Finkel’s Fantasyland: Report to ‘Save’ Australia’s Power Grid From Renewables Chaos a Death Sentence for Business

Oh, and you’ll find grid-scale battery storage right over here.

***

In yesterday’s post we described Alan Finkel’s report on Australia’s power market fiasco as a mixture of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ – residing in a place where the fundamentals of physics and economics, logic and reason are playfully and permanently suspended – and Goldilocks – the story about an infantile quest to make sure everything the heart desires is ‘just right’ – another lovable, childish fantasy.

After the report was released, commentators and barrackers set to work attempting to find something resembling common sense amongst its musings.

Alas, the report’s recommendations (available here), were they to be implemented, would guarantee the destruction of what remains of Australia’s reliable and affordable power supplies, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than is already guaranteed under the Large-Scale RET. South Australia has already been written-off; Finkel uses it as ‘case study’ on renewables guaranteed grid-wrecking caused by its dominant and chaotic wind power supply.

Finkel’s claims that his clean energy target ‘CET’ (aka low emissions target ‘LET’) would actually lower household prices – by adding even more intermittent wind and solar power into the grid – is pure fiction, based on heroic assumptions and forecasts, that bear no foundation in reality. In truth, under the CET, power prices would escalate to industry and household crushing levels in a matter of 2-3 years.

The current 33,000 GWh LRET would end up amounting to 26% of total demand by 2020. Finkel’s CET plan is to lumber Australia with a whopping 42% of renewables: predominantly wind and solar, on top of existing hydro (8%). The LRET will cost more than $42 billion in subsidies alone from now until 2031 when it expires. On a ‘back-of-an-envelope’ basis, the cost of subsidising existing and additional wind and solar under Finkel’s CET would top $70 billion over the same period and much, much more, beyond 2030. And that ignores his plan to pay $millions annually to energy hungry businesses to shut down on cloudy and calm days, and to pay ageing coal-fired plant to stay online, burning fuel but unable to sell power while the sun’s up and the wind is blowing.

One obvious piece of fiction is Finkel’s claim that, because the wind is free, the “short-run operating costs are essentially zero”. Utter bunkum: for wind power the Operations and Maintenance costs alone are around $24-25 per MWh, for each and every MWh generated – a fact made plain in the financial statements of Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit, Infigen:

And that cost only increases over time, as blades disintegrate; gearboxes grind to a halt; bearings collapse; and generators wear out and cease to generate (see our post here).

That such a fundamental (and readily available) fact could be overlooked, smacks of gross incompetence, at best; or of a team intent on peddling a preordained agenda. The latter can’t be ruled out, given that Chloe Munro helped produce the report.

Chloe Munro’s links to the wind industry are thicker than treacle – she lobbed up as a director of Tasmanian wind power outfit, Hydro Tasmania back in 2010 – that’s the crowd that were busted for vote rigging, among other skulduggery, in their efforts to spear 600 of these things into King Island in Bass Strait (see our post here). Until March this year, Chloe was inside the tent and working over time to push the wind industry’s barrow, as the Clean Energy Regulator. This is the woman that went ballistic when power retailer, ERM decided to pay the shortfall penalty (for them $123 million) instead of buying wind power to get RECs and satisfy Chloe’s target – she ranted about ERM’s failure to “comply with the spirit of the law” – whatever that might mean? (see our post here).

Finkel makes wild recommendations about grid-scale battery storage, despite the fact that there is no such system in operation anywhere in the world, including wind power crusaders, Germany and Denmark. The former relying upon new and recommissioned coal-fired plant, the latter relying upon nuclear power from Sweden – whenever the wind drops.

Even if, at some point in the future, grid-scale battery storage were a thing, the capital cost of building such a system at the scale required would be in the tens of billions of dollars. Filling that system with already subsidised wind power at a cost of $110 per MWh (the price of wind power including the REC designed to be worth $93 per MWh) and then returning it to the grid can only add to that cost: the owners of any such battery storage system will be looking for an annual return on capital in the order of 20%.

