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EnergyAustralia (a Chinese company) tells Government we need a plan to end Australian coal

EnergyAustralia is 100% owned by China Light and Power (CLP Group) and owns a suite of generators that include coal, gas, wind farms and battery storage in Australia. It was sold by the NSW government for $1.4 billion in 2011. According to Wikipedia, the mothership company, CLP, owns “a number of power stations in Asia” and most are either coal-fired or fossil fuel power stations. It also owns Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Company.

CSIRO Yallourn Power Station, Brown Coal

Yallourn Power Plant, |    Malcolm Paterson, CSIRO

 

A year ago the same company that announced it was speeding up the closure of Yallourn coal power plant to 2028 instead of 2032, now warns the transition “may not be smooth” and the governments plan to pay incentives to keep them open “may not be enough”. But back in March last year, when EnergyAustralia said it wanted to close Yallorn, it also said that it wanted to show that the transition is possible “without disruption”. In fact the Managing Director raved at the time “”We are determined to show Australia, that it is possible to move from the old to the new in a way that does not leave people behind.”. Blah Blah Blah, eh?

The plan, apparently, was to close the 1,500MW cheap brown coal plant and replace it with a “large” 350 megawatt battery. The Victorian Minister of Energy said this was reasonable because another 5,000 megawatts of electricity was going to be added to the grid in coming years. Perhaps she didn’t realize that not all megawatts are equal?

Perry Williams, the journalist at The Australian did not ask if EnergyAustralia would profit from getting cheap coal competitors off the grid, thus raising the price every generator earns in the NEM auction system.

Nor did he ask whether the owners, CLP, are calling for orderly transitions out of coal in Asian markets or only in Australia.

EnergyAustralia calls for orderly exit of coal-fired power plants

Perry Williams, The Australian

Power giant EnergyAustralia will call on governments for a new policy to plan the orderly exit of coal-fired plants from the electricity system amid a growing energy crisis.

EnergyAustralia, which owns the big Yallourn and Mt Piper coal-fired power stations in Victoria and NSW respectively, is under short-term pressure to keep the fossil fuel in the energy mix after a string of big units suffering breakdowns amid a broader crunch in the national electricity market.

EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn station in Victoria – which started operating in 1974 – supplies 22 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and 8 per cent of the national electricity market, but has been under pressure for several years as Australia’s national power grid accelerates a transition to renewable energy.

It will close in mid-2028, more than four years earlier than its planned retirement date of 2032, after striking a confidential deal with the Victorian government. Meanwhile, the final NSW coal power plant will be shut by 2040 at the latest after EnergyAustralia’s decision to bring forward the closure date of its Mt Piper facility by at least two years in a bid to hit new green climate targets.

Did taxpapers pay EnergyAustralia to rush the closure of their own coal assets or are EnergyAustralia trying to hit “new green climate targets” because they are just nice people? Who knows. It’s commercial in confidence. The costs of the Green Transition we don’t have-to-have are always a secret.

Is it possible they will make a motza from shutting cheap coal because they can earn so much more per megawatt hour in a system screwed by a crisis?

 

9.8 out of 10 based on 58 ratings

46 comments to EnergyAustralia (a Chinese company) tells Government we need a plan to end Australian coal

  • #

    I am obviously missing something here. How does a 1500mw power plant that generates electricty equate to a 350 mw battery that merely stores electricty?

    Presumably it is intended to store renwable power as the coal fired power station will have been closed.

    If you are going to store unreliable renwables you presumably will need a storage medium far larger than a paltry 350mw?

    440

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Tony, good point; this isn’t about the “Engineering” and the flow of electrons, it’s about the flow of money to places well hidden.

      460

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Simple economics Tonyb , by making electricity scarce and expensive people and industry use less , less industry + less people using electricity = less electricity needed therefore the sums add up. Green economics 102.

      200

    • #
      Graham Richards

      Tony,
      You people who point out absurdity in energy generation are a right royal pain in the @ss to the energy companies, & Socialist politicians hell bent on wiping out our way of life.

      Strange that a communist Chinese company has been allowed to buy another power company. Alinta is the other one.

      Just like the EU, another Socialist experiment, our own politicians insist on ignoring warnings from Donald Trump, to not surrender your energy resources to foreign powers, particularly communist regimes.. Russia rings a bell here. We of course went one step further & flogged off an entire port to the Chinese & then have the temerity to bad mouth Pacific nations for doing the same thing!!!by the way Tony you are anything but a right royal pain in the butt to me. Keep up with being a pain & turn it up a lot.
      We need to educate the electorate!!

      190

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    This is an extraordinary story for those of us who were not aware of the ownership details of “Energy Australia”.

    That a $1,400,000,000 AUD State asset can be sold off like this is appalling, but not surprising, when the current approach to governing is best described by the term “looting”.

    The Big “L” has been an obvious feature of government for a long time and needs serious investigation.

    One example is the looting of Hunter District Water board’s savings and assets put aside for the next dam:
    legislated out of the hands of the locals who owned it and sent to head office in Sydney where it never belonged.

    We must confront and fix our political superstructure Urgently, it isn’t serving us.

