The Paris Agreement, Trump, Turnbull and Tesla

On the night Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, Julie Bishop was quick to step in to forestall him responding to a press question about Australia’s future global warming/emissions policy.  She said, as Malcolm was collecting his thoughts, the policy remains the same.

Turnbull, flanked by Bishop and Frydenberg, announced the ratification of the Paris Agreement the day after Trump’s election victory in full knowledge of the President-elect’s determination to pull the US out of its economically irresponsible provisions.  She has answered later questions about what Australia might do in light of the Trump response to the Paris agreement by saying she thought it likely that the US would stay in because, “like Australia”, the US will find it relatively easy to meet its 26-28 per cent emission reduction goals.

Bishop has finely tuned political antennae as regards Australia but is economically illiterate and hence follows the advice on these issues from her green left bureaucracy.  And that ideology is unshiftable within the public service, as evidenced by the appointment that Megan Quinn, former head of the Treasury team that told the government that a $150 per tonne carbon tax would have only a trivial effect on the economy to a new $400,000 a year position.

Many warmists take consolation from White House leaks by former lobbyists George David Banks apparently joining with Ivanka Trump in promoting some continuation of the Obama policies.  If that were to occur it would be only nominal as Pruitt at the EPA is already undoing the regulations on carbon dioxide emissions; these were the cornerstone of the US measures to throttle fossil fuels as a means to meeting the Paris Agreement.

All this has a bearing for Australia’s immediate policy position.  Since the South Australia crisis Turnbull has relegated his Energy Minister and personally taken control of the Energy portfolio, assisted by his Departmental Secretary, and fellow climate alarmist, Martin Parkinson (Megan Quinn’s former boss).

Although Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester on Sky this morning maintained that Turnbull is neutral between different energy sources and the ALP is trying to paint him as pro coal, Turnbull’s climate alarmist credentials are painted in blood (few politicians would, as he did in 2009, give up the leadership rather than abandon the carbon tax, a policy favoured overwhelmingly by his colleagues).

He is not above sledging the ALP for going too far with a renewable policy that’s bringing about the deindustrialisation of South Australia.  In doing so, he and his colleagues neglect to say this is an outcome caused by the South Australian government readily grasping the wind/solar subsidies that the Commonwealth government is offering (subsidies that ALP governments in Victoria and Queensland are taking steps to gain a greater share).

Following the eradication of coal in South Australia, the next stage of the destruction of the Australian electricity supply industry is the closure of Hazelwood.  Even before this has happened, it has already required actions to save, the Portland aluminium smelter hit by consequential price rises.  But Portland’s rescue is at the expense of other consumers who see their wholesale electricity prices doubling.

Turnbull, in vanquishing coal, has not been able to rely on gas because state governments, bowing to pressures from mystics of the left and right, have stifled new supplies.  Now he wants to jawbone the gas suppliers into subsidising his campaign with artificially low prices.   But the gas is only there at a steep price – though less than the threefold cost of wind versus coal.

In steps Elon Musk with a plan to sandbag South Australia’s unreliable supply system with storage batteries at a cost of some $300 million (steeply discounted if he does not complete the job in 100 days).  The prospect of more honeypots being laid out by Canberra has attracted the usual subsidy seekers – including the Garnaut-Hewson duo at Zen Energy – who find government a softer touch than consumers.

Lost within the battery sound bites is the reality: batteries store but do not create electricity.  If we were to completely offset the irregular nature of wind in South Australia and move to a full wind/solar system we’d have power at three times the cost of coal plus whatever is the final price for the batteries.

Turnbull and his acolytes in the media as well as direct employs have not bothered telling us this.  They may not care as they are focussed on the green chimera which has inoculated them with constant tales of how much cheaper exotic renewables are or soon will be. Cheap renewables are not going to happen.  The only feasible strategy to pre-empt economic disaster (and political penalties) involves preventing the closure of Hazelwood after which, policy sanity might be restored.  This though is unlikely to happen on Turnbull’s watch.

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80 Responses to The Paris Agreement, Trump, Turnbull and Tesla

  1. Cui bono

    That MT judgement thing again.
    It comes with a huge hidden price tag.

  2. Art Vandelay

    As a letter writer in the Australian pointed out today, Musk’s proposed battery system will store enough electricity to power SA for 3 minutes.

