Aussie Government Pledges $1 billion for Renewables


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has just pledged to spend $1 billion of Australian taxpayer’s money, on renewable schemes which are struggling to raise their own finance on the open market.

Turnbull’s climate change boost defies Abbott

MALCOLM Turnbull will keep two climate funds that Tony Abbott went to the 2013 election pledging to abolish.

The Prime Minister says clean energy is a vital part of his plan to boost innovation and create jobs beyond the mining boom.

The prime minister will announce today that a $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund will be set up in July, jointly managed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The two bodies will jointly manage the fund from July in order to finance products such as large-scale solar.

Mr Turnbull, a previous supporter of an emissions trading scheme, has been toning down criticism of clean energy financing since ousting Mr Abbott in September.

However, many Coalition members remain sceptical about the value of spending too much money on climate-related projects.

“We are promoting innovation and new economic opportunities, enhancing our productivity, protecting our environment and reducing emissions to tackle climate change,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.

He said projects could include a large-scale solar facility with storage in Port Augusta, South Australia.

By offering innovative equity and debt products, the Clean Energy Innovation Fund can accelerate the availability of new technologies to transform the energy market, and deliver better value for taxpayers.”

Former treasurer Joe Hockey described the CEFC as a “giant $10 billion slush fund”.

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Why does ex Goldman Sachs (Australia) chairman Malcolm Turnbull think that providing public finance, for green projects which private finance won’t touch, is a prudent use of taxpayer’s money?

Given the long string of green bankruptcies and failures – Solyndra, Abengoa (on the verge of a $30 billion bankruptcy), and too many others to list, given disappointments like the ongoing Invanpah solar power generator debacle, perhaps the market is onto something, when they refuse to put private money into new renewable ventures.

The Turnbull green finance announcement marks a substantial break from the policies of former Aussie PM Tony Abbott, who yesterday claimed Turnbull was seeking re-election on the basis of Abbott policies.

151 thoughts on “Aussie Government Pledges $1 billion for Renewables

  1. Regarding those, “too many others to list”.
    Here’s one spectators attempt to list them. Most of them.
    Although, even some that I know of, have slipped through.
    Due to the slippery nature of much “failed innovation”. Much of the clear B.S. and (rhymes with flawed) can in hindsight be said to have been a “good bet”. Even though in most cases it was perfectly clear to everyone with basic engineering and economics skills that it was doomed from the beginning.
    But, unchallenged this new agenda offers a perfect justification for the people at the top to stuff wads of cash into each other’s trouser pockets.
    Failed innovation is really even better than success. Failure just keeps on giving and giving!!!

    • So, did you make killing shorting these stocks?
      (See the movie “The big short” for reference, just insert “climate racket” instead of “subprime loans”)

      • Nope, because just like all the other players I have no ability to judge how long the public purse can bankroll these enterprises.
        It’s not a real business with a product or service and price location and supply and demand. Investing in or shorting this enterprise would be as hazardous as investing in or shorting Bernie Madoff.
        Who knows when the scheme will run out of gullible suckers, especially when the biggest gullible sucker is the state, with access to an ever expanding supply of debt.
        18 trillion last time I looked.
        So they can take a ponzi scheme and just keep ballooning it with free-cash.
        That’s a lot of stimulus.
        Not really stimulus though. Really just a massive welfare scheme for crony capitalists and corporate hand-outs.
        All bets are off – the stupidity has no intrinsic natural limit.
        It could be 100 trillion after the next crisis and round of bail-outs.
        Who knows?
        I certainly don’t!!!

      • Agree with Mr Frog, when you bet long or short on anything where there’s government involvement, and your not sufficiently connected to tell when the plug will be pulled or when they will up-grade you to the bigger trough, then you might as well go to a casino, put your money in a machine, and yell “baby needs a new pair of shoes!”

      • Exactly!!! It’s exactly that in many cases.
        By either accident or design.
        Then the culprits are freed to go on and do it all again with a new start-up spectacular failure to suck in a new generation of old widows and perhaps the Dept. Of Energy or the president of the USA.

    • As an Ozzie I’ve got to say that you have a point. One plus for our system is that it is nowhere near as convoluted as yours.

      • Also socialists like the Clintons and Obama have had no problems pushing the climate agenda to favor their favorite capatilists.

    • I live in both countries. The common theme and failing is however the leader gets in, he’s a scum bag politician. Nothing will improve until lamp posts and ropes are joined with said same scum bags.
      Since Australia is running a budget deficit as a result of implementing long term welfare programs funded by a short term mining boom, taxpayers get the added bonus of interest tacked onto that billion……….and still have to pay for conventional power systems to back up the green bs ones. You really can’t make this up can you?

      • The Australian economy has always been a boom/bust economy centred around mining. It has been difficult to change that model but it does need to change. It’s very much like the UK in the Thatcher era, were making stuff was frowned on and “services” and finance/banking sector would be were the UK would focus on. Sadly we all know all too well how placing all eggs in one basket can be risky!

    • It is so much better than the crazy system they have in the USA where over a billion $ gets spent just on the presidential election process and even then the majority of voters may not get the candidate they want.
      Look at how even though DT is leading by quite a margin with the Republican primaries, GOP are doing everything in their power to ankle tap him.
      In NZ our elections are over and done with all within three weeks. The USA elections are agonisingly boring.

      • Do you still have that bastardised German proportional representation system (MMP) introduced in circa 1996 where an MP candidate is elected and many unelected MP’s enter parliament on their coattails?

      • You do understand that about two thirds of Republicans don’t want Donald Trump as their candidate, right? The fact that he has a plurality at the moment is no reason to crown him as the ultimate winner. And yes, the GOP national leadership is flailing around trying to figure out what to do. Their golden boy, Marc Rubio, crashed and burned. Trump’s posturing to the contrary not withstanding, Cruz is not a Washington insider. Remember everyone saying how no one in the Senate liked Cruz? Does that happen to an insider? So now they’re looking for a White Horse and trying to float Kasich (who won his home state and is even further behind in delegates than Rubio) as a brokered candidate. Stay tuned for further chaos and ruin.

