Can the backbench energy revolt steer us back low cost electricity?

It all came so suddenly.

Over the Easter break a ginger group of Coalition backbenchers, the Monash Forum, was announced.  Chaired by Craig Kelly, one of the few MPs who has really studied the economic disaster that greenhouse policies are causing, it counts at least 20 MPs as members including Tony Abbott, George Christensen, Eric Abetz and Kevin Andrews.

The forum’s manifesto states opposition to all subsidies and argues that no private company will now invest in coal given the risk that government policies have imposed.  It proposes a new government owned 2000 MW Victorian brown coal power station (about the size of Loy Yang A).

If nothing else, at one stroke the Forum has changed the agenda.  The PM has joined Energy Minister Frydenberg in calling for a neutral technology policy which he says the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) provides.  Maybe it does if you forget about

  • the on-going wind/solar subsidies that give small scale roof top facilities a subsidy of $40 per MWh (the full commercial cost of coal in those far off days of 2015) and wind farms $85 per MWh; plus in both cases state government support and direct support from the budget – in all over $5 billion a year.
  • the $4 billion plus that is to be spent by the Commonwealth in Snowy2
  • increased coal royalties especially in Victoria
  • a gaggle of groups financed by governments who decry fossil fuel power as archaic and maintain- as they have for the past 30 years – that renewable power will in any event soon be cheaper.

Moreover the NEG itself is just a gossamer thin veil for a carbon tax.  It comprises two components. The first is to ensure Australia meets its Paris Agreements commitments, ratified by Turnbull the day after Trump’s victory so he could argue we have a commitment and Australian keeps to its commitments, hence there can be no turning back.  This component requires a continuing and growing level of renewable energy and an increasing level of the de facto carbon tax favouring renewables which has destroyed the industry so comprehensively.

The second component is a bone thrown to the commercial suppliers.  To counter the intrinsic unreliability of wind and solar by requiring technologies that are not dispatchable – and wind systems can guarantee to be available only five per cent of the time – they must have firming contracts.

Turnbull, while a green energy warrior, is not entirely stupid and recognises that the poisonous policies he has championed are causing soaring power prices.  He backgrounded the Australian’s Geoff Chambers to say that he has always sought the sale by AGL of its 2000 MW Liddell power station rather than the firm closing it to boost its profits from other generation assets.  And Alinta, the recent buyer of Victoria’s 1000 MW Loy Yang B, has come out with a tentative purchase proposal.

Paul Kelly, suddenly finding his inner support for “market based” government non-intervention in energy markets, railed against the group’s proposal for a government power station, while maintaining support for renewable subsidies, adding that a new brown coal station would be useless as it would take 4-6 years to build.  “There are no perfect answers anymore”, he says.  Judith Sloan totally debunks his and others’ confused statements drawing attention to the other subsidies, the international popularity of coal power and the disingenuous statements about the alleged neutrality of the NEG.

Over at the AFR, Ben Potter continues his campaign for renewables, selectively cited those supporting his view.  Unaware of the Alinta developments, he quotes an unnamed EA spokesperson, the AGL CEO Vesey, now a supposed climate expert (“It is very simple: We are overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas and the rest is details,”), and the Grattan Institute.  Elsewhere the AFR sees the Monash Forum as another topple-Malcolm push (as does Paul Kelly).

A challenge to the PM may well be the outcome though his love of the job is already seeing him compromise with reality.  The political elite, egged on by media praetors and vested interests, have created a situation where pursuit of a fashionable anti-fossil fuel agenda has destroyed the world leadership that Australia formally enjoyed in energy competitiveness.  The rebound on general living standards is unavoidable.

The way forward is to scrap all renewable energy subsidies – not just those to future facilities.  In addition, as governments have demonised and threatened coal so convincingly, there may now be no alternative to a government built or at least formally guaranteed power station development regime.  In this respect at least Paul Kelly may be right in saying “There are no perfect answers anymore”.

