Electricity “Bill Shock” in Australia is so bad it will push up inflation figures

Who knew it would cost a lot to change the climate?

It’s crisis time in Australia. Electricity bills have doubled, and the fallout is just starting to feed through to consumers. Not only does electricity cost more, but so will nearly everything else. Large businesses, economists, and miners are warning that Australians will be paying so much more it will push our inflation figures up.

Major packaging and brick makers, supermarkets, soft-drink bottlers and poultry producers said yesterday the bill shock would chip away further at profit margins and could push up consumer ­prices…

Economists, including Nat­ional Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster, warned the power bill shock was expected to show up in national inflation figures as early as next month.

He predicted headline inflation would increase 0.6 per cent for the July-to-September quarter, purely from energy price rises.

Paul McArdle from WattClarity makes the point that for most of the last 16 years our electricity prices didn’t even rise with inflation. In this graph, since the start of the NEM (National Electricity Market) in 1998 the spot price of electricity was about $30 per MWh, barring major drought, carbon tax and the last two years. Currently, prices are $100/MWh.

Electricity cost, Australia, NEM, average spot prices graph, 1998 - 2017

Graph: Paul McArdle, WattClarity (with editing of the labels by JoNova)   |    Click to Enlarge this!

Why have things “gone seismic” in the last two years? It looks like we’ve reached the tipping point — the tolerance limits of the system. Renewable penetration has been increasing since 2006 or so. The RET (Renewable Energy Target) started in 2001, but has been rising ever since. In the last two years we’ve had the closure of Hazelwood and Port Augusta coal, broken interconnectors in South Australia and Tasmania, had major blackouts, got stung by rising gas prices and the sudden awareness of ‘uncertainty’. The system has lost its buffer — previously if gas prices rose, we had cheap coal to rely on. But with so much intermittent wind and solar power and with the closing of coal power plants we are now unable to escape high gas prices (and that demand is feeding the gas price rise too). It’s positive feedback of the ugly spiral kind. Coal can’t ramp up and down with the coming and going of wind power, only gas or hydro can.

The record electricity prices aren’t just about the percentage of renewables, but the correlation is inescapable. There are no nations with high wind and solar penetration and cheap electricity. Australia is also one of the few advanced nations with no nuclear power generators. The EU interconnected nations get access to a mix which is about 25% nuclear.

The NEM was designed at a time when supply of electricity was reliable, but demand varied. Now both supply and demand are volatile, and traders have more opportunity to game the system.

How much should we pay to slow storms in 2100?

The only point of wind and solar is to change the climate. In Australia, where we are the worlds second largest exporter of coal, so it’s not about “energy independence”. It’s not about pollution either. Our coal generators meet strict standards. It’s not about us being “world leaders” in exporting solar panels or wind turbines, we are buying these from China. The sole reason we destroyed our cheap power base is because we hope the weather will be nicer next century. We are doing this for our unborn great grandchildren, the same people who will be laughing at our primitive climate-alchemy, our bizarre superstition and delusional fixation that we can hold back the tide, stop floods and droughts and windy days.

It’s like a hidden carbon tax on every item that needs to be heated, cooled or moved in Australia.

BlueScope Steel chief executive Paul O’Malley warned the nation was facing an “energy catastrophe”. “If it hits the point where people can’t make money then the industry will start to shut down,” he said.

 The government made cheap energy uneconomic with weather changing schemes. The solution is not for the government to buy up the (oxymoronic) uneconomic-cheap-generators, but to axe the RET, the CET, and any and all Clean Energy targets, tarrifs, and committees. It’s a red-tape market disaster. We need a free market.

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59 comments to Electricity “Bill Shock” in Australia is so bad it will push up inflation figures

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    How long do Australian citizens think it will take to stop tariffs, tax breaks, subsidies, etc. and get Australia back on reliable and cheap gas and coal power generation?


    • #

      Question is how long until Australians get real humans in parliament?


    • #

      I’ve read time and time again in the MSM that renewable energy is now as efficient, effective and as cheap as conventional electricity production. AGL recently lambasted the government, for suggesting that coal fired power stations should remain in operation for many more years, as renewable energy is the future.

