NSW’s RE Suicide Note. 2019 Electricity Stragegy

NSW Electricity Strategy: Our plan for a reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity system

Firmed renewables are the cheapest type of new reliable generation.

Today, wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new electricity generation. These technologies are the most environmentally friendly. When paired with batteries, pumped hydro or gas-fired generators, they can reliably supply electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, and are the lowest cost option to replace power stations as they close.

Businesses and investors are seeing this opportunity. As at October 2019, NSW has more than 100 private sector proposals to build large renewable generators. If built, these generators would total 17,700 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity within the State, and inject $24 billion of investment into regional NSW.


On a  brighter note, Jo Nova reports that people in the US can continue to use the light globes of choice after 2020 with the reversal of the proposed ban on nasty planet-wrecking incandescent globes.

What about us?

COLLEGE DIVESTMENT IN THE US. A study by the National Association of Scholars finds that the movement is pointless and stupid, undermines intellectual freedom, democratic self-government, and responsible stewardship of natural resources.

Divestment campaigns, now on more than 1,000 American colleges and universities, have adopted tactics that violate the free speech of others.  The activists increasingly obstruct fair and open debate by smearing opponents and by bullying other students. The NAS study documents these tactics with case studies of several colleges, including the birthplace of the divestment movement, Swarthmore College.

Wood explained, “The divestment campaigns have been organized by professional activists.  Our report peels back the image the campaign projects of an organic student-led movement.  In fact, it is a nationally orchestrated campaign with top-down directives.”


The pitch from RE zealots is that the solution to the chaos delivered by wind and solar is giant lithium-ion batteries, of the kind peddled by Elon Musk.

Bill Gates has called the idea complete and utter nonsense: Bill Gates Slams Unreliable Wind & Solar: ‘Let’s Quit Jerking Around With Renewables & Batteries’

Apply a little maths, physics and economics and it’s pretty clear that the mega-battery myth is just that.

BONUS. A piece by Tony Thomas on the “truth crisis” at the ABC.

Concurrently, managing director Mark Scott told Senate Estimates that the ABC should ‘follow the weight of evidence’ or ‘consensus’. If sceptics were to be broadcast, ‘they should be robustly questioned, just as the climate scientists are robustly questioned’.

Has anyone ever seen a warmist ‘robustly questioned’ on the ABC? About that time, ABC guru Robyn Williams had Harvard fabulist Naomi Oreskes on his Science Show. She wanted to frighten climate-apathetic families with her forecasts that global warming would kill their pet pups and kittens in 2023. Williams, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, agreed: ‘Yes, not only because it’s an animal but it’s local. You see, one criticism of the scientists is they’re always talking about global things…

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to NSW’s RE Suicide Note. 2019 Electricity Stragegy

  1. Steve trickler

    These people are fucking insane.

  2. jupes

    Firmed renewables are the cheapest type of new reliable generation.

    I am right to assume “Firmed” means backed by Coal?

    Today, wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new electricity generation.

    True. However every single form of old electricity generation is cheaper.

    See what they did there? Obfuscation writ large.

  3. PK

    This is a Liberal Government!!!!

  4. Snoopy

    When paired with batteries, pumped hydro or gas-fired generators, they can reliably supply electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, and are the lowest cost option to replace power stations as they close.

    Just as well the batteries, pumped hydro and gas-fired generators cost nothing. How lucky can we be?

  5. Neville

    Love to, thank you.
    This is selective stupidity writ large – however, jupes (above) beat me with the key points by about 15 minutes. Onya, jupes!

  6. That’s not a strategy and it isn’t a plan.

    It is a corporate welfare trough to reward insipid failure.

  7. The Countess

    My thoughts?
    Our future will be one without electricity, and we’d better start preparing for it now.

  8. Rafiki

    No mention of whether the investors will receive net taxpayer subsidies.