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73 Responses to Can the backbench energy revolt steer us back low cost electricity?

  1. Arky

    a ginger group of Coalition backbenchers,

    ..
    Soulless redheads.
    You’re still in the party under commo Turnbull.
    Wake up to yourselves.

  2. Entropy

    I am sure AGL will be willing to continue operating Liddel for just the right incentives. Vesey sees politicans coming a mile off, a conga line of Alan Bonds.

  3. The Barking Toad

    Paul Kelly is really an old lesbian these days.

    I hope Craig is no relation – the one constant voice in Parliament about the stupidity of current energy policies.

  4. BoyfromTottenham

    Alan, you said ‘The way forward is to scrap all renewable energy subsidies – not just those to future facilities.’. Unfortunately this would appear to open up the government to massive compensation claims from all those on the Renewables gravy train, which subsidies I think are currently running at at least $5bn a year for just the 2 RET schemes, and which are locked in by legislation for several more years yet.
    Do you have any comments on how the government could scrap these subsidies without incurring massive claims for compensation?
    My suggestion is to reduce the penalty $65.00/MW rate for not buying LRET certificates to $0.01/MW, which would at least level the playing field between fossil fuel and ‘renewables’ electricity generation, which IMHO is the reason that coal-fired base load generators are uneconomic and being decommissioned, even though they clearly provide the cheapest source of 24×7 electricity.

  5. “Turnbull, while a green energy warrior, is not entirely stupid”

    I’m not so sure.

  6. DaveR

    “….another topple-Malcolm push…..”

    It just may end up toppling Malcolm.

  7. Tom

    The Liberal Party now comprises the Photios communists dressed as bankers and the backbench rabbits, who believe in nothing. The only revolt that has a chance of success is a bankbench rabbit panic as the next encounter with the hated electorate draws closer. Back self-interest because you know it’s trying but, in order to trigger another backbench revolt, the backbench rabbits first have to admit they’re clueless idiots who made a catastrophic mistake in September 2015.

    Either way, their only future is oblivion because they pretended to have principles and beliefs when they didn’t.

    A hundred and twenty years of Australian politics has never been so fucked up. The country is utterly leaderless.

  8. Gengis

    And not a bloody word that young BILLY will just overturn whatever the Liberals do with the help of the parasitic Greens. Just go Nuclear.

  9. RobK

    Can the backbench energy revolt steer us back low cost electricity?
    The short answer is probably “no”, but they can limit future damage which is otherwise inevitable. The on going renewal and upgrade of baseload has been usurped by the RET. There’s no getting it back. It’s been invested in short lived, incomplete, unproven and inappropriate technology as an experiment in social and political restructuring.
    I think this Monash Forum is on the right track, certainly a better one than our current trajectory.

  10. Dr Fred Lenin

    Tom you are correct,any threat to end the “career”of polliemuppets energises the slackest polliemuppets into freneticmode. This should be conveyed to all so called”liberal” members ,support the u,n,communist destruction of energy and you are straight off to Centrelink,where they will never find a job for people of your limited abilities. Suppose they could always go back to the lawtrade oh wait they failed there, that’s why they are in politics . Order agl to reopen hazlewoodtill a replacement is built ,if they won’t Nationalize it for the common good and pat]y agl $1 -ascomoensation . They will go to court of course ,stall them and stall them drain them to pay the lawtrade untill the shareholders sack the greens who have infiltrated the board . Restore the plant to the new anti gangrene board they pay their law fees as a lesson in lettingcommos run the board .

  11. Old stager

    Alan Moran favours a government funded power station. Remarkable. No indication whatsoever of a case for such an astonishing proposition. Or maybe he thinks we can get some of that Chinese belt and road boondoggle funding.

  12. stackja

    Market corrupted by easy tax money funded concessions. RGR then MT.

  13. RobK

    I think BfT’s comment above regarding reducing the penalty for non-payment is interesting. It would divert the funds from RE to the state. No doubt there are legal implications but anything that can help to back out of the disaster we have created is a good thing.

