Bludgeoning the electricity industry corpse: the government’s technology policy

Compounding the further retreat from a rational energy policy that the government announced last week, this week the government announced the curiously titled ‘First Low Emissions Technology Statement’.

The statement flags further interventions in energy supply and elsewhere to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I have a critique of the policy proposals in the Spectator, The low emissions technology statement: a (hydrogen) bomb.  Essentially, the Statement involves an $18 billion ten-year program of support for:

• R&D and energy funding, the highlight of which is funding hydrogen R&D, the “stretch” goal of which is get hydrogen at $2 per kilogram in order to displace fossil fuels; even if achievable this would price hydrogen at over $16 per gigajoule, three times the cost of the natural gas it is supposed to supplant!
• Measures, costing at least $15 billion, to ameliorate the adverse effects of high cost and unstable wind and solar, now comprising 15 per cent of supply, none of which would have been installed without subsidies; measures include derating the Snowy by converting it to pumped storage facility, the Tasmanian “battery of the nation” link and actual batteries.
• Pouring more money down the rabbit hole of carbon capture and storage, a dead-on-arrival technology designed to soften increases in fossil fuel costs that a carbon tax entails; Australia is a world leader courtesy of largesse distributed to the secretive Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute by Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull.
• Holding out the prospect of subsidies to farmers for sequestrating carbon in the soil

Johannes Leak brilliantly encapsulated the message.

On the day of the launch the head of Tomago, one of Australia’s big three smelters, announced that the policy disaster created by force-feeding renewables into the electricity supply is causing the smelter to fail. This was followed by AGL announcing it is not going to participate in the bail-out of a second smelter, Portland, with a discounted price. It did so partly because the ACCC’s Rod Sims was requiring assurances from the electricity suppliers that the price would not be offset by higher charges on other customers. If only Sims and his predecessors had taken such “principled” action with the renewable energy requirements that now impose a $13 billion a year cost on the nation.

The loss of these smelters is an inevitable consequence of the sabotage of the formerly low cost electricity industry by successive governments, federal and state. Their closure will confirm the nation prefers for deindustrialisation and reduced living standards over the energy intensive industries that would be among the world’s most competitive if a market based energy policy were to be followed.

Angus Taylor loyally quoted the Statement’s claim that the policies would mean 130,000 additional jobs. That’s a preposterous outcome for policies that will add considerable costs – one wag suggested the additional jobs would all be public servant drones.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Bludgeoning the electricity industry corpse: the government’s technology policy

  1. miltonf

    The Canbra driven project of destroying the Australian economy goes on regardless of who is nominally in charge.

  2. miltonf

    130,000 additional jobs

    Where do they get these numbers from- do some middle ranking pubic serpents get together for half a day and decide that’s how many jobs will be created.

  3. Gerard

    A study of the Spanish renewable energy ‘investment’ shows that for every job ‘created’ causes 2.6 jobs to be lost in the real economy.

  4. feelthebern

    This will enrich the owners of batteries.
    No one else.

  5. Steve

    Seems a good way to kill an economy…but maybe that’s the idea?

    Sooo…fast forward a few years…massive unemployment, people hungry and rioting…..

    What is the point of destroying a whole country? What does it get the Elite?

    Thoughts?

  6. Ubique

    Bitter experience in Spain and elsewhere demonstrates that ever additional renewable energy job costs 2.6 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

  7. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    dick-traitor dan will come to the rescue with vast sums of pooh bear renminbi in crypto format to boot

  8. Rafe Champion

    It gets worse when the Independents get into the act. The Helen Haines (Indi) local power plan.

    To every Australian dismayed by the government’s proposal for a gas-fired recovery, the Local Power Plan offers a different vision to power us out of our current crisis.

    To every Australian who believes the future of our regions will be based on the clean industries of the 21st century, the Local Power Plan offers a practical way to make it happen.

    To every Australian who is willing to work hard and work smart to make our country the clean energy superpower of the world, the Local Power Plan is a way to achieve that vision.

  9. Rob MW

    Angus Taylor loyally quoted the Statement’s claim that the policies would mean 130,000 additional jobs.

    Excuse me Alan, I have to laugh. Boy oh boy, I swear to god these twits are a disgrace to twits. The Commonwealth produced a turd and now they are trying to bottle it.

  10. Rex Anger

    What is the point of destroying a whole country? What does it get the Elite?

    Thoughts?

    An (at least temporarily) unassailable position at the top of the pile.

    So long as the people are hungry, desperate for work and frightened of the authorities imposed on them, then the whole feudalism thing works.

    But as so many tyrants and despots have demonstrated, it is a very fine line that takes constant work to maintain. One day, people decide that they have nothing more to lose, and not even death will dissuade them.

    The Elite / 1%ers / Rich bastards are the smallest, most vulnerable and homicidally terrified minority on this planet. Everyone is ultimately against them, and they know it. All their riches and influences mean nothing in the face of eternity, and they know enough of the cruelty and deceit of the human heart to know that anyone can do the same things they did, and be just as morally or ethically umtroubled in doing so.

  11. Nob

    It’s the hallmark of a small-minded country that they want to be “world leaders” and “superpowers” in things that no sensible country will touch with a bargepole.

    So many vacant thrones! (poisoned chalice holders included free).

  12. Ben

    Spending money we don’t have, to burn electricity we don’t have, to make hydrogen we don’t need, clean steel we can’t sell, to lower emissions that don’t matter, to appease a UN we owe nothing to.

