Aussie Politicians Panic Over Coal Closures

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Australia’s green conservatives are panicking that after years of political vilification, coal businesses are abandoning their plants, leaving a gaping hole in Australia’s baseload power reserves.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

AGL digs in on coal plant closure as Turnbull government warns of ‘colossal failure’

Nicole Hasham James Massola
SEPTEMBER 6 2017 – 2:38PM

Energy giant AGL has issued a further snub to the Turnbull government, insisting it does not plan to sell its ageing Liddell power station nor keep it open beyond 2022.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, AGL said it was committed to closing the NSW coal-fired power station – Australia’s oldest operating coal plant – as planned.

But power company Delta Electricity has indicated it could be interested in buying the plant, subject to price and the cost of upgrading the station to keep it running.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said the government was still in talks with AGL over the future of Liddell and it was too early to say if the government would give financial incentives to a new owner of the plant.

A report from the nation’s energy market operator on Tuesday warned urgent action was needed to prevent blackouts on hot summer days. In response, Mr Turnbull said his government wanted to delay the closure of Liddell, in NSW’s Hunter Valley, for at least five years.

It is slated to close in 2022, which AGL says is the end of the plant’s operating life.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/agl-digs-in-on-coal-plant-closure-as-turnbull-government-warns-of-colossal-failure-20170906-gybqyf.html

The AEMO report on Australia’s dispatchable power shortfall, which mentions the AGL Liddell plant by name;

The NEM is not delivering enough investment in flexible dispatchable resources to maintain the defined target level of supply reliability, as the transition from traditional generation to variable energy resources proceeds. This was vividly illustrated by the load-shedding events of February 2017 and by the Finkel Review analysis. Most stakeholders see changes to market rules as the most economically efficient way to remedy this deficiency. AEMO forecasts of NEM demand and published investment plans confirm the urgency of this task and short-term measures will be necessary until a long-term solution is agreed and becomes fully effective.

Liddell Power Station retirement: Prior to the retirement of Liddell (announced by AGL to occur in 2022), around 1,000 MW of new investment is expected to be required to preserve reliability of supply in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria at the NEM standard. Mechanisms should be established in the NEM design to address this, and similar requirements, for the long term.

Read more: https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Media_Centre/2017/Advice-To-Commonwealth-Government-On-Dispatchable-Capability.PDF

My impression is AGL simply don’t want to be the bad guys anymore. Thanks to massive government incentives, green energy is far more profitable than coal, so AGL appear to be running down their coal plants and abandoning them. The fact renewables are not a viable replacement for baseload power, the fact the risk of blackouts is skyrocketing, isn’t AGL’s problem; it is a problem for Australia’s overconfident politicians who thought coal plant operators would simply sit there and take the abuse, and the green pseudo-intellectuals who cheered on this political idiocy.

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220 thoughts on “Aussie Politicians Panic Over Coal Closures

    • The Greens were praying god to take off this plague of the coal stations, but when people would be living with the frequent blackouts they would see what is a real damnation.

    • LMAO! Seriously! According to media reports, PM Turnbull has called the power station execs to his Canberra abode twice to lecture them and lay down the law on their runaway electricity bills to the Australian public. AGL has just told the prime minister where to stuff his official press release.

      • Yes, and the outcome of those lectures from Turnbull was that the energy companies would write a letter to we plebs.
        A letter.
        A letter inviting us to go to their website and choose the best deal.
        A letter . . ffs

      • On 10 August I received a broadcast email from the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, headed “A better energy deal for your family”. It’s main thrust was that the government would help people to find the lowest energy prices available – it would actually do nothing to reduce energy prices (content reproduced below). I then wrote to my member of parliament as follows [MRET = Mandatory Renewable Energy Target”]:

        “A better energy deal for your family” is rubbish

        I’ve just received an email from Malcolm Turnbull titled “A better energy deal for your family”. It is absolute rubbish and an insult to everyone’s intelligence. It does nothing to reduce energy prices.

        To cut energy prices, you have to scrap MRETs, stop subsidising renewable energy, and create a competitive level-playing-field for energy.

        I’m sure you know this all very well. Please knock some sense into the Prime Minister.

        I received a personal email in reply, which did suggest that the MP understood the situation, but of course he/she was not able to say much. Hopefully, many others will have sent in similar messages, and the prime minister will finally understand. Past performance suggests that it may still take a long time.

        The email from Malcolm Turnbull said:

        Today we took further action to reduce energy prices for you, your family, and Australian businesses, and could save families hundreds of dollars a year.

        We are pleased to have secured agreement from energy retailers on immediate measures that will put your family first and small businesses first.

        The commitments include:

        ✔️ Contacting all the customers now who are on expired discounts and telling them how much they can save on a better deal.

        ✔️ Requiring companies report to the Government and ACCC what they are doing to get families on to a better deal and how many families remain on expired deals.

        ✔️ Developing simple, plain English, fact sheets with understandable comparison rates.

        ✔️ Support a change to the electricity rules requiring companies to inform customers when their discount benefits end, setting out the dollar impact of doing nothing.You can learn more by watching the clip below or reading the full release here.

        I’m sure that everyone here would agree that it really was rubbish.

  1. I hope South Australians get a nice warm fuzzy feeling paying their 50 cents per kWH for electricity. If they do not, they will get once over the summer when the load shedding starts when it is over 100 degrees outside!

      • 50c per kwh?

        During Cyclone Debbie I used a 5.5kw gennie for about 14h on $15 of diesel. That was obviously not running at 5.5kw all the time, but lights, fridge, water heater, pool pump and water pump for a dollar an hour. I’d estimate that’s easily in or below the 50c per kwh range.

    • The Liddel plant is in NSW. Not SA. It seems NSW is trying avoid the successful energy policies of SA.

      • Are you referring to the SA policy of relying on being bailed out by NSW electricity producers? Seems that there is now a date certain for when that game will end.

      • No, I was referring to New South Wales (NSW) not wanting to scrap its few remaining reliable energy producers like they did in South Australia (SA). Perhaps they can take a step back from the brink of energy foolishness before it’s too late.

      • Although Liddel is in NSW (the Hunter Valley), it along with Bayswater, Eraring and Vales Point all supply power to the other eastern states (QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS & SA).
        The NSW stations are part of the largest interconnected power network in the world.
        These four NSW plants supply about 20% of power to eastern Aust.

        Eastern Aust. requires 18,000MW (base load) at 3:00AM just to keep the lights on.

    • In Vancouver, my sons newer apartment has NO A/C. I suppose this is what they call a green development. In the summer, you sweat and maybe even die from heat exhaustion. Leaving a window open hardly helps when you’re bothered by a the frequent noise of a sky-train. Thankfully up-over doesn’t get as hot as down-under

  2. On behalf of the rest of humanity, we thank Australia for sacrificing its energy security for the sake of the planet.

    • BallBounces

      Not that I wish ill on the Australians, but it’s now a bellweather. If Aus. goes full tilt for renewables and it fails, which we all strongly suspect it will, the rest of the western worlds governments will be back-pedalling so fast they’ll meet themselves coming the other way.

