Australian leader hints at a clean energy target by year's end

August 28, 2017 / 4:16 AM / 2 days ago

From Reuters

Reuters Staff
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reacts during a media conference in Sydney, Australia, July 30, 2017. AAP/Sam Mooy/via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia could adopt a clean energy target by the end of the year, heeding the call of national energy providers and scientists as a means to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was “carefully considering” the recommendation by the nation’s chief scientist Alan Finkel as a way to ensure affordable, reliable and cleaner power.

“We’re certainly aiming to make a decision by the end of the year,” Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Finkel in June led a list of recommendations presented to the government aimed at ending a decade of political warfare over climate policy, meaning coal-fired power generation using carbon-capture technology could potentially be used alongside gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar.

Energy companies argue they need long-term policy certainty to invest in new power generation and bring down electricity bills – and the key to unlocking that was to roll out a national clean energy target.

The government is awaiting a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which Turnbull labeled “a critical thing” before moving to decide on a target.

“First, we need to be satisfied as to what the gap in baseload power is going to be over the next five and 10 years,” he said.

Read the rest of the story here.

HT/Greg Woods

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August 30, 2017 10:01 am

Keep up the pressure.

Reply to  hunter
August 30, 2017 10:29 am

Yes, what Australia really needs is a well conceived and considered plan to devolve back into 2nd world status.
“When sufficient layers of management are superimposed atop one another, disaster is not left to chance.”

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 31, 2017 6:55 pm

You are absolutely right.
“Australia could adopt a clean energy target by the end of the year, heeding the call of national energy providers and scientists as a means to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was “carefully considering” the recommendation by the nation’s chief scientist Alan Finkel as a way to ensure affordable, reliable and cleaner power.”
We in the U.S. feel sorry for what is happening in Australia. Australia already has the true answers in hand and it is not the renewables! With the industry of the people, unlimited coal reserves, and huge options for fracking, it appears your politicians have figured out how to destroy an entire nation. They are creating an expensive, unreliable power grid (not good for industry), and the need for a back-up system that is redundant and will more than double the cost of energy, hitting the poor the hardest. What more do you want particularly in light of the fact that CO2 cannot be responsible for as much as 10% of the global warming that has been claimed and in fact a number of regions of the world are showing global cooling.

Curious George
August 30, 2017 10:06 am

Affordable, reliable, and cleaner power. Pick any two.

Bengt Abelsson
Reply to  Curious George
August 30, 2017 10:12 am

A modern gasfired power plant is affordable, reliable and clean.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
August 30, 2017 10:37 am

Not when you define CO2 as a pollutant. Which is, of course, insane, but that’s what they have done.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
August 30, 2017 10:45 am

Affordable depends on your fuel source choice and its availability. Australia has abundant NG resources but it ships a lot of it as LNG to Asia.

Destination of Australia’s LNG exports (2011)
Country Export volume (million tonnes)
Japan 13.8
China 3.6
South Korea 0.8
Taiwan 0.3
Other 0.4
Total 18.9
Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012

Australia would be better served to drive a some of those Asia-bound LNG transport ships down to NSW and SA to keep domestic electricity prices from further skyrocketing. That in turn will keep industry/manufacturing and good paying jobs from further fleeing to Asia.
The problem of course is Japan is highly industrialized and even more dependent on fossil-fuel energy with the shutdown of their nuclear-powered generation plants. So Japan is willing to pay top dollar for LNG.
So Australia’s real choice must be to rapidly expand the NG supply infrastructure. Coal gasification is an option, if it weren’t for the batshit crazy environmentalists that have been voted into to various Oz state governments.
So shale fracking and expansion of existing drilled NG resources seems to be the best near term option. Then run a fleet of LNG tankers around the coasts to the East and SouthEast coastal ports where it is needed for powering modern NG electricity generation plants.

Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
August 30, 2017 10:50 am

Yes, they have queered the pitch before they start by calling it the need for a “clean energy plan”.
They need an energy plan. Period.

John Michelmore
Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
August 30, 2017 4:37 pm

Unfortunately for Australians the local natural gas price is more than the LNG sale price to Japan. That’s how bad it really is!

Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
August 30, 2017 9:36 pm

You only have your own state politicians to blame. In Western Australia we put provisions in to place that linked a percentage of GAS to the local market for each new field. Blind Freddy could see what was going to happen but apparently not Eastern State politicians.
Gives you => reserving domestic gas equivalent to 15 per cent of LNG production from each LNG export project
It’s not hard takes one act of state parliament … or are all the politicians over there corrupt.