      Please, tell me this isn’t true! Is it all just a great, big, lie?


      • #

        I wonder how many green electricity customers will choose to go to AGL through their no coal power, just wind and solar, awesome? (But when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine, where is AGL going to get their power from to provide to their customers? How many AGL customers will then pull up stumps and find someone else because renewable AGL energy is so damn expensive AGL = Australians, Get Lost, Get Looted…


        • #

          Umm, AGL getting out of coal? What, and go broke.

          AGL Coal fired power – Bayswater Liddell, Loy Yang A – Total Nameplate – 6850MW

          AGL Gas – Nameplate – 1280MW

          AGL Hydro – Nameplate – 700MW

          AGL Wind – 480MW with a further 650MW in development.

          AGL Solar – 155MW

          Go on AGL, get out of coal, I dare you. I’ll bet that the shareholders might have something to say about that.



          • #
            Robert Rosicka

            AGL stock in free fall soon , shareholders well if you didn’t see the signs I’m guessing you won’t mis the money .


          • #

            AGL has Turnbull (and both major parties) by the…erm…naughty areas and I’m enjoying the spectacle of watching this play out over the next few years. No one in the Federal or NSW governments can afford to have Liddell close. The taxpayer money on offer to AGL simply rises exponentially as the 2022 deadline approaches. Just have to get over that first hurdle where Turnbull and Baird wake to the realisation that the cold, slightly tight feeling they are experiencing in their netherland regions is the manipulative jaws of the AGL vise getting into position.


            • #
              michael hart

              Please tell more about Liddell. Some of us readers are Pommie B’stards, and know little about Australian politicians.


            • #

              TonyfromOz has a better handle on it than I do, but Australia is running pretty close to its limits with traditional electricity generators. When solar and wind go offline, there is very little reserve on just a normal day. Blackouts appear imminent this summer on high demand days and it’s just going to get worse as the population grows. So far Turnbull has managed to escape any angst, but wait until Sydney and Melbourne get blackouts. The excrement will hit the fan. Pulling another 6850MW out of the mix I’m guessing will be catastrophic. Trying to replace the shortfall in 5 years with renewables will involve building something like 15000 (@30% capacity) wind turbines occupying close to 900,000 acres of land or 50 solar thermal plants (@100% capacity 24/7) if my math is correct. At the speed of environmental impact studies (which is probably why AGL will not make the land available so that a study for a new site is required from scratch) and political decision making, and throw in an election or three, a new coal fired power station is probably 15 years away at a minimum. AGL has the politicians trapped. They just don’t know it yet.


          • #

            It was only a matter of time. Australia is about to awaken to a new energy policy where all energy providers receive government subsidies. How ridiculous is this?


          • #

            so they can say they are getting out of coal – but getting into more gas? They say nothing about getting out of gas…


        • #
          Horace Jason Oxboggle

          Has anyone seen any statistics on the performance of wind turbines and/or solar panels in the past two weeks in Texas and/or Florida?


      • #
        • #
          James Murphy

          Sadly, I am not shocked, but I am certainly disgusted to read that a power provider pays someone to work in the position of “senior manager public advocacy”.

          I guess I will add that to the list of profit-sucking non-jobs people seem to think are necessary now.


    • #

      There is only a small proportion of the population making any connection between the uptake of wind and solar generation and increasing prices. It appears the majority support the closure of coal fired power stations and increasing wind and solar generation. There is a significant portion who view the train wreck began when generating assets were sold. They are completely ignorant of the state monopolisation of generating assets and restriction on private generation.

      There is wide held belief that wind and solar are cheaper than coal generated power. To some, Jay Wetherill, is a climate hero. They see that he has achieved an electricity supply cost of $78/MWh for all government offices. Many view the linked chart as being an accurate representation of the total cost of wind or solar energy:
      On that basis, why wouldn’t governments be clearing the path to get this low cost power widely available and just shut down high cost coal generation.