Astonishingly, Finkel didn’t even bother to consider nuclear power generation as a pathway to reliable, affordable power and – given his climate alarmism credentials, what should be for him its most important attribute – its proven ability to generate base-load power with zero CO2 emissions. It rates a mention, but Finkel quickly dismisses it in order to focus on the fantasy of (non-existent) battery storage.

Australia has the world’s largest uranium reserves, is the world’s largest exporter of uranium and, yet, childishly refuses to join the 30 other countries in the world, currently running 450 reactors without so much as a hiccup and the 15 countries in the throes of building 60 more reactors, right now. Which suggests that Finkel has no real interest in powering Australia with CO2 free electricity (see our post here).

In an upcoming post, we’ll report on the fact that AGL (the crowd that recently spruiked that its push for even more massively subsidised wind and solar would come with “no compromises to you”) is about to jack up its retail power prices by 19% – an annual price increase 12 times the 2016/17 annual rate of inflation of 1.5%.

No business, small or large can survive for very long in the face of such rapid and massive increases in their input costs. Even if Finkel’s fantasyland was to emerge sometime in the future, large swathes of Australia’s miners, mineral processors, manufacturers, irrigators, food processors and wine makers will have long been buried in the company liquidator’s graveyard.

On balance, the report reads more like a communist manifesto: dictating the terms on which commercial enterprises must supply power, whether or not it’s profitable to do so; throwing other peoples’ money (ie yours and ours) around like confetti at a Big Fat Greek wedding – in part to cover the extraordinary costs needed to keep a weather reliant grid from collapsing; and ordering businesses and whole industries to shut down when demand is up (think of a run of hot summer days) and the wind isn’t blowing (think of a run of hot summer days – well, every day really).

In short, Finkel’s report is a death sentence for every energy hungry business in Australia, as well as a misery ticket for its poorest and most vulnerable, who will be forced to live without power forever: that inevitable end result can be found in his report under the argument for – what is euphemistically and cynically called – ‘demand management’.

Judith Sloan, an economist with common sense and insight, is one of the few in the mainstream press that gets anywhere near appreciating the causes and consequences of Australia’s unfolding energy calamity. Here she is again.

An end to the climate wars? Not on your nelly
The Australian
Judith Sloan
10 June 2017

Will the Finkel report bring to an end the political climate wars that have waged for more than a decade in this country? Not on your nelly is my reply.

If anything, the report makes any politically feasible solution more difficult by arguing the case for more heavy-handed government intrusion in the electricity market workings.

And here’s a very important warning: beware modellers who tell you that, in the best-case scenario, electricity prices could actually fall. Tell that to the householders who face power price rises of between 20 and 30 per cent in parts of Australia.

Garbage in, garbage out is the key reason to distrust the modelling, as well as the riding instructions given to compliant modellers. They are happy to adjust assumptions, often in hidden ways, to achieve the desired result. (Retaining a relatively hefty penetration of coal-fired power stations, operating at less-than-full capacity, is one of the critical assumptions in the report’s calculations, as well as the arbitrary risk weighting attached to the business-as-usual scenario.)

Think about it: Finkel is effectively recommending that the renewable energy target continue, but in its renamed form, the clean energy target. By setting an emissions intensity benchmark that knocks out coal over time, it is not technology agnostic, as its proponents claim. It actually knocks out gas as well because of its high price and limited domestic supply at this point.

Look at what happens to the penetration of renewables under the Finkel recommendations: it goes from 16 per cent of electricity generation now to 42 per cent in 2030 — not far off Labor’s holy grail of 50 per cent. It’s no wonder Labor is tempted to sign on.

Gas goes from 6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent in 2030 and to just 3 per cent in 2050 — so much for the CET being neutral about technology. For a country with abundant gas supplies, this is a ridiculous result and is in stark contrast with the US experience, where the take-up of gas to electricity plants has led to falling emissions without any real government intervention.

And consider Finkel’s Soviet-like command that coal-fired electricity plants must give at least three years’ warning of closure, even if these plants are haemorrhaging money in the meantime. He can’t be serious.

A possibly useful suggestion in the report is that all new renewable energy providers must include back-up as part of their offerings — batteries or pumped hydro storage, for example.