      • Germany went full tilt with its Energiewende and it is a complete disaster. Unfortunately, Australian politicians have not heeded the German warnings and believe the alarmists that it is sweet!

        The Australian Federal government should prohibit the demolition of any ‘fossil fuel’ generators and nationalise any plant that energy companies are not reasonably utilising!

  3. But Nick Stokes said……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………!!!!

  4. Of course in Germany they made it ILLEGAL to close the Plants, how they got away with I have no idea.
    What do they do if the Company simply liquidates after moving any cash they have to the Cayman Islands and move there too?
    The chickens are coming home to roost, buy some popcorn as they say.

      • Government makes it impossible to run at a profit.
        So it’s hardly surprising they are going out of business.
        Once again you take the actions of politicians as proof that the science must be right.

      • The whole point is to shut them down, Mark, as the German govt sees it.

        So they rather have to keep enough running for just long enough, rather than keep them running at all.

        EON and RWE bit the bullet and split their companies – with all the coal and expenses from nuclear plant shut down going one way and the future investments in wind etc going the other way.

      • Griff

        How is Germany doing in its CO2 reductions?
        How much CO2 will Germany successfully reduce in the next 5 years?

        Discerning minds want to know. so we can see how Germany fares, or whether it is just being hypocritical when it criticized President Trump for pulling out of the Paris Accord.

      • When you don’t care about costs, go ahead and shut them down. The rest of Europe will, for now, provide the buffering needed to your grid from collapsing.

      • Griff, EON and RWE split their company assets so that they could quarantine the assets to take advantage of opportunities for emergency base load generation … they’re not idiots!

      • The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of Other People’s Money.

        The problem with Green energy is that you eventually run out of Other People’s Electricity.

      • “Whenever government legislates to force an economic outcome,the long term effect will be equal and opposite to that intended”. Newton’s Law of Government Regulations

    • There are power plants in Germany marked as National Power Reserve which cannot be closed. But of course, the companies are paid for to maintain them to get started if they are needed.

    • The Conservative Coalition government here in Kangaroo/Koala Land got the Chief Scientist to do a detailed Energy report.
      It is a mish mash of generally Green nonsense as all areas of society here are plagued with Green Imbeciles.
      One strong recommendation was that if business continued to invest in Coal Plants those plants must give 3 years notice to quit before being allowed to so do!
      It is written as …all large-scale generators must give three years’ notice to the market before closing….but this is directly aimed at coal plants.
      It basically means that when coal investors wake up to the fact that your competitor is subsidised at every stage and that you are contractually disadvantaged at every stage …no feed in tariffs…no Renewable Energy Subsidy for you …being shunted behind solar and wind generated power when they are plentiful…being expected to take up the slack when they do not generate power…you still must stay open for 3 years and lose money while the renewable bandits just keep on collecting the subsidies and contract favours whether they supply a product or not.
      Meanwhile, in Japan, we get this info from ABC Rural. Online. 1 Feb. 2017.
      ‘Japanese government planning to build 45 new coal fired power stations to diversify supply’

    • “buggs September 6, 2017 at 10:17 am

      So wait…the politicians are getting a result that was driven by them and now they’re unhappy? Go figger.”

      Exactly! But those pollies were “put” there by “voters”. Anyone with property in Aus, sell soon!

      • The kingmaker politics of parliamentary government and proportional representation give minority parties disproportionate influence. They only need enough to grab the tail, then they can wag the dog.

  5. Looks like AGL is ‘turning up the heat’ on the Turnbull government and all of their subsidized renewables-but-not-reliables’ competitors by shutting down their ‘dirty’ old coal plants and forcing the political green weasels and renewable energy shills to live with the mess they have forced on all Australia.

    ‘Atlas Shrugged’ lives….

    • yes, I reckon that’s it.

      “My impression is AGL simply don’t want to be the bad guys anymore.”

      More like they have had it with being taxed out of business and having the market stacked against them. There is a limit to when you hope it’s a political fad that will blow over with a change of power and you get to the point where you say this is not a viable business.

      Who would invest in maintaining old plant in those conditions. Yeah, they probably are saying : well see how well you get along without it. If you need us again give us a call …. but it’s gonna cost more to rebuild what you made us destroy.

      • More like they have had it with being taxed out of business and having the market stacked against them.

        Less so for AGL, though. The ‘G’ in AGL stands for Gas and they’re the largest Oz investor in renewable plant as well.

        They’re perfectly happy to sell us expensive ‘renewables’ and when the wind don’t blow and the wholesale price for electrons skyrockets, they’ll happily fill that gap with expensive gas.

        Not a bad business model if you can get away with it . . and they do.
        But it does mean you have send out the appropriate ‘Green’ signals.

      • but it’s gonna cost more to rebuild what you made us destroy

        One US energy study estimated the cost of a current coal plant at $39MWh, and rebuilding another coal plant in the exact same place at $95 (CCGT was $75).

        Their conclusion? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Or I guess it should be, if you can only replace it with unreliables, don’t destroy it…

      • AP…Spot On.
        Management of AGL is fully Postmodern Luvvie Left in its Climate/Renewables Religiosity.
        Linkedin has a listing for Skye Laris who is, AGL Senior Manager, Public Advocacy.
        I thought they were an Energy Provider but according to Skye this job means …Bringing deliberative democracy and online engagement together to build public advocacy…
        Which is Luvvie talk for Hacktivist yet this is a job at a major Energy provider but this is Australia and the hacks are immersed everywhere.
        Skye has form in this area. She has been Chief of Staff for 2 Labor Ministers and did the same job for our Favourite South Australian premier Jay Weatherill.
        And gigs at The Climate Institute as Communication Manager (any guesses what sort of message was communicated as in Alarm and Money) and a doozy job as Communication and Campaigns Director with GetUp…the most active Lefty Luvvie Hacktivist mob in Australia.
        Does venal crony capitalism ring a bell?

    • I’ve decided to go off grid and totally green , I’m getting the power into my property disconnected and running an extension cord to my neighbors, no more filthy fossil fuel powering my light globes .
      Just clean cheap power from those around me .
      A bit like Germany and South Australia, well that’s where I got the idea .

      • Germany trades the electricity with its neighbours – it isn’t all one way. (Germany exports more to France than it receives, mind you).

        If Germany is forecast to have a surpluso n a windy day, it gets sold to next door on the day ahead electricity market… when its windy in Denmark, likewise.

        Norway exports its hydro in opposite circumstances: when there’s less wind/solar and it can get a premium.

