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The UK’s “End of Coal” lasted a whole week

What happens when the Glorious Coal Free Future meets summer:

How a ‘coal-free’ UK has returned to coal

Terry McCrann, The Herald Sun

Back in June, they separately sprung tweet-style to deliriously hail the ‘end of coal’ in the UK.

[Former PM, Kevin] Rudd tweeted: “For anyone who thinks it cannot be done: the UK has not produced any electricity from coal for the last two months — the longest period since the Industrial Revolution. Let that sink in,” he concluded with all the deadening portentousness he could muster.

But then it got warm, calm, and everyone wanted to use the air con:

..not only did the Brits go back to coal to keep the lights on – and, as they baked in a mid-20s ‘heatwave’, the aircons as well – they really shovelled some coal.

At its peak this week, the UK was getting nearly 3000MW from coal, well more than three times the 800MW or so coming from all the wind turbines, both those that despoil the British landscape and those parked equally hideously offshore.

Where are the headlines: Victorious coal saves the day?

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Rating: 9.7/10 (102 votes cast)
The UK's "End of Coal" lasted a whole week, 9.7 out of 10 based on 102 ratings

102 comments to The UK’s “End of Coal” lasted a whole week

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    Ah, coal…

    SOLID sunshine….

    Natures gift to the world..

    280

  • #
    TdeF

    Our deceitful Premier defended his illegal agreement with the Chinese Communist Party by saying Victoria had no natural resources, so we needed the income from Chinese students and trade and challenged the Prime Minister to nominate another country which could provide that income. As is his practice, that was a lie. Firstly, in Federation in 1901 all international dealings were passed to the new Federal government, but everything else stayed in state control as he knows perfectly well and has exploited. Secondly Victoria has vast resources in coal. And he and previous Labor governments stopped dead the first export of our brown coal, a $400million private sale to India.

    This was after a campaign by the Melbourne Age newspaper which abhorred the sale. The coal is brown because it is 2/3 water and the sale proposed a new process developed by a Melton company in conjunction with Monash university where they squeezed the water out. No one wants to buy and ship coal which is 2/3 dirty water. The headline is that they wanted to make the coal ‘blacker’ howled the Age on the front page. And black is obviously more polluting, more carbon. So the Brumby government stopped our export by edict. Minerals are also a State, not Federal resource.

    Then Dan made sure Hazelwood while running flat out at 98% of design efficiency at only 50% of their lease and design life. He did this by tripling the price of our coal to the company, saying a price increase was long overdue. So they stopped buying coal and closed. Another triumph for Daniel Andrews. What real vendor forces a customer to stop buying?

    Then the bans on offshore gas exploration, fracking, grazing in the high country, tourists climbing rocks and all the other income earners. He even bought a timber mill no longer viable because of his restrictions on harvesting trees. Presumably we are still paying for a non profitable mill, now part of the public service, doing nothing for cash. And the world’s highest electricity prices mean we are paying subsidies everywhere, secretly paying Alcoa employees $80,000 a year each to pretend to make aluminum profitably, something which is still going to fall apart. Aluminium is 90% electricity in cost.

    Daniel Andrews and his ecoNazis have steadily shut down our allegedly polluting exports. Which is why the Dear Leaders argues we need Chinese cash and political control from Chinese communists. Manufacturing impossible with the world’s highest electricity prices. And we have to import gas. No natural resources he says. And if by that he means ethics, he has a point.

    Of course we in Victoria have vast masses of coal, natural gas, timber and tourist attractions. Except that Daniel Andrews has locked them us as he has now locked us up. For our own good allegedly. Tell that to the 700 people now dead entirely through his personal intervention and arrogance. We have had worse conditions and for a longer time than any other country in the world, for our own good. And Daniel says he must have Chinese control.

    Coal is a gift. Only we keep it in the ground and in Victoria, Daniel Andrews pretends it does not exist. And while he allowed a BLM march through the city in the middle of the pandemic, anyone who objects to his decisions on Facebook is hunted down by his police. We have our own Pol Pot.

    901

    • #
      David Maddison

      Excellent comments TdeF.

      241

    • #
      Geoff Croker

      There is 500 Billion barrels of oil in the lignite in the Gippsland Basin. A new process separates it inexpensively. At US$50/barrel, that’s US$25T at a profit margin of over US$30/barrel. Every Victorian could do nothing for a very long time. Then there is another 1,200 Billion barrels stuck in coal seams under Bass Strait.