  14. mh

    I heard Alan Jones quote Paul Kelly referring to “coal socialists”. Then Jones correctly highlights the stupidity of Paul Kelly by giving the figure that Australian taxpayers are subsidising wind and solar.

  15. The government sneaked through a $700 million increase in power bills on the afternoon of the Thursday before Easter. The number of small solar certificates to be surrendered by retailers this year will be 29.3 million compared to last year’s 12.5 million – each certificate costing $40 (before GST). The legislation allows for this cost to be reduced by changing the Clearing House Price (the $40.00) but despite Craig Kelly and others agitating for this outcome Josh Frydenberg let the opportunity go, preferring to stick it to the little guys again and hoping it would not get noticed over the Easter break.

  16. Anonandon

    Kelly was so strident. Weird. Calm the fuck down.

  17. cohenite

    Unfortunately this would appear to open up the government to massive compensation claims from all those on the Renewables gravy train, which subsidies I think are currently running at at least $5bn a year for just the 2 RET schemes, and which are locked in by legislation for several more years yet.

    No it doesn’t. The FIT has been adjusted many times without giving anyone a contractual right of redress. The subsidies given to renewables involves government enforced payments by either consumers and/or rival electricity producers. I would suggest the consumers and coal companies are the ones with an action.

    Renewables have to go. Unfortunately turdball is a fucking moron.

  18. Alan Moran

    BfT (and Cohenite)
    firms dont get compensated for things like removal of tariffs or subsidies.

    In any event the solution you propose is open to the Minister ie
    to reduce the penalty $65.00/MW rate for not buying LRET certificates to $0.01/MW, which would at least level the playing field between fossil fuel and ‘renewables’ electricity generation,

  19. RobK

    The small generators certificates ($40/MWh of expected production) are paid out upfront as if they will produce for 15 years, so tax payers are subsidising an individual’s consumption 15years hence. The only limiting factor against increased self-consumption of that otherwise “free” energy is the rediculous Feed-in-Tariffs paid. These are generally higher than contract wholesale energy but supplied ad hoc.

  20. Delta A

    Excellent comments above to an excellent post.

    But it is the wisdom of Vesey which will prove to be unforgettable: It is very simple: We are overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas and the rest is details.

  21. RobK

    Opps, in my last comment i said “tax payers” when it should read “electricty consumers”.

  22. RobK

    …. and the rest is details.
    On its own, that doesn’t mean renewables are the answer. It does follow the IPCC politics.

  23. Burried deep in The Oz’s story about high winds delaying the construction of a wind factory at Silverton, NSW:

    Energy retailers and generators are betting on continuing high-wholesale prices for electricity and the staged retirement of coal generation to underwrite a multi­billion-dollar boom in investment in wind, solar, battery and pumped hydro investment.

  24. A Lurker

    The political elite, egged on by media praetors and vested interests, have created a situation where pursuit of a fashionable anti-fossil fuel agenda has destroyed the world leadership that Australia formally enjoyed in energy competitiveness. The rebound on general living standards is unavoidable.

    In another time that would be called treason.

  25. H B Bear

    Paul Kelly is really an old lesbian these days.

    Kelly never knowingly correct on anything. This is a major positive.

    Di Natale proposing turning the Reserve Bank into the Commonwealth Bank v2.0. Lieborals proposing government owned power stations. We are really down the rabbit hole, it is as if no-one has learned anything in the last 30 years.

  26. Tom

    It is very simple: We are overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas and the rest is details.

    The only reason bottom-feeding crony capitalist thieves like Vesey are allowed to parrot that junk science is that 90% of the news media, which used to represent the public interest, is now an enthusiastic propaganda outlet for the loony left’s national energy poverty pogrom. Journalism is now effectively a shadow political party aligned with the Greens.

  27. Bones

    Recent reference to Peter Reith and the wharf dispute………..any of us who remember can be forgiven for shaking our heads in shame when reflecting on the snowflakes who are right of centre and in parliament.
    Peter Reith, John Howard, Chris Corrigan and others, take a bow.