      • drednicolson: Good point. Germany is forced to sell when it has a surplus and is forced to buy when it has a shortage. The one forced to come to terms usually has the worst of the deal, and in this case when both buying and selling. Meanwhile, its neighbors are converting Germany’s green energy into their own greenbacks.

      • Griff

        Germany exports electricity by dumping it on the grid below cost. They are being sued by the Czech Republic for doing so as dumping is illegal both in the EU and WTO. The German distributor is forced by law to buy all the wind energy and get rid of it. They lose less by dumping it below cost than paying wind turbine owners not to produce. That loss plus possible future fines and penalties will still result in a lower loss than the idiocy of what the UK is doing which is paying people to do nothing because they have a contract.

  6. There are a lot of Australian politicians who were born on the wrong side of stupid and some who migrated across the line without any help. How they got to be in so much control of the country is beyond me. You would think the electorate would smell a rat.

    This disfunction is probably a result of eco brain washing in the school system and not enough teaching students how to think on their own.

  7. perhaps Australia should disband their two party Governmant, Dump the Hypocrats and the Idiocrats and form new parties for governance

    • The problem is that the new party ends up being populated by the politicians who weren’t smart enough to make it to the top in the existing parties.

      • Lets compare; community organizer vs billionaire land developer. Covfefe vs Paris Climate Treaty/Iran treaty/Bengazi/IRS scandal/created ISIS/no-growth economy etc. Votes are in, big ears loses on the IQ scale to covfefe. Though not my favorite, I’ll take covfefe any day over any lying (this is a given) democrat.

      • His fellow classmates don’t even remember him attending classes. It’s like graduating from HIgh School with a diploma and never having attended. They give you the diploma to get you out of the system.

      • Mark S Johnson. That is just plain funny. You are posting on a website where almost everyone who posts here has a real degree. You know. STEM. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

        Now, I am pretty impressed with his Harvard Law degree, but I know nothing about his grades. When it comes to undergrad degrees, I do have to say that Trump’s Wharton College Bachelor’s in Economics is more interesting than a PoliSci degree in International Relations. I suppose that comes from the fact that I don’t really respect politicians and I have set in some PoliSci classes and Economics classes and I can assure you, the PoliSci classes were easy compared to the Economics classes. To get into Harvard Law I can only assume Barry’s GPA was a 4.0, and I am sure you could trot out someone to say that Trump barely made it through remedial math but….I doubt it.

        I know, I know. By nature of their political beliefs, Democrats are blazingly smart and Republicans are stupid ignorant hicks, at least according to most elitists, but truly, this is the wrong site to go full bore elitist.

      • Andrew, if you examine the link from Harvard, pay close attention to the line “J.D. mcl ’91”
        ….
        The MCL means manga-cum-laude…….

        Show me when our current president made Wharton’s honor roll.

      • Sheesh Mark, we get it. You are convinced that our current President, Donald Trump is a drooling idiot and the last one, Obama the Great, should be deified and worshipped.

        You are beating a dead horse and making yourself look like a frothing nut.

        No one here cares about Obama the Great’s degrees. What good are your degrees if you enact stupid policies that are not only bad for America, but humorously enough, bad for the Democratic party.

        Case in point. The Paris Treaty. It wasn’t a stupid agreement, it was a Treaty. They just called it an agreement so Barry could bypass the senate, a blatantly illegal action.

        Neither do we care about Trump’s degree or lack therof, since you are saying he didn’t actually get it and it is a figment of everyone’s imagination. What we care about is that he enacts good policy. Has he done so? Not really. But he has done a few good things. I thank God everyday for Gorsuch and Trump pulling us out of the Paris TREATY, (Since It Was Never Ratified by the Senate, Which is What the CONSTITUTION Required).

        Frankly, I am Trump neutral. But do go ahead and keep licking Barry’s messianic feet.

      • Ok. That’s nice. Who cares? I don’t. In the next three and a half years that will probably fluctuate all over the place, like most polls do. Since, according to you, he’s too stupid to put his shoes on his own feet, he probably will just drool his way through the next three and a half years.

        Of course, the EPA will be changed by then, the Paris Treaty will be long gone, and all the CAGW crowd will have lost a lot of influence.

        That’s what really drives you crazy, isn’t it? Trump, who you consider to be of low intelligence, single-handedly defeated the agenda of the Great Messiah, Obama.

      • P.S.S. Mark S. Johnson, I apologize for my poor grammar. What I meant was that I thank God for Gorsuch being put in to replace Scalia and that Trump withdrew us from the Paris TREATY. I am well aware he hadn’t nothing to do with us pulling out.

      • Is that the best rejoinder you have? If Queen Hillary the First had been elected and appointed some progressive judge, you wouldn’t be calling them a two-bit.

        I don’t care about Trump. He has done some good things, like putting Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. But those good things he has done do not equate to making him wonderful. Or make me think I should worship his feet.

        See, I am not trying to defend Trump, I am just pointing out that you need to come down off your Obama high. I am a solid Republican, but I was always impressed with the fact that Bill Clinton was actually able to negotiate with the Republican Congress. They actually balanced the budget for a very small period of time. I was generally glad that Al Gore was never President but I didn’t like Bush’s foreign policy. I try to be even handed. Of course Barry was as bad as Carter but that’s just the way it is sometimes.

        But, I tell you what, let’s call off this political flame war and stop hi-jacking this thread. Andrew might delete it all.

      • Mark S J.

        Harvard!! It used to be a great school but I wouldn’t send my kid there now. It used to be K-12 that needed the overhaul because of lefty core subjects and lefty-only teachers, but I’m afraid if we are to avoid the next Dark Ages, we need knew institutions dedicated to a real (apolitical) education. These old bricks are now teaching Victimhood 101, Alinsky sociology and Lysenkoist Science and Neomarxist economics. There is no rehabilitation possible.

      • Andrew, if you examine the link from Harvard, pay close attention to the line “J.D. mcl ’91”

        Substantiating Fears of Grade Inflation, Dean Says Median Grade at Harvard College Is A-, Most Common Grade Is A

        So about that Magna Cum Laude…

        And lest we forget, this is the constitutional “scholar” who claimed that it would be unprecedented for the SCOTUS to overturn EO/ED and laws that he liked. You know, the same scholar with an abysmal record in the Supreme Court (where two bit judicial appointments apparently go). So aside from all those crony connections that got him into (and through) Harvard, what exactly did he learn?

      • 110% Correct Gary Pearse…..a perfect example of it is how you write: “we need knew institutions dedicated to a real (apolitical) education. ”
        ….
        Actually we need revitalized basic education, so that people know the difference between “knew” and “new.”

      • Poor Mark. He seems to think that lower courts are superior to the Supreme Court. No comment on the unprecedented rate of 9-0 rulings against the lightbringer?

      • PS Harvard Law is a school within the Harvard system. So your point is…? Perhaps you meant to say that it has a different grading standard. Well, that’s hard to say. What does the school itself say?