      Right now the major blame is being levelled at the gas suppliers and lack of government control on exporting this essential commodity. The libs are getting the brunt of the blame due to the view that Turnbull is pandering to the right wing elements of the coalition. The ALP has control in the states and are viewed as having the right electricity policy but are hindered by the libs in federal government. The Finkel report is viewed as credible.

      The only broad group who understand the cost of wind and solar are those on the fringes of populated areas and more remote locations who have long experiencing operating off grid with wind and solar energy plus battery storage and backed up by diesel generation.


    • #

      I dare anybody to debunk this graph. It’s been years since the first hockey stick made an appearance and it looks like we all made the same mistake to question it’s accuracy. Got to go now and refill my home diesel generator.


  • #

    If inflation becomes an issue then the next pressure point will be interest rates and if interest rates rise then the property market will be vulnerable. With the average personal borrowing in Sydney 10 times the borrowers salary small rises in interest rate will be disastrous . Add to that pending job losses due to closing down of industries due to high electricity prices and the cost of living rises putting stress on consumers, the outlook is rather bleak. Perhaps consumers should mount a class action through Slater and Gordon against people like Tim Flannery for the huge losses cause by his reckless and wrong statements which has influenced much of the governments policies. The Greens should also be sued for crimes against humanity by their contribution to the current fiasco.


    • #

      It is also worth mentioning that most home loans in Australia are variable rate loans. So an increase in interest rates, means an decrease in disposable income. Does anyone see a housing market crash on the horizon?


      • #
        D. J. Hawkins

        Interest rate increases will also slow property appreciation, or even cause real estate prices to go down if the rates get high enough.


  • #

    Afternoon Jo,
    I have this idea, I hope you or one of your other “more social media savvy” responders can do this in the next few days. If not I guess I will do this sometime in the next 2 or 3 days.
    Australia’s continued compliance with the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET.) will have many effects over the short and medium terms. There are three effects that are most serious:-
    1. By the end of qtr.1, 2018, there will be between three to ten extremely hot (summer) days that will cause blackouts to between 100 000 – 1 million homes & businesses;
    2. By the end of FY. 2018/19, there will be between two to four million Australian families who will receive their first power bill equating to over $1000 per month; and
    3. By the end of FY. 2018/19, given the above likely events, Australia will very likely be shunted into our first recession since 1994/95!
    Needless to say, many tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs in this up-coming recession.
    This country is in greater peril from the RET. than any other piece of legislation from this country’s 117 year history!
    In order for us to beat this huge and urgent threat, our federal politicians must repeal this dangerous legislation by the end of 2017.


  • #
    Mike Spilligan

    Sorry, Jo, but sub-heading should read: Who knew it would cost a lot NOT to change the climate?


    • #

      Oh yes. Exactly, points for you. :- ) Too right.

      But to get them to admit that the whole point of a solar panel is to make nice weather is an achievement in itself.


  • #

    Will the last person to leave Australia please switch off the lights …

    Correction: Don’t worry, no need.


  • #

    What amazes me is how long the so called “captains of industry” have taken to wake to this.

    It is like how all the CEOs climbed in on Trump after Charlottesville without actually reading what he said and we have the same thing happening over the DACA issue.
    It shows that many CEOs ,of large companies in particular, are just political “animals” following on like sheep.


  • #

    Because of this lunacy created by our politicians (of both sides) we are due to get a raft of serious blackouts.

    We have all experienced blackouts during the last couple of decades, but they have been relatively minor and localised, caused by a downed power line or a tripped breaker. They usually lasted only an hour or so until the repairs were made.
    The looming lack of sufficient baseload generating capacity (coal fired power stations) the blackouts that occur will be widespread and long lasting.
    They are likely to be many hours duration if not days and at the most critical times causing real threats to health and lives.

    If the politicians cannot get their collective act together on this issue, and soon, they will face a voter backlash of proportions unknown in this country.


    • #

      “they will face a voter backlash of proportions unknown in this country.” good I hopes this comes about as its about bloody time the sheeple in this country finally learn to recognise friend from foe regardless of what political bent is claimed, include the compliant MSM with aiding & abetting and we should have a comprehensive list of ‘never to be trusted again’ names.


