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The Forum > Article Comments > Take government out of the electricity market > Comments

Take government out of the electricity market : Comments

By Mark Christensen, published 22/1/2016

The traditional National Electricity Market supply chain large-scale generation, networks and retailers is facing a phase of rapid change, bringing unbridled risk and complexity.

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At this stage I doubt batteries will have a disruptive effect. Even in sunny Queensland the payback period for a home battery system has been estimated at 17 years, almost when the battery component needs replacing for the second time. The emerging technologies report by AEMO and CSIRO suggests we will have 8 Gwh of energy in battery storage by 2035. I make that about 17 minutes worth of our current national consumption.

Surely the big issue has to be replacing the large coal baseload stations notably in the Vic Latrobe Valley and NSW Hunter Valley. Some plants are way past due for replacement. Australia has talked of a 26% emissions reduction by 2030. We cannot replace coal with coal. Any alternatives seem to be pixie dust at the moment.
Posted by Taswegian, Friday, 22 January 2016 8:06:52 AM
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Unconvincing diatribe.

When has the free market protected the interests of the consumer, and then when the market is a captive one and the so called private player is the monopoly?

It was far better when the government owned and operated the power stations and councils inclusive of the other still affordable essential services, gas and water, were the retail reticulation purveyors!

Every cent of profit went back to the people or into new facilities, infrastructure or industry subsidies.

And why are tax avoiding debt laden speculators using market power and price gouged gold plated profit margins to repay and service a debt burden, somehow better than a government owner?

For we the people it's a lose/lose scenario. Nowhere in the world can I find as much as a single example, where privatisation has resulted in a less costly better maintained service!

As for ministers and public servant involvement. They do exactly what private enterprise does and appoint a CEO with a competent track record.

We need governments willing to shoulder traditional responsibilities rather than sell the farm for very short term political gain or to curry favor with the most privileged.

We have reached a situation where the top 1% own as much reported wealth as the rest of the planet, yet as exampled in the article, still want more?

Time for governments to start and govern for the people, not some ultra privileged cabal?

Will private players divest themselves of their aging coal fired assets, and replace them with something less costly that just doesn't add to the carbon load in our atmosphere?

The short answer is no! Given the profit graph and its continual rise is all that concerns these folk along with the endless spin and the deep pockets they use, it would seem, to control Government administered outcomes?

Simply put, you can only sell a cash cow income earning asset once, and when the proceeds have been used to balance a badly administered budget, the replacement funds need to come from somewhere.
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 22 January 2016 8:42:06 AM
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Another "YARTS" degree fantasist. The only thing "Alternative" about Solar and Wind is it produces less than it uses. Its only net production is "First World" virtue signalling.
Posted by McCackie, Friday, 22 January 2016 9:02:45 AM
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Rhosty,

As a result of government interference, we have seen the cost of electricity double in the past 6 years.

This should be privatised.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 22 January 2016 10:12:36 AM
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Rhosty,

I can remember when the government ran such essential services.

Take telephones. I can remember applying and waiting forever for a new phone connection and when it came at the convenience of the installer, the choice of handset was one (take it or leave it), and there was one and only one outlet in the house, and calls were so expensive it was a special occasion to ring grandma a few towns away, and getting anything fixed was a process of form filling, waiting and frustration.

Governments are essentially hopeless at running businesses. Electricity is an eminently marketable, essential product, like petrol, for instance. Would we prefer the government to run petrol? Bread?

God help us if we ever have to revert to government run services again. And where they still do now, they should sell and stick to their core function.
Posted by Captain Col, Friday, 22 January 2016 10:51:59 AM
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As a result of government interference, we have seen the cost of electricity double in the past 6 years.

This should be privatised.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Friday, 22 January 2016 10:12:36 AM

There was an article about a decade or so ago that claimed that Australian power prices were too cheap, and if I recall correctly; the prices had too increase in order to attract investors.

In Victoria, privatisation lead to a decrease in ongoing maintenance on assets, that result and contributed to the horrendous bush fires in Victoria. As assets were allowed to deteriorate, it then opened to the door to 'gold plating' the network.

The gas explosion that lead to rationing of natural gas in Victoria, was also a consequence of reducing and cut back on maintenance in order to boost share holder returns.

Typically any company that is part of the privatisation, will reduce their taxable company income to zero and shift profits off shore.

True energy/ Energy Australia already does this.
Posted by Wolly B, Friday, 22 January 2016 11:44:18 AM
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