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Winning: Labor party drops 2030 renewable target, Libs build gas plant, (still scared of climate bullies)

Losing unloseable climate change elections has some effect:

In the 2019 election the Labor emissions ­reduction target was a 45 per cent cut from 2005 levels by 2030:

New Labor manifesto drops emissions targets for 2030

Greg Brown, The Australian

Anthony Albanese has been given the green light to go to the next election without specific climate change targets for 2030, under an ALP draft policy platform that outlines plans to turn Australia into a “renewable energy superpower”.

The party’s preliminary draft platform — obtained by The Australian — was backed by shadow cabinet this month. The document, a third of the size of the 2018 national platform, makes no mention of a 2030 or 2035 emissions reduction or renewable energy targets. The Labor leader is facing an internal push to drop medium-term targets and focus on a policy of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Labor will ensure that Australia becomes a renewable energy superpower, harnessing our natural advantages in clean energy to become energy independent from the world, while lowering power prices, reaching zero net emissions by 2050,” the document says.

Labor’s overall direction hasn’t changed, they are still captive to the vested interests and co-dependents of the renewable world. This is still an economy-killing idea based on the fantasy that “renewables are cheap”, but it kills the economy a bit slower than the 2019 plan.

The Libs meanwhile make gas and energy priority one

Government policies to change the weather have, like witchcraft, destroyed a once brilliant honed energy market delivering the cheapest energy in the world. The market is so rigged that the valuable infrastructure called Liddell Coal Plant, built and paid for by a generation of hard work, was given away for free by the NSW state government in 2014, like a McHappy meal, bundled in with Bayswater, and valued at zero dollars in an AGL investor presentation. AGL also own a mass portfolio of other electricity generators, and the market is so screwed, it’s now in AGL’s interest to turn down billion dollar offers to buy Liddell, and to trash the asset in 2022. Nothing gives cheaper electricity than a 30 year old coal plant. Thus one of the cheapest electricity makers in NSW is better off destroyed than selling cheap electricity. That says everything you need to know about how stupid the government policies are.

Given what happened after Hazelwood closed down, with the predictable sudden leap of electricity prices by 85%, the Commonwealth government is now forced to build a reliable power plant that the private market won’t to solve a problem that it created with stupid energy policies to hold back the tide and stop droughts. NSW can’t keep coal plants, or aluminium smelters running, and electricity prices are spiking to $14,000MW/hr, which suits a seller of golden electrons like AGL just fine.

Scott Morrison move to energise industry

Simon Benson, The Australian

Scott Morrison has elevated energy policy to the primary issue that will underpin key planks of the economic recovery.  And he will use the urgency of the pandemic to end a debate that has seen Australia’s competitive advantage of cheap energy of the past lost to rampant ideology.

The market has had plenty of warning, particularly AGL, which is about to see its indolence over the Liddell coal-fired power plant lead to the government building a 700-megawatt gas plant smack in the back yard of Labor member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon.

What Morrison is proposing is nothing short of a complete transformation of the sclerotic east coast gas market, which has failed to invest in any new dispatchable power for the past decade.

Given the AEMO rewards unreliable power at the expense of “despatchable” (controllable, reliable) power, it is entirely predictable that companies won’t build base load in Australia. This move by the Liberal government won’t solve that. But it might reduce the disaster coming.

 As I wrote about Liddell in 2018, it was worth more dead than alive to AGL:

AGL is the largest coal-fired producer in Australia, but it’s also the largest generator in toto and the largest  investor in renewable energy on the Australian Stock Exchange. Spot the conflict of interest? The company controls 30% of the generation in our two largest states, and 40% in South Australia. The man in charge of AGL – Andy Vesey –  formerly of New York, earns $6.9 million a year, and can probably afford to pay his own electricity bill. But as Tony Cox points out, he has surrounded himself with Gore-trainees and Get-Up and ALP staffers. Not a great combination for a man controlling something like a fifth (more?) of our generating power. Not surprisingly, after the NSW government practically gave the old coal plant away for free to AGL in 2014, it appears the company has been running Liddell into the ground.

Rather than being incompetent, this is no doubt part of the plan, and an advantage for shareholders in the new tribal world of Good-Lectrons:Bad-Lectrons. After a few more years of AGL management, it won’t be worth taking over.

Bankers explains AGL won’t sell Liddell because then electricity will get cheaper:

But research from analysts at JPMorgan yesterday said it was unlikely the deal would ever eventuate due to a number of market and logistical reasons.

Selling the power station to Alinta would hurt the wholesale prices that AGL can charge for energy from its other assets, the analysts said, while also helping a rival that is determined to eat into AGL’s market share. Operationally, Liddell and AGL’s nearby Bayswater power station are supplied with coal from a single coal loader and are subject to a number of contracts that would need to be unwound.

The climate bullies are still running the national debate

Liberals still rarely have the backbone to risk being called names like “climate deniers”. Amazing how effective that kindergarten technique is.

Even though Labors shock loss in 2019 was a surprise, we should keep in mind that the Liberals only won by two seats. There was no excitement in the base on the conservative side, except for the “excitement” that the thought of a Labor win provided.

The nation still sits in a ridiculous preventable crisis. Most of the world loves coal. China is secretly building plants despite its so called Paris commitment. The only countries dumping coal are those which don’t have much.  The Global Patsy-Land of Australia is the largest coal exporter in world — and still has 300 years of coal left. This problem is so easy to solve.

The sacrificial lambs in Australian pay $1300 in hidden climate bills each year in the hope of stopping droughts and bushfires. Who stands for them? Malcolm Roberts, Queensland Senator for One Nation.  But not Liberal or Labor MP’s (apart from a few brave ones, thank you Craig Kelly).

 

 

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Rating: 9.7/10 (71 votes cast)
Winning: Labor party drops 2030 renewable target, Libs build gas plant, (still scared of climate bullies), 9.7 out of 10 based on 71 ratings

135 comments to Winning: Labor party drops 2030 renewable target, Libs build gas plant, (still scared of climate bullies)

  • #
    Dennis

    * RET introduced following UN IPCC Kyoto Agreement being signed, trial basis.
    * RET increased and subsidies attached.
    * State owned electricity assets sold or demolished, not all.
    * RET reduced slightly, subsidies continued.
    * Gaming the system (also rigging, abusing, cheating, milking, playing, working, or breaking the system, or gaming or bending the rules) can be defined as using the rules and procedures meant to protect a system to, instead, manipulate the system for a desired outcome.

    Resulting in world’s highest pricing for electricity and increasingly less reliable supply.

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  • #
    Dennis

    Add not well publicised 2016 emissions levy against fossil fuel power station generators.

    231

  • #

    I’m going to place this comment here. It was originally posted by me in answer to Graeme No.3 in the Venus Thread almost five hours ago, and it is still in moderation there, but now this Thread is up, it is exactly relevant here, and here’s hoping it avoids Moderation here.

    Liddell is within line of sight, well, almost touching distance really from the nearby Bayswater plant, and both plants use the same coal source.

    Back in 2009, the former owner Macquarie Generation submitted a proposal to construct a new power plant, ostensibly at the same site, but patently obvious, if you know the location, that it was being mooted as a proposal to replace Liddell when the time came.

    All the work was done and the project was approved, and then politics got in the way, and it umm, went into abeyance, and the upshot may have been the reason that MacGen divested these two plants to AGL.

