Trump and Australian political dithering over energy costs

What is wrong with these people?

We have state leaders from South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland purposely rejecting the low cost energy option of coal that nature has provided and opting for renewables that will always cost three times as much. And we have an apparent consensus of politicians in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania rejecting fracking, the technology that has rescued US energy supplies and proven itself harmless in spite of a million wells having been drilled.

Today Matt Canavan has raised the issue of new coal fired generators.  That is such an obvious route that it is seldom suggested by politicians.  We can have endless power at one third the cost of wind and with an ocean more reliability but we have demonised the product so much that it is difficult to see anyone investing without a government assurance against regulatory expropriation.

Tony Abbott has once again proved himself to be a superb leader when not actually in government by counselling the undeniable benefits of getting rid of the renewable subsidies that cost us $4 billion a year and wreck the competitiveness of the electricity supply while also undermining its reliability.

Unfortunately, Turnbull’s response has been to assemble a commission under the Chief scientist Alan Finkel whose preliminary report is predictably off the planet in proclaiming the future lies with renewables and consumers want these (as they do if governments force them to!)

In response to Abbott’s proposal both Canavan and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg (presumably under political directives) are ruling out canning the subsidies to renewables on grounds that the subsidy is legislated.  On such a basis we would never have dismantled the border tariffs that held back our living standards for 50 years.  Having a bunch of rent seekers force through a subsidy and then say we cannot touch it for 15 years is a prescription for economic decline.

The latest patch up of the fall-out of this is a new series of subsidies to keep the Alcoa Portland aluminium smelter in operation.  We are likely to see a repeat of the endless government support to keep car plants in business, support needed because we refused to allow market forces to tackle the elements that were making them uncompetitive: inflexible labour market arrangements and, of course, regulatory induced high energy costs.

Few of our politicians understand anything about energy costs and even fewer want to put in place policies that liberate the market, allowing Australia to have the cheapest energy in the world thereby regaining the status we had until 15 years ago.  That’s because they are responding to the pressure from the elites in NGOs, the public service, business and academia.  All of these have their separate reasons for wanting to foster high cost energy – reasons that range from the venal to the aspirations for political control of the economy.

Those same elites are heavily focussed on rescuing green energy in the Davos meeting now underway.  We have politicians there but not at the Trump inauguration!  At least Canada’s Trudeau recognised that going to the World Economic Forum in Davos on 20 January would be a mistake and chose instead to cancel his attendance and stay home.

Fortunately for Australia Trump will force us to mend our ways – his pull-out of the Paris climate change agreement undermines it and gives us an excuse to rescind the harmful energy policies we have in place.  And his low tax, reduced spending, regulation cutting agenda will also force us to follow suit or plumb the depths of economic decline that other countries have experienced by focussing on anti-market policies.

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78 Responses to Trump and Australian political dithering over energy costs

  1. Motelier

    Not only do the costs of energy go up when renewballs are subsidised by the mug taxpayer, but reliability of supply is reduced. Think mainland Tasmania.

    The idiocy in going down this path is the number of portable and semi-portable generator sets that are being sold to people now realising that govenment mandated renewball support means that supply is compromised.

    To save the planet we subsidise renewballs and everyone has a small generator powered by an internal combustion engine that uses fossil fuel and produces shock carbon dioxide emissions.

  2. DaveR

    If ever any evidence was needed of politicians being out of touch with voters and the precise reason for the new populism sweeping the developed world, the comments from “several government front benchers” highlights the problem perfectly:

    “they do not believe there is a groundswell within the government ranks to reopen the 2015 (RET) deal”

    Within the government ranks? What about within their constituency – you know, the actual voters?

    I suspect there may a shock in store for these politicians when they find out the actual level of support for the complete removal of the hideous RET impost, let alone a modification. In my view, at least 30% of LNP voters are in favour of the RET removal. Turnbull, with his razor-thin lower house majority, should ignore this at his peril.

  3. john constantine

    The social licence to run a fossil fuel gennie is obviously the next battle for their abc.

    Got to be as offensive as greyhounds, surely?.

  4. Bear Necessities

    It’s the Bureaucrats at all levels of government which run this country. They are interchangable from Labor to LNP. The best example is Martin Parkinson. That man knows how to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.

    The politicians are just their useful idiots.