        1. A student who completes the requirements for the J.D. degree with distinction will receive the degree cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

        2. Latin honors at graduation will be based on the average of the three annual grade point averages (GPA). GPA will be calculated for each year of study and then averaged across the three years to determine Latin honors.

        3. (a) The annual GPA for students who matriculated as of, or after, Fall Term 2008 will be calculated by assigning the following values to grades: Honors: 4; Pass: 3; Low Pass: 2; Fail: 0. Dean’s Scholar Prize awards will carry an additional point. [1]

        (b) For all students, in calculating annual GPAs, each grade, including the Dean’s Scholar Prize, is weighted in accordance with the number of credits earned in the course.

        4. For students who matriculated as of, or after, Fall Term 2008, the summa cum laude will be determined by the requirement of a 4.75 GPA. The honor is exact and does not involve “rounding off”; ie., a GPA of 4.749 does not result in a degree summa cum laude. If, in a given year, no student earns a GPA of 4.75 or higher, summa cum laude will be awarded to the student (or students in the case of a tie) with the highest overall GPA.

        5. The magna cum laude will be awarded to the next ten percent of the entire class.

        6. The cum laude will be awarded to the next 30 percent of the entire class.

        So that is the standard today. What was it in ’91? Who knows. But if we assume that this standard was in place then, that would put Barry in the top 10% with a fudge factor for “Dean’s Scholar” points. But we’ve never actually seen Barry’s transcripts because he’s never released them. So the question right now is one of trust. And an institution that counts Naomi Klein among its great thinkers doesn’t inspire an awful lot of trust.

      • “Tsk, Tsk, you missed the point…….the real estate developer can’t write an EO that can get past the ***LOWER*** courts.”

        So again, you think that the process stops in the lower courts? Remind me how well WOTUS and CPP fared in the lower courts again.

        Justices agree to weigh in on travel ban, allow parts of it to go into effect

        Poor Mark. Did you graduate from Harvard Law too? Like our last President do you also not understand Marbury v. Madison?

      • “Thank you Tsk, Tsk….I like how your copy paste includes the words ” with distinction” Tell me, what noted distinctions did Wharton award ?”

        Don’t know. Don’t care. Credentials are mostly a logical fallacy and a refuge for those who can’t argue the facts of the matter. (And yes, I have lots of letters after my name too so you don’t get to engage in your inevitable next fallacy). When a constitutional “scholar” gets routinely spanked 9-0 in SCOTUS at twice the rate of this predecessor, he clearly didn’t actually learn much at Harvard. Then again, he visited all 57 states which is seven more than his predecessor could have, so maybe he is worthy of your adoration after all…

      • Earning an academic distinction is not a “credential.” I’m mentioning the “facts” in this matter, it is you who “don’t care” about them. But don’t worry, I understand, your “hero” never amounted to much in his younger years, being that his daddy was rich. The guy that was born poor and made it into the Oval Office shows much more achievement that someone who’s doctor said he had bone spurs.

      • Hey Mr. Tsk Tsk, tell me, with all them fancy letters you got, when is your hero expert “dealmaker” going to make a deal to repeal Obamacare? Shouldn’t be that hard, his political party controls both houses of Congress right?

        [Stay on the subject please. .mod]

      • Mark S Johnson : “The MCL means manga-cum-laude”
        You mean Obama’s diploma is like a Japanese cartoon something.
        And his grade Mark ? Look at his grades…
        Oh wait, it’s classified secret defense.

  8. They do get to vote in Australia, don’t they? Voting has consequences. Here in the USA. ……oh I forgot, Obama, never mind.

    • As I understand it, part of the problem is that people are required to vote in Australia. So the folks who don’t much give a d@mn vote for politicians who reflect their views.

      • A compounding factor is that voters are compelled in federal elections (not in all state elections) to list our preferences from first to last. As a result it is often our second least preferred candidate who is awarded our vote. Often we can vote for some monster raving loony party or the sex party (a real party who recently changed their name to something far less attention grabbing) with only a small risk of them being elected.

        On the bright side it isn’t actually compulsory to vote. All you need to do is to turn up and get your name marked off the roll. There are all sorts of ways to spoil your vote and have it count for nought. Of course there are penalties for anybody who advocates such spoiling of votes.

        It’s all wonderfully arcane but the end result is surprisingly robust and seems about as resistant to the entrance of new political forces as the US and UK systems.

      • Preferential voting does help to get around the “waste your vote” fear.
        Put the one you really like first, then list the ones that are merely acceptable after that.

  9. Good article.

    By the way, I don’t know about anybody else’s 120 VAC extension cords, but my 120 VAC extension cords have the third wire ground protection extension only on one side of the female socket (the receiving end) – which is the power delivery end. The male plug (the power receiving end of the extension wire or the tool power cord) is not powered in conventionally wired homes, power plants and businesses.

    Then again, the green extortion academic-international government-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address is all about sucking all the power they need from the world’s innocents and producers, so an image showing a backwards power cord may be even more appropriate.

      • In 1983 Standards Australia adopted a 20 year plan to convert Australia from the nominal 240 volts to 230 volts, to align with European Standards – IEC38. The aim was to align Australian manufactured products with our main trading partners.

    • The power company is in the business of selling electrons.
      The power comes the hot socket, does it’s thing, then leaves your house via the neutral socket.
      What most people don’t realize is that once that electron leaves your house it returns to the power company.
      The power company then turns around and sells you that electron again.
      They just keep selling us the same electrons over and over again.
      What a racket. How can this be legal?

      • Because they supply the voltage that pushes the electrons through your house. You are not paying for the electron, You pay for the organized controlled parade of the electrons. There are plenty of free electrons floating about your house, but they are mostly static and disorganized.

      • AC is interesting that way isn’t it. And think of the rigidity or should I say incompressibility of the stream of electrons. A shoved electron at one end and hundreds of miles away another one is immediately pushed along the wire just so the light bulb can do its stuff.

      • Yes, but I would rather pay for the use of electrons than have a physical connection to their prime mover to spin my washing machine, or dishwasher. Even running the shafts in underground tunnels would be a problem and overhead shafts throughout cities would be an abomination. As the shaft speed is constant (more or less) the metering would be by measuring the torque.

        The less said about keeping everything lubricated, the better.

        I am thankful that power is supplied through electric currents conducted by transmission line, instead of through torque carried by transmission shafts.

        Can someone else make the case for renting electrons being better than either central pneumatic or central hydraulic power?

        The only disadvantage to hydraulic power that comes to my mind is that the only hydraulic system that does not leak is a hydraulic system that is not in service.

      • Not in service AND completely drained.

        Speaking of one foot/nanoSecond, can you imagine how hard it is to lay out a circuit board as clock speeds get well up into the GigaHertz range.

