David Bidstrup: Money for nothing

Ex-Nationals senator Ron Boswell wrote in “The Australian” today, (19 April 2018), making the point that the RET is failing us and forcing electricity prices through the roof, putting ordinary folk in energy poverty and destroying businesses.

His solutions echo my thoughts and I suspect those of many others where he advocates long term contracts with organisations that are able to supply reliable power, also known as dispatchable power as it is available when needed rather than be subject to the vagaries of the wind and the sun.

I have trawled through the statistics provided by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy to look at the contribution of renewables to total consumption over the period 2000 to 2017. These statistics are released each year around about August and cover the preceding financial year as well as giving historical data on consumption and generation.

Total consumption for 2000 to 2017 was around 3,860,000 GWh. (A GWh is 1,000 Megawatt hours).In percentage terms generation figures become:

Coal: 72

Gas: 16

Oil and “other”: 2

Total “fossil fuel”: 90.

Bagasse, biogas and geothermal: 0.8

Wind: 1.9

Large PV: 0.02

Small PV: 0.68

Hydro: 6.4

Total Renewable: 10.

Excluding Hydro capacity, which existed long before “renewables” became fashionable, the “new” renewables of wind and solar contributed just over 2.5% of the total generation for the period and coal, gas and hydro total 94.4% of the total.

We pay a subsidy for the privilege of having intermittent sources like wind and solar. For the purposes of this exercise wind attracts $80.00/ MWh, hydro the same and solar $40.00.

Total renewable MWh for the period and the associated subsidies are:

Wind: 74,100,000 at $80/MWh = $5.93 billion.

Hydro: 245,800,000 at $80/MWh = $19.7 billion

Large PV: 614,000 at $40/MWh = $24.5 million.

Small PV: 25,300,000 at $40/MWh = $1 billion.

The total extra cost to consumers is about $27 billion for 9% of the total consumption. This is in addition to whatever those generators manage to get on the very flawed “market”. If they have some spare power when the real gouging is happening, it might be in the thousands of dollars per MWh.

If we consider the average load on the system in the first quarter of 2018, gleaned from AEMO data, it is about 22,200 MW which gives 533,000 MWh per day. This is an average so there are peaks and troughs but it should not be that hard to set a minimum rate of generation to cover the demand. It needs a bit more digging to find the limits to set and I do not have the expertise to do this however it can be done. There can be a “minimum” base load and the additional “peaking” plants to manage this in a way where the power is reliable and reasonably cheap compared to the prices people pay today.

Contracts for power would be set up as long term “take or pay” arrangements with the appropriate prices for the different types whether they are base load or peaking power.

Lots of people get their knickers in a knot about ideological/economic purity and froth at the mouth about “socialism” but the facts are that the “market” as it is fails to provide the best outcome for citizens, which should be the focus for government. We need to remember that electricity production and distribution was once in public ownership and the systems were designed and managed to produce the lowest cost/best reliability outcome. These assets were “sold” to fund government budgetary shortfalls, (remember the State Bank collapse in SA?), not because they were inefficient. I hear the economists now asking “what would he know?”

In order to maintain ideological purity for the “free market” people I am not suggesting nationalisation, although it is my personal preference. I would like to see generators operating in a regulated market where the opportunities for “unconsciable” conduct are limited. This is not the case now and it needs to be fixed. The current Banking Royal Commission is an object lesson in regulatory failure and corporate bastardry and the electricity “industry” is not far behind.

I find it infuriating to watch as politicians attempt to have us believe they can get the square peg into the round hole with a big enough hammer and the expenditure of lots of our money.

Finally, my research on average wholesale power prices in $/MWh for Q1 2018 shows the following:

Cheapest: QLD $72.16

Next: NSW $73.65

Middle range: TAS $91.18

Second most expensive: VIC $120.71

Most expensive: SA $147.21.

Can someone explain to me how this happens in a market that is supposed to deliver electricity at affordable prices?

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83 Responses to David Bidstrup: Money for nothing

  1. cynical1

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/nem-watch/

    No, that’s not a parody.

    How long can the lights stay on?

  2. JC

    In order to maintain ideological purity for the “free market” people I am not suggesting nationalisation, although it is my personal preference. I would like to see generators operating in a regulated market where the opportunities for “unconsciable” conduct are limited. This is not the case now and it needs to be fixed. The current Banking Royal Commission is an object lesson in regulatory failure and corporate bastardry and the electricity “industry” is not far behind.

    What an ill thought out comment. It makes everything else said in this thread a total nonsense.

    Lets gets this straight once and for all. The energy markets in Australia have been passed around, done over and thrown about more than a cheap hooker in an Albanian whorehouse. Every form of intervention known to humanity has been applied on Australian energy markets to the point where productive assets have essentially become worthless. And you blame the producers for getting us into this mess? Additionally, after the pimp (the government) has destroyed these markets and made these assets essentially worthless and a huge liability on firms’ books you dole for more nationalization? This is pure insanity. I’m truly shocked to see a thread like this at the Cat.

