Green Craziness: Deepening Aussie Energy Crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A combination of green inspired state moratoria on gas exploration, coupled with growing gas export capacity, and politically motivated closures of coal plants, has created a looming shortfall in Australian energy supply.

Energy shortages in 2018-19 without national reform, market operator warns

Australian Energy Market Operator predicts shortfalls in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia ‘if we do nothing’

The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that Australia is facing energy shortages if governments do not carry out national planning as exports continue to dominate the country’s gas supply.

The Aemo report predicts New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia will be impacted from the summer of 2018-19 and warns that the tightening of the domestic gas market will have flow-on effects to the electricity sector unless there is an increase in gas supplies and development.

It also warns that rising gas and electricity prices could threaten the financial viability of commercial and industrial businesses. The report found that even new supply – with rising gas production costs – was unlikely to provide much relief and could still lead to business closures.

“If we do nothing, we’re going to see shortfalls in gas, we’re going to see shortfalls in electricity,” Aemo’s chief operating officer, Mike Cleary, told the ABC.

Read more:

The following is the statement by the Federal Government run Australian Energy Market Operator;

March 09, 2017 – 8:00 AM

A projected decline in gas production could result in a shortfall of gas-powered electricity generation (GPG) impacting New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia from the summer of 2018-19, according to information provided in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO).

The GSOO report, intended to assess the adequacy of gas infrastructure, reserves and resources to meet demand in eastern and south-eastern Australia to 2036, outlines that gas producers have forecast annual production to decline by 122 PJ, from 600 PJ in 2017 to 478 PJ in 2021. Based on this information, AEMO advises additional production will be required to meet the needs for GPG and residential, commercial and industrial gas consumers.

“At a time when LNG export is dominating demand and supply of gas in eastern states, strategic national planning of gas development has never been more critical for maintaining domestic energy supply adequacy across both gas and electricity sectors,” said AEMO Chief Operating Officer Mike Cleary.

This tightening of the domestic gas market will have flow-on effects to the electricity sector unless there is an increase in gas supplies and development. Without this development to support GPG, modelling suggests average electricity supply shortfalls of between approximately 80 gigawatt hours (GWh) and 363 GWh may be experienced in 2018–19 and 2020–21. The scale of these shortfalls would breach the reliability standard which aims to supply at least 99.998% of electricity demand.

Alternatively, if GPG gas requirements are supplied, then gas shortfalls of between 10 petajoules per annum (PJ/a) and 54 PJ/a are projected in the residential, commercial, and/or industrial sectors from 2019 to 2024 in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

“The 2017 GSOO highlights the increasing interdependencies between gas and electricity, and supply and demand, and the need for the Australian energy industry to have a holistic “single energy view” to ensure long-term planning is carried out in the interests of consumers.

“Gas and electricity markets can no longer be viewed in isolation, as the overall convergence of energy markets in eastern and south-eastern Australia demands a single energy view from a national perspective. It requires holistic planning across the entire supply chain to enable investment decisions to be made in the long-term interests of consumers,” said Mr Cleary.

In the short term, AEMO has identified a range of potential industry responses that could mitigate both electricity and gas supply shortfalls, however notes that these responses rely on appropriate market signals, and may be impacted by considerations such as the retirement of coal-fired generators, and the direction of energy policy such as the existing moratoria on various gas developments across eastern Australia.

Energy supply shortfalls could be mitigated in the short term by an increase in coal-fired generation and renewable energy output, combined with an uptake in technologies such as battery storage, together with increased gas production and the possibility of LNG exporters redirecting a small portion of their gas production to the domestic market,” said Mr Cleary.

“Gas producers have told us that there is potential scope to increase production from existing fields if incentivised, although the size of the increase is unknown and new fields may also need to be developed to meet projected demand,” said Mr Cleary.

The long-term outlook identifies that early investment in exploration and development programs will be needed to bring uncertain and undiscovered resources to market in time to meet forecast increases in demand for gas. Up to 5500 PJ of additional production will need to be developed to meet projected demand post 2030, although AEMO acknowledges that climate change policy, and emerging new technologies will influence future demand for GPG and the energy supply mix.

The 2017 GSOO uses demand forecast scenarios from the 2016 National Gas Forecast Report and forecasts production based on producer guidance, wholesale gas contract information, historical actuals from AEMO’s Gas Bulletin Board and other publically available information. The report is based on information available to AEMO as at 31 December 2016.

“We engage thoroughly with a broad range of gas stakeholders to achieve the highest quality input and accuracy, and we welcome the opportunity to continue to work with industry and government policy makers to maintain electricity and gas system security in a period of transition,” said Mr Cleary.

The Victorian Gas Planning Report was also released today and provides annual supply (available and prospective gas) and consumption forecasts for Victoria for the next five years. The report projects potential gas supply shortfalls for Victoria over the next five years should market participants not carefully manage their gas portfolio, including storage balances. It has identified challenges in filling storage as a threat to system security.


This disaster is self inflicted. Australian has vast gas resources, but hostile green influenced politicians have put obstacles in the way of exploiting them. At the same time, Australia has developed export capacity, which allows gas producers to sell what gas they have at international prices, bypassing marginal prices on the domestic market.

Those same green influenced politicians are pouring money into useless renewables, and closing coal plants.

I guess its time to upgrade the emergency household generator.


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Patrick MJD

It’s funny how Turncoat (Turnbull), an avid climate change and carbon tax/ETS supporter, says we have an energy crisis that he and his like created? Well done Turncoat, now is your chance to stay PM and win the next election. Falter, you are gone!


Trumble is the correct name. please get it right. Direct from POTUS.


No its Malcolm Greaseball!
It was Spicer who called him that, not Trump.


Just had to post this about the Cash for Ash scandal
1.22 mins


What you are seeing is the transfer from the so called first word (=1) economy to the third world (=3) economy.

At this stage of the transfer I estimate that the first world is now at 1.5 to 1.75, and the third world is not at 2.5 to 2.25.

However this could gain momentum due to the entrenched irrational policies of the various western fearless centerist leaders of the leading economies, and their ties to the banking system etc. Then you should also consider the fitness, willingness and incentive of the population’s of each of these economical groups to act. i.e. get off there fat bottoms and raise a sweat, or engage in logical thinking. However, the west (first world)” has both hands full, one holding a beer and the other a hamburger. This will complicate things further, as they will ponder which hand to free up to hold the hand held device.

So unless things change quickly, expect both groups to be at 2nd world status before too long, with momentum for both groups increasing.

I offer this as a light hearted view on the progress made so far. Keep smiling. Is it sarcasm or is it reality ?

Have a wonderfull day

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia



There’s no problem at all: solar and wind installations, plus battery storage and a large pumped storage scheme will see 2017 as a record year for Australian renewables…


You forgot the unicorn farts.

Patrick MJD

You don’t live here Griff to see what is happening at the coalface, you have no idea what you are talking about, as usual. The basket case that is South Australia and recent outages has politicians running scared, especially with Pauline Hanson, a Trump card, people have had enough of elitist claptrap from the career politicians like Turncoat and green policies and alarmists like you.

The shutdown of The Climate Institute here is a clear indicator of that.


There’s no problem at all

The usual Grauniad hubris…

Griff, you forgot the sarc tag. “Battery storage”, the joke of the century. Have you ever heard of energy density? PS: battery storage and pumped storage waste energy rather then generate it.


“Have you ever heard of energy density?”

Griff is totally dense. !!

It is all he knows.. how to be dense.


The one minor problem with batteries is you have to have electricity to put into them in the first place.

Bryan A

Where would I find Griffite on the periodic table? Before or after Unubtanium?

I think Griffite comes right after Osmium, making it the densest non-radioactive metal on the Periodic table.

D. J. Hawkins

@Bryan A
For density, it would be somewhere above Neutronium, which has a theoretical density of about a billion tonnes/cm³

Wayne Delbeke

There is an advertisement with a YUGE double entendre appeared at the top of this post (at least for me – Google spies are everywhere).

“Lithium is set to explode.” (pushing investment in Lithium, but with all the battery explosions lately the headline was good for a chuckle.)

Who wants to be first to fill their garage with exlosives?

I stick with my automated propane gen set thanks.


Leo Smith


Griff, you really are a card and a comedian.


Griff reporting live from Head-in-Sand Land.




solar and wind installations, plus battery storage and a large pumped storage scheme will see 2017 as a record year for Australian renewables…

Actually, I take it back, Griff. Renewables will be hunky dory.

The renewable tax-payer-funded trough will be full, even overflowing! The problem will be those who want power.


Griff declared a couple of weeks ago that the problem in S. Australia was not a lack of power, it was that the consumers wanted more power than the renewables were able to produce.
The solution therefore is to train people to be happy with whatever the government decides to give them.

The solution therefore is to train people to be happy with whatever the government decides to give them.

Sounds like the old USSR, NK, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. Very socialist of Griff.


“Sounds like the old USSR, NK, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.”