Reply to  Curious George
August 30, 2017 9:11 pm

Um, I don’t believe the couplet [affordable, cleaner] is valid.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 10:08 am

Judging by what has happened so far it is obvious what the base load energy gap will be – lots of blackouts for ordinary Australians, collapsing industries and as the madness unfolds the falling apart of transport and food distribution systems. Do they really want to do this. I suppose if they rush ahead at least it will eventually be so obvious a disaster that even the EU will eventually see sense. Hopefully sanity will prevail in the U.K. And we will be fracking cheap energy as the climate scare disintegrates into a gnashing of green teeth and relief from the sane part of society.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 10:15 am

What has happened so far is extreme weather and extraordinarily bad grid management.
Thank goodness the battery systems, new wind and solar CSP going into South Australia will prevent future blackouts. (so long as they set the grid trip up properly – something the Germans sorted out a decade ago)

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 10:52 am

What “batteries”?

Schrodinger's Cat
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 10:57 am

The Germans built more coal fired stations.

Schrodinger's Cat
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:04 am

Your timing is excellent. It seems that the German grid will soon implode according to the Germans.

Andrew Cooke
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:07 am

Griff, do you read your own posts and critique them before you post them? Your posts are so blatant sometimes that you remind me of the Iraqi Information Minister, Al-Sahhaf during the 2003 Iraq war. He was called Baghdad Bob because it was obvious everything he was saying was propaganda (in the style of previous propagandists like Hanoi Hannah).
Maybe someone here can give you an appropriate nickname. Something that matches the propaganda style.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:08 am

No Griff what has happened is Australia has destroyed it’s reliable power system in favor of a useless power system that does not work. Wind and solar are a waste of time and energy and will not replace base power and since they blew up the last base-load coal plant the time of darkness is upon them. If not now it will be soon. The popcorn is ready.

Old England
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:11 am

20 minutes of battery standby !!! Better get paraffin lamps, candles, wood-fired stove and a hand-cranked radio ready. Graff would love it, being back in the middle ages.

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:15 am

Griff really thinks that by adding 100s of trillions of dollars worth of batteries, he’s going to make expensive power cheap.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:27 am

NO …. Griff doesn’t think. He spouts green propaganda with no economics or common sense applied. Combine that with a nonsensical “extreme weather” outlook and you have our Griffee.

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 1:34 pm

I am from Australia and can tell you that the current “conservative” party will be massacred at the next election. Turnbull is currently in favour of a battery system in Sth Aus. that will cost in excess of $700,000,000. when they could have saved a coal powered power plant for $25,000,000…the power plant would have produced 100 times as much power.
The lying loony left blame it all on “Extreme weather” etc because that’s what the group-think freaks tell them to think. Meanwhile all of Sty. Aus. business is leaving the state…

el gordo
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 2:30 pm

Griff what is required is a true charismatic individual to emerge from this pseudo Marxist political cesspit and tell Australians that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 2:34 pm

Thank goodness for blinders and ear plugs to avoid that mean and disallowed word called cost.

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 4:12 pm

Andrew Cooke: Griff Graft?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 4:38 pm

“Griff August 30, 2017 at 10:15 am
What has happened so far is extreme weather…”
Talking out of a hole in the back of your head from your comfy armchair again Griff? Please don’t talk about extreme weather in Australia if your only reference is the BBC, ABC or The Guardian, your misinformation is showing (Again).

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 9:08 pm

Yes I have had just about enough of what appears to be some British troll nutter telling us what is happening in Australia as what he gleamed from some news articles. As a few have commented as the East Coast will have power blackouts over summer there will be repercussions and you can expect a sudden drop in renewable energy support. Griff, perhaps stick to commenting on Britian you might at least ahve some idea what is going on there.

Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 4:44 pm

[snip -policy violation – mod]
Go and apologise for lying about Dr. Crockford, why don’t you?

Old England
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 11:07 am

Don’t bet on sanity prevailing in the UK …… I’ve just received a response from Department for
Transport and OLEV about the significant CO2 emission increase that will come from the electric vehicle only policy. They rubbish the Swedish study that showed 15-20 tonnes of CO2 emitted in battery manufacture with 50% renewable energy used – because Tesla will have batteries made with renewable energy.
They either choose to ignore or don’t know that China is predicted to have 65% of global Lithium Ion battery manufacture in the next few years – seems they are also oblivious too the Doubling of CO2 emissions by China by 2030 that was agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement. Don’t seem aware that China has another 700 coal fired power stations planned!
So with potentially 65% of batteries coming from China and not made with renewable the UK will be directly responsible for a 9% – 18% increase in CO2 emissions above UK’s 2015 levels after 2040. But OLEV are convinced there will be no increase at all – simply a reduction. If the emissions are in China I guess they don’t accept them as a UK responsibility.
There are none so blinds as those who will not see ….. Green ‘thinking’ seems to require a suspension of logic and an ability to deny reality.