    But I’m sure our gullible governments will have no problem handing over taxpayers’ money for yet another white elephant.

  3. H B Bear

    This is not Potential Greatness.

    Still waiting quietly.

  4. stevem

    constant tales of how much cheaper exotic renewables are or soon will be.

    I’m always amazed that politicians can’t bring themselves to embrace the second condition in the above quote. Why can they not announce full support of renewable energy once it is actually cheaper. After all, a year or two down the track we can go 100% renewable for no cost to the economy at all!
    Surely the greenies would rejoice (and shut up as a bonus)

  5. H B Bear

    What a photo op though. Tech entrepreneur and smartest man in the room, Malcolm “Lord” Waffleworth (never mind the reality that it was a $500k punt on a Sydney insider maaaates deal) on the phone to space pioneer Leon Musk. That’s got to be worth a couple of percent TPP.

  6. NewChum

    You’ve got to hand it to Elon Musk. He has a gold plated talent for spotting when a government is about to start handing out bags of cash to avert a crisis brought about by its own idiocy. They’ll transfer billions to him in order for a photo op and ‘save the world’ credentials. I can’t help but admire the guy for his timing and chutzpah. He would make an excellent Bond villain.

  7. 2dogs

    If Elon Musk’s plan is worthwhile, surely his storage plant can just be added to AEMO as a wholesale buyer and seller?

    And that would be profitable?

    The capital could then be raised from the market.

  8. Just interested

    For those of us who don’t subscribe to the Paywallian, or don’t have time to go around it, to what position has Megan Quinn been appointed?

    (Drafting style note: if you’re linking to a paywalled article, if you don’t provide a fair use slab from the article to provide context at least give us a one sentence burst as to precisely what it is we’re supposed to find out from the article – in this case, the possie to which this woman was appointed).

  9. Musk’s guarantee applies to speed of installation. This is a bit like like offering no charge on a new toaster if it’s not delivered and plugged into a power point by a certain date. The toaster will get there…but what’s the price and will it toast? Warranties are meant to apply to performance, not delivery dates.

    Will Elon guarantee the performance of his “fix” for a full hundred days of SA winter or summer? Well, Elon?

    (Elon has just changed the subject to the possibility of bowling alleys on Mars.)

  10. Senile Old Guy

    Since the South Australia crisis Turnbull has relegated his Energy Minister and personally taken control of the Energy portfolio, assisted by his Departmental Secretary, and fellow climate alarmist, Martin Parkinson (Megan Quinn’s former boss).

    Oh no! I was joking when I wrote this on the open thread yesterday:

    Oh, no! SA are going to buy lots and lots of batteries, with help from Turnbull:

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he has held a “great in depth discussion” with Elon Musk, after the billionaire tech entrepreneur offered to fix South Australia’s energy problems within 100 days. On Friday, Mr Musk said energy storage could solve the state’s electricity problems with a Tesla battery farm, and work could be completed within 100 days, or it would be free.

  11. teddy bear

    Useful idiots who believe storing power in batteries as a solution to irregular power supplies miss one important detail, those batteries still need to be charged, and charged quickly to cater for the next low supply. So not only do you need to have enough batteries to cater for the longest period of low power output, you also then need to be able to charge those batteries in a timely manner which means you need to have a vast oversupply of generation capacity.

    Of course parasites like musk who push such insanity are obviously aware of this simple reality but in our wonderful post truth world such realities are buried from public eye by complicit MSM and politicians.

  12. NewChum

    rime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he has held a “great in depth discussion” with Elon Musk, after the billionaire tech entrepreneur offered to fix South Australia’s energy problems within 100 days

    Really the best bit about this is that the useful idiots can no longer deny there is a problem.

  13. Fred

    Lithium ion batteries are extremely dangerous.

    When every house in South Australia has a government subsidized Tesla Powerwall, it will make the pink batts deaths look minor by comparison.

  14. jupes

    This is very depressing.

    Keep up the good work Alan.

  15. The fact that Turnbull actually spoke with Musk about this battery scam tells me so much about the shallowness of this fools idiot.
    Do what the greenest of them all- Germany- is doing, building a dozen new coal powered power plants. The coal used will be brown coal imported from Poland.