    However, I want you to look at the link.

    The proposal called for either (a) a USC (HELE) coal fired plant, or (b) a CCGT gas fired plant on this site.

    All the work has been done, and all that is needed now is to simply refer back to this proposal.

    Link to overall proposal

    Link to relevant part of the proposal mentioning the two options and all the work involved with both. 53 pages, but relevant plans for both options start in Section 5 on page 16 through to page 32 for coal fired USC option and from page 32 to page 41 for the CCGT gas fired option.

    It’s all there, just waiting for whoever it will be that, umm, bites the bullet.

    Tony.

    [Apologies Tony was caught in the spam filter, has been released.]AD

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tony,

      Your reply is still not up. I assume you think my comment “Sceptics will see a possible sign of intelligent life in Canberra” was a trifle optimistic.

      160

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tony,
      the Govt. is talking natural gas because a CCGT plant could be built in the 2 years before Liddell shuts down, and also so they can claim lower CO2 emissions.
      There is also something about gas hubs to ensure supply. This map shows that apart from the projected Northern link from the NT fields that most of eastern Australia is connected all ready, although supply volumes etc. aren’t shown.

      https://www.apga.org.au/sites/default/files/uploaded-content/website-content/Gas%20map%20-%20high%20res.jpg

      The Greens are against it of course.
      The real problem is the priority access to the grid by renewables, which would disrupt operations. The Republic of Ireland tried to have reliable generation and lower emissions by combining CCGTs with windmills. The result was failure. Variable ‘renewables’ either forced shutdowns or operation at Open Cycle, resulting in higher costs, higher emissions per MWh, and shutdowns for increased maintenance (thermal stress cracking).

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      • #
        Geoff Croker

        I recall a huge amount of tight gas available in NE Victoria. Something about both Liberal and Labor blocking drilling comes to mind. Who is after this tenement?

        70

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          I think Esso, but may well have given up waiting for signs of intelligence in the Victorian Govt.
          The gas is 3 parts. There is the probable natural gas offshore but cannot get approval to bring it ashore.
          There is definitely gas in Gippsland in the water zone. Drilling would result in gas for sale and water for farmers. Owing to deliberate lies the farmers are against this as they believe drilling would result in earthquakes and contamination of existing water supplies. Much of these zones are close to the shore, so much so that drilling rigs just off the beaches could, with horizontal drilling, recover quite a bit.
          The third part is possible, not proven, but would involve fracking, and the result is we won’t know as that the Govt. has banned any drilling.

          60

          • #

            Graeme
            Much of the gas is well below water table areas, I mean hundreds of metres below it.

            This will have no impact at all on water tables. In fact the water liberated by the gas extraction will be available for agriculture.

            Fracking is not required in many cases, at least not initially. Again, the gas zones are way below water table and fracking, as shown in QLD and countless other juristications fracking does not produce any adverse outcomes.

            Time to call out the deliberate lies of the Green movement and to show farmers that this development will have huge benefits for them.

            90

          • #
            Geoff Croker

            And then there is the 500 Billion barrels of n-ane, n-ene, phenols, C6-C20 onshore in the Gippsland basin, to be separated from the lignite. If you get desperate in say, 200 years, there is another 1,300 Billion barrels in the coal seams under Bass Strait.

            As the process has been proven to reduce emissions, and no there is NO public information, the on land extraction price is sub US$20/barrel. Golly, that is only US$25T at US$50/barrel versus Australia’s last years GDP of US$1.2T.

            I can see ALL of the reasons why we should ignore all this money as it could extend the life of fossil fuels a few hundred years. CO2 + coal + zero emissions. The Greens are going into heart palpitations.

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      • #
        Graeme4

        Thanks for the updated gas map Graeme. If you look at the length of the 1400 km pipeline from the NW to Kalgoorlie and onto Esperance in WA, that pipeline only cost $400m and was completed in 12 months. Admittedly it’s a smaller-diameter pipe, but I don’t understand why joining the west and east gas networks should cost $6bn.

        40

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Not necessary. Just connect the NT system to the East.
          Supposedly on the drawing board but we all know how slow the Public “Service” can be when they want to.
          IMHO the best thing to do would be to isolate Canberra from gas supplies, coal fired electricity and let them rely on “renewables” during the next winter. Might change a few minds.

          130

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            I understand your comment is “tongue-in-cheek” Graeme No.3. However, it seems that at least 10 readers who have given you a green thumb, have taken you literally.

            The Government of the ACT (Canberra) does not make Federal energy policy. That’s a role the Federal Government has. The Members of the Federal Government don’t live in Canberra. Hence chopping Canberra out of the supply of gas is an irrelevance.

            00

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Sam,

              I suspect that all of the green ticks were from people who are tired and unhappy with Canberra as it presently functions.

              Undoubtedly there are many good people in Canberra but from where we stand there’s the appearance of a city that has stopped fulfilling its original function.

              Canberra was originally created as a disinterested location for all states to meet and work for the best interests of the whole commonwealth.

              When politicians come together in that city they are supposed to feel free from the background influence of the location.

              It is hard to believe that the gigantic public service juggernaut that is Canberra, actually provides that neutral environment.

              One small example of how the nation’s public service has failed us: Health.

              This is 2020, the apex of civilisation, but Australia’s national Health system could not devise a solution to the CV19 crisis that our politicians should use?

              Ignoring Dan and his high rise lock in CV19 Incubators, the rest of Australian politicians have not sought or been given a sensible path through this crisis.

              What we have had is Lockdown, a one dimensional approach that has justified all sorts of political grandstanding but Not dealt rationally with the crisis at hand.

              The driving force of this farce has been the constant bombardment with “Data” that is as flawed, manipulated and contrived as Climate Science data. We have been snowed and damaged, but wait, there’s another wave coming.

              The Ninth Wave.

              This wave will finally uncover the truth of the human damage caused by the Political CV19 Solutions.

              KK

              10

          • #
            jelly34

            Just blow up Canberra.

            10

    • #
      John PAK

      My son who is a junior plant operator at My Piper NSW says it is only a matter of time that a major unit failure will leave us with such devasting rolling black-outs that a new coal unit will be fast-tracked. “Green” will become a derogatory term.

      Rumour has it that a submarine reactor is parked on the docks somewhere on Sydney harbour and could be commissioned at relatively short notice.

      North Sydney has huge diesel generators in the basement of RMC 202, (ostensibly a telephone exchange), next to Royal North Shore Hospital. In an emergency much of the city could be run from there but at great cost. I like to think that senior civil servants and the military have covered for serious emergencies.

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      • #
        Chad

        John PAK
        September 16, 2020 at 11:47 am ·

        Rumour has it that a submarine reactor is parked on the docks somewhere on Sydney harbour and could be commissioned at relatively short notice.

        Rumour ..?
        If it were to be anywhere, it would be hidden away deep within a military armory location
        But If there was any possibility of that being true, then i am pretty sure it would bring down both state a Fed Governments. Just too much of a hot potatoe, to be tolerated.
        And anyway , it would not be much use without a great deal of custom hardware to convert its thermal abilities into electricity, and even then its only a few MW !