  3. JC

    Can someone explain to me how this happens in a market that is supposed to deliver electricity at affordable prices?

    Because we have intervention up the ying yang to the point where the government essentially dictates everything to do with the production and distribution of our energy supplies. In other words, it’s nothing close to the free market at all. It’s directed production out of the pages fascist corporatism. If you don’t understand this you shouldn’t be posting this thread. I’m sorry to say this but it how it is.

  4. a happy little debunker

    Large scale hydro is always excluded from all the climate boondoggles (like the RET) and should not be included in any figures here.

    If you are looking for the reason that Tassie’s power is so high, then look at the interconnector into Victoria.

  5. RobK

    David,
    It’s my understanding that large scale PV is paid the $80/MWh certificates, annually on measured production, just like wind farms. Small solar (less than 100kW installed) is eligible for the small certificates paid at (roughly) $40/MWh which is paid upfront on an estimated 15years production.
    JC,
     It’s directed production out of the pages fascist corporatism. 
    I’m with you on this one.

  6. manalive

    ‘Affordable’ electricity is whatever the rigged market can get away with.

  7. Barry Bones

    Mate – You’re looking into the past, not the future.

    Renewables with firming up capacity (peaking gas, batteries, hydro, etc) are now cheaper than baseless coal or gas. They dont even need subsidies anymore to be competitive.

    Here are two things:

    a) Power price increases between 2007 – 2013 were driven by gold plating in the publically owned transmission and distribution companies;

    b) lately it’s driven by wholesale prices driven by tightening capacity. Ie coal coming out of the market.

    Here’s the thing – all those coal power stations built decades ago were developed by government. They were subsidised. Now the whole sector is private. Nobody wants to build expensive coal. If you and Tony Abbott think coal is the future, then go ahead, put your money where your mouth is.

    But for gawd’s sake, let’s give up the ideology. If renewables are cheaper (and they are) and it’s better for the environment, then let the market sort itself out – which is what’s happening (Eg Origin to triple renewables over the next three years, AGL to replace Liddell with renewables, EA big renewable plan).

    END OF STORY !

  8. RobK

    Barry,
    You are saying scrap the subsidies? Good man.
    Coal has a $80/MWh handout for every miserable MWh RE produces. Where is that going to come from when coal is gone? As RE penetration increases you my friend are in for a rude shock. Why are India and China importing coal and nuclear fuel, building massive capacity of baseload yet exporting to us RE hardware that can only produce low grade electricity?
    The “gold plating” of the grid was due to a 10% guaranteed return as a stimulus package but it pails into insignificance compared to the redesign that will be required to accommodate high penetration RE. You need to get wind from Qld to Vic and sun from SA to the east coast. Dream on sunshine.

  9. wal1957

    Renewables with firming up capacity (peaking gas, batteries, hydro, etc) are now cheaper than baseless coal or gas. They dont even need subsidies anymore to be competitive.

    You have got to be a comedian, right?

    We don’t have enough peaking gas or hydro, and SA has installed one eveready battery. Just how do you propose to be able to supply reliable baseload?
    As for removing subsidies…I say bring it on baby!

  10. David Bidstrup

    JC:
    In my view the “crisis” has its roots in extremely piss poor policy that permits intermittent renewables to get first go at the grid when they have some power to sell at the expense of reliable generators.
    The “blame” is not on the suppliers who are just milking a stupid policy but on those who put it in place without looking at what they might have unleashed.
    The fact that government cannot admit that they were wrong and who hold on to the idea that they can “save the planet” and get “cheap reliable” electricity shows they are idiots.
    Barry Bones:
    If renewables are cheap why do they receive subsidies to operate? Take those away and there would be no “renewables” at all. Also, can you tell me why your ideology is better than mine? As to “the market” sorting it out, you must be having me on.

  11. Chris M

    We urgently need a large biomass fired generator to get rid of all the plastics building up now that China no longer accepts our trash.

    Plastic is essentially solid oil (like aluminium is solid electricity) and if it’s OK with the left that Labor install diesel fired generators as the did in SA obviously it’s no problem to use other forms of hydrocarbon also.

  12. Aussieute

    A couple of images that put the power price rot in perspective
    Open market it aint

    http://bit.ly/2HLKi72
    http://bit.ly/2HOU2h9

  13. Ballinger

    Barry, AGL et al are no longer in the business of energy generation but subsidies collection to turn a profit. Their decision to increase ‘investment’ in renewables is based wholly on simple accounting not because it is ‘better for the environment’. A heads up for you mate, their advertisements that they are “getting out of coal” is not because they care about the environment but because they care about increasing their profit margins for their shareholders – as any publically listed company should be doing.

  14. JohnA

    But for gawd’s sake, let’s give up the ideology. If renewables are cheaper (and they are) and it’s better for the environment, then let the market sort itself out – which is what’s happening (Eg Origin to triple renewables over the next three years, AGL to replace Liddell with renewables, EA big renewable plan).