Reply to  Old England
August 30, 2017 9:14 pm

Remember the chinese emissions won’t be counted, in the first instance until 2030 they are ignored and then after that you just need creative number keeping. It’s a bit like the German coal power stations that are still operating but simply exporting their power, the emission don’t count to Germany. What is the bet the importing countries also won’t count the emissions so those German coal power stations magically don’t produce any emissions. There are no control bodies, fines on punishments to the agreements and does anyone think countries won’t cheat …. really.

Reply to  Old England
August 30, 2017 11:24 pm

It’s a waste of time asking questions of the Government. The bureaucrats always come back with the same old green crap propaganda.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 11:31 am

Malcolm Turnbull is nucking futs.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
August 30, 2017 9:16 pm

Q What’s the difference between Malcolm Turnbull and the Suez Canal?
A The Suez Canal is busy ditch.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
August 31, 2017 6:24 am

sooner hes dissed the better
and ditherall in sa need to be removed asap
see qlds trying to bribe people to install remote controls run by powercos to lower power into aircons etc
no mention of burning out motors of course..
vic already got shat on properly with forced smart meters that now cost us 5x as much for service fees as they did prior.

August 30, 2017 10:09 am

Determine to transport Australia into a third world status,keep it up.
Prices are SOARING,because of Government decisions in recent years.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 30, 2017 10:13 am

yes – the build out of unnecessary infrastructure based on forecasts of demand increases which did not materialise have driven up Australian power prices

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 11:16 am

Who would have guessed that when you triple the cost of electricity, people will use less of it.

Bryan A
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 12:07 pm

Demand increases were replaced by price increases. Energy price increases will lead to cost increases for manufacturing and make their products more costly and less competitive in the global market. This leads to relocation of manufacturers to countries with lower cost energy. This will lower demand thereby further driving up the price of energy for those who cannot relocate

el gordo
Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 2:36 pm

Griff power consumption has fallen while prices continue to rise, the gap is the carbon tax according to Alan Kohler.

Reply to  Griff
August 30, 2017 2:56 pm

Does anyone know in which sanitarium Griff resides?

Robert from oz
Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 12:12 am

Eh Griff what about all the desalination plants built because of climate forecasts ?

Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 12:21 am

WRONG, griff.
If you ever talked about anything you knew anything about
…. your mouth would stay permanently shut

Reply to  Griff
August 31, 2017 4:49 pm

More lies on behalf of the exploiters like Sheffield, Gore and Huhne, Skanky?
Do you have no conscience whatsoever?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 30, 2017 4:33 pm

Those decisions were made by Howard in 1991. That was the root cause of the situation we are in today. Gillard, carbon tax 2010. Power prices went up. Abbott, carbon tax gone, 2013. Power prices went down. Abbott ousted for Turnbull, carbon tax reinstated July 1st 2016. Power prices went up, ~20% July 1st 2017, and will continue to rise at about ~20% year on year. I am not sure what Turnbull is “doing” with power bosses, but I think his efforts will be a waste (Nothing new there). No point trying to drop power prices ALL THE WHILE we still have RETs! We are P!$$ING against the wind.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 30, 2017 9:20 pm

Fait accompli. Sad!

August 30, 2017 10:11 am

I will Malcolm Turnbull more than a hint; it WILL end in disaster, but not my country, not my problem.

Reply to  andrewmharding
August 30, 2017 9:33 pm

In a way it’s a godsend that the example for the world will be set by devastating only the 13th ranked economy in a country less populous than Texas. Damned generous of the Aussies to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Gonna miss that Carlton Draught, though.

Grahame Booker
August 30, 2017 10:17 am

About the only thing we can be sure of is that state managed energy will be a great deal more costly and less reliable than what could be provided by private industry responding to market incentives. If this the recommendations of state run science are accepted, the rest of the country will end up in the same mess as South Australia.

Reply to  Grahame Booker
August 31, 2017 6:28 am

funny you say that?
when prior when NO power was privatised we had affordable power,
well we win..if having worlds highest power cost is a win
we, the people dont think so

August 30, 2017 10:19 am

to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices…..oxymoron……emphasis on moron

Aidan Condie
August 30, 2017 10:24 am

As has been said before, the world needs a crash dummy.

Reply to  Aidan Condie
August 30, 2017 10:35 am

California is not far behind. Moonbeam is on his way to develop an unreliable power system.

August 30, 2017 10:32 am

“meaning coal-fired power generation using carbon-capture technology”
The above quote shows how crazy the government of Australia is.

Reply to  mikec
August 30, 2017 10:55 am

CCS is an insane waste of natural resources. Only “green logic” demands increases in efficiency to save energy at the same time as insisting you waste vast amounts of your energy output.