        20

        • #
          Leo G

          The ADF decades ago had engineering standards detailing the reqirements for the storage of “guest nuclear weapons” at specific defence sites. I was rather surprised some decades ago to see how public was that information- I was at the time the trustee for the microfiche copy of the standards held by my employer- a NSW government authority.
          I consequently regard JP’s rumour as plausible.

          00

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Tony, is this a matter of putting a gas plant on top of a coal seam? That would be taking “Gas to Newcastle” surely?

      30

  • #
    Chad

    The Government should do what Governments are ment to do….
    …introduce and enforce policies that are in the best interest of the population, rather than policies that may win them more votes.
    The correct thing to do would be to create a electricity market that encouraged reliable power production at the lowest price.
    Logically , AGL would be maintaining Liddell to ensure security of supply, whilst progressively uprating the facilities and equipment to make it “State of The Art” , high efficiency low emmission, , low cost generator with another 50 years life span to maximise the resources and labour oportunities in the Hunter regeon.

    200

    • #
      ivan

      Chad, you should know that governments are run by the unelected civil servants in their walled garden complete with payoffs from the ‘right’ people.

      Get rid of that and you might start to see the government doing something for the people that elect them – but that is a loooong way off methinks. Until that happens the people suffer.

      60

    • #
      RickWill

      The current bushfires in the USA will give Biden a lift. I heard a past republican governor of New Jersey, Christine Whitman, voicing approval for Biden. She was scathing on Trumps take on Climate Change and said that issue was overtaking economics as the big issue in US presidential elections. She mentioned that yet another hurricane, Sally, was yet another reminder that Climate Change was all around the USA.

      Whitman was the head of the EPA under George Bush so speaks with that authority.

      The BBC interviewer said Biden was middle of the road on Climate Change and asked Whitman if she thought Biden had the conviction to change things.

      Point of this is that a large proportion of the population believe that Climate Change is happening because weather events provide continual opportunity to make the claim that they were more severe due to Climate Change. They want the government to stop Climate Change and all the nasty weather caused by it. Building more weather dependent generators will eventually change the weather and life will be better.

      Whitman did say that shutting down Californian nuclear power stations was wrong because the smoke haze had reduced the output from solar generators.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172x2ywkwr7tvm

      Trump has the scientific sound approach but telling residents they have lost their house because of their State’s approach to forest management is not as newsworthy as Climate Change for an ill-informed media:
      https://apnews.com/4eeffc201513e288fdba34a5f7fdc5b3

      CLIMATE CHANGE

      Biden in a speech Monday said climate change is worsening, and it’s making wildfires and other natural disasters ever more dangerous.

      “The unrelenting impact of climate change affects every single, solitary one of us,” Biden said.

      Trump, on the other hand, makes no mention of any role played by climate change in the wildfires raging through the West, even as scientists say it’s behind the rising heat and dwindling snow and rain that are making California far drier and fires far worse.

      Seven weeks is a long time in politics and the weather may be more settled by November. The fires should be history and economics may still be the top issue. It appears the bushfires have moved the BLM riots off the front page.

      An interesting observation in the US is that the Democrat held states always seem to suffer the most from ‘Climate Change’. Whitman actually claimed that Climate Change increased the risk of pandemics and people getting sick. So weather dependent generators will fix all things wrong in the world; or so the story goes.

      20

  • #
    Ross

    The way that AGL have hamstrung the Liddell Power station is effectively the same thing that happened to Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria. It was sold off to a French company, who had little interest in coal generated electricity. France gets a bulk of their electricity from nuclear, so had no primary interest. Facility run down, then Andrews Labor government decided to tax coal, so the Frenchies had no other choice than to close it down. So ever since, Victorian government during summer has experienced days of managed outages and controlled blackouts. The government ask the big energy users such as VIVA Energy and Alcoa to wind down during these events. To shut down an oil refinery or a aluminium smelter is expensive. So, no surprise lately, VIVA Energy (refinery in Geelong) have indicated the real possibility of closing down. The company have a huge refinery in Singapore, so all their Australian market could be supplied from there. Wont be long and Alcoa and other heavy industries will also be gone. Its complete madness and all we need is a big heatwave in summer with bushfires affecting major powerlines and we turn into California.

    200

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      #4 and #5.

      This is standing government policy.

      Throw in Queensland’s and Victoria’s efforts to shut down small business/private management, and what does that leave us?

      A centrally planned, Marxist economy. Just like Venezuela.

      140

    • #
      Analitik

      No, Engie ran Hazelwood in good faith, maintaining it as required for long term operation. Closure of the plant was solely due to Red Dan’s lackey, Tim Pallas, hiking up the fuel royalty rate by 200% (ie tripling to fuel cost). Well, not solely if you include the operational handicap imposed by the RET and the undermining of the electricity market through renewable generators being exempt from having to guarantee supply but all thermal plants are affected by those.

      In contrast, AGL has blatantly run Liddell down, doing the minimum to keep it operational, even allowing maximum output to fall as a result, to ensure that it will close at the designated date. The CCGT plant at the Liddell site has always been their long term plan (along with renewables development in the area to ensure demand)

      70

      • #
        Chad

        Analitik
        September 15, 2020 at 11:39 pm ·
        No, Engie ran Hazelwood in good faith, maintaining it as required for long term operation. Closure of the plant was solely due to Red Dan’s lackey, Tim Pallas, hiking up the fuel royalty rate by 200% (ie tripling to fuel cost)…….

        The fuel cost did not triple. , the Royalty rate tripled.

        The royalty rate charged per gigajoule of energy will rise from 7.6 cents to 22.8 per cents under the measure, which will be announced in the state budget on Wednesday.

        Treasurer Tim Pallas said the move would bring Victoria into line with New South Wales and Queensland

        So the increase was 16 cents /GJ of coal.
        Which Engie said would mean an extra $20 million annually…
        …..trivial compared to their full cost of fueling the plant.

        20

        • #
          Analitik

          The cost I was referring was the external cost which is the tax royalty paid. The “full cost” you refer to includes the costs to mine and process the coal which was internal to the plant’s overall electricity production process – ie Engie did not purchase the coal from a provider.

          https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victorias-own-mining-tax-to-triple-as-treasurer-gouges-brown-coal-for-revenue-20160422-gocymk.html

          00

          • #
            Chad

            Analitik
            September 16, 2020 at 9:49 pm · Reply
            The cost I was referring was the external cost which is the tax royalty paid. The “full cost” you refer to includes the costs to mine and process the coal which was internal to the plant’s overall electricity production process – ie Engie did not purchase the coal from a provider

            Yes, obviously they had their own internal coal source..( which is why they were subject toth coal Royalty in the frst place !)
            ..BUT they would hav costed that supply ,…as part of their operating and production costs,…at something close to the industry standard mining cost of $35 /ton.
            Which would translate to an annual “fuel cost “ for Hazellwood’s annual 8-10 million tons… ( depending on utilisation)..of somewhere north of $300 million.
            So that additional $20m of Royalty was not a major factor,…

            00

            • #
              Analitik

              With the harassment of the greentards, the expense of the fire in the pit plus law suits from the resulting smoke and the debasement of the role of base load generators, that $20 million you scoff at was enough to make Engie call it a day.

              Yes, the costs of mining and processing the coal was greater than the royalty but it was factored into the operating cost and was relatively fixed per MWh. The hike in the royalty wa sudden and unexpected.Engie had no near term plans to close Hazelwood as shown by the plants high availability, unlike Liddell.