    At some stage in the future, energy will be plentiful and cheap and the unused fossil fuels in the ground will become worthless. USE THE STUFF NOW WHILE IT’S STILL WORTH SOMETHING you assholes.

  16. egg_

    This is a bit like like offering no charge on a new toaster

    A good analogy, given the flammability issues.

  17. Qley

    You’ve got to hand it to Elon Musk. He has a gold plated talent for spotting when a government is about to start handing out bags of cash

    Its quite amazing. The reputation hes built is remarkable, to the point where even his tweet on the topic has got him a call from our prime minister. I wonder what the people of south australia will think once they have their new batteries and he is long gone

  18. egg_

    At some stage in the future, energy will be plentiful and cheap and the unused fossil fuels in the ground will become worthless.

    If the Greenoids embrace Nuclear, as advocated by James Lovelock, Mr “Gaia”.

  19. Bruce of Newcastle

    The lithium ion batteries also have a lifetime of about 8 years compared to 50 years for a power station. So after only 8 years South Australia will have to turf out the old batteries and buy more batteries from Mr Musk. Sounds like a good deal for Elon.

  20. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Ten years have passed since our country was rated in the top three for economic freedom and low corruption. How quickly we have fallen.

    Today we witness a nominally Liberal PM gleefully promoting his photo op with the greatest carpetbagger of the modern era, demanding we take seriously his proposal to buy lemons with other people’s money.

    The public service may be rotten to the core, but that is no excuse for the PM to behave like a court jester. Trumble is approaching Gillardesqe levels of malicious incompetence.

    If Malcolm Turnbull was a horse, he would have been despatched to the glue factory long ago.

  21. Baldrick

    Let me see if I’ve got this right. They’re going to spend $300,000,000 not to build a coal fired power plant, to alleviate the power shortages in South Australia.

    The only difference between the Stupid.Fucking.Liberals and Daniel Andrews, is the degree of stupidity.

  22. Gutho

    “if he does not complete the job in 100 days” Which means he has bucket full of them that he cannot unload anywhere else

  23. Snoopy

    2dogs
    #2324647, posted on March 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    If Elon Musk’s plan is worthwhile, surely his storage plant can just be added to AEMO as a wholesale buyer and seller?

    Excellent observation. To ask the question is to answer it.

  24. Roger

    The only feasible strategy to pre-empt economic disaster (and political penalties) involves preventing the closure of Hazelwood after which, policy sanity might be restored.

    It’s so obvious only a politician could fail to see it.

  25. Jannie

    This is rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic. Soon they will go on to the important matter of getting the band to play soothing music.

  26. Howard Hill

    The only difference between the Stupid.Fucking.Liberals and Daniel Andrews, is the degree of stupidity.

    I fail to see the difference?

    While the rest of the world are building new coal plants as fast as they can, we’re burning them down I see this as sabotage, how else can you look at it?
    It’s time to sharpen the pitch forks and build the gallows!

  27. IRFM

    The economic reality is that the more baseload power is removed from the grid the greater the unit cost. Compared to Australia USA have to burn relatively high sulphur coals but they still manage to produce at a lower cost than Australia. The USA learnt the art of fraccing so much so that their production is still commercial even at the current relatively low prices. I first became involved in the US market in 1992 with the current price of gas being roughly equivalent to what it is today. Furthermore, the three main energy streams i.e. oil, gas and coal compete to keep energy costs down. A significant number of power stations are equipped to handle both CBM and coal. All this has a natural downward pressure on the cost of thermal energy. We could try that approach here.

  28. Nighthawk the Elder

    Sorry Alan, it’s time for everyone to take Hazelwood out of the equation. The reality is, and I speak as someone reasonably close to all this, the old girl is buggered.
    The units are worn out, permanently derated, continue to deteriorate and need hundreds of millions to repair. There are also Worksafe improvement notices on the plant and they would have been forced off line by mid this year anyway, unless major replacements were done.
    Other infrastructure at the station are also buggered and come with their own issues needing big dollars to keep them going. No-one is going to put up the kind of money needed, especially for no financial return.
    What caused this? In a nutshell, Juliar’s carbon tax. Until then the station was holding it’s own. The money to pay the plant food tax had to come from somewhere and it came from the discretionary funds that would have otherwise been used to maintain the plant. That was the beginning of the end and they never recovered.
    To add to this, you’ve also got a state premier who has spent the last two years hounding them out of business through various acts of lawfare and just outright demonising their very existence. Dan and his cronies are squealing with delight at the imminent closure despite their public displays of fake empathy.
    I wish it were different, but it isn’t. All we can do now is that when the inevitable brown outs occur next summer, industry becomes unviable and the rising price of power creates energy poverty, that we each hold a blow torch to the feet of every politician and green spiv who created this mess. Every one of those bastards needs to be held to account.