Given that wind has a utilisation rate generally of between 25 and 30 per cent of its maximum capacity, and factoring in the cost of the battery back-up, this requirement could triple the cost of wind power, at least in the short term. The equation is slightly better for solar.

In practice, this requirement is likely to be fudged, with energy providers required to provide only a few hours of back-up — say on the basis of a one-for-one ratio of electricity produced.

It might be better than nothing, but it doesn’t solve the reliability issue likely to plague the electricity system. It will be those creaking old coal-fired power plants doing that, even though under the CET there will be no new investment in coal.

There is plenty of water to go under the bridge before anything is settled. Labor will bang on about the need for a price on carbon even though the RET and the CET spin off a price on carbon. And the reality is if you put a price on carbon, electricity prices will rise, irrespective of what the voodoo modellers say.

The future of the electricity market is not pretty under any scenario.
The Australian

Alan Finkel delivers economic death sentence.

***

Judith Sloan picks up on one of the most ridiculous parts of an already ridiculous report, when she notices Finkel’s edict by:

“Soviet-like command that coal-fired electricity plants must give at least three years’ warning of closure, even if these plants are haemorrhaging money in the meantime.”

Finkel clearly has no idea about the strict requirements of corporate governance.

A director who permits a company to trade while insolvent faces personal liability for the debts incurred in the period from which the company was deemed to be insolvent. The well-known stricture on preventing a company from racking up debts that it cannot satisfy is laid out in s588G of the Corporations Act 2001.

Ordinarily, it is the company that must make good its debts and not its directors. However, directors will be held responsible for debts incurred if they allow the company to be in a position that it cannot pay its debts as and when they fall due.

Under Finkel’s manifesto, directors will know that they are allowing their company to trade while insolvent, and those directors will also face both civil and criminal penalties under the Corporations Act, as well as personal liability for the debts incurred.

The notion that company directors in charge of a coal-fired power plant – rendered permanently unprofitable due to its inability to compete with heavily subsidised wind power (when the wind is blowing of course) – would allow that company to continue to trade is pure nonsense. Placed in that position, the duty of the directors is to place the company in voluntary administration and thereby set in train the process of winding up the company. Should they continue to trade, the directors would face personal liability for all the debts incurred by the company from the point of technical insolvency and criminal sanctions for doing so deliberately and dishonestly.

If this aspect of Finkel’s Soviet-era edicts and mandates were threatened to be implemented, it would guarantee the closure of coal-fired plants, right now.

No director in his or her right mind would want to sit on the board of a company that had been ordered by the Federal government to continue operating as a potentially insolvent company for up to 3 years. It would be far safer for those directors to wind up the company sooner (when it was possible) rather than later (when it was not).

And also expect to see directors rushing for the exits to avoid personal liability for insolvency, which is the direct result of the market perversion caused by perpetual, mandated subsidies to wind and solar power (see our post here).

Here’s Judith again.

State surge of unaffordable energy measures
The Australian
Judith Sloan
10 June 2017

There are plenty of crazy energy policies being pursued by national and state governments around the world. But I am fast coming to the conclusion that Australia takes the cake.

Notwithstanding an abundance of coal, gas and uranium, we have some of the highest electricity prices in the world compared with the cheap prices we enjoyed at the turn of the century. Is it any wonder that the national accounts released this week showed that manufacturing in this country has contracted for 11 quarters in a row?

How did this state of affairs come to pass? What possessed successive federal and state governments to pursue suites of policies that are economically des­tructive as well as ineffective in terms of achieving affordable, reliable electricity while also securing predetermined cuts to carbon dioxide emissions?

And don’t get me on to the gas market. While the federal government was encouraging the export of coal-seam gas, some state governments were putting up the shutters on gas exploration and exploitation. We now have a situation where the Coalition government is imposing a reservation policy on the large gas producers that will do nothing to reduce gas prices or increase supply in the medium term.

By way of background, we should not forget that electricity accounts for only one-third of emissions. Of the electricity generated, one-half is consumed by large, energy-intensive businesses, mainly in manufacturing and minerals processing, one-quarter is consumed by households and the rest by small business.