              00

    • #
      RickWill

      The fact that Hazelwood has gone and the lights have largely stayed on proves the point that it was uneconomic.

      It is uneconomic to have a baseload power station filling the peaks. Baseload generation, by design and definition, requires reasonably steady demand. Remove the steady demand from the station by connecting very unsteady generators to the network kills baseload generators. South Australia can add or remove 650MW in Victoria on a daily basis, a swing of 1300MW, which is a big chunk of Hazelwood’s installed capacity of 1600MW.

      Liddell will be gone soon too – the next coal station to fall from its perch.

      14

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘In essence, the Morrison plan envisions a new gas field developed by Santos near the northern NSW town of Narrabri, with a new pipeline running south to Newcastle to fuel at least one new gas-fired power station and possibly two.’ SMH

    It will also supply backup to Premier Gladys renewable zones, but I wasn’t aware Santos had been given the green light, because of local revolt against fracking.

    20

  • #

    “Labor will ensure that Australia becomes a renewable energy superpower, harnessing our natural advantages in clean energy to become energy independent from the world, while lowering power prices, reaching zero net emissions by 2050,” the document says.

    Look at the image at this link, and this is yesterday 14Sep2020.

    The upper black line is the load curve for the total power consumption across the day in the NEM.

    The straight line across the page is the 18000MW minimum power consumption average for the whole year of power consumption.

    The green colour is the contribution from wind power, and here that is at a Capacity Factor of 26%, almost at the year round average Capacity Factor of 28%, so this is the average contribution from wind power.

    The red colour is the contribution from commercial solar plants.

    The yellow colour is the contribution from rooftop solar power, and keep in mind here that this is just a calculated guess, because it is not metered, so the exact contribution is not (ever) known.

    This is pretty much an average day all round.

    These weather dependent power generation sources are just stumbling along the bottom of power generation, after immense fortunes in money have been sunk into them.

    Other than a small contribution from hydro, and a further small contribution from all versions of gas fired power, very little from that, the remainder, all the way up to that upper black line Load Curve, virtually all that white area is coal fired power.

    Take away coal fired power, and there is nothing ….. literally.

    Tony.

    380

    • #
      Another Ian

      Tony

      Time for “Lemon Laws” for renewables.

      IIRC capacity factor for wind is around 28% and solr around 18%

      If a car was sold as having 100 kw of power and was found to be actually delivering 28 kw or even worse 18 kw I’ll bet that the lemon laws would be invoked right smartly.

      Advertising name plate and not mentioning capacity factor looks similar to me.

      “Lemon Laws for Renewables Yesterday”

      240

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      These weather dependent power generation sources are just stumbling along the bottom of power generation

      That’s fair enough as the current state of play. The logic that variable sources cannot supply grid demand because supply must match demand will continue to apply for as long as there is no practical way to store the energy from the unreliable sources in the massive quantities required. We should not underestimate the impact of new technology. Various plans are afoot to develop ammonia as a form of dense energy storage and transport. Here is a background story about it:

      he shows off one of the devices, about the size of a hockey puck and clad in stainless steel. Two plastic tubes on its backside feed it nitrogen gas and water, and a power cord supplies electricity. Through a third tube on its front, it silently exhales gaseous ammonia, all without the heat, pressure, and carbon emissions normally needed to make the chemical. “This is breathing nitrogen in and breathing ammonia out,” MacFarlane says
      [...] MacFarlane’s fuel cell effectively bottles sunshine and wind, turning them into a commodity that can be shipped anywhere in the world and converted back into electricity or hydrogen gas to power fuel cell vehicles.

      Presumably lifecycle cost of power lines is less than physically transporting energetic materials, at least under some minimum lifetime and transport distance limits. Anhydrous ammonia is also classified as UN hazard 268 “corrosive toxic gas” and rated by the EU as “Very toxic to aquatic organisms”, so the kind of risk this poses during long-distance transport has to be considered. Would ammonia tankers attract as much protest as the coal ships and dredging at Abbot Point did a few years ago? Perhaps they would be given a free pass as being more environmentally friendly than their predecessor exports.
      For all those reasons I’d think therefore on-site or regional buffering of renewables would be a safer and more immediate use of the technology than exporting sunshine to Asia. Still the idea of bottling sunshine artificially instead of drilling for naturally-bottled sunshine is an interesting one.

      Why now? Because of recent efficiency improvements:

      [...] he opted for what’s called an ionic liquid electrolyte. That approach allows more N2 and less water to sit near the catalysts on the cathode, boosting the ammonia production. As a result, the efficiency of the fuel cell skyrocketed from below 15% to 60%, he and his colleagues reported last year in Energy & Environmental Science. The result has since improved to 70%, MacFarlane says—but with a tradeoff. The ionic liquid in his fuel cell is goopy, 10 times more viscous than water. Protons have to slog their way to the cathode, slowing the rate of ammonia production.

      Even at 60% efficiency it is on the same level as a turbine in a CCGT and not much less than the efficiency of water turbines in pumped hydro, but with the advantage of being independent of topography.

      The Engineers Australia association is arranging a talk about it this Thursday which some of you may be entitled to attend if you’re a registered member (and maybe tell us about it afterwards)
      https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/event/2020/09/decarbonizing-australia%E2%80%99s-export-energy-industry-using-green-ammonia-33101

      I’ve heard of no commercial operators going live with this process yet. I just point out that when we make factual statements they are contingent on the reality. The reality can change, sometimes shifting beneath our feet – or in the case of ammonia perhaps under our noses.

      44

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        I wouldn’t hold my breath, but then again, it is ammonia we’re talking about.

        Yeah yeah yeah.

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      • #
        ivan

        Sounds like the normal pie in the sky utterances we get from the battery lobby when they want more money. There hasn’t been one of their utterances that has produces any useful results.

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        Chad

        Even at 60% efficiency it is on the same level as a turbine in a CCGT and not much less than the efficiency of water turbines in pumped hydro,

        Andrew, ..
        That 60% efficiency is only McFarlanes Ammonia generator process from electricity.
        In order to convert the ammonia back (from storage) to electricity again, you have to either run it through a CCGT, or a fuel cell,…either way, another 60% efficiency process.
        So , overall the “round trip” efficiency is less than 50% at best….and the equipment costs are enormous for a GW scale operation as would be needed for RE back up.
        Once you add in the CF of Solar, (<20%), you realise that for every GWh output from this “RE Back up” process, you need 10 GWh of Solar input !!
        IE,.. say you want to supply 1 GW for 12 hours every night, then you will need 120 GWh of solar generation during the day, ..roughly the output from a 24 GW nameplate Solar facility !!
        That is an enormous solar facility (cost, size,etc) dedicated solely for back up or overnight demand..
        But of course they will be excited,…there is big money to be made !

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        Pauly

        Andrew, the fundamental problem for any form of energy storage is that it depends on the production of excess energy. As Tony’s link shows, renewables have difficulty in maintaining energy output, let alone generating an excess that can be stored. The secondary problem for storage solutions is their lack off efficiency, which leads storage providers to find the cheapest source of power. Renewables do not satisfy that criteria either.

        The end result is that storage solutions rely on the continuity of reliable fossil fuel based power sources. Since those sources have been successfully delivering dispatchable energy to meet network demand for decades, why introduce an expensive, inefficient and unnecessary additional process to the mix? Our fossil fuel based grid does not require any form of storage to function.