Be fair. The old Commies used to promote the wonders of electrification and industrialization and how they would provide a better standard of living than Evil Proletarian-Exploiting Capitalism.

It’s the new Commies who promote the wonders of de-electrification and de-industrialization, because their predecessors proved so well that there’s no way Communism can provide a better standard of living than Evil Proletariat-Exploiting Capitalism. A better standard of living is now a bad thing.


The old commies found out that communism can’t produce material prosperity for the masses, so they had to change their spiel to one that no longer included material prosperity.

Robert from oz

The only record for 2017 will be power outages caused by solar , wind , pumped hydro and battery storage .
There fixed it for you .

I didn’t see your name, I just read your comment – I thought you were being humorous.
Then, I read comments to your comment and realized it was Griff – the one that eschews reality.

Kalifornia Kook

Same for me. I was irritated that folks didn’t recognize obvious sarcasm. Then I remembered a couple of days ago he was expounding a similar lunacy.


But so-called “renewables”, even in record installations, won’t cover the gap.
If I recall correctly you work in some sort of financial institution. If you are involved in actually measuring and analyzing things it is not possible you could sincerely say there “is no problem at all.”


comment image
Where are you going to put pumped storage? Australia is as flat as a [pruned] except for the Great Dividing Range and most of that is protected
According to this they are considering Yorke Peninsular as a possible site but it doesn’t look promising,+SA,+Australia/@-34.6913608,137.2235986,154895m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x6ab1d50ebff66e97:0xa8a7843628b91478!8m2!3d-34.6793542!4d137.6849007


Griff considers itself to be the idea person. It’s up to the peons to figure out how to make the ideas work.


Don’t get me wrong, I love Australia but anyone who hasn’t been there doesn’t appreciate how mind-numbingly monotonously boringly flat it is. Even the smallest hill, mound, rise, hummock or ridge is signposted from hundreds of miles away. Even the bit in the middle of the map that shows 1km elevation takes hundreds and hundreds of miles to get there over a completely flat landscape.


I found this tool
You put in the start and destination and click the big red button in the middle. You can alter the interval and distance between views.
Put in Darwin and Adelaide, click settings and crank up the Step to 1km and the Interval to 1000 and give it a whirl. You can use the slider to move along the route.
Better still, put in Port Wakefield and Marion Bay and see if you can find a place to put pumped storage on the Yorke Peninsular.

Mythology. Hydro does not need ideal extreme large elevation differences just a good flow height. A few bulldozers can solve the supposed flat land problem enough to make use of the large empty areas. I can see Griff’s idea backfire and work at the same time. Supplemented by rainfall to cover storage losses, it can store coal fired power at low demand times. This keeping the coal plants running at peak efficiency loads while the erratic wind and solar are left with no market after long periods of no sun or wind forces the storage to use coal power.

Phil R


I had not seen that before. Now, that’s cool!


Thanks Phil

Siliggy “Mythology. Hydro does not need ideal extreme large elevation differences just a good flow height”
If you don’t build it big enough you just end up with 2 expensive evaporation pools or in the case of Yorke and you use sea water, a big salt pan.

“If you don’t build it big enough you just end up with 2 expensive evaporation pools,…”
True but. The energy some of these big flood plains could deliver during a large flood event could be all used up quickly (avoiding evaporation). The energy being used to pump fill dams all over the country that do not suffer this problem but do not have large catchment or were just not in the rainfall area. Long term storage of a short term event with flood mitigation as a side benefit. I see this as a way to irrigate the country and kill off the climate scam caused energy crisis in one hit.


You mean like lake Eyre near Adelaide?×3-940×705.jpg
Most of the time the lake is dry (it has only filled to capacity three times in the past 150 years) but about every eight years it receives a significant amount of water.

How can you get energy out of that? It’s FLAT and always empty.

NW sage

The solution to pumped storage in OZ is obvious – pump it to New Zealand! Lots of mountains there. The map shows it’s very close too (sarc for Griff and those who need help)


Good idea Sage,
Get the diggers from Coober Pedy to build the tunnel. They can build miles of tunnel in no time. Any spare water could be used to green the outback.
Better still, get them to build 2 tunnels to Antarctica. One to blow all the hot air from Coober Pedy to melt the ice and the other to return all the fresh water and Coober Pedy. Would become the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. You could use all the energy generated from lake Eyre to power it.

John M. Ware

Where to put pumped storage? New Guinea! They’ll never know . . .

Always a good giggle being told about my country from over there.
Adelaide is about the same distance from Lake Eyre as Baltimore is from Montreal.
While I was not thinking of lake Eyre being a boy from the Lachlan (all these triangles will do ). It would make a good lower reservoir being 15 Metres below sea level. Rather than diggers from Coober Pedy we need another C.Y. O’Connor.
He built a 22 million litre per day pipeline five hundred and thirty kilometers long a hundred and fifteen years ago during the Federation drought (before it all got “too hard”).
Seems like only more advanced countries can do these things now

Just noticed that video claimed “All of Africa”. Er no. This may have been a better video.


“Always a good giggle being told about my country from over there.”
Where is over there? I’ve probably seen more of Australia than you have.

“Adelaide is about the same distance from Lake Eyre as Baltimore is from Montreal.”
OK Frome, Torrens or Gairdner take your pick. All FLAT and no rain
Maximum depth during last rainfall in 2008 1.5 metres

Is C.Y. O’Connor related to William Mulholland who built the Los Angeles Aqueduct similar length at a similar date?

B.T.W maybe you can find out how much power is used in the 20-40 pumping stations of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme


Some of the dams on the Columbia river look to be only about 15 to 20 feet high, but have generators attached.


This one is 16ftcomment image
Shoshone Falls Dam is located directly upstream from the falls and diverts water to the Shoshone hydroelectric plant That building left of centre.
This one is 38ft not sure it generates power

Totally different topography to anything in FLAT South Australia.

The rest seem to be over 30m/100ft

“B.T.W maybe you can find out how much power is used in the 20-40 pumping stations of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme”
Why not get right to the punch line and calculate how much energy is required to make water find its own level? The amount of energy used by a siphon may be useful too.
This bearing in mind that I suggested systems within the triangles linked to above and Lake Eyre was your idea.


The biggest problem is in South Austalia
I provided a link where they said a site at Yorke Peninsular was being investigated

You replied

Hydro does not need ideal extreme large elevation differences just a good flow height. A few bulldozers can solve the supposed flat land problem enough to make use of the large empty areas.

The energy some of these big flood plains could deliver during a large flood event could be all used up quickly

I sked how you get energy out of flat plains with rain only every 8 years
You told me to look at triangles in this image
I see no triangles. I guess you meant circles. You mention C.Y. O’Connor and I presume Goldfields Water Supply Scheme where 30-40 pumping stations are use to pump water 500km. Then ramble on about Gaddafi.
Are you suggesting pumping water from Adelaide to the east coast?

Then post a video of water finding its own level.

What are you going on about? Do you even know what pumped storage is?

“I see no triangles” Ah that would make it harder to understand what I was on about.
Unfortunately that BoM link leads to more than one image.
Please click on “river conditions” to see triangles.
This one from W.A. shows two minor flood events right now. Rarely will you find none on the full Australian map.
So many interconnected small systems suplemented by flood events and normal rainfall to make up for losses.

While you chose Lake Eyre not me it would be at a lower elevation than the triangles so a system on a national scale could take water from all of these places during floods and park it just higher than a most often empty lake ready to flow in on demand of energy.
Systems a simple as this below are all it takes to generate. More altitude does mean more energy but if it is abundant why worry? The water removed from flood events could be pumped back up 2.5M from the lower lake when ever the upper level is getting down a bit.
” It produces between 12 and 30kWh of power per day from the 2.5m head.”
I think a system like this would power and fill itself and not really need to be pumped often thus contributing more than just peak load assistance.

How hard is it to imagine a wall about 5 Meters high and fifty or so kilometers long around or across part of lake Eyre? How hard is it to imaging long pipes leading into it from flood prone places? How hard would it be to install many wheels like the one above? Then big pump or two. Where is the problem?


Well your map just shows how dry Australia is. Even the one with the triangles that shows “flooding”.
From your link – Minor Flood

Causes inconvenience. Low-lying areas next to water courses are inundated. Minor roads may be closed and low-level bridges submerged. In urban areas inundation may affect some backyards and buildings below the floor level as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths. In rural areas removal of stock and equipment may be required.

THREE rivers are in full flow. For a whole continent.
Most of the places where it is raining are under 9mm per day. 95% of the continent is as dry as a dead dingo’s donger

Your waterwheel probably has a flow of 10litres/sec, if that, so is generating generously about 294 watts
Even if you had 1000 (if you can find 1000 rivers) you wouldn’t be getting a megawatt out of them all
Then you would have to dam those 1000 rivers (good luck getting environmentalists to agree to that)

Or you want to build pipelines all over the continent to get the water to South Australia. You would be better off sending your few lightbulbs worth of lekky on cables if you didn’t lose so much in transmission.

