The National Energy Guarantee: selling an oxymoron

Last week the energy regulators (that is the four Commonwealth bodies) staged an affirmation meeting for the NEG.  Firm after firm, and NGO after NGO all trooped up to say what a splendid idea it was and, usually with a few minor quibbles, they support it as the only way to give us the stability that would guarantee a low priced reliable electricity system.

Of course, Tony Abbott, ably supported by Craig Kelly was trying to spoil the party, especially in his address to the Australian Environment Foundation but was, so the Fairfax/Guardian/ABC phalanx maintain, irrelevant and simply a sore loser.

On behalf of the Australian Environment Foundation, I put in this submission to the NEG just to ensure that one voice of sanity was in the mix.  A summary is as follows:

“Government policies, largely involving renewable subsidies, have caused Australian
electricity costs and prices to escalate and to become among the highest in the world. The NEG shifts the basis of the deleterious subsidy regime to become an emissions intensity scheme or carbon tax.

“Though ostensibly responsive to the Paris Agreement, the NEG is actually an industry policy proposal designed further to shift Australia to an “inevitable transition to a clean energy future.

“On the basis of harmful and cripplingly expensive subsidies, renewables have much
increased their market share. But their on-going need for subsidies, as well as undermining the industry as a whole and increasing prices, indicates an on-going lack of commercial competitiveness.

“The NEG’s claim to bring about policy certainty is not credible:

  • The Paris Agreement is dysfunctional, applies to at best 20 per cent of global
    emissions and will inevitably collapse.
  • The political forces within Australia have vastly different aspirationsfor renewable
    energy and coal.

“The NEG will not promote reliability since the absence of this is a consequence of the many interventions it seeks to pursue by alternative means. In attempting to proceed along this well-trodden path many billions of dollars will be wasted and prices to households and businesses will remain cripplingly high.

“The only sensible policy approach is for the government to unwind all subsidies and to call for tenders for new despatchable electricity generation on the basis of long term contracts.

“All these issues aside, the NEG is seriously remiss, even within its own framework because it:

  •  Does not reduce emissions at least cost.
  •  Discriminates in favour of some electricity customers and suppliers in favour of

Minister Frydenberg is off to Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA), Canada and Washington, inter alia to sell this abomination of a policy.

He probably has little chance of doing so in meetings with the US EPA, even though Pruitt has left, and should he bump into Ontario’s Doug Ford, the policy will be ridiculed.  It would be great to think he was going to the IEA to announce Australia’s departure but this is highly unlikely and he will receive full accolades from Executive Director Fatih Birol.

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19 Responses to The National Energy Guarantee: selling an oxymoron

  1. Dr Fred Lenin

    What the Hell would a bunch of failed lawyers and union aparatchiks know about generating power? Indeed what would they know about anything ? That is why career politics a]should be abolished, it attracts criminal losers and selfish scum . No law should be passed without a referendum . The giliard communist gang passed hundreds of “laws” no one knows what most of them were and if they were needed ,but it made it look like the scum are doing something ,take the power off them give it to the people where it belongs.

  2. Shy Ted

    The National Energy Guarantee: selling an oxymoron.
    Let’s just rearrange that shall we, “Moron selling the NEG in gay Paree on behalf of a moron.” FIFY.
    Google translate tells me he’ll be known as Monsieur Burger aux œufs frits.

  3. RobK

    Thanks Alan,
    I always shudder at ““inevitable transition to a clean energy future.”
    It’s a myth. Also, CO2 isn’t dirty.

  4. Perhaps the most objectionable aspect of Australia’s crippled energy market is the fact that the politicians ignored all evidence based information about the cause of it all – CO2, and how it is an unproven driver of warming. The root cause of all the fuss. Even smart people can do stupid things. ALU

  5. The National Energy Guarantee: selling an oxymoron.

    Perhaps it’s ‘Oxygen Thieves And Morons Touting A Notional Energy Guarantee’.

  6. RobK

     Also, CO2 isn’t dirty.
    As Les Patterson might say: It’s the bubbles in champagne.