      • Free electrons round the house you say?

        I’m going to get my vacuum cleaner and suck those little devils up, then pour them into my extension cord…

      • Not “immediately.” There is that pesky delay caused by the speed of light. On the order of a nanosecond per foot.

        My leg is three light nanoseconds long.

        But if you consider the lag caused by magnetic field of changing current, it kind of makes me feel “speed of light” does not correctly reflect the amount of sparks generated by a fast mechanical switch.

    • “…By the way, I don’t know about anybody else’s 120 VAC extension cords, but my 120 VAC extension cords have the third wire ground protection extension only on one side of the female socket (the receiving end) – which is the power delivery end. The male plug (the power receiving end of the extension wire or the tool power cord)…”

      AEUHHH???? This explanation is WAY TOO GOOD not to share on some electricians site. If anyone other than the OP can decipher this, please get back to me. For the love of God, I can’t figure it out.

  10. Quote: My impression is AGL simply don’t want to be the bad guys anymore.

    Could be, but abandoning a profitable asset would raise eyebrows at shareholder’s meetings. It just may be that the beancounters have done their sums and in the present regulatory environment have calculated that on present trends it will cost the company more to maintain the plant than to simply walk away from it.

    More interesting is that AGL say they do not plan to sell the plant. Shareholders may reasonably ask why not. What is it that would make a walk in walk out offer of a few million unattractive to the company?

    The cynic in me says that AGL is trying to get a sweeter deal from the taxpayer. As the song goes, you’ve got to pick a pocket or two.

  11. One remarkable attribute of the political Left (and Greens by close association) is their refusal to ever accept blame or responsibility for their failures. This leads them to an “ever more” application of and demand for Progressive policy prescriptions.

    Some examples:
    – When the electric grid goes black (or rolling black-outs), from the Leftists it will be taken as a failure to have not more fully invested in renewables. And thus blame resistance to renewables from the realists as the cause for blackouts, knowing full well that > 50% of the public is too ill-informed on grid-power basics to see the stupidity of their arguments on renewables.
    (Which BTW is the foundation tenet of dis-information campaigns: Propaganda doesn’t have to anywhere near 100% (or even 80%) to be effective when you can also control the information and education systems.)

    – In the US, when the Democrat’s (and Obama’s) $800+ Billion stimulus didn’t work, they blamed it on not being big enough, and suggested $1.2 Trillion or more should have been borrowed and spent (wasted) on Leftist boondoggles. and union payoffs.

    – In the US, Hillary continues to blames everyone else including her own Party apparatus for her loss to Donald Trump. She can not allow herself a public act of contrition for her own dishonesty.

    The list of “blame someone else” for their failures is endless with examples from the US’s Left and Australia’s Left that could stretch for pages. Indeed, entire books have been written on blame deflection by the Left.

    • Socialist mess up the economy with all kinds of regulations and taxes.
      Then when things break down, they blame the evil capitalists and declare that the only solution is even more regulations and taxes.

    • The left in Australia is able to be successful in the blame game because they have the ABC and newspapers in their back pocket. Any honest discourse on progressive programs is not allowed for fear of endangering the program.

      • Renewable energy such as wind and solar are part of the the United Nations global agenda.

        This can be found in U.N. publications under sustainability and/or climate change.

      • Barbara, the renewable energy program is based on flawed science. Therefore it has no standing whether in the UN, Australia or the rest of the world. Renewables cannot stand on there own economics; they have to be subsidized. This is bad for everyone.

  12. Here’s what AGL said: “Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need.”

    So much for Eric’s statements about coal fired power being cheaper and more reliable.

    • As always, Chris sells you half the story and then pats himself on the back for successfully lying.
      As always, the troll completely ignores the regulations that force the company to operate it’s coal powered plants inefficiently and at a loss.
      But then, like all trolls, it’s never his fault.

      • As always, the troll MarkW ignores the core issue – the fact that the plant is old – and instead assigns all the blame to regulations. As always, MarkW’s posts lack supporting links – always. Why bother with facts when you can just say stuff and hope nobody challenges you?

        AGL recently closed another coal fired plant and replaced it with gas fired. So 1) it’s false to say that all the closures of coal fired plants are because utilities are being forced to switch over to renewable 2) the coal plant was closed because it was unreliable and less efficient to operate.
        Apparently MarkW thinks utilities should continue to operate 50 year old coal fired plants even though they are not reliable, and even though they are not efficient.

        “The power station, to be known as the Barker Inlet Power Station, will replace two of the four Torrens Island A turbines. The island’s B turbines will continue to operate as usual.

        AGL cancelled plans to mothball Torrens Island A after the closure of Port Augusta’s coal fired generators last year.

        But the company has continued to warn the 50-year-old station was in danger of “crapping out” and needed to be replaced.

        AGL managing director Andy Vesey said the new station would help “create a secure energy system” in South Australia.”

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-07/agl-announces-new-sa-power-station/8596016

      • As always, the troll finds a propaganda site and tries to pass it off as relevant.
        The fact remains that because of regulations requiring the plant to operate inefficiently, it is losing money.
        The troll tries to pretend that this proves that coal can’t compete.

      • In machine programming, a no-op refers to an instruction that is used to burn clock cycles – ie waste time. That’s the content value of MarkW’s post. No supporting links to his accusation that regulations caused the closure. And an accusation that my link, written by the actual company that owns the asset – is propaganda.

      • Chris doesn’t seem to understand that coal power plants produce electricity much cheaper than renewables. Renewables are only able to operate through the RET and other bogus financial shenanigans. That’s why the power costs are the highest in the world in South Australia and in those countries promoting and subsidizing renewables.and lowest in those countries with limited or no renewables.

        If Chrs were honest he would call for the end of the RET program and demand that renewables stand on there own two feet. You cannot claim that renewables are cheaper with these programs in place without showing yourself to be a complete hypocrite and idiot.

      • Like most trolls, Chris isn’t smart enough to handle a world with more than one variable.
        Therefore pointing out how regulations make it more expensive to run fossil fuel plants doesn’t compute, because it’s more variables than he is being paid to handle.
        Therefore he just repeats his mantra about how coal expensive, renewables cheap, because it’s the only reality he’s prepared to accept.

      • SMS – welcome, I see from your post you’ll be playing the Jeff Daniels character. Congratulations! You talk about coal being the cheapest but ignore coal’s external costs. Even if you don’t believe in CAGW, the impact of pollution and mining are substantial.

        Mark, as usual, provides no data to back up his regulations claim. Another empty post.

