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Frydenberg slapped down on Twitter after ignoring coal failure

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Federal energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg joined the Twitter frenzy about soaring NEM power prices during Thursday’s heatwave conditions, but from an entirely different angle to most.

While much of the social media conversation around yesterday’s eye-watering NEM prices focused on the fact that a unit at the newly purchase Victorian coal power plant, Loy Yang B, had tripped and failed just when it was needed the most, Frydenberg opted for a bit of political point scoring, with the Tweet below.

It did not go down well.

Here is a selection of comments Tweeted in response to the minister, including from energy market experts, analysts and players …

And the final word, though not via Twitter, goes to ITK analyst and regular RE contributor, David Leitch:

“Is Josh Frydenberg forecasting that South Australia will never have high prices again if/when Snowy 2 is eventually built? If so, I’d like a small bet with him on that. In any case it’s a bit irrelevant because Snowy 2 is still a long way away and will need an awful lot of high price events to make a return on capital.

“As for the NEG not sure how it would make any difference since no one, probably including Mr Fydnenberg, yet knows how it will work in practice, if it is ever adopted.

“In any event it appears that the interconnected flow from Heywood dropped down at the critical time and this was responsible for the high price. If this is the case, Snowy power couldn’t have got to SA anyway.” (See pink line in attached graph. Red line is price; blue is gas supply; yellow is wind; green is PV and pink is interconnector; black the battery.)

Source: NEM Review

Also, adds Leitch, “it looks the Victorian price was also high in the same period which probably means Victoria didn’t have enough power spare to send to South Australia. So if Snowy had operated maybe that might have made a difference to Victoria and so to South Australia. On the other hand, by the time Snowy is up and running there will be much more supply in Victoria as well.”  

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  • MaxG

    It is pointless trying to have a discussion with dickheads like Josh… the problem is their temporary tenure is creating permanent damage…

    • Pedro

      Good to see at least he is not getting away with his spin

      • john

        Yes it is telling that some people who do have knowledge point out his incorrect assumptions.
        He really sets him self up for being treated with derision with this kind of information which is wrong.

        • Joe

          The Joshie lost all credibility a long time ago.

          • Rob G

            True, but I reckon Greg Hunt was worse.

          • Joe

            A race to the bottom of the barrel between the Joshie and the Greggie. We always get lumbered with duds inhabiting such important positions.

        • John Burnett

          This is The Coalies modus operandi. Misinformation to cover up.

      • John Burnett

        Thats all his got. As minister Captain Blackout didn’t even get to announce Fizza’s Snowy 2.whatever it is. Man has done nothing but spewed rhetoric.

    • There will be trials for the denial.

      • mick

        i truly hope so with jail time attached

        • Joe

          Let them burn in….a Coaler.

    • Patrick Comerford

      You know what they say- never have an argument with an idiot, they’ll win every time.

      • Cooma Doug

        Mark Twain said, “if you see someone arguing with an idiot, you actually have two idiots.”
        Have a look at question time….300 idiots.

        • Steve Applin

          150 in the House of Representatives and 76 in the Senate Doug.

    • Peter Campbell

      The benefit of responding is to educate people who might be watching, not to convince the COALition.

    • Joe

      Yep Max you’ve nailed it again. The Joshie is simply not fit for purpose ie the job of Environment and Energy Minister. He has not commented once about his beloved Coalers that have tripped in the past few months or the blackouts that have occurred here in NSW recently. And when we do hear from Joshie it is surprise, surprise, another swipe ( an ill informed one at that ) at the good state of SA. The dude should just resign!

      • neroden

        Is it possible to start some sort of Parliamentary investigation into, uh, impeaching him and formally removing him? He’s not competent to do his job.

        • Joe

          Can I hazard a guess and say that ‘Incompetence and Not Fit for Purpose ‘ is part of the job qualification to be a Minister in Two Tongue Turnbull’s Cabinet…..the Fifield and the Dutton come easily to mind as well.

          • Calamity_Jean

            Sounds like Trump’s Cabinet in the US.

    • solarguy

      I strongly agree Max. Damn these idiots!

    • Miles Harding

      It’s not about Josh, he’s simply the conduit for a idologically driven campaign of misinformation, something that has come to define the LNP government in recent years.
      As Peter Campbell says, it is our task to prevent the LNP being successful in their campaigns of lies and deliberate obfuscation of the truth.