  5. john constantine

    Alcoa may have a deal to fix the Portland smelter, but it reeks of the deal to keep holden open in Geelong.

  6. RobK

    All that just when the developing countries are being innovative and agile. We are being out competed, coasting on our status of 50 years ago.

  7. eb

    force us to follow suit or plumb the depths of economic decline

    We’ll choose economic decline.

  8. Dr Fred Lenin

    Trumps goal is to make America Great Again. and create jobs for the people with wealth and hapiness. Our national green laboral left politicians aim is to destroy jobs to make the people reliant on govrernment handouts and to make Australia a ptovince of soros one world unelected government ,like the EU. Lets destroy soros socialism thwart to dirty old Nazi ,the struggle begins by totally defunding all leftists take the taxpayr=er money away and they will be too busy trying to get a feed to go on with tgeir lying drivel and white enting of our country .

  9. Sparkx

    “Few of our politicians understand anything about energy costs…………….”
    Few of our politicians understand anything FULL STOP.

  10. Tony Abbott has once again proved himself to be a superb leader when not actually in government

    Quote of the day.

    Our national green laboral left politicians aim is to destroy jobs to make the people reliant on govrernment handouts

    This truth should be burned into the foreheads of every LNP politician. And LNP voter.

  11. vagabond

    Fortunately for Australia Trump will force us to mend our ways – his pull-out of the Paris climate change agreement undermines it and gives us an excuse to rescind the harmful energy policies we have in place.

    Our pollies on both sides are too stupid to seize this opportunity to get us out of the mess we are in. Instead I predict they will eventually move to limit or tax private diesel generation on the grounds of saving the environment hence making it even more difficult for business owners and individuals.

  12. 3d1k

    A sober reminder of East Coast electricity supply/demand and imo the nonsense of Queensland and Victoria’s waltz with renewables

    http://www.coolibahconsulting.com.au/TiP/2017/01/16/where-the-load-lies/

  13. Dr Faustus

    Fortunately for Australia Trump will force us to mend our ways – his pull-out of the Paris climate change agreement undermines it and gives us an excuse to rescind the harmful energy policies we have in place.

    Very unlikely.

    The abject Turnbull Government will be replaced by two terms of Labor/Green coalition – during which time there will be no serious consideration of new coal-fired base load.

    Based on the experience at Kogan Creek, it takes about 10 years for a modern coal-fired power station in Australia to move through planning, permitting, procurement and construction. And in the future, this time frame will certainly be extended by ‘environmental defenders’ using legal process to challenge the vibe, legality, location, construction etc.

    So the earliest any new capacity could realistically be brought on line is 2033 (assuming Turnbull is kicked out in 2017, Plibersek gets two terms, and the project ‘only’ takes 10 years through EPC).

    By that time most of the existing coal fleet will be retired and Australia’s economy will be Second World, running on 30%-40% renewables – and so far off ‘cheap’ that a new base load station will make farkall difference.

    The strategic damage is done.

  14. incoherent rambler

    I was thinking of moving into retailing home scale gensets, any advice?

  15. RobK

    I was thinking of moving into retailing home scale gensets, any advice?
    I think you will find that market already a bit crowded. That said, larger homes can be served well by using second hand industrial units of good brand quality such as say Atlas Copco or similar. The duty cycle of perhaps a few days per year will see them lasting a long time. The use of cheaply made units is a compromise that will risk failure when required. Smaller houses are probablymost cheaply done by camping type genders and extension cord to fridge and light.

  16. Facts are we have destroyed our cheap water supplies and are well on the way to locking in increasingly expensive and intrinsically unreliable electricity. And Abbott is almost a lone voice in the wilderness – You have to pinch yourself.
    Right now at AEMO –
    http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#price-demand
    all 5 eastern states RRP prices are in the $80 to $300 per MWhr range – insane.

  17. RobK

    Natural gas units are also becoming popular and have the advantage over diesel that no fuel is stored which improves safety and gets around stale fuel problems.

  18. Motelier

    I was thinking of moving into retailing home scale gensets, any advice?

    Bugger that. Just think of the servicing bucks to be made cleaning out all that stale fuel.