      • To Chris’s comments. Yes you can replace coal with natural gas as the main fuel source but in doing so the cost per MW/Hr almost doubles if the gas source is nearby or it would triple or quadruple as most of the gas fields are in the North West Australia and most are offshore. If a new power plant was built and you are using coal already the technology has been available for a number of enhancements to reduce the emissions of the coal plant to almost zero. Some of the new coal plants in western Canada have zero particle emissions due to electrostatic precipitaters and bag house filters. The newer plants are installing CO2 capture systems and that is still not enough for the lefty greens. The left wants to stop using all fossil fuels a source for energy but in reality they are delusional to think that renewable s can do it all of the time. Burning natural gas has its own emissions profile and the lefty greens are trying to force that out as well. NOX and CO2 are still produced by burning natural gas. Natural gas is getting more difficult to produce from conventional sources and Fracking is needed to open up the remaining supplies. You mention Fracking around a Lefty greener and their heads explode for some reason.

      • Coal’s external costs are for the most part imaginary.
        Pollution was cleaned up 40 years ago, and open pit mines are filled in and restored once the coal has been removed. That also has been SOP for at least 40 years.
        On the other hand, CO2 is a net positive for the planet.

        As always, Chris has to lie in order to make itself seem relevant.

      • “Pollution was cleaned up 40 years ago, and open pit mines are filled in and restored once the coal has been removed. That also has been SOP for at least 40 years.”

        MarkW once again makes statements without any supporting documentation. Has the pollution from coal fired plants gone down over the years? Absolutely, one only needs to compare the US to China to see that. But reduced is not zero, and in fact not even close to zero. The figure is 52,000 premature deaths per year due to power plant emissions. http://news.mit.edu/2013/study-air-pollution-causes-200000-early-deaths-each-year-in-the-us-0829

    • The key word is “affordable”. The incentives set up by a government (for politics) are simply driving what is “affordable.” And if the politically-driven incentives also strongly discourage the delivery of coal stock to domestic consumption, then “reliable” goes out the window too if a power generator can not secure long-term delivery contracts under reasonable conditions.

      This is simply a case of politicians in government picking winners and losers. By these political choices, they drive what is affordable and reliable. Coal can be both reliable and affordable if government stays sufficiently out of the way.

      But on the other hand, no amount of government subsidy can make renewable power “reliable.” Even Elon Musk’s battery scheme is destined to fail with a run of a week or so diminshed winds and cloudy days.

    • Here’s what AGL said: “Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need.”

      I’m not sure you got the memo, but do I get it right you believe in what a coal company says in its marketing material?

      You know, affordable means not what the production costs per se, but what it costs after government has added subsidies and taxes. And believe me or not, AGL probably wants to, instead of investing in taxed coal, invest in subsidized ‘green’ gold. Not because the renewables would be cheaper or more reliable to the customer, but because the revenue projection is better assuming certain government policy.

      The sad thing is the government policy will change abruptly if too much power is taken offline. And, to add injury to the insult, it might be AGL itself which is counting on that to happen.

    • So much for Eric’s statements about coal fired power being cheaper and more reliable.

      The LCOEs are as follows:

      Wind $92/MWhr (range 65-130)
      Large-scale Solar Photovoltaic $91/MWhr (range 75-125)
      Large-scale Solar Photovoltaic with storage $138/MWhr (range 100-180) includes 3 hours storage at 100 per cent capacity.
      Solar Thermal with storage $172/MWhr (range 140-240) includes 12 hours storage at 100 per cent capacity.
      Gas CCGT $83/MWhr (range 75-105)
      Gas OCGT $123/MWhr (range 120-140)
      Supercritical coal $76/MWhr (range 65-85)
      Ultrasupercritical coal $81/MWhr (range 65-105)

      From the Finkel Report

      Looks like the well proven coal is pretty cheap to me.

      • On the other hand it will be excellent for a ‘black start’ if they bungle the grid again.

        (standard European practice would have seen the wind farms stay on line when the pylons went down, by the way)

  13. “The fact renewables are not a viable replacement for baseload power, the fact the risk of blackouts is skyrocketing, isn’t AGL’s problem”
    AGL’s continuing business is as a major energy provider in Australia. One statement not quoted here from that SMH report was:
    “Hours after Mr Turnbull’s comments, AGL chief executive Andy Vesey wrote on Twitter that the company was “getting out of coal” and was committed to the closure date.”

    On their web site, they note that:
    “AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies and largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country.”

    They aren’t running away from problems. They are just saying where they think their business future lies.

    • Where taxpayer’s easy money lies. They are jumping on the one wheeled bandwagon hoping it won’t tip over.

    • Nick, you mean their subsidies, tax breaks, etc. This is what AGL is after. Can’t stay in business if the government makes it impossible to continue coal plants.

    • Yep, AGL sure knows how to wind farm subsidies. And they are smarter than our politicians (which isn’t very hard, in fact scarily easy), so they know that either way, they will win.

  14. Eric Worrall said: “Thanks to massive government incentives, green energy is far more profitable than coal, so AGL appear to be running down their coal plants and abandoning them.”

    The Liddell plant will be 50 years old in 2022. The effective life of a coal fired power plant is around 40 years. So why are you accusing AGL of “running down their coal plants and abandoning them”?

    • The effective life of a coal plant is the life you want to give it. Maintain a plant, keep the technology current and a plant can last for many more decades than you suggest. There are plants in the US that are currently 80 and 90 years old with no plans to shut down. There are newer plants that are being moth-balled to meet renewable targets even though they are still capable of producing cheaper power.

      • SMS & Gloateus, I looked at Gloateus’ list of older coal fired plants, focusing on the large ones. The first is Blount St Station, 2GW and built in 1938. It converted to natural gas in 2012, so take that off the list. The second is Cliffside, 4 GW and built in the 1940s. All the units built in the 1940s have been closed, the only ones running are one unit built in 1972 and another built in 2012. The next is Buck, 1.8 GW and built in 1941. It closed in 2013.

      • We’ve had several power plants shut down in the area where I live that were in the 60 year range and I’ve read of several that are older. They weren’t shut down because they were uneconomic, they were shut down to meet a renewable goal. And even though they were more economic than renewables, they were not as economic as the newer coal plants. Funny economics there.

        How much longer could Port Augusta have been viable if not for some phoney renewable target.

        So there are a lot of plants that could be running that are in the 80 to 90 year old range. It just takes some updating. Once the power infrastructure is in place, upgrading is much cheaper than building a mess of wind turbines scattered around the country.

      • Coal has externalities, both in terms of impacts on health, and CO2 contributions to AGW. If you believe the impacts are substantial, action needs to be taken. If you don’t, then it won’t make economic sense to you.

    • The Liddell plant will be 50 years old in 2022. The effective life of a coal fired power plant is around 40 years

      And the Hazelwood Power Station was 53 when shut down in March this year and was contracted till 2023, so that would have made it 59 – not a record, though.

      Interestingly, during it’s last month of operation in March, that 53 year old clunker produced a smidge more power than every wind farm in Oz.
      Nothing extraordinary there . . just humming along at it’s usual monthly output.