      • @PatrickMJD
        Do you still have that bastardised German proportional representation system (MMP) introduced in circa 1996 where an MP candidate is elected and many unelected MP’s enter parliament on their coattails?
        Still got it, Paddy. Works quite well.
        I wouldn’t call the list MPs “unelected”. They have to be selected by their party to get a place on the list and are then elected by the party vote, a transparently democratic process.
        The MMP system was brought in (via a referendum, since endorsed by a second referendum) to counter the situation where a party could win a majority of seats but a minority of the popular vote, a.k.a. gerrymandering. This had happened plenty of times in the country’s history due to urban electorates being anything up to 150% the size of rural electorates.
        It also allows small parties to get seats in Parliament which they are denied under FPP. Best example of this: UKIP in the UK’s 2015 election received the third highest share of the popular vote (12½%) yet ended up with only one MP.
        In the 2114 New Zealand general election, the NZ First Party gained 8.66% of the popular vote and has 11 of 121 seats in Parliament. That’s democracy.

      • @ D J Hawkins,7:29 pm, could you please check Cruz’s CV he is an insider, well connected with the Bush family, SCOTUS etc . Other people mentioned coat tails. Cruz used the TEA party coattails to get elected and turned on them ( his wife works for Sachs as well, as such he is the insider). The only one that is not is Trump.

      • @asybot
        So that’s why George W told donors back in October “I just don’t like the guy”??? And arguing before the Supreme Court hardly makes them best buds. Try harder.

    • Cannot agree at all. Under the Westminster system, if a prime minister screws up, he will be replaced by his colleagues. In a presidential system, a four-year dictatorship is established.
      Furthermore, to be in the cabinet in a parliamentary system requires being an elected MP. Presidents get to stack their cabinets with their unelected cronies.

      • Never seen a PM in Aus, NZ or the UK being replaced before “serving” a full term after screwing up! But you may have examples.

      • While I didn’t vote for MMP now it is in I prefer it to FPP.
        Patrick there are a few examples of PM’ not serving there full terms but not necessarily screwing up. I think Bob Hawke was one in Aussie and we have had a few in NZ, Jim Bolger and with the Labour Govt after 1990 it was like musical chairs.

      • I think Hawke was well before my time in Aus. I don’t recall Bolger in NZ, was that circa 1996? As for the Labour pantomime in NZ after 1999…well, at least the person who destroyed probably the best public health care system in the world, Helen Clark (Circa 1984), now has cushy job at the UN along with her fake husband.

      • @Patrick MJD, in just the last few years, Kevin Rudd was replaced by Julia Gillard who was then replaced by Kevin Rudd shortly before the last election. After the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government lost that election to Tony Abbott, Abbott was replaced by Turnbull. Their screw-ups? There was plenty to criticize in each instance but mostly it was about putting the members at risk of losing their seats. In each instance, the party members felt that their leader had gone off the rails so they pulled the plug.

      • @Patrick MJD
        Never seen a PM in Aus, NZ or the UK being replaced before “serving” a full term after screwing up! But you may have examples.
        How’s this for an example: In 1940, Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as PM of Great Britain. (Chamberlain may be an obscure figure to you, but I’m sure you’ve heard of Churchill . . . big, fat cigar-smoker; made some stirring speeches in the first year of his premiership; name comes up every time a little contretemps known as World War 2 crops up.)

      • “Never seen a PM in Aus, NZ or the UK being replaced before “serving” a full term after screwing up! But you may have examples.”
        Try: Kevin Rudd
        Julia Gillard
        Tony Abbott

    • Not so, Tom. The new PM infamously has long been an out ‘n’ proud ideological. ie irrational, greenie. [BTW, earlier, he was dropped as leader due to his [irrationaity [green-ness], then his replacement Abbott led the Party to victory on the opposite posture – becoming only the 4th leader to do so from Opposition in the Party’s history. It’s his treacherous derelict opportunist MPs who have irresponsibly enabled the reversal of Abbott’s direction. In a few months, we will directly re-elect these gutless or stupid enablers in our local constituencies – AT OUR PERIL.

  2. As a minister, Turnbull always coveted portfolios that would lend themselves to the type of reform or regulation that would be to the liking of his friends at Goldman Sachs. This is just the extension of that instinct.
    (BTW: Unless I misunderstand the intent: If the labels on the images are intended to indicate who is PM, they should be reversed, given Abbott is Out and Turnbull is In)

    • Frankly it would have been considerably cheaper (and much better for the national interest) to take out a quiet contract on economically-retarded Left/Green whack jobs, as this spending is little more than a crass $billion federal election prop, to extend the stupid for the sake of shallow appearances to make a feather duster look more presentable in televised appearances and speeches, for the next few months.
      Thanks Dear Leader.

  3. Phew…. makes me proud to live at their end of the world. Abbot such a twat, thank goodness Turnbull has some sense.

    • Put your money where your mouth is Simon and buy shares in the scheme. I mean your house and every other asset you own if you think this is the answer to a non-problem. Just think simon, how wealthy you’ll become or, most likely, how broke you’ll be and living off handouts for the rest of your miserable life. Come in spinner………

      • Craig
        Are you implying Simon doesn’t live in the basement of his parents house and actually has a job?

    • A billion dollars for what?
      To line the pockets of the likes of Flannery and co?
      Meanwhile back in the real world……..
      “State officials were told last ­Friday that Mr Turnbull was “fighting” for a better funding deal on hospitals and early childhood education but …  there was “no appetite” around the federal cabinet table to offer a big funding boost, as Mr Morrison (treasurer) tries to clamp down on spending.” Meanwhile in that real world the states are “bleeding” with emergency beds being closed due to a freeze on federal funding…….but hey, they can find a billion dollars for global warming just like that.
      Your persuit of your ideolygys paid for with other people’s moneys, make me bloody angry when we have the likes of you and your ilk literally sucking the life out of my country.

      • No money for real issues like education and helth, but a kewl AU$1bil for “renewables”? I wonder if Turnbull has any “renewable” investments? I also smell a GST hike to 15% coming sometime after July 2nd.

