Emissions and the meeting of energy ministers

Ben Potter, who as a useful idiot, was leaked a copy of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) report by the Victorian Government, reports today that the states are likely to sign off on the NEG at their meeting tomorrow. Potter is excoriated by Terry McCrann in today’s Herald Sun for his pandering to green energy myths.

NEG has twin features of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector together with a measure that ensures wind supply has a firming contract to compensate for its inherent unreliability.

Former Senator Ron Boswell entered the fray with a piece in today’s Australian calling for Liddell to be replaced saying,

“Some have likened the option to socialism. Rubbish. The energy market was socialised by intervention a long time ago. A $45bn subsidy and guaranteed market share for renewables is not socialism? Would the car market be a real market if the government said 23 per cent of cars sold had to be a Tesla and that Tesla would receive a subsidy of $30,000 for every car sold?”

Boswell also argues that under the amended section 44 of the trade practices act AGL could be forced to sell since its closure would be “substantially lessening competition in a substantial market”.  And the Acting NSW Premier, John Barilaro, today came out in favour of a forcible acquisition of the Liddell plant.

Hardly any MPs – Craig Kelly being a notable exception – have undertaken the laborious research necessary to understand the energy market and its many faceted regulations; most accept the bromides that demonise coal and promote the need to reduce emissions to save the world.  But politicians do recognise the fact that prices have risen and voters are not pleased.  Moreover, voters have no allegiance to private property rights that are not their own as this recent Yougov survey illustrates.

The NEG, and the disastrous government intervention into electricity generally, is ostensibly actuated by a need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  But the focus on renewables galvanises a vast network of vested interests whose product is utterly uncompetitive without subsidies.

In fact, only 34 per cent of Australian greenhouse gas emissions are from electricity.  And there are (thankfully) no plans to do anything much in the sectors responsible for the other 66 per cent of emissions.  Here are the emissions and the projections to 2030.

The Kyoto target was met only because of regulations developed, while the Nats were sleeping, under the Howard Government.  These regulations were devised by then Environment Minister, David Kemp, and put in place by the Beattie and Carr ALP governments in Queensland and NSW prevented land clearing for agricultural expansion, without compensating the farmers concerned for the loss of value in their land.  That infamous trick, as the table above illustrates, cannot be repeated.

To reduce the 2030 emissions from electricity by 26 per cent from 2005 levels, the government’s stated goal, would require those emissions to be 152 million tonnes.

The Energy Security Board’s consultants, Frontier Economics, under business-as-usual, taking into account the amount of wind and solar now committed and the planned  Liddell closure, estimate 2030 emissions from the sector at 140 million tonnes.  With NEG providing additional incentives to wind (aka an additional carbon tax on coal) this would fall  further to 130 million tonnes. (Frontier, being Frontier, also has a fantasy of electricity prices – even including RET certificate costs – halving and returning to 2015 levels in 2021!)

Other developments would have an additional effect.  Replacement of existing power stations by newer ones would entail savings – even those built 15 years ago produce 5-13 per cent fewer emissions than the older ones and the Minerals Council argues that modern HELE plant produces 38 per cent fewer emissions per unit of energy than the Yallourn brown coal plant and 23 per cent less than Liddell and Vales Point.

What the energy ministers are likely to agree tomorrow is a compromise that leaves options open.  For sensible people, who recognise the damage being done to the economy, there is the prospect that not much, if anything need be done if the NEG is put in place.  For the states, activist governments have an option of going further but only Victoria has meaningful plans for this and that Government may not last long.  For the Prime Minister, the ALP and The Greens the NEG as proposed offers the prospect of bringing in additional interventions over the course of the next decade.  Anyone who thinks this is going to give the particular ‘certainty’ they crave think again!

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52 Responses to Emissions and the meeting of energy ministers

  1. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    The IPA sent something out today graphing the price of electricity with the introduction of RET, NEG and Carbon Tax.

    It needs wider distribution.

  2. As that nuclear furnace that gives life to this increasingly dismal planet goes into its next phase, we’ll find out how effective these planet saving decrees will become.

    I suspect that China, India and the US (if the Donald survives) will soon enough dominate world industry as the rest wonder ‘What Happened?’.

    I also suspect that not a Greens devotee in the world will soon admit to their faith, for fear of the retribution that they would receive.

  3. RobK

    Thanks Alan. The Western Australian government also effectively stopped land clearing in response to the COAG incentives without compensation.