On the most recent figures, black coal is the single biggest source of electricity generation (45 per cent), followed by gas, brown coal (lower now that Hazelwood has shut) and renewables. According to the renewable energy target, renewable energy, predominantly wind, will account for 23 per cent of electricity generation by 2020, although this target may not be met.

With an abundance of coal in this country, the costs of carbon abatement associated with targeting the electricity sector to reach the government-set emissions targets — which largely have been plucked out of thin air to signal our virtuousness to the international community — were always going to be inordinately high.

Even the Turnbull government has reached the conclusion that the Soviet-style RET has been disastrous, notwithstanding Greg Hunt, as environment minister, championing its retention albeit with a slightly reduced 2020 target of 33,000 gigawatt hours.

What has been achieved is a surge in unreliable renewable energy inserting itself into the market, while driving out low-cost synchronous electricity.

After a short pause, wholesale electricity prices have soared while reliability of the system has faltered because renewable energy offers no inertia. You really couldn’t design a worse outcome if you tried.

And note that the number of jobs associated with renewable energy is trivial. Once the jobs lost in other electricity plants and in shuttered energy-intensive plants are taken into account, the net employment loss is substantial. Research from Spain shows that for every new job in renewable energy, three to four jobs are lost elsewhere.

The impact on electricity prices of increased penetration of renewable energy is clearly demonstrated by international comparisons of electricity prices: the higher the percentage of renewable energy, the higher the prices.

What is interesting about the chart is that prices in Australia are even higher than we would expect given our percentage of renewable energy.

We should not forget that policy failures haven’t been confined to the wholesale side of the market and generation.

The Gillard government’s decision to impose new standards on poles and wires (the transmission and distribution networks) led companies to undertake gold-plated investments to capture the high government-guaranteed rates of return.

This was a monumental policy failure even though there was clearly a need to upgrade the grid consequent upon the higher penetration of renewable energy. It led to much higher retail electricity prices. While the effect on price rises has effectively washed out of the system, the legacy is a much higher base of electricity ­prices, which continue to rise.

Then we have state governments deciding it would be fun to run independent energy and emissions policies, even though all of them have signed on to the National Electricity Market and to abide by its rules.

Naturally the focus has been on South Australia, where the failure of policy is quite rightly the butt of jokes. Its government was first off the blocks to have its own RET: 33 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2025.

Renewable energy — overwhelmingly wind farms — were encouraged like there was no tomorrow by easing planning laws, exempting the operators from payroll tax and mandating payments to landowners.

The SA government encouraged the closure of the last remaining coal-fired power station in Port Augusta, even though the owners offered the government a very affordable deal to keep the plant running. And now the state government plans to spend more than $500 million of taxpayer money to try to unpick the almighty mess of high prices and unreliable electricity in the state, including subsidising a new gas-fired plant.

But we should not just pick on South Australia. The ACT government has really jumped the shark by opting for a 100 per cent RET by 2020 by using so-called contracts for difference awarded through reverse auctions. (The RET looks positively efficient compared with these reverse auctions.) In effect, renewable energy providers are given a guaranteed cashflow picked up by ACT taxpayers and electricity consumers.

One of the issues raised by these separate state government initiatives is where this leaves federal government policy. Some of the state governments are effectively saying we won’t bother abiding by the rules of the National Electricity Market if it suits us. The SA government, for instance, thinks it can direct generators to fire up. And the Queensland government is proposing to instruct its largest government-owned coal-fired electricity plant to bid low during high-demand periods, thereby creating a distortion in the market and accelerating the closure of other coal-fired plants struggling to make money.

As the federal government contemplates yet another intervention in the electricity market — the so-called clean energy target — bear in mind this history. By trying to interfere in the workings of the market, there is a very high chance that the outcome will be worse compared with leaving things well enough alone.

The policy alternative is to let the (defective) RET run its course to 2030, with the 2020 target unchanged. The price of the underlying Renewable Energy Certifi­cates should fall, feeding into lower electricity prices.

As long as reliability obligations are imposed on renewable energy providers, which claim to be cheaper than fossil-fuel generators, this could be the least worst alternative. It also could provide the policy certainty the industry claims it needs.