  13. NoFixedAddress

    If you support any other electrical power source other than Coal or Nuclear then you support the Chinese Communist Party.

  14. Hay Stockard

    We get the Government people deserve.
    Thanks labor Liberal and green voters.

  15. NoFixedAddress

    The communist ‘Democrat’ State of Massachusetts, a ‘Commonwealth State’, will not buy Natural Gas from next door Pennsylvania but imports it from Russia!

    So where will the communist filth dictating the State of Victoria be importing gas from?

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/09/pittsburgh_boilermakers_union_endorses_president_trump.html

    What struck me as unbelievable was Mr. Steffee’s statement that the natural gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia is not shipped to Massachusetts and other New England states because those states refused to build pipelines because of “environmental” reasons, which means Democrats adopting the leftist agenda to oppose coal, oil, and natural gas.

    So, what did Massachusetts do? It imported natural gas from Russia. The state of Senator Warren AKA Pocahontas; the Kennedys; Ed Markey; etc. imported gas from Russia instead of buying American gas from Pennsylvania. Even worse, the Massachusetts Democratic attorney general said that buying Russian gas is better for the environment: “Continuing to rely on pipelines is too risky for ratepayers and our climate.”

    The Massachusetts Democrats all charged that President Trump colluded with Russia, but they support the Russian economy by buying Russia’s gas.

  16. Colonel Bunty Golightly

    So we are going to bankrupt our country to become world leaders in solving a non existing problem that anyone wth half a brain knows is a joke? Go figure! We really aren’t very smart and this is made obvious in the caliber of intelligence that we have elected to make decisions for us!

  17. RobK

    The Helen Haines (Indi) local power plan.
    This idea has appeal and a little bit of merit because regional energy has always been subsidised to some extent. The fringes of the grid are relatively expensive and low hanging fruit for RE. It will not be cheaper but there will be more generating redundancy. It won’t scale up well. A remote farm or station can be setup with solar, wind, a couple of gensets cheaper than running out even a Single Wire Earth Return line. To extend this concept to regional hubs and energy exports is a mighty long-bow; worlds of difference in the scale and tradability.
    There have been massive leaps forward in digital technology and it has made a lot of control and instrumentation cheap and comprehensive but…..
    The physical movement of of energy in the grid is more akin to the shifting of other resources such as water or gas. It isn’t like shifting information digitally. Much of the needed infrastructure will be poorly utilised and there will be massive over build, by design.

  18. Steve

    So the local power plan appears to be a way to break up and degrade a reliable grid and produce islands of un-reliable power?

    Fantastic…..not…..

    *palm to forehead*

  19. Mak Siccar

    Unbelievable stupidity. The Lieborals are trying to out-Green the traitorous Greens.

  20. Texas Jack

    And McCormack sits in the joint party room and meekly accepts this Krudd?

  21. Bruce of Newcastle

    • Measures, costing at least $15 billion, to ameliorate the adverse effects of high cost and unstable wind and solar, now comprising 15 per cent of supply, none of which would have been installed without subsidies; measures include derating the Snowy by converting it to pumped storage facility, the Tasmanian “battery of the nation” link and actual batteries.

    Puts paid to the giant lie that renewables are the cheapest doesn’t it?

    For that $15 billion, which is on top of all the poles and wires “gold plating” that was necessary for rooftop PV, we could have about 5 GW of modern coal fired power generation. That would be about 20% of the expected peak demand today in the AEMO area – all dispatchable, synchronous, cheap and good quality. In other words more and better than all the renewable energy currently produced on average each day.

    The lies being pushed by these grifters are despicable.

    And no, CAGW still isn’t noticeable in the real world data. Nothing much has been occurring this century except normal swings due to el Ninos, la Ninas, and other natural phenomena.

  22. min

    Do the politicians and their advisors ever read how other countries are going with renewables? Perhaps they do not read what I have as they are always quoting how well Germany is going with RE I certainly have not seen anything about cheaper available energy being made . No journos ask what makes you think Australia can do better than Germany Uk etc?

  23. Steve

    As long as everything is argued on emotion rather than logic we are all doomed.
    Hydrogen being the perfect example.
    It currently costs 39kWh to extract 1kg of Hydrogen from Water. (The simplest method)
    That 1kg of hydrogen provides 33kWh of energy.
    For every 1kg of hydrogen you lose 6kWh of energy.

    Where does that energy come from? At the moment coal. And that energy could have been used to provide, I don’t know, perhaps energy elsewhere where it was actually needed.

  24. Aynsley Kellow

    It makes one wonder why Germany is not adopting hydrogen. Perhaps it might be something to do with something called the Hindenberg.
    It’s very dangerous stuff.

  25. The Sheriff

    Pray that the LNP let Canavan run for Groom as a National so he can seize the DPMship and restore some sensible policy.

  26. John A

    Steve #3595420, posted on September 23, 2020, at 9:08 pm

    Seems a good way to kill an economy…but maybe that’s the idea?

    Sooo…fast forward a few years…massive unemployment, people hungry and rioting…..

    What is the point of destroying a whole country? What does it get the Elite?

    Thoughts?

    About the only decent thing Keynes said: in the long run we’re all dead. And for the Elites, the “long run” may be shorter than they think.

  27. alan moran

    Sheriff Pray that the LNP let Canavan run for Groom as a National so he can seize the DPMship and restore some sensible policy.

    Better still that he runs as a Liberal and can then challenge for PM! Have a piece forthcoming on this

Comments are closed.