August 30, 2017 10:37 am

Another govt/nation being stampeded into doing something RIGHT NOW, rather than understanding future energy sources such as molten salt reactors, which are not far off, and are cheaper than any power technology, will be built in factories, require no cooling water, can be deployed rapidly with minimal site preparation – they can be located within cities or towns – basically ANYWHERE you choose, including underground.
And in case this guy has been on Mars, electric cars will be in mass deployment even sooner. So stop and THINK, stupid, before making yet another idiotic and expensive decision. Govt leaders are such clueless pansies. And don’t rely on the words or opinions of ONE scientist. Whatever happened to diversity? Especially diversity of thought?

August 30, 2017 10:41 am

Makes no sense…..if it’s really about CO2…then these countries make no difference…until China, India, and over 200 other countries are on board..
Might as well say “my neighbors really fat….so I’m going to stop eating”

Reply to  Latitude
August 30, 2017 10:56 am

More like : I don’t have enough to eat so I’ll sell half of what I have to my fat neighbour.

Reply to  Latitude
August 30, 2017 11:23 am

‘ …until China …’
The next door fat boy Kim is determined to show that he requires more urgent attention than the AGW and CO2.

August 30, 2017 10:50 am

Australians not only live ‘down under’ but appear to have a PM with his brain located down under too.

Reply to  vukcevic
August 30, 2017 1:05 pm

He is gone by or at, the next election.

Reply to  Craig
August 30, 2017 4:59 pm

The Coalition, Labor and Greens all believe CO2 causes global warming, nobody to vote for.
Vote Informally.

August 30, 2017 11:18 am

If your problem is “soaring power prices”, wouldn’t you want to adopt a Lower Price Target and work toward achieving that goal? Adopting a Clean Energy Target seems like a good way to insure that, as Mr. Obama said, “electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket”.

Reply to  Ricdre
August 30, 2017 11:42 am

Or check out Ontario’s experience first.

Reply to  Ricdre
August 30, 2017 12:26 pm

A way to achieve that goal, whilst preventing Green Zombie Apocalypse, is to set a budget for “clean” energy subsidies, lets say 10% of consumer bills, but politicians are attracted to “targets” like moths to a flame, and run from limits to their spending like cockroaches under attack.

Reply to  climanrecon
August 30, 2017 1:26 pm

If you set a “Clean Energy” subsidy that is less then the current amount spent on “Clean Energy” subsidies then companies would begin exiting the “Clean Energy” business because they could no longer make as much money. If you set it higher then you would get even more “soaring power prices”. My personal preference would be “Clean Energy” subsidy = 0.

son of mulder
August 30, 2017 11:36 am

Isn’t Australia the world’s largest coal exporter? I assume they’ll be stopping that toute suit.

son of mulder
Reply to  son of mulder
August 30, 2017 11:38 am

tout suite

Phil Rae
Reply to  son of mulder
August 30, 2017 5:52 pm

Tout de suite, actuellement! : ]

Patrick MJD
Reply to  son of mulder
August 30, 2017 4:27 pm

It’s about to get bigger.
Green heads exploding! Problem is NONE of it will be sold and burnt in Australia. So global CO2 emissions will not be affected by any emissions reductions Australia, stupidly, engages in. Shoot, aim, ready!

Tom Halla
August 30, 2017 11:43 am

Turnbull is like Gov Brown or Chancellor Merkel==>doubling down on stupid.

August 30, 2017 11:45 am

Get rid of a destructive prime minister! What a chicken head are all thos who put him there. What is their their agenda?

Matthew Bruha
Reply to  Roger
August 30, 2017 12:09 pm

The alternative is worse as the ALP are promising an even higher renewables target. As stated previously in the thread the problem is the successful lobbying by environmental groups on the state governments to leave the (abundant) fossil fuels in the ground

Reply to  Matthew Bruha
August 30, 2017 10:22 pm

The Federal government has no ability to force anything to be left in the ground. It always surprises me how ignorant of Australian law the public are. So here is a quick review
Key point: “State ownership of minerals has had the important result that governments, rather than private landholders, determine the legal regimes governing mineral exploration and production.”
Only your State government can force resources to be left in the ground because they own it !!!!!!!
So even something unthinkable happened like the Greens won Federal Government they have no ability to block it’s use. All they could try to do is impose a Federal tax over any export and that would set up an interesting situation in the High Court about a largely unruled on relationship between State and Federal government. The situation has existed for many years already with Uranium where successive Federal Labour governments would have loved to ban the mining of it but they can’t.
You will note the only part Federal Government gets involved in is when it’s exported.

Reply to  Roger
August 30, 2017 9:29 pm

Malcolm was installed, and reflected on a platform of
– I’m slightly less insane than Bill Shorten
– I can bring a greenleft agenda without handing govt to the Teamstera Union
He simultaneously told the Liberals, who he loathes, that they can block his greenleft agenda so have nothing to lose.

