Full absurdity of National Energy Guarantee laid bare

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The NEG is looking more and more like a fraud. It is one thing to have a policy that proudly boasts it will do nothing on emissions, but to produce a document that pretends to be able to halt the pace of technology change is barking mad.

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The full absurdity of the National Energy Guarantee has been laid bare by the final details of the proposed policy platform, its assumed and intended impact on large-scale renewables, and the Coalition response to it.

The NEG, as we all know, has been conceived and tailored to satisfy one group – the influential band of climate deniers and technology skeptics sitting on the back bench and within the cabinet of the federal Coalition government.

It promises to do little or nothing on emissions, it promises to stop investment in wind and solar in it tracks, and then promises, like magic, to deliver significant bill savings to consumers. And it is all based on modelling that is either incomplete, not released, or complete nonsense.

It was fascinating to see how mainstream media on Thursday characterised what the NEG is designed to do following the release of the Energy Security Board’s “final detailed design” and the drip-feed of some more modelling.

Both the ABC and The Australian pointed to the assumed doubling of the renewables share by 2030 (as a great achievement in the case of the ABC, and a very bad thing in the case of News Corp), while the AFR claimed that having no NEG would slow the pace of renewables.

But all of these reports missed the point. The “doubling” of renewables trumpeted in the media refers almost exclusively to what is built over the next two years to meet the renewable energy target.

The NEG itself is designed to bring new wind and solar development to a complete stop – the only difference is whether this occurs in 2021 (no-NEG) or in 2022 (with NEG).

Even this is too much for the Coalition right wing, led by former prime minister Tony Abbott, who doesn’t want any more renewables in the system, doesn’t believe that prices will fall at all, and wants Australia out of the Paris climate agreement.

“They say that there will be no new stations built, so in 50 years time it will be zero per cent reliance on coal but if we don’t rely on coal, what are we going to rely on?” Abbott said on 2GB radio

“The problem is you cannot get renewable power 24/7, you just can’t. We call it renewable energy but we really should call it unreliable energy because it only works when the sun shines and the wind blows.”

And this points to the many absurdities of the NEG, and the arguments and modelling presented by ESB – its assumed impact on price, on investment, and on emissions.

Energy minister Josh Frydenberg this week lamented the fact that so many independent energy analysts had been critical of the NEG from outset.

He shouldn’t be so surprised.

Their concerns were raised because, from the start, it looked like a do-nothing policy that would stop investment, cause a rise in emissions over most of the decade, and whose assumed cost reductions – beyond those expected from the influx of wind and solar farms under the RET – looked contentious and unlikely.

And those fears are not reduced by the release of the latest document. In fact, the ESB admitted as much, and the details only deepen the concerns, so much so that many are saying this policy is starting to look like a complete fraud. The anger is visceral.

As mentioned, from the outset, the aim of the NEG has been to pretend that it is something that it is not – and leaked emails from those involved in its initial formation confirm that.

Mostly, it is designed to try to hide the fact that something could be done about emissions by promising not to do anything about emissions. And then by disguising the fact that if any meaningful abatement was ever targeted, or achieved, then there would be some sort of price.

If that sounds like Orwellian double speak, then that is exactly the intent of the policy document.

The price of any abatement won’t be visible under the NEG because it will be buried by the hugely complex nature of the contracting that is required of it. One thing that can be sure, though, is that the complexity will be reflected in costs to consumers somewhere along the chain.

There are a whole series of assumptions underlined in the latest document that don’t stand up to scrutiny, which is possibly why the ESB has deliberately excluded the full modelling document – an extraordinary decision given what’s at stake here, and the extent of changes to the law that it proposes.

As ITK analyst David Leitch writes, much of the modelling is based on a number of deliberate omissions and heroic (or some would say, cowardly) assumptions made by the ESB.

The first is the deliberate omission of the state-based renewable energy targets. The intention is, of course, to hide the reality of the pace of transition to clean energy from the renewable technophobes on the Coalition back bench.

The second is the claim that the NEG will deliver savings of $150 a year to consumers – over and above the $400 a year savings to be delivered by the current build-out of renewables.

ESB chair Kerry Schott was quite forceful in her final letter to state energy ministers, who will meet next Friday (August 10) to either vote on the proposal or, more likely, kick it down the road.

“Any delay, or worse a failure to reach agreement, will simply prolong the current investment uncertainty and deny customers more affordable energy,” Schott wrote.