    430

    • #
      DLK

      same with NSW local council development applications
      legislated out of the hands of the locals
      and into the hands of (mostly) nameless bureaucrats

      100

  • #
    GlenM

    Alinta Energy is 100percent owned by the Chinese formerly Hong Kong Fool group. Well We’re truly Fooked!

    210

  • #
    GlenM

    Hong Kong Chow Fook.

    71

  • #
    TedM

    “The plan, apparently, was to close the 1,500MW cheap brown coal plant and replace it with a “large” 350 megawatt battery”. Interesting concept. Particularly as power stations produce power while batteries store (a limited amount of power) and also consume power. Add to that the losses of charging and conversion to grid power and you have the perfect example of crass stupidity and infinite ignorance.

    310

    • #
      Gerry

      After closing the power station will there be enough spare electricity to fill the power station ??

      21

    • #
      Bruce

      So,what are the “conversion factors” / energy losses involved in “charging” said battery; remembering that you need DIRECT Current to charge a “battery” because “batteries are themselves Direct Current devices.

      Supplementary: What are the losses involved in then taking the “stored” energy of the battery; DC, remember, and “inverting” it back to synchronous three phase AC that is ONLY then able to be stuffed into the “grid”?

      A major product of this exercise will be epic SMUGNESS from the sociopaths and hysterical laughter from the new overlords, but the other big one will be HEAT; the very evil that the psychotics have been howling about for decades, (Since the “New Ice Age” scare fell, or was pushed, over).

      This entire rock-show is not “electrical engineering”, it is SOCIAL ENGINEERING. Actual history tends to generate a LOT of HEAT from time to time.

      100

      • #
        Lawrie

        To charge a 2 volt cell you need at least 2.2 volts that is 10% more voltage. To charge the 350 MW battery will require about 385 MW plus as far as I am aware batteries should not be fully discharged either. This is one of those famous socialist lose lose scenarios.Capitalism thrives on win win, the socialists the opposite, hence the worlds basket cases are without exception, socialist.

        80

  • #
    Zane

    The electricity business is no longer about providing power. It is about milking government subsidies and putting a hand out for handouts.

    280

    • #
      Just+Thinkin'

      Zane,

      You missed the bit about the consumer being ripped off over
      these inflated power prices.
      We are seeing that right now.
      Check out the different prices, especially between Western Australia
      (which is not connected to any other State) and the East Coast States
      (which are ALL interconnected) prices.

      We are being conned and scammed BIG TIME.

      170

      • #
        Serp

        You could have included links to save us the tiresome toil of verifying your assertions.

        11

      • #
        Robber

        WA mix for electricity generation:
        Solar 15%, wind 17%, gas 30%, coal 38%. Plenty of gas available. Compare that to the Eastern States:
        Solar 12%, wind 11%, gas 6%, coal 63%, hydro 8%.

        10

  • #
    Plain Jane

    This is treason by those involved in this. This is not just incompetence, it is enemy action against the State and the people.

    290

    • #
      Serp

      Correct. Healthy people have been under attack for over two years and there’s no sign of a let up and it’s reputedly mysterious that the death rate has jumped forty percent.

      30

      • #
        Lawrie

        You admonished Just+Thinking for not including a reference. I have also read about a new disease called ASDS or Adult sudden death syndrome which strikes otherwise healthy young adults; you know, of military age. It seems the rush to boost is having consequences although the medical fraternity has not made the connection. They are still trying to figure out why this years flu is nasty. No one caught the flu in the past two years, immunity is down and the Covid injections probably made it worse, plus the unusally cold start to winter with high power prices and a jump in food prices and you have the perfect stew. Of course the elite (Teals, Greens, ALP and Matty Kean) would not know this living as they do in some parallel universe where facts are just a nuisance.

        40

  • #
    Lawrie

    Australia is doomed because we are led by the most ignorant fools in the land. The leading lemmings are dragging us all toward the cliffs. Our only hope is that the leading lemmings go over first and the more logical ones have a chance to pull up short. This snow and cold weather may just be the catalyst to begin a sensible transition back to where we were before Gore and Attenborough began the great climate scams. With a complete fool in charge in Canberra, egged on by great fools in the US and Kiwiland, and aided by fools in various state energy departments our prospects look dim. The only way out is for large scale education through this blog and others like it. Maybe, just maybe some parts of the MSM (the Daily Telegraph for example) will increase the number of stories ridiculing the elitists who are killing us. After all when the people start getting angry the MSM like to stir the pot and there is nothing as entertaining as watching politicians squirm.

    200

    • #
      Just+Thinkin'

      ” Australia is doomed because we are led by the most ignorant fools in the land.”

      They’re NOT ignorant fools.

      They are doing EXACTLY what their masters want.

      141

    • #
      Bruce

      Something about “eggs and omelettes”?

      10

  • #
    R.B.

    Are you sure that it’s not owned by Nigeria.