      The Labor Party and many corporate Climate Change worshipers eg BHP, think this oil is bad and the coal that it comes from is also bad. It could produce CO2. They are all barking mad.

      490

    • #
      Annie

      Also from me.
      Did the DL close Hazelwood at China’s behest?

      120

    • #
      Chad

      TdeF
      September 18, 2020 at 5:29 am ·

      Then Dan made sure Hazelwood while running flat out at 98% of design efficiency at only 50% of their lease and design life. He did this by tripling the price of our coal to the company, saying a price increase was long overdue. So they stopped buying coal and closed. Another triumph for Daniel Andrews. What real vendor forces a customer to stop buying?

      Whilst i have no time for D.A., or the false arguments against Fossil fuels,…i do believe we have to be honest and accurate when arguing the case.
      This is the third time someone has repeated this rubbish about the cost of coal for Hazelwood being “tripled” due to the Royalty increase, and hence causing the closure of the plant.
      This is simply NOT TRUE.
      The Royalty did tripple, ..from $0.08/GJ to $0.25/GJ, but that only results in an additional cost of coal at $2.5 /Tonne…and anyone who thinks AGL were only paying $0.80/Tonne before, seriously needs to take a holiday !
      The “Cost” of coal to Hazelwood generators would have been in the $30-$40 /tonne range,…from their own onsite mining operations.
      Hazelwood closed for several reasons, but the increase in the Royalty cost.was not a primary cause
      . (AGL estimated it would cost them $20m /yr …they would likely have paid more than that for annual OHS compliance audits !)

      83

      • #
        TdeF

        The tripling is not rubbish. You agree it is true. What you are saying is that this mineral Royalty alone is a pittance anyway and therefore it was not a primary cause. Probably.

        What I am saying is that the timing of tripling the Royalty gave a clear intention of the State government on a lot of issues at a time when Enron was under pressure to close very prematurely as the power station was in full production only half way through the lease. And they had spent at least $1.5Billion on top of the purchase price. There had not been a change in the price of coal in ten years! So why was it tripled? Why was the power station then closed and destroyed?

        However the sale of the publicly owned power station also came with a lot of conditions, such as the $2.5Billion cost of the future cleanup of the site. What form that pressure took is unclear and at the same time their gas turbine at Pelican Point in South Australia was also idle. There would have been a negotiation even to close the power station and the government made it clear they could play hardball without limits.

        Plus you must consider that like Liddell in NSW, companies like Enron and AGL are balancing the profits from unpopular and penalized coal against the massively subsidized profits from wind and solar and gas. So despite the fact that Liddell was given away free by the government of NSW for $0, AGL amazingly refused a genuine cash offer of $250Million for it, preferring to see it closed. Why? That tells you Liddell is worth much more to AGL closed than operating.

        And these formerly publicly owned, taxpayer built power stations have been sold and closed and blown up around the country. And while we now pay the world’s highest electricity prices, that is very much in the interests of the new owners, not us. And fully supported by the owners of the coal, the politicians of South Australia, Victoria and N.S.W.

        We the taxpayers are being robbed. Especially when at present 90% of our ridiculously expensive electricity is still being generated by coal in the same old power stations we used to own.

        150

        • #
          Chad

          TdeF
          September 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm · Reply
          The tripling is not rubbish. You agree it is true. What you are saying is that this mineral Royalty alone is a pittance anyway and therefore it was not a primary cause. Probably.

          What I am saying is that the timing of tripling the Royalty gave a clear intention of the State government on a lot of issues at a time when Enron was under pressure to close very prematurely as the power station was in full production only half way through the lease. And they had spent at least $1.5Billion on top of the purchase price. There had not been a change in the price of coal in ten years! So why was it tripled? Why was the power station then closed and destroyed?

          You said the “Tripling of the price of our coal to the plant”… that was not true !
          Tripling the Royalty was little more than a political gesture with the added advantage of some revenue gain ( $20m from Hazelwood was never going to be much use to Vic’s financials !) ..it was “easy” for DA to sell to the industry just on the basis of bringing into line with States Royalty costs.
          Im sure hazelwood was shut for sound financial reasons, even if it was still profitable.
          As you imply, in the bigger picture, shutting H’zlwd likely means bigger profits from the other
          generators for all the reasons we know well.
          If the increase in Royalty was such a crippling impost on Hazelwood, why have not Yallourn or Loy Yang coal fired plants also shut up shop ?