    Barry, you have left out the question of reliability of supply. Our three major reticulated utilities (gas, water and electricity) are supplied from centralised production facilities, based around concentrated sources (I think it’s known as energy density), to widely distributed consumption points. This makes pressurised networks the most logical engineering design for reliable supply to customers.

    The entire concept of renewable sources as currently practised in wind and solar is the exact opposite – the collection of the energy is widely distributed because the source is not concentrated. Coal and gas are already concentrated energy sources. (Water is more dispersed but can be concentrated in storage reservoirs.)

    Renewable energy cannot achieve the already-attained density of coal, oil or gas, and will never become competitive without subsidies. There is no way that renewables can maintain a reliable, pressurised system for the benefit of the customer.

    If renewables want to win, then the centralised, pressurised system has to be dismantled entirely, and we return to Third World style localised supplies. Do YOU want to be digging your own wells for water, cutting your own peat bog (or worse) for heating & cooking, and relying on daylight for reading your iPad?

    Well, I certainly don’t!

  15. Kevan Daly

    David Bidstrup,
    Thanks for that data for statewide average wholesale power prices in 1QCY18 – I hadn’t realized that the variation, state-to-state was so wide, e.g 2:1 SA:NSW. It makes me wonder what benefit is being derived to SA from the NSW to Victoria interconnector at MurrayLink. I know it’s comparatively small at 220 MW compared to the 700 MW at Heywood but I’m unaware of the rules governing its dispatch. Does AEMO provide data on its activity?

    I know the Libs went to the SA election promising to revive the Robertson/Buronga Hill HVDC link. Has there been any movement on that yet?

  16. Peted

    The only thing I don’t understand here is why the businesses with high electricity demand haven’t already locked in reasonable long-term supply contracts with the generators, to manage their pricing risks, and why otherwise the government would need to.

  17. struth

    Well obviously there’s still a lot of stupid around when this subject is brought up.
    Can you believe there are dumb bastards like Barry still dribbling shit?
    And the author of the article believes there has been a market that’s failed when it is precisely socialist government intervention in what has never been a truly free market anyway that has caused this.
    Barry reckons the renewables can compete without subsidy ………..good lord.
    Depressing.

  18. OneWorldGovernment

    struth
    #2691796, posted on April 21, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I wish every coal fired plant would shut down now for 3 months maintenance.

  19. They dont even need subsidies anymore to be competitive.

    If so, bazza won’t mind if we abolish the subsidies.
    Read the numbers in David’s post bazza. Think hard and remember primary school, arithmetic …

  20. Government intervention is the problem, not the solution.
    The way out of the mess is the simple.

    Abolish the subsidies (RETs et al).
    Abolish energy taxes.

  21. OneWorldGovernment

    Come on down ‘Bones’.

    Is Wind Energy a Good Idea?

    You can produce electricity with a wind turbine, but is it good policy to do so? The reality is that wind energy exists solely because of government subsidies. (Don’t take my word for it, just ask Warren Buffett: “We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”)

  22. Richard 2380

    Barry Bones

    #2691455, posted on April 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    I am presuming Barry that you’re quite well off, with your rooftop solar and composting toilet and therefore take on the fork everybody else position.
    My family in the Philippines desperate to get out of this sashay economy they live in, see the value in the Little Black Rock. I’m constantly surprised at how people refuse to accept the fact they’re building many many coal fired power stations around the world. My family in the Philippines are working on one which is just about ready to commission and bring the region to life. We currently have diesel powered supply 6 AM until 9 AM and then again 5 PM to 8 PM The country is building 27 new coal-fired power stations over the next decade. They already have very cheap labour rates and with cheap and regular power their manufacturing industries will grow tenfold. And all thanks to good old Australian black coal, my family thank the Little Black Rock. The family are looking forward to having a refrigerator/freezer. Furthermore Barry you may ask why we don’t have solar and wind generation, it’s quite a simple philosophy here. There are no subsidies for any think, only the krung-krung (mentally retarded) think things are free.

  23. OneWorldGovernment

    Richard 2380
    #2691898, posted on April 21, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Richard 2380

    Which region are you talking about?

    Sounds great!

  24. RobK

    Well said Richard. I heard a similar view from an Indian politician interviewed on the ABC some time ago.

  25. Deplorable

    Can someone explain to me how this happens in a market that is supposed to deliver electricity at affordable prices

    Affordable’ electricity is whatever the rigged market can get away with.

    From my point of view it seems the unions screwed the public owned electricity producers with overstaffing. It appears the current owners can produce with one third of the staff. Now we are being screwed by zealots ,big business and corrupt or stupid governments trying to satisfy the greens.

  26. struth

    China building 700 coal powered stations to produce the power for their factories making solar panels to sell to the lefties in the west, as weapons, to bring the west to it’s knees.

    Solar panels everywhere here in SA since I was down here last.
    Every solar panel in a business lost, really.
    People can put all the solar panels on their roofs they like.
    If there is no power for industry in their area, they will be poorer than any solar panel can alleviate.

  27. struth

    trying to satisfy the greens.

    Trying to satisfy the global socialists of the U.N. bent on bringing the west to it’s knees.