As Leitch points out, how a scenario that shows no visible difference in fuel mix out to 2030 can result in a such saving to consumers, simply because of the “certainty” of contacting, is a mystery.

Bruce Mountain, from the Victoria Energy Policy Centre, agrees.

“How can a policy that does nothing relative to business as usual lower wholesale prices by 35 per cent? How can a claim of investment certainty make any sense when it does not induce any new investment?”

The ESB argues that the price reductions will be delivered because of investment “certainty”.

Rob Koh, the lead energy analyst from Morgan Stanley, reflects the view of many by questioning what sort of certainty could be delivered by such a weak policy.

“Schemes with low abatement additionality can be perceived as higher-risk by investors who view a scheme which does little as susceptible to further change,” he wrote in a report on Thursday.

Oliver Yates, the former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, underlines this point, saying that most investors are actually taking into account what the scientists are saying, even if the Australian government and its key energy institutions are not.

“There is no way any investor will accept that this pathetic emission profile will remain, especially following the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report in October (that the government already has in its hands),” Yates says.

“Every investor expects a higher emission target so you have a policy that tries to freeze renewables when in reality investment in coal is frozen, as all investors know that it will be phased out fast.”

Even the ESB appears confused. On one hand, Schott says that “stakeholders” had told her that they had not committed to investments because of the lack of policy certainty. And on the other hand, its modelling shows that the “certainty” created by the NEG will deliver no new investment.

There is also controversy about the use of offsets, on one hand being allowed instead of investment in wind and solar, and on the other, stopping renewables from being able to access that same carbon credit market. It’s one of the many perverse details of the mechanism that are now emerging.

“It seems odd that the government would want to discriminate against renewables … but then it would not really, would it?” Yates says.

“No one in the investment community considered a world where saving carbon would not be rewarded more than not saving carbon. With the NEG’s woeful emissions targets, that is exactly what is proposed.”

Another claim from the ESB is that the policy is carefully designed to increase competition, rather than reduce it. Poppycock, say the analysts.

Morgan Stanley’s Koh makes another two points.

One is that the higher fixed compliance costs inherent in such a complex policy will give incumbent retailers an advantage in view of operating scale and vertical integration. That doesn’t bode well for competition.

Another one is the nature of the National Electricity Market, and its dominance by the big players.

“The NEG relies on market mechanisms to find optimal solutions, in the knowledge that the NEM is oligopolistic, oligopsonistic, and highly vertically integrated, with a mix of public and private ownership,” he notes.

And, Koh observes, “the scheme also contains a number of direct market interventions, e.g., the Market Liquidity Obligation, which are yet to be fully designed or modelled.” (Our emphasis).

And it gets worse. The modelling included in the final document shows emissions increasing after the reductions achieved by the influx of renewables under the RET. They only start falling again after the assumed departure of (presumably) the Vales Point coal generator in 2029.

(It’s probably worth mentioning here that Schott was one of the key advisors to the NSW Liberal government that sold Vales Point to some coal entrepreneurs for $1 million. It was later valued by those lucky investors at around $750 million, so they may want to keep it open).

The Labor states would be mad to agree to this nonsense. For a start, they have no reason to give Frydenberg or the Coalition any political favours.

If they wave this through, without ensuring a fully flexible scheme that allows for a quick ramp-up of ambition, they are selling the country short, and will be held accountable for their actions.

It is one thing for Turnbull to be scared to take on the right wing, and to dump his previous claims of being a climate and clean energy guru, it’s quite another for Labor to be intimidated and bow to the crazy ideas of Abbott, Kelly, Abetz, Joyce, Canavan and co.

And it is unconscionable that a policy seeks to achieve virtually no emissions reductions in a sector that has the potential to do so much, at little cost, particularly as the impacts climate are felt.

Most of all, to produce a policy document that pretends to be able to halt the pace of technology change is not just misleading, it is barking mad.

Just how AEMO boss Audrey Zibelman can sign this document a week after producing the infinitely more credible Integrated System Plan is a mystery.

Schott attempts to explain it this way – it’s a question of modelling inputs, she says. But that simply serves to underline the self-serving nature of the ESB modelling assumptions.

It should be said that it is quite conceivable that a National Energy Guarantee could be designed in a way that provides a policy platform that could serve the country well, if not as efficiently as the previously canvassed proposals such as the carbon price we once had, or an EIS.