    It is unclear to me what this “firming” involves. I suspect it is only buffering in the order of bidding blocks of 5 or 15 minutes or so. Does anyone know what the details are?
    This strikes me as a small step. It will assist in some stability in the short time frame but not so much in the loadshifting of hours and more, i.e. the evening peak of the demand “duck curve”. RE is still getting preference to the market, and parasitic sudsidies along with laid-on head works including revamped instrumentation and control. Load shedding will be an integral component to make this farce limp along, it just needs a little more RE penetration and it will be the focus of another meeting of ministers. This is outlined in Finkel’s report. At a certain point the ministers will hopefully see the shame of their actions and inactions. I wont hold my breath.

  4. mem

    Not sure what is meant by this line:

    For sensible people, who recognise the damage being done to the economy, there is the prospect that not much, if anything need be done if the NEG is put in place.

    Otherwise keep up the good work in exposing this sham.

  5. iain russell

    What on Earth are ‘Fugitives’ (line four in the emissions chart)?

  6. hzhousewife

    And what is Direct combustion – blast furnaces and forest fires?

  7. Nighthawk the Elder

    iain russell
    #2690725, posted on April 19, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    What on Earth are ‘Fugitives’ (line four in the emissions chart)?

    Gases emitted from mining coal, such as methane, CO and CO2.
    Probably a few others under this category as well.

  8. RobK

    Iain,
    Fugitives in this context are escaped gases such as leaking pipes, wellheads, evaporated hydrocarbons etc…unintended loses.
    Direct combustion is furnaces, wood burners etc, as you suspected.

  9. NB

    Bye-bye Liberal government. Hello to an ALP/Green coalition.
    Time to organise a 3 year vacation starting around December.
    Time to save up to buy some very cheap stocks in a few years.

  10. wal1957

    Time to save up to buy some very cheap stocks in a few years.

    You won’t be able to save too much. Electricity costs are only going to go up in the short to medium term, irregardless of whether the nutters in our parliament come to their senses. Then they still have to fund the NDIS, build some WW2 era submarines at the bloated price of $4.5Billion each,….not to mention of course the fact that we currently have a debt of…?????? Amazing how that debt hardly gets a mention these days isn’t it!

    As a very famous Premier once said ….”don’t you worry about that”.

    Turdball is not as bad as Gillard or Rudd were, but he’ sure trying real hard to get down there with them!

  11. RobK

    The parasitic sudsidies will kill the coal host. It will be upto gas to step up and provide backup to RE. Gas is more expensive per kWh, it also will not be able sustain a subsidy. I ask what will prop-up RE then? The price will increase as the % of RE increases. We are yet to see the worst of it. Dragging out the coal producers will lengthen the pain, it is not a long term work-around.

  12. Leo G

    The parasitic sudsidies will kill the coal host.

    The current trend is a 10% increase in the share of electrical generation by renewables over a decade, which has doubled the retail price in real terms. If the trend continues, it won’t be just the coal generators that are killed.

  13. Alan Moran mentions the Trade Practices Act. This can be used to fix the whole electricity mess. The Market Regulator can be told that only reliable electricity can be traded in the market because unreliable electricity is not suitable for use by customers. The government has used the Trade Practices Act to demand a recall for servicing and replacement of a certain brand of air-bags in cars. Brands of salami and prawns which were infected by bacteria have been recalled or banned. Various unsafe products particularly for children have been banned. Another way than an out right ban of electricity which may not be suitable for the purpose ie 24hrs/day and 7 days/week would be make the suppliers of unreliable electricity (wind and solar) guarantee every block of 15 minutes of bid to supply under a penalty of double the price of their supply offer. This would force AGL to keep Liddell operating or even get out of electricity supply altogether. No legislation would be required. It would have no effect on International investment in the country. Every country has rules and standards. The EU has a mountain of standards and every day enact more stupid ones.

  14. Alans

    Cement a friend, don’t forget that Rod Sims is the commissar at ASIC. Don’t expect anything soon from this nohoper.

  15. Roger.

    But politicians do recognise the fact that prices have risen and voters are not pleased.

    “Josh” Frydenberg being a notable exception.

  16. truth

    There was a rule change last year by AEMC at AEMO’s request that seems…if I’m reading it correctly …to be a way to get all of us consumers to provide all of the services that are normally provided as a matter of course by coal-fired power…to pay the expensive frequency and other ancillary services…..voltage control etc… that are increasingly required to keep the NEM secure as the instability caused and exacerbated by intermittents’ penetration inevitably increases.