  9. Truth n Justice

    Loonies the lot of them. But very clever loonies and Carpetbaggers the lot of them. Government is so far into this crap they can’t find a way back

  10. RobK

    Firmed renewables are the cheapest type of new reliable generation
    So the subsidies are not needed. There’s a small matter of the hosting capacity of the grid which the proponents should also be on the hook for because the resources are distributed and low density with sporadic utilisation factor. Let the investors carry the risks. Don’t turn your back on the gift of coal and nuclear resources.’
    Let’s stop the bollocks.

  11. Leo G

    When paired with batteries, pumped hydro or gas-fired generators, they can reliably supply electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, and are the lowest cost option to replace power stations as they close.

    Solar when the sun is not shining or wind turbines when the wind is not blowing could well supply electricity with the reliability expected of a decommissioned coal-fired power station.

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    Whatever happened to TRUTH COMMONSENSE HONESTY?
    Gone down the sociaist globalist plughole has it ?
    Wonder how many Aldi bags changed hands to make this happen ?
    Corruption is rife in Australian politics the system is broken beyond repair.

  13. Mique

    Popular delusions and the madness of crowds, coupled with crony capitalism. What could possibly go wrong?

  14. 132andBush

    Certain people and certainly this minister certainly get very firmed when spouting this crap.
    That’s the only thing that is certain!

  15. Faye

    Another dagger in the heart of Australia. How many more Climate Change renewableshite have we got to swallow.?

  16. Nob

    Every sentence in that second paragraph is false.

    How can they be so stupid and callous?

  17. nb

    Nuclear or coal.
    Drop the intermittent power sources. Worse than useless.
    It is hard to accept politicians have bowed to fantasy. Why do they want to become a laughing stock?

  18. dover_beach

    Cats, please watch that video above with Jo Nova. It’s must viewing. The entire story about the NSW gifting Liddel to AGL for free, and now Liddel refusing to sell it to a competitor for $250M, preferring to close it in a few years time, is explained by the trading system we have were removing the cheapest bidders, brown and black coal, raises the floor price for energy across the board. In other words, AGL et al. do better by getting rid of the cheapest generators of energy. This is absolutely scandalous.

  19. dover_beach

    Correction: and now AGL refusing to sell Liddell to…

  20. Rayvic

    Why does NSW have to worry about the reliability, affordability and sustainability of its future electricity supply?
    Because of the apparent inadequacy of the fanciful plan tabled by the NSW energy minister:
    . no new coal-fired baseload generators;
    . 100% reliance on renewables by 2050;
    . and given NSW wholesale power prices have almost trebled in the past 5 years,
    the probability of maintaining a reliable, affordable and sustainable power generation system is zero.

    NSW, and Australia, will be much poorer , if the plan is adhered to. Continuing electricity price rises, disinvestment, and massive job losses are inevitable.

  21. yarpos

    Solar and wind are the cheapest generators they say. Then in the next sentence confirm they cannot do useful work without duplication and complexity, wrapping it up in the glib “when paired” statement. All sounds so simple dont it?

  22. Entropy

    And the cost of the “firmed” power sources not included. It’s absolutely contemptible.

  23. Herodotus

    The ABC’s Robin Williams doubled down on climate change sceptics this week on his program The Science Show, (regularly given over to just the one view of climate change) as did the BBC’s “In the Balance” with its show on divestment, which featured an extremist from 350.org.

    Calling sceptics “deniers” is now not strong enough for these people. Sceptics are compared to ultra-right wingers like AFD in Germany, to nasty fascists, are funded by the top 1% rich-listers, and are also, for good measure, are usually male and white supremacists.

    The inevitability of planet earth’s demise via man-made warming “unless we do more” remains the catechism of these cultists. Williams revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s older brother is a sceptic (ala denier) who says outrageous things like CO2 isn’t the problem and that seas are not rising. What a terrible man!

    Chris Mitchell in today’s Oz pings journalists again for their selective outrage over some matters that are deemed dangerous censorship while conservatives are in charge at Federal level while ignoring more egregious examples perpetrated by Labor in the past.

    It’s demonstrable that the media at large (such as those above but by no means limited to them) is overwhelmingly in the climate change alarmist camp. Destroying the country in order to save it gives them no pause.

