A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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How much do we have to pay people to NOT use electricity – up to 30 times more?

To understand the real value of electricity, consider the price at which people will give it up. “Demand Response” is the nice euphemism for a voluntary blackout. At what point do people volunteer to go without? For most of the market, apparently, it’s more than $7500/MWh.

If I read this graph correctly, look how fast the prices rise, and how small the response is. For example, in South Australia there is only about 10MW available at less than $300/MWh? (From this AEMO report). For reference the total SA demand is around 1500MW. So 10MW is less than 1%.

AMEC report, 2017, Demand Response in the NEM, Electricity, costs, graph, Australia.

(See below for the

Consider how few people are willing to turn the electricity off:

AEMO expects there to be approximately 50 MW of demand response in NSW when the price reaches $1,000/MWh.

The total size of the NSW state market is about 10,000MW. Retail electricity sells for $250 — $470MWh (and only $100/MWh in the US). Hence when the price hits two to four times the normal retail cost of electricity, only about 5% of the market say they will willingly stop using it. When the price hits $7500MWh another 2% will give it up. We can’t take this reasoning too far, but the message is clear that the pain of giving up electricity costs a lot more than generating it. Demand is “inelastic”.

Electricity generation creates wealth. People value the product far above the cost of production.

We could raise prices but business locations are “elastic”….

Here’s the text to go with the graph from that report:

Demand response observed to date

A 2016 survey for the AEMC suggested that there is at least 235 MW of demand response capability under contract to retailers, mostly involving exposure to the wholesale market spot price, with more demand response contracted to specialist demand side-management companies.181 This survey considered demand response procured by five retailers, and did not quantify the amount of demand response provided by other retailers or by customers who are not on a retail contract. Figure 6.2 shows the level of demand side response that AEMO considered to be currently available in the NEM at the time of publishing its Energy supply outlook in June 2017. It considers the amount of demand response that would be expected at certain wholesale prices. For example, AEMO expects there to be approximately 50 MW of demand response in NSW when the price reaches $1,000/MWh. Further, in the summer of 2017-18, AEMO considers that there is 512 MW of demand response across the NEM, which does not include anything that could be procured through the RERT. AEMO also notes that it expects the amount of demand response in the NEM to continue to increase over time.182

The actual extent of demand response in the NEM is not readily apparent. As much of the demand response in the NEM arises from bilateral contracts or a reaction to wholesale prices (as opposed to being scheduled in the wholesale market), it is difficult to quantify exactly how much demand response occurs. Additionally, the amount of wholesale demand response is not static. It depends on the operating state and preferences of loads on a real time basis.

For the record: wholesale electricity is now $100MW/h here (up from $30MWh a few years ago).

8.1 out of 10 based on 73 ratings

97 comments to How much do we have to pay people to NOT use electricity – up to 30 times more?

  • #
    el gordo

    The so called free market is great for multinationals, but of no use to the ordinary consumer.

    Bring back state based control over he whole system, like they had last century, then the rank and file will be happy.


    • #

      I totally support a free market system; well almost totally because I also believe that public utilities should remain in the public’s (Govt.) ownership. However management of such public utilities needs to be accountable, they need to be run like a private enterprises.


      • #
        Peter C

        Utilities are sometimes natural monopolies; roads, water/sewage and maybe electricity. It can be hard to construct a properly functioning free market due to the high costs of duplicating or triplicating the expensive infrastructure.

        We seem to have a sort of hybrid system in our electricity market with multiple governments as regulators.


      • #

        If any type of service is kept within state control, I believe that service must be provided with a focus on serving the people. In the case of health service provision – where there is a strong case for healthcare free at the point of need – that should be focussed on providing the best possible service within a budget constraint. Similarly, if utilities are provided by the state (the case is not nearly as strong) then it should be with providing the best service for the consumer at least cost.
        The primary problems with State provision of services are three-fold.
        First, rather than serving the public, the primary motive becomes increasingly to serve the interests of the employees. Public service jobs become very secure, and promotion becomes through conformity than better serving the clients. Nationalized industries in 1970s Britain are a good example.
        Second, the focus tends to be on centralisation to laid down standard. Innovation through competition is limited and pluralist approaches discouraged. Yet in many areas competition through market-based competition have led to states that would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
        Third, the state-run businesses can be heavily influenced by the meddling of ideologues, whose interest is imposing their views on the general public, rather than serving their best interests. The climate alarmists are currently the worst.


        • #
          Peter C

          I agree that Bureaucracy’s serve them selves more than they serve the people. Is a better system possible say for electricity supply?


        • #
          Russ Wood

          As far as state-owned and run electricity services go – South Africa has ESKOM. Which is now under Parliamentary investigation for having spent unauthorised billions, and having mismanaged its finances to the extent that by the end of February, it will be legally bankrupt! The ‘company’ now has twice as many employees as it did at ‘changeover’ in 1994, is generating about 10% more power, and was responsible for the rolling blackouts a few years ago – purely thorough mismanagement. In addition, it requested, through the Government oversight body, an increase of nearly 30% in its wholesale charges, and blames the lack of this increase for the financial bind that it’s in.


      • #

        Sorry TedM, but you don’t get both.


    • #

      It does not matter if electricity generation is run by the government or the free market. Only bad decisions will be made whilst minds are affected (infected?)by the climate change meme.


      • #
        el gordo

        Agreed, nothing short of a scientific paradigm shift on climate will change their minds on energy.


        • #

          Agreed, nothing short of a scientific paradigm shift on climate will change their minds on energy.

          Can you identify $0.20 worth of ‘science’ in any CAGW scam? Paradigms my A**!


          • #
            el gordo

            No, but we still have to come up with a new paradigm to explain global cooling.


            • #
              Will Janoschka

              No, but we still have to come up with a new paradigm to explain global cooling.

              Only you scammers need cheep ($0.20) words like ‘paradigm’ to explain nonsensical concepts like “global temperature”; that has no possible meaning! 🙁


    • #

      At federation there where no state owned general electricity supply companies. There where private companies, some councils supplied power as in Tamworth. In mining towns electricity was supplied by the mines. Waratah in Tasmania was the first town supplied with electricity in Australia and that I think was the Mt Bishoff gold mine. Broken Hill was supplied until the 1990’s by the Central Power Station owned by a group of Mines. Mount Isa had the Mica Creek power station owned by Mt Isa Mines until at least to 1980. The railways and tramways had there own power stations. The Vic SEC was started around 1921 under General Sir John Monash. I recall in Victoria the unions causing blackouts by withdrawing labour. Victoria is now run by a labour government which has caused blackouts by a) unions causing (lighting) the coal in places at Morwell, imposing high royalties on coal, disallowing power station improvements, encouraging and subsidising wind turbines etc.
      Governments can run nothing and in addition can caused companies weather private, public or regional co-operatives to be restricted in their activities and be closed down. The Northern Power station at Port Augusta would not have closed if they could have freely supplied power, (that is supply only on price and reliability) and no subsidies for wind or solar.
      Look at history, government control weather feudel, dictators or communists leads to failure in the long run. Look at Zimbabwe, Venezuaela, Burma, Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea, Russia (in the cold war, Greece etc etc. China has prospered when the central government allowed private enterprise and encoured the provinces (states) to compete watch them fail if they centralise.