No doubt the state governments will continue to make a mess of energy policy, but they were going to do that anyway.
The Australian

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Ian Miller says:

    WHAT’S ALL THIS FUSS ABOUT CO2 AND CLIMATE CHANGE ?
    In as much as a blanket of CO2 is said to hold in heat at the earth’s surface allegedly preventing heat from escaping and thus warming the planet, surely this same blanket will insulate the planet from heat from the sun ?
    In other words, this CO2 blanket will hold in as much fossil fuel heat, as much as hold out the sun’s heat !
    In other words, CO2 emissions can only have a neutral effect on Climate, contrary to what the ‘authorities’ who wish to curtail us all, would desperately try to tell us.
    Furthermore, the amount of heat we create by burning fossil fuels has to be miniscule compared to the amount of heat from the sun continually barbecuing the earth’s entire surface, and without which, quite regardless of the amount of fossil fuel we burnt, the earth would still become a solitary frozen ball in space.

  2. Finkel Finkel little star
    How I wonder what you are
    Up above the world so high
    Like a Greenie in the sky
    Finkel Finkel little wonder
    Politics as Science
    And we ALL suffer!

  3. Sean O'Dubhlaoigh says:

    Wind Turbines are engineering junk who lose 50% of their capacity factor every 6 years. I suppose this “smart guy???” Finkel has allowed for that in his OUTPUT calculations. So every 6 years you would need to replace 50% of all the installed wind turbine capacity to maintain your OUTPUT levels. Your will have to build a complex and massive to get this power to market adding 50% or more every 6 years. Finkel is living in dream times and he must be taking something hallucinogenic.

  4. As I type we are about 4 days into a doldrum period, where nationally we are struggling to produce 100MW of wind power (including 5 from the wind power capital SA).

    Slow moving highs are not unusual winter and summer.

    The disconnect between renewables and reality seems quite jarring yet it seems so easily dismissed/ignored/glossed over in the political world.

    I keep looking at it thinking I have missed something.

  5. Nothing is said about cost at this point of turbines and the $’s that has gone into building these things, nothing about the cost of the health effects from these monsters.
    Nothing.

  6. Not long now until Australia will overtake India as a third world country without any electricity. It used to be joked about “letting the inmates run the asylum” but Australia is actually going to do it with the electricity industry. Back in the 1960’s electrical engineers and planners used to run Australia’s electricity systems, people with the training, knowledge and qualifications to do the job now we have scientists, politicians and Greenies with their yes men giving advice trying to run one of the most technicaly advanced industries in the world. I don’t know what qualifications a scientist has in running a power station or designing a generator or even a transmission line but I would say from experience SFA. Personally I cannot wait for all this to play out but doubt if the loonies involved in Fu$#ing up a once great cheap, reliable electricity generation and distribution system Australia wide will ever admit that they were clueless morons without any qualifications to do what they were doing now.

  7. Jackie Rovensky says:

    A few comments on the “Recommendations”
    2.1 second dot point:
    ‘Require new generators to have fast frequency response capability.’
    This would appear to suggest Wind Turbines would need to be able to have a recovery system attached which is not reliant on the weather or storm – perhaps a diesel generator would suffice!
    Third dot point dot point 2:
    ‘disclose any software or physical parameters that could affect security or reliability’
    It seems they want to know if there is anything installed that prevents turbines from going haywire and blowing up. Maybe this is an acknowledgement they are inherently dangerous.
    2.3 first dot point:
    …’generators to change their governor settings to provide a more continuous control of frequency with a deadband similar to comparable international jurisdictions’.

    Frequency – in what context is this word being used, does it have anything to do with reliability which would bring it under the above re reliability.

    This could be so when reading dot point 2 ‘Consider the costs and benefits of tightening the frequency operating standard.’
    2.7 What do they mean by ‘National Electricity Market’s resilience to human and environmental threats.’

    Human of course could refer to acts of war or terrorism or large increase to human demand for electricity, but environmental? Are they suggesting the environment may turn on the Energy Market? Or are they acknowledging that relying on the environment could create a threat to energy production?
    2.11 ‘In recognition of the increased severity of extreme weather…’ so it’s definite is it, there is no question we are going to continue to have extreme weather conditions!