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      • #
        TedM

        60% of 28% doesn’t impress me all that much.

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    • #
      Just Thinkin'

      Tony,
      As I’ve been saying for yonks, shut down ALL coal fired power stations for 24 hours,
      at the same time, to give people a taste of what to expect
      from “ruinables”.

      As Mr Trump says, ” You can’t just tell the people,
      you have to SHOW the people.”

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    • #
      William

      “renewable energy superpower” What a contradiction in terms.

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    • #
      RickWill

      These weather dependent power generation sources are just stumbling along the bottom of power generation, after immense fortunes in money have been sunk into them.

      The problem is that the peaks of weather dependent generators is disruptive to coal generators and eventually make the highest marginal cost coal generator uneconomic.

      The coal generator has to focus on how they make money. Queensland has regular negative price excursions that the coal generators need to tolerate and then look for cost recovery during evening peaks. Once any coal generator needs to have a price higher than a gas generator during the evening peak to make money then they are uneconomic. Liddell will be approaching that and will be past that once the EnergyConnect project is completed in 2024/25.

      To understand the picture you need to look at the economics of the highest marginal cost coal generator.

      21

    • #
      Mal

      Terry mccrann, economics commentator wrote in the daily telegraph today
      It’s coal, gas and nuclear with a small amount of hydro

      Once a few more coal close down, we will have blackouts or brownouts with near zero impacts on local let alone global climate
      In 3 years it will be too little too late.

      40

  • #
    King Geo

    The ALP since Krudd 2007 have inexorably promoted RE’s and want to rid Oz of “fossil fuel energy generation” ASAP. The IPCC’s “Theory of AGW” cannot be questioned – it is the gospel. Sounds fine in theory if you believe in AGW but that theory is about to crash & burn. You see the IPCC dismissed “Solar effects” as minimal – to be totally overwhelmed by rising CO2 (a trace gas) in the atmosphere – well good luck with that. The only problem with the “AGW Theory” is that there is an elephant in the room (GSM – Eddy Minimum). It seems it is imminent. When you get 29 consecutive months of very low sunspot readings during the SC24/SC25 trough, ie less than 9 per month, and no sign of that increasing any time soon, then history shows that Earth is on the verge of a prolonged “Grand Solar Minimum (GSM)”, ie like the Maunder GSM (~1645 – 1715). That means a prolonged “Mini Ice Age” – ouch for those peddling AGW. Many scientists have warned that this would happen but Govts (mainly Western Govts) have ignored this evidence and instead have spent US$trillions acting on dire “AGW” warnings – Earth is doomed unless we “de-carbonize!!!”. Of course this is laughable – how can a trace making up 4 gas particles per 10,000 in the atmosphere achieve that? Well the dominant GHG water vapour maybe could achieve that but not CO2. The reality is that AGW is nonsense & Solar / Lunar Cycles are real – this reality to become very clear in the 2020′s and beyond.

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    robert rosicka

    Labor would like you to believe they’ve dropped their idiotic energy policies but that would cost them the support of the Greens , no Green preferences = no Labor election win .

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    Zigmaster

    I think the assumption that Ex CEO Andrew Vesey was motivated by maximising shareholder wealth was the driving force behind his corporate strategy at AGL is incorrect. Increased profitability was an accidental perk. He is a genuine and active zealot. So it should come as no surprise at where he is now employed. He has moved on to greener pastures heading up PG & E the dominant energy provider in California. That is sure to work out really well for Californians as well. I suspect if he tries really hard he’ll be able to help California to make energy rationing and high cost , a feature of their energy structure. He is doing his bit to show Americans how their electricity supply will be managed if Biden wins the election and the green new deal

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    • #
      Analitik

      And I think the assumption that Ex CEO Andrew Vesey was actually directly influenced by the greentard staffers is incorrect.

      Vesey used them both to justify decisions like investment in wind and solar farms and scheduling Liddell’s closure, and also to find the best way to game the changes to the electricity market in order to keep AGL profitable in the face of the RET and sem-scheduled priority market access. Win, win in his resume.

      California is a more restricted market in proportion to Australia (think of it more like South Australia on a much larger scale) so the same tactics will lead to faster ruin.

      10

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Thank you Jo.

    An outstanding overview of the current Electricity disgrace.

    Both libl and laba pollys have their fingers in the electricity pie and it continues with complete disregard for the voters and taxpayers.

    If our President had our interests at heart he would have threatened to build a Chinese designed HELE coal plant but the attention to gas has overtones of the earlier gas sort by MalEx444.

    Is there anyone we can trust?

    KK

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    Graeme4

    And yet we now have a new Article in The Australian by John Durie, “The Future is Renewables”, saying the Govt is just bluffing. Sigh…

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  • #
    John Watt

    Back when Oz had the world’s cheapest electricity and we could support some worthwhile manufacturing gas was used for quick start-up peak load supply. Not sure how Scomo sees it as a cost-effective substitute for base load coal. I used to think our current energy dilemma was a consequence of electricity industry privatization and an unhealthy fascination with “renewables”. Now perhaps we have a third dilemma driver…gutless politicians.Just get over the Greta syndrome and promote a technology that delivers…. like the lump of coal carried into the House of Reps.

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    YallaYPoora Kid

    I have been writing to my Federal representative, Alan Tudge, re power / energy price rises. He responded saying that the Coalition will take action.
    I responded saying tinkering around the edges is no good, in order to retain what industry we still have in Australia major investment in despatchable power is necessary.
    Some of the YouTube videos from Malcolm Roberts on energy policy have been very good.

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    Just Thinkin'

    VERY hard to believe there are STILL people in Australia
    that believes ANYTHING the ALP say.

    UNBELIEVABLE….

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  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    Who’s afraid of the big, bad coal now?

    2017: Scott Morrison brought a chunk of coal into parliament, taunting LaboUr about its energy prices, saying “This is coal. Don’t be afraid.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2017/feb/09/scott-morrison-brings-a-chunk-of-coal-into-parliament-video

    Seems Scotty from marketing is just as scared as LaboUr.

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    • #
      PeterS

      Like pretty much all politicians Morrison has been caught out as an appeaser at best if not an outright fake or worse still one that speaks with a forked tongue. Then again he is only following what he thinks is the mood of the public to maximise his chances of his party winning the next election. It would be nice if more of the public reacted accordingly and supported parties that don’t support the emissions reduction agenda and support instead coal and/or nuclear to scare the pants off the two major parties once and for all. Such a circuit breaker is the only way we will ever get off the CAGW/emissions reduction treadmill, at least in a democratic way. We could of course get off the tredmill if we crash and burn and ask China to take over. I certainly don’t relish that path.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Good summary.
        Common sense says to use coal in the new proposed plant but there may be a “benefit” from gas in that it will give an excuse for rushing through approvals for gas tapping.

        Read “benefit” however you want.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Travis:

      Scott Morrison had to choose a gas fired plant because the Liberals have dithered and dithered until a decision on the necessary replacement was forced onto them, by the thought of major blackouts in eastern Australia around the time of the next election.
      They will only have 2 years to get something built as a replacement for Liddell, and a CCGT plant could be built in that time, unlike a coal fired one. Even then they will have to remain resolute in the face of the Greens hysterical campaign.