      • Patrick, Turnbuls share portfolio is on the public record, as it is required to be while he holds office in the Australian parliament. It is a requirement of all politicians to list their interests publicly.
        Google it and follow the “bouncing ball”.
        Turnbuls portfolio has links to an investment bank that trades in the European carbon credits farce. That scheme has in the past been littered with fraud.
        His inviromental minister Hunt stating a couple of months ago that Australia would probably buy carbon credits from it when an emissions trading scheme is started here. That ETS has been a priority since Turnbul entered parliament.
        Was it Goldman Sachs that invented the trading in the invisable commoditie that is CO/2? Didn’t they have a bloke by the name of Turnbul actually working for them?
        Probably all I’ve said is just harmless coincidence but if it’s not…………..?

      • “Leigh March 23, 2016 at 2:00 am”
        I knew one half of that, that he worked for Goldman Sachs, but shares in an investment bank trading in carbon credits, that’s new info for me and explains why he is keen on an ETS. I always suspected as much.

    • If you think this is a sensible decision why do you not think that private enterprise are unwilling to invest in it. As previous posters have said there are just so many green energy companies that have gone down the gurgler.

    • Try Kahlil Gibran’s “Thoughts and Meditations” chapter “the Silver Plated Turd”

    • simone~ Here in southern Ontario they are putting up thousands of wind turbines and our electricity prices have gone up 40%. Thanks for nothing.

      • Electricity prices went up 70% in Ontario between 2006 and 2015 primarily due to “Green” energy. They are scheduled to go up another 42% over the next 5 years. Capacity of wind is currently 3,234 MW with average daily Output of 1,040 MW. That’s 32% of Capacity & 6% of average total (all “fuels”). Average total daily Output is about 17,600 MW – total Capacity for all “fuels” is 35,221 MW. Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the last 10 years with higher electricity prices being the main reason. That includes long-time residents Heinz. Kellogg and Caterpillar.

      • Also parts of Ford and GM have left Ontario,
        The Canadian Auto Workers Union/CAW is gone. Remaining auto workers had to join up with other unions now known as Unifor.
        The CAW bought into the “green” agenda and now it’s gone.

    • If you think it makes sense why don’t you put your money into it?
      Or are you on the climate scam teat.

  4. Fix the pictures please Turnbull is PM in and Abbot is ex Pm out! You did the same thing last time a story of them both came out in WUWT!

  5. Port Augusta – hot and dry. Dusty too. Who’s going to keep the solar panels clean? I’ll give it a month, then the excuses will start. That’s one thing the green-blooded never run out of. Excuses.

  6. The Abengoa share value plot (here, to FEB 2016) tells you everything that you need to know.
    Maybe people thought that they could buy a piece of the high tech “free energy” revolution.
    Now all (or at least most) of their money has vanished, along with the dreams of the many gullible investors.
    Naturally Abengoa is seeking “protection” from its creditors during “restructuring”.
    It all sounds so harmless when dressed up in those funny words they like to use.
    You have to feel sorry for the taxpayers though, who will be left with the larger part of the bill.

  7. “We are promoting innovation and new economic opportunities,
    This is the stake in the ground that just kills me. First of all, there’s only a handful of companies in the world building these massive wind and solar farms. Since all these govt projects simply by the components and implementation from those companies, they are not developing any new economic opportunities at all. What they are doing in most cases is buying lego blocks from some foreign company and assembling them, announcing with great pride that they’ve figured out how to assemble lego blocks they bought from companies in order to put them together in their own country and pretend they “developed” something. Then they make matters worse by trying to gloss over that their clever arrangement of lego blocks is replacing those old fossil fuel lego blocks that are not just more reliable, but 1/3 the cost to run as well/
    What of the impact to the condumer? Ah, well there is not impact to consumers because of the subsidies, but we’ll get some return on our investment by building expertise. The exact same expertise that everyone else is building, so worth nothing. Any try explaining that a subsidy is just a tax on working people’s children and grandhchildren being transferred to unprofitable companies here and now who will be selected based on their access to politicians in stead of market forces.
    Other than those things, what could go wrong?

  8. Well the LNP is a coalition between the Liberals led by Malcolm (marshmallow, alias Lord waffleworth) Turnbull, and the National party.
    When Tony Abbott was deposed the Nationals only continued the alliance with the Liberals on the understanding that there would be no change in the policy on “climate change” and same sex marriage.
    It will be interesting to see how the Nationals who I intend to support in the upcoming election, view this change in policy. The liberals will never be able to form Govt. without their support.

    • I don’t think they would dare to go it alone, in the same way that Labour wouldn’t dare to upset the Greens.

  9. Sir David KIng knew all along this would happen over a year ago
    So much for democracy
    FROM The Climate Sceptics (TCS) Blog
    Lord Monckton and the push to get rid of PM Abbott
    Posted: 18 Feb 2015 03:12 PM PST
    Sir David King, Chemist
    Climate Change Task Force
    The Climate Change Task Force describes itself as ‘a synergy of climate experts, world leaders, nobel peace laureates, and shapers of opinion – helping create the political will to address climate change. Sir David King, Chemist, is on the Climate Change Task Force. He is chief scientistic adviser to the UK Government.
    The following Youtube was recorded during Lord Monckton’s visit to Australia in September-October 2014.
    An extract from Lord Monckton’s presentation:
    David King was asked whether all the nations of the world were now, in principle, ready to sign their people’s rights away in such a treaty. Yes, but there are two standouts. One is Canada. But don’t worry about Canada. They’ve got an election in the Spring of 2015 and we and the UN will make sure the present government is removed. He was quite blunt about it.
    The other hold out is Australia. And Australia we can’t do anything about because Tony Abbott is in office until after the December 2015 conference. So that means you all have to guard Tony Abbott’s back. Because the Turnbull faction, in conjunction with the UN, will be doing their absolute level best to remove your elected Prime Minister from office before the end of his term and , in particular, before the end of 2015, so that they can get 100% wall-to-wall Marxist agreement. They do not want any stand-outs. And the most likely stand-out at the moment is Australia. So look after him.
    Lord Monckton also said that we should push for the UN to include a get-out clause.
    This treaty position was written into the original Kyoto protocol
    “If we were not to have such a position in the World Government treaty they are trying to put in place in 2015 in Paris then that could be then end of Freedom and Democracy. It is that serious.”