  28. Iampeter

    making the point that the RET is failing us and forcing electricity prices through the roof

    That means the RET is succeeding.

  29. RobK

    David,
    Just re-reading your post. The minimum consumption of the NEM grid is about 18GW at around 4am acording to “Tony from Oz” who posts regularly on JoNova’s site. He has his own web page and covers a lot of the stuff you are doing. You probably know, but just in case.

  30. Tel

    Can someone explain to me how this happens in a market that is supposed to deliver electricity at affordable prices?

    At least from a NSW perspective I’d happily pay the wholesale average rate you quoted, only 7.4c per kWh.
    I’m even pretty cool about paying DOUBLE, and round it up to 15c per kWh. That’s a reasonable rate, with room for some profit in there. On the top of that they charge per day for connection and that should be plenty to cover the poles and wires.

    Trouble is, they are charging considerably more than double, and it’s increasing.

    Of course NSW is still cheap at the wholesale level, because it’s mostly coal, and we get ripped off at the distribution level because it’s a single supplier monopoly (the retail side is competitive but only one cable comes to your house and that’s the same distributor regardless of who prints your invoice). The average wholesale rate was only 5c per kWh a few years back so there’s been significant increase even if it is still quite cheap. When Liddell shuts down we will see another price hike at the wholesale level which will probably get multiplied by 5 or something similar and passed down to the retail consumer.

  31. Tel

    Lots of people get their knickers in a knot about ideological/economic purity and froth at the mouth about “socialism” but the facts are that the “market” as it is fails to provide the best outcome for citizens, which should be the focus for government.

    Well that all depends on what you mean by “best outcome” now doesn’t it? The current pretend “market” as it stands includes the RET which imposes a requirement that a certain percentage of renewables are used for power generation. A lot of Australians (like our friend Barry Bozo for example) think this is a wonderful outcome. Nearly everyone in the Australian Government also wants this outcome, and that’s why they pushed the RET onto us. They also want high power prices as a kind of self flagellation (we deserve this for out sin of trying to keep warm in Winter and cool in Summer) and they want to micromanage everyone’s life.

    So the market (such as it is) has been structured to deliver the outcome desired by the people who created this thing. One would have to presume this was the intended outcome all along. If you want a different outcome, then get rid of the RET, remove the mandated purchase of renewables and put the thumb hard on the distribution layer of the network which is where the government controlled monopoly exists, and where the lion’s share of the price markup is imposed.

  32. Tel

    Renewables with firming up capacity (peaking gas, batteries, hydro, etc) are now cheaper than baseless coal or gas. They dont even need subsidies anymore to be competitive.

    Great to hear that you support removal of the RET. I’m glad we agree on something Mr Bonehead.

    While we are at it, let’s scrap the Australian Government Green Loans Program, stop paying into the Australian Government Clean Energy Innovation Fund, shut down the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and sack the large number of general “climate science” hangers on paid out of our taxes.

  33. wal1957

    Tel,
    I think Mr Bonehead took his bat & ball and went home.

  34. Barry Bones

    Na mate – still here. Just waiting for all you chicken littles to calm down.

    As I said, if coal is such a great idea, then go ahead – build it. Put your money where your mouth is.

    What’s that? You won’t do it? Not entrepreneurial enough, no capital?

    Come on, quit the excuses – no one is building thermal badeload generators in the West because they suck.

    Forward prices are falling. Renewables are cheaper – even when including for firming up capacity. The sky won’t fall in.

    Yes the Chinese and India are still building them because coal is a quick way to expand capacity fast – and they need the power – but it ain’t cheaper.

    But as I say, if you still pro-coal – then go ahead and build one. Otherwise, get out of our way and let us get on with the job of building this country !

  35. Mark A

    Barry Bones
    #2692289, posted on April 21, 2018 at 10:11 pm
    Forward prices are falling. Renewables are cheaper – even when including for firming up capacity. The sky won’t fall in.

    Yes the Chinese and India are still building them because coal is a quick way to expand capacity fast – and they need the power – but it ain’t cheaper.

    But as I say, if you still pro-coal – then go ahead and build one. Otherwise, get out of our way and let us get on with the job of building this country !

    Bl…dy hell I thought I saw the last of this joker many moons ago.

  36. RobK

    Barry,
    Remove the subsidies and there wont be much RE installed. You’ve been given plenty of material to see sense but you fail to see.
    Yes the Chinese and India are still building them because coal is a quick way to expand capacity fast – and they need the power – but it ain’t cheaper.

    You are right that it is quicker but it is also cheaper. RE has a capacity factor around 30% so you have to install three times as much just to average ‘that amount. Realistically, you need as much again to recharge your storage. Both India and China would use exclusively RE if it was as you say.

  37. Mark A

    RobK
    #2692297, posted on April 21, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Barry,

    You are right that it is quicker but it is also cheaper. RE has a capacity factor around 30% so you have to install three times as much just to average ‘that amount. Realistically, you need as much again to recharge your storage. Both India and China would use exclusively RE if it was as you say.