    • #
      John Westman

      Well said and true.

      I am one of those ex liberal voters (have already made the decision and have refused to vote for them in previous elections) who have nothing but contempt for the 2nd rate hacks that the liberals have become.

      In NSW, I notice, that a number of coalition MP,s are quitting-do they see the portents of their doom?

      The politicians today are in breach of their compact with the people, as they are failing to act, in the best interests of the populace.

      Nothing would give greater satisfaction that to see the likes of professor Tom Foolery sued in a court.


    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      John blackouts of the past were acts of nature, blackouts of the future are acts of Parliament.


    • #

      A lot of people are going to get caught in lifts.

      Those people are not going to be happy.

      They might even be motivated enough to find out that politicians have deliberately smashed base load power and have caused huge job shedding by companies driven overseas where reliable power is readily available at low cost.

      All politicians need to quickly come back to Earth and get to work on upgrading our power generation capacity.



  • #
    John Watt

    At the outset I will plead guilty to being one of those old-time electricity price setters who had the goal of “zero increase but certainly no more than ½ CPI.”
    However those days are gone.
    There are a series of events that have led to our current dilemma.
    State Govts , for various budget reasons sold electricity supply assets.
    The purchasers, understandably, each wanted to make a profit . This is on top of what the various government utilities had been allocating to asset creation. Consumer prices had to increase.
    The coal heap to cooktop planning data stream was disrupted. This hidden efficiency advantage of a State-owned utility was unwittingly foregone by our “budget –balance “ obsessed politicians.
    Then came Flannery/Obama/Gore (FOG). Ranting about climate change became a political pastime. Unfortunately the general level of scientific awareness in Oz is low enough for the FOG message to be taken as gospel. (We had just one Federal politician with science qualifications sufficient to see through the FOG but the lemmings got rid of him.)
    Prudent development of the base load generator stock was abandoned so surprise,surprise our coal fired generators are now quite old and this is being used as a reason for not replacing them.
    On top of this we have the RET/REC tax regime which appears to be extracting money from consumers to fund renewable energy projects including SA’s solar/salt tower which is already identified as substandard technology.
    So in about 30 years we have “managed” to lift our electricity prices from some of the cheapest in the developed world to some of the dearest. Progress!


  • #
    Des Pane

    Hi JO. I have investigated three major climate drivers which appear to be cyclic. When put together, they closely match the temperature variations over the past 150 years. The combined cycles show that, despite what the IPCC says, natural cycles did not mysteriously stop in 1940 but continued on, thus showing that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is very overblown. It also shows that by 2030 temperatures will be much lower than they are now, then increase for a while before falling again.

    I would like to send a PDF of this to you. How can I do that?

    I will send you an email. – Cheers – Jo


  • #

    The scary part is that even if new Federal and State governments should want to axe the RET, the long term contracts with all the renewable energy suppliers are signed and locked in for decades to come. They have to be honoured, else the issue of sovereign risk enters the equation, and tax payers would wind up paying even more to service the various governments’ interest repayments.

    There isn’t anyway out of this mess for very many years to come, even if there existed some will to try and fix this right now.


    • #

      There’s the old saying when you’re in a hole stop digging.
      The commonwealth and states can stop signing new contracts (e.g. dopey Dan in Vic).


    • #

      Given our serving politicians are as thick as two short planks e.g. dopey Dan, starry-eyed Weatherill, Malcolm (Utegate) Turnbull, ‘renewables’ have been sold by misrepresentation, they are not fit for purpose, contracts with mental defectives and children are not enforceable (I’m only half-joking).


      • #
        Graeme No.3


        I prefer the image of a flock of turkeys, some with blue ribbons round their necks, some with red ribbons and a minority with green ribbons (pale green in the case of Xenophon).
        On the other hand I may be underrating the intelligene of turkeys, as none of them have introduced a RET.


    • #

      At the rate that union controlled super funds are buying alt energy companies, the losses will be spread over many wage slaves for a long time. You will hardly notice them. You should thank that nice Mr Keating for compulsory superannuation. What could go wrong?