But this is a long way short. For a start, as the ACT government notes, it needs to be able to ramp up quickly, and not lock in failure for a decade. That is obviously too much for the Coalition.

And as one analyst observed, even if this could be done, the finer details of the NEG mechanism reveal potential windfall gains for the big gen-tailers and hydro companies, like the federal government’s newly acquired Snowy Hydro and the Tasmanian government’s Hydro Tasmania.

The details need to be sorted and ironed out, because it is one thing to dupe the coalition party room, but another to deceive the whole country.

Should Labor get into power, and look to increase the emissions reductions, they would be better off not going through the NEG, but instead having a series of reverse auctions and contracts for difference.

Which is another way of saying: “Why have the NEG at all?”

The Labor states need to think about that.

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55 Comments
  1. john 3 months ago

    It is pretty simple Mr Abbott.
    Renewable Energy is cheaper that any other kind of energy production.

    Yes it needs backup from PHES if you do not know what that is look it up.
    I have heard that Renewable Energy causes huge spikes in energy cost,
    Wrong sorry mate you are listening to a radio station that gives you crap.
    So what is the situation with the small Tesla Battery.
    I hear laughs
    But in fact it has saved millions of Dollars for consumers.
    And has payed zero.
    It can react in milliseconds not minutes to save the system.

  2. David leitch 3 months ago

    It seems that for the political journos your worth is measured by the contact list in your phone. Actually reading the document and understanding the issue is not really important. What’s important is what pollie x y or z says about it and whether you can print that 5 minutes faster than anyone else. There are some journos like Ben Potter at the AFR that do a good job but some of the other more senior people are amazingly poor at even outlining the debate on this issue, let alone having anything useful to say. In 2018 the AFR at least covers climate change and renewable energy. This is a big step forward from their prior year attitudes where climate change couldn’t even be mentioned.

    Its funny because to many investors climate change is one of the most important long term investment issues. You’d expect the AFR to work harder on what actually matters to their readers. Kobad noted at the CEC conference that investors managing about over $30 trillion now back forcing companies to disclose data about their companies’ exposure to climate change risk. The RE 100 club, deserves an article has companies such as Google, GE, Kelloggs, JP Morgan and many others committed to 100% renewable energy. I guess to be fair there are few, if any, Australian companies on that list yet.

    • Jonathan Prendergast 3 months ago

      Yep, it is frustrating that there is so much more coverage of politics rather than policy. But who wants to discuss what is best for the country?

    • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

      Yep, looking out the window is a thing of a bygone era in journalism. Maybe it has to reach peak stupid before news is more than political hearsay.

    • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

      A lot of decent journalist get out for double the pay as a media advisor or PR person to corporates or politicians. And often even those with a high intelligence read energy policy and just don’t know the jargon and underlining fundamentals enough to smell bullshit when it hits their nostrils.

      Simon Holmes à Court is always there to brief and educate journalists, they should take him up on it more often. I’ve done same with junior ranking journos but senior writers too full of themselves to learn anything new, or more importantly unlearn their biases and miseducation at the hands of the lobbyists and ruling elites.

      • solarguy 3 months ago

        So in other words said journo’s have become weak heads, by not engaging critical thinking or the green notes with Monash’s dial printed on them has influenced them. I wonder what the ratio of bought off to moron is!

        • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

          Group think is evident at all levels of society, even in academia it exists if you think about attitudes towards sexual harassment in colleges and other gender and race norms. I guess we just need to foster a respect for those who excel at independent analysis and shun those who are on “the drip”*, writing to represent sponsors or corporate Australia’s self-interest or generating sizzle not journalism.

          * When Keating came to power he claims to have put some journalists in the press club whom he respected/trusted not to run (warrantless in his mind) attacks on the Government on “the drip” of early information about Govt thinking and direction while anybody else could get lost.

          • solarguy 2 months ago

            I know what you mean about group think mentality, the yes me too thinking with out any critical evaluation. That gives me the tom tits! Sadly it’s part of the human condition, however I decided years ago, not to fall into that trap, by having a simple rule for myself. If it doesn’t make sense to me, it is either a false belief or I haven’t got it, which is a failing on my part. If it matters I will do my best to educate myself. The truth is what matters and I refuse to be a sheep or to let the deluded sleep walk off a cliff.