    40

  • #
    Neville

    More problems for the use of Lithium in the EU and the use of this material for their EU EVs etc.
    But don’t worry China couldn’t care less and will supply the clueless EU with EV imports or the batteries needed for EU car companies.
    China and Russia must be pinching themselves and laughing as the OECD countries continue to behave like fully doped up junkies.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/06/10/top-producer-albemarle-risks-shutting-german-plant-if-eu-declares-lithium-a-hazard/

    60

  • #
    Ross

    OMG!! I did not know EnergyAustralia was fully chinese owned. We are truly euchred.

    91

  • #
    DLK

    EnergyAustralia (a Chinese company) tells Government we need a plan to end Australian coal

    funny. i thought policy was supposed to be formulated on the basis of government acting on the will of the people, not government acting on the will of corporations, because the latter is fascism (as i might add, is corporate brainwashing of the masses).

    60

  • #
    Robert Swan

    move from the old to the new in a way that does not leave people behind.

    A big enough hydrogen bomb might not leave people behind either; maybe a few cockroaches.

    40

  • #
    Zane

    Electricity with Chinese characteristics!

    30

  • #
    Dennis

    The new Federal Government Cabinet Ministers will be even more confused.

    30

  • #
    DLK

    and of course, in actuality, coal is the least polluting form of energy there is.
    unlike nuclear, no toxic waste
    unlike wind and solar no toxic mining by-products.
    nope, coal just produces co2 to green the planet.
    but greening the planet is bad, apparently.

    100

    • #
      Old Cocky

      Interestingly, most coal contains small amounts of radioactive materials, so coal-fired power plants emit more radiation than nuclear power plants.
      Of course, granite does as well…

      40

  • #
    Dennis

    Interesting but predictable development, the new Defence Minister is backing away from nuclear submarines for the RAN, not surprising as Labor Greens have long opposed nuclear anything including mining of uranium in Australia. Obviously the Minister and comrades have read the very positive polls reaction indicating that most Australians support the nuclear submarine purchase so Labor Greens would be worrying that next will be nuclear power stations and/or modular generators receiving widespread public support.

    The former Defence Minister and former Assistant, now Shadow Defence Minister, are both concerned knowing that the AUKUS Agreement is very important for the security of our nation and the nuclear submarine offer is a major game changing defence capability. Now Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has for months hinted that there could be a much earlier delivery than media have been speculating about, and now he has announced that two US built nuclear submarines could be delivered years earlier.

    Maybe that announcement has also upset Labor’s game plan to ease nuclear out of public discussion?

    61

    • #
      DLK

      china would want the AUKUS Agreement torn up.

      30

      • #
        Dennis

        From what I have read, CCP protests about AUKUS and nuclear submarines for the RAN, that’s exactly what they would like to happen.

        Meanwhile the Chinese Navy is building new surface and submersible ships as quickly as they can.

        30

    • #
      GlenM

      My view is to can the submarines and invest in crawlers submersible craft. Aim up big time on medium range missiles – he’ll why not intercontinental with multiple nuclear warheads. The navy has been a soak on our defence for too long.

      20

  • #
    Zane

    Albo has actually got an easy job. He can blame everything that goes wrong on the previous ScoMo administration. Electricity prices go up? ” The Coalition didn’t invest enough in renewables! ” And you know what? The sheeple will believe it and vote Labor in again.

    90

  • #
    RoHa

    I think it’s absolutely brilliant to sell vital infrastructure to foreign companies. (As well as huge chunks of land and big companies.)

    This means that, if anything goes wrong (but what could?) the government of the day can say “Not our fault”.

    The Lib/Nat/Lab/Grn coalition has done a wonderful job for Australia. We should all be very grateful to them.

    70

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    Help please. Can anyone tell me the tonnage of coal used last year for electricity generation in Australia?

    China 5,340 million tons India 716 million tons. I estimate we would be around 220 million but would like a more accurate figure.

    40

  • #

    Worldometer says coal consumption here is 129 million tons out of the 550 million tons we dig up. WE export 427m ton.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coal/australia-coal/

    For some reason we import 46,000 tons of coal? Is that like some super rare high grade specialist stuff?

    Are you sure about the Chinese figure? I thought it was closer to 4 billion.

    Sigh. Energy Consumption Aus Gov report for 2021 is only in Petajoules!
    https://www.energy.gov.au/publications/australian-energy-update-2021

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Thanks for the Australia figure (I found 130 afterwards).

      China used 4.04 billion tons in 2020 with increases last year and early this year. I think that the figure I quoted may have been ‘inflated’ by the Green web-site with expected increases to 2025, but there is no doubt that they plan to use more. They’ve opened up 100 coal mines that had been shut. (possibly for safety reasons).

      The 46,000 figure apears in the Coal, coke and briquettes category. The alternative may be carbonblack pigment which used to be made in Altona for use in paint and plastics and tyre manufacture. I don’t know what is the real reason, but I suspect the last in the list. We used to make them (and Woodettes) and they were most popular in Victoria. Perhaps some far sighted ‘skeptics’ stockpiling?

      So at best our coal use is 3.2% of China’s (and probaby less) and 18.0% of India’s use last year and 9% of their intended use in 2030. So Nett Zero in Australia would mean nothing.

      40