  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    I’m covered for blackouts in summer but fear for those old or sick and who won’t turn aircons on anyway because they can’t afford the bill .
    Our elected representatives have backed us into a corner and let us down .


  • #

    must read all:

    6 Sept: Reuters: Alister Doyle: Exclusive: Norway plans tax breaks for remotest Arctic oilfields – letters
    Norway’s government plans to make taxpayers rather than oil companies pay special U.N. fees for any offshore production from remote Arctic regions, according to letters sent to oil firms and seen by Reuters.
    The plan could serve as an example for other nations looking to fund exploration of the seabed ever further from land.
    It was criticized by opposition parties that want tighter limits on exploration in the fragile Arctic environment, days before an election in which the future of Norway’s big offshore oil and gas sector is a major issue.

    Opinion polls show a neck-and-neck race between Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s center-right block and center-left parties headed by Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere.
    “There is too little risk on the companies, and too much risk on the people of Norway,” said Ola Elvestuen, the head of parliament’s Energy and Environment committee and a member of the small Liberal Party.
    “Neither me, nor the committee were informed about this,” he said of the plans, outlined in letters provided to Reuters by the Oil and Energy Ministry, for implementing a dormant provision of the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Under Article 82 of the treaty, rich nations are due to pay up to 7 percent a year of the value of any production — of oil, gas or other minerals — from their continental shelves more than 200 nautical miles (370 km) from land to a fund to help developing nations.
    The money would be channeled to poor nations via the United Nations’ International Seabed Authority in Jamaica. The mechanism is untested as there is no production so far offshore…

    Under Article 82, countries will have to start paying 1 percent of the value or volume of any production after five years, with the annual rate rising to a plateau of 7 percent after 12 years…READ ALL


  • #

    6 Sept: ClimateChangeNews: Norway election could be a turning point for Arctic oil
    Could Norway lead the way in a global transition away from oil production? Truls Gulowsen is hopeful, as campaign to ban new Arctic exploration gains traction
    By Truls Gulowsen in Oslo
    (Truls Gulowsen is head of Greenpeace Norway)
    A recent poll found that 44% of Norwegians believe Norway should keep oil in the ground to reduce emissions, against 42% who think not. Support for parties that want to ban new oil investments has grown significantly. Those parties will not win a majority, but could end up with the balance of power in parliament.

    This is a big deal. As shown in a recent report by Oil Change International, Norway is the world’s seventh largest exporter of carbon emissions. Our current oil projections are at odds with the goals set out in the Paris climate agreement. Stopping new licenses could change that…

    9 Aug: PriceOfOil.org: The Sky’s Limit Norway: Why Norway Should Lead the Way in a Managed Decline of Oil and Gas Extraction
    by Hannah McKinnon
    (In collaboration with Naturvernforbundet, Greenpeace Norway, Kirkens Nødhjelp, Natur Og Ungdom, WWF Norway)
    LINK: Download the full report
    Key Findings:
    •Through its oil and gas exports, Norway is exporting 10 times more emissions than the
    country produces at home.
    •Norway is the world’s seventh largest exporter of emissions.
    •Norway’s proposed and prospective new oil and gas fields would lead to 150% more emissions than what is in currently operating fields…ETC


  • #

    behind paywall…a very bad idea to add to all the rest of the bad CAGW ideas:

    6 Sept: UK Times: Ben Webster: Call for ban on sale of homes with bad insulation
    People should be banned from selling poorly insulated homes, according to scientists who led government-funded research on energy efficiency.
    The energy wasted in British homes is equivalent to the output of six nuclear power stations the size of Hinkley Point C, the plant being built in Somerset, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) found.