  19. Mark M

    “Trump has promised to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines on his first day in office and to cancel any climate-related payments to the United Nations, putting that money instead toward domestic infrastructure projects.
    Reversing most of Obama’s other major energy and environment policies — including rules on clean power and water, fracking on federal land, oil and gas drilling, and offshore drilling — are likely to be longer term projects for the administration.”
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/313140-what-trump-can-accomplish-on-day-one
    We need politicians who want to get onboard that future.
    Or get out of the way.

  20. incoherent rambler

    all 5 eastern states RRP prices are in the $80 to $300 per MWhr range – insane.

    I have trouble with MWh. That’s up to 30c per kwh.
    And my north american competitors are paying 6-7c per kwh.

    At a 5 fold difference in cost input, anything that uses electricity to manufacture (e.g. software) is not going to happen in Australia for at least a decade (time taken to build an efficiient, clean large scale coal fired plant).

    I envisage things like:
    “Sorry I did not answer your call, I could not afford to charge the iPhone.”
    “Nah. The kids can’t read, we have no lights at night.”
    “Gee, this area stinks when there is no electricity for the sewerage pumps.”

  21. Hasbeen

    I didn’t think so at the time, but we were lucky to be flooded in, with power lines down for almost 6 days, a few years ago. Our service station had plenty of fuel, but my little 1.4 KVA gen set would not start the big fridge/freezer. We lost a lot of food, & life was not pleasant for a few days. It totally reinforced my dislike of bar-b-ques.

    I bought a 10 KVA 3 phase gen set the next week on the net for less than $1000, so that flood has prepared me for a South Australian type power system, here in Qld.

  22. incoherent rambler

    Dear ALP/LNP/GRN voters,
    When you receive your electricity bill for $600 next week, remember that it would be around $100 without the GRN insanity.
    In the next year or so, you can expect that $600 to become a number greater than $1,500.
    Get in early and sell the aircon, kettle, toaster, thermomix, and large screen TV on eBay, now.

    yours sincerely
    Parliaments of Australia.

  23. Mark M

    World’s first ‘clean coal’ commercial power plant opens in Canada. Coal is going nowhere.
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/10/worlds-first-clean-coal-commercial-power-plant-opens-in-canada.html

  24. Myrddin Seren

    At least Canada’s Trudeau recognised that going to the World Economic Forum in Davos on 20 January would be a mistake and chose instead to cancel his attendance and stay home.

    Shiny Pony is staying at home in Canada, eh , because he is up to his neck in a huge scandal – as the champagne socialists always manage to walk wide eyed in to:

    Parliament’s conflict-of-interest watchdog opens first-ever investigation into a PM’s activities

    The federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner has launched an investigation into the circumstances of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s New Year’s holiday in the Bahamas, the National Post has learned, the first time a sitting prime minister has come under scrutiny by the independent parliamentary watchdog.

    And as a bellwether of where endless renewballs take people in a harsh, unforgiving climate – here is a Trudeau voter who claims that between Ontario’s green-crony Leftism ( think a Canadian Victoria-stan, eh ?! ) and Trudeau’s carbon taxes – she and her family is either going to starve or freeze to death.

    There is some discussion about her actual circumstances in the comments – and she apparently remains a loyal Trudeau fan girl – who doubtless will be sadly missed when she freezes to death for The Planet.

  25. Barry 1963

    What about Trump’s talk of tariffs of 35%? If we had a leader so committed to industry protection, we’d maintain good unionised manufacturing jobs like in the 1960s!

  26. Myrddin Seren

    Courtesy of Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters

    Here is a post from a German economist contending the impossibility of German’s ‘Energy Revolution’:

    ….prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende. ….a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.

    This contention is naturally challenged in the comments by German Green loons who insist just ‘One More Big Push’ to wind and solar will see Germany at 100% Renewball*-gerfrickenkstaten.

    After which ‘success’, the German Green-Left can concentrate on their first order priority – introducing hordes of dusky boy migrants to the joys of mass same-sex polygamous marriages and group sex.

    * By definition – if you kill off all other means of base load electricty production, you will be left with 100% renewable energy. Which will neither meet your existing nor your future electricity demand.

    However, whatever limited, intermittent and costly electricity that is produced will be 100% renewable.

    This will be a great comfort to the hungry proles shivering in the dark as the Morally and Intellectually Superior drive past in their Teslas.

  27. Myrddin Seren

    Courtesy of Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters

    Here is a post from a German economist contending the impossibility of German’s ‘Energy Revolution’:

    ….prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende. ….a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.