    Biggest problem these numbskulls keep ignoring is that to keep the frequency steady, there has to be a source of steady supply that is theoretically 51 to 49% . In practice this is of course closer to 60 to 40%.
    That is, base load leading supply to constantly varying renewables.

    In theory, you could do this with a huge battery, but in practice??

    Only takes a few cloudy days or wind still and where are you then? Batteries empty, that’s where.

  38. RobK

    Barry, for your enlightenment:
    From the ABC
    Japanese government planning to build 45 new coal fired power stations to diversify supply

    By Babs McHugh

    Updated 1 February 2017 at 11:11 am

    First posted 31 January 2017 at 12:44 pm

    A high efficiency, low emissions HELE coal fired power plant near Isogo, Japan.

     

    (Supplied: MCA)

    The Japanese government is moving ahead with its plans to build up to 45 new coal fired power stations.

     

    00:00

    00:00

    Japan plans 45 new high-energy, low-emissions HELE coal fired power plants. 

    ( ABC News )

    The power plants will utilise high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal.

    Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports.

    Tom O’Sullivan, a Tokyo based energy consultant with Mathyos Global Advisory, said in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia.

    But he said the move to more coal fired power was because coal was cheaper than LNG, and the energy security was priority for the government.

    “Japan needs to import 95 per cent of all its energy sources,” he said.

    “So it’s trying to diversify its fuel sources and it doesn’t want to be too reliant on any one market.”

    Japan has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to a 26 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

    But Mr O’Sullivan said Japan was yet to price carbon emissions.

    “Although Japan spent $US36 billion dollars on commercial solar power last year, and is planning much more, there is no carbon price,” he said.

    “So at this stage there is no incentive to not build coal fired power station, unlike other countries and states that can have a price as high as $US35-40 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted.”

    Mr O’Sullivan said while community and environmental groups had expressed concerns about the construction of a major coal power station, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was firmly behind the plans.

    He said the decision would ensure the use of coal in Japan would continue well into the middle of the century.

    “These guys [private companies] are not going to go ahead and [put money into] in large capital investments unless they have a 30-year depreciation period,” he said.

    “So if they’re building these coal power plants now it is reasonable to expect them to be still on the books by the end of 2050.”

    HELE power plants and emissions reduction

    There are a number of different types of HELE power station technologies. In Australia, the CSIRO has been working on different programs to further the use of them.

    The Minerals Council of Australia and the Federal Government are on the record saying HELE coal fired power plants produce half of the emissions of traditional plants.

    But David Harris, a CSIRO research director in the Low Emissions Technology Department, said it was not as straight forward as that.

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    “The average global efficiency of existing power plants now is probably less than about less than 34 per cent,” he said.

    “If we could raise that global average to around 40 per cent, that’s equivalent to removing two gigatons of carbon dioxide a year.

    “That’s the same as the entire emissions produced in India in 2014, and that’s a massive saving

    “But for individual power plants, it would depend on what [levels of carbon dioxide emissions] you started with before changing it to a high efficiency plant.

    “So it really does depend on the type of technology used and the level of emissions in the existing plant.”

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  39. RobK

    Oops, forgot to trim the end.

  40. Barry Bones

    Strike me dead – it’s like a broken record.

    Australia’s coal plants were built by government. Why? Because they had to be subsidised. No private sector bloke would build em for a pittance. So if you want coal, you want government intervention. Which is all well and good, but I didn’t know we were writing for the Green Left Weekly.

    As I keep saying, renewables with firming up capacity are rolled ng out fast because it’s more economic.

    If you think differently, build a coal plant yourself. Put your money where your mouth is.

    You know, where I come from we have a saying for someone who loves Jed to pitch ideas but never commit their own coin to them: a snake oil salesmen!

  41. JC

    Strike me dead – it’s like a broken record.

    Yep, you sure are you fuckwit.

    Australia’s coal plants were built by government. Why? Because they had to be subsidised.

    That’s absolutely untrue. The Australian government simply insinuated itself into the electricity market. Suggesting this is a subsidy clearly shows you have even less understanding what subsidy means.

    No private sector bloke would build em for a pittance. So if you want coal, you want government intervention. Which is all well and good, but I didn’t know we were writing for the Green Left Weekly.

    Untrue totally.! There was never any request for the private sector to build plants as that was simply done by the government without any desire to allow the private sector into the game.

    These plants – inefficiently run on on relative basis because they were captured capital by the unions – were never run at a loss. And it would only be the case the Australian public was receiving a subsidy if the plants and distribution were run at a loss. They weren’t! The system we had at the time was a nationalized system of power production (a Sovietized system), which doesn’t mean it was subsidized, you ignorant deadshit. They were run by state governments who priced output after an assumed cost of capital was imputed into the consumer price and the operating costs were paid for. That’s how the cost for consumers was calculated.

    As I keep saying, renewables with firming up capacity are rolled ng out fast because it’s more economic.

    You ridiculous bullshit artist. The distributors have to pay for the energy at much higher prices than what is paid for, for conventional power. In other words their income is legislated at a very high rate.