  3. Hettie 3 months ago

    Giles, you sound very testy,with excellent reason.
    I don’t claim to begin to understand the NEG, but it is clear from what has been written in these pages that, like the coal lobby and Coalition that gave it form, it is riddled with lies.
    How can anyone sane expect the state energy ministers to sign off on such an important policy without being provided with detailed modelling, clearly cited sources for the numbers, and enough time to study and discuss the implications? They are being asked to sign a blank cheque, and told that there can be no opportunity to put a stop order on it.
    Even without the evidence that it is a policy by the coal lobby, for the coal lobby, and to hell with the planet, the rush, after five years of doing nothing, is itself evidence of a gigantic scam.
    As I’ve said before, I think that BCA, MCA, old Aunty Gina and all, have threatened the Feds that the election funding won’t be there for them unless this horrible, criminal policy gets enacted.
    It seems likely that threats will be made to try to force the Labor States to sign up. Such threats can only be proof that the whole thing stinks like a bucket of prawns in the sun.

    • Marcelo 3 months ago

      It clear what the the NEG would do before it was written.

    • charles frogg 3 months ago

      “How can anyone sane expect the state energy ministers to sign off on such an important policy without being provided with detailed modelling” We have been told for decades that with more renewable energy power prices will come down instead they increase by 20% year on year so how accurate has the “modelling beed there ?????

      • Rod 3 months ago

        I was told five years ago I would save $550 per year with the removal of the price on carbon.
        Obviously the COALition don’t do modelling very well.
        Trust me she’ll be right and their brain dead voters keep believing them, Froggy. Who do you vote for? Red Or Blue?

        • Joe 3 months ago

          Rod, you still waiting for the cheque from Uncles Tony A. and Joe H. …stuck in the mail somewhere?

          • Rod 3 months ago

            I’ve written that one off but I enjoy reminding muppets that they swallowed that lie, hook, line and fishing book and if they are silly enough to believe the COALition again, they are fools.

        • MaxG 3 months ago

          The can’t put 2 and 2 together, let alone model something with maths; look at the NEG.

      • Hettie 3 months ago

        Froggy, little commerce lesson for you. Please pay attention.
        In any market, for any commodity, the price that the end customer pays is made up of at least three components.
        1. The price charged by the producer. Generally referred to as the wholesale price. Made up of actual cost of production, plus producer’s profit margin, and shareholder dividends.

        2. The cost of distribution, for electricity, the “Poles and wires.” That must cover the capital expenditure, maintenance of the network, and again, a profit margin and shareholder dividends.

        3. The retailers’ markup, which covers general business overheads, advertising and marketing costs, operating profit and shareholder dividends.

        The cost of production of many goods and services is only a small percentage of the retail price.
        For electricity, a price to consumer of 33c/kWh is in the mid range.
        The wholesale price, while it varies wildly from zero to $14.00 /kWh , averages around 6 or 7 cents. That is, 18 to 21% of the retail price.
        The big increases in the retail price of electricity over the last 20 years are the direct result of privatising the production, distribution and retailing of the product. Time was, State governments owned and operated the whole setup, on a not for profit basis. Now, there are three layers of profit taking added. If the actual cost of production falls by 25%, that is only 1.5 cents/kWh. The retailers can easily ignore such a fall, increase their marketing, and keep pushing their prices up.

        Only government regulation can put a cap on the profiteering.

        But, the increasing cost discrepancy between coats fired production and renewables inevitably means that coal must die. The retailers will buy from the lowest cost source. This is one product that has absolutely uniform quality. An electron is an electron is an electron. Once there is market certainty, which NEG will NOT provide, PHES will be built, and 24/7 supply from renewables will be assured.
        The rise in power prices has zero, zip, Nada to do with renewables, and everything to do with corporate greed. Only governmentaction to rein in that greed, and consumer action to find and support the companies that give the best deals, will bring prices down.

        • Joe 3 months ago

          Nice lesson from ‘Teacher Hettie’

          • Hettie 3 months ago

            It’s a bit like computer programming, isn’t it. You have to spell it all out, one step at a time, and not expect the idiots to be able to join the dots, let alone supply any missing ones.

        • MaxG 3 months ago

          Thanks for the effort pointing this out… I get more and more tired of providing longish explanations.

          • Hettie 3 months ago

            I should save this, and trot it out as an all purpose answer to the fools.

          • Mike Westerman 3 months ago

            Brilliant idea Hettie, as some of the dullards will need it to be repeated often. But then some mules wear stubborn refusal to accept logic and evidence as a badge of honour. Like Abbott they have a kit bag of beliefs that their identity can’t afford to let go.