August 30, 2017 11:57 am

‘Australia could adopt a clean energy target by the end of the year, heeding the call of national energy providers and scientists as a means to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices.’
Yep, all they ever needed was a target. You’d think someone else would have come up with one earlier. It’s a ‘means to cut carbon emissions and cap soaring power prices.’

Leo Smith
August 30, 2017 12:03 pm

Australia is technically competent, has vast reserves of uranium, and huge tracts of GABBA* in which to dispose of radioactive waste and site power stations, along a largely uninhabited coastline.
The obvious answer is loadsanukes
Perhaps one day they will realise it.
*Great Australian Bugger All.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 30, 2017 12:08 pm

Ah. This explains it bettercomment image

Bryan A
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 30, 2017 12:33 pm

Unfortunately the Great Barrier Reef didn’t work as much of a barrier

Bryan A
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 30, 2017 12:34 pm

Good thing that the women down under aren’t also marsupials

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 30, 2017 2:33 pm

Yeabut at least those ‘deadly spiders in the dunny’ are no longer where shown on the map. Apparently we had a plague of ‘daddy long legs’ (not sure what they are called in the rest of the world) in Queensland a few years back, and they killed all the redback spiders here. One less thing trying to kill us at least 🙂

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 31, 2017 12:26 am

No, Nukes are no required.
Australia has some of the best and largest coal deposits in the world.
That is what should be being used.
An new high-efficiency COAL-fired power station in each eastern state would solve the problem for years to come.
With the added bonus of a tiny amount of extra atmospheric CO2.
But the RET and the political idiocy and weakness, and CO2 hatred make it almost impossible for a coal powered station to work as it should work.

August 30, 2017 12:05 pm

Reads like the Aussies are going to sign a suicide pact – and carry it out. The Chinese will be laughing all the way to the bank and will eventually buy control of all their coal properties.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  techgm
August 30, 2017 4:23 pm

“techgm August 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm
The Chinese will be laughing…”
They have been doing that for a long time esp when the British could not give the Chinese drugs in trade for tea fast enough.

August 30, 2017 12:28 pm

I suspect the problem Downunder is the proportion of your population which lives in larger cities. Like the USA, these folks tend to lean left I’ll bet. Looks like about 15mm of your 24mm live in your top 10 cities. Promise to take care of them and you get what you have. Works here too! Evidently the densely packed areas of our country voted for Hillary enough to get her a majority. Thank God for the electoral college! In any event, good luck.

Curious George
Reply to  JimG1
August 30, 2017 1:09 pm

Interesting times. The working class leans right. The welfare class leans left.

August 30, 2017 12:40 pm

Euan Mearns on his Energy Matters blog, has today an informative paper on the Australian energy situation. There is lots of good stuff and I recommend everybody (everybody interested in facts that is) read it. Of particular interest is a series of charts showing that the wind does not blow all the time anywhere in Australia, therefore, the electricity system will have to have 100% coal/gas/diesel power generation capacity if the lights are to stay on. 50%, 75%, 90% are no good. Gotta be 100%.
Another site of energy interest is It shows the wind, pumped hydro and diesel power generation status minute by minute for the “windy” Canary Island of El Hierro. El Hierro is small, about 10,000 residents, and was outfitted with wind turbines and pumped storage nominally designed to provide all of the island’s electricity instead of the old diesel system. It isn’t working out that way. Sometimes the wind simply does not blow and the diesels have to carry the load. It seems the diesels are always running regardless of wind, perhaps to provide frequency control? The cost of El Hierro electricity runs about $1.20 per Kwh but most of that is paid by Spanish taxpayers.

Stephen Singer
August 30, 2017 12:48 pm

Enjoy living a 1800’s lifestyle since your pollys have the IQ of a wombat. No disrespect of wombat’s intended.

Reply to  Stephen Singer
August 30, 2017 1:07 pm

it just makes you want to punch a pollie in the face.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Stephen Singer
August 30, 2017 1:34 pm

“IQ of a wombat”
Scenes in Parliament:
Mr Fred Daly, Member for Grayndler: “….The honorable member opposite has the brains of a sparrow.”
Speaker: “Order! Order! The honorable member will withdraw that remark.”
Mr Daly: “Mr Speaker, in deference I withdraw. The honorable member does not have the brains of a sparrow.”

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Griff – please unenlighten us what precisely you meant by the intriguing reference to “unnecessary infrastructure”? A small list of examples would be instructive. This is a genuine interest – I can even give you an example which you might agree with: Sparta Prague football club have electric heaters installed 35 feet above the spectator stands to keep their fans warm watching the football. I thought I was starting to suffer from hot flushes until I looked up and realized in near disbelief what was going on. They must have several coal fired plants going flat out to keep that going for 90 minutes. Not proper hardy folk like Green Bay’s fans I suspect. But I don’t suppose this would figure as an item on your Australia list.
Looking forward with interest…

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 1:10 pm

He is probably thinking of air conditioners, you know, those un-necessary appliances that people use when the temperatures hit 35 degrees in summer?