  24. Bruce of Newcastle

    Germany is ahead of us on the arc to destruction and the deplorable peasants are revolting.

    Increasingly Powerful Headwinds Ahead: Germany’s Wind Industry Faces Extinction …”Several 10,000 Jobs Lost “ (24 Nov)

    Online site wind energy proponent site, Energiezukunft.eu here presents a commentary telling why Germany is seeing ever increasing resistance to wind energy projects and how the wind industry could be seeing the final nail in its coffin.

    Behind the mounting resistance are hundreds of anti-wind farm citizens’ initiatives across the country, stricter rules for wind projects and powerful anti-wind bureaucrats now heading key government positions.

    According to Energiezukunft.eu,(Energy Future.eu) the new German draft laws are also calling on wind farm operators “to participate in the costs of grid expansion”, a costly requirement that wind energy proponents say “could ruin the wind energy industry”.

    “Actions in the Ministry of Economics show: This is being done deliberately.”

    Wind running up against fierce citizens’ opposition

    Once welcome with open arms by citizens in Europe, wind projects today are being met with fierce opposition as citizens have come to realize how wind parks horrendously blight the landscape, threaten endangered species, produce unhealthy infrasound and generate electricity only sporadically.

    Actions speaking louder than words

    While the German CDU/CSU/SPD grand coalition government openly preaches the virtues of changing over to green energies like wind and sun and that they are the future, their actions and proposals in reality speak tell us the opposite. The German government indeed seems to be ending the free ride that wind energy has enjoyed for more than 2 decades.

    We’ve seen the first signs of a revolt from Bob Brown opposing a wind farm in Tasmania because of the visual impact and carnage to wildlife. What Germany is showing is that once the taboo against opposition to stupid green policies is eroded then it becomes acceptable for the public to complain and organize against them.

    Politicians beware. When wind turbines get built the local real estate prices plunge. Who’d want to buy near a monstrous blight on the landscape? And real estate is one of the touchiest subjects in the Australian politics.

  25. Aynsley Kellow

    The NSW Government might wish to ignore what Michael Photios tells them and look at the actual data. and, perhaps, Michael Kelly’s work

    Lazard’s latest estimates now show the LCOS (Levellised Cost os Storage) along with LCOE. While PV in particular continues to decline in cost, the costs of storage and other system integration costs (esp transmission) continue to place renewables well above existing and new dispatchable sources. See:

    Note that while nuclear costs include decommissioning costs, the decommissioning costs for renewables do not seem to be. As the first renewables are being decommissioned, we are finding the difficulties in disposing PV panels an wind power turbine blades – neither of which can be recycled because they are made from compost materials.

    Note also the experience the Danish experience with turbine leading edge erosion (especially on offshore turbines) which has reduced their economic life considerably.

  26. Tom

    Firmed renewables are the cheapest type of new reliable generation.

    It’s astonishing that we now have such an inept news media that lies and obfuscations like this are no longer exposed — and ridiculed.

    Or that carpetbaggers like US Democratic Party hack Audrey Zibelman hasn’t been investigated or even put under pressure for the AEMO’s destruction of the national electricity grid.

    The fact that she was a Turnbull appointee has inoculated her from scrutiny. Not even the Murdoch press — in particular, the impotent Paywallian — have gone after her for ramping up electricity prices to pay off the renewable energy scammers.

    Lots of money is changing hands that we’re not being told about.

  27. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    wind parks horrendously blight the landscape, threaten endangered species, produce unhealthy infrasound and generate electricity only sporadically

    Apart from those minor disadvantages, they’re a really top idea. Especially when massively subsidised by taxpayers.

  28. Mark M

    Clear the area of sharp objects before showing this to a climate zombie near you …

    Coal demand will remain steady through 2023, International Energy Agency says


    Asian LNG prices tumble as supply floods market


  29. dover_beach

    And the cost of the “firmed” power sources not included. It’s absolutely contemptible.