    But then that could mean a shortage of rain (water) to supply hydro, a change in patterns when the wind doesn’t blow at all for a while then we receive gale for winds, so when will we have the right kind of wind reliable conditions in the future as extreme and severe weather conditions pervade our future?

    How will we create integrity of energy infrastructure? Turbines are inherently at the mercy of the weather, that will not change, the other infrastructure – the cabling – well bury it, but then the environment will have to be destroyed in the process of digging it up and bulldozing trees. However a power station can be located in a position where the environment has already been compromised. There is no need to erect across vast areas of farming or virgin land as is required to install turbines. Problem ‘solvered’ build clean coal power stations or even consider nuclear.

    2.12 Development of a national assessment for future workforce requirements – what a load of old bunkum. Properly skilled workforce the wind industry has made a mockery of how many workers they require – a few unskilled in the main but they bring their ‘skilled’ workers with them from site to site. Few skilled jobs are required other maintenance workers.

    3.2 A bit late to talk about an ‘Orderly Transition’ isn’t it.
    dot point 2:
    How can changing a name from Renewable Energy Target to Clean Energy Target and bringing in an EIS make things better? How do they solve the problem of cost to the end user? How can they be adaptable and flexible and create security and reliability. Where is the proof that shows they have a better outcome than ‘business as usual’?

    Figures on paper do not prove anything they tried that story by spouted how having wind energy would reduce the cost to the end user – we have yet to see that happen.

    Then in the next paragraph under dot point 2 we have them saying the CET can …’be implemented within an already well understood and functioning framework,…’

    What a load of old trollop they are spouting here and the panel actually has the audacity to say they recommend a CET be adopted. After the whole reason for doing the report was to work out a better way of doing things because what was happening was a mess. They are saying here no need to change just carry on regardless.

    They begin to get down to the nitty gritty of their intension from there on in, they must now think people have become so engrossed in their earlier waffle that they will not notice the not so suckle change in emphasis.

    4.3 paragraph 2 …’ensure that landholders receive fair compensation.’ What if they don’t want compensation what if they don’t want their land used for turbines, solar panels or gas mining?

    5.1 AEMO …’supported by transmission network service providers and relevant stakeholders, should develop an integrated grid plan to facilitate the efficient development and connection of renewable energy zones across the National Electricity Market’.

    5.2 AEMO …’in consultation with transmission network providers and consistent with the integrated grid plan, should develop a list of potential priority projects in each region that governments could support if the market is unable to deliver the investment required to enable the development of renewable energy zones.’

    5.1 and 5.2 show how we the people will be shut out of anything to do with these zones and projects, we have been shut out we are of no consequence to those who created this diatribe.

    5.5 Caps this off and highlights how this whole debacle was developed …’ to ensure the suite of reforms implemented following the 2017 COAG Energy Council review have been effective in addressing stakeholder concerns.’

    Note the term ‘stakeholders’ that does not mean you and me that refers to the energy industry, we are not even considered in this report other than some minor references to the cost being lower – and we all know that’s loaded lies.

    From there on it just goes through a process of suggesting administrative changes and things COAG should do, as well as giving AEMO more powers, but are they actually more powers. Further there appears to be a suggestion that we the people will have no say in where turbines or even gas mining can go ahead. It appears that ‘zoning’ for installations will be handed to others leaving us out of the equation and decision making – out lands will no longer belong to us – they want to create ‘Democracy free’ zones.

    The whole document appears to be centred mainly on either establishing new ‘bodies’ or how existing ones should be changed. As well as securing the right of companies to invade our land and space when and wherever they wish and it looks as if ‘stakeholders’ will be assisting with the creation of renewable energy zones.

    If any of this is going to make things better for us the poor dummies sitting at home freezing without jobs and in ill health I fail to see how, or how it is going to help the environment or how the money paid to Finkel and his panel of word twisters was worthwhile.

    I know Turnbull is incapable of looking at anything except through the eyes of a money spinner, but surely there are people in the Governments “board Room” who have the ability to see through this social nightmare.