  7. Even smart people can do stupid things.

    Yes, occasionally. But it takes really, really stupid people like Turnbull and Frydenberg to be continuously stupid.

  8. Mak Siccar

    From The Oz.

    The Australian1:08PM July 9, 2018


    ACT Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury says calls from federal Coalition MPs to bolster the role of coal in the national energy guarantee goes against “the science” and “common sense” but has stopped short of saying whether provisions for coal would be a deal-breaker.

    Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is attempting to gain the support not only of his partyroom, but of state and territory leaders, as he takes his national energy guarantee to COAG.

    Mr Rattenbury, a Greens MLA who oversees the ACT’s 100 per cent by 2020 renewable energy target, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the NEG to date, and has the power to scuttle it.

  9. H B Bear

    So now Australia’s tax policy is vetoed by Pauline Hanson and its energy policy is vetoed by the ACT town council.

    This country is too stupid to survive.

  10. H B Bear

    Let’s ask Donald Horne what he thinks,

    Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise

  11. “Does not reduce emissions at least cost.”
    The only way the public will be convinced that this scam will be the death of this sovereign nation is to avoid such reference to mythical “emissions”.
    Real pollutants are not released to the environment by modern coal fired power stations.
    CO2 is not a pollutant, and human activity cannot influence its proportion of the atmosphere. Natural processes for the most part sea surface temperature, determine the ratio of CO2 on land and in the sea, as it has for billions of years. We are fortunate that the current proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere is favourably affecting crop production.
    Consideration of “emissions” is as nonsensical as considering the amount of manure produced by cartoon carachters.

  12. Genghis

    Nuclear Energy anyone?

  13. JohnA

    Last week the energy regulators (that is the four Commonwealth bodies) staged an affirmation meeting for the NEG. Firm after firm and NGO after NGO all trooped up to say what a splendid idea it was and, usually with a few minor quibbles, they support it as the only way to give us the stability that would guarantee a low priced reliable electricity system.

    Is that what was called in the 1960s a “love in”? It seems to fit the description…

  14. Ian MacCulloch

    The creation of energy feed in from the micro scale (domestic pv’s) to more macro scale (the larger wind farms) v a steady state base line power source (coal fire power stations). Add to the mix the role of gas peakers and who have the perfect recipe for an explosion in costs. Further adding to the cost is the distribution grid that now has to be balanced against all of these competing interests. When Tallawarra was commissioned in 2009, as a state of the art gas peaker, it represented the culmination by Energy Australia of the role of a 1 (2 at the outside) hour per day generator for maximum gain. So if you go back to the planning stage for this power station is shows the trends were evident well before 2000 of what the energy market was going to do. If the trend was evident then what is an inquiry into price gouging is going to achieve. The further the move away from base load power the greater the profitability of the gas peaker. So the solution is simply to remove subsidies to feed in power supplies below a certain guaranteed reliability level level. This approach will allow the larger base load operators to function and start getting rid of the short life span renewable industry.

  15. Rossini

    Stupid FORKEN lieborals

  16. Viva

    IMO the political class are gripped much more by the idea of a Clean Energy Future than the fear of CAGW. That’s almost become irrelevant. Low electricity prices just doesn’t hack it as a competing future vision to strive for. As ever, the devil has the best tunes.

    Reversion to coal would mean the end of the dream

  17. gowest

    High energy prices = high taxes – it all about feeding the insatiable government revenuer….

  18. mem

    I’ve just finished reading an account of what it was like to live in Cambodia in the 1970’s whereby the new regime determined that nothing old was to be preserved and a “new peoples way” would prevail. The peoples regime determined to grow more rice but not in the traditional way in the deltas, so they organised the building of large dams up in the high grounds. Of course if there had been any engineers to consult (they had all been killed off) they might have been advised that water doesn’t flow up hill. Inevitably the dams failed to fill and the seed which was planted wasted. Why does this make me think of Malcolm Turnbull and his “new energy regime”?

  19. Herodotus

    We’re surrounded by carbon dioxymorons.

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