  29. egg_

    The only feasible strategy to pre-empt economic disaster (and political penalties) involves preventing the closure of Hazelwood after which, policy sanity might be restored.

    Presumably this has been floated to Trumble.

  30. Oh come on

    This should be an election-winner of an issue for the Libs. Keep The Lights On, Australia. (I realise that a former PM called Malcolm used ‘Turn On The Lights, Australia’ to win an election, but we aren’t in quite such dire straits yet. Not quite.) It’s a total no-brainer.

    Trust Turnbull to fuck it up.

  31. Nighthawk the Elder

    2dogs
    #2324647, posted on March 13, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    If Elon Musk’s plan is worthwhile, surely his storage plant can just be added to AEMO as a wholesale buyer and seller?

    And that would be profitable?

    The capital could then be raised from the market.

    Exactly! If this is as good as he’s claiming then Musk and his fellow travelers can put their money where their mouth is. Here is his chance to demonstrate the market approves of his scheme.
    Should not be one cent of taxpayer coin. (Are you listening Malcolm?)

  32. Nick

    Turnbull spoke with Musk over the weekend. Presumably one of them was able to contact the other. What a pity Turnbull never used his telephone skills to once call Trump before he was elected.

  33. Squirrel

    For the benefit of non-Paywallians, Meghan Quinn has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Treasury’s Structural Reform Group which “provides analysis and advice on the structure and reform of Australian industries and regions, including approaches to regulation, transport and energy networks that will encourage competition and support economic growth and development.”

    Presumably we can look forward to lots of bright, shiny ideas and media events about decentralisation (as part of the attempted housing affordability fix) enabled by renewable-powered high speed rail, and lots of high-tech, high-wage jobs (which will be miraculously immune from inconvenient competition from somewhat more competitive economies) and congestion charges to keep unsuitable types and their vehicles out of the areas which suitable people regard as their sole preserve.

    A more practical (and Budget-friendly) structural reform would be cutting the duplication, triplication and quadruplication of bureaucratic advisory and analsyis etc. functions within the Commonwealth and likewise between the Commonwealth and State/Territory bureaucratic empires.

  34. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Nighthawk

    I haven’t been inside Hazelwood for twenty years. It was considered to be nearing the end back then by some.

    I visited an old acquaintance in Morwell a few weeks back. He said same re the maintenance issues. He opined the EPA shake down was the last straw.

    We missed the chance to commission new capacity at Loy Yang ten years back. We are now rooted.

  35. Perth Trader

    OK…correct me if I’m wrong chatters..$300mill. will pay for enough batteries for 35000 dwellings in a city with approx. 500,000 dwellings. If I’m correct, in 10yers or less time I can see Aust. govts. both state and federal being forced into subsidising candles.

  36. Qley

    “if he does not complete the job in 100 days” Which means he has bucket full of them that he cannot unload anywhere else

    You mean he isn’t actually going to risk anything? Surely his pledge shows just how committed he is and doesn’t sound like a man trying to dupe others

  37. jupes

    Nothing will change until we get a party in power that is not concerned with CO2 emissions.

    There is only one party at the moment – PHON.

  38. jupes

    This is just so stupid and utterly frustrating that our stupid political parties are wedded to this ridiculous global warming scam.

    Even if CO2 was a danger, there is nothing whatsoever that Australia can do about it. China will increase its CO2 emissions 50% by 2013, India will double theirs, the US doesn’t care anymore and I dunno if the Russians ever did. Those are the top four CO2 emitters.