If you could get 6.24 billion cubic metres of water for your tank to SA it would evaporate pretty sharpish


‘…as dry as a dead dingo’s donger..’ LOL Thank You for that unique colloquial phrase.

Lets do that calculation again shall we Eric. Would not want to miss a chance at depriving criminal banksters and foreign tyrants of carbon loot. So assuming half a meter of water held in the dam above the 2.5 minimum head. As per the instructions here.
Thats 50000 Meters of wall x 0.5 Giving a flow cross section area of 25000 meters squared of moving water.
That should drop 2.5M at 9.81 M/s/s (Lets just give one second of fall because RPM is an unknown). As per the instructions.
So to estimate 25000 Water x 2.5 head x 9.81 is 613.125 MW.
Now assuming an efficiency of 70% that gives us about 429 MW.
If the wall managed to separate off an area 1/4 the sise of the lake, It should take more than a day to die away.

Ooops we forgot a lot of power. Those long pipes would develop a nasty amount of water hammer if we do not put a wheel in for every 2.5 meter drop on the way down to our below sea level lake.
Oh and some parts up North have only had 1200MM of rain over the last three months (3 meters over the last year). The roos are evolving snorkles.


The problem is that the high rain areas are all around the edge. To the East you would have to pump that water over the Divide and to the North you would have to pump it over the Tablelands and to the West over the Macdonnell Ranges. That is if you can get the other states to give up their water to send to SA.
The evaporation rate is about 4 metres per year in that area so you would have to pump that water every year.
A better idea would be to build a short pipe from the sea at Port Augusta to Lake Eyre et al and use that water to turn a turbine, then let the water evaporate. The evaporation would be an advantage instead of a liability. And you would have salt for your crisps.

Now you are talking Eric. That is elegant in simplicity. Also could kill less Indians than John Wayne’s Husler Note 787 pocket liner( The recycler’s cycle life countdown device). Not that I agree it would be hard to negotiate damaging flood water acquisition or pump it over the odd hill using energy generated by more of the same water diverted down in the natural direction by the flood mitigation installed in the same exercise.


Through in enough magic tech, and costs be d@mned, and all problems can be solved.


With the help of Telboy’s copyrighted unicorn farts (above).
And a following breeze.

Mods – /Sarc.
I expect you guessed – “following breeze” is a give-away, no?


did you forget the part about FIVE huge black outs,damaging the economy of 1/3 of Australia?

Here is a post from JO Nova who LIVES there:

SA Blackout: a grid crippled by complexity

“South Australia suffered it’s fifth blackout in five months last week. The AEMO report on that incident came out today. There are lots of faults, errors and small problems, and one overriding theme — it’s too complex:

AEMO (Grid market managers) thought they’d have more wind power. It fell to only 2% of “total output.”

There was a computer glitch which “load shed” more people than necessary. Oops. SA Power Network apologized today.

Demand was higher than expected.

The gas plant generators at Port Lincoln were ““not available due to a communications system problem”. (Whatever that means.) That was 73MW out of action.

One turbine at Torrens Gas plant was out for maintenance (120MW gone). Another was running 50MW low because of the heat. (Seriously, these machines operate at hundreds of degrees and work at 35C but not so well at 42C? (Or whatever it was). Color me skeptical. Perhaps some grid engineers can comment and tell us if this is normal?

So in a modern renewable grid we have variations in supply and demand that are of the order of the average grid load and at the whim of The Wind. What could possibly go wrong?”

Comment by Tony from Oz:

“Five blackouts in five Months ….. in South Australia, and it has nothing to do with Wind Power?????


Name me any other State in Australia which has had five blackouts on this scale.

And South Australia only consumes 6.5% of the total Australian power, and they can’t even keep that small percentage on line.

Even right now, wind in South Australia is only managing 250MW or a Capacity Factor of 15.6% Thank heavens everyone in South Aus is tucked up tight in bed, eh!

Between 9AM and 10.30AM this morning (Thursday 16Feb) the total wind power generation from 18 Wind Plants with a Nameplate of 1600MW and around 800 plus individual wind towers was, well, it was so close to zero, it was barely discernible from zero. Less than five towers with their blades turning.

How can you operate a grid effectively if you have no idea when wind will or will not be supplying power?

And this problem in South Australia has nothing to do with wind power.

Don’t make me laugh!


another one two comments later here,much longer in much more detail:


these machines operate at hundreds of degrees and work at 35C but not so well at 42C?

The problem is at the air inlet: warmer air is less dense, thus for the same compression factor in the compressor part, less air at a lower pressure can be used to burn the fuel. That makes that the burned air in the turbine part has again a lower pressure than nominal with as result less power production…

We had a nominal 24 MW “small” gas turbine at work, which was used to drive all equipment (and a steam generator with the off-gases for heating) except the chlorine electrolyses (at 132 MW). In a hot summer that had the same problem.


Compare South Australia with NZ, its long and narrow astride the prevailing winds, so highly suitable for wind generation. But they have extensive hydro generation as well, which only gives problems during longer dry periods. No only does the hydro work with the wind to maintain grid frequency but Ive found at night when demand drops but wind continues, the hydro is dialed back to maintain volume in the dams and wind can easily fill the gap.


“…One turbine at Torrens Gas plant was out for maintenance (120MW gone). Another was running 50MW low because of the heat. (Seriously, these machines operate at hundreds of degrees and work at 35C but not so well at 42C? (Or whatever it was). Color me skeptical. Perhaps some grid engineers can comment and tell us if this is normal?…”

Yes, pretty normal. The problem is not the machine overheating, the problem is that the combustion air is less dense at the higher temperatures so less mass flow physically flows through the machine. The machine runs just fine, but does not produce its nameplate power.

You missed this BOLDED heading of a quote:

“Energy shortages in 2018-19 without national reform, market operator warns”

It goes on to explain why this is in the forecast.

How did you miss it,Griff?

feed berple

Too much wacky tobacky griff.

Pull your head out from where the sun doesn’t shine. You are hurting your back.


rectal cranial inversion

Phil R


rectal cranial inversion

To make it sound all sciency, you have to compound your words:

recto-cranial inversion (or rectocranial).

Phil R

Dang html.

rectal cranial inversion

To make it sound all sciency, you have to compound your words:

recto-cranial inversion (or rectocranial).


Mark your diaries, folks – No blackouts in or grid problems in Australia in 2017. Good to know! Businesses there can plan with full confidence.

Pat Frank

The deaths and suffering from fuel poverty be on your head, Griff.


A record year for renewables means nothing except it was higher than a previous year.

The fact that some people think it means more than that as basis for defining a “problem” or “no problem” shows that those people are a complete waste of oxygen.

(although I suppose it could be argued that the conversion of O2 to CO2 is beneficial; so not a complete waste of oxygen … just a very low return on investment. Maybe that’s why they have such an affinity for the green schemes)


“will see 2017 as a record year for Australian renewables”

A better goal would be to provide Australians with power.

Leonard Lane

Griff, you forgot to include reality in your assumptions and calculations.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

Those things are not going to power large 1st world cities. You would have to be loony to think they could.

Eric did say green craziness.

Yep!! Batteries are the answer! Roughly speaking, a new Tesla battery is around 14Kwh, and costs 10k to buy and install. So if the grid goes down, you get maybe 24 hrs of normal use, or more if you ration it! What I am really seeing here, is that the onus for power gen, is being placed more and more on the end user! We are paying more for an ever failing and increasingly expensive product/service, and then expected to pick up the tab to makeup the shortfall! Something is very wrong with this picture!

Tom Halla

The sort of “battery” performance Griff and her? fellow zealots think exist or is about to exist would be met with Robert Heinlein’s Shipstones. A major plot element in “Friday” (1982), with the Shipstone organization nearly controlling the economy due to the value of such a device.


One of my favourite Heinlein books and the name of my Dalmatian (inspired by the title character) I hoped to one day be in distress, and have my dog show up with help. Then I could shout “Thank God it’s Friday!” Also, Griff is delusional.

As long as you vote for losers, you will have a loser economy with energy shortages.

Leonard Lane


Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

+1,000,000. Aussie politicians are clowns.

D. J. Hawkins

Twenty-four hours on 14 Kwhr of power? You guys know how to stretch it in that case! Here in the USA, the average non-electric home uses 30 Kwhr per day.


Is that the average or for Al Gore’s humble cottage?

D. J. Hawkins

No, that’s average for my 1,800 ft² home, which is pretty average for the USA. The major electrical appliances are refrigerator/freezer (2), dishwasher, microwave, and clothes washer. The gas dryer and furnace have electric motors for the drum and blower, respectively. And seasonally, there is central air.


“…..Here in the USA, the average non-electric home uses 30 Kwhr per day…..”

So. California coast…10KW/day, 2200 Sq.ft., electric kitchen, gas furnace (not used much) and water heater, no AC, LED/fluorescent lights, energy efficient (called Green Star) appliances, two people.