    This contention is naturally challenged in the comments by German Green loons who insist just ‘One More Big Push’ to wind and solar will see Germany at 100% Renewball*-gerfrickenkstaten.

    After which ‘success’, the German Green-Left can concentrate on their first order priority – introducing hordes of dusky boy migrants to the joys of mass same-sex polygamous marriages and group groping.

    * By definition – if you kill off all other means of base load electricity production, you will be left with 100% renewable energy. Which will neither meet your existing nor your future electricity demand.

    However, whatever limited, intermittent and costly electricity that is produced will be 100% renewable.

    This will be a great comfort to the hungry proles shivering in the dark as the Morally and Intellectually Superior drive past in their Teslas.

  28. RobK

    What about Trump’s talk of tariffs of 35%?
    I maybe reading Trump wrong but the impression I got was the tariffs were a threat to China regarding their currency, and a threat to manufacturers who practice off-shoring, especially in countries that have import tariffs. If the threat is heeded, no tariffs would apply.

  29. Myrddin Seren

    Test 2

    Ah Ha !

    The spaminator does not like the link in Test 1 – being repelled as the rest of us by a blog post full of comments by deplorable Kraut Lefties. A work around follows !

  30. Myrddin Seren

    Courtesy of Euan Mearns’ Energy Matters

    Here is a link to a GWPF repost of a report from:

    German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende …a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of how much new capacity will be built.

    There was more soaring rhetoric in the original comment that the spaminator may choose to restore at some point.

    The guts of the matter are in the above link.

  31. Irreversible

    Perhaps Alan Moran might consider exactly what market he is talking about. The plain evidence (for example, Shell’s annual global energy review) says that Australia gas reserves – free of any recent coal seam addition – have risen substantially in recent years. A considerable amount of that is remote, but there is plenty in the southeast and especially in Bass Strait. The domestic gas market suffered a sudden supply problem when the LNG plants at Gladstone failed to obtain the forecast supply from coal seam sources. It is not at all clear yet that this is a regulation issue. There is certainly ample evidence that production from Australian coal seams is not a simple matter.
    As to the tough issue: the price offered industry is at least doubled and in some cases trebled. Some large investments slated for Brisbane and Victoria have gone offshore. This is because the US has a market that brings supply on and even Europe has a traded hub. In our region traded LNG is contracted at a wide range of price over long terms and a little is traded spot. It would appear that our poor market disciplines have allowed companies sitting our gas reserves to impose huge price increases by the device of the socalled LNG “netback”, which is reckoned to price local gas net of the huge capex influence of shipping and so on.
    I am wondering how our market will distort from here. Maybe we will see AGL etc buying cheap gas on long term contracts from Qatar? Whatever, the absolute benefit of having local gas supply is lost because the market is simply corrupted by a plain lack of supply response. It’s easy to see why if you just look at who gets the benefit.

  32. Alan Moran

    Electricity price have shot up today because Alcoa is now staying and has a big share of the Vic production earmarked. All customers could be buying power at $35 per MWh if the governments would only stop the nonesense

  33. incoherent rambler

    All customers could be buying power at $35 per MWh if …

    Political slogan: “I will turn your $500 electricity bill into $50. Think of it as me giving you $450 each time you get an electricity bill!”

    Surely, that would be enough to win government.

  34. memoryvault

    I was thinking of moving into retailing home scale gensets, any advice?

    Bugger that. Just think of the servicing bucks to be made cleaning out all that stale fuel.

    Motelier, line up a wholesale supplier of gen sets, and convert them to LPG.
    Conversion kits for most major makes of 4 stroke engines are available “off the shelf”.
    Fuel available just about anywhere, and doesn’t go off.

    You need a little instruction booklet to go with the generator, to avoid Hasbeen’s mistakes.
    People need a unit powerful enough to start their heaviest draw appliance**.
    But they don’t need a unit big enough to power the whole house.
    Fridges, freezers, even air cons can be powered separately, and only fired up when needed.

    .
    ** – Excludes items like kettles, toasters, dishwashers, HWS etc, with heating elements.

  35. Frank

    I am with Dr Faustus on this one, sadly.