    Meanwhile Australia who produce only about 1% of global warming emissions will waste billions of dollars reducing our minuscule emissions, which will drive manufacturing offshore and change a first world, cheap electricity grid into an expensive, unreliable fiasco. Instead, as the world’s largest producer of coal we could have the cheapest, most reliable electricity on the planet.

    All this for precisely zero effect on world temperature. What happened to governments governing in the national interest?

  39. Dr Fred Lenin

    We have to stop this crap . What right does malcolm ruddbull have to commit us to this scam? He has a huge majority of o n e in the reps and no majority in the mac sennitt. The whole lot of these polliemaggots wouldnt exist without compulsory voting and preferences . One term for life for all politicians ,voluntary voting no preferences ,no welfare for migrants till they pay tax for twenty years and a waiting period of twenty years taxpaying for citizenship . Oh and political donations limited to $10 per annum per person or group . Theres a start yo drain the swamp

  40. Nighthawk the Elder

    Empire, yeah about 20 years ago, Hazelwood was nearing the end.
    But then something happened. Privatisation. The new owners believed in the potential and invested heavily to rebuild and modernise the plant. (Ignore the old cladding on the building, it’s what’s in the engine room that counts.)
    Here’s the thing, all the production records were smashed in the early 2000’s when the belief and investments began to pay off. The SECV could only dream of what was achieved. And as icing on the cake, Hazelwood won a nice little collection of national engineering awards (from IEAust and SIRF) over a 4 years period in recognition of all the hard work.
    Could history repeat? Unfortunately it’s now too far gone. You need both the money and the belief and sadly no-one has the belief anymore.

  41. cohenite

    Musk is a conman who should be thrown down country dunny hole; turnbull is now officially worse than rudd and second only to Gillard; the worst conservative (sic) PM since fraser who let in the muslim lebs..

    When a grid collapses it needs to be black started; renewables can’t do that and neither can a battery. Musk’s 100MW storage unit will power SA for, well you can work it out yourself:

    1 SA’s power production: 960MW
    2 SA’s demand: 1080MW

    1080/100 = 5.5 minutes

    And as I said if the grid collapses, which it will after 5.5 minutes the battery can’t restart it.

  42. Bruce of Newcastle

    Nothing will change until we get a party in power that is not concerned with CO2 emissions.
    There is only one party at the moment – PHON.

    And SFF and ALA. SFF may end up with more WA seats than PHON. They also have a lower house MP here in NSW.

  43. Gab

    In steps Elon Musk with a plan to sandbag South Australia’s unreliable supply system with storage batteries at a cost of some $300 million (steeply discounted if he does not complete the job in 100 days).

    Steeply discounted? Musk said it would be “free” if the job was not completed within 100 days.

  44. Bruce of Newcastle

    SA’s demand: 1080MW

    That’s quite low. It was over 2GW when AMEO ordered those brownouts.
    You have to size for the peak not the average.

  45. Senile Old Guy

    Unfortunately it’s now too far gone. You need both the money and the belief and sadly no-one has the belief anymore.

    The problem for investment is that both the ALP and LNP believe in glowball warming and there is far too much uncertainty for anyone to invest large sums of money in something that can only pay off long term. A power plant could be rendered uneconomic by an incoming government too easily.

  46. teddy bear

    Do they even have enough spare capacity to cover the closure of Hazelwood next month? I assume SA will still be needing to draw power through the interconnecter at times.

    Also if so how much spare capacity do they have, and as per the info from the above posters, are the rest of our power stations in the same state or approaching that?

  47. Cradock's Choice

    Turnbull the F*ckup Fairy meets the most successful taxpayer money hoovering Greenscare spiv of his generation.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  48. Nighthawk the Elder

    Teddy Bear, next month we enter what’s called the shoulder period and the electricity demand drops away. Less likely to be any power brown outs, short of another big storm knocking out infrastructure. Next summer will be telling when the air cons are switched on and then nothing. That’s when the fun will begin.

    As for other stations, The two Loy Yangs are still OK from what I’ve heard, although AGL are signalling they want out of coal early. Yallourn only has a limited coal supply ahead of it and depend on who you speak to it’s either 5 years or 10 years. Yallourn however has not invested as heavily in it’s plant as Hazelwood did at the same age. They’re keeping quiet for the time being but I suspect their strategy is to let Hazelwood be on the front pages for a while. Only a matter of time before they start having reliability issues themselves.