          25

          • #
            Analitik

            The whole premise of Hazelwood being the cheapest producer of electricity in Australia was based on it being fully paid down. With stupidity low interest rates, being paid down became far less advantageous than a decade ago so cost of maintenance (which Engie was carrying out properly, unlike AGL with Liddell) of an ageing plant plus high fuel consumption (being the least thermally efficient plant) plus greentards protesting at any opportunity plus the costs of the pit fire plus the increasingly poor returns for base load power all made the plant increasingly marginal.

            That $20 million you sneer at disrupted the economic modelling for Hazelwood enough for Engie to close it down.

            40

      • #
        Geoff Croker

        The cost of lignite is NOT A$30-40/raw tonne. Try $12/ton from the RoM pad. Have a quote for 1 MT.

        The number you use is for black thermal coal. Lignite is cheap.

        70

        • #
          TdeF

          It should be 3x cheaper. Unless you want to buy water.

          30

        • #

          Geof you are right the cost of black coal is about $30/tonne ROM landed at the power station.Black coal from open cut requires removal of much overburden which must be stored and then put back in the whole. Mines work with an overburden ratio of around 6 to 1. Economical limit for high value black coal is about 10:1. The mines work with big drag lines and load onto trucks. Sometimes explosives need to be used, Unions require high minimum labour and even higher pay. Conveyors or trucks travel over 20Km.
          Brown coal is extracted next to the power stations by bucket wheel excavators (which in Germany have no manning). The coal is put on conveyor systems which move with the excavator. The brown coal deposits are close to surface and are very deep. There is enough brown coal in the Gippsland are to supply power for the whole of Australia for hundreds of years. I estimate the cost of the ROM coal delivered at the power station to be something are $8/tonne. Without union restrictions, royalties and better management the cost could be more like $5/tonne.
          Finally, can I say brown coal is not dirty coal. The ROM has from 50-66% moisture AR (Anglesea & Yallourn North ca 50%, Loy Yang 66%)so when it is burnt the major portion of exhaust gases are H2O (water vapor or steam). The energy/tonne of brown coal is about 2/3 of black coal so more tonnes are required to produce the same power. The brown coal station needs a larger boiler but the coal grinding equipment is cheaper. Capital costs favour brown coal.

          110

          • #
            TdeF

            So let’s do the calculation.

            Coal prices of $30-$40 are retail prices for black coal at triple the GJ/tonne and a much higher cost to mine.

            Open cut Brown coal not deep mining, $8/tonne to mine and only State royalty to pay.

            Brown coal is only 9GJ/tonne. So the royalty is now $0.25c a GJ or $2.25 per tonne.

            This increased the cost of Victorian coal by a whopping 28%.

            And in a marginal business, this was a killer move.

            70

        • #

          Geof you are right the cost of black coal is about $30/tonne ROM landed at the power station.Black coal from open cut requires removal of much overburden which must be stored and then put back in the whole. Mines work with an overburden ratio of around 6 to 1. Economical limit for high value black coal is about 10:1. The mines work with big drag lines and load onto trucks. Sometimes explosives need to be used, Unions require high minimum labour and even higher pay. Conveyors or trucks travel over 20Km.
          Brown coal is extracted next to the power stations by bucket wheel excavators (which in Germany have no manning). The coal is put on conveyor systems which move with the excavator. The brown coal deposits are close to surface and are very deep. There is enough brown coal in the Gippsland are to supply power for the whole of Australia for hundreds of years. I estimate the cost of the ROM coal delivered at the power station to be something are $8/tonne. Without union restrictions, royalties and better management the cost could be more like $5/tonne.
          Finally, can I say brown coal is not dirty coal. The ROM has from 50-66% moisture AR (Anglesea & Yallourn North ca 50%, Loy Yang 66%)so when it is burnt the major portion of exhaust gases are H2O (water vapor or steam). The energy/tonne of brown coal is about 2/3 of black coal so more tonnes are required to produce the same power. The brown coal station needs a larger boiler but the coal grinding equipment is cheaper. Capital costs favour brown coal.
          Note in Ireland peat is used as a fuel this has 90% moisture in the ROM coal.

          30

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            cementafriend:

            Peat is normally air dried before use as domestic fuel.
            Brown coal (or lignite as they call it) when burnt in their latest power station has emissions of 800 per MWh as compared with aroud 1100+ in Victoria. The “secret” is to use waste heat to dry the brown coal.

            Incidentally I have seen a figure of 1260 for the old Hazelwood plant, indicating that it used more coal to produce the same electricity as the other 2 stations. Even if it was ‘only’ 10% extra that would have affected the economics.