    Maybe I am wrong and have misunderstood what was being said in the Recommendations, no doubt I will be told if I have. Maybe if I read the whole report I could see they have simply not got the list of Recommendations right according to what the report actually said – that is not unusual as often Executive Summaries and Recommendations are abbreviated to death and what was actually concluded was far different, but I doubt the intension of the list of Recommendations would be far from accurate in this instance.
    They are what the ‘stakeholders’ wanted and what they will get unless we stamp our feet and cry foul loud enough.

  8. alfredmelbourne says:

    Finkel was involved in the Israeli electric car fiasco “Better Place”

    They lost their investors a cool US$850m and hardly sold any cars.

    I am surprised (not) the media have lost all track of it. The guy should never be allowed anywhere near wealth-creation businesses

    “Alan Finkel, chancellor of Monash University and a former chief technology officer of Better Place Australia, said the company had been caught in a technological bind”

    “How Better Place got lost”

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/how-better-place-got-lost-20130527-2n7gp.html

    I have changed my mind about our daughter going to Monash University.

    • Once a Leftist ideologue always one so it seems.  Better Place boss, former Labor whiz-kid Evan Thornley who presided over the demise of Better Place, and the current Labor leader Bill Shorten were both directors of GetUp and involved in the set-up of that Leftist, activist organisation.
      I guess our little jewel of the south seas Australia is something of a better place (for now) but my how that's about to change if Malcolm Turnbull has his way.  Malcolm's new best friend, Alan Finkle of Monash said to be a disciple of Labor jobs-for-the-boys Monash Professor John Thwaites, former Environment Minister in the Victorian Bracks Labor Government and prior to that environmental activist Labor lawyer.  Thwaites was noted in the mid to late noughties for his breathtaking scientific knowledge when as Environment Minister he promoted a series of anti fossil fuel TV propaganda ads featuring evil black "carbon dioxide" balloons bursting forth from electrical appliances and rising into the sky.  Now as any half smart science undergraduate will tell you, carbon dioxide gas being heavier than air, balloons filled with that dreaded gas are much more apt to go rolling across the floor and out the door than  than they are launch into the firmament.

  9. Terry Conn says:

    Our ‘society’ will collapse much more quickly than the ‘neo marxists’ will even be able to cope with if this absurd report by Finkel is adopted as policy.

    Not surprisingly the voters have no idea as to what is coming because they expect to be able to trust our institutions (such as the CSIRO) and governments to ultimately make decisions and have discussions that ultimately result in benefitting ‘society’ rather than destroying it.

    This Finkel report is totally contemptuous of that trust and if adopted will shut the nation down and it certainly will not bounce back in its present form. Why ‘reports’ are based on the ‘garbage in garbage out’ model, as Judith Sloan correctly calls it, can only be because of limited capacity for logical thought or corruption. Unfortunately, the chances of Turnbull and Frydenberg doing the sensible thing and trashing this entire wind and solar debacle is nil.

    The voters are only likely to get the message when they run out of money and food (‘food’ – because the ‘freezers’ don’t work).

  10. This is comical to watch from a distance. In this case, the USA. We’re going through our own version of Alice in Wonderland over here, but the efforts at self-mutilation from Australia at present are simply mind numbing in range and scope.
    I’ve watched the entire solar energy market shift from a mostly reliable small market share solar thermal industry, to an unreliable, much larger market share solar electric industry solely as a result of government subsidies. The government subsidies around me have been in place for a decade now and show no sign of going away. If they did, the solar electric industry would collapse overnight and the solar thermal industry would resume its small market share once again. But the government (local, state and federal) support in my region pales into insignificance when compared with the Australian madness. I still have friends in the ACT and the clamor within government administration departments to be perceived at the forefront of the revolution to renewable energy both individually and corporately is mind blowing. The detachment from the reality of power market logistics, supply and demand is beyond my capability of comprehension. I’m getting too old and my time is too valuable to care much anymore, so I’ve resorted to a detached fascination in watching the renewable energy mavericks burn the bridges behind them as they lead a gullible Australian population to a real, economic Armageddon using an imaginary environmental Armageddon as the motivation. I expect one day, the population will see the illusion for what it is, but it won’t be for a while yet and most of the damage will be done by then. It’s not going to be pretty.