      • Giles 3 months ago

        The price has not come down by that extent because the renewables have not yet been completed yet – remember the 3-year investment drought caused by the Coalition review of the RET?
        If we didn’t have that, then we would have been unlikely to see the price spikes after Hazelwood closure.
        Now that those projects are coming online and nearing completion, we are starting to see the reduction in prices, and will over next two years, and the likes of the ESB, ACCC and others all agree with that – although there is difference about the extent.
        The issue in this modelling is whether the existence of “certainty” will cause another 35% reduction in prices. There is no evidence to suggest it will, because there is no certainty.

      • Mike Shackleton 3 months ago

        Wholesale prices in Victoria came down this year (March 2018) by a few percent. Retailers (Powershop in particular) attributed this to increased generation from renewables. When inflation is factored in, in real terms that few percent has the annual rate of inflation tacked to it.

      • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

        SA has seen a lot of wind deployed and indeed it has helped wholesale prices come down relative to the Eastern states. As Hettie explained to you, wholesale price just one component of a retail energy bill. SA has a very thin and wide grid to pay for with not so many people on it comparatively speaking on a global scale.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4563f3954068abd5104b0c264f6ebeaaba804408dcc9d41255e1cdeb45ee33b6.jpg

        Graph from Simon Holmes à Court, Uni. Melb.

    • ReverseConcaveSpoon 3 months ago

      The states are threatened with a tsunami of rubbish from the federal government (and most of the MSM) if they don’t sign up. It’ll be about how they’ve locked everyone in to expensive electricity by delaying an agreement. A very large chunk of the electorate have fallen for the lie that renewables = expensive power prices. It could be enough to roll the Andrews government in the upcoming Victorian election. Having said that, signing up to it could also have the same impact on the Andrews government. Rock and a hard place stuff.

      • Hettie 3 months ago

        There is the clincher, however.

        Do you want a habitable planet, or not?

        • ReverseConcaveSpoon 3 months ago

          Indeed. In order for that to happen a great many people who have been deluded by decades of disinformation need to understand what’s actually at stake.

  4. howardpatr 3 months ago

    What a farce. Hypocrite Turnbull and Frydenberg making fools of themselves as they, with the assistance of the ESB, continue, year after year, to seek to please the rabble represented by the JAACK Forum and those in the LNP and fossil fuel industries they represent.

    Hypocrite Turnbull should be ashamed of seeking to fool the nation as he placates the JAACK Forum members who deny anthropogenic climate change and invariably oppose the inevitable advances with renewable energy technologies. It seems Turnbull forgets he made much of his fortune from the early internet?

  5. Robin_Harrison 3 months ago

    One of the finest political and regulatory systems money can buy is, indeed, barking mad. It’s wonderful watching them panic and squirm as the reality of RE economics is starting to slap them up and down the sides of their heads. What a delicious circus. Their political strategy appears to be
    When in danger, fear or doubt
    Run in circles, squeal and shout.

  6. Tom 3 months ago

    Hi Giles, any link to the Morgan Stanley report?
    Some great quotes there 🙂

  7. Farmer Dave 3 months ago

    Giles, the “absurdity” in your headline is too mild for me. My preference would be “criminality”. What do we see around the world, but increasing evidence of climate disruption. Floods in Japan, followed by a heat wave; heat waves in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with growing heat related deaths. Wildfires in Scandinavia, Greece and California, with more deaths and the need to call for help from neighbouring countries. Wildfires above the Arctic Circle! In Australia crippling drought centred on NSW which is destroying lives and hope.

    Despite the clear climate disruption, what do we have? A policy which will increase the emissions that are driving the disruption.

    Criminal.

    • Crankydaks 3 months ago

      Part of the trouble is we all want 60 inch tellys, clothes driers,all the modern appliances, 2.3 smartphones for the average family, two cars, caravan, boat, takeaway food, steak three nights a week, swimming pools, blah blah blah, and then complain about carbon emissions. The solution starts at home, not by blaming either of the oxygen theiving governments.

      • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

        Solution might start at home, but it cannot end there because there are some things only governments and combinations of national governments can do.

        Check this out simpol.org

    • solarguy 3 months ago

      Well said Dave, I’ll add to that, it’s the crime of the century and they should be all tried for Treason to humanity. And that includes Kerry Schott.