Wow, didn’t know it was that much…

As I live in an average cool (in summer) or moderate cold (in winter), rainy country (Belgium), more gas is used for heating, but electricity, including all the same “necessities”, including cooking and clotthes dryer (condensor type with heat pump), mostly no AC, comes at average 3500 kWh/year or around 10 kWh/day per household… Our house sits exactly on that average…
Gas use, if used for heating (besides oil, LPG, wood, coal, few electric,…) and warm water is average 23,000 kWh per year or 63 kWh/day. The latter is largely dependent of how well isolated your house is and how good the burning efficiency is. By shifting from gas stoves to central heating with a high yield kettle, we did go from ~30,000 kWh/year to indeed around 23,000 kWh (and more comfort…) for heating the house and warm water.
The roof was insulated many years ago, don’t remember what the effect on gas use was (in average 25% they say here). Next month the double walls will get an insulation injection with PS foam perls (+glue). Will see what that gives in gas use…
Old houses here are mostly local brick, uninsulated, but many have double walls, more for rain/moisture than for heat or cold. New houses must be insulated according to strict normation… But that kind of recycling of old to new houses costs many decades…

This sounds just like the situation in the UK. The Greenblob (establishment) policies are slowly leading to disasters in the gas and electricity supplies.

There have been recent press reports about Torrens power station in South Australia coming to the end of its life. Bearing in mind that generator owners always make such noises, in the hope of getting some funding for maintenance, it would be a calamity if the unsung hero of SA were to close:

Warren Blair

HUGE topic of conversation at our business today (in Australia). Two of our raw-material suppliers just signed new 1-year gas contracts and the price has doubled . . . yes 105% increase on their expired contracts. This is a disaster for Australian Industry. Our inept government just exported more jobs from Melbourne directly to China!
My brother works on Gorgon a 15.6 million tonne per annum liquefied natural gas plant on Barrow Island. Indeed we have big gas but no one to manage it for keeping Australian jobs!
Yes and now to Malcolm Turnbull who was Chairman and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Australia 1997-2001. He wants a carbon tax followed by carbon trading. Goldman Sachs is very enthusiastic about carbon trading (why so) and it does a lot in the background to promote it.
Former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs (USA) Henry Paulson (worth over 700 million) is in the latest bunch that want to take you down (sickening reading):
But then again so does:
Rex Tillerson who has always wanted a CARBON TAX and always will because Exxon know how to make a killing from it!
Carl-Henric Svanberg of BP wants CARBON TRADING because BP stands to make billions from it.
Charles O. Holliday of Shell also wants CARBON TRADING for the same reasons.
(half way down the page)
And the list goes on and on . . . people we’re in big trouble


And Tillerson, Svanberg, Holliday, rightly, have big equity positions in their [former, for some] employers, so if Exxon, BP, Shell, make money – they also get some cash.
Goldman Sachs – the giant vampire squid [is it not] seeks to make money on the up and on the down – hedging, shorting etc.
Smart cookies – but I think they know that their antics are not always viewed favourably by the wider [non-billionaire] population.

Cheap, reliable energy will bring everyone [in time, lots of it for Africa, I know] out of abject poverty.

Some people – sadly – will make wrong decisions – drugs is a big BIG wrong decision, but there are others . . . .
And they will still be pretty poor.

Simplistic, yes.
Social memes – debt labourers, say; or dowries, or selective abortion of baby girls; and even bad weather [see Kenya, migrations, expropriations] will complicate.

Patrick MJD

“Warren Blair March 9, 2017 at 1:28 am

Yes and now to Malcolm Turnbull who was Chairman and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Australia 1997-2001. He wants a carbon tax followed by carbon trading.”

We have one, now. In secrecy, started July 1st 2016. Thanks to Turnbull!

Seems to me Australia needs a long term vision, it’s government should understand the gas reserves are limited, and in 30 years there will be gas scarcity and very high prices. Gas exports projects will have to be controlled and eventually gas has to be reserved for national needs. I wouldn’t approve more large scale gas exports, and tell their owners to plan on closing them gradually from now until they cease to export, except for minor quantities, by 2040.


Your solution is to impoverish the people now in order to avoid impoverishing them sometime in the future.
1) The gas doesn’t belong to you, it doesn’t belong to the government.
2) The money that is earned thanks to the exports is being used to benefit people now.

South Australians elected to the SA Parliament, politicians who have brains the size of peanuts, The politicians failed to grasp the result of the crazed Green ‘sustainable’ policies that were proposed for SA. The inevitable result of the politicians’ stupidity is now becoming clear as industry flees the high energy costs and people adjust to reading by candle power instead of using their computers and looking at TV.
Elsewhere in Australia people are starting to fight back against the Green Blob.


No mate . Tis the clever country….led by clever *fill in the blanks. Them dams will never fill again.


Australia needs to build a new large HELE coal fired power station in each of Qld, NSW and Vic, and SOTA gas in SA and WA.

This would solve basically all supply issues currently being faced.

It is like the water supply, not a single decent dam built in yonks…..

… . in a system designed around a population of 30-40 years ago.. DOH !

The green agenda STOPS progress.. they are NOT progressives. !!

It really is stupidity to the max. !!


‘They are NOT progressives’. No, they ARE regressives.


What’s wrong with HELE in SA? They have over 3 billion tonnes of coal.


Coal bad, wind good.
Deprivation of electricity strengthens moral fibre.

Can’t wait to see the look on their faces when their iPhones go flat.


Wrong sort of coal for a HELE plant


Ok, I thought that had really good gas supplies , If they have decent coal as well.. pick or choose 🙂

They could be a lucky state….. but they have to wake out of their green stupor first.

The main reason for the gas shortage is not malevolent greens, but just producers trying to make money. Australian LNG exports to rise 63 pct in 2017. Either we pay more, or someone has to direct producers to supply the local market at lower prices than export.

The Grattan Institute saw this coming in 2013.
“Strong Asian demand and high prices are inducing Australian producers to export their gas. That means local consumers will have to pay higher prices. Within the next couple of years, gas prices for households on the east coast, particularly in Victoria, will rise by as much as $170 a year. Large industrial users of gas will come under pressure from equally significant price increases. “

The Gratton report, funded by the nutty Green Goons of the Australian Government goes on to say (in 2013):

“And the long-anticipated ‘dash for gas’, in
which it acts as a transition fuel while electricity generation shifts
over time from coal to low-carbon technologies, is not happening
in Australia. Falling demand, rising gas prices and a renewable
energy target that largely supports new wind energy mean new
gas-fired electricity generation is unlikely to be required for at
least the next decade.”

So that’s OK then, they can make those claims whilst in their target year (2017) SA is plunged into darkness. Irrespective of the technicalities of power outages, it is a failed energy policy that is the root cause.

“funded by the nutty Green Goons”
Leading the “Green Goons” is BHP Billiton.


Nick there is NO PIPELINE between NSW and Qld. All of the LNG export facilities are in Qld. So how do you explain that NSW and Victoria are running out of gas?

Robert from oz

Actually AP I think there is pipeline between the states , certainly between vic and nsw , they are in the process of building a second line now , there as far as Glenrowan and heading south .

“Nick there is NO PIPELINE between NSW and Qld. “
They are all connected, most recently via the Moomba hub:
Gladstone demand draws gas from NSW

“Victorian natural gas is being piped to Queensland through NSW and the central Australian Moomba gas hub for the first time, as $70 billion of LNG export plants in Gladstone start to suck in gas from as far away as Bass Strait.

The effective export of Bass Strait gas indicates a further tightening of the east coast gas ­markets and is evidence that Queensland’s coal-seam gas fields and the Cooper Basin gas fields in central Australia are not providing enough early gas for the LNG projects.

Gas flows on the Moomba-to-Sydney gas pipeline, which has supplied NSW with gas since 1976, reversed in December for the first time, as the third of three gas export projects being built at Gladstone powered up, according to data from the Australian ­Energy Market Operator.”

Imagine that! A business operating to make a profit. What next? Control prices so that no one
can afford to expand capacity? Smart. Really smart.


From memory the exporters are getting 2 cents a liter for gas. Gas retails for what? There’s excess capacity now so just buy it.


“ and wind installations, plus battery storage and a large pumped storage scheme will see 2017 as a record year for Australian renewables.” – Griff
old, but “renewable”

NSW power: Aluminium smelter shut down to avoid mass outage across the state
February 10, 2017
Soon after the announcement, Tomago Aluminium said the company’s infrastructure was at risk if power could not be restored.
“This is not on, we should have a reliable power supply,” smelter manager Matt Howell said. “We should not be forcing manufacturing to the wall where we simply can’t keep the lights on.”

Why don’t we just hand the smelter over to China now, instead of doing it the slow way?

Coca-Cola to close South Australia factory with loss of nearly 200 jobs

The shutdown is the latest employment blow for the state, following on from the closure of the Holden car factory
Coca Cola boss Alison Watkins said it had reviewed its supply chain to maintain “competitiveness in the market” and decided it was not viable to update the Thebarton factory.

