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On the NEG — Turnbull, Frydenberg: Who is running this country? You or Andrew Vesey?

End the taboo: The obvious solution to our expensive unreliable electricity is to fix old coal plants

The proposed NEG (National Energy Guarantee) will cut a pathetic sliver off our obscene bills. Malcolm Turnbull thinks Australians will be grateful for $100 off. We pay $3,700 a year for an average 4 bed house (and it’s heated with gas)?  Are they kidding?

No one is even discussing the most obvious, cheap way to cut our electricity bills. Fix the old coal plants. As Ian Waters, engineer, says “Enlightened, motivated people can do it!” Just getting Liddell back up to full power would deliver another 800MW of cheap, despatchable, and reliable power. Wouldn’t that be “handy”?

All the talk of new coal ignores the cheapest source of electricity around the nation. Our star infrastructure, gift of the older generation to the younger, are our old coal power stations, paid off over decades and still powering the nation.

Ian Waters, describes below how the NEG serves the big retailers not the consumers, and it’s in their interest to run old coal plants into the dust. (Our electricity market is so screwed thanks to the RET. — Wholesale prices leapt when Hazelwood closed, and all successful bidders get paid at the same highest-winning-bid rate.) Are AGL driving the Liddell plant into the ground? Hard to tell, but easy to see why it might be appealing to turn a once valuable asset into a show-pony for End Of Coal. Remember AGL would rather trash Liddell than swap it for a billion bucks.

See his scathing red pen. This mass email went out last night. Andrew Vesey, runs AGL.



Turnbull, Frydenberg: Who is running this country? You or Andrew Vesey?

Liddell coal plant, graph activity, sabotage?

Click to enlarge

By Ian Waters

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Australian Federal Government and the Energy Security Board are not being totally honest with us about the NEG.

They are quoting these marvellous figures of $550/year saving and all the rest of the nonsense – but, just like many real estate agents or used car dealers – are not telling us that there is in fact a viable simpler option to save much more!  That option is to upgrade every single coal fired station in Australia back as close as possible to the original MCR, stop building wind turbines and build a 2,500MW Coal Fired Station in the Latrobe Valley.  With an extra 800MW from Liddell alone, many more MWs from other stations and an additional 2,500 MW from the Valley, prices will drop like a stone – and we will have more reliable electricity and enough to get us through future summers.  Also there will be less opportunity for the bare faced, extreme rorting that is going on right now.  Think about S.A. today and yesterday.  With the wholesale price up to $228/MWh yesterday when there was not much wind (5 times what the electricity is actually worth out of the Valley) – and down to -$1,000/MWh for a short time today (yes negative $1,000/MWh!).  Now Ladies and Gentlemen, picture perhaps a hamburger seller, who knows full well that there is a Hawthorn Geelong game on Saturday, he can control how many hamburgers he has available at any given time and there are massive price variations for his product amounting to hundreds of percent depending on how many he has available and the demand – what do you reckon the hamburger seller will do?

You guessed it!  That is what some energy companies are doing to the citizens.  They are doing us over!

The very last thing they want is a large supply of cheap reliable coal fired power that is “boring” and does not have spectacular fluctuations and capably covers the country’s requirements.  That is why they – and their industry group mouthpieces – want an NEG.

Just in case the Politicians and professional “spinners” have deluded you into thinking that there is anything good about the NEG, think about these three points:

  • AGL, Origin and their mouthpieces in certain Industry organisations have been low key but positive about the NEG.  Once you have seen a bit of how these big influential energy companies and Governments work – you know for sure what “low key but positive” really means. It means that they designed the NEG and they stand to make a fortune from it! Be very nervous about their NEG!
Rather than waste everyone’s time with the NEG, Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg would be better off to “interview” Andrew Vesey about what he is getting up to at Liddell.

Have a look at the attached graph and you will see that AGL is depriving the Australian people of 800MW.

It looks as if Vesey is deliberately running all Liddell units at reduced pressure compared to design.  This may be because of “actual” concerns about stressing tired piping and boiler pressure parts or – like a lot of these bureaucratic energy companies, some safety zealot may have introduced a categoric/don’t argue, so-called “safety” limit on operation.  Whatever the reason, enlightened, motivated people can fix it!  New boiler tubes, replace steam piping, replace or motivate the existing management to obtain a more “private enterprise” progressive culture – whatever is needed can be done!
Here is the important thing: There is no cheaper or more proven method of our Nation gaining another 800 MW of reliable, base load electricity than fixing those Liddell units one by one!  All the bulldust you hear about the “high” cost of building new coal fired stations is shot to pieces with upgrading Liddell assets which are already there.  Why do you think other companies are prepared to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for this station?
If Turnbull and Frydenberg were fair dinkum they would have already bounced AGL out of Liddell!
That is what they should be doing – and it would send an immediate massive signal to all the other power generators and give investment certainty to our manufacturers because they could see that “This government is fair dinkum and actually represents the people – not some group of opportunistic vested interests!”

Think about the direct competitors to our agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors in the USA, China and India! No Paris nonsense, no insane NEG’s required and in the Asian countries, hundreds of new coal fired stations being built!

Best Regards,


PS: Our ongoing offer is open to Kerry Schott, Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Innes Willox, Audrey Zibelman and Jennifer Westacott to get down to Wollongong and engage in a public debate with us over whether our coal fired plan described above – or their dog’s breakfast NEG will result in cheaper & more secure electricity and the freeing up of more gas – let’s get the true facts out in the open!

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