    If you think differently, build a coal plant yourself. Put your money where your mouth is.

    You can’t build a coal plant, you fucking moron because you would never be allowed a permit and the cost of seeking one would be prohibitive. No one would ever take the sovereign risk. Prodcuers are currently running down their plants and not renewing them because of the hostility shown by the green left and governments.

    You know, where I come from we have a saying for someone who loves Jed to pitch ideas but never commit their own coin to them: a snake oil salesmen!

    Fuck off and stop peddling bullshit green propaganda, you fuckwit. I’ve had enough of your bullshit. Go on, scram and peddle you bullshit somewhere else, you Boneshead.

  42. JC

    Bl…dy hell I thought I saw the last of this joker many moons ago.

    The nerve, the sheer nerve of Barry Bonehead inserting this bullshit in the conversation.

  43. Iampeter

    As I said, if coal is such a great idea, then go ahead – build it. Put your money where your mouth is.

    What’s that? You won’t do it? Not entrepreneurial enough, no capital?

    No, its being made illegal to do so.

    The regulatory state has made it unprofitable to engage in fossil fuel energy production.

    Since there is no other type of energy, as fossil fuels wind down energy prices will continue to rise until we simply have no electricity at all.

    We will have a lot of crazy windmills built in the 21st century though, to show future generations how completely insane we went.

  44. Barry Bones

    JC – your swearing / insults only reveals how weak your arguments are.

    Can’t believe your posts are allowed on this website. Understand that you have the brains and maturity of a 3-year old, but keep going and I would love to give you a spanking !!

    In any case, mate, I’ve read your responses and you’ve been found out and embarrassed. There is nothing there that is persuasive – only the rants of a 3-year old.

    No company in Aus is doing coal, renewables are getting rolled out fast. No, it’s not some conspiracy- it’s because they’re cheaper. Coal is still allowed – am sure you could get a good deal on Liddell, if you put your money up. But no – not for you.

    I’ve also noticed a few comments about gas and Warren Buffett. A couple of points here. Buffet was talking about the US. America has wet gas, we have the more costly dry gas. Consequently, gas is only really economic in Aus as a peaker, not baseload.

    Totally understand that supporting renewables can be a bit confronting for the ideologically dogmatic among us – but you better shape up, because renewables are cheaper and they’re coming into the market hard and fast.

  45. Entropy

    If they are cheaper Barry it is waaaay last time to end the subsidies. There is no longer any justification, is there Barry?

  46. RobK

    Barry,
    I have operated businesses off-grid since the mid eighties in mining, hospitality, and farming. I have owned several wind turbines, the largest being 80kW. I own three battery containers amounting to 200kWh of storage. I have solar water pumping for stock and domestic supply and fixed and tracking panels for domestic and commerce. I have an engineering background and have advised numerous clients on RE installations both in planning stages and optimising poor installations (upto 120kW installed).
    What skin have you got in this game? Your claims dont stack-up, sorry.

  47. Thanks Bazza, I need 8 to 12 GW baseload (24 x 7) for a southern state that I’m thinking of buying at a fire sale when its economy collapses due to high power prices.

    What have you got to offer?

  48. Barry Bones

    Entropy – I agree. End the subsidies.

    RobK – I have no skin in the game. That’s the point. I am neither advocating for renewables or coal, just want the market to do its job. But I am pretty involved in the industry, and I see a wave of investment in renewables at pretty competitive pricing, and I see nothing in coal.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  49. Barry Bones

    Incoherent rambler – you also got no cash in the bank to underwrite any potential investment. Sorry mate, your not a good risk

  50. JC

    JC – your swearing / insults only reveals how weak your arguments are.

    No it doesn’t, Bonehead. They reveal no such thing other than utter contempt for what you represent. We’ve had enough of the lies and the hallucinations coming from the left about energy markets.

    Can’t believe your posts are allowed on this website. Understand that you have the brains and maturity of a 3-year old, but keep going and I would love to give you a spanking !!

    Great contra argument. Obviously, you have nothing to say another than abusing me.

    In any case, mate, I’ve read your responses and you’ve been found out and embarrassed. There is nothing there that is persuasive – only the rants of a 3-year old.

    Again, no argument, just the ranting by a leftist zombie.

    No company in Aus is doing coal,

    Existing plants are encouraged to close down. No company is doing coal because the political risk of losing one’s capital are too great, you dishonest fucking moron.

    renewables are getting rolled out fast. No, it’s not some conspiracy- it’s because they’re cheaper. Coal is still allowed – am sure you could get a good deal on Liddell, if you put your money up. But no – not for you.

    Renewballs are subsidised to the hilt and on top of that subsidy whores are receiving exceedingly high rates for feed in. No fucking wonder subsidy whores are tripping over themselves to get in on the racket.

    Your hallucinations that renewball energy is cheaper is fucking laughable.

    I’ve also noticed a few comments about gas and Warren Buffett. A couple of points here. Buffet was talking about the US. America has wet gas, we have the more costly dry gas. Consequently, gas is only really economic in Aus as a peaker, not baseload.