  10. China’s LFTR progrogam is well on its way to be commercialized in about 14 years, providing cheap, unlimited, abundant, safe, clean, reliable, efficient and scalable power for millennia…
    The idiotic West continues to wasted $100’s of billions on solar/wind boondoggles, which are: expensive, diffuse, unreliable, intermittent and inefficient, at costs/kWh 10 TIMES as expensive as LFTR energy…
    Western political hacks are completely nuts.

    • LFTR (sic) provides no cost advantage over uranium. Thorium is the 21st century’s 100mpg carburetor.

      • Gamecock– LFTRs runs at one atmosphere of pressure, requires no steam or cooling towers, meltdowns are impossible since the fertile and fissile material are in a molten state, requires no expensive fuel pellet fabrication, takes up much less space (no cooling towers), is much less expensive to build because it requires no thick containment vault, requires only one passive fail-safe safety mechanism, thorium only needs only to be purified and added to Molten salts, produces 200 TIMES less nuclear waste (no fuel pellets) waste heat (750C) is suffient to synthesize cheap hydrocarbons or desalinate seawater, etc., etc., etc.,
        It is the cheapest, cleanest and safest way to produce unlimited grid-level power… Until nuclear fusion is a viable technology. 1.5 grams/person/yr of thorium is suffient to produce all a person’s energy requirements…. Everything..
        You’re misinformed.

      • Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken here, but it is my understanding that thorium as an input fuel for LFTR is three to four times more abundant in the earth than is uranium. It is already a byproduct of existing mining activities.
        And DJ Hawkins is correct about its safety and proliferation advantages. Alvin Weinberg want to continue pursuing molten salt reactor research and development back in the early 1970s because he realized its potential. The old AEC stupidly pulled the plug on it for another nuclear technology that it later abandonded. LFTR was never revisited afterwards.
        The DOE recently provided funding to Bill Gates TerraPower and to (I believe) the Southern Company for reasearch and development of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactor. Both technologies provide the solution to our plutonium stockpiles because they can use plutonium as a startup input fuel. Gamecock: if you know of a better solution for our plutonium stockpiles, feel free to present it here.

      • ‘Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken here, but it is my understanding that thorium as an input fuel for LFTR is three to four times more abundant in the earth than is uranium.’
        Thorium is not a fuel. It must be bred into uranium.
        Thorium is indeed 3 to 4 times more abundant in the earth’s crust. That doesn’t make uranium rare or expensive. There is no reason not to use uranium. Thorium will become competitive in a few hundred years.

      • Gamecock:
        Okay, thorium is input into MSR’s to breed the uranium fuel rather than being the fuel itself. If you want to get technical, I’ll grant you that.
        “Thorium is indeed 3 to 4 times more abundant in the earth’s crust. That doesn’t make uranium rare or expensive. There is no reason not to use uranium. Thorium will become competitive in a few hundred years.”
        No reason not to use uranium in WHAT nuclear technology? Today’s reactors or 4th generation MSR’s? Thorium as a byproduct of existing mining (coal, rare earths) has NO value at all in today’s market due to lack of demand. How is it that thorium is supposed to take “a few hundred years” to become cost-competitive with uranium when we start using thorium in MSRs? When thorium is 3-4 times more abundant to begin with?
        And there is still the proliferation issue, isn’t there?
        Quote from the above link:
        “Thorium is generally accepted as proliferation resistant compared to U-Pu cycles. The problem with plutonium is that it can be chemically separated from the waste and perhaps used in bombs. It is publicly known that even reactor-grade plutonium can be made into a bomb if done carefully. By avoiding plutonium altogether, thorium cycles are superior in this regard…”
        It is not exactly clear from your comments whether you support or are opposed to MSRs. If it is the latter, you still need to explain to me whether there is a better way to draw down and dispose of our plutonium stockpiles if not with MSRs or other 4th generation nuclear technology.

    • Variable cost of uranium in nuclear generated electricity is less than .75 cent /kwh. Even if thorium were free, which it is not by a long shot, there’s no savings there.
      The Thorium Dream persists. The U.S. gave up on it 30 years ago, even after successfully creating U-233 from thorium at Savannah River and Shippingport. Not because the process was too slow and the yields were crappy, which they were, but because we learned that uranium was not so rare, and could be obtained cheaply.
      ‘China’s LFTR progrogam is well on its way to be commercialized in about 14 years, providing cheap, unlimited, abundant, safe, clean, reliable, efficient and scalable power for millennia…’
      Pure fantasy.

      • Gamecock:
        “Variable cost of uranium in nuclear generated electricity is less than .75 cent /kwh. Even if thorium were free, which it is not by a long shot, there’s no savings there.”
        It is very strange how you envision something like thorium to have any value right now when there is no demand for it. Market demand gives things their value. Please cite a source that shows the current market price for thorium.
        “The U.S. gave up on it 30 years ago, even after successfully creating U-233 from thorium at Savannah River and Shippingport. Not because the process was too slow and the yields were crappy, which they were, but because we learned that uranium was not so rare, and could be obtained cheaply.”
        LFTRs/MSRs breed their own U233 from thorium. It doesn’t need to be bred separately at extra cost at some other generation 1, 2 or 3 reactor and fed into an MSR.
        “Pure fantasy.”
        Alvin Weinberg obviously didn’t think so after the sucessful 4-year molten salt reactor experiment at Oak Ridge back in the late 1960s. He wouldn’t have wanted to continue the research and development if he didn’t think it had potential. What do you know that he didn’t?
        Lastly, you still won’t address the plutonium proliferation issue with regard to the uranium cycle that I brought up in a previous comment. Thus, it is obvious to me that arguing with you any longer is a waste of my time. Whatever the reason for your grudge against MSRs and thorium, it is future research and development that will determine who is right and who is wrong here. Don’t condemn a technology without giving it a fair chance.