    • Tony Z, it would be hilarious if not so serious. Unemployment will skyrocket here, as whole industries head off shore or stay away, mining investment will shrink and mineral processors will disappear. Churches in South Australia now say a weekly prayer for the people who can no longer afford power. 11,000 homes were disconnected last year in SA, on top of the 30,000 or so already living freezing in the dark. This is a crime against the people.

    • Tony Z the only benefit I see in all this is I will be dead by 2050, and the only benefit to the supporters of this scam is they wont have to hear me say I TOLD YOU SO.

    • Tony Z It really is hilarious to see what is happening in Australia to our electricity industry while we close down our remaining coal fired power stations to save the world from global warming the rest of the world is building over three hundred new ones. If there was ever a prize for a loony country run by mad hatters then Australia would win hands down. It really makes you want to cry.

    • Uncle Fester of near Canberra says:

      Tony Z – the ONLY reason the ACT is going 100% renewable is that the labour government cannot govern in isolation and are required to be bound to the green-tard movement in order to retain office. This gives the greens a disproportionate power balance, and allows Shane Rattenbury assume the mantle of “minister for everything”. Bizzarre green targets and light rail systems that wont be utilised will be the badge of honour of this assembly. I am sure they will all be able to look at their “investment” in the future with heads hung low. Then they can join in-line with the NSW Department of planning and Environment (DoPE) (I love that acronym) and the Planning and Assessment Commission for public exposure for misfeasance in public office.

  11. Take a look at the mess we’re in in Ontario because of a Premier who is perpetually smiling, even though she has a popularity rating so low that typically one would resign. She is determined to destroy our collective future.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2017/06/10/wynnes-liberals-have-lost-touch-with-reality

  12. Herbert Adams says:

    South Australia’s energy minister Tom Koutsantonis earlier this week proudly stood side by side with AGL at the official announcement that AGL was going to replace existing gas generation with a new 200 MW gas turbine plant. Tom remarked that this was proof that Labors energy plan was working.

    The next day AGL announced that power prices were going up by 18%.
    Can’t Tom see we are getting shafted on both sides of the equation, firstly by renewable subsides and then paying exorbitant prices for peaking gas plants?

  13. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “And here’s a very important warning: beware modellers who tell you that, in the best-case scenario, electricity prices could actually fall. Tell that to the householders who face power price rises of between 20 and 30 per cent in parts of Australia.”

    Garbage in, garbage out is the key reason to distrust the modelling, as well as the riding instructions given to compliant modellers. They are happy to adjust assumptions, often in hidden ways, to achieve the desired result…”

    Sounds a lot like the overheated UN CMIP5 climate models – 102 ensembles which have failed dismally to model observed reality with regard to the current global warming “pause”. An inconvenient warming “hiatus” now nearing two decades despite record “CO2” emissions over the same period!

  14. hardley davison says:

    Rip van Finkel? He drank the kool aid and awoke in a world where green delusions come true, except he went back in time rather than forwards, and found himself in deepest darkened South Australia. Powered by unsustainable government subsidy and virtuous political ideology, where fossil fuelled generators have become essential equipment for any citizens (and hospitals, schools, businesses) wanting to guarantee a power supply.

  15. Son of a Goat says:

    I think Australia needs a Trump like character to take control of the reins and cut to the chase.

    Listening to talk back radio and in particular the night time presenter on the public broadcaster the ABC whilst on the tractor planting this years lentil crop, Trump was portrayed as the devils love child. He put national security at risk by dealing with the Russians, he avoided tax, pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and was going to be the worst president ever.

    Then a contrarian rang in and said ” Hey mate, he’s one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world having made it in the highly competitive New York real estate market. He stood for Presidency, vilified by all mainstream media throughout the world, his own party didn’t even want him. Against the odds he won the vote to become the President of the USA. On top of that he is married to a former Miss Universe, so surely he’s got something going for him!

  16. Mr. Fickle…

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