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 30, 2017 7:15 pm

The politicians captivated by the saturation of media and academia with a constant message of CAGW are sheep. They are not clear thinkers or statesmen, and they default to the various green lobby’s talking points.
“Unnecessary Infrastructure” has been a line around for a long time now – and is used to suggest that transmission lines are gold plated instead of merely fit for purpose.
I happen to be in an industry which assists with the Electricity network in South Australia, and this justification for rising prices as nothing to do with renewables is a real stinker. Why have new power lines been built? They are built to service all the new wind farms that are built – all at some distance from major population centres. So new power line costs are required because…[common Griff .. fill in the dots..]
As for “gold plating”, there was a lot of comment here at the time of the state blackout that the towers that were built were anything but “gold plated”. A criticism that I felt was a little harsh given that it was a rare series of powerful tornadoes that did the damage. But it is still clear that the power lines were not over engineered.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 30, 2017 1:47 pm

At least the Australians know whom to sue when the whole wretched edifice comes crashing down. I wouldn’t like to be in mr Finkel’s shoes then.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 30, 2017 4:15 pm

A politician sued? I don’t think so. They are above the law…no sh*t will stick to them.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 31, 2017 1:07 am

Mr Finkel is the ‘adviser’ who mis-sold the energy policy.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 31, 2017 6:32 am

Finkle is the hired scapegoat.

August 30, 2017 2:47 pm

“affordable, reliable and cleaner power”
Translation: Unaffordable electricity prices (they have doubled in the last five years) but not as high as they would be if we adopted our opponent’s plan for an even higher renewable energy target.
Unreliable power until we build the world’s biggest battery, a huge pumped hydro system, and lots more peaking gas turbine stations as we shut down reliable 24×7 coal stations. But trust me,electricity will be cheaper because as your Prime Minister I have spoken harshly to the electricity generators and retailers.
Cleaner power meaning we will cut carbon emissions by destroying Australia’s low cost coal stations to meet Paris commitments and sending all job creating industries offshore.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Robber
August 30, 2017 4:11 pm

Musk wants to bring his “hover” train to Aus to get between Sydney and Melbourne in less than an hour.

August 30, 2017 2:50 pm

Every government official in Australia should be forced to watch “The Road to Abilene”, and come up with plan B, what actually works.

August 30, 2017 3:11 pm

For those who have not yet worked it out by looking at his photo, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s fearless leader, is an idiot. Unfortunately, the leader of the opposition who is likely to replace him at the next election is also an idiot. The voices of the sensible people in Parliament are not being heard in the debate.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ntesdorf
August 30, 2017 4:10 pm

There has been debate at Federal level? Bugger me!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 30, 2017 11:19 pm

Not likely we should get the one-two from the High court soon. They will highly likely knock down the same sex marriage ballot because it’s spending tax payer money without a bill of parliament. Then they will likely rule all members referred to it as being ineligible to be elected, despite Malcom saying it won’t happen. We will then see a tit for tat start where up to 20-30 members will all be ruled ineligible because there are a pile who are actually in breach on paid government relationships. We haven’t even started with that part of the section yet. Australians may care to watch a constitutional lawyer view on it
So I am looking forward to not having a working Parliament until at least December at about which time a few power blackouts will kick in. Got popcorn anyone.

August 30, 2017 3:22 pm

Yep Turnbull is a deluded, narcissistic idiot. The alternative, Bill Shorten is an opportunistic tool of the unions. We are soooo f***ked.

Mark from Oz
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
August 30, 2017 4:37 pm

Agree Mike, lack of choice in political candidates is going to destroy Australia. We have Labour and then try hard Labour, no centre right conservative party at all. Turnbull has pushed more traditional conservatives towards new or fringe parties. The liberal vote should collapse next election.

Patrick MJD
August 30, 2017 4:02 pm

Turnbull forgets he was in the Govn’t that started this “clean energy” boondoggle with renewable energy targets (RETs) in 1991. And we trust him now? The next federal election is in 2019, and his seat is under threat. PM’s don’t like poor polling in Aus, forget poor governance.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 30, 2017 8:06 pm

You must mean 2001 as Turnbull was not in politics in 1991. That original RET was to achieve 2% renewable energy. Labor under PM Rudd-a-dud-dud increased this to 20% in 2009.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  TonyM
August 30, 2017 9:40 pm

May have been even later for Turnbull. But I know it was Howard in 1991 that set, as you state, that initial 2% RET.