  • #

    Just get rid of the RET and all the other HIDDEN tax’s.The”Sheeple”are waking up and aren’t amused.


    • #

      Any political party that supports the RET needs to lose an election. This is the problem. The average person cannot fathom how important this is to our economy. Its slowly destroying it.

      Any politician that has supported the RET should NEVER be considered.

      Any government bureaucrat that has supported the RET should be fired.


      • #
        el gordo

        Most of the politicians are singing from the same songbook, global warming and all that, so it makes no difference who you vote for.

        They call it a democracy with a mixed economy, I’m not happy with the politicians or the mix.


    • #

      Write thus to your sitting MP: “Until your party opposes the RET my vote is going elsewhere.”
      And keep quiet about your being in Textor land with nowhere else to go.


  • #

    The economic cost of supply versus the cost of non supply has been around a long time in the electricity supply industry. The usual measure used is VoLL, value of lost load, $/kWh, or sometimes $/cm, dollars per customer minute. These figures are used in economic models to measure and compare benefits of different supply options, to determine which upgrade is best, and how much redundancy is appropriate. As you point out, as the value difference between non contingent supply versus contingent is great. This does lead to a very inelastic situation where quantity is not much affected by price, and in the wrong hands leads to unfair trading situations.


  • #

    This is actually a good illustration of the concept of elasticity of demand. In the short-term people are willing to pay a lot more rather than substantially reduce the levels of consumption. It is highly inelastic with respect to price.
    In the longer term, people will reduce consumption as they use more efficient (and more expensive) equipment and maybe downsize the volume they are air-conditioning.
    The most efficient way of reducing emissions, in theory, is with a carbon tax. Professor Richard Tol worked out an efficient carbon tax a few years ago. He estimated that a global carbon tax would need to start at $210 in 2020 per tonne of CO2 and escalate at 5-6% a year thereafter. Every other option is less efficient. But that tax is around A$.80 on a litre of petrol (gasoline) rising to over A$3.20 in 2050. In terms of output from a coal-fired power station, (based on 400kg of CO2 per Megawatt hour) that would be around A$0.11 per kilowatt in 2020 rising to nearly A$0.50 in 2050. There are three issues with Prof. Tol’s calculations.

    1. The costs are far too low to achieve the objectives.

    2. Policy will not be globally applied – far from it. This is not because countries cheat. Most of the global population live in countries are much poorer than Australia, and desire to become wealthier. As Richard Tol has bluntly stated

    The big worry for climate policy, studiously avoided by the majority of its advocates, is that you need lots of cheap energy in the early stages of economic development.

    3. It is politically unacceptable in Australia to apply a uniform carbon tax, that will only work by making the use of fossil fuels unaffordable.

    So the Australian State Governments are imposing far less efficient policies, that are far more expensive and have the harmful side-effect of causing blackouts.

    What would the reaction if a pharmaceutical company marketed a cure-all medicine, that cursory checks tell you it is useless and has predictable harmful side effects?
    In the wild west, they would be lucky just to be driven out of town. At least the peddlers of quack medicine had the sense to add sugar, alcohol, caffeine and maybe even some hard drugs, to give the impression of working wonders.


    • #

      Afternoon Kevin,
      I have a bigger issue with Professor Tol’s work. He has not acknowledged a basic assumption, i.e. that there is a need (dare I shout – a NEED) to reduce CO2 emissions.
      As a result he has not explored the question of what is the link between CO2 and global temperature, and apparently has not found the literature which comversely shows that any global warming itself causes significant releases of CO2 from the oceans. A finding from that would show that any money on trying reduce atmospheric CO2 is wasted. And ineffective on controlling global warming.

      Any argument about the type or size, or name, of a carbon tax is irrelevant.

      Dave B


      • #
        Kinky Keith

        We need to start pushing that.

        CO2 cannot cause global warming.

        Scientific truth.


      • #

        Whilst your thesis might hold more weight than the AGW theory, I believe that the justification for climate mitigation is based on showing that there is a reasonable expectation that by taking action, a better situation will result than by not taking action.
        Last year I looked at an article Assessing ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Communications (1977–2014) by Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes. The basis for evaluation of ExxonMobil’s sponsored climate papers, was a mantra – “AGW is real, human-caused, serious, and solvable”.
        There is another element. As well as being theoretical solvable, you need to show you have a plan to implement the solution, and the means to implement that plan.
        Sufficient for mitigation policy to be net-beneficial, it necessary to show all four elements of the mantra hold, along with the two policy elements. Sufficient to show that mitigation policy in not net-benefical it is only necessary to show that one of the elements does not hold at all, or that the sum of the policy costs are clearly greater than the expected costs mitigated.
        There is a clearly a logical imbalance here, more than the prosecution in a criminal court proving their case beyond reasonable doubt. There are a number of different aspects where policy could be net harmful. But the like with the prosecution in a criminal trial, it is morally up to the proponents of policy to justify their case.
        What is quite clear from the case of Australia’s policies on electricity is that they are not weighing the harms of the policies against the benefits.


    • #

      I disagree with Tol for another reason too. The best method for reducing emissions is not a broad carbon tax which hits many inelastic points in the economy which are already pretty energy efficient. As you point out, it’s just too expensive. The direct auction — Abbotts plan — meant we could buy the cheapest methods of reducing carbon emissions. In terms of cost per Mt, this was far cheaper.


      • #

        CO2 is a necessary gas for plants to grow. All animals breath out CO2. It is a cycle of nature and is not harmful. The emission of a harmless gas should not be mixed up with the emission of particles which may or may not be harmful. It has been shown that the emission of calcium carbonate and other calcium compounds (eg from lime plants, plaster production etc)is benefical. Ground limestone (or agriculture lime) is spread by farmers and horticulurists as a fertiliser to help plants grow. Lawns love some lime.
        The manufacture of lime dates back to at least 10000BC. The Egypticians used plaster around 3000BC. The Romans made extensive use of cement, concrete and bricks. Cement is a brinder used in concrete which is the most important building material.
        The Greens tells lies about emissions. The greens want to stop cement and steel production, Nobody should give them the time of day let alone implement their policies or vote for them.


        • #
          Peter C

          The Greens tells lies about emissions. The greens want to stop cement and steel production, Nobody should give them the time of day let alone implement their policies or vote for them.

          I totally agree


      • #
        Peter C

        I disagree with Tol for another reason. Tol is a luke warmer. He thinks CO2 is probably a bad thing.

        In my view CO2 does not cause global warming. More CO2 is beneficial. Therefore we should not be trying to reduce atmospheric CO2.