            40

          • #
            TdeF

            And at $5/tonne, the increase is closer to 50%.

            20

        • #

          Geof you are right the cost of black coal is about $30/tonne ROM landed at the power station.Black coal from open cut requires removal of much overburden which must be stored and then put back in the whole. Mines work with an overburden ratio of around 6 to 1. Economical limit for high value black coal is about 10:1. The mines work with big drag lines and load onto trucks. Sometimes explosives need to be used, Unions require high minimum labour and even higher pay. Conveyors or trucks travel over 20Km.
          Brown coal is extracted next to the power stations by bucket wheel excavators (which in Germany have no manning). The coal is put on conveyor systems which move with the excavator. The brown coal deposits are close to surface and are very deep. There is enough brown coal in the Gippsland are to supply power for the whole of Australia for hundreds of years. I estimate the cost of the ROM coal delivered at the power station to be something are $8/tonne. Without union restrictions, royalties and better management the cost could be more like $5/tonne.
          Finally, can I say brown coal is not dirty coal. The ROM has from 50-66% moisture AR (Anglesea & Yallourn North ca 50%, Loy Yang 66%)so when it is burnt the major portion of exhaust gases are H2O (water vapor or steam). The energy/tonne of brown coal is about 2/3 of black coal so more tonnes are required to produce the same power. The brown coal station needs a larger boiler but the coal grinding equipment is cheaper. Capital costs favour brown coal.
          Note in Ireland peat is used as a fuel this has 90% moisture in the ROM coal.

          [Caught by the spam filter]ED

          00

    • #
      Maptram

      “And we have to import gas”

      I thought we sent gas overseas at low prices then imported the same gas back at high prices.

      90

      • #
        TdeF

        That’s North West shelf gas which goes first to Singapore. However Victoria for most of my lifetime was totally self sufficient in gas and petrol, despite the fact that we paid overseas prices set by people like OPEC. Most of it has always been government tax. Worse, the government of Victoria has deemed that even if there is more there, we don’t want it and even looking for more gas has been banned until very recently. All to please someone other than the people of Victoria.

        It is absurd that so much of our income from our major exports of coal, oil, gas, iron ore go to buy foreign made cars, trucks and giant useless windmills from China. We send the CO2 overseas and they send us windmills to lower our CO2? It’s insane. Green energy paid for with coal. Does no one see the problem or is it all businesses as usual for China’s Lackey in Victoria. Why else has he had 25 trips to China? Surely they want something?

        130

  • #
    MrGrimNasty

    It’s just asinine propaganda when they declare how long we’ve gone without coal.

    Inevitably they chose periods of low demand (the lockdown in this case), when we have enough capacity to meet demand without the windmills and solar too.

    If someone had wished to make a political point that green energy is completely superfluous we could have disconnected them all and gone, look 2 months without green rubbish.

    Of course 8% of electricity still came from coal converted to wood pellets shipped in from razed forest – completely insane, as this was furiously burning throughout.

    We also have inter-connectors with Europe so we import electricity that comes from coal indirectly that way too.

    If all this wasn’t mad enough, the erratic wind/solar so risked destabilizing the grid under these low demand ‘coal free’ conditions, they had to pay Nuclear to decrease output, to leave capacity for gas etc. to balance the frequency. It was cheaper to pay Sizewell constraint payments, than wind with their rigged market contracts/subsidy advantages. We’ve built a nuclear plant delivering ‘carbon free’ electricity and we deliberately reduce the amount of electricity it will deliver in its lifetime, and put consumer bills up again to boot.

    Obviously Rudd thinks this is all brilliant and sensible?

    340

    • #
      MrGrimNasty

      PS: I expect the only reason that that much coal was required was precisely because Sizewell was contracted/set for limited baseload delivery!

      131

      • #
        Gerry, England

        The other end of the Netherlands interconnector is a coal-fired powerstation. Still no surprise that they omit this – liars lie and this is lying by omission.

        40

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    I wonder if the wind facilities owners get paid when the wind doesn’t blow.

    Makes no sense to build and maintain unreliable systems when others (carbon-based and nuclear) are better.

    160

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      No, but in the UK they get paid when they start delivering lots of output and have to be shut down to protect the grid.

      80

      • #
        Gerry, England

        They will also get paid if their electricity is not needed which is why it was cheaper to pay Sizewell to scale back than pay off the windmills.