    Who cares, as we have loads of coal.

    Totally understand that supporting renewables can be a bit confronting for the ideologically dogmatic among us – but you better shape up, because renewables are cheaper and they’re coming into the market hard and fast.

    Hard and fast alright, you dishonest scumbag. You should be in jail peddling bullshit like this. As I said, fuck off and stop wasting our time. You leftist muppet.

  51. JC

    Tell me I’m wrong.

    1. Eliminate the subsidies to the renewball subsidy whores.

    2. Stop attacking coal plants operators.

    You’re wrong. In fact you’re so wrong and deceitful, you ought to be frog marched over a cliff.

  52. RobK

    Barry,
    As i said upthread, RE gets $80/MWh for each and every MWh it produces from coal’s profits and the grid is forced to take everything. How can you possibly say it is economic when coal has to prop it up to this extent. Im glad you suggest to scrap the subsidies. Do that and see how it goes. I think you have been reading reneweconomy’s site somewhat blindly. I enjoy RE, it has its place but the grid really only has room for 1/7 to 1/5 penetration of RE before costs get out of hand…and continue to rise.

  53. Barry Bones

    1. Agree – end the subsidies

    2. I’ve not attacked any coal operators. I’ve just observed that no one is investing in NEW coal. Get the diffference ?? If not, let me spell it out to you, AGL and Origin both operate coal plants. But neither is investing in NEW coal – indeed they’ve made commitments to close them down. Neither of these companies are charities, so why do they have these commitments. I’ll tell you, because coal sux as an investment proposition. If you disagree, do us all a favour and put your money where your mouth is !

    Goodness me – what a chump !!

  54. RobK

    Tell me I’m wrong.
    You are wrong.

  55. RobK

    When the subsidies end we will see who is right.

  56. OneWorldGovernment

    Hey Bones

    You said to RobK

    Barry Bones
    #2692594, posted on April 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    RobK – I have no skin in the game. That’s the point. I am neither advocating for renewables or coal, just want the market to do its job. But I am pretty involved in the industry, and I see a wave of investment in renewables at pretty competitive pricing, and I see nothing in coal.

    What is this competitive pricing in AUD$/MWh terms of which you speak?

  57. JC

    Barry Bonehead, you’re in a hallucinatory trance again.

    I’ve not attacked any coal operators. I’ve just observed that no one is investing in NEW coal. Get the diffference ??

    No rational person would go near a coal fired investment as because of the very real fear they would lose their entire investment due to the very real potential irrational political decisions. It’s scared capital.

    Here’s the other thing. Australia is now short of energy supplies – particularly baseload – that resulted from the closure of three significant coal fired energy plants. Seeing that coal produces the cheapest form of energy, what possible reasons are there other than what has been explained for no one wanting to go near a coal fired power plant?

  58. Barry Bones

    You’re looking at sub $60/mwh these days…

  59. Barry Bones

    Should also note that the NEG – national energy gaurantee is a blatant subsidy for coal – so we should be scrapping that as well

  60. H B Bear

    2. I’ve not attacked any coal operators. I’ve just observed that no one is investing in NEW coal.

    No-one is investing in new coal plants because governments – both branches of the UniParty, have raised the sovereign risk of the investment so much that risk premium of any project would be uneconomic. Australian Big 4 banks are so captive to the threat of SJW lead boycott they have ruled out debt financing of coal plants so any finance would have to be raised internationally introducing another layer of risk.

    That is why no-one is investing in coal in Australia. It is completely divorced from the engineering and operating costs that would be available in a market free of government RE subsidies.

  61. JC

    Barry Bones
    #2692632, posted on April 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Should also note that the NEG – national energy gaurantee is a blatant subsidy for coal – so we should be scrapping that as well

    Barry Bonehead, get it into your thick skull. Without egregious subsidies and stealing from consumers
    with the feed in tariff, intermittent energy producers would never survive. In fact, we would have to hire additional bankruptcy judges just to remove the backlog in the bankruptcy courts if that happened.

    Plastic panels and propellers on sticks will never produce sufficient energy for an industrial civilization. Now go hug a tree, you dope.

  62. RobK

    Barry,
    Wrong again.

    You’re looking at sub $60/mwh these days…

    http://greenmarkets.com.au

    Market prices (spot*)Market prices (spot*)

    STCs$39.00

    LGCs$83.60

    *The spot price is for a minimum parcel size of 5000 created certificates.
    Prices are compiled using the latest reported market data.

    Market price history

    Closing prices as at: 17 Apr 2018

  63. RobK

    LGC is Large-scale Greenhouse Certificate (paid annually on production evidence)
    STC is Small-scale Technology Certificates (for installs less than 100kW, paid upfront on estimated 15 production) e.g.domestic solar.

  64. H B Bear

    Barry,
    Wrong again.

    Yes, this is a recurring theme.

  65. Barry Bones

    Rob – you moron – you’re vobfkating two different things.

    I said that the cost of renewables development is sub $60 MWh – I stand by that.