      • #

        I would not agree with Abbott’s plan either. I believe that policy should aim to make a net positive difference. Such a scheme would have steep diminishing returns well before global emissions were even cut. Australia on its own, with around 1% of global emissions, will make no difference. Further, there is no real effort to persuade developing countries (with 2/3 of fossil fuels emissions and growing) to significantly cut their emissions. Nor is there any recognition that to achieve the emissions targets 75% of all proven reserves of coal, oil and gas will need to be left in the ground. That will not be achieved without the co-operation of Russia, the Middle Eastern Countries, Venezuela etc.

        If there is a real problem – that is significant global warming resulting from GHG emissions with significant adverse consequences – the solution is through adaptation. That is accurately identifying the nature, extent, location and time period of adverse consequences. This is where genuine scientists could make a real and direct difference to future generations.


  • #

    Its OK, Elon has the answer

    another load of drivel from the aptly named Cole Latimer at the Age


  • #

    Many of the responses to the AEMC Reliability review discuss demand response. “AEMC invites consultation on ways to deliver a reliable supply of energy at the lowest cost”, however lowest cost barely gets a mention as the usual players look after their own interests. Interesting to note that the ACCC, that is supposed to look after the interests of consumers, provided no submission. They have their own review running and are due to report by mid year.
    Some extracts from a sample of responses:
    AGL Energy. AGL believes that two fundamental imperatives will drive the future of energy in Australia: decarbonisation; and the centricity of customers’ unique preferences and expectations. To ensure additional renewable generation does not impact system security, policy makers may consider adding a requirement for dispatchability to new intermittent generation.
    Energy Efficiency Council. Increased levels of demand response in the National Electricity Market (NEM) would significantly increase the reliability and affordability of electricity services. The absence of dispatchable capacity in both the wholesale electricity market and a Strategic Reserve has resulted in state governments taking ad hoc action to address voters’ concerns. The South Australian Government recently spent $339 million on diesel/gas generators that will sit idle for the vast majority of the year.
    Energy Networks. At this point of the review, the AEMC’s current definition of “dispatchability” and “flexibility” still does not appear to provide an unambiguous solution. It was noted that large volumes of load shedding recently occurred in NSW, but there was comparatively low levels of load shedding reported by AEMO. This is due to the exclusion of certain types of load shedding from the definition of unserved energy in the reliability standard. This practice will continue to lead to a relatively high level of consumer dissatisfaction, and warrants review.
    Flow Power. For example, a customer chose to move operations to earlier in the day, switching the afternoon shift to a maintenance program, rather than the previously scheduled production program. Overall, the customer did not minimise their power consumption. Instead, their flexibility avoided the price variation and brought their load-weighted price down.
    Major Energy Users. As an overarching observation, the MEU comments that it is very concerned about the more than doubling of wholesale electricity prices that has occurred in the past 18-24 months. What is concerning about the Interim Report is that these realities are not mentioned at all and implicit in the Report, is that consumers may have to accept even higher prices to ensure that greater reliability of supply is achieved.
    Origin Energy. Variable renewable generation and demand response complicate the ongoing ability for AEMO to forecast accurately. Many of the current reliability concerns relate to the sudden closure of Hazelwood and Northern power stations. Wholesale demand response supports reliability as it promotes efficient consumption of electricity.
    S&C Electric Company. Rather than seeking quick or easy wins, the assessment should be what approaches will deliver the NEM and in particular the reliability standard, we need in 5 years’ time. The Review makes passing mention to the “solar trough” and “afternoon ramping”. This comprises two problems that both have the potential to impact negatively on reliability: minimum demand in the middle of the day and the need to manage a rapid increase in demand in late afternoon.The “solar trough” has created negative wholesale prices in a variety of countries, most notably Germany.
    Transgrid. There is a concentration of players in the retail market and vertical integration of generation and retail businesses that may be distorting the contract market. The top 3 retailers represent greater than 75% of the market in some states. This situation reduces the ability of new potential generators to enter into contracts on a level playing field.
    Bryan Leyland. Heavily subsidised wind and solar power does not benefit the consumer. The market structure, based on an assumption that electricity is a “commodity like any other” is fatally flawed.


  • #

    People value the product far above the cost of production …

    The obvious analogy is food and clothing, during WW2 they were rationed — I can just remember my mother cutting off ration coupons.
    If governments want to artificially restrict electricity use the only fair and just way to do it is rationing.
    Rationing would kill off the ‘renewables’ scam in no time.


    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      Countries are owned/controlled directly/indirectly by their creditors/banks. The Greek example is a perfect representation of that.
      If the creditor likes funding renewables, there will always be a willing borrower/debtor for renewables. It has nothing to do with the cost of production, just the interest rate and credit rating.

      From the bank perspective, funding solar panel installation on houses and renewables is very lucrative because banks thrive in any environment where debt can be created.


  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    The AEMC or AEMO whatever are clearly working at the behest of their green masters. They have one priority and that is the implementation of renewable energy. Once that is accepted then all else becomes a secondary consideration.
    The whole site is full of political double talk as many people here have already pointed out. They don’t give a damn how much we have to pay for our electricity. We all know that it’s a must have for all householders as well as our industry and commerce. I blame the Turnbull government who have taken us all for granted. I will vote Labour next time and let them stuff the country up even quicker!!


  • #
    John in Oz

    Energy Efficiency Council. Increased levels of demand response in the National Electricity Market (NEM) would significantly increase the reliability and affordability of electricity services.

    If ‘demand response’ is the turning off of services when there is a shortage of power availability (even if voluntarily), how (emphasis expletives self-deleted) can reliability and affordability be used in the same sentence?

    These ‘experts’ have totally buggered up a system that used to supply reliable and affordable power system and have grown into a multi-headed hydra where any and all ‘renewable’ solutions are accepted as better than the old ways and, like the hydra, if one scheme fails there is always another ‘we will save the children of the future’ grand scheme.

    SA (where I live) is the worst in that we now have:

    – the most wind ‘generators’ of any state
    – high rooftop solar uptake including companies that have massive systems due to our power prices
    – standby, Government-owned diesel generators
    – solar farms
    – pumped hydro using old quarries
    – failed attempts to utilise energy from hot rocks
    – failed attempts to use wave generators
    – destroyed fossil-fuel generators
    the highest power costs in Australia and possibly the world

    I cringe every time I see or hear Jay and Tom pull their heads out of the sand long enough to tell us how magnificent their latest generation creation is.


    • #
      robert rosicka

      You also have the worst unemployment and the biggest ice problem in Oz ,wonder if it’s all related .


    • #

      SA does not need power from the grid because their power is successfully produced from renewables, so why not cut off and do 100 per cent wind, solar, battery ect. etc.?
      Renewable energy is so cheap that industry in SA is thriving !!


      • #

        Yes agree….”proof is in the pudding” the saying goes..
        No need for ANY electricity to be directed into S.A….
        Cut off the connection, and let the State “fly solo” !!
        ….Jay..whooray !!


    • #
      John in Oz

      I forgot about “The world’s biggest battery” (to go with the World’s biggest state blackout).


  • #

    This time the commies are aiming better: land, water, energy, mobility all to be made costly, uncertain and subject to mounting taxation and regulation. Consumer frustration is met by spin and Lysenkoist proofs that corners are about to be turned. Patience, comrades!

