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The Forum > Article Comments > Electricity cost dissections: do they reveal or conceal? > Comments

Electricity cost dissections: do they reveal or conceal? : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 20/10/2017

What's the 'official family' feeding the punter about cost increases within the National Electricity Market (the NEM)?

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The preliminary report is here
https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/ACCC%20Retail%20Electricity%20Pricing%20Inquiry%20-%20Preliminary%20Report%20-%2022%20September%202017.pdf
Section 2.4 on green schemes appears to look at only direct costs in terms of feed-in tariffs and renewable energy certificates. However there is an indirect cost from inefficient operation and types of thermal backup plant. Since the RET is a penalty backed quota with a generous subsidy incentive it forces thermal plant to take a back seat in sunny and windy times when it could be operating more steadily.

I believe in Australia expensive and high emitting open cycle gas plant out-produces more efficient combined cycle by two to one or so. In the northern US and UK it appears to be the reverse. Therefore those costs and emissions are a consequence of green schemes and should be factored in. Recall the 2014 RET Review found the cost of CO2 avoided was $59 per tonne but then the LGC subsidy was less than half what it is now.
Posted by Taswegian, Friday, 20 October 2017 8:59:15 AM
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Were once a country where we just didn't have a national grid! At least until the snowy mountains scheme. Tasmania rolled out hydro.

The states rolled out their systems as publicly owned and operated models. The end result, a massive increase in manufacture and disposable incomes, due solely to affordable reliable power!

Nowhere since and as privatised generation, has reliability increased or power price come down or remained affordable!? NOWHERE!

But would seem to include the highest, most price gouged system in the world? As pompously prevaricating politicians of all persuasion try and sheet home the blame!

As opposed to actually doing something about it!

That something, for welded on coal devotees, could be a GREAT BIG NEW COAL FIRED POWER STATION, built adjacent to a GREAT BIG THERMAL COAL SEAM.

As publicly owned and operated amenity!

The plant could be a GREAT BIG 4000 M.W Giant with as many as 16 GREAT BIG smoke stacks belching GREAT BIG, CO2 laced smoke day and night for around the next fifty years?

Built to supply peak load power, all the way south through N.S.W, Vic and S.A.?

Using the already environmentally accessed and approved, resumed Galilee Basin? As such financially feasible. Able to be done off budget and financed by the R.B. As a guaranteed, loss free GREAT BIG profitable investment!

Just need to be able to turn a GREAT BIG blind eye to your grand-kids and the world we leave them and perhaps thousands of terminally ill cancer patients, effectively robbed of their sole remaining hopes of a GREAT BIG cure?

Given that a cure is possible! Tantamount to holding a GREAT BIG revolver to their foreheads and playing Russian roulette with their lives!

Because that's what the decision makers do by outlawing walk away safe nuclear power and with it, miracle cure, nuclear medicine. Had a chat with Caspar, and he said, since the funeral, the last thing on his mind was the cost of power!

Just whether or not a few myopically focused loony tunes had condemned his Grand-kids and or the planet?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 20 October 2017 10:38:55 AM
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I wonder just how much of the "Transmission & distribution ('poles and wires'): up to 50%" cost is down to interconnectors & the huge expense of transmission lines able to carry high loads, but normally carrying only Micky Mouse loads from widely scattered wind farms.

Interconnectors are only there to cover the politicians who have stuffed up, & not provided for their own states. How long would the fairyland mob in South Australia have lasted, without Victorian power?

Like most of these reports, designed to hide & protect the culpable, rather than sort the problem.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 20 October 2017 10:41:25 AM
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There is a wonderful article on this site, titled, Blowing a whistle into an empty room.

I think it says it all about reports like this.
Posted by Wolly B, Friday, 20 October 2017 10:52:39 AM
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"Generation without electricity transmission, distribution, and retail sales is production without customers."
This article completely misses the point of cost breakdowns. Of course transmission is needed, but we're paying far too much for it. The poles and wires companies have no incentive to do the job efficiently - in fact they actually had substantial incentive to maximise the cost, and toothless regulators sat back and did nothing.

And the bit about retail sales is technically incorrect, as without them there'd still be wholesale customers. You may regard that as a minor quibble, but one way of keeping the retail sector competitive is to give customers the option of buying wholesale. With a fee of 5%, it would still on average be 7% cheaper than the retail price. I'm certainly not saying it's for everyone, but as home batteries and smart appliances become more prevalent, the desirability of this option is likely to increase.
Posted by Aidan, Friday, 20 October 2017 11:24:03 AM
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Alan you degrade your comment, & make a fool of yourself when you join the ratbag greens, particularly here, where most are more highly informed.

I'm sure most here know, even if you don't, that there are no "GREAT BIG smoke stacks belching GREAT BIG, CO2 laced smoke" at any modern power plants.

Just in case you are too poorly informed to know, those "GREAT BIG smoke stacks" are cooling towers, belching water vapour.

Why you would want to sink as low as the Greens & the ABC by making such fool comments I can't imagine. Such misinformation does nothing to promote your ideas, & merely degrades the value of your comments.

While you do appear to have been taken in by the global warming scam, you will not do your objectives anything good by posting known lies.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 20 October 2017 11:46:10 AM
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