is exported into NSW only gets as far South as perhaps a couple of hundred miles at the most.

      So, each State generates its power and as consumption eases back in the period between those two peaks (but only for six Months or so of the year) then each State has to handle their own power distribution.

      The only State (still with coal fired power) that does not ramp back at any time ever is Victoria. Whatever they can get on line is always delivering as much power as they can generate each and every day. It’s all they have now, so they have to get it all.

      Tony.

      30

      • #
        Chad

        Sorry Tony, but i think you missed the point of my question..
        Why does NSW prefer to use imported power from QLD during periods when there is spare coal generation capacity within NSW ?

        00

        • #
          AndyG55

          Locality, is my guess.

          The import from Qld is used in northern NSW, close to the main bulk of Qld usage.

          NSW closest coal fired power is in Hunter.

          20

          • #
            Chad

            Andy, .fair thinking, but .that doesnt stack up with reality
            NSW seems able to fully supply all the state during peak periods… even those northern extremes it would appear,….but then cuts back and takes QLD imports during “ slack” periods ???

            10

  • #
    Chad

    Arbitrage only works if NSW get to feed similar amounts of power back to QLD….
    ….but that doesnt happen !

    10

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