    Since communism has such a perfect failure rate and the only real beneficiaries of communism are its crony capitalist buddies, the face of the new communism wears a mask called “the market”. If something overtaxed and over-regulated (like coal power) costs too much…the market did it. If the crony capitalists are bilking the subsidy rackets of Big Green…the market did it.

    The market caused everything. And you can’t blame the market. That’d be like shooting Skippy. Read your Adam Smith!

    Do something amiss? You couldn’t help it. The market ate your homework. Better than Russians!


  • #

    Spinning and spinning in a widening gyre
    the market’s torn apart
    by cunning word-smith banker-teers.
    Adam Smith is turning in his grave.


  • #

    “Bryan Leyland. Heavily subsidised wind and solar power does not benefit the consumer. The market structure, based on an assumption that electricity is a “commodity like any other” is fatally flawed.”

    He forgot to mention that heavily subsidised wind and solar power also destroy the reliable delivery of power. It does this by forcing the true baseload generators off the grid until the wind and solar energy generators fail. AND wind and solar do it every single day.

    The politicians and the green brigade have royally stuffed a once reliable electricity grid. The damning indictment is that they still won’t admit to the actual reasons behind this debacle.


  • #

    not o/t. only the wealthy will have cars, aircon, etc:

    16 Feb: Residents pushed to use bicycles over cars in plan to contain traffic congestion
    CAR spots across city housing projects are being cut to make way for bicycle facilities as part of plans to contain Sydney’s crippling traffic congestion.
    by AIDAN DEVINE, Daily Telegraph
    FAMILIES are being pushed to use bicycles as their primary transport in new developments that provide plenty of cycling facilities but scant car parking.
    Developers face increased pressure from inner city councils to encourage bicycle use in the face of Sydney’s crippling traffic congestion.

    A 224-unit tower in Green Square has bicycle spots for each apartment but car parking only for larger homes.
    Central Park, a development under construction in Chippendale, has included more than 1000 apartments without parking but has basement space for bicycles
    Other developments in the Wolli Creek and airport area offered “bicycle rooms” and bike parking but only premium apartments were given car spaces.

    Developers were typically allocating just three car spaces for every five two-bedroom apartments being built, Urban Taskforce Australia estimates show.
    Some developments, such as The Burcham in Rosebery, use other means to encourage bicycle use — such as giving free bikes to buyers…

    Planning experts said many more cycle lanes would need to be opened in other parts of the city if a true “cycle revolution” was to be successful.
    NSW chief planner Gary White said funding was being set aside to “close the gaps in (Sydney’s) cycleways.”
    The Department of Planning was exploring opportunities to connect more cycle routes and support investment in cycle infrastructure, he said…


    • #
      David Maddison

      I bet the elites have parking places snd don’t have to ride bicycles.

      Isn’t it strange how in China and the Third World they are dumping their bicycles for cars and in Australia we are doing the opposite.

      This is symptomatic of a nation in serious decline.


    • #

      The bicycle revolution…
      Visiting Copenhagen,Denmark 5 years ago, I learn’t some valuable lessons in a city under siege with bikes.
      Traffic lights ..solely for bike riders…pedestrians were second class citizens..
      More people were injured due to lunatic bike riders….
      Buses were forced to let passengers out ..straight onto bike lanes …resulting in many elderly people and tourists, injured…
      Bike riding was promoted as healthy ….but the amount of cigarette butts in canals and laying on the
      footpaths was astounding about hypocrites..
      Bikes arent the answer for the elderly..disabled or families, shopping etc.!!


  • #
    David Maddison

    Has anyone ever asked the SA Premier what evidence he has proving that anthropogenic CO2 emissions need to be curtailed?


  • #
    Leslie Johnson

    I found this the most damning parts of that report, though it is not emphasized or followed up on. At least that I can find.

    “The ratio of dispatchable to peak demand should be over 1. In states like SA and Victoria, it is under 1. Demand response (Figure 6.2 page 105-106 suggests that high prices will have limited effect in reducing demand. Even $7500/mwh

    The above shows that Australia does not have enough dispatchable power, and other means must be used stabilize the grid. Unfortunately, “other means” is not usually consumer friendly. Its price spikes and blackouts.

    But is it is subsidized energy driving out dispatchable. From the AEMC Dec 2017 report on grid reliability (page 36-37)

    “”Not surprisingly, the result has been a large increase in the subsidised form of generation and a significant detrimental impact upon the returns of non-subsidised plants. Put simply, variable renewable generation appears to have driven out – and seems poised to continue to drive out – other, non-subsidised, forms of generation, including thermal plants that might otherwise have played a key role in ensuring continued resource adequacy.”””



    • #

      Leslie, I also saw fig 2.4 and have had that graph drafted up for a week or two while I think about it. Here’s one complexity with it, the ratio was low in 2009 (1 for Vic) and was only rising from 2010 – 2015 across the NEM because demand was falling, not because anyone built a new fossil fuel plant.
      What I can see is that in 2015 when the ratio peaked, the prices also returned down to a low $40MWh. In 2016/17 as the ratio plummeted, prices rose. Seems significant.
      PS: Email coming. Are you in Sydney?


      • #
        Leslie Johnson

        Yes, as the ratio goes up, the prices should go down. The more dispatchable energy, the higher the ratio. The higher the ratio, the more stable the grid. SA and Victoria are at the low ends, and also suffer more blackouts.

        When the ratio is below zero, is when you see obscenely high kwh prices. With sufficient dispatchable energy, this would be moderated.

        The ratio is, as you noted, affected by demand as much as supply.

        Things get complex, though, with interconnects. SA thus drives up Victoria prices.


    • #

      To make it worse coal is taxed.

      On a purely logical/fairness basis royalties should be forgiven for electricity generation. Wouldn’t it be a hoot trying to get THAT to fly?


  • #
    Mark M

    Reversing into tomorrow … You’re gonna wanna do better than Melbourne to Sydney in a week …

    Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle to launch mid-2019

    “the new motorcycle – which was not named – will carry a roughly 50-mile range …”

    > recharging takes 31/2 hours from empty with a 220-volt charger of a proprietary design.
    * * *
    How quick by fossil fuels?

    Police slam speed stunt: Melbourne to Sydney in 6.5 hours


    • #

      “Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle to launch mid-2019”

      Bet not too many Bikies buy one of those 🙂

      Do they have a sound system to make them sound like a proper Harley ?


      • #

        Do they have a sound system to make them sound like a proper Harley ?

        Dats gonna take lotsa Li-polymer cells\batteries! Perhaps enough to make da ting fall over slowly like a proper Harley! 🙂


      • #

        Harleys are loud and slow, as its software driven I guess you can make it behave however you like.