        40

      • #
        Gerry, England

        They will also get paid if their electricity is not needed which is why it was cheaper to pay Sizewell to scale back than pay off the windmills.

        00

    • #
      Slithers

      When the wind does not blow they CONSUME electricity to keep the blades moving to prevent the shaft deforming, Just like large ships keep their propeller shafts turning while tied up to a dock.
      I winter they have to heat the gearbox oil, another hidden cost.

      They do NOT have to pay for this electricity!

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    The only way the Sheeple will get the message is if they are required to choose either unreliable solar or wind energy or reliables for their domestic or commercial electricity.

    Woke people can choose 100% unreliables with their own enormous and expensive battery backup if they don’t want intermittent supply and rational people can choose cheaper reliables.

    For unreliable consumers, when no power is being produced their power is cut or they switch to batteries.

    Similarly for reliable consumers as was always the case.

    At no time should reliables be allowed to backup unreliables. And vice versa, not that there is any chance of that happening.

    Smart electricity meters which most people now have can make it possible to do what I say.

    181

    • #
      PeterS

      At no time should reliables be allowed to backup unreliables. And vice versa, not that there is any chance of that happening.

      A long time ago I said a similar thing wrt the interconnects. They should only be used in cases of emergencies. If a state can’t rely on its own power generation systems most of the time then tough t…ies”.

      140

    • #
      Gary Simpson

      Agreed. If the leaders of the glorious green revolution (a.k.a. Victorian government) really want to reduce our consumption of nasty coal, then everyone in an urban area, who is connected to the grid and wants to cover their roofs with subsidised p.v.’s should be immediately disconnected.
      That would be an abrupt wakeup call to the already ‘woke’.

      110

  • #
    Murray Shaw

    With the British Drax Power Station burning 10,000 tonnes of US sourced wood chips (classified as renewables, actually early stage coal), per day, there is no way the Brits are moving away from fossil fuels.
    Talk about smoke and mirrors!

    210

    • #
      el gordo

      Exactly, they think we are stupid, anyway the lights won’t be going out this winter.

      ‘The UK has 15 operational nuclear reactors at seven locations (14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) and one pressurised water reactor (PWR)), as well as nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and the Tails Management Facility (TMF) operated by Urenco in Capenhurst.’ wiki

      81

    • #
      David Maddison

      Tremendous environmental destruction is being wrought by Drax and their pursuit of supposedly “green” energy. And according to Drax, it’s not only US forests (some are old growth) they are destroying but:

      At Drax we use sustainably-sourced wood pellets from working forests, primarily in the US South but also in Europe, Canada and South America, to generate low-carbon, renewable electricity. Biomass delivers both a decarbonised economy and healthy forests. (Sic)

      Also, not that CO2 emissions matter, but burning wood emits more CO2 than the equivalent amount of coal. It will take decades or centuries for new forests to absorb the CO2 thus produced.

      See also:
      https://theecologist.org/2018/apr/16/hardwood-forests-cut-down-feed-drax-power-plant-channel-4-dispatches-claims

      Even some thinking greens (very few of them, but I’ll concede 10 or 20 may exist) are against Drax:
      https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/axedrax-campaign/

      130

  • #
    David Maddison

    If the green Left were consistent you’d think they’d complain about the massive visual and infrasound pollution of tens of thousands of windmills dotted around Once Great Britain.

    But if it weren’t for the double standards of the Left they would have no standards.

    131

  • #
    Red Edward

    Mid 20′s “heatwave”? 24 is ROOM Temperature here in Texas – under air conditioning!

    40

  • #
    Robber

    UK electricityy generation data for Q1 2020 in TWhr:
    Coal 3.1
    Gas 26.8
    Nuclear 11.9
    Hydro 2.3
    Wind and solar 28.0
    Offshore wind 13.2
    Biofuels 8.8
    Pumped storage 1.6
    Imports 5.8
    And if you want to see UK generation in real time:
    Interesting to note that the UK’s total electricity demand of 27 GW (peak 37 GW) is not much different to total Australia.
    At 6pm yesterday with demand 35 GW, wind delivered 5.5 GW, gas 18.8, nuclear 4.6 GW, hydro 1.2, biomass 1.7. Wind’s lowest generation for the day was 1.3 GW – unreliables are not the answer.
    In Australia this month, wind has delivered 0.6-4.0 GW of total AEMO demand 18-26 GW.

    91

    • #
      TedM

      Just checked your link. Wind 25%, and that’s when almost everybody is in bed in the UK.