      What’s the life span of a wind plant?
      About 25 years if you’re lucky.

    • Chris. The externalities you are convinced are impacting power generation economics are mostly in your eco fanatic climate religion. You and your brethern are convinced of these problems through the complete dutiful adherence to the false premise of CAGW. Good science is driven by sceptisim. You have none; only complete dutiful adherence to CAGW.

  15. Well done, AGL. Their plan should be to go ahead and close it down, and totally destroy it before the politicians attempt a compulsory takeover. That has been done by Greenies elsewhere, when they feared that a closed coal plant might re-open. Good to see chickens coming home to roost!

  16. Interesting how renewable energy advocates also tend to be socialists on economic policy. Another belief system that does not work well in practice fits their mind-set.
    What is that line from Lewis Carrol about believing two impossible things before breakfast?

  17. Liddell was commissioned 1971-73. So it is now ~ 48 years old, and planned to shut at age ~53. The average age of coal retirement in the US is 48 years. So Liddell is properly due to be retired at economic end of life. The answer is to replace it with 2 USC HeLe coal stations. China is selling a boatload of them elsewhere.

    • Yes, but the important point is AGL is not willing to sell it for money. They simply want the capacity away from market, because they calculate it would probably cause their profits to drop if it was fixed and run by someone else. That it pretty telling.

      • Hugs,
        As an AGL customer, can I say that you have got it in one. Vesey, the AGL boss, is strongly green and well into renewables with evangelical enthusiasm. Geoff

  18. I think that the Australian gun removal was a precursor to removing the reliable power grid – the politicians didn’t want to get shot by the irate taxpayers tired of living in the dark!

  19. There is a related topic receiving considerable attention at jonova at present as you might expect :

    http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/62-of-australians-dont-want-to-pay-even-10-a-month-for-renewables/#comments

    Particular worth noting , in view of the rose tinted visions of renewables given above are the figures for current coal v wind power generation in Australia given by “Tonyfromoz” (comment 21)

    For example:
    “The total Nameplate for coal fired power in Australia is currently 23019MW, and it regularly supplies between 15000MW and 19000MW.
    It supplies that power from 16 coal fired power plants with 48 Units in all. At any one time there are at least 7 of those Units out of service for maintenance.
    So we have 48 Units supplying a Nameplate of 23019MW, and while different plants have different sized units, let’s then reduce that Nameplate to a simple average.
    That average PER UNIT is a tick under 480MW.
    There is NO single wind plant in the whole of Australia that has a Nameplate of that size. The closest is Macarthur with a Nameplate of 420MW, and that has 140 turbines ….. ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY, and still not even close to the average size of ONE coal fired Unit. Keep in mind that wind power only has a Capacity Factor (CF) of 30%, so that takes the average for Macarthur down to only 126MW.
    When you take the total for ALL wind power in Australia, there’s a Nameplate of 4400MW and with the CF, that’s down to 1320MW.
    So, the average for wind power is just less than the average of THREE coal fired UNITS, and there are 48 of those.”
    There is more and none of it pleasant reading for a resident of NSW or SA .

  20. ” … not delivering enough investment in flexible dispatchable resources to maintain the defined target level of supply reliability”
    Bureaucratise for “It ain’t working.”

  21. After years of asinine posturing by Greenwash Politicians on the CAGW fiasco for years and years, the shit is now starting to hit the Wind-Turbines in Australia. Politicians are finally beginning to grasp how much damage they have caused to the economy with their mindless obsession with CAGW. AGL’s problem is a problem specifically caused by Australia’s fatuous politicians who thought that they could get away with hammering coal plant operators who would simply sit still and cop endless abuse and costs without taking evasive action. Meanwhile, the Green Blob is still cheering on the chaos, power poverty of the Poor and encouraging further political idiocy involving costly Elon Musk Batteries which keep the power on for fifteen minutes and wild schemes to pump water uphill at great cost.

  22. Too many people in Australia brainwashed by the greenies, including pollies.
    The numbers of people who have not applied some common sense to the arguments shocks the socks off me.
    Solar and wind will provide when we close down the dirty coal fired stations, to date I believe they supply 3% of our power, so how suddenly are they going to provide 100%.
    I found myself having an argument with a green supporter who stated that solar would provide, did she not realize that 12 hours or so is nighttime, I replied, I haven’t noticed the moon being bright enough to provide solar energy. DUHHHHH!!!!, why oh why did I have to point that out to her.
    Then she tried tuning it around and saying oh well wind power, I had to point out to her wind usually dies off at night as well.
    I hope she was planning to live in the dark after the sun sets, just like our great grandparents, with oil lanterns, Oh wait they are powered by dirty Oil, so cannot possibly use them either.

      • solar LED lights (with phone charger) are a very useful item, especially to replace a kersone lamp which you have to fill with expensive kerosene.

      • What are you going to do with a phone charger, at moments when there are no electricity available …? Just as smart as using lamps/LED directly connected to solar cells, when dark, which my comment was all about …

      • Kerosene doesn’t rely on the wind blowing or the sun shining. It lights up regardless. And one lamp-full lasts for several nights (the wick will need replacing before the reservoir needs refilling). And one can will fill up several lamps. And the red-heavy flame won’t mess up your sleep cycle like blue-heavy LEDs will.

  23. AGL will lose out ultimately when the power goes off in summer and the blame game starts , unfortunately it’s a lesson we have to learn the hard way but look out watermelons , electricity might be in short supply but tar and feathers are abundant .

  24. When (not if) load shedding comes, maybe the power companies would shed the pollies’ first. That would see them about-face before a dingo’s pee hits the ground.

    • I strongly favour load shedding in inner city greenie, lefty electorates first. I see no reason why those of us who tried to stop this crap should have to suffer. And anyway, to be consistent, wont they only want power three percent of the time is they are so opposed to coal etc.

  25. The irony of the argument by Green groups is that they say we need an agreed high renewable energy target so businesses will be given certainty and encouraged to invest in renewables which will bring prices down. Renewable targets can be achieved by two ways , invest in more renewables or shut down coal fired plants. If that occurs by definition the energy supply becomes more unreliable and more expensive . If energy supplies become unreliable and expensive companies will exit Australia especially big energy users like smelters and manufacturers . If energy companies face an environment of future customers disappearing because of unreliable ( and expensive ) supply why would anyone want to invest in renewables knowing by doing so they will create a fall in demand for their product. The removal of Ret and the exit from the Paris agreement is the only way that certainty can be returned to this sector. It also may be the only way the current government can stay in power which would also help reduce uncertainty.
    Energy in Australia is a national disgrace and every voter who in State elections in particular voted for governments espousing these green policies should hang their heads in shame.

    • “Zigmaster

      If energy supplies become unreliable and expensive companies will exit Australia especially big energy users like smelters and manufacturers .”

      Already happened. No car making in South Australia any more. Most expensive energy, highest unemployment.