  • #

    16 Feb: Breitbart: James Delingpole: Michael Mann Wins Prestigious Science Award. No, This Is Not a Joke…
    The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has given its prestigious award for Public Engagement with Science to climate scientist, Michael E. Mann.
    No, this is not a joke – though it should be…

    Roger Pielke Jr gets it right:
    “My issue here is not with Mann. It is with the decision by AAAS to single out Mann as someone who embodies our highest values of the scientific community: a role model to emulate who engages in behaviors to celebrate.
    “With this award, what message is AAAS sending to the scientific community and to the public?
    The AAAS is telling us that engaging in hyper-partisan, gutter politics, targeted against Republicans and colleagues you disagree with, using unethical tactics, will be rewarded by leaders in the scientific community.
    “AAAS could work to help to defuse the pathological politicization of science. Instead, it has thrown some gasoline on the fire.”

    14 Feb: National Center for Science Communication: Congratulations to Michael E. Mann
    He will receive the award during the AAAS’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, on February 17, 2018.
    Nominating Mann for the award, Susan Hassol, director of the non-profit science and outreach project Climate Communication, wrote, “Mann has done more to engage with the public on science than most active scientist-communicators do in an entire career,” according to a press release from the AAAS. Hassol added, “There is no scientist reaching greater numbers of people with such depth of communication as Michael Mann.”…


  • #
    Cynic of Ayr

    OK, I don’t understand any of this.
    Disclaimer: I’m an old geezer from North Queensland, who has been a paying user of electricity for more than fifty years. In that time, only two things ever disconnected the supply. Cyclones and Unions.
    (I’m not sure how long that statistic is going to last. We have a Labor government hell bent on copying South Australia.)
    The price was pretty well fixed, and certainly, it went up as time went by.
    As I said, I don’t understand it. But how can a power supplier, be it solar, wind or thermo, just raise their price from $300 to $7,500, apparently minute by minute, on what they perceive as to be some demand?
    And, is this reflected in a single households electricity account? e.g. a household use x amount of power one day, and exactly the same amount the next day, but they get billed twice as much – or more – for one day as the other?
    If so, why?
    I’m really interested in the “why”.
    Perhaps someone can answer my questions, or point me towards some links that can, because to me, this is nothing short of scandalous thieving.


    • #

      Cynic of Ayr, your household retail electricity price is fixed for 6-12 months at a time, so you don’t see the daily and hourly fluctuations in the wholesale price. However over time your price increases because of these ever increasing spot prices as demand gets close to exceeding supply. But some industries do see those fluctuations if they decide to buy on the spot market, or face peak time of day pricing. And with smart meters retailers are being encouraged to switch households to time of day pricing. So for example, you might pay 10 cents/KWhr overnight and at weekends, and pay 20 cents/Kwhr 7am-11pm Mon-Fri.


  • #

    there’s usually a self-serving aspect to these reports…but here’s a new one:

    16 Feb: Herald Ireland: Nearly 75pc households can’t afford heat costs
    by Fiona Dillon
    Nearly three-quarters of households who took part in a study in Dublin 10 and 20 said they had gone without heating because of a lack of money.
    Researchers looked at clients of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) in Ballyfermot, Palmerstown, Cherry Orchard and Chapelizod.
    Left Behind in the Cold? was a follow-up to research carried out in 2013…

    The report, which was launched by Minister of State Catherine Byrne, found that 72pc of households surveyed were in fuel poverty, down from 79pc in 2013.
    People spending more than 10pc of their income on fuel are deemed to be in fuel poverty.
    Fifty-six per cent of respondents reported going without heat during the previous 12 months because of a lack of money; this was similar to the 2013 percentage, but more than four times higher than the corresponding figure for the general population…

    The study, by researchers Dr Stuart Stamp, Annette McMahon and Catriona McLoughlin, highlighted heightened levels of fuel poverty among Travellers living in mobile homes and trailer accommodation.
    It found that Travellers surveyed spent 21pc of their income on fuel…

    (PDF) Left Behind in the Cold Report


  • #

    15 Feb: Clydebank Post: Campaigners warn fuel poverty targets in Clydebank need more ambition
    by Tristan Stewart-Robertson
    Despite a target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016, an estimated 649,000 households in Scotland still struggle to heat homes and cook for their families.
    But Clydebank’s MSP said the Sottish Government is doing a great deal on the issue and said campaigners should instead target the UK government…

    Shelter Scotland, the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) said new government definitions of fuel poverty could cause residents to miss out on help…

    A consultation on fuel poverty by the Scottish Government ended last week…

    Gil Paterson MSP said he supported Citizen Advice Bureau’s efforts on fuel poverty in Clydebank and that by the end of 2021 the SNP will have committed £1 billion to making buildings warmer and cheaper to heat in Scotland…

    “The SNP government will be establishing a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company to deliver energy to consumers at as low a cost as possible.
    “The SNP government is also maintaining winter fuel payments for Scotland’s pensioners. And we’ll ensure early payment to the almost 80,000 pensioners who live ‘off-grid’, so they can take advantage of lower prices…
    “I would urge housing campaigners to challenge the UK government to abolish connection charges in Scotland the same as in the south east of England where they in fact get a rebate for connecting.”


  • #

    16 Feb: Matt Mace: In Practice: The UK’s first Energiesprong homes
    A pioneering new pilot project in Nottingham aims to make select households ultra-low carbon and fit for the future by renovating them using the ‘Energiesprong’ techniques used in the Netherlands.
    There is an ambition in the UK to ensure that all buildings are low or zero-carbon buildings by 2050.

    However, a study by the Association for the Conservation of Energy found that the UK is amongst the highest in Europe for fuel-poverty and has one of the most energy-inefficient housing stocks on the continent…

    It is hoped the projects can eventually be carried out without government support, boosting attraction for financial markets…

    Energiesprong UK, the organisation overseeing project developments in the UK, suggests that the refurbishment process must be carried out at around £40,000 to be self-financing. Currently, the Nottingham scheme was around £75,000 per unit, with additional “top-up” income provided by other organisations.

    The seven houses were fitted with 21 solar modules each at around 5.46kWp per house. The three bungalows were fitted with 16 modules each at 4.16kWp, this equates to 50.7kWp across the entire pilot…

    The Energiesprong programme is part of the next phase of Nottingham City Councils Greener HousiNG programme – a home energy efficiency scheme that aims to reduce individual household energy bills by £400 annually through subsidised energy saving measures…

    The current pilot is part of a smart city solutions cluster, delivered by Nottingham during a three-year period under the European-funded REMOURBAN project, which aims to showcase sustainability within regeneration projects in towns and cities.

    Following initial success in the Netherland, the concept is being exported to France, Germany, Luxembourg, the US and the UK. In fact, Clarion Housing Group and Moat Homes have found a set of properties in London and Essex which they have identified for Energiesprong renovations…–The-UK-s-first-Energiesprong-homes/6808


  • #

    The first link, titled “From this AEMO report” results in Page not found with the option to Return to Home Page.


