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The Forum > Article Comments > What must we pay for our renewables protection policy? > Comments

What must we pay for our renewables protection policy? : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 13/6/2018

Australian politicians are 'doubling down' again on their energy costs gamble. When their gambling goes awry, punters, and, inevitably, the economy, will pay.

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I'm not sure I understand these tables. How can there be any fossil fuel costs at 100% RE? The Australian Energy Update says we used 257 Twh in 2017 not below 200 as per the regulator.

The uselessness of the RET can be approached from a different angle. Back in 2001 supporters said it would decarbonise the electricity system. Turnbull's 2015 emissions pledge required most of the cuts to come from the electricity sector. That sector lost about 12 Mt of emissions 2005-2017 much of which can be explained by the closure of Hazelwood early in 2017. Overall non-land use emissions increased in this period. Therefore the RET did not do what it said and is an expensive dud.

Apparently the RET of 33 Twh will remain in place after 2020 and subsidies will continue for a decade contrary to a recent statement by Frydenberg. There is supposed to be an electric car revolution happening by then which will see millions of EVs plugged in overnight. My guess is they'll want that power to be reliable which won't come from RE. We are daydreaming our way into a crisis.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 9:36:35 AM
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People who say that alternative energy is as cheap as coal have to put on the 'thick listí. If they are not thick, they certainly think that rest of us - the people paying to subsidise rent seekers - are. Of course, most of us are thick. We moan and groan to ourselves and other thickos on social media, but we never think to go to the source of the problem - the political class.

I still write to or email politicians. I never get a reply these days. Know why? Because 99.9% of Australian thickos never have a go at the people supposed to be representing them; so the few who do are written off as not typical. Most of the useless twits wouldn't bother to vote if they didn't have to, and when they do vote, they vote the way some bloody politician or party tells them to. It makes my blood boil to hear politicians say where THEY will direct THEIR preferences. They are YOUR preferences dummies. You don't deserve a vote, and you certainly deserve the rubbish political class we have.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 9:48:01 AM
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from the cheapest to the most expensive energy in the world all through pseudo science and ideology. Other nations think we are idiots and they are right. We will continue the path to pour millions into renewables and make coal less viable. What twits. And we have a 'conservative' Government who has swallowed the kool aid. How Trump looks so much better day by day.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 10:54:11 AM
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Hear, hear and well said ttbn.

Now you just have to know what comes next? Yes, you guessed it, thorium. And reliable, dispatchable, clean, safe, world's cheapest electricity! And it's also carbon-free into the bargain.

But beside the point, when what really matters to most folk, is what the drongos already referred to by the aforementioned poster are talking the talk then, you guessed it. TALKING THE TALK!

And trying to make self-serving personally beneficial tax cuts? Replace pragmatism in our price gouged, privatized energy policy!

Shorten will insist that renewables are cheaper than coal. but only if we're talking about illusionary clean coal? And agreed on Q+A that cooperatives and profit sharing are good worthwhile ideas.

Then filled the space with his brand of incomprehensible BS, by then suggesting the workers in these enterprises needed to be paid a fair day's pay.

He surely needs to realize that the folk who not only own and operate the enterprise are hardly going to pay themselves less than they need or more than their enterprise can afford! And said while accepting the current S.A. unemployment rate remains around a staggering 30%??

His policy of 50% renewable by 2030? Out there to garner green votes and his claim we will always have coal as part of our economy! Out there to shore up the blue-collar element!

Turnbull claims they're technology agnostic while leaving government created rules and regulations in place that effectively forbid or prohibit even in lab R+D into thorium as an energy source!?
Clearly, some folk will believe anything!
TBC Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 12:29:50 PM
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Regardless of cost you cannot put a price on this planet.
Our ONLY home.
Posted by ateday, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 1:09:12 PM
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Continued: We should crack on with nuclear power generation and as MSR thorium. To completely spend the unspent fuel, i.e., other folk's nuclear waste! Be paid annual billions for the service!

Now today, while this multi-billion dollar deal remains on the table?
Which will pay for dozens of new nuclear power plants, burning fuel someone else pays us to bury!

Only after we've extracted every remaining erg of (FREE TO US) energy from it! Some of which employed drought proofing Australia

Now read or write it any which way, but nothing is cheaper than free!

As for thermal coal? Why export it halfway around the world for a few cents per ton profit, then import costly fossil fuel as fully imported refined fuel? At an annual cost of around 26 Billion the last time I looked!

There's proven technology that cooks out the methane then passes that through a catalyst, once twice, three times? That separates out/progressively removes a few hydrogen atoms, leaving liquid fuels, methanol, jet fuel and a diesel substitute behind.

Only where you need to! As most combustion engines will run quite happily on compressed methane/CNG.

So, here it is, several brand new long-term industries, even as we transition the rest of the economy to energy dependent high tech!

If we but used the brains we were born with, we'd convert our power supply to nuclear alternatives then given the necessary cheap flame free heat/energy! Use up our current stocks/reserves of thermal coal to replace price gouged foreign fuel.

We can do it, we have a two and a half trillion dollar super fund, working for almost anyone else! When it could be employed right here and for us and ours!