    They call it ‘unbundling the provision of ancillary services from the provision of energy’ which would seem to mean making coal redundant and making sure they ‘smear’ these extra costs CAUSED by wind and solar across all consumers …rather than making wind farms etc pay to make their electricity dispatchable themselves before bidding it in.

    Frydenberg bragged this week about the government investing in much more pumped hydro and batteries than just Snowy 2.0 so that’s more subsidies…they’ll never end.

    We’ll pay one way or another for all the new transmission lines and interconnectors.

    Another subsidy in effect is the new 5minute rule demanded by Garnaut et al..which AEMC has said will advantage batteries [ and therefore RE that’s firmed by batteries] and will be bad for coal….starts in 2019 I think.

    The reliability obligation will be the retailers’ obligation and cost now…not intermittent [ and therefore unreliable] generators themselves…so that will be another virtual subsidy to them and a cost to consumers ….passed on by the retailers.

    https://www.aemc.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/20258e82-c3dc-4ebb-a6a2-774e29740f35/Classification-of-Loads-as-Ancillary-Service-Loads-ERC0221-Final-Determination.pdf

  17. iain russell

    Tx to those explaining ‘fugitives’.

  18. RobK

    Yes truth, it is as you say. Also there are now more idling gas and coal fired generators paid extra to stay on- line to provide some spinning reserve when the renewables are humming. The grid becomes more complex, expensive and less reliable with increased renewables. My guess is ultimately they will need to build a high capacity DC very high tension transmission line as a new back bone for the grid. (Unless there’s a miracle and modular nukes are adopted).

  19. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Marxist de-industrialisation good and hard

  20. OneWorldGovernment

    I think coal fired electricity should be DENIED to any person or company that supports renewables.

  21. struth

    Not one watt of power should be paid for with taxes.
    This is the UN agenda being complied with.

  22. Tel

    … they will need to build a high capacity DC very high tension transmission line as a new back bone for the grid.

    Does that reduce the spinning reserve requirement? Something still needs to be a backstop.

  23. Herodotus

    If politicians would read Garth Paltridge’s latest longish summary of where climate science is and where it has been – see it at Judith Curry’s site – published 18th April 2018 – and stop acting on what the chicken littles and snake oil salemen tell them, we might see a turning of the tide.
    They have created the monster and they must slay it.

  24. struth

    They pay the snake oil salesman to tell them what they want to hear.

  25. Alan Moran

    RobK “firming” is likely to amount to the need for a wind generator to parcel its output with a cap – Frydenberg used a $300 cap to illustrate the effect when he introduced the notion almost a year ago. They buy the contract from a supplier that is more reliable. In fact it is not necessary since the risk management controllers in every retailer insist that such contracts be in place with the wind part of the firm’s portfolio.

  26. Mark M

    Frydenberg @ national press club, 11.4.18:

    17.25: A 3rd home truth, is that whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future.

    https://iview.abc.net.au/programs/national-press-club-address/NC1811C012S00

    A swamp dwelling elitist telling a deplorable that life will get worse and to suck it up?
    No sir, I don’t like it.
    Perhaps Josh Frydenberg should spend a year living a carbon-constrained lifestyle first, and report how that goes.

    Matter-of-fact, let’s turn off the air-conditioning in parliament house, now, as surely this is a sign of the carbon-constrained future Frydenberg envisions.

  27. Mark M

    Some see Frydenberg differently …

    It is surprising and appalling to learn that Australia’s very reasonable-sounding energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, is actually a closet climate sceptic, beholden to the likes of Alan Jones and Peta Credlin.

    https://www.themonthly.com.au/today/paddy-manning/2018/18/2018/1524027023/credlin-v-frydenberg?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Monthly%20Today%20-%20Wednesday%2018%20April%202018&utm_content=The%20Monthly%20Today%20-%20Wednesday%2018%20April%202018+CID_6637b08dbc4e5ef8ec6c982151de1cae&utm_source=EDM&utm_term=READ%20ON

    A meeting of energy ministers.

    A meeting of people without moral compasses plotting a path.

  28. H B Bear

    Mark M you may be surprised to hear that some of us don’t turn to the J e w i s h vanity press as our first port of call on matters economic. Praise from that quarter is like having Sarah Hyphen-Seapatrol agree with you. It means you are wrong.

  29. struth

    17.25: A 3rd home truth, is that whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future.

    Totalitarian arsewipe.

    This right here, right here.

    I beg your pardon Representative Fried Chickenburger, but you’ll do what we want, not what you tell us you are going to do.