      • Gamecock—
        You are terribly misinformed about how LFTRs work.
        Once a base load of U233 is placed in the central core of a LFTR, neutrons from the U233 start a chain reaction of the fertile thorium 231 in the outer core, which coverts the thorium 231 to protactanium 232 and then to U233. The U233 created in the outer core is then chemically removed and cycled back to the central core.
        All that is required to keep a LFTR running is to add very cheap thorium to the outer core, and the process goes on for the life of the LFTR, 24/7.
        With conventional light water reactors (LWRs), the very expensive U235 fuel rod pellets need to be constantly moved around the core and soon replaced and reprocessed after only 5% of the U235 is burned, because the fuel pellets shatter from xenon gas degredation…. It’s an extremely inefficient, wasteful and expensive process. Moreover LWRs require 100 atmospheres of steam pressure to operate, which is just an accident waiting to happen… LFTRs run at just one atmosphere of pressure..

  11. Malcolm Turnbull is defunding the Australian Renewable Agency (ARENA) and replacing it with another fund using money that is part of the existing allocation to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund (CEFC). This is the kind of sleight of hand the Australian Prime Minister apparently learned as the CEO of merchant banker Goldman Sachs Australia.
    Perhaps that makes him a Sub-prime Minister, what with the government guaranteeing finvestments to the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

  12. Turnbull’s an intelligent man. He had a policy of a carbon trading scheme when he was leader of the opposition, and when Tony replaced him in that position, he still spoke of the need for a price on carbon to cost-effectively achieve a cost-effective cut in carbon emissions.
    So his leadership spill was very popular with the public, who were expecting a return to evidence based policy with a little bit of ethics, with which he had become associated. Then the climate research done by CSIRO was gutted. And children born to asylum seekers in compulsory (offshore) detention were returned to detention. And it is still illegal to report on them in a way the humanises them, or suggest that they have been abused.
    And his support rapidly waned. Now he’s put an anti-union bill to the senate for a third time. Because it’s been rejected twice, another rejection will trigger a dissolution of both houses of parliament, and send Australia to the polls. And so he needs the support of the Australian people again. This is a smart move. Nearly 70% of voters support action on climate change, and the leader of the opposition has little of Turnbull’s charisma. The reason the election will be close (if the Senate stick to their guns), is the sense that Malcolm has abandoned what he has stood for in the past.

    • “Seth
      March 22, 2016 at 11:54 pm
      Nearly 70% of voters support action on climate change,…”
      That is blatantly untrue. If it were true then the parties with a policy for action on climate change, other than the LNP direct action plan, would have had a clear win. They didn’t! The voters were given options in 2013, one option was to bin the price on carbon. The party who took that policy to a general election WON, with a significant majority! It’s shameful that Aussie politics ignore democracy in favour of opinion and popularity polls.
      Turnbull is a smart man, but he’s not too interested in democracy. He’s very much interested in supporting his rich buddies at the top end of town.

      • Patrick MJD wrote: If it were true then the parties with a policy for action on climate change, other than the LNP direct action plan, would have had a clear win.
        Climate is not the only discriminator between the parties.

      • “Seth
        March 23, 2016 at 1:02 am”
        You said “Nearly 70% of voters support action on climate change,…” which is blatantly untrue, based on the results of the 2013 election where a coalition party took the binning of a carbon price to an election and won! Remind us again what Gillard said in 2010?

      • Patrick MJD wrote You said “Nearly 70% of voters support action on climate change, …”
        Patrick MJD wrote which is blatantly untrue,
        It may be a little high. The Lowry institute poll in 2015 found a 63% majority say the Government should commit to significant emissions reductions so that other countries will be encouraged to do the same. But those proportions have been trending upwards recently, so nearly 70% by now is probably close.
        Patrick MJD wrote based on the results of the 2013 election where a coalition party took the binning of a carbon price to an election and won!
        I don’t think that climate change was the only issue that people were voting on. I think that there were economic issues, and distrust of the Labour Party after they tipped out the popular and pro-carbon trading scheme Rudd.

      • Seth, you don’t read good. I said one option was to bin the carbon tax that Abbott took to the people in 2013. And they responded with a resounding YES! Get over it Seth.

      • I wanna be PM says Malc years ago
        what party? reporter asked… doesnt matter he responds
        says a LOT about the turncoat whiteant
        and hes NOT got 70% aproval
        just hanging to 51% over Labor
        and thats scary cos Labors pretty toxic
        goldman sux boy and another fawning fool to ohbummer
        makes me wanna puke

      • AndyG55 wrote: The Lowry institute survey stands alongside Zimmerman etc, and Cook et al of the 97% farce.
        I think both are pretty close. What figures do you think are correct?

      • Patrick MJD wrote Seth, you don’t read good. I said one option was to bin the carbon tax that Abbott took to the people in 2013. And they responded with a resounding YES! Get over it Seth.
        Are you claiming that there was a referendum on the carbon tax in Australia in 2013?
        There wasn’t.
        Or are you claiming the election was a one issue election and all Australians who didn’t want a carbon tax or trading scheme, and only Australians who didn’t want a carbon tax or trading scheme voted coalition?
        That’s not true. There were other issues.
        So you have no basis for your claim that Australia responded with a resounding YES! to “bin” the carbon tax. In fact polling shows that most Australians were in favour of a carbon tax. That’s even more so now.

      • Look, it’s Seth and Simon again.
        Wow, did you know that everyone wants a carbon tax because everybody believes in global warming and that the ocean’s are going to boil as soon as the arctic death spiral happens. Oh yeah, and windmills are good cause birds need to die to save the planet. And oil is black and yucky.

    • A price in carbon has been utterly rejected at every election. It is the death knell for a leader. In Australia, every solar farm has gone broke. Windfarms are under immense pressure for their sound waves. South Australia went into wind turbines based on waffle not riffles. Now when the wind does not blow they have to purchase electricity from the neighbouring state at the maximum price. This in a state that blocked the development of one of the biggest uranium mines in the world.
      Flannery of the failed Climate Council tried geothermal energy at great expense to the government. They blew the pipes up.
      Turnbull is trying to differentiate himself from Abbot because of the anger at his whiteanting of Abbot. He has blatantly broken an agreement with his coalition partners. He has alienated his Treasurer by bringing forward the national budget by 1 week without informing the Treasurer.
      He has openly admitted he has blocked his ears to sceptics 9 years ago.
      So we have a disloyal power hungry man trapped in pseudo-science past, dishing out money his Treasurer says we cannot afford. And he wonders why he is regularly heckled by his own party.