  36. Motelier

    Motelier, line up a wholesale supplier of gen sets, and convert them to LPG.
    C

    After Cyclone Marcia I had the use of a Honda EU30IS generator.

    It powered the following ,
    1 upright freezer
    2 chest freezers
    1 domestic 2 door upright fridge/freezer
    1 two door display fridge

    24 hours on one tank of fuel and whisper quiet.

    While LPG does not go off to the general punter it does have some horror stories.

    As for the instruction booklet. Most punters do not read every page. All small portable generators must be drained of fuel (carburettor and fuel tank) before storage.

    I will stick with the servicing thanks.

  37. Linden

    Over the past 10 yrs since Howard lost office this country has been run by the very worst of governments,

  38. Bruce of Newcastle

    Whatever, the absolute benefit of having local gas supply is lost because the market is simply corrupted by a plain lack of supply response.

    As Alan points out there is an actual ban in Victoria and effective bans in the other states through lawfare and sovereign risk. Ironically in SA the ALP is in favour but the Libs are against and have promised a 10 year moratorium. Total death wish.

    No company is going to commit millions or billions when the politicians by fiat could strip them of their asset without compensation.

    So you can’t absolve the pollies and blame the companies for not responding. They are responding: to the epic madness of the political class.

  39. A Lurker

    Quick question.

    Is it worthwhile getting solar panels installed?
    If so, which company is best recommended?
    Are there recommended manufacturers?

    Currently, we’re using about 14 kWh per day in electricity.

  40. RobK

    Alurker,
    Quick question
    Consult Choice for details, there’s no quick answer. The government largess does improve ROI. Your consumption pattern is as important as gross consumption. It would be safe to assume feed-in tariffs are on a downward trend. If you can use a lot of the power whilst the sun shines, the ROI is likely to be favourable, perhaps 5-7 years.

  41. Mark M

    CO2 scam tax “could become [Trudeau’s] electoral undoing — not just in Ontario, but across all of Canada.”

    Terence Corcoran: Trudeau’s Liberals just got struck by the first shot in Canada’s carbon-tax rebellion

    http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/terence-corcoran-trudeaus-liberals-just-got-struck-by-the-first-shot-in-canadas-carbon-tax-rebellion

    * Check the video of the woman telling Trudeau her energy costs are now more than her mortgage!

  42. mh

    There is not a single Turnbull-government Minister that wanted Trump to succeed.

    Even John Howard said that the thought of Trump as President made him “tremble”.

  43. Old Bloke

    Chief scientist Alan Finkel whose preliminary report is predictably off the planet in proclaiming the future lies with renewables and consumers want these

    And that is the nub of the problem, the consumers aren’t complaining so they will be forced to pay increasing amounts for less reliable energy. Until the voters start shouting, our elected representatives won’t do anything.

    I received a letter from my local federal member in December and he invited his electors to nominate one issue of concern which required his attention. Being the overly generous soul that I am, I gave him a list of eight items* which included stopping subsidies for renewable energy. People must start doing that, don’t sit around complaining, get onto your local member and give him (or her) an earful.

    *I could only squeeze 8 items on his form, given enough space I could have listed at least 20 items.

  44. Jerry

    Re:

    ” #2264695, posted on January 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    Quick question.

    Is it worthwhile getting solar panels installed?
    If so, which company is best recommended?
    Are there recommended manufacturers?

    Currently, we’re using about 14 kWh per day in electricity. ”

    Answer:

    Converting 14kWh ( per day) of solar energy to electric energy takes a very modest system. For this to be worthwile ( = Return on the initial investment in say 6 years) you will try to maximise your energy consumption to coincide with the daylight hours. eg. Run the washing machine, dishwasher, crockpot cookers and house airconditioner during the day. Ideally you will determine the amount of energy you use during the night time hours and during the day time hours.

    Solar systems are cheap so a larger system ( based on winter sunshine) will run a “nice” airconditioner during summer saving alot of cash. Please take note that the amount of solar energy available is much lower in winter than it is in summer so it would be prudent to size a system based on winter sun shine.

    The type of feed in tarrif is important. Gross metering (You PAY for the solar power YOU generate)suites the parasites of the energy companies so what you require is NET metering where you do not pay for the power that YOU generate.

    In SA (The welfare state!) , power prices are”hideously high” and unfordable to a large number of people, solar power is installed in 25% of the houses and the metering is Net metering.