  8. Lack of Willingness 3 months ago

    The core problem with not setting a higher target within the NEG are

    1. It will cost more to acheive the environmental targets in agriculture and transport
    2. Some states will end up carrying others
    3. It really doesnt push demand reponse enough, which is very small in Australia when compared to other countries https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f1dff842357b3a1b8499ca157bfbdf3a1dfd50041fb4f881b794637b43d9812.jpg

    • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

      I think the Ag is too expensive to mitigate thing is often repeated as an article of faith by people, but does anybody really know?

      Land clearing in Australia is a major source of emissions. It wouldn’t cost the nation anything to reinforce land clearing laws and plug the state level loopholes Newman and now NSW have found. That would cost livestock producers for sure. But that would reduce not just the land clearing emissions but the enteric fermentation emissions also. On farm vegetation corridors would have co-benefits to farmers, increasing productivity of the rest of their cleared land, and if harvested like Malle gum plantations that leave the roots could be quite profitable. Need not cost the Earth.

      • Rod 3 months ago

        I’m not sure how many millions of tonnes of topsoil was lost yesterday in SA but simple, low cost changes like natural corridors, swales etc. would help minimise water and topsoil loss.

        • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

          Good example.

          Many of the land use/ag sector emissions are technically invisible in the AGEIS accounting. Therefore so are many of the easy wins! But partly because we are missing a large part of the land use/Ag sector emissions, if these were included Australia’s total emissions profile would double according the the BZE Land Use Plan.

          Also our industrialised farming sector, while incredibly “efficient” by world standards in some ways, is incredibly destructive of soil carbon and environmental values in other ways. Regenerative farming principles are not well understood at the representative levels because these levels tend to be occupied by the corporate interests representing chemical inputs to farming, or perversely in Australia, fossil fuel mining interests.

      • Hettie 3 months ago

        Windbreaks, 3 or 4 lines of shrubs and trees at right angles to the direction of the prevailing wind, that break up the force of the wind from ground level to the top of the tallest trees, provide shelter for ten times that height. Ten metres high, 100 m of shelter. Fencing to prevent stock grazing the lower foliage and destroying the shelter is necessary, but the reduction in stress means reduction in feed requirements, faster weight gain, and better health, so the costs are recouped. Rainfall is increased. Wind erosion of soil is virtually eliminated, and wind borne weed seeds are stopped in their tracks. In cropland, fencing is not needed, and the loss of soil moisture is dramatically reduced, so yields rise. The sheltered areas are wide enough to allow for maneuvering of farm machinery.

        Tree clearing is totally counter-productive.

        • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

          Meanwhile in UK where windrows have been a staple of ag for centuries are now being eliminated entirely so tractors have less steering to do. Modern GPS can autonomously steer a tractor around a tree so why not a vegetation corridor?

        • Alastair Leith 3 months ago

          I was more referring to the double bulldozer, chain and ball (invented by Sir Joe I’ve heard) type of woodland land clearing on a vast scale each year in QLD & NT. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7c3c4bd700f38a1df62246514c91a7f116af95aa6b00e2a75e1ad4eb484037aa.png

        • solarguy 2 months ago

          Even if best practice is done in regard to agriculture and of course it simply has to be, it won’t be enough to feed us in the future considering increasing problems with drought from climate change and a human population that is past critical mass and increasing unchecked.

          Farming is going to have to be done in the cities in high rise buildings as well. Some farmers are going to have to walk away from their properties forever, as rainfall patterns change for the worst. Some could be deemed viable and saved with desalinated water pumped to them, while others will have to be operated like Sundrop Farms where complete climate control is effected to be successful.

    • Phil NSW 2 months ago

      Hi
      Your points are quite accurate but I think we need to expand on the issues.

      Whilst it will cost more to achieve targets in agriculture and transport it does not mean we shouldn’t be considering how they can be achieved. Transport is being deliberately ignored. Why? Do we have a lobby group in the ear of government like the COAL group actively working against EV introduction? Conversion of our fleet of ICE vehicles to EV’s will take place and probably quickly once other countries (as they are) continue to mandate the phasing out of ICE vehicles. The only other option is we learn how Cuba deals with not having access to the world market. If we get our electricity emissions down it will flow on to transport as the electricity market will power our transport fleet.

      Once the current LNP federal government is booted for six for their bad management (consider super Saturday outcome) the issue of targets will fall into line. NSW (a major coal producer) by way of example, have dragged their heals because the federal government wants it that way. Once federal pressure is put to bear, state governments will have no where to hide.