  • #

    as in Australia, renewables not at all responsible; in fact, they would make energy costs cheaper:

    11 Feb: UK Mirror: Five million low income families to get cheaper gas and electricity automatically
    By Nigel Nelson
    Data protection law will have to change to allow Whitehall to share personal ­details with suppliers. But customers on benefits could be identified and moved to the cheapest tariff if they agree to their information being passed on.
    Mr Clark said: “Energy price rises are often felt most by those on the lowest incomes. This change would make it easier to identify who is at risk of fuel poverty and needs extra help.”…

    Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn has pledged that 60 per cent of Britain’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2030 if he ­becomes Prime Minister…
    The Labour leader said yesterday: “The challenge of climate change requires us to radically shift the way that we organise our economy.”
    Rebecca Newsom of Greenpeace UK added: “This could bring more jobs and lower energy bills.”…

    Fuel poverty is one of the biggest issues facing Britain. Around two and a half million families cannot heat their homes…
    For millions of people – often the elderly and low paid – to live like this in the 21st century is shameful…

    Under their (the Government’s) plans, families will automatically be moved on to the cheapest tariff. But there is a catch – energy firms have been given the go-ahead to raise prices…
    The lowest tariff could rise by up to £60, undoing the good intentions.
    If ministers really want to tackle fuel poverty, they need to take a hard line with energy firms.
    Because if these fat cats are allowed to continue the way they are going, policies like this will be worthless.


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      If renewables make energy costs cheaper how come the price of electricity rises as the amount of renewables increases?
      Here in Australia the cheapest electricity is in Queensland where there is very little renewables, whereas the State with the highest percentage of renew electricity – South Australia – pays far more.
      I have been hearing that ‘renewable electricity’ will soon be the cheapest form for over 30 years, but the bills get bigger.
      Politicians keep saying it will get cheaper to coverup their push for more renewables.


  • #

    16 Feb: Scottish Housing: Free home insulation on offer to Aberdeen home owners and private tenants
    Householders will qualify for the scheme if they or their home meet any one of the following criteria:
    •Homes with Council Tax Band A – C.
    •Homes with postcode beginning AB11 8, AB11 9, AB16 and AB24.
    •Households with a child under the age of 5.
    •Households registered with a food bank.
    •Householders in receipt of state pension.
    •Home is privately rented (from a registered landlord).
    Aberdeen City Council’s communities, housing and infrastructure convener Councillor Yvonne Allan, said: “This council is committed to reducing fuel poverty for our most vulnerable residents. The Warmer Homes programme goes a long way to helping those most in need in the city.
    “I encourage eligible residents who feel their home is not warm enough, or those who are struggling to pay fuel bills to get in touch and take advantage of this scheme.”…

    meanwhile, in Nova Scotia, goalposts are moving, costs to consumers are rising:

    16 Feb: CBC: Jean Laroche: Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade system inching forward
    New greenhouse gas reporting requirements now in effect
    Nova Scotia is now officially a cap-and-trade province, but what carbon pricing will cost Nova Scotians remains a mystery.
    Legislation that was passed in October came into effect on Thursday. On Friday, Environment Minister Iain Rankin detailed another step along the road toward a January 2019 start for the program…

    Those new regulations set out which companies will need to report emissions, including:
    Facilities generating at least 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
    Oil and gas suppliers that import or produce 200 litres of fuel or more for consumption in Nova Scotia.
    Natural gas distributors whose fuel, when burned, produces 10,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

    The province estimates there are about two dozen companies that will fall under those three participant categories.
    Large emitters include all of Nova Scotia Power’s fuel-fired generating stations, the Lafarge cement plant in Brookfield, the ExxonMobil gas plant in Goldboro and the Northern Pulp paper plant in Pictou County.
    Petroleum suppliers may include companies such as Imperial, Irving and Wilsons. Natural gas distributors are likely to include Heritage Gas and Irving…

    Costs to be passed to consumers
    Companies will be expected to pay for this work themselves. Those costs, along with whatever they may have to pay for exceeding the yet-to-be-determined emission limits, will then be passed along to consumers.
    But what that will mean to Nova Scotian families is unclear — and an answer to that question may still be months away.
    “We need to find our baseline, we need to set caps and then we’ll be able to have a discussion of what the impact will be,” said Rankin.


  • #

    Those costs, along with whatever they may have to pay for exceeding the yet-to-be-determined emission limits, will then be passed along to consumers.

    What total political bastardization of science!! Define “green house gas”! Define “emission”! Define “limits”! All you have is Socialistic\political\religious\nonsense; with absolutely no ‘scientific’ meaning whatsoever! Grrrr Chomp! 🙂


  • #

    I would guess that the first to “voluntarily” opt out of the system would be industrial and commercial customers. But then it would be their employees would bear the burden.

    I LUV the convenience and utility of electricity and would take whatever steps were necessary to have it, including rooftop solar and batteries. I would then have a diesel generator cutting in at predetermined price or supply failure.


  • #

    A few years back now, some outfit claimed Australia could go 100% renewable. (most probably before breakfast the following day!)

    One of their main premises was that actual power consumption needed to be drastically cut, by around half if I recall. (and that immediately made me think these people had no idea what they were talking about)

    What has actually happened in the last five to eight years is that power consumption is actually rising,

    So, immediately, that tells me that people don’t care about conserving power.

    It has become an essential of life now, like the air you breathe and access to water. People don’t even think. The first thing they do when they get home, from anywhere is to turn on the things they want to have on. There’s no thought (except perhaps from rabid friends of the dirt) as to conservation. If it’s there they’ll just use it.

    And one thing to think about here is that modern electricity consuming things in the home have become more electricity efficient, and still power consumption rises.

    On top of that, they have now removed the plants which used to provide those huge levels of electricity, and replaced them with plants which cannot provide that reliable constant power.

    Even with rooftop power now taking the edge off Summer consumption from 10AM till 3PM, Peak Power levels are still around the same. The only difference now is that the Peak has moved from around 1/2PM closer to 3.30/4PM.

    People will not change, not in the amount of people needed to make the sort of change they wish for.

    The only time people complain about electrical power (other than for the cost) is when it’s NOT there.

    We lost power here on Tuesday evening right around dinner time, just at that point where it was still light, and on the cusp of getting dark. I phoned our provider, and they said that there were a couple of problems they were aware of in this Rockhampton area, but the outage where we lived was one they were not aware of. I had a bit of a wander around the area, as the homes opposite sill had power as did the ones in the street fronting our street. There were some homes up the back of us without power. Our power is underground, while the ones opposite and on that fronting street are all overhead. We are the last home at the extent of where the power has been undergrounded.

    The provider said that they would get someone to us as soon as they could, but that they were flat out elsewhere.

    The power came back on after two and a half hours off, and one hour after that, the Ergon people turned up in two of those large work ‘utes’ and four guys. One came to the door, and told me that as I was the one who reported it, I was first point of call. I told him when it went out and when it came back on. I also mentioned that we were at the extent of the underground power in our area, the last home in fact, and that it ‘seemed’ to me that it might be an overheat problem, probably with a transformer.

    He looked at me and asked me how I could possibly have known that. I told him I was electrically trained and had a (minor) qualification in EE. Then he said something to me, and I sort of suspected he was perhaps ‘feeling me out’, asking if I knew much about rooftop solar, an odd question if I ever heard one, and one I’m certain he would not mention to anyone else.