But the defence minister, Christopher Pyne, said on Wednesday the company was leaving his home state because of high business costs and concerns about the reliability of the power supply.

“We can’t keep going on as a high-tax, highly expensive place to do business with the highest electricity prices in the country and the most unreliable electricity supply in the country and this is where the rubber starts to hit the road for businesses,” Pyne told FiveAA radio.

The Labor premier, Jay Weatherill, has been fiercely criticised by the Coalition for closing down the state’s last coal-fired power station.

But he tweeted that the government would “stand by Coke workers at this difficult time”.

It’s nice to have someone “stand by” while you lose your job–especially when they played a significant role in eliminating it.

I remember when our electricity was relatively cheap, extremely reliable, and state owned. We gave Alcoa extra-cheap electricity–“subsidized” if you will–so they could employ people to produce and sell aluminum
What happened to that kind of thinking?
Why are our city streets now seething with homeless white men, while wealthy Chinese buy up our property and resources?
Isn’t that…racist, or something like it, Griff?
Why are we lowly Australians no longer entitled to burn our own coal?
Why do you never complain to the Chinese about their coal burning habits?

“Soon after the announcement, Tomago Aluminium said the company’s infrastructure was at risk if power could not be restored.”
Tomago Aluminium was built there because it is right in the middle of a coalfields region, surrounded by active coal-fired generators.


The Australian electricity market is integrated.
It was an excellent idea to place the Tomago plant in the middle of reliable coal fired power stations, but
what happens when the price peaks and reliability falls in a heatwave?

They end up being threatened by shutdown.

Chris in Hervey Bay

SO ??


That climate extremists are preventing from being used.
The obtuse strategy of some people is entertaining.

Nick, they suffer from unreliable power,which damaged their company.


When was the last major power station built in NSW or Australia, Nick.

When was the last major dam built in Australia ?

An expanding population, where basic infrastructure has not kept up, is always going to reliability of supply issues.

A new, large high efficiency power station is required ASAP, one each in NSW, Vic, QLD and SA

Mike McMillan

I think that photo of rusting windmills is from an island in Hawaii that didn’t have enough population to need the electricity.


The photo is just of what will become, in the not too distant future, extremely common.


Are you saying that the builders of the windmills didn’t bother counting heads to see if their was a demand for their product before building?

feed berple

They didn’t have enough people that could afford free wind power.


There wasn’t enough population to create a demand for energy that cost four times as much as other sources. Imagine that. Why didn’t that work out?

That could easily be “fixed” by implementing regulations and requiring 30% of wholesale electricity to be “green”.

Kalifornia Kook

Looks like local government has developed a plan for lowering energy demand. Close plants, people lose jobs – can no longer afford to heat/cool their homes. That saved energy can be redirected to supercomputers creating new Climate Change predictions. Win-win! (for Government). Who gives a crap about the serfs. Isn’t SA the equivalent of American “fly-over” country?


But Khwarizmi, you’re helping to save the planet! Doesn’t that signify? Gotta see the big picture, mate. Self sacrifice and all that, hey?

If you close coal – good if not CCS or at least scrubbed – you first have to replace it with with 60% less CO2 clean gas, or nuclear. Nothing else will deliver the amount of essential base load electrical energy you need, especially when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow. But that’s just the physics talking, not the belief and subsidy promoters.

FACT: If you want electric cars, and have to heat with electricity (not a problem in warmer places) you will need two to three times the electricity you use now. Not less overpriced electricity. A clear dichotomy with policy. If you don’t have coal or gas, where will it come from? Renewables are an expensive cosmetic on the grid, not serious 24/7 generation for a developed economy.
comment image

Facts a Fact. Renewable energy sources are far too weak and intermittent, and storage a laughably inadequate and hugely expensive wet dream of renewablists, deceitfully promoted for a quick profit in the name of climate change they must make little better or worse, unsustainably if fossil generation “back up”, also 70% of the combined supply, is removed from the grid. Bad idea. How lucky do you feel, to prefer the laws of physics that work unsubsidised, to the laws of climationists, that deny the science and need a lot of subsidy to do it?

Do the real joined up energy science guys! it’s real simple. The ONLY thing that drives renewables is the massive guaranteed subsidies for making energy supply, and CO2 emissions per grid kWh, expesnively worse – in the name of climate change. Look how well the Gerans are doing after trashing a Trillion Euros or so on renewables…
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Yes, In hot Oz there is a possible role for solar offsetting a/c demand because of the timing overlap between demand and supply. But not if subsidised. You can do it cheaper at low carbon other ways with gas and nuclear, so why damage your economy for no/lttle CO2 reduction to generate expensive renewable energy that isn’t available to the grid half the day or more? It’s not climate science.

I thought Australians were sensible people who worked on facts, not delusion. Can’t run a grid on belief in ignorant or deceitful propaganda and subsidies. That’s politics, not electrical engineering.. Time to ditch this nonsense enrgy fraud religion and its fraudsters and build what works. Also good for CO2 reduction. There is no green energy god who will change the physics if you beiieve hard enough and pay the priests enough $$$$$$, by laws they write. They like those. WAKE UP! DO THE ARiTHMATIC! (MIET, MInstP, CEng, MBA, etc.) Quick physics reality lesson from the late UK DECC Chief Scientist here, Sir David MacKay RFS,if you doubt the above:

Peta from Cumbria, now Newark

Here’s a crazy thought from me. What’s new say you :-O

2 in fact, I’m feeling productive today innit.

#1. Howzabout letting the windmills make DC electric? OK, alternators will actually do the biz but instead of having all sorts of speed regulation and grid-sync, just rectify the stuff.
Then, at each windfarm, sum the DC into one big bus-wire and drive one great fat fook-off DC motor -with it sync’d to and driving the grid.
Makes the windmills simpler/cheaper (more reliable?) and gives a bit of rotating inertia to the grid?

#2 Wind energy, as we are endlessly told is sustainable and free.
So, what about extending the DC bus (you only need 2 wires, can carry twice the power of AC lines and can be buried) from each windfarm to an existing thermal power station.
Put the power into a big phatt immersion heater in the base of the boilers there.

You keep the thermal station working (=hot = ready for standby dispatchable power) but the enrgy coming in from the windfarm reduces fuel consumption and hence the dreaded ’emissions’
Lord please deliver us from emissions

And that makes the windfarm even simpler, no electronics apart from a big juicy rectifier, no ugly transmission lines and you can let them produce to their full capacity because the power station heaters are just great big dump loads. What can go wrong?

Yeah I know, politicians, but we can hope eh?

Peta from Cumbria, now Newark

…..the DC motor drives an alternator – is ‘synchronous rectifier’ something like the word.
But you knew that – I do hope no-one thought I was gonna sync a DC motor :-/

(Gimme a break, its 40 years since I did this at school)

Mike McMillan

They’re called dynamotors, basically a motor with two separate windings. My dad had one that did DC to AC, but some can change low volt DC to high voltage DC, or AC to DC. Mechanical and magnetic, so not lossless.

@Peta from Cumbria, now Newark,

DC motors (especially high power ones) use carbon brushes pressing onto a commutator. Lots of wear and maintenance.

Not recommended.


I saw a computer center once that had a AC motor driving an AC generator.
They used the output of the generator to power their computer room. The purpose was to take care of micro to milli second long power drop outs. Batteries kicked in after a few milli seconds and the diesel generator kicked in after 5 to 10 minutes.

Leo Smith

The are called rotary convertors actually.

Flight simulators I’ve seen use a flywheel generator.
intermittent, sketch AC power runs a motor that spins a flywheel
The flywheel then runs an AC generator of the same (or different) frequency and the original source,. without any spurious interrupts.
always a smooth output.

M Courtney

Storing energy as something hot that can be turned on and off as required sounds like a good idea. But there are two small problems that I can see:
1) It will cost a fortune compared with gas (or coal).
2) If a blocking high stops the wind for a week then that heat dump will need to be very well-insulated and very, very hot to begin with. Neither seems very practical.

Leo Smith

All the people who propose these storage schemes have one thing in common. None of them have a degree in engineering, unless they work for a company taking subsidy and debt to develop these impossible solutions.


We have the world’s best energy storage system available on hand.

Its called FOSSIL FUELS !

Peta from Cumbria, now Newark March 9, 2017 at 2:55 am

Then, at each windfarm, sum the DC into one big bus-wire and drive one great fat fook-off DC motor -with it sync’d to and driving the grid.
Makes the windmills simpler/cheaper (more reliable?) and gives a bit of rotating inertia to the grid?

This is being done already in some locations, they use flywheels, they are extremely reliable and low maintenance. The JET uses two that were installed in 1981 and are still in use, they can store 3.75GJ each and can supply up to 400MW. My understanding is that flywheels are being tested for use as a storage medium with wind farms.