      The really astounding thing is the fact that the COALition has managed to get itself trapped in such a mess counterproductive and harmful policies, much of which apparenty sprang from the mouth of Tony Abbott in opposition. As has been noted many times, they lack the moral fibre to reset their policies to align with the national interest.

      • MaxG

        I had a look at his bio after I wrote my bit… and he should have the brains to know better (if education is an indicator). But as I said elsewhere, it is the core and underlying neoliberal doctrine which guides the the LNP, and which ultimately defines their actions: small government, implicit large corporate control, free market, privatisation (moving benefits for the public to shareholders). Looking at the current closely already shows a strong group of corporations of running the countries (lobbying, regulation, etc.) electricity is just one example how corporations rort the public, and hence their well-being.

  • Rod

    You can have this one for free Joshy. Stick it on your mirror.

    “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt”
    Mark Twain or Abe Lincoln (the jury is out)

    • Joe

      Have we got The Mark Twain Fanboy Club running in the pages of RE today?

      • Rod

        Well, there is some doubt about who actually used the phrase first but I do like the saying and just wish Joshy boy would abide by it.

        • Joe

          Agree and Cooma Doug a little further up the page is also a Twain Fanboy…nothing at all wrong with that either.

    • stalga

      There’s a verse in Proverbs that is pretty close to that.

    • Jan Veselý

      “You cannot win against the stupidity but you still need to fight it.” Jan Werich

      • Miles Harding

        “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
        – Mark Twain.

        • Alan S

          ‘Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig likes it’ – GBS

    • mick

      maurice switcher?

    • Tony Wilson

      Not Lincoln, not Twain. The original reads “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” – Proverbs 17:28, though it too was no doubt copied from some older source.

      • Rod

        To be fair, the modern version is a little more to the point. As has been pointed out by mick, Maurice Switcher was probably the source of the modern version but it carries a bit more weight with Twain or Lincoln connected to it.

    • CsabaU

      “Against stupidity, even the Gods are powerless!”

      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Geoffrey Cann

    I do not think that there is a portfolio that Josh could handle, except as a parrot on Turnbull’s shoulder

    • Joe

      …he’d still be flat out hanging onto Two Tongue Turnbulls shoulder pads.

    • Gyrogordini

      Trembles can get himself into enough custard without Frackenburg sitting on his shoulder

  • Robert Westinghouse

    Makes me sick – political point scoring when record temperatures, no electricity and people’s lives are in danger. LNP are a dangerous joke. Fix it and stop school yard mentality before people die

    • PaulC

      Thank heavens there is now an adult in the room in the form of Ms Zibelman.

      I have far more faith in AEMO to fix this than Josh, Trumble, or AEMC.

      As for the NEG, if they stop polishing the mirrors and blowing the smoke, we might finally see how risible it is. I can see it now – charge consumers more to contract unreliable dispatchable generators who are already gouging the same customers and can’t meet the reliability obligation when needed.

      Who said circus was dead? Seems alive and well with the LNP.

      • Ren Stimpy

        Even if reliable a coal power generator couldn’t be classed as ‘dispatchable’ because they take hours or days to start up.

        • PaulC

          Politicians have a different definition of “dispatchable”, the same as they think that you can have cheaper, more reliable and lower emissions power without creating any long-term policy certainty. Without details of the NEG, we can only guess at what they will actually do in defining “dispatchable”.

          I agree though that coal is inflexible and unreliable under stress. But it’s more dispatchable than Snowy 2.0 which takes an estimated 7 years to start up.

    • Joe

      Didn’t people die in winter because they couldn’t afford their power bills ( Craig Kelly Liberal MP, the big expert on affairs )

      • Robert Westinghouse

        Yes mate, it is sad…it is all about affordable power – which we do not have. The poor get Donald Ducked again…. lucky the politicians are
        not poor, or they would complain

      • Hettie

        In Australia, far more die in summer from heat stress than die in winter from cold stress.

  • Chris Fraser

    Thanks for calling him out, Gents. He’s turning into his own meme.

  • The Duke

    Gosh Friedbrainberger is a blueprint for an idiot.!

    • mick

      i worked on a jumbuck station(commonwealth hill) in 2010ish theres an anecdote that he did a stint there between political games and was asking the jack/jillaroos how any one could survive on less than 100,000/year, if id been there we would have taken short walk to the shearing yards, having said that there is a solar/battery setup (lead acid 12v)linked in series that had a short circuit go through it i wonder if this is his “life experience” on solar and batteries

      • Joe

        Joshie doesn’t have the rooftop solar at home so you might be onto something about his bad ‘life experience’.Perhaps we should hook him up to a home battery and jolt the dumbass into some positive action.