    It gets worse. It looks like they ignore the costs incurred in adapting the energy system to a source of energy that is intermittent and unable to produce electricity when it is most required. We initially had a system designed for a source that was consistent, could operate independently of other sources, and meet the needs of peak demand, and yet we are transitioning to a system that is dependent (“firmed”) by other sources and provides the bulk of electricity when conditions are favourable at a time/s when it is not most needed.

    What is occurring here is scandalous, and if we had any journalists worth their salt they would be bringing this sordid mess and exposing it to the light of day. But here we are.

  30. max

    “Everything government touches turns to crap.” – Ringo Starr

  31. Lutz

    17,700 MW means 5900 new wind turbines at 3 MW each. Where will they all go? Has anyone counted in the cost of decommissioning and removing theses? There is a nice website https://stopthesethings.com/
    that outlines some cases of the cost and danger of removing old wind turbines.
    Australia produces 212,000 GWh a year of fossil fuelled electricity. That is 580,000 MWh per day. It is simply impossible to replace all that with so called renewables. They are not renewable at all, they are scrap waiting to be collected.

  32. sabena

    The ban on incandescent lightglobes is another Malcolm Turnbull legacy.

  33. Ubique

    Firmed means 100% backed 24/7 by fossil fuelled power stations. Which proves renewables are nothing more than a duplication of conventional power sources.

  34. Lee

    Today, wind and solar are the cheapest forms of new electricity generation.


  35. dover_beach

    Lazard seems to lowball the cost of renewables. In fact, they offer the lowest estimate. Ryan Yonk estimates that the true cost of wind is three times that estimated by Lazard, and Giberson agrees

  36. Kneel

    “…draft laws are also calling on wind farm operators “to participate in the costs of grid expansion”, a costly requirement that wind energy proponents say “could ruin the wind energy industry”.”

    So, they already get:
    * first dibs on supply whenever and however much they can make;
    * supply “renewable energy certificates” that fossil fuel suppliers MUST buy (cross subsidy)
    * don’t have to supply what they have contracted to supply
    and now, when someone asks them to contribute to the cost of them getting power to the grid, they complain it will “kill” their industry?

    Well, one thing is certainly true – they are the cheapest. Not in terms of cost of their product, but in terms of the expenditure they should be required to pay.

    Ah, crony capitalism – what could possybligh go wrong? (other than getting caught…)

  37. Rob MW

    I swear to God that these people are not only very fucking stupid, which there is no cure for, but also totally fucking insane.

    I’ll lay London to a brick that these assholes have personal Chonda-powered back-up generators on back order from China.

  38. John A

    Electricity Stragegy

    Egregious Typo alert!

  39. Tel

    Firmed means 100% backed 24/7 by fossil fuelled power stations. Which proves renewables are nothing more than a duplication of conventional power sources.

    Ha ha, they invent a nonsense word “Firmed” because they don’t want to say, “Using fossil fuel backup”.

    That tells you everything you need to know about the honesty of the report.

    Refurbishing Liddell would be much cheaper than the other options, providing [A] security of property rights, and [B] get rid of the LRET which makes solar get subsidized by coal. That’s all you have to do, if LRET was phased out then AGL would suddenly discover what a great idea coal is.

    There’s some discussion of 50MW battery banks being installed in NSW and they don’t include any prices on that nor will they provide an estimate of required capacity to handle the case where we have a bunch of cloudy days in a row with very little wind.

    They claim that minimal investment has gone into grid upgrades, that’s a load of bullshit, they must think we a stupid, already forgotten about the years of “gold plating” and massive spending on cabling replacement. They also claim that power prices have not gone up … you have got to be kidding me.

    I did a quick search on batteries (Energy Australia / Edify Energy / Wirsol Energy) :

    The Gannawarra Energy Storage System is a 25MW / 50MWh Tesla Powerpack battery system integrated with the 50MW Gannawarra solar farm, located west of Kerang in north-west Victoria.

    So half the size that NSW is proposing.

    The project was supported by the Victorian Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

    Subsidized out of tax money, and then subsidized again via LRET wealth transfer.

    The Gannawarra Energy Storage System is capable of powering more than 16,000 homes through two hours of peak demand before being recharged.