      • A major factor in car mfrs leaving was cost of labor compared to Thailand and other mfg hubs in Asia. Car mfg has been exiting Australia long before recent energy price increases.

  26. As an Australian, from my perspective, ever since they shut down 2 coal fired power station in the Peoples Republic of South Australia, and one is slated to close in Victoria, but is scaling back the capacity. I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen is that we are a huge chance to have brown outs and black outs this coming summer as the energy policies of Federal & State govts have led us to the ridiculous situation where a country that is overflowing with coal & gas cant power its own grid. Instead the focus of the media is on whether homosexuals should be allowed to get married…..**yawn**. It will hit many Australians in the face on a 40 degree day and no air con…….then it will become an issue. Instead of being proactive, govts will be their normal reactive self.

  27. As an Aussie, an AGL customer for a decade as as one corresponding actively with AGL about their problems, I might be qualified to comment.
    The biggest problem arises because –
    1. Electricity is an essential commodity
    2. AGL and a small number of other companies combine for a near monopoly
    3. Electricity supply is largely governed by States, some of which have near-Communist premiers
    4. Andy Vesey, CEO of AGL, is a confessed renewables advocate, evangelic in enthusiasm.

    The basic problem is that historically and properly, the Federal Government should control the electricity supply, not an unelected green CEO of a company. One reason of many why this should be so, is to prevent a minority interest (a green CEO exercising his pet politics) from controlling National policy with its long term implications for Australia’s future.

    The problem stemming from this structural failure is that current Federal politicians are incapable of making decisions to secure the low cost and reliable supply of future electricity. A large part of the reason for this is their fear of losing office because they might lose a green vote by making the evident hard decisions needed, which are anti-green.

    Then, overarching all of this is the still-questionable hypothesis of greenhouse gases and global warming. The impetus to reduce CO2 emissions has been supported by learned societies, much of academia and the most recent couple of Chief scientists. I am really bitter that they have collectively not studied the global warming material in adequate depth to realise its unsuitability to inform national policy. Geoff

    • “The basic problem is that historically and properly, the Federal Government should control the electricity supply, not an unelected green CEO of a company.”
      That’s how to keep the socialists out!

    • You are mistaken about the CEO, he has every intention of exploiting the spot price market. AGL are not in t h e coal or gas business, they are in the business of making money. Profits are projected to double in the next two years.

      • Old44,
        I am prepared to revoke and apologise when I am shown wrong but that takes more than an assertion by you. What good evidence do you have for your surmise about Andy Vesey?
        AGL most certainly are in the coal business, otherwise Vesey would not have been able to state that AGL is getting out if coal.
        There is no sin in companies being focussed on profits. It is a strong force behind capitalism. Sadly, too many people have an image of profits like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of hoarded profit money. In reality, profits go mostly to future growth and reinvestment back into the community. The path from profit to people can be hard to track, but it is invariably there. All companies should strive to profit but not at the expense of the common good through mad decisions like over-enthusiastic renewables investment and awfully bad, inexcusably bad, please-never-again bad decisions like getting out of coal. And planning to profit from subsidies that should never be there. Geoff

  28. Part (perhaps the biggest part) of the problem lies with the Aussie voters. It seems we have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the mostly left press that green is for the better, and the sooner the better, that the politicians, even if they knew what would actually be in Australia’s best interest, have no hope of holding onto power if they made the best interest decisions, because the majority would vote them into orbit next election.

    • Not so sure it really is green that is driving voters so much as there are now more people living off the government than paying for it. Any one who saves in this country is now being hammered as “greedy” despite the message from governments for years about saving for your retirement. Anyone for no representation without taxation?

  29. Just how blind to Politicians become when they allow a Power Station (Hazelwood) that supplied over 20% of peak load close just because it is Coal Fired?
    Sure it needed money spent but don’t tell me any thinking Pollie could not foresee the potential problems we now face.

  30. Everything is going to plan for AGL so what’s the problem?
    Malcolm is the only one with a problem!
    He’ll be kicked out next election and Bill will take over and give AGL what they want . . . a really high renewable energy target RET and more taxpayer funds and subsidies.
    Actually sorry, there’s also a bunch of poor people who can’t afford to pay their electricity bills.
    Most Australians want to be green (all credible surveys) so they’ll just have to pay-up now because its too late to change.
    AGL aren’t stupid they’re run by the ‘fund managers’ . . . the green cartel.

  31. Still waiting for the article that explains the proper method to use in order successfully plug in the lump of coal as depicted.
    I have tried everything, and everyone just laughs every time I bring it up…
    *sigh*

  32. This road crash has been in the making since 1991. Thanks those who voted for this crap! Yes, voted! I am an Australian Permanent resident and thus cannot vote. But sure as hell have my wages abused by deductions.

  33. The final political step could simply be nationalizing coal fired power plants. That would yield the worst of all worlds.

  34. The really interesting thing about the announcement was that following on from the advertising campaign about AGL getting out of coal it was stated that after Liddell was closed it would be repurposed. AGL owns massive gas resoures at Gloucester, about 100km away over Barrington Tops. With the shortage of baseload electricity caused by the annouced closure of coal fired power station a pipeline to supply gas to generators at Liddell would enable AGL to exploit the market. Just a thought.
    I bought shares in AGL today.

    • Old44,
      Why buy shares when they have been complicit in a near- doubling oif retail erlectricity prices, when they take income from subsidies instead of from skill and effort and when they are so dedicated to green that they announce they were getting out if coal — when the strong signal from countries like USA, Germany, Japan, China, India, Indonesia to name a few, is increasing new investment in coal. Have all those countries got their sums wrong? Over 1600 new global coal plants in the making and Australia, with abundant coal, should leave it in the ground?
      I.D put my dollars behind a company that profits from skill in using solid substance planning, not reliance on subsidies and like in sky renewables. Thud as the shares go down. Geoff.

  35. Thank god we have Australia and Californian politicians ready and wiling to sacrifice their economies and their people’s standards of living by willfully self harming their capable, affordable, sustainable and adeqaute on demand energy supply that their economies depend upon with an ovrdose of pointless renewables on the grid – so others can watch, maybe learn, and change energy susbidy policies to align with energy science facts – instead of preferring green delusion for a fast lobbyist Dollar.

    The less efficient, affordable, reliable, sustainable, deliverable it is, the more you have to susidiuse it, Right? .Energy policy at work is the ultimate science denial, on the engineering facts. And you can’t make it up, that’s now government’s job. By law. CEng, CPhys, MBA.

  36. The failure of the system to keep the lights on is not a consequence of Green policies it is the objective. Forcing a fall in population and a return to hunter gathering (with not too much hunting) is where their policies will inevitably lead. Intentionally so.

    Exxon Mobil didn’t make any money in Paleolithic times and they won’t from now on!

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