    I mentioned it seemed a little odd that the power went out just as the Sun was setting, hence no rooftop solar now, and the ‘feed’ now coming ALL FROM grid, instead of both ways, and that probably contributed to a possible overheat in a transformer, and as soon as it cooled back down, the power automatically came back on.

    He said, let me quote ….. “That’s about it.” He thanked me for giving him the times it went out and came back on, so he could ‘write it up’.

    Back in the second work ute with the door open and the internal light on, I could see through my front window that he spoke to the other two guys inside for around four or five minutes, and the smiles were pretty obvious. They took some notes and drove off without even driving back into the area in back of us where the problem would have originated.

    We now take the supply of electrical power for granted. We won’t change, no matter how much they raise the price. We won’t change out of some ‘mystical’ green dream. We won’t change if it’s always there.

    WE are now a captive target, ripe to make money out of.

    They know it, and know we won’t change.

    Pretty soon, they’ll just have to give us the power plants which actually CAN provide the power we all now need as essential.



  • #

    15 Feb: NYT: Justin Gillis: A Spy’s Guide to Climate Change
    The Trump administration is seeking to withdraw the United States from the international accord reached in Paris in 2015 to fight climate change. It is trying to rescind regulations on the issue. It has even scrubbed mentions of global warming from government websites. Yet its attempt to suppress the facts has not entirely succeeded, with federal agencies continuing to issue warnings, including in a major climate report published last year.

    The latest climate alarm came this week in a Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Here is what the document, issued by Daniel R. Coats, the director of national intelligence, said about climate change and other environmental problems, with my annotations…

    Excerpt: The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent — and possibly upheaval — through 2018…

    Only six weeks into the year, this is already coming true. Cape Town, the second-largest city in South Africa, is so low on water after an extended drought that it may be forced to shut off the taps ***in early April…

    ***early April, became 11 May, then became 4 June, but FakeNews NYT hasn’t noticed any of that?

    13 Feb: TheSouthAfrican: Day Zero moved back to June as water saving in CPT reaches new peak
    Day Zero has once again been pushed back for the City of Cape Town. We have all the new details and comments from DA officials.
    By Nic Andersen
    City of Cape Town Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson has said that the delay is a result of the continued decline in agricultural usage as well as Capetonians reducing their water usage…

    While dam levels for the city are at only 24,9% Neilson says his government has “more control” over the system that supplies water to the City. Continued engagement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation has also led to “much improved” data sharing and analysis. This has allowed for more reliable modelling and “dramatically improved control over dam levels.”…

    Can Cape Town residents keep up the good work avoid Day Zero all together? One can only hope…

    Weather in Cape Town
    February is the driest month of the year, with 15 mm (0.6 inches) of rain…
    June is the wettest month of the year, with 108 mm (4.3 inches) of rain…
    Average summer temperature: 24.3 ºC
    Average winter temperature: 18.5 ºC


  • #

    the rain mentioned doesn’t include last Friday’s 8mm (with perhaps 20mm in the catchment area):

    15 Feb: Aljazeera: Everton Fox: South Africa: Day Zero pushed back to June
    The countdown to what has become known as Day Zero is well under way. This is the day that the reservoir levels drop below 13.5 percent and the city must turn off all taps.
    Initial estimates had put that date at some time in April and then into May. On Tuesday, the city of Cape Town announced that this date has now been pushed back to June 4.
    The respite is thanks in part to some much-needed rain and also to contributions from the Western Cape farmers who have reduced their water usage from the municipal supply from 30 percent to 10 percent. They also donated 10 billion litres of water last week, which has the potential to last up to 20 days.

    Recent days have also seen some much needed rainfall, not enough to break the drought, but welcome nevertheless. In the event, Cape Town had 5mm of rain on Tuesday afternoon.
    This followed 7mm the day before. The February average is 17mm. There were reports of as much as 20mm of rain falling in the surrounding area in a 10-minute spell.

    As is often the case, such heavy rainfall in a short period after a long dry spell led to some flooding. At least nine people were killed in two separate road accidents.
    Five people were killed near Villiersdorp early on Wednesday morning. Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said: “A driver and four of his passengers were washed away due to flooding. The five occupants jumped out of their vehicle, and the water washed them away. All five drowned.”
    The other incident took place in the Montagu area; another car was hit by a wall of water, killing all four passengers.

    No further rain is expected in the foreseeable future. However, if they can keep Day Zero to that date in June, they will have made it to the start of the winter rains. There can be some hope that the taps will not run dry.

    1 Feb: SA People: City of Cape Town Answers Your Desalination Questions
    SAPeople sent some of your most asked questions to the City of Cape Town, and Alderman Ian Neilson, Deputy Mayor of the City of Cape Town, South Africa, has kindly responded below:

    The V&A desalination plant (two million litres per day) is due to start producing water by March/April 2018. We are still on track for this.
    The Strandfontein project (seven million litres per day) is due to start producing water from March 2018.
    The Monwabisi project (seven million litres per day) has been delayed to facilitate further community engagement in the area. The plant was due to start producing water by February, but four weeks of construction time has been lost to date. With the support of the community, the City is all hands on deck to get this project going again and to make up for delays.

    After advice from the World Bank, the City has shifted focus from desalination to optimising the use of aquifers in the short term, as this is more cost-effective and quicker to implement than temporary desalination plants.

    The Cape Flats aquifer will deliver 80 million litres per day, the Table Mountain Group aquifer will deliver 40 million litres per day, and the Atlantis aquifer will deliver 30 million litres per day over the period from 2018 to 2020…

    Our overall water losses is 16% versus 36% of the national average – no mean feat for a metro the size of Cape Town. We introduced innovative engineering initiatives, such as advanced pressure reduction at our bulk water reservoirs and reticulation systems in an effort to drive down water demand…

    This, along with our sustained communication campaigns, has seen a reduction in usage from 1,1 billion litres of water per day to the current 600 million litres per day…

    Despite our population growth almost doubling since 1996, our water demand has remained relatively flat.
    From 2000, the City started implementing aggressive pressure management technology, infrastructure maintenance, and public education initiatives to drive water conservation and water demand management.

    This strategy was internationally recognised for its success at the 2015 C40 Cities Awards in Paris where it was acknowledged as the best in the world in terms of preparing the city for the possible challenges of climate change…

    Rather, to protect water users from being saddled with the hangover of unaffordable infrastructure when the climate normalises again, water demand and conservation management remains key…


  • #

    short few paras bottom of p16, beginning of p17:

    16 Feb: USNI: Document: 2018 U.S. Worldwide Threat Assessment
    The following is the unclassified version of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assesment of the U.S. Intelligence Community issued this week.


    • #
      Glen Michel

      The usual paranoid, self-serving crap from this body. They need to get another “Cold War” up and running. Deep state machinations.


  • #

    16 Feb: Reuters: Congo defends right to explore for oil in national parks
    by Aaron Ross
    Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve.

    Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits.
    Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers 33,350 sq km of the Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest…
    The park in central Congo’s Cuvette Centrale also sits on peatlands that scientists say could release massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmsophere if disturbed.