    It calculated that the average household energy bill could be reduced by £270 a year by installing better insulation in lofts and walls, upgrading boilers or using more efficient appliances.
    Nick Eyre, professor of energy and climate policy at the University of Oxford, one of the report’s authors, said the government should consider targets for housing efficiency similar to the ban on new petrol and diesel cars…

    Wikipedia: The centre has its headquarters at the campus of Imperial College, London, providing support to 70 researchers based in 11 universities and research institutions across the UK: UCL; Strathclyde; Leeds; Imperial College London; Exeter; Sussex; the University of East Anglia; the Plymouth Marine Laboratory; Cardiff; Oxford; Aberdeen…
    UKERC was established in April 2004, following a recommendation from the 2002 Energy Review initiated by ***Sir David King, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor…

    MSM love it:

    6 Sept: Bloomberg: Jess Shankleman: U.K. Told Drafty Homes Ban May Save Power of Six Nuclear Plants
    Energy efficiency could reduce fuel bills $9.7 billion by 2035
    Government could consider a ban on selling drafty homes and requirements for more efficient appliances to reap benefits for the economy through energy efficiency, according to the author of a study published Wednesday by the U.K. Energy Research Center and the Center on Innovation and Energy Demand…
    The findings provide an option for ministers to keep electricity supplies flowing without building new power plants…
    That could include banning the sale of homes that don’t meet a certain efficiency standard, according to Nick Eyre, a professor at the University of Oxford who was a co-author of the report.
    “At least there would be an end point to build a path to,” Eyre told journalists on Wednesday. “At the moment, we don’t even know where we’re going and it’s sensible to work out where we’re going before we work out how to get there.”…

    6 Sept: Guardian: Better energy efficiency measures could cut UK costs by £7.5bn
    Government must incentivise households to make energy saving improvements to improve air quality and warm homes
    by Fiona Harvey and Adam Vaughan
    ***Cutting energy use would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions – which have an effect on climate change – and improve quality of life for many by warming homes and reducing air pollution connected to energy generation…
    Fabrice Leveque, an energy specialist at the environmental charity WWF, said: “This is yet more evidence that a zero-carbon future is in our grasp. However, at the present rate it will take over 100 years for us to ensure our homes are carbon neutral. This is clearly not good enough, and the government must stop dragging its feet and make sure more homes are renovated each year. Our cold and leaky homes pile hundreds of pounds on to people’s fuel bills, can damage their health, and are adding to climate change.”…

    the report & most MSM coverage, except for Guardian’s ***aside, seem to go out of their way not to mention CAGW. however, UKERC’s funders appear CAGW-centred!

    2014: EPSRC: RCUK commits £14 million to UK Energy Research Centre
    Science Minister David Willetts said: “The UK is a world leader in future energy systems and the need to find new and innovative solutions has never been greater. We live in a world of climate change and energy supply challenges but with ever-increasing demand put on our energy resources. Funding new research is absolutely vital for providing future certainty for the industry.”
    The funding has been welcomed by UKERC Research Director, Professor Jim Watson, who said: “This further support for UKERC is welcome, and comes at a critical time in the development of energy systems in the UK and abroad. We know that these systems need to change radically to tackle climate change and other societal goals, but the way forward is increasingly uncertain. UKERC’s research and engagement activities will help to inform policy development, industry strategies and wider energy debates.”…

    EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change… EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK…

    from UKERC’s website:

    UKERC is funded by The Research Councils UK Energy Programme. UKERC reports to a Funders Group convened by the Research Councils, and is advised by an independent Advisory Board…
    UKERC is a founding member of the Low Carbon Societies Research Network (LCS-RNet) and the official representative for the UK in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Joint Programmes…


    • #

      accidentally left out the opening sentence from the “EPSRC: RCUK commits £14 million to UK Energy Research Centre” piece:

      “The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) will continue to act as the focal point of UK energy research following the announcement today of a further £14 million of funding from three research councils EPSRC, NERC and ESRC via the RCUK Energy Programme…”


      • #
        Graeme No.3


        Did anyone of these turkeys actually mention how much it would cost to up-grade the insulation? Nobody in their right mind (outside Acedemia) is going to spend more than the benefit they get in reduced bills.


  • #

    forget the CAGW billions given to not-for-profits over decades…WaPo is outraged over chump change for sceptics.

    novel length:

    5 Sept: WaPo: A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord
    by Robert O’Harrow Jr.
    For nearly two decades, (Myron) Ebell has led the Cooler Heads Coalition, an umbrella group of tax-exempt public charities and other nonprofit organizations in the vanguard of efforts to cast doubt on the gravity of climate change and thwart government efforts to address it.