  49. teddy bear

    Thanks for the info Nighthawk, interesting times ahead then.

  50. Muddy

    If the battery thing doesn’t work, perhaps we can force heterosexual, conservative males from an Anglo background to run on treadmills like hamster wheels and create electrickery that way. I’m sure someone else will fill in the scientriffic details. I estimate we’ll need 257,800 treadmills. Strangely enough, I can provide them for a great price! We’ll also need 20 hetero con-Anglo males per tready to account for fatal medical complications etc etc., but I’ll sure Trigger can round us up a few miscreants for punishment and re-edjamuhcayshun. I can see an awful lot of [taxpayer funded] jobs being created form this scheme too: security guards, body disposers etc. So many opportunities!

  51. egg_

    Musk’s 100MW storage unit will power SA for…

    Nanoseconds – grid harmonics will bowl it over.

  52. Leo G

    As a letter writer in the Australian pointed out today, Musk’s proposed battery system will store enough electricity to power SA for 3 minutes.

    The battery system could be used in a number of ways to reduce adverse effects on the grid from transient variations in output from a windfarm. It obviously cannot be used to replace a windfarm’s normal output for a full daily cycle. Nor can it be used to supplement the rated output from a winfarm- not without upgrading the capacity of the transmission line connection to the grid.

    It appears unlikely to be cost-effective, but then the shift from coal is dictated not by cost-effectiveness but rather by how much rent-seeking the market can bear.

  53. sfw

    Alan, you will cough and splutter and shout this down as ‘Impossible’ and ‘The State has rights’, but whether you like it or not the best solution to the gas exploration problem is to grant the land owners some form of royalty for the gas that lies under their land. I know that to you this is impossible but it’s not. The US does it, has done for a long time and they manage to make it work.

    As soon as our farmers got a sniff of a royalty payment they would be banging on the doors of parliament demanding the right to sell the gas under their land. Until this happens things aren’t going to improve.

  54. Sparkx

    Muddy
    #2324798, posted on March 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm
    If the battery thing doesn’t work, perhaps we can force heterosexual, conservative males from an Anglo background Greens Supporters to run on treadmills like hamster wheels and create electrickery that way. I’m sure someone else will fill in the scientriffic details. I estimate we’ll need 257,800 treadmills. Strangely enough, I can provide them for a great price! We’ll also need 20 hetero con-Anglo males Greens Supporters per tready to account for fatal medical complications etc etc., but I’ll sure Trigger can round us up a few miscreants for punishment and re-edjamuhcayshun. I can see an awful lot of [taxpayer funded] jobs being created form this scheme too: security guards, body disposers etc. So many opportunities!

    FIFY

  55. Senile Old Guy

    Since we are discussing Potential Greatness, I will quote from TheRedAndBlue in late February:

    With just 29% of Newspoll respondents approving and 59% disapproving of Turnbull’s performance, the PM is now less popular than predecessor Tony Abbott prior to his overthrow at the hands of Turnbull’s minions in 2015: hardly a ringing endorsement of the wisdom of that change. Even Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as “preferred PM” has continued to evaporate, and now stands at just 7%, and has gone from convincing, to solid, to now barely being “clear.”

    Potential Greatness…any day now…any day…

  56. stackja

    Could all the Green hot air be stored some how? SHY on stand by to replenish in an emergency?

  57. stackja

    MT and JB don’t understand. Never will.

  58. Macspee

    All the talk about batteries assumes that there will be sufficient surplus power available to charge them. We are not told where that comes from. If it comes from “renewables” heaven help us. There will be no surplus in the daytime and at night what little there is will be used up quick smart.
    Of course the plan is for the world’s biggest leach on government to bleed the SA and Commonwealth now that the US government and California are likely to put a stop to their largesse.
    Why on earth do governments continue to give our money away to con men with no analysis of any kind of the science, the technology, the costs, the financial viability or, most importantly how much is to be siphoned off for the benefit of the aristocrats of “pull”.
    “As ye sow so shall ye reap” was once upon a time a basic tenet of business (and other aspects of life) now it’s who cares it’s not our money!