      • “Jack
        March 23, 2016 at 12:47 am
        Flannery of the failed Climate Council tried geothermal energy at great expense to the government.”
        He was paid AU$180k for a three day week. He was also on the board of that geothermal energy company that received a grant of AU$90+ mil. Now defunkt, like the de-sal plants!

      • Seth, I am sure Jack means the “climate commission”, y’know that Govn’t sponsored propaganda machine. The Climate Council is a privately funded organisation, after Flannery was, and rightly so, binned by Abbott.

      • “Seth
        March 23, 2016 at 2:20 am
        Jack wrote: Flannery of the failed Climate Council
        They put out four media releases last week.”
        From the first linked article at the link you posted; “Professor Tim Flannery said the burning of coal was directly linked to the devastation of the Great Barrier Reef.”
        An opinion completely void of fact!

      • Jack wrote:A price in carbon has been utterly rejected at every election.
        Not true. Most Australians favour a carbon price.
        Jack wrote:It is the death knell for a leader.
        Neither the overthrow of Rudd nor of Turnbull were popular with the public.
        So if it is, it’s corporate corruption of the political process at work.
        Jack wrote In Australia, every solar farm has gone broke.
        The largest PV farm in the southern hemisphere was fully commissioned in Nyngan in June last year. It is owned by AGL, who are not bust.
        Jack wrote:Windfarms are under immense pressure for their sound waves.
        Really. What form does this immense pressure take?

    • “So his leadership spill was very popular with the public”
      NO IT WASN”T.. certainly NOT with the large majority who voted Liberal at the last election.
      Yes the MSM told the story of Turnbull’s popularity, but that is only among the far-left and the ABC. ie people who would never vote Liberal anyway.
      People that would normally vote Liberal ABSOLUTELY LOATH the back-stabbing, undermining, egotistical twerp !!

      • And this latest $billion WATSE of money will lose the Liberals even more votes, as well as making it very difficult for the Liberals to get any man-power for outside polling booths.
        The usual Liberal followers and helpers are walking away in droves… all because of Turnbull’s actions.

    • seth~ here in Southern Ontario they are putting up thousands of wind turbines, and our electricity prices have jumped 40%. If you believe that is intelligent, I have NO pity for you.

    • Seth,
      Please state one athropogenic climate disaster due to global warming since the start of the industrial period?Not modelling, actual empirical evidence.
      Seth, tell us your thoughts about the MWP and the LIA, I will be fascinated to see how you explain away natural variation with respect to today’s temperatures.
      Seth, in 2013, Tony Abbott took the carbon tax to an election along with illegal immigration and other policies, please explain why the voters elected a man to get rid of the carbon tax if the belief in dangerous global warming was as high as you claim?
      Seth, regarding the your Lowry institute claim, it’s a 50-50 split, not 70% as you claim. The public believes in, either, sustainable cost effective projects to deal with global warming or are not convinced that it’s an issue big enough to spend money on.
      So Seth, you’re making #### up and your thread loses creditability because you can’t stick to the facts and that Seth, is why we skeptics take everything the warmies say, with a grain of salt.

    • I have sighted, but unfortunately couldn’t get a copy, a coal mining company’s map of Queensland. On it there were coal deposits under about half the state. I wonder if there is any misinformation going on here?

  13. Not sure where the map comes from but after working in a mine in Tennant creek I can tell you Uranium can be found from SA all the way up to Darwin ,most Gold and Copper mines have to dig through it to get their preferred ore .
    Malcolm got the flick from the top job years ago for being a greenie and now I hope he gets the shaft again ,he’s only done it because the mad monk is stirring the pot .
    At least the Americans have Cruze and Trump we now have no chance because Labour will reintroduce the carbon tax which proves they haven’t learned the lesson either .
    I’m not positive but I’m sure there are more sceptics than either political party think there is which is why the Carbon tax got dumped in the first place .
    You may get voted in but mess with the wrong climate policy and you will soon learn your mistake .

  14. The real problem is that this goose Turnbull is the unelected leader of the so-called “conservative” party, but he is a rabid far-left Greenie.
    The only other voting option is even further left than this idiot.
    Nevertheless, many once Liberal voters (that’s meant to be centre right) will vote either for the further left ALP or write a big “F*** O** TURNBULL” across their ballot papers next year. (as I will be doing)
    Maybe if the Liberals loose the next election, they will wake up to themselves, dump Turnbull, and start representing more the people who would actually vote for them, but the country will have to endure another 3 years of far-left crap under Labor, just like they would have under Turnbull.

    • He was elected by party members to be leader, and Abbott got shoved sideways. Turnbull was elected in his electorate, so too was Abbott. No-one in Aus votes for a PM, which is a major issue IMO. If we could, then a PM cannot be “chosen” by party members. Turnbull did not go to the Aussie people in 2013 as leader of the LNP coalition, but hi did go to the people in his electorate in 2013. Men behind closed doors chose to bin Abbott, probably along the lines Monckton predicted.

      • It is my fervent hope that Turnbull is NEVER elected PM by the people.
        He usurped the position by undermining TA, and backstabbing like the leftist ideologue he is.

    • I agree and will not be voting for the bludgers now , but in my electorate of Indi the incumbent is an independent with green leanings but the Nats have a candidate who could be worth voting for .

    • wondering how many votes to Nationals would be able to empower them alone w out the alliance?

  15. You’ve got the pictures mixed up….. The picture labeled “OUT” is the new replacement Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, it should read “IN”.
    Tony Abbott was replaced in a spill motion by Turnbull. Abbott is just a back bencher in the House of Representatives with no Ministerial Port Folio now.