        • mick

          do they build home batteries in 500v

          • Joe

            ha, ha

  • John Saint-Smith

    The Lazy Negative Party has lifted its skirts and is showing its true character as: the Lying Nasty Party. Not sleazy enough just to dump an unjustified political point scoring on blameless S.A., this heartless hypocrite chooses not to mention that it’s one of his favoured coal fired power stations that caused the price blow-out, or that Snowy, if it ever gets built, wouldn’t help. Can the lies get worse than that?

    • wideEyedPupil

      TO be fair to Josh he probably had no freakin idea what might have caused the restricted supply situation, I mean he’s only our national Energy Minister with an entire department plus political staff to advise him on these matters.

  • Sally Noel Triggell

    Don’t worry he knows, but has other priorities like making a tidy profit for himself. The benefit to Australia doesn’t matter at all to him and his cronies. Sold out long ago.

  • Rebecca

    Its all about Political Donations by mining companies. Another Matt Canavan, LNP mantra Coal is Good for Humanity.

  • John Burnett

    The problem with Captain Blackout and The Coalies is they have to backup their “sponsors” and promote their product which in turn sells out Australia . Just shows these corrupt scum don’t deserve governance.

  • WR

    Thursday would have been an easy day for a 100% renewable energy system based on wind, solar, and a fairly small amount of storage.

    Heat waves occur under large high pressure systems. These conditions almost always produce clear sunny days where solar generation is at, or close to, its maximum capacity. This was the case on Thursday as can be seen here http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/live#2018-01-18.

    Wind generation is usually fairly low under these conditions but the wind capacity factor was actually pretty good for SA/VIC on Thursday. It averaged up near 50% throughout the morning and still averaged in the 20%-25% range throughout the late afternoon and evening when power demand was at a maximum. These values can be seen here http://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2018/january/18. Note that the long-term average capacity factor for wind generation in this part of Australia is about 35%.

    A reasonable amount of storage would have been charged to 100% of capacity by the excellent solar/wind generation conditions earlier in the day. So the evening demand peak that would have occurred after the sun had set and as wind generation decreased to its minimum value for the day (about 15% capacity factor) would have been easily met from storage.

  • Rob G

    I love it when experts slap down lying politicians. Isn’t twitter great for this.

  • Chris

    Why dont I ever see articles posted here of wind farm failures etc? I follow AEMO market notices regularly and wind farms due trip out causing an event to be issued….

    • Pedro

      Not a bad idea for overall balance. I am sure that wind farms do fail or trip out. Perhaps it is more a question of scale. The biggest wind farm in Australia is 420MW, most other wind farms are well below that capacity. For Australia a 100MW wind farm is considered big so if a 100MW wind farm fails at its rated capacity it would not cause the sort of problem that a 500MW power station failing.

    • CsabaU

      The only one defending COALition here!

      • Chris

        How is asking a logical question defending anyone? Everything fails, everything has faults, don’t pick and choose what to report on.

  • lin

    Perhaps someone could start an “@UnrealJoshFrydenberg” account, and start tweeting what a real energy minister would say, instead of the potty-loads of political dross we are currently fed.

  • wideEyedPupil

    Can we make it a RenewEconomy new years resolution to load graph images in a satisfactory way. Screenshots at a minuscule resolution where numbers, axis titles and labels and even data are illegible are frustrating to regular RenewEconomy readers.

    Clicking on the image gets more of the same time and time again.

    It’s not that hard Giles, Sophie et al if you aren’t generating the graph yourself from data, at least maximize the source graph image onscreen (preferably a retina display if you’re using a laptop to increase the pixel density) and screenshot at full screen width. Convert to 8bit PNG (or lower) to keep file size down if desired. Link to source if it’s been lifted from a web sourced screenshot.

  • Roger Franklin

    Firstly to the electricity works in Victoria who worked around the clock to resolve the network issues that occurred – many thanks.

    Josh and others – once again you demonstrate that you are on a journey to midnight on the #PeakStupidity clock. Attempting to spread messages of fear, doubt and uncertainty based on non-factual information, with your solution being “The NEG” and and a many years away (Snowy2.0) project is being quickly corrected by…….. the facts!

    Many of use expect the elected Canberra FIFO workers to obtain the facts to a situation and then propose how you would address it.

    Will move the #PeakStupidity clock another minute towards midnight!