    If the people of Australia want to build a hundred coal power stations, that is the direction we will take, and you buggers will be voted in and out of office based on your ability to comply with our wishes, scumbag.

  30. struth

    17.25: A 3rd home truth, is that whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future.

    Whether our constituents like it or not, the global socialist U.N. takes priority over them.
    I have just told them where my loyalties lie.
    With a foreign socialist power.

    Hey people of Australia, Friedchickenburger says get fucked.

  31. egg_

    whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future.

    Totalitarianism, right there.
    What happened to Democracy?

  32. egg_

    whether people like it or not, we are moving towards a carbon constrained future.

    How about an anti-Carbon zealot constrained future?
    Free of brandings?

  33. Dr Fred Lenin

    When was the referendum on “carbon constraint”comrade? We gaveno consent for this imposition, just because you are “elected” by preferences doesn’t mean you are King.your removal from politics would be a simple matter diner let your fascist beliefs interfere with your “brilliant career “as a liar sorry lawmaker . .,..The bloody nerve of these wankers is incredible,total arrogance and un awareness ,strangers to the truth. Ban the lawtrade ,Rabin it with the alpbc and communist unions.

  34. egg_

    Whether our constituents like it or not, the global socialist U.N. takes priority over them.

    The Trumble Toady Partee.

  35. egg_

    Hey people of Australia, Friedchickenburger says get fucked.

    The third rater sees himself as a potential successor to the PM serving up slop like this.

  36. EvilElvis

    I think coal fired electricity should be DENIED to any person or company that supports renewables.

    Yep, make every bank hq and branch, every woolies and Coles, every publicly funded building and any place a public servant frequents be made to pay for a smart switch that’s wifi connected to the AEMO dashboard. Wind and solar not performing, “click”, enjoy the cold.

  37. Myrddin Seren

    Page 12 of the Yougov .pdf.

    ‘Energy Efficiency is the most popular Policy Option’.

    It is all ‘more government, more regulation, more other people’s money’.

    I don’t see ‘ Would you support the forceable temperature control of your house on hot/cold days – to save the planet ?’

    Australians absolutely love the idea of a government making all decisions for them – love it.

    And 50% of those surveyed come out most strongly as against reducing renewball subsidies of the main policy options offered.

    That threshing sound you hear is the Giant Wealth Harvester of the Uniparty, the unions/industry super funds and crony corporatists hoovering up every dollar they can on the way to the inevitable beggarisation of the nation.

  38. egg_

    And 50% of those surveyed come out most strongly as against reducing renewball subsidies of the main policy options offered.

    I’d like to see how said polling was phrased.

    Not “Let Granny freeze this Winter” I’ll bet.

  39. RobK

    Tel,
    Does that reduce the spinning reserve requirement? 
    Potentially, yes, to an extentent. It would be like a pipe every area could feed into and from without having to worry about phase shift (reactive power) transmission loses. There would probably still need to be some power conditioning nearer the street level to accommodate high levels of distributed (domestic) solar in my view.
    The fear i have with the wind farms and large solar is that the boffins are relying on the extent of the grid to give it a diversty of feed, e.g. the sun sets later in the west, so the east coast can feed off SA sun for a bit, or, with enough wind power in Qld the likelyhood of a wind drought is figured to be statistically less. These are very large transfers of energy if RE penetration is high. These feed sources can oscillate wildly. DC would be one way to handle it. What ever way it goes, its a nightmare compared to what we had.

  40. Bruce of Newcastle

    Ron Boswell says “rubbish!”
    That’s a great idea.
    The news this week has been full of councils wondering how to get rid of their rubbish piles.
    Rubbish that was formerly recycled Gaia offerings.
    That the Chinese will no longer accept.
    Bummer.
    So let’s keep Liddell open and burn all those recycled cardboard boxes and MSM newspapers.
    Make glorious baseload power from it all.
    Win win!

  41. RobK

    Tel,
    Yes, something still needs to backup but in tbe case of storage it also needs to draw heavily from the grid, causing even greater fluctuations over distance, compared to what we had. If it is to be carbon constrained nukes offer a solution.

  42. RobK

    BoN,
    The same thought crossed my mind. A few decent high temp incinerator boilers would see to the management of most of our “intractable ” waste.
    I recall hearing an interview on the radio some years ago about a guy who containerised old car tyres to ship to the Philippines. Asked “what do they do with them?”, he replied: “they drive them around untill they are bold, then burn them to produce electricty. “……we can do that, and manage other waste that needs a good burner.