  28. Robber Baron

    If Sir John Monash was alive today, he would lead a coup against the government, and install himself as PM. After fixing all the country’s problems in one weekend, he should then arrest Turnbull and Frydenberg and have them marched up Bourke St and encourage citizens to throw their electricity bills at them before exiling them to Van Diemens Land along with the rest of the federal Parliament where they would be forced to dismantle bird killing windmills.

    Monash should then purge the public service ruthlessly.

  29. Rae

    It all came so suddenly.

    And too late. There is no time left to build a new coal-fired power station, let alone get one past the planning or geotech survey stage. The government will change to Labor at the next Federal Election.

  30. herodotus

    90% of the news media, which used to represent the public interest, is now an enthusiastic propaganda outlet for the loony left’s national energy poverty pogrom. Journalism is now effectively a shadow political party aligned with the Greens.
    It’s marginally worse than the 80% I thought it was!
    But this is the truth of the situation.

  31. RobK

    Energy policy has had a bad influence on electricity production in many ways. Many players want certainty. These days certainty means certainty of parasitic sudsidies and elimination of the competition between baseload and intermittent renewables. A thwarting of the RET by reducing the penalty for non payment may just provide the unsettling of the renewables industry such that the only certainty the industry has is that it shouldn’t rely on subsidies.

  32. candy

    Paul Kelly is a big fan of our stylish, erudite PM. They write nice articles at The Australian, respectful, supporting and encouraging the Treasurer and PM, guiding them to policies.

    The Australian won’t have a bar of the Monash Forum, indeed are waiting for TA to be crushed and out of the way.

  33. RobK

    Renewable energy relies on the contrived policy generated by the IPCC. This has undermined investment in baseload. If renewables are undermined by having their funding model destroyed by removing that percieved certainty then it will be on a more even footing with baseload.

  34. Entropy

    My suggestion is to reduce the penalty $65.00/MW rate for not buying LRET certificates to $0.01/MW

    That would be as pointless as treating gangrene with a shot of vodka.
    The limb must be amputated or the gangrene will continue to spread.

  35. egg_

    It is very simple: We are overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gas and the rest is… bullsh1t!

    FTFY, Enroner.

  36. RobK

    Entropy,
    The only plus is that it can be done without legislation nad done imediately, much like a shot of vodka, perhaps.
    I have little doubt it would ward off much opportunism in the renewables scam. You are right it isnt the comprehensive answer.

  37. harry buttle

    First we will get the blackouts, then the push for reliable power. in the meantime, I’d recommend investing in a 2 – 5 kw generator while they are available and look into getting my firearms licence as insurance.

    Good luck to all of us over the next few years, we are going to need it.

  38. Viva

    The difference in zealotry between the former SA premier and the current (for now) PM is only a matter of degree. Turnbull is putting a whole new spin on the phrase “hide the decline”.

  39. RobK

    The most important message the government should give industry and the community at large is: don’t rely on subsidies.

  40. Entropy;

    My suggestion is to reduce the penalty $65.00/MW rate for not buying LRET certificates to $0.01/MW

    That would be as pointless as treating gangrene with a shot of vodka.
    The limb must be amputated or the gangrene will continue to spread.

    Your point is a valid one, but the penalty reduction can be done now.
    It will only take one or two power bills at half price to throw a fence paling into Shortarses bicycle spokes as people see the real costs of the AGW movement.
    Same as if the Libs were to campaign on cutting the PAYG tax in half.
    Make Shorten own the high tax regime.

  41. Bruce of Newcastle

    In addition, as governments have demonised and threatened coal so convincingly, there may now be no alternative to a government built or at least formally guaranteed power station development regime.

    Since a government corporation is currently building a ginormous obsolete-before-it’s-completed white elephant called the NBN there’s no reason why they can’t have a government corporation build several HELE coal power stations.