So even more industrialization of windy remote areas: not only dozens if not hundreds of huge industrial sized windmills cluttering the landscape, polluting the view and killing birds. Now generating station buildings to (with loss of efficiencies at every stage) gather the DC, spin a massive flywheel up to huge speed (which does exciting things when the bearings fail), reconvert the momentum back to AC power and transmit it. all from a remote rural location that used to be wild op open land for birds, bats, and land animals to safely walk around. And for people to see nature.
What sort of people think cluttering the landscape with huge industrial towers with giant spinning blades that make unreliable expensive non-scalable power is actually a good thing?


If you thought the risk of a gas explosion was too high, just wait until one of those flywheels fail while at max rotation.
PS: I remember years ago, someone proposed using flywheels to power cars. Until someone reminded him that another name for flywheel is gyroscope.

Flywheels – even the highest-rated of today’s vacuum-encapsulated, underground-protected, supposedly holding 1-2 MegaWatt-rated levels of energy storage, are actually only able to generate power for 5-10 minutes after the main power is lost. (Most, only a few 10’s of seconds of backup power are guaranteed.)

The flywheels are ONLY able to bridge a load while a backup fossil generator comes on-line for a server bank or industrial process machine to carry the continuing demand. The flywheel coasts to useless after 10 minutes (sometimes 5 or less), then must be slowly restarted and respun-up to its rated speeds by the backup power supply or main power source.

Even a nuclear power plant massive turbines and generator (weighing many thousands of tons and itself coasting down from a 1200 MegaWatt rated load at 1500 rpm), can only carry a single backup pump’s electric demand for no more than 5-10 minutes. The flywheels must be spun up in total vacuums, electrically sealed and cooled, supported by air-bearings (or magnetically-levitated bearings) in an explosion-proof below-ground well able to protect nearby buildings from damage when the flywheel disintegrates explosively due to fatigue or vibration.

Mike McMillan

I’m familiar with the Beacon Power flywheels at Stephentown, NY and Hazle Township, PA, both 200 rotor/ 20 MW facitilies. Beacon has had two early rotors fail due to bad carbon fiber manufacturing, but the loud noise was due to injection of cooling water into them that turned to steam and blew the lid off the manhole cover. The rotors themselves were contained completely, turned into carbon fiber cotton candy.

Beacon’s flywheels are used for frequency stabilization, and they run a bit over half charge so they can either absorb or return power. If they were run at full charge they could deliver 50 kW each for 30 minutes.


Good for a computer center. Would provide power while the diesel generator is being started up.
Question is, is cost of ownership lower than a bank of batteries.

Fairbanks, Alaska, uses a battery backup that can supply the whole city and neighbourhood for about 7 minutes for in case the main supply is broken and the diesel generators need to startup within that time frame. Does matter a lot at -40°C mid-winter. Here a view of how large that storage is:


Sure glad you solved that problem. Not everybody can solve difficult problems in a few paragraphs. What can you do for us on fusion?

Kalifornia Kook

You got my hopes up. When you said DC in the first sentence, I thought you were referring to Washington, D.C. That would be so perfect. It would force US Government back to our Founding Fathers’ concept of minimal government. George Washington wanted the seat of Government where it is because is is so hot in the summer, so cold in the winter, that Government could only meet for about three months out of the year to interfere in the lives of the citizens.


The Narrabri Gas project environmental impact statement is now on exhibition. This project can supply 20% of NSW gas needs for the next 20 years. If you are a NSW resident, you should please make a submission in support of the project here:

A submission can be as short as one sentence. If you are concerned about privacy you can elect for your name to be withheld.

The “green” groups are doing their best to kill this project off. In my opinion this project is essential for NSW since there are no gas transmission lines from Qld to NSW and Victoria has banned onshore gas drilling (both tight reserves and conventional).

The anti fossil fuel lobby has already managed to extend the EIS exhibition period from 30 days to 3 months.


Australia is turning into a banana republic under leftist guidance. Soon we’ll be burning brown coal at home for cooking fires and heat.


I suspect the reason politicians in Australia are so influenced by green policies is because, technically, Australia is still a British colony; in practice this means bureaucratic, feel-good propaganda which benefits an elitist mindset still goes far. There is little equivalent of Republican resistance to this sort of mindset.


So, Thingy; do you,honestly believe what you posted? Australia became a Federation in 1901, free of colonial rule.

Keith J

“Became” is the operative word. We fought the crown for our freedom. The tree of liberty is watered by the blood of patriots.

Australia natural gas is 30 years behind that of the US. Coal seam gas was also a stopgap measure until hard rock gas production was perfected and gas price was divided by three.

Brett Keane

@ thingadonta March 9, 2017 at 2:58 am : And Brexit to you, thingy, Isolationist latecomer to freedom’s battles. Not your fault, but get it right.

Geoff Sherrington

Over the last 15 years of development of this crisis, the average media reader would have been reminded weekly to monthly that the crisis was developing, plus ways to avoid it.

The coarse economics of competing power types was well enough known and the essentials of the best framework were much the same as in the Australia of the1960s. Nuclear, coal and gas, oil, hydro then a huge gap to windmills, solar and other unreliables.

There is no way the average person could say there was no warning. It follows that no people paid to study and provide energy needs can claim they were not warned. It is fair to say that decision makers were either grossly incompetent, or knowingly and deliberately acted against national interest, hence the current state of completely unacceptable.

The biggest fundamental mistake has been political and bureaucratic interference. If relatively unfettered free enterprise had been allowed, we could have had world best energy supply, partly because of our known and emerging natural resources. Some of the global best uranium, coal, gas deposits are here with lesser oil so far. Our engineers are world standard when unencumbered unduly, our weather is kind, though we do have to cope with some tyranny of distance.

It is political involvement and incompetence that has allowed the stupidity of the foot in the door of green interference via fanciful notions like the end of the world from global warming. Experts from free enterprise, who profit from clever work and are sacked for stupid work, are much harder nuts to crack by outlandish beliefs and bogey men in thought bubbles of whatever magnitude.

The cure?

Smash the myriad bureaucratic layers. Revoke ALL regulation apart from the obvious minimum required to advertise, authorise and encourage the easy exercise of the market under conditions free of sovereign risk. Get governments, especially incompetent and ideological State governments, out of the picture. The matter is nationally important so Federal overview is required to remove impediments to progress.
Structure any government involvement to encourage investment, reward success by means such as taxation concessions and punish failures by the converse.

4 Eyes

You took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks, I did not have write them myself. What we are experiencing is the law of unintended consequences. Furthermore, I have evaluated reserves in Australia, made basin wide production forecasts, prepared economic development plans for known and exploratory fields, completed and fracced more wells – conventional, coal seam, deep, hot, hostile – than I can ever remember, in Oz and the middle east, without any spills or downhole failures and can claim expert status in well integrity and I know for sure that this mess is caused by people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about and making policy on; these people don’t want to be properly informed. Doing voluntary work for the local community group in my enforced retirement is far more satisfying than putting up with the intellectual torture that is the Australian gas (and oil) industry. Next thing the industry will be blamed for not being proactive. Devious self serving activists and intellectually challenged pollies are taking Australia over a cliff.



Is your post an attempt to stop the most misinformed post in the thread being from Nick Stokes?
Australia is NOT “still a British colony”, technically or otherwise.

Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901 when the British Parliament passed legislation allowing the six Australian colonies to govern in their own right as part of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Commonwealth of Australia was established as a constitutional monarchy.


Patrick MJD

Australia is a constitutional monarchy, with QE2 as “head of state”.

Patrick MJD

As you correctly state at the end of your post. My bad.


Okay. Enough is enough.
Apart from self preservation, what is driving our politicians to continue the farce?

Chris in Hervey Bay

Their investments in ‘renewable energy’ or companies that support ‘that’ industry.




Saving the planet. You know, for important organisms like polar bears and whales and nematodes.

Anyone notice the 500 pound energy gorilla in the room? Nuclear molten salt technologies are being developed that not only can produce the cheapest power of any power technology we have (including coal and nat gas), but also allow factory produced reactors that are small in size and can be deployed rapidly on sites requiring minimal preparation. They require less concrete than that required to errect a single windmill. And safety is not an issue. At least a dozen companies and govts (including China and India) are in latter stages of design and in some cases (Moltex) have completed their design and are ready to prototype. Anyone talking future energy who ignores this 500 pound gorilla cannot be taken seriously. There will not be any new coal or nat gas or renewable power generation facilities 20 years from now. The very idea would be laughable.

Chris in Hervey Bay

So Arthur, why do we need to go down that track ?? What, to reduce CO2. What is the problem with a bit of extra CO2 in the atmosphere ?? Can only make the planet greener.
Why not stay with what we know that works and to hell with the scam, ‘global warming’.


Hear, hear! You have a continent stuffed with coal and natural gas. Use it or lose your civilization. This is the Information Age, man! How can voters in OZ not be catching on to the CAGW scam as in the USA? I knew you had a lot of sheep, but “sheeple” as well? (And while I on about, how’d you let them take your guns away?)