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      • #
        PeterS

        That’s a fair assessment of Morrison’s pragmatism. I don’t have a good enough understanding of our gas reserves and how much we can find to last us for how ever long it takes to move to the next generation of power generation that would be acceptable to the majority, whatever that might be. If there is enough gas to last for say many decades then fine, let’s switch from coal to gas en mass. But as you say if the Greens still remain hysterical then Morrison will have to come down hard on them once and for all, or loose all credibility and should resign to allow someone else to step up to the plate and call the Greens for what they really are; economic terrorists who want to tear down the West.

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        • #
          Chad

          PeterS
          September 16, 2020 at 9:00 am · Reply
          I don’t have a good enough understanding of our gas reserves and how much we can find to last us for how ever long it takes to move to the next generation of power generation that would be acceptable to the majority, whatever that might be. If there is enough gas to last for say many decades then fine

          My impression is that our gas reserves are what is keeping the whole Australian land mass floating on the Oceans ! Without that gas , Canberra would be part of the GB Reef !
          But in numbers, the proven gas resource is in excess of 260,000 PJ. (4 billion Cu mtrs ?)
          ..and since we currently consume approx 1500 PJ annually , we should be OK for a while ..
          ,…….at least until new reserves are discovered .
          https://aera.ga.gov.au/

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      • #
        Travis T. Jones

        Scomo wants to build a gas plant on top of ‘a grade’ coal supplies and supply the gas from outside the area.

        It’s like Twistcow’s Snowy 2.0 brainsnap, but on steroids.

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    Travis T. Jones

    Perhaps if Locky got into Scomo’s ear …

    PNG leaders are furious an Aussie-based mining company has sent Darren Lockyer to “brainwash” the league-obsessed nation into supporting a coal mine and coal-powered power plant …

    “Many of the locals that receive me do it with open arms, as Mayur and I genuinely are there to create better lives for the people in PNG and bring our first world development standards with us in doing this.”

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/business/companies/nrl-legend-darren-lockyer-caught-up-in-png-tribal-land-war/news-story/a8644b4bc75eb83ea39d285f064830c2

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    2dogs

    You have to hand it to AGL for developing an investment position where stupidity in energy policy would turn a profit for them. Because, boy, has it been stupid.

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  • #
    Greg Cavanagh

    I may have misheard this morning’s news, but I’m sure they said the local council was installing solar panels around the cricket grounds so they could play cricket at night for as long as they wanted. Seriously.

    I looked for a printed news article but I can’t find one, so maybe just maybe the radio station was confused. I can only hope.

    40

    • #
      David Maddison

      Local councils are another big concern with intermittent parasitic energy wasters like solar panels. They put them all over their own buildings plus give taxpayer-funded “grants” to “community organisations” to do so.

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    • #
      Annie

      Perhaps they should consider the Spanish solution….floodlights at night shining onto the solar panels to produce electricity to operate the floodlights! ;)

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      • #
        Annie

        What’s the loss factor I wonder?

        10

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        I favour the later Spanish solution, a grid disruption tax. Either supply a reasonably level generation or get charged lots of money for your deficiency. A lot of renewables shut down. Strangely a new one was built in Galicia (NW where its hilly and rains a lot). 2 small windfarms and 3 small hydro systems. (They may have had pumped storage capabilities but I doubt they were necessary. I have been to Galicia.)

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        • #
          Analitik

          Ie, remove the “semi-scheduled” designation from the renewable generators so the have to guarantee supply for their bids LIKE ALL THE OTHER ELECTRICITY GENERATORS

          00

  • #
    Robber

    An interesting drop in wholesale electricity prices extracted from AEMO data:
    Sep 2020 Vic $31; SA $12; Qld $31/MWhr;
    Sep 2019 Vic $104; SA $73; Qld $59

    Aug 2020 Vic $54; SA $46;Qld $30;
    Aug 2019 Vic $105; SA $79; Qld $62

    Jul 2020 Vic $64; SA $59; Qld $38
    Jul 2019 Vic $86; SA $74; Qld $66

    Similar story for Q2.
    Q2 2020 Vic $40; Q2 2019 Vic $87/MWhr
    Q2 SA $103; $34
    Q2 Qld $90; $40
    Is it due to the increased wind and solar availability, or reduced demand, or lower gas prices, or some change in the bidding process? (Whoever bids the last increment to meet demand sets the price that all generators receive for that 5/30 minute period)

    Last year Vic gas prices $8, this year $5, and gas generators generally set the price.

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day Robber,
      My guess is reduced demand from COVID-induced industrial and commercial reductions.
      Cheers
      Dave B

      10

      • #
        Robber

        Thanks David. Very little change in demand in Vic:
        Q22019 11,544 GWh, Q2 2020 11,537 GWh
        Jul/Aug 2019 8517 GWh, Jul/Aug 2020 8,417 GWh
        Agree with Rick that lower gas prices are having an impact, along with the lunchtime surplus due solar.
        Prices too low will lead some to get out of the market.
        But large scale certificate prices are still giving “renewables” an added $40-50/MWhr above the wholesale price, so double the income of everyone else.

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    • #
      RickWill

      Wholesale prices are definitely coming down. There are two factors; increased penetration of rooftop solar and gas price.

      Wholesale price is not the complete picture though because market directions are recovered outside the wholesale price. Market directions in SA are increasing quite substantially. They amounted $8M/day during February when the Heywood interconnector was out of action. With the interconnector back up the number of directions has reduced since February but it has a rising trend. However the cost of directions is less because the gas price has come down.

      The cost of transmission is going up because there is more hardware being added. Those costs have to be recovered from consumers.

      I have seen retail price reductions are occurring in SA and that will be primarily due to higher level of rooftop solar and lower gas price.

      The reductions in wholesale price does not show the complete picture. If there is a reduction in retail price then that is real.

      One of the issues with lower wholesale prices is it makes the present highest marginal cost coal generator less viable and more likely to fall over.

      I know some SA retailers have offered price reductions. I don’t think any in Victoria have. I do not know about other States. Spring is always the best case for low wholesale price.

      This year, late spring could be a real test for grid stability in SA as Sunday lunch demand heads to zero.

      All states, apart from Tasmania, have had or will have negative wholesale price excursions today. There is a current AEMO direction to SA gas generators for 1000 to 1530 today to provide system stability. Also some wind output is being curtailed.

      10

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    The Green Grifter, aka Simon Holmes à Court, also wrote about it in 2018 …

    Why Liddell is likely to close in 2022, and why you shouldn’t care

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/09/why-liddell-is-likely-to-close-in-2022-and-why-you-shouldnt-care

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Remember when John Howard signed away most of Australia’s gas supply to the Chinese on a 30 year contract at an unbelievably low price that not even the Chinese could believe and, in addition forgot to include in the contract a provision for inflation or changing market prices?

    World’s cheapest gas – for the Chinese!

    Even though in proper countries like the US, it’s cheaper to use gas instead of coal since Trump allowed fracking is that going to be the case in Australia? Our cheap gas is given away to the Chi-comms, and we mostly don’t allow fracking or in large parts of Australia, not even oil or gas exploration such as much of Victoriastan.

    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/how-australia-blew-its-future-gas-supplies-20170928-gyqg0f.html

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  • #
    Drapetomania

    But as Tony Cox points out, he has surrounded himself with Gore-trainees and Get-Up and ALP staffers.