      30

    • #
      RickWill

      Interesting to note that the UK’s total electricity demand of 27 GW (peak 37 GW) is not much different to total Australia.

      If the cost of electricity is high enough it eliminates energy intensive businesses. UK is just doing it faster than Australia. Australia is not doing too bad though. The Australian population has increased by 17% in the last decade and there has been no increase in electricity demand. So increasing electricity prices in Australia is gradually driving the energy intensive businesses away. Let China use Australia’s bauxite and coal to make aluminium. Get rid of another CO2 intensive industry. That helps Australia’s green credentials.

      50

      • #
        Gerry, England

        The UK has only one aluminium smelter left as the others have closed due to energy costs and reliability of supply. So why does this one plant swim against the tide? It has its own hydro-electric plant and lots of diesel generators.

        10

  • #
    Ian

    And the cost of that coal power…..

    One thing for sure, the capital and wage costs are there everyday. If you can only sell coal power when the wind isn’t blowing then you can be assured that the price per MWHr will be dearer than if you could sell continuously.

    It seems that the governments around the world expected the fossil fuel suppliers just to pick up this extra cost as they flooded the markets with weather dependent power producers. Not too smart.

    Why don’t they have the renewable power industry supply their own backup system to complement their ‘free’ power? Now that is something that I would love to see costed.

    110

    • #
      el gordo

      In NSW our Premier has gone green, building renewable zones at a frenetic pace with free market monies. The problem, of course, is weather variability.

      The cost of a new gas fired power plant is relatively cheap and quick to build at Narrabri, which would be essential to stabilise the system.

      Politically its going to be a trade-off and ultimately built with taxpayers money, unless you believe in miracles.

      30

  • #
    PeterS

    Victoria has turned out to be a great litmus test of the psyche of the people living in that state. Not good. It appears most love a draconian leader, but for how long?

    90

  • #
    exsteelworker

    Australia is doomed. The gas power station Scomo wants will NOT get past the senate.When Liddell power station closes get ready for power outs nation wide. Back to the 70s we go. Time to set up a generator to plug in to your power box at home. The only way Australia can prosper is with a coup. Jail all the Green,ALP,ABC and all the other idiots that think we can live on sun mirrors and windmills and batteries the size of Uluru covering the whole outback. Australia should be the wealthiest country in the world with our abundance of natural resources. Refine all minerals here and sell pure at premium prices. Whats the chances tho? …NONE!

    240

    • #
      PeterS

      A long time ago Australia used to be such a great nation, one of the wealthiest in the world. Now look at us. We are lead by the clueless, buff00ns and liars votes in mostly by zombies. There is really no hope for Australia. Our best chance is to get it over and done with and have our crash and burn quick smart so we can wake up the people and flush out the despots. Dragging it out only benefits the rich and infamous.

      140

    • #
      PeterS

      I have some relatives living in Victoria and whenever the topic about the politics comes up they admit they are not happy but say they don’t have a choice since the opposition is unknown. So if one is in the sea about to be attacked by sharks and a ship comes to the rescue does that person delay and contemplate whether that ship is hostile or not? I suppose once one of their legs is chomped off by shark they might change their mind quick smart. That is what I suspect has to happen for the Victorians to wake up.

      100

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘Australia should be the wealthiest country in the world … ‘

      That would only create envy.

      If it won’t get past the senate then we’ll have to assume Morrison is only flying kites, paying lip service, until coal is back in vogue.

      30

      • #
        PeterS

        In 6 months or so? Time is running out fast. The building of a replacement base load power station for Liddell has to be started ASAP, not in years to come.

        70

        • #
          el gordo

          They will continue to renovate Liddell until a replacement is decided upon, most likely gas pumped down from Narrabri.

          10

          • #
            Serp

            Ever the optimist el gordo and why not indeed since our politics is fickle enough that coal could be compulsory in five years.

            10

            • #
              el gordo

              At the moment coal is mandatory, or the system would collapse and Liddell will remain active until a new coal fired power station is built to replace it. All we have to do is prove CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.

              We have a few years up our sleeve.

              20

          • #
            Analitik

            They will continue to renovate Liddell

            Liddell is being deliberately run down for its scheduled closure.

            00

      • #
        TedM

        I would be happy for Oz to be the envy of the rest of the world el gordo.

        30

        • #
          el gordo

          A quarry, food bowl and Covid Free tourist destination, we have arrived.

