Reaping the Whirlwind: Shutting Coal-Fired Power Plants Guarantees Rocketing Power Prices

Pt Augusta once delivered cheap and reliable power to SA.


Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia destroyed its last coal-fired power plant and now suffers the world’s highest power prices. Its economy is already a basket case, with much worse to come.

However, RE zealots seem to treat SA in the same way that gamblers treat their losses: they never mention them, and refuse to be drawn on the subject.

Some have even gone to farcical lengths in an effort to claim that South Australian power prices have actually fallen, over time:  South Australia’s 50% Renewable Energy Fail: World’s Highest Power Prices Caused by Subsidised Wind & Solar 

That kind of delusion allows the promoters of heavily subsidised and chaotically intermittent wind and solar to continually regroup and reload, as they attempt to sucker others into the greatest environmental and economic fraud, of all time.

One of them, the head of Australia’s Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Audrey Zibelman is gripped by the same kind of fanatical zeal that led to vestal virgins being thrown down the mouths of volcanoes. Reality and Audrey have a very troubled relationship, as Rafe Champion details below.

Audrey Zibelman and the New York policy on renewable energy
Catallaxy Files
Rafe Champion
7 March 2019

Aubrey Zibelman came from New York where she was the Chair of the Public Service Commission that presided over the regulation and safety of the electricity, gas, telephone, cable and water system and set consumer rates for electricity. She came to Australia in 2017 to head up the Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to guide our transition to green energy. Leaving New York she said moving toward a system that reduced carbon emissions did not necessarily mean higher costs. “It actually means lower prices if we do it right,” as reported in a revealing story about the New York electricity system.

Recently at a conference at the University of NSW she repeated the mantra “we can have it all” – cheap power, a reliable grid and greatly reduced CO2 emissions – provided that we do it right. Unfortunately doing it right for Ms Zibelman does not mean holding off on solar and wind until the storage problem is handled.

What could Ms Zibelman learn about the problems of a green transition in Australia based on her experience in New York? As the New York story explains the citizens of the state could theoretically draw all their power from natural gas (half their power at present) local nuclear facilities (one third), local hydro (20%) and out of state sources for the remainder.

When you turn on a light or charge your phone, the electricity coming from the outlet may well have traveled hundreds of miles across the power grid that blankets most of North America — the world’s largest machine, and one of its most eccentric.
Your household power may have been generated by Niagara Falls, or by a natural-gas-fired plant on a barge floating off the Brooklyn shore. But the kilowatt-hour produced down the block probably costs more than the one produced at the Canadian border.

The Australian situation is radically different. No nuclear power, nothing like 20% hydro and no connections to any provider outside. It is amazing that New York would want to go seriously renewable but that is the plan, to increase from 25% RE at present to 50% by 2030, dispensing with one of the nuclear facilities and the two remaining coal-fired power stations.

Despite Ms Zibelman’s optimism about the price of going green, just the announcement of the impending shuttering of the coal stations sent the market slightly crazy.

New York’s plan to put the state’s last coal-fired power plants out of business hasn’t even been approved yet and electricity is already trading like they’re shut.

The price of power in 2021 in New York City and other regions surged more than 30 percent beginning in May. The only major difference between then and now: a pending state rule to limit power-plant emissions that was designed to eliminate coal-burning power plants by the end of 2020.

States that are taking more aggressive steps to curb climate change should pay attention to this early reaction. Governor Andrew Cuomo has set a target of getting half of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and this is the first time a state has targeted coal by using its regulatory authority to limit carbon emissions. While the plan wouldn’t kick in until 2021, it’s already affecting power markets and shows that these efforts may come with a cost.

Catallaxy Files

Audrey just can’t get a grip on reality.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  2. On Feb 13, 2018: The judge dismissed all charges in the lawsuit brought against Dr Tim Ball by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. It is a great victory for free speech.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.

    “Human Caused Global Warming”, ‘The Biggest Deception in History’.

  3. Tom Casey says:

    Read somewhere they could build two or three of the new coal powered stations for same amount of money as snowy 2.0. Pity the wind power neighbors as they will need to run them at full power to pump water back up at nightime. My biggest challenge is to get the macarthur turbines turned of at nights and weekends which happens overseas.


      Good idea . Unlike Snowy 2. CWP’s Bango Industrail wind Farm which will surround me has made a pre sale of the electricity to Federal Govt owned Snowy Mountains Hydro Authority.
      That cost will blow out to $10B at least for no real benefit .
      There are at least 3 fault lines discovered so far . The rock in the tunnels and nearby is no good for cement and the turbine room and fittings are over 1 KM underground .
      Imagine !!!

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