    And unlike the NBN the coal plants would both make a profit and lower electricity prices for businesses and ordinary people.

    As for global warming the latest global temperature data is that March was the same temperature as mid 2001. In that time pCO2 has risen 10% absolute, and 40% in human cumulative emission terms, without affecting the global temperature at all.

    So why are we so uselessly spending all this money on renewables to fix a non-problem?

  42. cohenite

    And too late. There is no time left to build a new coal-fired power station, let alone get one past the planning or geotech survey stage. The government will change to Labor at the next Federal Election.

    Does that please you.

    A new power station could be supported by revamping Hazelwood. Liddell is still good to go.

  43. Faye

    I used to enjoy Australian politics, now I hate it. Our country is run by fools. Politicians are supposed to keep us safe and secure. Instead, we are unnecessarily put through the wringer to fund a big fat lie. They have no shame.

  44. egg_

    Tom Ballard on TheirABC2 spent half of last night’s program lampooning Big Coal.
    The Ministry of Truth is part of the problem.

  45. NB

    Watch the San Francisco and Oakland cases presided over by U.S. District Judge William Alsup for a slow but inexorable train crash of the AGW scare. Watch as Australian politicians gradually alter their rhetoric to accommodate the new normal. (People of the State of California V. BP et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 17-561370, and People of the State of California V. BP et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889)

  46. struth

    You will not get coal until we leave the U.N.
    No matter what they say, no matter what they do.

    This is all biding time.
    While we have the U.N.’s boy wonder as the PM and all his U.N. cronies forming a circle around him, kiss your arse good bye.
    You will never see a coal power station being built, so forget the micro stories on this issue.
    They are just dangling carrots to bide time.

  47. egg_

    Watch the San Francisco and Oakland cases presided over by U.S. District Judge William Alsup for a slow but inexorable train crash of the AGW scare. Watch as Australian politicians gradually alter their rhetoric to accommodate the new normal.

    One can but hope, once the carpetbagger caravan has truly been shown the road.

  48. Iampeter

    It proposes a new government owned 2000 MW Victorian brown coal power station (about the size of Loy Yang A).

    Mysterious phone – *ring ring*
    Peter – Hello?
    Mysterious phone – Hi. This is the communist, union member and labor voters from the 20th century calling.
    Peter – How can I help you?
    Mysterious phone – We’d like our 20th century state-ownership of industry policies back from 21st century conservatives please…

    Yea, no. This “revolt” which would be less embarrassing if presented by the old-school of socialists is not going to steer us towards “low cost electricity”.

    This is just another example of the total lack of even theoretical alternatives to the total dominance of the left and leftist ideas in our mainstream politics.

  49. egg_

    Given the stakes, the Ninth Circuit – and sooner or later, the Supreme Court – will be asked to resolve whether, consistent with prior precedent, any climate change tort claims may be brought in federal forums. And, following a decision on the pending motions to dismiss in the Oakland and San Francisco cases, we can expect to see further controversy over whether federal common law can theoretically provide a remedy for these massive claims. But, even if federal common law cannot be used by the plaintiffs, decisions in these cases that leave open the possibility of state tort law claims ultimately may be pyrrhic victories for the defendants.

    Methinks this will go badly for Green lawfare – with a similar outcome to Gore’s propaganda film’s trouncing in the UK court case.

  50. Rae

    Does that please you.

    Why does it need to please or displease me? It’s a statement of fact.

  51. Rae

    A new power station could be supported by revamping Hazelwood. Liddell is still good to go.

    Maybe. But that is not what the current Governments backbenchers propose. This is:

    a new government owned 2000 MW Victorian brown coal power station (about the size of Loy Yang A)

    Apropos of that, what I said is this:

    There is no time left to build a new coal-fired power station, let alone get one past the planning or geotech survey stage. The government will change to Labor at the next Federal Election.

  52. egg_

    People of the State of California V. BP et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 17-561370, and People of the State of California V. BP et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889

    Lord Monckton schooling ‘Climatologists’* with 1945 Electronics Bode plots re feedback – a bit of hard Science in the face of yoghurt weaving.