Mark from Oz
August 30, 2017 4:33 pm

The clean energy thing is just another virtue signal to the chardonnay set. The real issue here is energy supply. We have had 3 coal fired power stations close or reduce capacity, with NOTHING to replace it. We will have black & brown outs this summer. Some conservative politicians are pushing for a new coal fired plant, but facing the inevitable backlash from the ‘true believers’. I suspect that when these black & brown outs happen and affect everyday peoples lives, then these people will have an opinion and probably voice it whereas they didnt necessarily have an opinion previously.

Reply to  Mark from Oz
August 30, 2017 10:28 pm

Mark it wont make a bit of difference. The Labor and Green parties will all chime out that the power losses are all due to unprecedented demand caused by global warming/changing/manipulating and the stupid media will put it on the front pages and we will stumble on onwards and downwards.

Chris In Hervey Bay
August 30, 2017 4:53 pm

Remember, it was Malcolm Turnbull who said it didn’t matter what party or what Ideology he supported, as long it was a path to the Primeministership.
Proven to have NO principles.

August 30, 2017 6:40 pm

The SA issue is simply stated: – a grid without sufficient inbuilt stabilizers.
– They have blown up (!) one large baseload station – Playford
– wind blows only sometimes –
– Interconnects to VIC are limited and will trip out (islanding SA) for self-protection – capabilities here At 460 plus 220 Mw nominal capacity, this is well under 50% of average SA demand. For instantaneous data, see
– VIC has closed Hazelwood (coal-fired) so has diminished the dispatchable generation capacity formerly available to SA –
– black-start capabilities (needed but failed in last September’s state-wide black system event – see final report here are supplied by contracted-in SRAS (mainly CCGT ).
– AEMO’s final report (P8) states ‘Requirement for a minimum number of on-line synchronous generators in SA.’
– Online means dispatchable (wind is not)
– Synchronous means synchronised to or capable of controlling grid frequency (wind power converters can follow but not control grid frequency)
– Minimum Number means sufficient inertia (mechanical or synthetic) to keep rate-of-change-of-frequency (RoFoC) within set bounds, and to ride through voltage and other (e.g. power factor changes) grid disturbances.
SA is the poster-child/crash-test-dummy for political will over-riding engineering considerations and grid capabilities. It’s latest stop-gap is (gasp!) diesel-fuelled turbines…
Plus a 150MW (nameplate) thermal-solar rig for a mere billion or so (by the time it’s built).

August 30, 2017 7:22 pm

When back in the time of PM Rudd, the then opposition l leader was Turnbull. He agreed with all that Rudd was saying about Climate change.m Then he was rolled by Tony Abbott who said that “It was all a loqd of crap’. Then later when Abbott was OM the marginal seat MP’s paacked and Turnbull took over again.. So now we have a Green government..
Regarding the chief scientist, , he was never asked to explain the properties of the gas CO2, so his report is a Green ceompromise..
Never mind when the lights start to go out, , first in South Australia , sanity will l finally emerge

C. Paul Barreira
Reply to  Michael Elliott
August 31, 2017 6:49 pm

“Sanity will finally emerge.”
Why? The public seems to believe that the more renewable sources of energy—wind turbines, batteries and solar arrays—there be the cheaper the energy becomes. Wrong-headed it may be but there it is. And all political parties in South Australia agree.

August 30, 2017 7:51 pm

Turnbull and Liberal/National Party (equiv to Republicans in US) would have dearly loved to curb RET and renewable incentives but he is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
On the one hand the opposition in Labor and Greens (equiv to Democrats in US) want to be cleaner than clean mud with a target of 50% renewable. They, with a handful of independents, control the Senate which is required to pass all Federal legislation. Further the State Govts are mainly Labor and have direct control of power supply and the extraction of underground gas.
The other crunch rock is that Turnbull is stuck with the Paris accord. Such is Angela Merkel’s new international cooperation that the French threatened Oz when it seemed we might not ratify COP 21.
Trump can thumb his nose at the Europeans quite unlike Oz which is more vulnerable with its much smaller population and economy. I note the French did not threaten Trump nor that the US would be made to “pay” if it pulled out of the Paris Accord.
The best Turnbull can do is force the renewable industry to provide its own backup; Finkel recommends something like 1.5 hours of power backup – tokenism. Green ideology permeates most of the sound waves, particularly the national broadcaster, the ABC. Turnbull on a rare occasion let fly at the ABC the other night (on another matter) so it is not that he is unaware of the damage this renewable junk is causing Oz.
Subsidizing inefficient renewable energy is economic vandalism. Oz is simply forced to play this bizarre game of weakening itself in line with Europe. Bear in mind this was led by Obama! Be thankful the US escaped Hillary.

Reply to  TonyM
August 30, 2017 10:21 pm

He should cancel all renewable energy targets and aid. The greens and the left are banging on about it is the cheapest form of electricity generation – why would they need 20 billion a year to support them?