    It is cheap for two reasons – costs are falling and pension funds/ foreigners, Chinese etc are willing to lend very at very cheap rates of return in a PPA.

    You’re talking about the cost of a RET certificate – that is a function of a market whereby past underinvestment has driven up the price of the Certs close to their ceiling of ~$93 MWh.

    As more renewables come on the market, expect the certs to come down.

    That’s why I said “look at the forward curve”

    Crickey – you and JC need to stop drunk blogging !

  66. Barry Bones

    Rob – you moron – you’re conflating two different things.

    I said that the cost of renewables development is sub $60 MWh – I stand by that.

    It is cheap for two reasons – costs are falling and pension funds/ foreigners, Chinese etc are willing to lend very at very cheap rates of return within a PPA.

    You’re talking about the cost of a RET certificate – that is a function of a market whereby past underinvestment has driven up the price of the Certs close to their ceiling of ~$93 MWh.

    As more renewables come on line, expect the certs to come down.

    That’s why I said “look at the forward curve”.

    Hibestly, you and JC need to stop drunk blogging !

  67. JC

    Barry Bonehead, you shouldn’t be accusing anyone of being drunk, when you’re posting in duplicate, you fucking idiot.

    Renewballs don’t work and never will, no matter how much you’re fraudulently spruiking this fraud. STFU and go away.

  68. Barry Bones

    I did it twice to see if Forest “JC” Gump could get it.

    Obviously not…

  69. Barry Bones

    PS: get off the grog mate. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

  70. JC

    Barry Bonehead.

    You’re hallucinating again. Renewballs don’t work and never will, no matter how much you and your buddies peddle this anti-science nonsense.

  71. Barry Bones

    Yep, you’ve nailed it.

    Honourary membership into the Monash Group for you

  72. JC

    Barry Bonehead.

    Renewballs will not work and never will. Stop the fraud.

  73. sdfc

    So advances in storage capacity is limited JC?

  74. Barry Bones

    Don’t go there sdfc. God (aka JC) has spoken. Renew-balls aren’t going anywhere. Case closed.

  75. OneWorldGovernment

    JC

    It is time to close all coal fired power stations.

    Too expensive compared to wind and large scale solar.

  76. OneWorldGovernment

    I can’t wait until we have no more diesel fuel in Australia.

  77. JC

    So advances in storage capacity is limited JC?

    Very, if you’re concerned about cost and the availability of raw materials. Battery technology has met some very real walls. The cost may come down on the production side due to scaling, but you will also have a problem with raw material supplies and the cost will continue to be exorbitant. There’s not enough known reserves of lithium to satisfy world demand.

    Intermittent energy is a con and Barry Bonehead is a cultist freak. It doesn’t work.

    Barry Bonehead keeps making hay about the cost of producing this garbage has fallen and will continue to. That’s no big deal as it’s government subsidies causing malinvestment is a very defective form of technology that just doesn’t work and will never do so.

  78. RobK

    Barry,
    I had been talking of subsidies at $80/MWh, you retorted “You’re looking at sub $60/mwh these days…”. It seems logical your would be refering to the subsidies since you didn’t say otherwise. I am aware of a deal done at $60/MWh, it didnt include the subsidy which would then be added so it is still an additional $80 today, or projected $60 forward a year or two to equal $140 to $110. It isnt surprising that installations that have been comanding attractive terms from government backed lending and grants can be sold cheaply after having creamed massive subsidies for a few years. This does free up some capital to do it all over again. Money for jam.
    There is no way the $60 you speak of includes anything like peak shaving storage or load shifting storage so you are still peddling an inferior product of little real value.

  79. RobK

    Barry,
    https://arena.gov.au/blog/arenas-role-commercialising-big-batteries/

    Present cost of ownership of Li batteries is $216 MWh but….’Tesla’s Elon Musk has predicted that lithium-ion battery costs will plummet to US$100/KWh by the end of the decade. Though such batteries are already becoming increasingly competitive with other forms of storage, commercialisation must be tested with real-world data and performance assessment. ARENA’s funding will be vital in efforts to poke and prod at the realities of mass deployment of grid-scale energy storage.”(musk may not be solvent by the end of the decade)
    You will notice at that link peaking gas is also around that price. Baseload needs very little peaking and its on a predictable daily cycle. RE is all over the place, on scales of minutes, hours, days, months, seasons years… you dont know what it will deliver or how much to store. RE will always need a lot of storage relative to baseload so RE will be expensive without baseload. RE is of little value, it almost doesnt matter how cheap it is, its not very useful. On the present trajectory electricity costs will continue fo rise as RE penetration increases, irrespective of the cost approaching coal generation.

  80. RobK

    I sbould have bighlighted:
    ARENA’s funding will be vital in efforts to poke and prod at the realities of mass deployment of grid-scale energy storage.
    This is an experiment Barry. For twenty years people have been aiming to get batteries down to $100/MWh. To date no one has. You will note you still have to buy the energy to charge them so even at your $60/MWh, it’s still expensive.

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