          20

          • #
            Serp

            Now you’ve got me laughing…

            40

          • #
            Dennis

            A high wealth person told me during the late 1990s that Australia is a wonderful country for retirement or tourism but for wealth creation the opportunities are very limited and restricted by government stupidity or foreign influence (like UN).

            70

            • #
              el gordo

              The laissez-faire economic model is history and now government involvement in the free market is unavoidable.

              In a democracy we get the chance to throw out those stupid politicians.

              11

              • #
                Analitik

                Almost all the issues we face are the direct consequence of government involvement in what should be free markets. The effects are partially masked by this occurring worldwide but that doesn’t mean government involvement is desirable when it can be avoided.

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    tom0mason

    But the loonies are still in charge in the UK. They will push for ever tighter restrictions on coal use for power generation. Then the only available fuel are gas and wood chips and that is when these nutters will cry for more restrictions on these fuels. The cloud-cuckoo land thinking is in abundance in the UK with the government taking seriously such idiots as XR, and the vast Green disinformation lobbyists, while ordinary people suffer.

    But it gets worse!
    As Paul Homewood has reported on https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/new-plans-to-switch-your-power-off/

    [The UK] The Government is considering giving energy networks the power to switch off a household’s energy supply without warning or compensation for those affected.

    A series of ‘modifications’ to the Smart Energy Code have been proposed by officials and look set to pass into law by next spring.

    These include giving networks the right to decide when they consider the grid to be in a state of ’emergency’ and the power to switch off high usage electrical devices such as electric vehicle chargers and central heating systems in British homes.

    If the do get rid of coal and with recent political proposals for new build homes to utilize neither gas or fossil fueled heating and cooking, so new build is electric only homes, and with calls for restriction on old build housing using coal, oil, or gas —
    the UK future is cold and dark, very dark.

    Soon you’ll need to bring back horses and other beast of burden if only to burn the ‘carbon’ neutral crap they can intermittently supply.
    I’ll be buying shares in UK candle-making/supplying companies.

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    Bill Hall

    At 3000MW (combined) Power Stations I would estimate would require +60,000 tonnes of coal per day ! Woohoo ! :-)

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    Lawrie

    I note that in today’s Australian the big investors such as Macquarie are upset that Morrison is offering monies to emission reduction technologies rather than just renewables. They seem spooked that someone has taken their oft repeated claim that “renewables are now cheaper than coal” seriously. So seriously that renewables no longer need subsidies to start a project. Now all Morrison has to do is withdraw the subsidies paid to operators of wind and solar farms and to withdraw the mandated use of renewables. Being so cheap there really is no need for taxpayer funded helping hands is there? They have had two decades of largesse now comes the time to stand on their own feet but it is obvious that they cannot and never will

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      Serp

      Standard ratcheting technique; we can only hope it goes well and that in five years or so we’ll be again realizing the cheapness and efficiency of the hundreds of years of coal under our feet.

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      MCMXLIII

      If the revised government policy is implemented it’s a step, albeit timid, in the right direction (see Johannes Leak’s cartoon in today’s Australian).
      Political risk is a something large investors like Macquarie would have factored in; they have done pretty well at the expense of the ‘mums and dads’ up to now but of course they will whine like EH diffs.

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      Graeme No.3

      Lawrie:

      Just shows that Macquarie doesn’t care about emissions, they are there for the subsidies.

      The next step will be going to the Courts claiming damages, along with a lot of waffle about international reputation. I think it would be simpler to introduce a Grid Disruption Tax for variable supplies. Make ALL generators bid in hour blocks, and the price bid becomes what they are paid. The latter option gets rid of the ridiculous situation where the actual price is determined by the highest bid. There will still be an advantage for renewables in that large scale certificates almost double their take, so they could bid lower that coal fired generators, but would be limited in how low they can go, as their real costs per MWh are higher than coal fired.

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        Analitik

        There is nothing wrong with the current AEMO pricing structure. Without it, the off peak price of electricity would be considerably higher..

        Everything you aim for would be achieved simply by removing the semi-scheduled designation for the renewables, forcing them to guarantee the supply for their market bids AS ALL THE OTHER GENERATORS ARE REQUIRED

        It’s all a matter of enforcing existing regulations by removing exemptions

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    Chad

    RickWill
    September 14, 2020 at 3:47 pm ·

    A worrying sign is that AEMO are now putting an economic cost on curtailment. They are estimating the ‘loss’ defining it as a lost opportunity. From the AEOM Q2 report:

    Estimated VRE curtailment costs16 decreased to $6 million, 59% lower than in Q1 2020. Section 1.6.2 provides details on VRE curtailment for the quarter.