    Yes..I have met some hard core Gore Trainees at their home…
    I walked past their old diesel 4wd drive and noticed they were connected to the grid..
    None of which stopped the main religious nutjob who had attended Gore training in person.. from lecturing me why renewables are the way to go..
    When I queried their energy sources he just looked sheepish.
    Zero self awareness..major hypocrisy..
    Same as all of them.
    Idiocracy the film is real now :)

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  • #
    Penguinite

    Let’s not get deluded! Labor has not dropped their dumb negative carbon targets they’re still there just camouflaged! I’m more worried about The liberals with their hidden agenda on climate change!

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    • #
      PeterS

      Good point. Yet another reason for enough people to stop giving their preferences first to either major party and allow another party with the right sort of energy policies to have some say on the matter by holding the balance of power. If done properly we could turn things around at the next state and federal elections. Will the public in general bother to do that? I doubt it. Too many are still asleep. A big kick on the behind should do the trick but unfortunately that will involve a lot more time and pain.

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      • #
        el gordo

        ‘Too many are still asleep.’

        As you are wearing a wide-awake hat, who exactly do we vote for? Don’t say anyone but the majors.

        14

        • #
          PeterS

          It appears you don’t understand how our democratic process works. Fine, just keep voting for one of the two major parties and expect a different result. That’s one definition of insanity.

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          • #
            el gordo

            ‘It appears you don’t understand how our democratic process works.’

            Yes I do sir … we have the Westminster system, inherited from mother England.

            ‘That’s one definition of insanity.’

            We are struck with the two party system and green rump, the people vote for the party which offers them a bright future. They are not asleep, hedonism is the greatest good.

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            • #
              PeterS

              You are missing the point entirely. Yes we are stuck with a two-party system but if neither gains majority rule on their own right then oen or more of the other parties can have a major influence on the final outcome and policies. Don’t you recall what happened to Gillard when she ended up PM only because of the independents? We need a similar situation whereby those holding the balance of power are on our side. That can easily happen only if enough voters wake up.

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        • #
          Chad

          September 16, 2020 at 10:10 am ·
          As you are wearing a wide-awake hat, who exactly do we vote for?

          What do you define as a “Major” ?
          I never thought i would say this, but i am leaning seriously to One Nation !
          ..mainly because Latham seems to be the only public politician who can think straight !
          ( yes , i know he is only a state Poly, but i suspect he will have a strong influence in the ON Fed plicies.

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    • #
      Analitik

      they’re still there just camouflaged

      But the fact that they have been forced to hide the targets is winning as it shows the popularity of the concept with the general public is waning as the costs are becoming apparent, despite the ABC and SBS parroting the Climate Council and other bodies claims for cheap/free energy from renewables.

      The ALP is trying to have a bet each way by hoping that renewables actually become viable sources of power before 2050 so they can reinstate their hard targets without backlash from the public that can do basic math. Meanwhile, they will cop abuse from the (hopefully diminishing) mathematical illiterates who still fear trace chemicals in our atmosphere.

      20

      • #

        Good analysis. My thought though is that the very unreliable intermittent nature of renewables, and the high cost of batteries, which will not change unless there is a massive change in energy technology (think unlikely) mean that the whole sad target situation will go away.

        This is what you get when you have engineering illiterates proliferating. Years ago when at uni I was aghast that at Uni of NSW (I went to Sydney) they forced science and engineering types to attend arts courses to ensure that the students were “balanced”. I asked whether arts types had to attend engineering or science courses, and was told no. Shows the complete idiocy present even then that people don’t need to have any idea of how things actually work mechanically or about science.

        Leftists are very bad scientists, as they have a theory and search for evidence which confirms it, or create evidence to confirm it in many cases. Conservatives tend to be more accepting if the actuality is different from what they hypothesised.

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    Dennis

    I have noticed that when discussion takes place on media outlets it is readily accepted that coal fired power stations have a working life of fifty (50) years, which is of course an accounting factor for initial investment purposes, cost-benefit analysis.

    Is it not true that properly maintained coal fired power stations could be profitably operated for eighty (80) years or more?

    So why allow AGL to close Liddell Power Station after fifty years of operation and go to the expense of a new gas fired power station.

    Furthermore, why does the Federal Government refer to a need for replacement if 1,000 MW of generator capacity, Liddell has 4 x 500 MW generators?

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    • #
      Analitik

      AGL has blatantly run Liddell down, doing the minimum to keep it operational, even allowing maximum output to fall as a result, to ensure that it will close at the designated date. The CCGT plant at the Liddell site has always been their long term plan (along with renewables development in the area to ensure demand)

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    • #
      Analitik

      As for the capacity of the CCGT being half that of Liddell nameplate, renewables being deployed are expected to provide the difference. In reality, AGL fully expect to build additional CCGT capacity at the Liddell site as demand requires (since all the transmission infrastructure is already there)

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    • #

      Dennis,

      In early 2008, when I started out on all of this, I found a website that showed existing coal fired plants in the U.S.

      There was a table indicating the number of plants in their age grouping.

      At that time, the average age for every coal fired plant in the U.S. was a tick over 49 years. (between 49 and 49.5 years) so even though they had a projected life span of 50 years, then if the average was close to 80, there would need to be a lot of them actually older than 50 years. A large number of those plant older than 50 years had Nameplates less than 50MW, and in fact most less than 20MW. Small plants were constructed in the early days to provide power for the localised area around the plant.

      It was not until the late 60s to the early 80s that large scale plants with 500MW units, and four Units per plant (hence Nameplates of 2000MW+) started to come into vogue.

      In the last eight to ten years a lot of those older plants have been replaced by gas fired plants, and as coal fired power decreases its Nameplate, gas fired power has increased by (around) the same Nameplate.

      Incidentally, to show how some websites are updated or not really updated, or even fall out of favour, or lose viewers, that original table still exists. It has been transferred to its new site, one that has old to ancient data, and so this information would also be very seldom viewed.

      This is the link to that table, and as you can see, the median age at that time was 1966, and that was as at January 2010, (see note 15 as per the bracketed figure) so even then, some of those older plants were shutting down, and those closures were happening at a great rate by 2010. So at that 2010 date, then 50 years back was 1960, and as you can see from the table, almost 600 Units were older than 50 years with the oldest in operation at that time, ten units between 80 and 90 years old. All those Units older than 50 years at that time, add up to a Nameplate of 73,000MW.

      Tony.

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  • #

    Reading more about Scomos claim that a “quick start” gas plant is needed we need to be VERY CAREFUL here.

    If the plant is a combined cycle with lovely high efficiency at around 65% then it will not be a quick start plant. It will need to be always on and generating, but if left on all the time it will then have a reasonable ability to ramp up and provide more power. This is what I hope is planned.

    If its one of the nasty turbine only plants then this will be inefficient and entrench high power prices. This is the type that is often chosen as the capital cost is quite a bit lower as the boiler is not included. Efficient is poor at 35%, and thus the power price is high. They are able to start up quickly but this is NOT what we should be looking at.

    If any can shed any light here then it would be appreciated.

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    • #
      Analitik

      CCGT plants can also be run in mostly open mode where the steam plant only operates at a “baseload” capacity while the gas turbine can be ramped up from and down to this level. Ireland’s CCGT fleet has been forced to operate largely this way

      It does make the plant woefully inefficient, of course.