  59. Some great news from The Age (who else?):

    “…on Friday the state government unveiled $85 million of spending in the (Latrobe) valley on a range of sports and recreation-related projects, which it said would create 300 jobs during construction and 275 ongoing jobs…
    $46 million for a new aquatic and leisure centre in Traralgon.
    $17 million to redevelop an indoor sports and entertainment complex in Traralgon.
    $6.9 million to deliver major sports, including pre-season matches of elite sport competitions including AFL and soccer, to the region.
    $5 million for the upgrade of nine local reserves.
    $4 million to upgrade Morwell Recreation Reserve.”

    So whether you want to do backstroke, stroll through reserves, or watch AFL pre-season…the Victorian Government has your back. Though I can’t fathom why they didn’t just buy chipped American forests to power Hazelwood. That would have been so European.

  60. H B Bear

    Plenty of stuff to do on your way back from Centrelink.

  61. Alan Moran

    The point about Hazelwood is that yes it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to restore it.

    The appropriate strategy would by to keep it on life support perhaps with a couple of new boilers pending its replacement by a new station; this would allow a (declining) proportion of the existing 1600 MW (8*200) to continue. I understand that a cannibalisation process would work (and as sure as eggs are eggs, if the state government were to be an owner the estimated $750M rectification program would be much reduced).

    SWF. farmers already get a (totally unearned) royalty from any gas on their land and the Reith recommendations were for these to be doubled. There is no possibility of the landowner getting free ownership of the sub-surface resources

  62. egg_

    Musk’s 100MW storage unit will power SA for…

    Tesla’s project has a capacity of 20 megawatts and is designed to discharge 80-megawatt hours of electricity in four-hour periods.

  63. Bruce of Newcastle

    As for other stations, The two Loy Yangs are still OK from what I’ve heard, although AGL are signalling they want out of coal early.

    Closure of Liddell has been mooted to be as early as this year. If so we’re screwed.
    The use-by date is 2022.

  64. egg_

    Our Nicole doing ads for plastic surgery Neutrogena,

  65. Leo G

    Tesla’s project has a capacity of 20 megawatts and is designed to discharge 80-megawatt hours of electricity in four-hour periods.

    Infigens Capital and Woodlawn Wind farm near Canberra have an installed capacity of about 200MW. The Capital-only farm (140+MW) was originally justified as the offset for the energy demands of the Sydney Desal Plant.
    Ten such 20MW Tesla Projects could be used as one 4-hour backup for the 200MW windfarm operating at full capacity.
    Crazy idea, though.

  66. mem

    I was fortunate to be able to attend Alan’s book launch last week (“CLIMATE CHANGE TREATIES AND POLICIES IN THE TRUMP ERA” Connor Court Publishing. If you haven’t got it, you are missing out on one of the best economic analyses of climate change and the various actions proposed and or implemented supposedly to address it.
    (Also, as an aside, could the gentleman sitting next to me at the book launch who talked about Rennie NSW, please get in touch, as I now realize his analysis was correct. My apols and humble pie over coffee offered).MS

  67. duncanm

    Musk has form, of course.

    He can smell a sucker a mile off – and we continue to somehow elect them as our leaders.

  68. egg_

    grid harmonics will bowl it over.

    The second issue is the impact of preexisting grid side harmonic distortion on wind and solar project campuses. As these campuses are conventionally viewed as “sources” of harmonics, not enough attention is paid to the fact that these might turn out to be the “affected entities” in certain situations. Under a specific condition known as series resonance, the project campus may appear as a low impedance path to the harmonic distortion on the power grid. Series resonance also occurs due to interaction between capacitors and transformers in the project campus. As the project campus presents low impedance, high harmonic currents may circulate from the grid to the campus. These currents can potentially damage campus equipment.

  69. RobK

    Tesla’s project has a capacity of 20 megawatts and is designed to ….discharge over 4 hrs.”
    That’s a 20MW unit with 80MWhr of storage. This is merely a buffer unit for one wind farm. This won’t “fix” anything. It will smoothen erratic surges from solar and wind a little, in a small corner of the grid.
    Tesla batteries are still expensive compared to other types. A typical Californian utility’s cost of ownership of buffering batteries is around US$o.30/kWhr to charge and discharge over the life of the battery (not including the cost of the charging energy). It’s expensive buffering that’s being discussed. The same amount of backup power is required, just the switching is a little more predictable. Very expensive options, a hidden cost of grid with high amounts of renewballs.