    *One rung above Garbologists?

  53. Dr Fred Lenin

    All this talk about the u.n.scam would go if we abolished career politics , when you only serve one term you don’t have to worry about being re elected , the scammers can’t get at you ,you can tell them to nick off. When you do your one term it’s back to normal life for you. Severe restrictions on political donations would ensure no political aparatchiks bludging on the taxpayer the bonuses to the taxpayer would be many , you could breathe the air again ,scrapping the u.n. and all laws made in its name would clean the place up too. Think about it .

  54. RobK

    There is no time left to build a new coal-fired power station,
    Id say there is little time left. To say “no time”is admitting defeat, capitulating to the RE subsidies which will consume baseload but not replace it with anything substantial. It is never too late unless you have a better plan. In the mean time remove subsidies and allow baseload to invest in our future. Renewables are feeding off our past prosperity and not replacing it with anything substantial.

  55. C.L.

    If you’d told me ten years ago that the Liberal Party would very soon seek to ban coal and that only a “ginger group” would stand up for cheap, coal-fired energy I wouldn’t have believed you. There is no future for the Liberal Party. It has to be destroyed. If that takes three to six years of Shorten, it’s a price that has to be paid.

  56. Iampeter

    If you’d told me ten years ago that the Liberal Party would very soon seek to ban coal and that only a “ginger group” would stand up for cheap, coal-fired energy I wouldn’t have believed you.

    Stand up for state run coal-fired energy.
    Conservatives today are basically a less-coherent version of socialists and statists from early in the 20th century.

  57. Gab

    So how many coal-fired power plants has China constructed this year already? 20 or 30?

  58. Tom

    FFS. In Melbournibad, one of the power companies is advertising that it is “reducing” prices “thanks to renewable energy”, Orwellian disinformation when the exact opposite is the case (power prices are exploding thanks to renewable energy subsidies) — disinformation that wouldn’t be possible without the craven cowardice of the lapdog news media, who have sold out the public interest. This might as well be the Soviet Union.

  59. Mark A

    RobK
    #2678349, posted on April 4, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    There is no time left to build a new coal-fired power station,
    Id say there is little time left. To say “no time”is admitting defeat, capitulating to the RE subsidies which will consume baseload but not replace it with anything substantial. It is never too late unless you have a better plan. In the mean time remove subsidies and allow baseload to invest in our future. Renewables are feeding off our past prosperity and not replacing it with anything substantial.

    There is always time but it’s running out.
    There is no reason why Hazelwood could not be restarted, from contacts in the industry I gather there is nothing wrong with the tubing in the boilers.

    If that is so, then the rest is child’s play.
    Also why shut down any other thermal station?

    It’s only ideology, when I was still active in the party I met many bright, cluey people, not prone to fall for any crap, happened to be the THE talk of the day.

    Trouble is headquarters has too much sway over the branches, at one stage we nearly pulled off a coup dethroning a weasel but head office prevailed and now we have a minister fully in line with the greens.

  60. Tel

    And unlike the NBN the coal plants would both make a profit and lower electricity prices for businesses and ordinary people.

    With suitable political appointments to management positions, I’m quite sure they could lose as much money as the NBN. Then they could demand “locked in prices” from ScoMo and demand all possible alternatives were nobbled (for fairness you understand) to help them out with their losing position.

    When costs are a political construct, they can be as big as you want. The approximation to real prices is arbitrarily rubbery.

  61. MichelLasouris

    oh Dear, Oh Dear. the remnants of the Monash clan are arcing up about using the great man’s name for a pro coal support group. I don’t imagine for a moment that the ” Monash group” have any thoughts of warfare….merely the fact that their base was the University ( where I would add, all shades of opinion should be discussed.) Such conceit is ill founded.