    There’s about a million homes in NSW so we would need another 50 of those projects just to cover the 2 hour peak. Typical lithium battery gives 1000 full cycles, but let’s be generous and say these will do 5000 full cycles (unlikely but possible), and there’s one major cycle per day (peak usage in the evening) where solar is unable to cover the demand. That means every battery needs replacement every 13 years, possibly sooner in some cases.

    I found a rough approximation of the cost of GESS which was $50 million, and it only sells at a strike price above 30c per kWh which is higher than most consumers are paying at retail. The reason it’s viable at all is heavy subsidies and when the wholesale price goes totally ballistic from time to time they will cash in with this thing. Ultimately though, the only source of money is the regular punter, so retail power prices HAVE TO GO UP!!! Think about it guys.

    Building 50 of these things would be $2.5 billion while the NSW government projected budget is claiming “average surpluses of $1.7 billion over the four years” so building batteries would blow away the NSW government budget surplus for the next 6 years … in order to cover 2 hours per day of runtime. Of course, government won’t pay for all of it, but they will have to pay for a chunky share.

    People carry on about “energy density” which is a load of rubbish, the problem here is cost and reliability and number of lifetime cycles. I’m sure that over time batteries will improve, but it’s ridiculous to push people into using a technology that simply isn’t ready yet. Call it experimental, do a few small installations and say, “Hey we are dipping our toe in the water, and will keep an eye on things as they develop.”

    Coal is going to be cheaper for quite a while longer. Mr St Baker claims to be about to build three modern power stations the size of Liddell for a total of $6 billion, and when you consider that at Liddell the site preparation is already done, then refitting an existing station should be cheaper than that. You get power that can run 24×7 and will run at least 30 years without replacement parts. Back when NSW was running all coal the wholesale price was sitting at FIVE CENTS per kWh. It can be done!

  40. Aynsley Kellow

    Note that the Lazard estimate for PV+storage is $US102-139/MWh ($A146-199/MWh).

    This does not include any additional transmission costs , nor the externalities of costs imposed by more reliable sources of generation on the grid through reduced capital utilisation.

    Note that the lower estimate for new construction coal is $A66/MWh ($A94/MWh). The Most recent Australian estimate I can recall seeing is $A81/MWh for USC coal. (Note that Lazards upper estimate includes CCS).

  41. dover_beach

    My alarm bells rang when I heard that AGL refused to sell Liddell to another energy provider for 25oM, preferring to junk it. Obviously they will make more from the negotiated price of electricity post-Liddell than with Liddell still in operation. This is a massive con and wealth transfer.

  42. Tel

    I’ll lay London to a brick that these assholes have personal Chonda-powered back-up generators on back order from China.

    If that’s the case then they aren’t stupid.

    So what would be the alternative explanation?

  43. dover_beach

    Thanks for the follow-up.

  44. Beachcomber

    This is WA’s economic suicide note:

    Climate change in Western Australia

    A commitment to “de-carbonise” (de-industrialise) WA’s economy by 2050 (page iv). It was started by the Stupid F*cking Liberals and Nationals, and Labor-Green are gleefully implementing it.

    Government, media and academia are the enemies of working Australians.

  45. Rob MW


    So what would be the alternative explanation?

    That’s easy Tel:

  46. RobK

    From beachcomber’s link:

    The State Government has a pivotal role in supporting resilience through its responsibility for land use and transport planning, and provision of public infrastructure, emergency management and relevant information on impacts and vulnerability.

    (Our overlords will protect us)
    This from the department that has P policies and p-policies and regularly doesn’t inform anyone of how it operates.
    Another submission is in order, however it’s likely it will fall on deaf ears.
    Thanks BC, they did send me an email the other day because they have me down as a stakeholder. Hevean forbid, but I hadn’t read it yet.

  47. Beachcomber

    Climate change in Western Australia.

    The State Government has set 2050 as Year Zero for WA.

    ……. to achieve net zero emissions for our State by 2050.

    I will also send my submission. There is no way it will get past the climate comrades in DWER.

Comments are closed.