How small is small, Arthur? It may offer the opportunity to bury them underground, thus affording far more protection from attack and in the event of malfunction. That may make them much more agreeable to locals than having one plonked next door to the village store.

Geoff Sherrington

Small enough to power a submarine?


Maybe we could put the windmills underground. That should solve the infrasound problem.

Kalifornia Kook

MarkW – you are ingenious! Underground – the perfect place for them!


Putting them underground would also solve the problem with bird kills.
Gophers on the other hand …

Gophers do not count. You would get the support of golfers if you took out the gophers.


Here’s a recent survey of various companies trying to develop the technology.

Over the years I have watched many promising technologies which have failed to materialize. I’ll believe it when I see one operating economically for more than five years.

Leonard Lane

Without taxpayer subsidies of any kind, I hope.

You may change for tune of the speed of roll out of MSRs and the Thorium cycle after you read this:

also for small modular read this one:

Both written a few years ago, but a cold sober review of what it takes to get an untried technology into production in a safety critical field.

It can happen but not soon…


Ooh, ooh…. I have an idea… Lets sell the lucrative Gas and oil overseas…..and use Australia’s plentiful coal resources domestically in super critical coal fired power stations to produce cheap electricity for commerce, industry and residential… Yeah baby!

… oh…. the ecofascist won’t let us because socialist fascist fascism…. Well that sucks.


Yes, to quote from the story:

Energy supply shortfalls could be mitigated in the short term by an increase in coal-fired generation …

That would actually solve the problem for a long term.


Dave, the socialist lefts agenda 21 hidden under the guise of political correctness is alive and well in Australia.
Condsidering that agenda relies heavily on the scam of global warming. The collapse of that agenda in at least the US, hinges entirely on how hard Trump attacks the scam. If the Trump administration refuses to financially contribute to it. Other countrys people’s will become more vocal at having to contribute more to it simply to prop it up. We in Australia were hit with another CO/2 tax dressed up as emissions trading scheme on the 1st of July 2016. While not exactly delivered stealthily , it didn’t come with the fanfare of the “the hottest year ever”. Nor did it come with a disclaimer that the man that levied it was once an investment banker who had once worked for Goldman Sachs. The inventers of trading in that invisible commodity, CO/2. Even after dispensing with numerous prime ministers and political leaders. Who flatly refuse to listen, after being emphatically told by the people we don’t want a bar of their breathing tax. The current prime minister, that investment banker, being kicked to kerb once before as opposition leader for not listening to the people. Appears to still have a deaf ear. We’re buggered by both political partys here, simply because they are both in sync with the scam. That ETS was specifically levied on our biggest “polluters”, read power stations. The rumblings in the European Union are getting louder every day as countrys governments come under siege as power prices bite there. That union will go to
It will all collapse but I fear there is far more financial pain before it does.
Sorry about the rant but you did ask,”what is driving our politicians to continue the farce”?


SA, Ontario, UK, Germany, California…. multiple trains hurtling toward a common collision point. I understand that Hydro bills in Ontario had an unexpected pause in the record price increases. Funny how that happened just when the political pressure was causing the responsible green government serious pain.

That is a textbook case of a politically run economy. Shovel out an extra bread ration to the starving peasants preventing full scale revolt. Our SA friends find themselves in the heat of a battle against dumb and dumber elites much as we did in the US. Grab the wankers by the belt and slug away. They will fall.


Just to add regarding Ontario, and to illustrate how stupid and “progressive” these nuts are: They are reducing electrical costs by spreading the cost out over a larger number of years. The Premier stated that it’s only right that our future grandchildren should pay these present costs in the future since these infrastructure “investments” will benefit them when they are around.


We know all about that “investment” con down here. It’s right up there with “the troops will be home by Christmas” expect that your local progressives didn’t gain power because of their smarts. Down here its grievance mongering that gets them in and keeps them there. Hateful idiots.

Wayne Delbeke

Yes, and just before an upcoming election – with the party in power at extreme lows in polls. (Not that polls seem to mean much anymore.)

Tom Halla

Australian greens are apparently as willing to depend on handwaving as US greens. Any program to increase the supply of natural gas will just inhibit the “renewable” transition, which the greens are going to decree is working well despite any actual results. I could say that the US and European greens could learn from Australia, but the odds of a green learning anything from the real world is infinitesimal.

Kalifornia Kook

Spot on. Every single word.

Tom Halla

Thank you


I sincerely hope Australia suffers a serious blackout crisis. Not for vindictive reasons but because that’s one of the few ways green policies (and the idiot politicians who spawned them) will be thrown under the bus. They will need to suffer self-inflicted pain before they can get better.

Patrick MJD

We have already had rolling blackouts in South Australia and in New South Wales too, or to give it it’s PC name, load shedding! Once big power plants are shutdown, it only going to get worse. Aussies are in for a big shock! No-one I know here has experienced the UK 1970’s blackouts, caused by socialist “industrial action”.

Bruce Cobb

Gang Green love to pretend that shutting down coal plants doesn’t put extra demand on gas, affecting the supply and price of it.


“Gang green” What a great name for the big green rent seekers and destroyers.


The Aussies will learn, as did the Germans. Five years ago, Germany shuttered its last nuclear power plant without implementing any viable alternatives. The results were predictable. A harsh 2013 winter sent electricity prices through the roof, and nearly three quarters of a million homes had their electricity turned off at a time when temperatures dropped to -20C and lower. The sale of wood burning stoves spiked, and people resorted to cutting down trees (a felony in Germany) just to stay warm. Germany immediately began building more coal and NG power plants. Wind and solar just don’t cut it when the temps drop below freezing during the winter. Shutting down the nuclear power plants was terribly irresponsible.

The Aussies should know better.


“The Aussies should know better”
We do! But our politicians are another argument..


Germany cant have shut all its nuclear plants, its still producing at 12% of demand. Its share of capacity is much lower but it can run almost continuously
Its not until 2022 that the last neutron will fission.


Italy is the only western european that shut all its nuclear plants. The strange thing is that its largest utility is building more nuclear plants, but in neighboring countries , France and Slovakia


Let me guess, they plan to ship the electricity generated back to Italy.

James K Atkinson

Aussies need to call a general strike and march on the capital. Hold all lawmakers in their offices and do not let them out until they do the will of the people and stop this madness. Give them bread and water, cut off phones and power, block or shutdown all cell services until they understand and act for the good of the nation and not the good of the greens and other high level thieves.


At this rate Australia will come after U.S. clear cut forests for wood pellets like the UK. Maybe the ships carrying AU gas exports will pass by the ships of wood pellets at sea.


I hate to say this because I love Austraians. I went to Sydney on R & R and was treated so well. Very friendly folks down under. But I am afraid to say that the Aussies are leading the way in converting their energy industry to “carbon free”, and they are going to suffer great hardships as a result. Hopefully the US will keep dragging her feet and not get too committed before the damage becomes unbearable.

The Green Politicos don’t have a motto, so I would like to suggest one. “Ready. Fire. Aim.”

Geoff Sherrington

If you dig you will find layer on layer of bureaucratic bodies involved in Australian energy activity. Some seem to be able to ensure the success of others by mandating sweetheart deals that prevent monetary loss. Others, as Eric quotes above use strange words like incentivise. Typical brown cardigan speak that should not really be quoted as a credible source of information, for these are some of the people who made this mess.

These same people are stopping us getting out of the mess.

When one studies the oil and gas history of the last 20 years in the USA, one can imagine that many exploiters would have studied the world for other countries able to succeed like the USA. Australia would have been a hot contender. — if politics had been absent the picture.

As it is, there have been significant developments, mainly for gas export, that show the principle that technically, gas can be found, extracted and shipped. Politics and ideology have been the main factors preventing more success.

One has to ask why there are effectively moratoria on exploration in most States and a hostile ban on fracking in Victoria. By what logic have politicians decided that people will be better off if schemes that could make a great deal of money are banned?

It is hard to think of a more stupid outcome than the one we have for future Australian energy. The Feds with Frydenberg are rabbiting on about energy storage and more renewables forgetting that elsewhere these renewables cost 2-3 times older generation and that there is no large scale energy storage project that has succeeded anywhere in the world in the manner he thinks Australia could go. There is still a longing for another pie in the sky process where CO2 from fossil fuel is buried underground, permanently. Any competent geologist will laugh that idea to oblivion.

Feds, you have to remove impediments. Remove regs that discourage investment in nuclear. Remo ve policies like preferences and targets for renewable energy, then disband the myriad bodies of which one can only say sadly, forgive them father, they know not what they do.

Finally, have a series of fundamental seminars that examine what the proper and necessary functions of a Federal government are, constitutionally and by the will of the people. One of Australua’ biggest handicaps is self- imposed overreach of government functions. Here we see it in action for energy.