    Ngoy Mukena said the government was mindful of environmental considerations but was intent on developing its hydrocarbons sector.
    “The law permits us to (explore) in any part of the country,” Ngoy Mukena told Reuters.
    “When oil is found in a restricted area or in an area that belongs to UNESCO, the government stops and brings together ministers … and experts to see what the danger would be.”

    A UNESCO spokesman did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Its World Heritage Committee has previously said that oil and mining exploration should not be conducted within World Heritage sites…


  • #

    charting their own course!

    16 Feb: Reuters: India needs more “clean coal” investors -global coal body
    by Neha Dasgupta
    India needs to do more to attract foreign investment in technologies that can cut emissions from burning coal, a global coal trade association said on Friday, given that the fuel will be a main source of electricity in the country for decades…

    “India needs to step up and say we need support here,” Benjamin Sporton, chief executive at World Coal Association, told reporters in New Delhi.
    “We would like to see the government potentially say, ‘Look coal is going to be an important part of the economy for decades, and we need support to be reasonably self sufficient but also to get support for low emission coal technology that we need to use,’” Sporton said…

    Earlier this week, the chief coal analyst at Noble Resources, a unit of commodities trader Noble Group, said global thermal coal demand will outpace supply in 2018, leading to a strong market driven by rising consumption from top buyers India and China.

    Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, plans to increase its production to about one billion tonnes by 2022, but it has fallen short of its annual targets leading to higher imports by the country.

    Sporton said it was unclear whether the government’s push for solar energy would result in sustainable projects given sharp falls in power tariffs.
    “It’s now getting to the point where it’s quite difficult to make money out of investing in solar,” Sporton said…


  • #

    CFMEU listening to its members? that would be something new:

    15 Feb: Guardian: Labor shouldn’t toughen its stance on Adani coalmine, CFMEU head warns
    Tony Maher says there is no point in winning the Melbourne seat of Batman while losing seats in central Queensland
    by Katharine Murphy
    The CFMEU’s national president, Tony Maher, told Guardian Australia if federal Labor took the hardline stance against the Adani coal project it was currently telegraphing, promising to stop the mine if it won the next election, then “what do you do with the next [coalmine], and the next one, and the one after that?”

    “I see no reason for Labor to toughen its position,” Maher said in an interview. “Why win Batman and lose in central Queensland?
    “The environment groups have worked themselves up into a passion about it. I don’t know why. Adani is just another project and it should be judged on its merits.”…

    Adani is a hot-button issue in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, where the Greens have been running a ground campaign against Labor’s initial support for Adani for months…

    With a national conference due in the middle of the year, the CFMEU will resist Labor inching towards a no new coal stance, viewing that position as alienating to the party’s traditional blue collar base…

    17 Feb: Hellenic Shipping News: Whitehaven Coal’s half-year profit soars, revives dividend
    Australian miner Whitehaven Coal on Friday said its first-half underlying profit rose by about 63 percent, thanks to rising coal prices and higher output, and having slashed debt, it resumed paying a regular dividend…

    Australian thermal coal exports from Newcastle averaged $96 a tonne in the first-half, up from $81 a year earlier, and are currently trading above $105 a tonne.
    The miner added that factors like China’s draw on the sea-borne thermal coal market, demand for higher quality coals from Southeast Asia and strong traditional Asian markets have helped maintain high thermal coal prices.
    The company maintained its full-year output guidance of 20.5 million tonnes to 21 million tonnes.


  • #
    Bruce Imrie

    As a biologist In want to see more CO2 rather than less. The problem is that the general population is scientifically illiterate. They have no idea of the scientific method. And neither do the politicians. The only federal polly with a PhD was disendorsed after one term. He would not toe the party line. But how do you stop the subsidy of renewable energy from turbines and solar panels? That is what is killing our energy reliability and cost. My attempts to educate politicians have had zero effect.


    • #
      Kinky Keith


      The gas of LIFE.

      It is the vehicle by which waste products from our life process are removed from the body via the bloodstream and our lungs.

      When in the bloodstream, it is the neural regulator of our breathing until, at the end of life, it gives over to that dangerous gas, oxygen, and ceases to initiate breathing.

      We absolutely, categorically cannot live without CO2.

      The gas of LIFE.



    • #
      Kinky Keith

      The only things of interest to politicians are votes and money.



  • #

    Actually the more relevant and focused question to ask is how high does the cost of electricity have to rise before a significant proportion of businesses have no option but to close down and sack all the employees sending the unemployment rate to alarming levels. The reason I say this is although households are under more and more stress to pay higher electricity bills, most businesses will be long gone well before households en mass start turning their electricity off. After all Australians spend over $12billion per year on pets alone. What I’m getting at is most households can afford to stop spending on less important things to accommodation much high electricity costs. There are exceptions of course but we are talking about the majority, which as always what counts in public opinion.


    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Businesses will stay here only so long as the price of electricity is equal to or lower than that of an equivalent manufacturer.

      I say “equivalent manufacturer” meaning in terms of wage cost.

      Since Australia has a relatively high manufacturing wage rate our power costs need to be lower than most of the competition.

      Sadly we have lost a huge amount of industry in the last few years to countries where there is a competent, cheap work force operating in an environment where power costs are lower.

      Obviously, Malcolm Trumble doesn’t give a fig about “your unemployment”.

      He and his family are doing O.K. in this man’s country.

      That’s all that counts.


      ps. what was Barnaby thinking?
      You’re supposed to think with your head not that other thing.


      • #

        Turnbull as far as I’m concerned will go down in history as the man who destroyed the LNP. It’s actually a good thing since the LNP is a mixed up and confused party with not much vision. Of course the ALP is much worse but that’s no comfort. We need a new party or at least a new leader with the will and the vision to turn the existing LNP into a party worthy of mention. Given I can’t see either happening soon enough we will have to go through the crash and burn scenario.


        • #
          Kinky Keith

          Every time I hear or read something from John Hewson it scares me. He’s truly a true believer.

          That anyone who has access to the best advice available can see man made global warming as real is stupifying.

          Unless, perhaps his green advocacy pays?


  • #

    The adage has it “comes the time comes the man”.

    Then what sort of time is it that gives us The Windbag and Whatever Barnaby Be?



  • #

    Saturday night 17/02.
    No power in Atherton Tablelands, Cairns and Townsville.
    I sincerely hope this is not an outage to keep the Gutless Green Vermin in Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and South Australia safe from power outages!!!


  • #
    Unemployed Taxpayer

    Here in the UK we are continually being groomed with adverts telling us of the benefits of having a “Smart Meter” fitted.
    My electricity supplier recently contacted me and advised me that I am classed as a vulnerable user and therefore will not be turned off during a power cut.
    How can they possibly do this? By using the Smart Meter of course!
    So now you know the real reason they want us to all have smart meters, so they can selectively cut off whoever they don’t want to receive power.


    • #
      Kinky Keith

      That’s the only reason.

      They want to spend your tax money on more important things than basic infrastructure like power generation and dams.

      What has been done to our water supply system here in Australia, in the name of green, is expensive and insulting.

      The new politics.