  45. Myrddin Seren

    Chief scientist Alan Finkel whose preliminary report is predictably off the planet in proclaiming the future lies with renewables and consumers want these

    Want to bet that the ‘scientific fact’ that consumers want green energy came courtesy of the Australia Institute ?

  46. cohenite

    Mark M

    #2264588, posted on January 17, 2017 at 10:37 am

    World’s first ‘clean coal’ commercial power plant opens in Canada. Coal is going nowhere.
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/10/worlds-first-clean-coal-commercial-power-plant-opens-in-canada.html

    Clean coal is such a bullshit idea not matter how ingenious. It depends entirely on alarmism being true, which it isn’t and is just a flat expense to otherwise cheap, efficient energy. Huge money is being wasted on it.

  47. RobK

    In SA (The welfare state!) , power prices are”hideously high” and unfordable to a large number of people, solar power is installed in 25% of the houses and the metering is Net metering.”
    As I understand it Nett metering is effectively like running your meter backwards when you feed your surplus into the grid, effectively treating the grid as a storage facility, which it’s not. Ultimately there will have to be a seperate fee of some sort or the provider and distributor will go broke. Obviously simply jacking up the tariffs hits the non solar consumers hardest. It’s highly inequitable but forces uptake of solar which jacks the prices even more. It is a cunning but evil plan.

  48. A Lurker

    Thanks, Jerry – we’re in the mountains so aircon during summer isn’t usually required. We have gas and wood fire for cooking and heating, so electricity is wholly lights and appliances. Just am concerned about spiraling electricity prices in the future so am trying to minimise costs as much as possible.

  49. Leo G

    Gross metering (You PAY for the solar power YOU generate) suites the parasites of the energy companies so what you require is NET metering where you do not pay for the power that YOU generate.

    Incorrect! Gross metering means that you are paid for the solar power you generate (at the feedin tariff rate), but you are charged for all energy you use (at the retail rate).

  50. Art Vandelay

    Be aware that your solar system will not work in a blackout unless you undertake some expensive modifications.

  51. Jerry

    Yes RobK,

    Net metering is like running the meter backwards and the the gain is at the current tariff .
    Yes, the provider must go broke ( the electricity death spiral) but the government will not allow this to happen we will all be hit with high energy costs and the poor will suffer the most.

    The use of battery storage will be the next big problem. Currently there are ” magnificant” systems like :

    http://www.sma-australia.com.au/products/battery-inverters/sunny-island-60h-80h.html

    That are available for a “most reasonable ” cost and will run an average house and manage its power off grid.

    Sadly, when this happens to cost of electric energy will rise to all who are reliant on the government’s electric market. I suspect that the government response will be to force everybody to pay a tax to the electric companies or the government will introduce an “Electricity Excise” so that it may distribute the spoils as a “fairness” welfare measure.

  52. Jerry

    LenG,

    Point taken. I stand corrected.

  53. RobK

    Thanks Jerry,
    What the “renewables” punters fail to realize when it comes to batteries is: if/when they become economic, the grid operators will be the first to use them as they will buffer the grid for all types of power generation. No subsidies required. The best place for batteries is anywhere other than a domestic setting.

  54. jupes

    There is not a single Turnbull-government Minister that wanted Trump to succeed.

    Even John Howard said that the thought of Trump as President made him “tremble”.

    Good.

    This is because their ‘safe space’ is about to change. ‘Good policy’ from Howard and Turnbull such as banning light globes to ‘save the planet’ will be given the utter scorn it deserves.

  55. Jerry

    Hi RobK,

    The technology exists :

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/25/business/corporate-business/big-battery-eyed-as-green-energy-cure/#.WH2qQ-sXeK0

    Will Australia see something like this ? I very much doubt it. Certainly without massive price rises or re-distribution taxes.

  56. Myrddin Seren

    Jerry

    Will Australia see something like this ? I very much doubt it. Certainly without massive price rises or re-distribution taxes.

    Let big, rich countries like Japan take the risk on trying to develop giant Evereadies.

    If they actually commercialise something like this, the rest of the world will hop on the bandwagon – and who is going to say ‘no’ to sharing the technology ( at a cost of course ) because Gaia ?

    Developing big batteries here aside – I would put money on the probability that what we will get are massive energy price rises AND re-distributive taxes. And a costly, unreliable energy system.