  70. Mark M

    July 15 2016: The unfolding energy crisis in South Australia was foreseeable… and foreseen
    https://decarbonisesa.com/2016/07/15/the-unfolding-energy-crisis-in-south-australia-was-foreseeable-and-foreseen/
    Apologies if link has been posted.

  71. davefromweewaa

    Allan,
    What is this totally unearned royalty that farmers get? Does it happen in NSW? If I could get this royalty of which you speak, I’d be chasing down a driller… provided the benefit outweighed the harm.
    I like and agree with so much of what you write but I find it frustrating that you continually make the claim that farmers do get a royalty from gas. Perhaps you could do a post devoted to this topic?
    Dave Shorter

  72. Village.Prefect

    Why doesn’t Loyal Julie just STFU on any policy issue whatsoever.

    Just a swinger and an intellectual midget.

    BTW who pays for the gear?….or are they Lucy’s cast-offs?

    Give Curtin an Alan Rocher choice and Loyal Julie is a gonner

  73. Oh come on

    The appropriate strategy would by to keep it on life support perhaps with a couple of new boilers pending its replacement by a new station

    When you say new boilers, are we talking Kate Ellis new or would Jenny Macklin do? I’d throw in the two Bishops to ensure bipartisan boilers if that’s what it’d take.

  74. Entropy

    davefromweewaa
    #2325251, posted on March 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm
    Allan,
    What is this totally unearned royalty that farmers get? Does it happen in NSW? If I could get this royalty of which you speak, I’d be chasing down a driller… provided the benefit outweighed the harm.
    I like and agree with so much of what you write but I find it frustrating that you continually make the claim that farmers do get a royalty from gas. Perhaps you could do a post devoted to this topic?
    Dave Shorter

    In Queensland there is an agreeme t for access between the CSG company and the landowner. Anywhere between $3000-$10,000 per well per year depending on the impact on agricultural activity, plus further payments for pipelines (all buried) roads and other infrastructure. I know people getting half a million a year (he has a lot of wells and a water collection point), wonderful drought proofing, and in the end a minor impact on agricultural activity. One hell of a stress reliever once they got past people wandering about the place every week.
    That isn’t a royalty, you could argue it is tiny compared with the revenue from each well. On the other hand the farmer does nothing but grant access. The gripping hand is they never paid for the mineral rights in the first place when they bought the farm, so why should they be granted to the farmer for free?

  75. Helen

    No farmers royalty in the NT. What State are you referring to, Alan? I’d be interested in the mechanics of it ao I can take it up with my Farmer Group.

  76. Helen

    So it is an access agreement, not a Royalty. Fair enough, lotsa peoples, accessing with all the downstream effects, gates, weeds disease and accidents.

  77. Alan Moran

    South Australia is now offering 10 per cent of the actual royalty to the landowners. Not bad for sit-down unearned rental income, as is the $10,000 per well usually offered by the developer.

  78. Gordon Alderson

    Just as well all you jesters are jesting with the support of electricity this month. After all no Hazelwood is likely to prevent such fun next month. Then Turnbull will have unfettered ability to do whatever he chooses to do as we become the second nation after North Korea to worship our esteemed leader as having infinite wisdom.

  79. Bill Nixon

    I thought the wind vs fossil fuels question (which is more efficient that is) was settled more than 200 years ago when the state of the art sailing ships of the 19th Century (magnificent clippers that moved cargo and passengers to every corner of the planet efficiently, cleanly and fast) were rapidly replaced by nascent and at that time primitive and unsophisticated steam engine driven vessels powered by fossil fuels. If state of the art wind technology honed over centuries by marine designers and seamen could be so quickly overcome by truly primitive new technology burning fossil fuels, what hope has wind technology against today’s highly sophisticated and efficient thermal energy technology. The answer my friends is not blowing in the wind (quoting the lyrics of the popular song sung so well by Burl Ives) but written in the pages of history. Wind power is no alternative to fossil fuel power. Never was and never will be. Written by someone (me) who loves wind and solar power. I sail yachts and fly gliders, both use natural forces (you can call it renewable energy) for propulsion.

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