    Rick,
    Refering back to your comment here on “curtailment” and potential cost impost..
    I notice (now. You have pointed it out). That curtailment is a growing occurrence … much of the time cuently today in SA !….but i am curious why it is only recorded for wind and solar, ?..and never fr the almost constant “curtailment of SA’s Gas plants , or other States Coal or Gas plants.
    Why. Is wind/solar considered a “lost oportunity” when underutilisation of other capital generating facilities is not ?

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    • #
      Analitik

      why it is only recorded for wind and solar, ?..and never fr the almost constant “curtailment of SA’s Gas plants , or other States Coal or Gas plants.

      Wind and solar farms are paid when they get.curtailed so the cost can be directly measured (& is eventually borne by the consumer)

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    dinn, rob

    Inner Mongolia protests; big CCP crackdownh
    ttps://balance10.blogspot.com/2020/09/large-protrests-in-inner-mongolia-hard.html

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    liberator

    Really annoying when they bleat that they haven’t used coal for the past two months. Kinda reads that or can be interpreted that we ran 100% on renewables. We all know that is BS. They still used GAS – still a fossil fuel, still a GHG contributor to climate change. Yeah they used renewables, solar, wind, hydro but most of their power supply over that two months came from other sources,(Gas/Nuclear) not renewables.

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    Andrew McRae

    Coal production has plateaued for the last 8 years and has yet to show any resurgence into a new boom like it did after 1990-2000. If one can accept the modern coal mining industry got its first real kick up during the industrial revolution around 1760, one can say the comprehensive coal discovery and mining system has been going for about 260 years. Here is a relevant quote from the BP Statistical Review of 2020: “The current global R/P ratio shows that coal reserves in 2019 accounted for 132 years of current production”
    That is 132 years remaining of a so-far 260 year industry, or that industry is 2/3 of the way through its currently projected lifetime.

    Borrowing some older phrasing, one may even put it this way. ;-)
    Coal is not at its end. It is not even at the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, at the end of its beginning.

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    Dennis

    Here’s a plan, export coal for steel production and electricity generation and build a gas pipeline to where Australia’s high quality coal deposits are to fuel gas fired power stations.

    Add solar and wind installations, batteries, pumped hydro generators, hydrogen production and spend trillions of dollars to create an expansive, unreliable electricity grid and sell the energy for world’s highest pricing.

    And then explain to voters that a return to local manufacturing and increasing the security of our nation is a priority.

    sarc.

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    Dennis

    The Australian newspaper today (Friday) reports that the pumped hydro project called Snowy 2 is going to cost far more than has been estimated by the Federal Government, is environmentally unfriendly and generally a waste of time and money.

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    Dennis

    Remember, the art of Machiavellian political tactics include keep the truth hidden from voters with distractions and diversions, best when arguments are started in which poorly informed commentators explain why political spin is good.

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    Serge Wright

    Those running the CC scam assume we all have an IQ of 10. This is not the case !!!. Only green socialist alarmist zealots fit into this category.

    Amusingly, on the other side of this ideological fence, I did note the absurd claims in the media recently that Australia will become a major hydrogen producing hub, but using COAL with CCS, because there is an admission that RE will take at least 10 more years to mature to be considered economically viable to perform the same task (which we know is BS – BECAUSE IT WILL NEVER BE VIABLE). This is a hilarious LOL x infinity moment indeed. The idea that we will use our coal to make hydrogen, which introduces considerable energy wastage in the chemical process and much of which will leak into the atmosphere after processing. But, somehow the green zealots have accepted this idea and Germany has even signed up to parting with their taxpayer funds to buy this expensive an inefficient product, rather than just burn the coal like China and the rest of the developing world that makes up 2/3 of all emissions and rising …

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    Philip

    None the less it does make a point that it can actually be done, windmills can provide the quantity of electricity required for a modern economy, or is it all wind or is it nuclear as well, I dont know. BUt it cant do it all the time, and so whats the point, given its effects on electricity prices and landscape, and reliability of course as we see in LA.

    But what is the aesthetic cost of windmills? Is it that bad ? I still see pretty video of English countryside. I envisage in Australia windmills on the horizon of the escarpment viewing west from the east coast. But will it be that bad ? We have to ask ourselves these questions, as “skeptics”.

    And for the record I want for Australia 100% coal (plus existing hydro) and cheap power like we did, no questions asked.

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