  16. A sad day for Australian taxpayers, if it is to be more investment in Solar and Wind, both of which have proved to be uneconomic, and can never achieve what their promoters claim.
    Australia could have led the world in Nuclear development from mining to waste disposal, but the Green fear movement prevented that. Now it has an opportunity to get with the developments in Fusion and get back in the game as a leader and manager of the industry. So place the money there.
    Or, if the Greens will not them do that then at least let us spend taxpayers money on something that is going to benefit mankind by dealing with the greatest threat today – that of the urgent need for new antibiotics. The world is facing far more deaths from the growing resistance of bacteria to knit-biotics than it will ever face from any climate change, except, perhaps sever cooling.
    Malcom – GET with it you and place the money on potential winners, not losers.

  17. For Australians looking for a way to get back a sane government:
    If you’re sick of having no alternatives (voting for insane environment policies whether you tick Labor, Lib, or Green), scared to register a protest vote against the Libs because Labor would be worse, here’s the plan that will win, if we publicise it widely:
    Pick the three WORST Lib politicians. I nominate:
    Malcolm Turnbull (electorate Wentworth) for obvious reasons,
    Julie Bishop (Curtin) for her lack of good character and betrayal, and
    Greg Hunt (Flinders) for betraying the environment, wildlife, and the poor by his slavish submission to the global warming mantra, and his refusal to allow a real investigation into the obvious scientific corruption in the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
    Now, IF and ONLY IF you live in one of their electorates (Wentworth, Curtin, Flinders) VOTE LABOR. If you live anywhere else, vote Liberal or National.
    If the gov’t falls for the loss of three electorates, too bad – there has to be some risk because no other option gets us anything. But most likely, either we get rid of the three worst members or their swing is noticeably worse than the rest of the government. Either way we will send a real message and get a chance of changing policy back to something resembling sanity.
    Spread this plan far and wide.

  18. Turnbull has just shown that he hasn’t learned a single thing from his term as leader of the opposition. A billion dollars just to buy a few green votes… crazy.

    • And the Greens are still complaining because he’s merging ARENA with the CEFC so they see it as taking from one hand to give to the other

    • And remember too, Turnbull has no MANDATE from the Australian tax payers to spend $1Billion of our money.

  19. “We are promoting innovation and new economic opportunities, enhancing our productivity, protecting our environment and reducing emissions to tackle climate change,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.

    Wow, five blatant lies in one statement. Impressive.

  20. By subsidizing renewable energy, they are stifling innovation and ultimately killing it.
    This is nothing more than crony capitalist welfare.

    • It’s not even capitalist welfare – capitalists want nothing to do with this non-innovative technology.
      Wind power is 2000 years old and was killed by motor driven power.

  21. In 2011, Tim Flannery told Andrew Bolt on 2GB that, if ALL carbon dioxide emissions could be stopped, it would take hundreds of years, maybe a thousand, before there’d be any measurable change in the Earth’s temperature.
    Another billion dollars down the gurgler. Thanks a billion, Mal.

    • Brian Wilshire wrote: In 2011, Tim Flannery told Andrew Bolt on 2GB that, if ALL carbon dioxide emissions could be stopped, it would take hundreds of years, maybe a thousand, before there’d be any measurable change in the Earth’s temperature.
      He said that temperatures wouldn’t drop for that long. The point he made is that if we don’t cut emissions, temperatures will continue to rise.
      So it’s not quite correct to say there wouldn’t be a measureable change. There’d be a measurable change from the warming we are seeing now to a remaining at the steady state temperature that corresponds to the atmospheric CO2 concentration at the time we stop emitting CO2.

  22. Just once, wouldn’t you like to hear some politician, any politician, address his constituents and
    say that renewable technologies wind and solar are unreliable and expensive means of producing too little power, and require enormous environmental footprints to boot. We now are in sight of a new generation of nuclear reactors (molten salt) that not only eliminate any and all fears people now have (no matter how ungrounded) of nuclear power, but can also provide cheaper power than any other power technology in existence, and can essentially burn up nuclear wastes, rendering them low radiactive , easilly stored and returning to harmless background radiation levels in just a few generation. These reactors extract 40 times more power from uranium than current technologies, which means 1) fuel costs are insignificant,
    2) uranium can be extracted from seawater and still provide essentially free fuel (which will never be exhausted). This reactor technology is being developped by three major players and is just around the corner, which is easily soon enough to lower carbon emissions and eliminate any global warming those emissions might be responsible for, and produce clean, clean power. Cleaner than solar panels, cleaner than wind.
    Any bets on when such a politician might arise?

  23. Payment to the greens for supporting the electoral changes designed to rid parliament of those pesky cross-benchers. Carbon trading (GST on everything), here we come!

  24. “The Prime Minister says clean energy is a vital part of his plan to boost innovation and create jobs”
    Moving production of anything from an efficient process to an inefficient process does not make people better off!!!
    How can you become leader of a country and not understand such basic economics?! By the same logic Australia should ban heavy equipment and let all earth movement be done with humans and shovels, after all, won’t that create jobs?
    Nothing good can come from a leader with an elementary school understanding of the world.

  25. Let’s cut to the chase here. Rooftop solar is for populist vote buying, solar CSP is totally uncompetitive and largely limited to deluded leaders or dirty deals, and utility scale PV is the winner except for misdirected leaders and policies. Those misdirected policies include local content rules like Ontario and India, auction programs favoring smaller scale projects with uncompetitive players, and more nutty “demonstration” projects of large scale. We still live in a two-track world of renewables, competitive players driving ahead and the rest playing lobbyist games with politicians.

    • Resourceguy wrote:Rooftop solar is for populist vote buying
      Rooftop solar has a lot of efficiencies because there’s no transmission lines, there’s no substations and there’s no transmission loss.
      It’s economic on small scales because the generation at the home where its used. There’s sufficient reason to encourage it.
      Resourceguy wrote:solar CSP is totally uncompetitive and largely limited to deluded leaders or dirty deals, and utility scale PV is the winner except for misdirected leaders and policies.
      CSP is interesting because because it’s easy to implement thermal storage for a CSP plant.

      • Also, private homes do not generally have critical systems, which makes renewable drivers a viable option. The key is to avoid offering incentives that induce misalignments.