      Demand management on the supply side has lagged for the same reason the whole electricity sector has lagged. It needs leadership in a sensible direction not the current backward thinking direction it gets from Canberra. Times are a changing (I hope).

  9. juxx0r 3 months ago

    That’s your best article all year Giles. Well done.

    “It is quite conceivable that a National Energy Guarantee could be designed in a way that provides a policy platform that could serve the country well, if not as efficiently as the previously canvassed proposals.”

    All you have to do is try to do the right thing, rather than the exact opposite. There are criminals at the helm.

  10. larry w 3 months ago

    Well done for your informed and rational reporting …on a dishonest incompetent government…and the technicalities of the new technology. Barking mad.

  11. Alastair Leith 3 months ago

    But ESB chair Kerry Schott sold herself as a “problem solver”, why isn’t this solved already?!

    • solarguy 3 months ago

      Well she is trying to solve a problem for the coalies, that’s what she is being paid for, win or loose for the bastards.

  12. The Duke 3 months ago

    It was Abbott that signed up for the Paris Agreement. Now he’s against it.
    It was Abbott that said “Just put a price on Carbon” , then he cut a carbon tax.!
    It was Abbott that promised not to touchback the ABC, the he bastardised it.!
    It was Abbott that made insane Captain’s calls , like Knighthood for Phillip.!
    It was Abbott that increased the immigration intake, now he criticises it.!
    I can’t believe this oxygen thief gets so much publicity.!!!

    • Joe 3 months ago

      Hi Duke. On the publicity question, Radio Shocker Jockey Ray Hadley is partly to blame as he gets the Abbott up at the mic all the time. Not sure how many punters actually tune in the radio show but the TV camera is in the booth and the pictures get a run on the nightly news of the day with Abbott’s smiling mug and those words of wisdom being played for the TV audiences around the country.

      • The Duke 2 months ago

        I don’t listen to Cash for Comment broadcasters, especially Ray Hadley, Alan Jones, John Laws or Carl Sandalands. Their all pathetic megalomaniacs obsessed with hearing their own voices. Then after pedalling their contrived dribble and phoney outrage , they begin to believe the crap they put out is real.
        Now we’ll have Hadley saying we have to look after people with drug habits and mental illnesses. Because he now can see it first hand.
        Though I do feel for people with real issues those suffering mental health problems. Though NOT Abbott.!

    • MaxG 3 months ago

      As we know it: he is against everything!

  13. ReverseConcaveSpoon 3 months ago

    Now, is anyone going to get Turnbull or Frydenberg in front of a camera and ask them to explain all these glaring issues in their policy or is this going to be another “pretend nothing is happening” or “that’s too much for the average punter to understand” from the MSM?

  14. Energy Governator 3 months ago

    Here, here Giles! Maintain the rage.
    At least some of Australia is listening. For conversations with your fellow Australians, keep the following key points in mind:
    – The NEG will increase your electricity bill (due to increased regulatory complexity which favours the big gentailers);
    – The NEG will not improve system reliability. Past reliability problems can all be attributed to network failures (see AEMC reliability reports). Greatest threat to generation reliability in future comes from very old coal gen units failing; and
    – The NEG does nothing to reduce emissions. Which means other sectors such as ag and transport will have to some heavy lifting. Much easier to deliver reductions from electricity sector
    Keep the chant going – no NEG, no NEG, no NEG!!!

  15. Ben 3 months ago

    The electricity network physically has to have some minimum level of dispatchable generation.
    The current investment trend is massively biased towards wind and solar, with some hydro.
    Even if the idealist chatter storms insist that wind and solar will keep the lights on, the people actually responsible for keeping the lights on have to make realistic practical decisions.
    I reckon consumer electricity prices will be beholden to gas prices for a long time to come. Maybe I’ll get to work on a new CCGT project again in the next decade.

  16. Askgerbil Now 3 months ago

    The narrow focus on electricity generation in Australia ignores an opportunity for the renewable energy industry.

    Australia burns about 50 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for electricity generation. It exports a further 200 million tonnes each year to countries that are planning to cut the CO2 emissions of their electricity generation systems.

    To replace just 50 million tonnes of the 80 million tonnes of thermal coal exported to Japan each year would require about 80 GW of solar PV generating capacity.

    There is no reason for Australia’s renewable energy industry to be blind to the energy export market. The NEG is small beer.

    https://twitter.com/Askgerbil/status/1025290857983832064

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