Thirty-year, self-terminating bonds with a modest tax-free return. Say 3.5% as tax-free income and a further 3% as a self-terminating capital return. That has our super funds queuing to buy!

Coupled with employee-owned co-ops that provide the new extremely well-rewarded workforce. And only needing a proactive government actually ready, willing and able to genuinely put us and ours first!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 1:16:50 PM
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Anybody who believes that carbon is what threatens all life on the planet? will agree we need to decarb our economy! No question! Right?

And if that then also allows us to turbocharge our economy! What's the problem with that? WELL?

And if we can do just that, in complete safety while seriously massively reducing the stockpile of nuclear waste! Why not?

Must we continue to allow fear mongering/monumental BS and completely unfounded claims to effectively prevent just that?

And even progressively reduce the world's stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium as part of the bargain and with a technology that not only can't melt down! No question, but has fail-safe passive safety design features built in!

And the only available source of miracle cancer cure, bismuth 213, that's the only possible hope for literally thousands of Australians!

Brain cancer remission by any means has hardly moved in the last thirty years, and remains higher than the national annual road toll! The average lifespan, from diagnosis to death, averages just 14 months! WAITING, WAITING, WAITING!

Yet Dr Digitalus and co., ( the greens) continue to resist, cheaper than coal, carbon-free thorium and with it the only hope of THOUSANDS of terminally ill Australians.

Is this is what is meant by, at least DO NO HARM, I wonder?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 1:46:36 PM
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' Regardless of cost you cannot put a price on this planet.
Our ONLY home.'

relax Ateday you are obviously to young to remember all the other scares based on pseudo science that have been pushed by the high priests. No one could be so stupid to believe that when God calls it a day then its not going to be the day. God has much better form in bringing to pass His word then these pseudo scientist who actually base a lot of their fairytales from the evolution fantasy. Despite the arrogance of those who claim humans can change the climate the fact is they can't.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 3:31:26 PM
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I detect that a lot of people with just a little technical knowledge
are becoming very frustrated at the ignorance of the political people.
There seems to be a very fundamental problem that pollies do not
understand that 4 - 5 produces a negative number.
Applied to Liddel they do not seem to grasp what that will mean.

If you assume the sun stood still at midday and the wind blew
strongly constantly you can work out exactly how many solar farms
and wind farms you would need to supply the country as a constant x.
Now taking that figure x and allow for summer/winter differences
and with the proviso that you have a large geographical area to get a
reliable power system you have to multiply X x 12.
This is a figure I have seen suggested as a realistic value to
compenstate for variability of wind & sun.
Now that 12 times produces a figure I have seen argued that we cannot
afford.
Oh yes, you have to add a country wide grid capacity where WA can
supply the whole east coast because of time zones.
Looking at the o/p of my solar cells and watching the wind it does
seem a rather optimistic value.
Another problem might be that Australia is not big enough.

Can we get rid of these b^&*(y dreamers in Canberra.
Either that or send them back to primary school.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 4:12:16 PM
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actually being brainless with uni degrees seems a prerequisite to be a mainstream journalist these days. Look at how deranged they become every time Trump ensures egg is all over their faces. The commercial stations seems to be on par with the abc/sbs when it comes to reporting narratives rather than facts.
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 4:51:32 PM
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Sovereign risk? Whose? Ours? Well, were any of the owner's (taxpayers) objections noted or factored into the privatised arrangements.

And if you are genuinely technology agnostics? Why would you be twisting the arm of AGL, trying to get them to sell to a Chinese (government owned?) company?

Could it have something to do with flagged plans to import shipping container sized, nuclear power modules ( power plants in boxes) And set them up as small regional power stations not needing to be wired into the national grid?

[That would put paid to all of the price gouging and those who support or benefit from it!]

And able to supply industrial (carbon-free) power for around quarter of the current going rate?

And or, be used to decompose water to create copious hydrogen, via the cheap, cracking the water molecule, method, as well as create some really important, life saving medical isotopes?

Now, lighter than air hydrogen (a reductant) can be piped under its own motive power to the highest convenient spots then burnt in ceramic fuel cells to create electricity on demand (day and night) and absolutely pristine water.

All of which could be so sited as to flow westward? And do some work while it went back down.

Now, it would not take much in the way of reliable westward water flows to alter the face of this continent. And encourage progressive reforestation of some arid areas along with considerable desalination of salt-affected land.

[And the best possible reason to eliminate foreign control in any part of our comparatively primitive energy market!]

In my book a win/win outcome all round!

Except if you're part of the current political class or a covert fifth column, (the greens?) and with a security harming deindustrialization agenda?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Wednesday, 13 June 2018 6:13:17 PM
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As the Israelis were smart enough to engage the French to develop their nuclear arsenal, we should be smart enough to invite the French into Australia to develop a network of nuclear power stations..
Posted by diver dan, Wednesday, 13 June 2018 9:44:43 PM
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Runner: "from the cheapest to the most expensive energy in the world all through pseudo science and ideology.Other nations think we are idiots and they are right. We will continue the path to pour millions into renewables and make coal less viable. What twits"

Spot on!

The process of turning Australia into a banana republic is now entrenched. To make matters worse, one of our asinine warmist MPs would be appointed 'president'
Posted by Raycom, Thursday, 14 June 2018 12:38:05 PM
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