  62. MichelLasouris

    The idiot Shorten is making funny little noises about Turnbull resurrecting coal fired energy as a tactic to save Turnbull’s political hide. Probably true, but does Shorten truly believe that his negativity persuades many of us? Does he not see the irony in his own efforts tasked to save his own political hide? We see through Shortens words, but the fact that Shorten believes we are persuaded by his sheer hypocrisy shows just how inept and out of touch as a politician he truly is. Sad little prick.

  63. Fat Tony

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #2678278, posted on April 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm
    Since a government corporation is currently building a ginormous obsolete-before-it’s-completed white elephant called the NBN there’s no reason why they can’t have a government corporation build several HELE coal power stations.

    Bruce – why do they have to be HELE coal power stations?

  64. Muddy

    Can we have a public education campaign about how intestinal worms are people too?

  65. Tel

    Turnbull resurrecting coal fired energy as a tactic to save Turnbull’s political hide.

    And it might work too. I’m snug, I put my bet on infinity.

  66. Rohan

    C.L.
    #2678353, posted on April 4, 2018 at 6:21 pm
    If you’d told me ten years ago that the Liberal Party would very soon seek to ban coal and that only a “ginger group” would stand up for cheap, coal-fired energy I wouldn’t have believed you. There is no future for the Liberal Party. It has to be destroyed. If that takes three to six years of Shorten, it’s a price that has to be paid.

    Absolute Rock Bottom (ARB). ARB is gonna be rough, but essential to waking up our apathetit, “give a shit” population.

  67. struth

    Conservatives today are basically a less-coherent version of socialists and statists from early in the 20th century.

    Will you kindly stop calling the Liberal party conservatives.

  68. OneWorldGovernment

    struth
    #2678660, posted on April 4, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Conservatives today are basically a less-coherent version of socialists and statists from early in the 20th century.

    Will you kindly stop calling the Liberal party conservatives.

    lol

  69. Iampeter

    Will you kindly stop calling the Liberal party conservatives.

    I would if Australian liberals were an outlier but they’re not. All over the worlds, every single party that identifies as conservative does nothing but push 20th century nationalism and statism.

    I think it was Michael Malice who said that conservatives are just progressives but traveling at the speed limit and while I disagree with him on all the fundamentals, I think that’s a spot on assessment.

    Ultimate the party is just a vehicle for political ideology and the issues with a particular party are caused by the ideology. You just can’t keep evading that conservatism is not an alternative to progressivism.

    This fact is the essential issue of politics today – there is NO alternative to the left in mainstream politics.

  70. Jonesy

    I would bet Engie would fire up Hazelwood before the ink dried on the paper rescinding the high brown coal levy. The owners had no need to make Hazelwood redundant until the Vic government made the special trip to Paris to tell them the good news about the new royalty regime. Engie couldnt turn off the power station quick enough…having a gun held to your head would do that.

  71. Bruce of Newcastle

    Bruce – why do they have to be HELE coal power stations?

    Fat Tony – Doesn’t have to be an ultra-supercritical (USC) plant, which is what ‘high efficiency low emissions’ mostly refers to, but that design uses the least amount of coal and gives the highest efficiency. The capital cost is higher but at the moment the price of thermal coal is quite high because of the demand out of China and India, which is only going to increase.

    So a HELE plant may be higher capital cost but should be lower operating cost. Depending on the specific design – and I’m no expert at that sort of detail, nor of what the coal quality requirements are. There’s no need for silly stuff like carbon capture though, but vent gas desulfurisation and denox are standard already.

  72. Fat Tony

    BoN

    Thanks for that. I don’t see any need for any form of carbon dioxide capture though – the more we pump into the atmosphere, the better for the plants and for us.

    HELE plants are generally quoted as having higher priced electricity – that indicates the cost/benefit is not really there over the older style plants.

    I think our 300 million tonnes per year (about 10% of their total usage) to China is basically an interim measure until the Chinese get the Mongolian coal at full steam. The steaming coal price should decline.

    The HELE plants are probably just a sop to keep the greentards happy.

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