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    • #
      Analitik

      And that is woefully inefficient both in fuel use and capital allocation.

      30

  • #
    Jim in Newcastle

    So the feds go ahead and build a new power station. How long will it be before they give it away, lease it or sell it to the reluctant private sector to make a profit on it.

    30

  • #
    Patrick healy

    Great article and comments as usual Joanne.
    If you think you Aussies have the most insane government and energy policy, think again.
    Over here in “the mother country” or biggest power plant is /was at a place called Brax in Yorkshire.
    It was happily producing grow up power to over 5 million customers for many years.
    It was built virtually on top of a 600 years coal seam.
    Then the greenturds came along and converted it to a wood burning stove.
    The timber is sourced in the Southern United States over 3000 miles away,logged and turned into wood pellets,shipped across the Atlantic, landed somewhere like Immingham and trained to the plant.
    Naturally all this Tory Labour Liberal Green s..t is making the Yorkshire weather more like Bondi
    and us suckers are paying for it.
    But hey! It’s all for a good cause to cut down on that evil pollutant CO2 – which of course we are now all breathing in in vast quantities with our dog muzzled (sorry masked) population.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Patrick:

      Special ships, trains for moving it and special storage for the wood pellets. On top of that burning them gives more CO2 emissions per MWh, estimated by Drax at 32-33% increase overall.
      Only 4 units were converted and Drax would like to convert the remaining 2 to gas which would result in lower emissions. The Greens are fighting that.

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  • #

    Brax!

    I hear their jeans are good.

    Tony.

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  • #
    Betty Luks

    FREE ENTERPRISE versus NEO-LIBERALISM

    When Australia finally comes out of the ‘Covid/Climate/Crisis’ it will be of great interest to see how many small-to-medium businesses/enterprises survive the collapse and resulting chaos.

    Jo, we all should take note because when it comes to economics it is upon the remnants of what is left that any future business/enterprise will have to try to rebuild.

    Will only the powerful companies/corporations (such as AGL) be kept functioning while the little/medium man/woman will simply be allowed to ‘fold up’ and walk off into the sunset?

    There are some important social principles that were discussed in the 1930’s. Here are some of the notes the Catholic Church set down for a discussion. (I did say it was the Church in 1936)

    “(The Church believes) Liberty is not only one of the most important privileges of man, but an inalienable right, and is desirous of having that right not only respected, but also promoted.

    On the other hand, she sees that when different men freely associate themselves for a common purpose, (such as a business enterprise) they are unable to unite their efforts in harmonious cooperation without the help of a superior principle by which those efforts will be organized and unified, that is to say, without an authority.

    The Church, therefore, speaks out for liberty and authority at the same time. She does not demand the sacrifice of either, but tries to conciliate and to bring them in harmonious accord with each other, by basing herself on the principle of the suppletive function of the State, a fundamental principally of social philosophy, unshaken and unchangeable.

    This means that in the first place, the greatest liberty possible, legitimate liberty, of course, must be left to private enterprises, individual or associated, and that State intervention must be resorted to only when such enterprises prove themselves unable to attain their particular ends, (or) BECOME DETRIMENTAL TO THE GENERAL INTERESTS OF ALL, or WHEN THE DIRECT PROMOTION OF THE COMMON WELFARE IS CONCERNED…” (emphasis added….)

    The important question is “What are we going to do about it?”

    Is political wisdom at such a low ebb that we will continue to allow these people to ruin and rule us?

    40

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      The average voter has little “overview” of the political system that would help them vote themselves out of the present disgusting arrangement.

      It takes a lot of thought and effort to make sense of the complex interaction of money/votes/cash/power/dollars and fame.

      It’s a mess.

      10

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘The government wants the private sector to step up to the plate and throw its money at “nation-building” gas projects. There’s a glaring problem here: the private sector, for the most part, can’t get away from gas fast enough. Our gas industry took $25 billion in asset write-offs in the first six months of this year alone.’

    Brisbane Times

    21

  • #
    Another Ian

    Another global wrming cheer squad!!!

    “Facebook now self-appointed experts in determining which scientists are legitimate and which aren’t ”

    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/09/facebook-now-self-appointed-experts-in-determining-which-scientists-are-legitimate-and-which-arent-.html

    30

  • #
    Dave

    Amazing how the mega rich want the best for Planet Earth!

    They want renewables like Elon Musk & Mike Cannon-Brooks

    Here Mike wants to build an alternative 1,000 MW power station not using GAS or Coal!

    Why do they always do the media thing 1st?

    Because they are after publicity and backers plus subsidies!

    Neither of them has built anything to save the PLANET!

    ONLY to make money and piggy back on the GREEN DREAM!

    If only they would just build this stuff with their own BILLIONS
    Instead of crying “I’m going to save the Planet”

    And become more MEGA RICH!

    50

    • #
      ivan

      Dave, I don’t think any of the green idiots know what despatchable power means – ‘renewables’ can never supply that since it is required 24/7/365 and batteries do not generate any power, they store some of it and only regurgitate a part of it back – not a very efficient process.

      30

      • #
        PeterS

        Also battery backups would make the total cost too expensive if enough are used to make renewables compete with coal/gas/nuclear for sustainability, reliability and availability. In fact, the government should mandate that any new wind or solar grid power source must provide that sort of sustainability, reliability and availability. That would pretty much rule out any new renewables project for a very long time if not forever.

        10

  • #
    Another Ian

    An adaptable term IMO

    “in the land of Unstable Democrat Electricity…”

    From Chiefio

    30

  • #
    greggg

    Maybe some good will come from covid. If Labor gets booted out of Victoria and Queensland because of how they’ve handled covid, maybe the federal government can get some changes through COAG that will allow gas to be given the same priority access as renewables. Retailers should be able to buy electricity from CCGT in preference to renewables if they wish, seeing as emissions from renewables with backup are no better than emissions from gas alone.

    00

    • #
      Serp

      It’s manifestly either stupid or corrupt and likely both to construct a gas fired power plant on a coal mine; if the government had shown some resolution five years ago and stared down the green loonies the work would probably be complete –sadly the Beloved Windbag had plotted his way to the throne at that time and the whole climate and renewables scam was massively boosted to favour his personal and political connections.

      10

  • #
    Edwina

    I think it’s time to do away with the old term “climate denier.” from what I have heard younger people under 30 years of age are ignorant of the Nazi holocaust which murdered 6 million Jews, etc.. Or think it’s a myth or exaggerated.

    10

    • #

      what a blanket absolutist statement. I know lots of U30′s who are well aware of this aspect of history. What evidence do you have that – using more reasonable language so you have some chance of answering – they are more unaware of this than other age groups?

      00

    • #
      Chad

      Edwina
      September 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm ·
      I think it’s time to do away with the old term “climate denier.” ……

      ………..
      from what I have heard younger people under 30 years of age are ignorant of the Nazi holocaust which murdered 6 million Jews, etc.. Or think it’s a myth or exaggerated.

      Edwina
      What is the connection between those two statements ?

      10

      • #
        Peter C

        It is the derogatory term; “Denier”. There is supposed to be a sort of Lewendowski transfer where people believe things which contradict evidence.

        But young people supposedly have not heard of the holocaust so they won’t understand the implied connection.

        10

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