  43. Roger.

    Independent supermarkets contemplating slashing jobs to pay electricity bills under new contracts.

    “Margins are so tight there’s nowhere else to go.”

    They report “no confidence” in Maladroit Frydenberg Esq’s energy guarantee.

    Meanwhile, Frydenberg bleats to premiers about the “national interest” as he dismantles the economy at the behest of the UN & Paris Agreement. In any self-respecting country these characters would be hanging from lamp posts by now.

  44. A few decent high temp incinerator …

    We used to have a cement industry (high temperatures) that disappeared because of gas prices and Chinese dumping.
    Ideal for pyrolyzing industrial waste.

  45. Struth:

    If the people of Australia want to build a hundred coal power stations, that is the direction we will take, and you buggers will be voted in and out of office based on your ability to comply with our wishes, scumbag.

    Let a hundred coal power plants hum!
    Let a million flowers bloom!

    It seems oddly familiar, dunnit?

  46. Kneel

    ” In any self-respecting country these characters would be hanging from lamp posts by now.”

    Just to be nice, we could use some sort of recyclable rope…. then burn the bodies in a power station.

    Oh wait – the current crop spit out so much hot hair, we just need a way to turn that into useful work.
    Pollie hot-air powered electrickery – clean and green, sustainable and renewable, plus removes annoying wind-bags from the places they can do damage. Looking hard for a downside here guys…

  47. Dr Fred Lenin

    Truly a meeting of great minds this , a bunch of failed lawyers and union mafioso displaying their considerable ignorance of the subject ,but covering it up with polliespeak bullshit , a group of mums who paythe power bills would reverse everything theses muppets do ,the mums budget the power bill in their income ,now who is at the sharp end of this equation?
    The polliemuppets of all wings of the uniparty will reach consensus due th their instructions from the u.n. Communist aparat . If you really want to piss them off ,email Trumps achievements to them , mind games with the aparatchiki . Send them to their shrinks .

  48. manalive

    The Galaxy survey is a joke, just take a look at who commissioned it : ACOSS, EEC (renewable energy lobbyists) and PCA (big on ‘diversity’ etc.).
    I don’t know what ’… good policies and investment to ensure the transition of our energy system is smooth, fair and affordable …’ means, certainly not policies to return Australian to one of the countries with the cheapest electricity in the world.
    The Climate-Industrial Complex floats on a cushion of BS that can’t be maintained indefinitely.

  49. woolfe

    The question should be:

    Are you willing to pay the highest price for electricity in the world that achieves nothing for the environment?

  50. Dr Fred Lenin

    The Dr Fred Institute of Alternative Politics is issuing a new survey to establish if the current surveys are correct your participation would be most appreciated . The subject is electricity supply .
    Q1, Do you accept stopping coal fired generation is a good thing for the environment ?
    Q2. Do you think the ti[urnbull alp government is doing a good job in this matter .?
    Q3. Do you think giving subsidies to foreign carpetbaggers and union mafia for unreliable power is good .?
    Q4. Do you support de industrialising the country to help China and India .?
    Q5.would you support building more coal fired stations .?
    Q6.would you support constructing nuclear power stations .?
    Q7. Would you support no subsidies for wind power.?
    Q8. Would you support no subsidies and exclusion from the grid of solar panels .?
    Q9. Would you support a law forbidding politicians fro interfering in important issues without d[referenda ?
    Thank you for your participation your input is most appreciated .

  51. cynical1

    In any self-respecting country these characters would be hanging from lamp posts by now.

    Bob Carr would have decomposed by now.

  52. truth

    One of the possible ‘system strength remediation schemes’ required to be implemented by a RE generator as a condition of connection…..when the generator’s been assessed by the service provider as having ‘adverse system strength impact’….is installation of a synchronous condenser.

    Sounds very expensive to me…the expense to be borne by the generator …although the reliability obligation from the Finkel Report is with the retailer …not the generator as Finkel described it…. the retailer is obliged to require the generator to remediate if necessary before being connected …..as part of the retailer’s reliability obligation.

    One way or another it’s surely going to cost consumers a lot more…with all of the assessments and compliance costs…all will be passed on.

    They’re taking us from the simplicity of coal providing all of these services as a matter of course…to complexity that increases every year…and in the end central planning and total control of our lives IMO…. we won’t be just buying electricity…we’ll have obligations and coercion in the end maybe rationing .

    Like Dr Fred I want to know exactly when Turnbull received a mandate for this existential assault on Australia.

    It’s not as if he’s really won ANY election.

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