Geoff, how many times have the people in Australia told these politicians they do not want a bar of it’s CO/2 taxes in any shape or form?
While all your thoughts and opinions are agreed with by a clear majority of the population. Myself included.They who your suggestions/demands are directed at are simply not listening. The impediments you refer to are their to further entrench the vehicle of choice used by the socialist movement, global warming. They have been placed there to facilitate an end. “Father” forgive them not because the barstards know exactly what they are doing!
Heres our biggest problem in my opinion.
When we express our anger at the voting box and punish a government for not listening. As we did at the last election. We only removed a few pieces of the tail of the snake that supports global warming at any cost. The many heads of the snake driving the support of the scam remain to regroup and continue their financial assault upon us. The same happened in the election before Abbott. But the labor/greens remain committed to robbing us blind in their quest for utopia even in opposition.
Abbott, in his short tenure as pm was on track to “kill” the snake that works its way through both political partys now. Till his political assassination by both sides. He shut the “climate commission” down,removed the funding for investing in the scam related hot rocks and wave generation, to name a few and would not have placed his paw print on our behalf on the Paris agreement. In the eyes of that snake he had to go and bugger the rest of us and our protests. I’ll save the advice from the likes of our former asteemed Australian of the year, the honorable Professor Flannery and its consequences. As I’m certain you are familiar with it.
There is an answer but looking at todays offerings on the Australian political scene, its a long way off.
Hopefully Trump will have kicked started Americas economy with a glut of fossel fuel driven energy by the next election. Exposing Australia and the rest of the political worlds stupidity along the way. Geoff, is it coincidence that China, India and Japan, who burn our coal, have economy’s doing far better than the ones that are “saving the planet”? Or has that been engineered?

Rod Everson

Gas for export: Expensive, and available
Gas for domestic use: Cheap and increasingly unavailable

Gas is gas, no matter where it’s burned. It doesn’t take a government study to figure out the problem here.

Confession: I worked in the US power industry for 33 years (nuclear, fossil, transmission) 1963-1996, so I’m a biased and an old fashioned engineer — and I don’t believe CO2 is going to kill us all.

To me, “renewables” that require an equal amount of dispatchable backup (fossil fueled) make little or no sense, for all the reasons others have brought up over and over.

An argument that I never see for using coal and nuclear which Australia, the USA and many countries have in abundance, is that electrical generation is best way to use these resources. The only major use of nuclear resources is power production. Nuclear should be our primary base-load fuel. Coal has more commercial uses than nuclear, but its best use is power production. It should be used as in the recent past, to provided the vast majority of our electrical power needs.

Producing base-load power from oil and gas is a waste of resources that power vehicles — planes, cars, trains, trucks — the chemical industry, plastics, etc., etc. They should not be wasted on providing the bulk of our power needs. It’s even a waste to use them to back up wind and solar.

We need to properly apply resources and use them where they are most effective and efficient. Keeping coal and nuclear materials in the ground and wasting “portable” gas and oil in conjunction with “renewables,” controlled by incompetent politicians will subject us all to the recent SA blackout experience.

Bob Cherba @ 7:59

Yes, Bob, you’re absolutely right.

There’s not much you can do with uranium except generate heat and make depleted U munitions. Coal is such a good energy source and an abundant one. It’s also versatile… can be used as a chemical feedstock like oil and gas but they are easier to use for this and also ideal for transport.

Oh yes, U3O8 is really heavy and can be used for diving weights…especially good for green politicians.

Totally agree: use nuclear for core baseload, coal for the top slice and flexible response to changing demand, and keep oil and gas for mass mobile and distributed energy use, such as fuelling vehicles, powering key industries and heating/ventilating habitable spaces.

PS – My pet conspiracy theory is that what “Exxon knew” (and other O&G cos too) was that the demonisation of CO2 was pseudo-science, but went along with it to wreck coal as a competitor and take over the generating sector. There are crazier theories out there…


It seems that Australia and New Zealand have been targeted to be the poster children for renewable energy and Agenda21. New Zealand has a contained enough size and population to throw money at and capture from the locals but Australia won’t be so complacent. The question is how far back in the evolution chain will they need to be pushed until there’s a populist revolt?

Patrick MJD

Nothing will change while sport is on TV.

Pylons, we need pylons urgently! & blindfolds! A dozen or two will do…


Aussome!! Probably going to subsidize more windmills to meet the demand. The left has been tilting at those things for decades.

Kalifornia Kook

You know, there was a wee bit of logic in subsidizing renewable energy back in the 80’s-90’s. The argument being that it needed a kick-start. But there are MANY major players in the renewable energy field now, and if it can’t stand on its own, then it just isn’t working. The technology is mature. Is it getting better? Maybe – but at most at the same rate as existing fossil fuel and nuclear technologies. We need to draw down all renewable subsidies and tax breaks over a five year period – or less. Admit it is an evolutionary dead end. Move on to the next set of ideas. Subsidize HELE, thorium reactors, other nukes, whatever. Smooth and accelerate the regulatory maze. Provide the same protection to fossil fuel energy extraction that Renewable energy had for killing wildlife, of at least level that field, with the same fierce prosecution and demonization of renewable installations that kill birds and bats.
I know – it’s been said here a hundred times. Apparently bears repeating.

It will undoubtedly take some sort of prolonged energy crisis (one with damaging consequences) to shake some sense into the electorate. As in Califrnia and the UK, self inflicted wounds.

Patrick B

There is probably some validity at looking at gas supply and demand up to 5 years out – but the rest of that chart is as useless as the IPCC charts predicting global climate. Few people would have predicted today’s US gas production 10 years ago – identification of reserves, changing technology and changing prices all fluctuate too wildly for reliable prediction in the long run. Otherwise we would have run out of gas 20 years ago as predicted in the 1970’s.

As a connoisseur of pseudoscience and wingnuttery in general there is something quite special about Australia. Can’t quite put my finger on it but there is definitely a hysterical yet solidly wooden-headed timbre to it which I just don’t see elsewhere. I guess it’s a result of the stoic phlegmatic pragmatism of the frontiersman attitude being culturally translated into modern eco lunacy. It’s interesting from an anthropological point of view but must be utterly infuriating to actually pragmatic people like engineers and so forth who haven’t contracted the mental illness.



I too was confused about them until I put it all in context that the global export commodity boom driven by China’s growth and now overcapacity investment bubble must underlie the peculiar Aussie behavior. Let’s stress test it with a recession and with China unable to stoke the stimulus engine for a 10th time.

Ha ha! What a great post!

Patrick MJD

Unfortunately, most Aussies are far too consumed with sport, sports betting and the property ladder to worry about how our elected leaders are screwing us.


How are those full scale solar CSP plants working out? These were funded long after they were already known to be uncompetitive in other countries, even against solar PV.


They seem to be doing fine…

They solved the bird frying thing…

Other countries, including Australia, Chile, Saudi, Dubai are constructing them.

Most folks like their foul fried.

But it is not solved. You should do better research.

[But fouled fried fowl are inedible, unusable, unsaleable, and (potentially) deadly; and should be fired. (Er, burned.) .mod]

NZ Willy

Australians have a bad case of me-too-ism. They want to play with the big boys, so their way to do that is to out-big the big boys, but they’re clueless how to do it. Cook & Lewandowski are all too typical of the Aussie approach which is akin to cargo-cult science but applies to every sphere. Their media is unbelievably biased, out-shrilling the Washington Post by miles. It would be a good place to practice or pioneer national psychology. Maybe they can start that process during the blackouts to come.


‘. . .principle stress direction generally is vertical.’
This is a simplistic generalization that can not be quantifiably demonstrated. To use such a phrase poisons the ignorant’s well of knowledge.


Forget Australia, now we have Rex Tillerson saying how high when Green Piece says jump. In bloody believable.

State Dept: Tillerson has recused himself from Keystone decision


Rob commented: “…Forget Australia, now we have Rex Tillerson saying how high when Green Piece says jump. In bloody believable….”

Stop believing the MSM that this is a win for the Greens. Smart move. Get rid of the peripheral flack and replace with someone who is acceptable but will push anti AGW policy. End of problem. Next.

paul r

Remember when keating said we’d be a banana republic? Different scenario same conclusion

And to make matters worse , South Australia has the most expenisve electricity on the planet. But not to worry! The government gives some ‘assistance’ to help cover the costs. Why this last Year I receive $1.75 per week from the government to help towards my annual bill of AU$5000


Last week I read about farmers demanding action on climate change here in Oz.

This week I read about farmers moaning about a 100% or even 200% rise in electricity for irrigation (yup, it’s trippled) in the past few years. They are turning to diesel pumps at half the cost.

This is what farmers asked for, and this is what farmers now moan about. I suppose it beats moaning about the weather, but this time they are directly responsible!

Patrick MJD
Patrick MJD

Yes a bet, paid for by the taxpayers and power users of South Australia. How any state would consider this as a fix for the power problems, introduced by the SA Govn’t, is completely insane! But Musk stands to make a pretty penny!


Or not, if he fails

Patrick MJD

Wrong again. He will not charge for the *installation* of the batteries if not done in 100 days. The batteries and other infrastructure will still cost. Good fail there Griff.