Guest essay by Eric Worrall
While Federal politicians bicker, South Australia, the world’s renewable crash test dummy, has wasted no time demolishing their last viable coal power station, to lock in their pursuit of an energy free future.
Senate inquiry sparks ideological fight over Australia’s energy supply and climate change
By political reporter Angelique Donnellan
A Senate inquiry report into Australia’s electricity supplies has descended into a slanging match between members, prompting questions about its value for taxpayers.
The Select Committee into the Resilience of Australia’s Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World heard from 60 witnesses in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne, including major energy generators, retailers and industry regulators.
But in the committee’s draft report released today, Federal Greens senator and chairwoman Sarah Hanson-Young took aim at the Coalition and its policies.
“The introduction of a market-based carbon trading scheme would effectively end the decades-long subsidy that coal has received in the electricity generation market,” she said.
South Australia’s last coal-fired generator at Port Augusta shut down last year and is being demolished.
“Coalition senators reject the proposition contained within the chair’s report that the Coalition Government is responsible for the ill-informed and misguided decisions of the South Australian Labor Government in destroying the supply of cheap energy for households and businesses in that state,” they said.
Alinta Energy offered to give the Port Augusta coal station to the South Australian government for free. The offer was rejected.
Port Augusta power station giveaway ‘a bad deal’, South Australian Treasurer says
By Tom Fedorowytsch
Updated 30 Mar 2017, 3:12pm
It has been revealed that Alinta Energy offered to give away the Port Augusta coal-fired power station for free.
The company approached the South Australian Government to take ownership of the plant under a “walk-in, walk-out” basis during negotiations in 2015, where it had also sought $25 million in subsidies to keep it running until 2018.
Alinta’s offer is referred to in a letter from chief executive officer Jeff Dimery in 2015, obtained by the ABC.
SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said despite the apparent free deal, the Government would have taken on huge costs.
“Alinta would have walked away without having to pay any of the money for the clean-up of the mess that they had incurred and legacy liability they had taken on which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.
“So it’s not free, it’s actually hundreds of millions of dollars.”
He said the price of taking on the plant’s liabilities would not have cancelled out the impacts of job losses or the cutback of thermal, baseload power.
My heart goes out to the power engineers, including those who run the power companies.
For decades they thought their job, their responsibility, was to deliver stable, reliable power to the people.
Now their job has been made impossible by idiot politicians whose future energy plans are based on harnessing sunbeams and unicorn farts. The reward for years of service in often hazardous conditions is utter disdain and contempt from green fanatics who despise them as planet wreckers, green fools who never pause to think about what makes all the modern conveniences they take for granted possible.
It would not have caused any harm to leave the coal plant intact for a few years, to delay the demolition and cleanup, just in case.
Go with grace guys – what will happen next is not your fault.