Reply to  ardy
August 31, 2017 5:08 am

He has no power to cancel anything along the lines you suggest. Ask Pr Trump how easy it is to achieve his agenda. Oz is no different with checks and balance in the political system.

August 30, 2017 9:04 pm

I still say that Turnbull is a Green in his thinking, he is certainly a left wing. LiberaL, similar to Don Chip who founded the Australian Democrats, whereas Abbott is hard right , similar to the right wing of the US Rep. party.
If Turnbull had any backbone he has only to ask the Chief scientiswt to say if in fact that CO2 is a good gas, essential for all life on this planet, , and the while silly “House of Cards” will come crashing down.

August 30, 2017 10:18 pm

Turnbull is a nightmare scenario as a right wing PM for Australia. He comes from the eastern suburbs of Sydney (read very wealthy and very green), he has always been in favour of renewables and lost his position due to this.He quietly agrees with almost everything the left wingers bang on about.
The guy is also a gutless PITA with about the same weight of balls as a chicken. Today he seriously stated on TV that Australia will come to the aid of America if they invade Nth Korea, as if the USA needs our aid?
The country has gone from $40M + in 2007 to half a trillion of debt since the labor party and then the Liberals came in. The left wing argument is 1/2 a trillion dollars in a country of 24 million is nothing compared to Europe or the USA. Pathetic arguments. We will be begging for reliable power in 10 years.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ardy
August 30, 2017 10:49 pm

And we have billionare types like Dick Smith who says Australia will have a population of 100million, all Asians. Xenophobic much Dick? 100million people doing what exactly? There is an ever shrinking employment/industrial base as it is.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 31, 2017 12:28 am

Opening up the north of Australia with irrigation, industry, transport network etc would make Australia a major supplier of high quality food to the Asian region.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 31, 2017 12:30 am

I for one would have no issue with a massively increased Asian population.
Just keep the Islamist out !!

Reply to  ardy
August 31, 2017 3:08 am

Turnbull “right wing”? Seriously? By your own subsequent reasoning, he’s as mad green as. Always had been. Through gritted teeth he holds the line on border protection only to save his skin from a revolt by the conservative faction. He’s quite simply a waffling, dithering, zero-principled dud led by the nose by a nightmare Labor Opposition.

Robert from oz
August 31, 2017 1:57 am

I’m thinking of immigrating to North Korea , at least their Glorious leader doesn’t pretend not to be a commie dictator .

August 31, 2017 2:30 am

“Clean Energy Target” (CET) is simply a new name for the existing “Renewable Energy Target” (RET). In keeping with Australia’s commitment to the Paris agreement, the RET is 25%.
Whatever the number is, the effect on global temperature will be essentially zero. Indeed, Finkel himself conceded to a Senate inquiry that the effect would be “nothing, no effect”. So, by any sane reasoning, any RET or CET greater than zero, quite simply bonkers.
Yet, with Monty Python logic, Finkel himself recommended a CET of 42.5%. PM Turnbull, an appalling dud leader, is stupid and green left enough to adopt it. Opposition Labor’s RET is 50%. Tweedledum and Tweedledee idiots. Peas in a madhouse pod. God have mercy on Australia.

Robert of Ottawa
August 31, 2017 2:38 am

The man’s an idiot. Who’s he trying to placate; not Australians who don’t want him or his green energy. Of course the alternatives are worse so bak to my question?

Coach springer
August 31, 2017 5:24 am

Why is an energy provider concerned with “carbon” and imploring the government to do “something”? Money. Otherwise, it continues to make affordable, reliable energy with miniscule climatological impact.

August 31, 2017 4:52 pm

95% of Australian politicians are brain dead if there brains where made of dynamite they wound not be enough to blow there hat off , NEXT WEEKS WEATHER REPORT for our ski fields up to 100cm of snow could fall on a already deep base

August 31, 2017 7:20 pm

The big question is when Bill Shorton becones PM, a certainty at present, will he do a Bob Hawke and knowing as did Bob where all the Labour bodies are buried, will he forget his talk of 50 % renewables and do what needs doing,. Coal fired power stations and back to government ownership of energy. Sadly the market has failed this country, so lets go back to what worked, especially here in SA, the Electricity Trust were wonderful at providing cheap electricity.

Warren Blair
September 1, 2017 4:31 pm

Average electricity price in Australia should be 1/4 current average price.
Malcolm answers to Black Rock Investments and allied funds; the globalist green energy cartel.
Australians are too busy or too uninformed to realise AU cause of expensive electricity.
Green globalists are stealing our money and displacing our industries and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Issue hasn’t reached crisis point so expect more manipulation and talk about lowering prices; all fake.
We’re moving our new coating line to China because electricity is our largest production expense,
Three years ago when we started line construction energy was affordable; not now so we’re out of here.

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