  57. Rayvic

    “Few of our politicians understand anything about energy costs and even fewer want to put in place policies that liberate the market, allowing Australia to have the cheapest energy in the world thereby regaining the status we had until 15 years ago. That’s because they are responding to the pressure from the elites in NGOs, the public service, business and academia. All of these have their separate reasons for wanting to foster high cost energy – reasons that range from the venal to the aspirations for political control of the economy.”

    It is indeed tragic for the national interest when political correctness trumps rational, rigorous scientific and economic analysis. The energy-cost illiterate politicians include: Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Greg Hunt, Simon Birmingham, Michael Baird and most NSW government politicians; federal, SA, Victorian, Qld, and NSW Labor politicians; Nick Xenophon, and of course all the Greens. The warmist elites are plainly un-professional.

  58. RobK

    Jerry,
    The technology exists
    Indeed, clearly not economically viable yet.

  59. memoryvault

    “ The technology exists ”
    Indeed, clearly not economically viable yet.

    The linked article is dated September 2013, and the “battery” was going to be six stories high.
    If anything promising had come of it, we’d have had the details rammed down our throats a thousand times by now. I think it can safely be filed with the wave generators.

  60. Jerry

    Yes Myrddin,

    I like the term “Giant Evereadies” .

    This battery technology was developed by Uni NSW many many years ago and is mature. If my memory serves me well these batteries were used in Tokyo 15 years ago (?).

    And, yes, electricity and energy prices in general prices will go up and up. But for those who have the funds they will choose to go out on their own.

    On the issue of reliability: I believe it was abit unfair blaming wind power for the massive blackout in SA … the winds in the storm were powerful enough to flatten the massive transmission towers!

  61. Rabz

    There is not a single Turnbull-government Minister that wanted Trump to succeed.

    Even John Howard said that the thought of Trump as President made him “tremble”.

    Gee, I’m really looking forward to the idiots admitting they were wrong./sarc off

  62. RobK

    Jerry,
    ” the winds in the storm were powerful enough to flatten the massive transmission towers!”
    Mmm,yes, but any engineer would shake their head at seeing up ended pylons which had their entire footings extracted out of the ground. Something’s not right there.

  63. Bruce of Newcastle

    Jerry – The Snowtown area windfarms tripped a short time before the transmission towers were blown over. Because they tripped and shut down about an extra 350 MW was immediately sucked down the Heywood interconnector from Victoria. That tripped the interconnector and the state grid then collapsed.

    SA Blackout: Three towers, six windfarms and 12 seconds to disaster

    The primary issue it turns out is the windies didn’t do a controlled shutdown of their farms. If they’d done so the grid would’ve survived the subsequent tower failures as the operator would’ve had time to bring up the backup gas and diesel plants. I believe there’s now been a change in the windfarm software to correct that, so in the last few high wind events the grid hasn’t fallen over (although there’ve been four partial blackouts since).

  64. Bruce of Newcastle

    The issue of course with big batteries is that renewable energy is already triple the cost of coal energy.
    The batteries will double or triple the capital cost of the load-levelled renewable energy so that it then would be six or nine times more expensive than coal energy (and five to seven times more expensive than nuclear).

    The batteries also last only about 8 years or so, unlike 50 years for a coal plant, so you have to stump up a huge chunk of capital to renovate them every decade.

    All paid for by the voters.

    Indeed the total cost of such systems is so high that the electricity would be more expensive than self generated electricity using an off the shelf petrol or diesel generator. So to stop the plebs doing the logical thing the government would have to ban them – otherwise the voters would be producing more CO2 from their gen sets than the original efficient coal plants were producing.

    It’s madness. Logically if you really believed this stuff (and I can prove global warming is harmless) you would build nuke plants and be done with it. But no, that would be against their religion.

  65. RobK

    Jerry,
    ” And, yes, electricity and energy prices in general prices will go up and up. But for those who have the funds they will choose to go out on their own.”

    I take it you are in SA. No need to defend the State. Alan’s point in the article is that the cost of energy policy is excessive. It needn’t be that way. New extractive and transmission technologies etc should be keeping a lid on things but government interference is forcing the market to gross inefficiencies, even theft and give always.

  66. Jerry

    RobK, Yes I am from SA … a very long hisrory of being in SA.