    Coalition members have called climate science a hoax and denounced environmentalists as “global-warming alarmists.” They have written letters, blasted out emails, pressured lawmakers, sponsored seminars, appeared on television and made a documentary movie.

    It was all part of a wave that crested with Trump’s rejection on June 1 of the Paris agreement, a landmark accord by nearly 200 countries in 2015 to limit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
    “He made the decision. We helped create the circumstances,” Ebell told The Washington Post. “When you are persistent, good things can happen.”

    The story behind the coalition illuminates the influential, little-known role that tax-exempt public charities play in modern campaigns to sway lawmakers and shape policy in the nation’s capital, while claiming to be nonpartisan educational organizations.
    It also offers insight into the forces behind a Trump decision that infuriated scientists and environmentalists, mystified U.S. allies and went against the advice of some major corporations…

    The Cooler Heads have received more than $11 million in donations over the years from coal and oil companies. They’ve taken in tens of millions more from nonprofit foundations, such as those controlled by the wealthy Koch brothers, and the Scaife and Mercer families, according to interviews and Internal Revenue Service filings…

    Benjamin Santer, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award for groundbreaking climate research, told The Post that Ebell and his Cooler Heads colleagues are attempting to turn back the clock on knowledge and science.

    “He is not a climate scientist. He will never be a climate scientist. Mr. Ebell seems to believe that it’s possible to magically assimilate scientific understanding from thin air,” said Santer, speaking for himself…READ ALL


  • #
    Ken Stewart

    “Bill Shock”- is that the latest nickname for Bill Shorten? (The former “Electricity Bill”)


  • #


    Ross Cameron explains it best on Sky (in 29/8/17 Jones and Co podcast).
    First he called Malcolm Turnbull’s statement that “he does not want any Australian to pay more than they need to for electricity” BS….. Because
    MT’s govt has made power companies BUY $85 RET’s (renewable energy certificates costing $85 each)…. 18m in 2014, 19.5m in 2015, 21.4m in 2016 and now 26million THIS YEAR – that’s ANOTHER $390million – designed to increase power prices!

    That’s also $2.2 billion so far PAID BY US AND OUR EMPLOYERS, HOSPITALS etc etc FOR OUR POWER, just to subsidize AGL, Banks and the rest of the RET carpetbaggers profits.
    “Industry” demands certainty from the govt so they can bank their profits — not to make our power prices cheaper – that’s how the RET system is being used to make money off us instead of providing free renewable power.
    Renewable power costs will continue to increase our power prices every year no matter what unless we do the same as Trump!
    No automatic alt text available.


  • #


    7 Sept: AFR: Ben Potter: ‘Decarbonised’ future for AGL Energy’s Liddell site
    AGL Energy plans to convert its Liddell coal power station site into a clean energy facility – such as a wind, solar and battery farm – if it closes down the 46-year-old plant on schedule in 2022.
    The company’s rehabilitation report (LINK) published last month says it will consider “options for the site that are consistent with our commitment to a decarbonised generation fleet and sustainable energy future” and a decision will be made in 2019…

    AGL chief executive Andy Vesey, under pressure from the Turnbull government to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep Liddell open or sell it to someone who will, said on August 10 the board had instead chosen to invest in new clean energy technology which “aligns with what we believe is the future which will be a greater value long term to our shareholders and customers”…

    An AGL spokesperson confirmed that Mr Vesey will explain the company’s plans to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday…READ ALL


  • #
    Don A

    DES —“Hi JO. I have investigated three major climate drivers which appear to be cyclic. When put together, they closely match the temperature variations over the past 150 years. The combined cycles show that, despite what the IPCC says, natural cycles did not mysteriously stop in 1940 but continued on, thus showing that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is very overblown. It also shows that by 2030 temperatures will be much lower than they are now, then increase for a while before falling again.”
    Get CO2 hysteria out of the mix and coal can come back.
    Keep it up Des.