      • Rooftop is not competitive for the high labor costs, variable quality and competitiveness of the players, and mark up prices on the panels and other components compared to the economies of scale in best of breed utility scale solar. CSP is not interesting except for those proponents and policy makers stuck about 10 or 15 years out of date and still thinking in demonstration terms.

      • Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where a LCOE direct comparison of the technologies and applications within renewable segments is possible and there are plenty of special interests that would not like the comparisons if they were available for all to see.

  26. At the rate at which China is buying Australia, it will soon enough be an oblast of China and it won’t matter what the local leadership thinks. (google “china buying australia”)

  27. Thinking about why Australia has lost its unique ‘in your face’ self reliant character, it occurred to me that I saw a similar change in a milder form of Canadian character about 20 years ago. The ‘colonies’ always had a bit of an inferiority complex vis a vis mother Great Britain. Canada sort of got over this and Harper even outraged Europe when he admonished them for their fiscal and banking polices at the G8 a few years ago. He had the temerity to tell them what they HAD to do to save their economies and there was much huffing and puffing in their media!! (Although Canadian lefties, of course, as everywhere, continued singing from the UN-EU songbook on new world order matters).
    I think as Ozzie ‘elites’ grew in number, their embarrassment over the naughty folksy Crocodile Dundee image of Australians in the world demanded a campaign to please and join forces with former ever so sophisticated colonial masters to bathe in their glow. The CO2 political sleight of hand provided an excellent pathway to achieve this ‘upgrade’, but, like the nouveau riche, Ozzies went at it with such gusto that they ended up with a caricature of their status – Dundee in a bowler hat. I haven’t done a survey, but from all the climate stuff that came from and keeps coming from there suggests possibly the world’s largest center of global warming action, unabated even though its started to cool off in UK and elsewhere in the EU. Com’on you blokes and shielas, give up this ruinous syndrome. We loved you and envied you the old way.

  28. Let me get this straight Australia, you have so much natural gas that massive LNG projects are purely based on getting it out of the country. Are you saying you cannot figure out how to use combined cycle gas plants as backup to a grid run with utility scale solar PV during the peak demand hours of the day? That’s dumb. It does not take “emerging technologies” to figure this out!

      • They certainly could for a good while with the right number of pipelines and PPAs with utilities in place. Otherwise there would be commodity price swings in the PPA contract span that carry a cost to mitigate.

      • Gary – right on.
        I just talked to a friend in Waterloo who has $20,000 worth of newly installed panels on his roof. He is being paid CDN$0.345 per kWh, about 11 times the cost of baseline power from Pickering. 20 year contract.
        I told him that when I am made Premier of Ontario I will do what the Spanish did: cancel all the contracts, force owners to remain connected to the network and hand them a bill for the full cost of the panels. Even then we will, like Spain, be left holding a multi-billion $ bag of debt, 29 bn Euros in their case, with no way to repay it.
        Plus it cost them 2.2 regular jobs per ‘green job’. (Has that figure been updated in the past three years?)
        Further, we still have to pay more than a billion $ for each of the three natural gas plant to take up the slack. They will have a duty cycle of not less than 50% (otherwise known as ‘night’) and its costs per kWh could be reduced by simply not connecting the PV panels to the network. We are not short of gas – it is burned to get rid of it in BC.
        The PV panel manufacturers are losing money (dumping), the windmill companies are losing money (bearings and maintenance), consumers are losing money (huge subsidies), and jobs (‘green economy’ is mouldering) so the only winners are the banks. Quelle surprise.

  29. I also think a renewable government, like what is on the verge of happening in the USA, is what is really needed in Australis for economic recovery, innovation and restoration of a once vibrant country. Also, I hope UK is not too subverted, fearful and tired to pull themselves out of the EU in April. Instilling fear of bold steps is the main policy of the lefty and EU, tools used to control outbreaks of sanity and freedom. They’ve pulled out most of the Lion’s teeth, but not all, I hope. Probably the terror in Brussels will give the Brexit vote a little more strength. Maybe lefties in UK are fed up enough, too.

  30. Abbott is now recycled, “advising” Kiev’s gang… While Turnbull is implementing NATO’s China containment plans…

  31. From the link to “$30 billion bankruptcy”
    “WELL this is awkward.
    “A renewable energy company personally picked by US President Barack Obama is on the verge of collapse, potentially leaving international banks on the hook for around $29.6 billion.”
    Yes, awkward that a company now ‘too big to fail’ is, and was always, economically unviable. Imagine, if they had poured that much money into education and training, support to commercial banks for lowering the cost of start-up funding, how much further they could have moved their nation for that kind of moolah.
    I guess some other country will have to fill in the breach and move their economy ahead of the others. Maybe India or China is willing to accept the position. Someone has to lead. To lead you have to be willing to do what is needed and necessary. Throwing trunkloads of money at grasping green boondoggles is neither needed nor necessary.

  32. Port Augusta had a perfectly good power station until recently, fully paid for, and with a nearby source of fuel, and a trained workforce. Now South Australia relies on green temples, whose arms rotate from time to time, with backup (for now) from the grown-ups in Victoria with their brown coal burners.

    • Yes, climanrecon. PR try-on: “ … SA is already the leading Australian state in non-hydro renewable energy, with about 40 per cent of annual electricity consumption now coming from wind and sunshine. … Our calculations show that SA does not need any base-load power stations, such as coal or nuclear.”
      Inconvenient truth: Yet, contrary to Diesendorf’s claim, without the large fossil-fuelled gas plant at Torrens Island, SA would be in a permanent state of electricity crisis, characterised by high cost and unreliability of local supply. [ ].

  33. American readers will be pleased that it is not one billion of their dollars that are being wasted on rapidly bankrupting green ‘renewable’ energy projects…they have enough problems in California. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull loves to waste money on trinkets as it ingratiates him with his socialist cronies. As former Liberal treasurer Joe Hockey said, the CEFC is a “giant $10 billion slush fund”.
    This is all hard to change, however, since, as Mark Twain said: “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”

  34. The question, as usual is: Can this particular national economy withstand expenditures made on technologies which require such immense public fiscal support to be profitable?

  35. In America we call it stimulus spending to nowhere. Got any potholes? We do too, but they make a great sales gimmick at the podium.

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