    A story for you :

    Many years ago I worked at Range E in Woomera. From the range head ( launcher area 2) was a pole route to the furtherst radar site ( down range). If memory serves me correct this route was about 30km. The poles served to carry telephone and data carrying wires. Originally the poles were “Stobie Poles” ( Invented in SA and extensively used here) These poles are two steel girders with a concrete filling and are flat on one side. The desert winds on one occasion was powerful enough to blow down almost 15km “worth” of poles so all the poles were replaced with round timber poles … end result: no more poles blew down.

    Government interference, government ineptitude, politics of global warming … just too complex for me.
    One can only react to what s happening now.

  67. Jerry

    Bruce of Newcastle,

    Global warming and the politics of such are out of my league. But I am at a loss to explain why this country does not exploit the abundance of energy at our disposal. Why? There is enough coal in the Bowen Basin to last us 3000 years. Why can’t we have massive aluminium refrineries ? Why can’t we have a vibrant steel industry ? Why can’t we have cheap energy ?

    About generating ones own power: One of the problems is the low efficiency of keeping a generator going with less than full load. But with suitable storage one could charge batteries once a day and use this battery stored energy . This was a common occurrence in rural SA where some countru hospitals received their power by this method.

  68. Mark M

    @cohenite
    #2264776, posted on January 17, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Completely agree that cc&s is a pointless waste of good money.

  69. Rob MW

    Unfortunately, Turnbull’s response has been to assemble a commission under the Chief scientist Alan Finkel whose preliminary report is predictably off the planet in proclaiming the future lies with renewables and consumers want these (as they do if governments force them to!)

    Good grief. These utopian statist pricks should stick to navel gazing and get out of the fucking road.

  70. Nerblnob

    Mark M
    #2265125, posted on January 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm
    @cohenite
    #2264776, posted on January 17, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Completely agree that cc&s is a pointless waste of good money

    .

    Some of these CCS programs require deep wells to be drilled.

    Completely mental but fucking great for us drillers!

  71. Lem

    What’s with the facts? People learn by experience. Adelaide going down on the grid was child’s play. Hopefully Gaieaeaeia will take down Melbourne and Sydney next time. Then, as the espresso machines grind to a halt the “national” conversation will get interesting.

  72. Nerblnob

    In the SA blackouts, the “Don’t blame renewables!” meme was up and running on social media before “Blame renewables” had even got its boots on.

    The excuses are all ready and primed. “Coal was losing money anyway”. “Fossil fuel lobby!” “This blackout proves that coal is inefficient. More wind turbines, now!” “Rightwingers!”

  73. Habib

    We are governed by blithering imbeciles. Simples. If you ever have the misfortune to listen to commercial FM radio, you will easily work out how such creatures get elected to positions of power, wealth and influence. In comparison, the simpletons that infest every level of government are genius in comparison to the sort of mong who finds the inane braying of the brain damaged, such as Dave Hughes and his microcephalus co-hostess amusing and entertaining, and apparently there’s an awful lot of them.

    Devolution is kicking along nicely, and let’s face it not starting from an elevated base.

  74. None

    Our power has gone off three times today. Just got restored after the third brown out. Yep and Weatherill blew up our coal fired power station and we can’t use nuclear. FFS you can’t run a business in SA. You can’t even run a home. Probably why arsehole politicians now want to euthanise us.

  75. incoherent rambler

    On the battery front, please apply some common sense.

    1. You would need to store an awful lot of energy
    2. Too big you say. Let’s make it small with an awful lot of energy.
    3. Sounds like an explosive device? Yep.

  76. mem

    Moving to renewables will make no difference to the climate. So why does Turnbull push renewables? He is either stupid or beholden to those who invest in renewable ventures. Given that Goldman Sachs paid off a settlementt in order to avert his potential conviction over the FIA/HIH collapse (which would have rendered him ineligible to hold a parliamentary position, let alone its highest office) I know what I think. The public are being held to ransom and our businesses large and small are being bled dry by the increasing electricity prices. Yet interestingly those that promote the renewables debacle are least likely to use it, (I was looking at where the solar subsidies were going in NSW and it wasn’t to inner city and upmarket suburbs). So what we have is a situation where well off inner city types and renewable investors are forcing the general population onto renewables because they want to “seem” cool and make a buck at the same time.

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