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    Just to make you Australian friends fell a little better. Lunacy is not exclusive to your country. Google the energy policies of the governments of Ontario and Alberta, Canada or for that matter the Canadian government itself.


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      Steve Keppel-Jones

      Yes, Ontario is definitely no better. We don’t have as many blackouts because we still have lots of power, but the prices have gone through the roof. Middle class folks don’t really care yet, it’s still not a pain point. But poor people can’t afford both food and electricity any more, and apparently businesses are leaving in droves whenever they can. Things aren’t looking promising.


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    Roy Hogue

    I remember a case here from years back where some genius wired his electric panel around his meter with a switch he could use to set it to bypass or register on the meter. Apparently he stole 10s of thousands of dollars worth of electricity before anyone got suspicious. He managed to switch the meter in and out just enough to look credible to the utility’s people. He even managed to get a hold of a seal identical to the one used when the meter was installed so he could make it look undisturbed after he finished his redesign. He was convicted of grand theft among other things and went to jail for 5 or 6 years and made the news doing it.

    Just sayin…


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    William Shocks (aka Bill Shocks) would like it known he is completely innocent in this matter.


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  • #

    About that ever spiralling cost of electricity.

    This week, the Queensland Government announced it will be (re) firing up a relatively new power plant, Swanbank E, a natural gas fired plant, and the Minister proudly announced this will alleviate some of the ever rising cost.


    An expensive gas fired plant which will increase the average price for electricity will, umm, ease the rising costs. I guess Black really is White, eh!

    This Base Load thing I’m doing keeps throwing up other things worthwhile checking.

    You know Queensland, with that current Labor Government who said hand on heart they will be 50% Renewable by 2030, well here’s a few inconvenient facts about that very same Government.

    I had an idea that the Government owned a good deal of the coal fired power in Queensland, with its two Government owned Corporations, Stanwell Corp, and CS Energy.

    I wasn’t 100% certain on how much they actually did own, so I went and did the research.

    Those two corporations actually own 85% of the coal fired power in Queensland. Of those 8 plants, they own outright 6 of them. They also own that part of the power generated by the Gladstone power plant that is not used by the Boyne Island Aluminium smelter, so 700MW of the 1600MW.

    The only plant that they don’t own is Milmerran, owned by, umm Intergen, mostly the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

    The total Nameplate owned by the Government is 6970MW.

    So then owning 85% of the State’s coal fired power, what sort of income might that provide?

    Well, it’s around $10 Million ….. EACH day, around $3.6 Billion a year, and that’s just from the coal fired assets.

    Each day, those plants average out at around 6300MW in total power generation. Queensland regularly delivers 1100MW into NSW, all of that from coal fired power.

    With that power going into NSW, Queensland regularly generates around 115% of what the State actually uses, and 90 to 95% of that is from coal fired power. The State could very comfortably survive (well, anything South of Mackay anyway) on its coal fired assets.

    Oh, and also, the coal consumed at all those plants is provided from nearby coal mines, all of which are also owned by the same two Government corporations. They own the power plants, they own the coal, they own the rail lines, and they own the rail company as well.

    And that gas fired plant they are running up again to cash in on the projected closure of Liddell is a CCGT, and is, umm, also owned by the Government corporation as well, and my guess is that they might even own the gas being supplied to it.

    Oh, and they also own the two Interconnectors as well.

    So, a State promising 50% renewables by 2030, starting from a base near zero, (no wind in Queensland) has 115% plus of its power coming from fossil fuels, mostly coal fired, and those 2 corporations also own another 700MW of gas fired power as well.

    Oh, these same two Corporations do actually own some renewables as well. Stanwell owns 150MW of Hydro in the North to supply North Queensland, and CS Energy own the pumped Hydro at Wivenhoe, a 500MW plant. That Wivenhoe pumped hydro plant, during the last 7 days, generated 160MW for one hour last Monday. No point running it really, because they have buckets of coal fired power, and if they were to use that pumped hydro, they would have to buy the power (from themselves) to pump it back up to the top water holding.

    Oh the hypocrisy, how it burns.