Aussie Agriculture Minister on Climate Change: “I don’t give a rat’s if it’s man-made or not … you shouldn’t feel afraid to turn on a heater or light at night.”

David Littleproud

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, Screenshot from ABC Q&A Monday 6th August 2018

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Its refreshing to see a senior politician say something sensible about climate change. Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is more worried about affordable, reliable electricity, so people can heat their homes or pump water to irrigate their fields, than whether mankind is causing climate change.

TONY JONES
Alright, Meg, our questioner, has got her hand up. So jump up, Meg.

MEG NIELSEN
Yeah. I do agree. What we do need is a strong National Energy Guarantee. Unfortunately, the terms that we’ve got at the moment just don’t do the trick. Unfortunately, they don’t. The emissions targets are too low. And so, therefore, we’re not able to encourage the use of renewables pretty much any further than they are currently this year. And, unfortunately, what it does is it encourages the use of coal and gas to continue in business as usual, and it’s…

TONY JONES
Meg, can I just interrupt? From the beginning of your question, your original question, I took it that you’re essentially saying this drought is related to climate change, man-made climate change. Is that correct?

MEG NIELSEN
Yes, I believe so. I… I think… I know that Australia has always had droughts. I know that, you know, the whole world has always had droughts, but we only have to look around the world to see the events that are happening now. The Arctic Circle, you know, wildfires. I mean, it’s very clear that all these effects of our weather are being affected by climate change.

TONY JONES
Now, David… Thank you very much, Meg. David, do you accept that, first of all? That principle?

DAVID LITTLEPROUD
Let me say that farmers have been dealing with the changing climate since we first put a till in the soil. It’s been changing since we first started agriculture and we’ve been adapting.

TONY JONES
So, David, the fundamental question is whether man-made climate change is causing droughts like the one we’re seeing now? That’s what Meg is suggesting.

DAVID LITTLEPROUD
Well, look, that’s a big call. I don’t… Look, the reality is… The reality is, I don’t really give a rat’s whether it’s man-made or not. If we want to go to renewables, if we move to renewables for a healthier environment, to breathe better air, that’s great, let’s do it, but let’s do it in a responsible way, a responsible way that we can all afford. And we can transition that. But we can’t do it at the moment. We’ve got to be able to turn the lights on, turn the pumps on, and be able to afford.
Because you know what the biggest thing is I get out there? I talk to pensioners, in my own electorate in Warwick, and it’s cold at the moment, bloody cold. They can’t afford to put the heater on. And you know what?

(AUDIENCE MEMBER CALLS OUT INDISTINCTLY)

DAVID LITTLEPROUD
It’s got to be… It’s got to be reliable. It’s got to be reliable…

TONY JONES
Hang on. Sorry. We’re going to have to let the Minister speak so you can hear what he’s got to say.

DAVID LITTLEPROUD
Look, that’s a great aspiration. But at the moment, it’s got to be reliable, it’s got to be sustainable, and it’s got to be affordable. And we’ve got a responsibility to make sure that we do that in a responsible way. Now, we’re doing that through the NEG and working through that to make sure that we do have an energy policy that meets our international commitments but makes sure to each and every one of you, you can afford to turn on the lights – a fundamental right for each and every one of us in a developed country like this, that you shouldn’t feel afraid to turn on a heater or light at night.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4871154.htm

Video of the exchange:

I have visited towns in David’s electorate. Queensland is a warm state, but David’s electorate straddles the Great Dividing Range, and includes cool alpine regions which sometimes experience snowfall in winter, places where reliable, affordable home heating is an absolute necessity.

There is nothing reliable or affordable about renewables.

With fossil fuel backup, achieving a high percentage of grid electricity from renewables means paying for two sets of electricity infrastructure – the expensive renewable infrastructure, and the fossil fuel infrastructure which has to be kept operating at hot idle, ready to jump in when the renewable supply fails.

Renewable backed by batteries is an even more ridiculous proposition – no matter how much renewable capacity you build, there is always an unacceptable risk of a blackout. Periods of prolonged wind droughts or clouds blocking the sunlight will bring down your grid, unless have the option of importing most of your power for days or weeks on end from reliable sources.

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217 thoughts on “Aussie Agriculture Minister on Climate Change: “I don’t give a rat’s if it’s man-made or not … you shouldn’t feel afraid to turn on a heater or light at night.”

    • I think leaving the door open to affordable renewables is a sensible position – it deflects accusations of idealogical bias. The fact there is no such thing as affordable renewables and likely never will be doesn’t detract from the hypothetical proposition that a magic power source would be a desirable thing to have.

        • David, you are excluding the cost of the subsidies that helps the suppliers keep their costs down.
          You are also completely ignoring the cost of the back up system that has to be kept running at hot idle waiting for your renewables to fail.

          • Don’t forget that economic endeavors that are powered either directly or indirectly by fossil fuels are necessary if there is to be the financial means for providing subsidies to the renewable operations.
            There is simply no possibility that any combination of solar, wind, biofuels and hydro will ever provide the amount of usable energy that we are now getting from fossil fuels. It simply ain’t gonna happen unless we can get the basic laws of nature amended and changed in ways that make it possible.

        • If renewables can compete with fossil fuels in an open market, without any government help, I’m all for it – if they can make money selling on the spot market or fulfilling forward contracts like a normal generator good on them.

          But claims that renewables are cheap are usually accompanied by demands for government subsidies and fancy accounting which attaches a hypothetical social cost to CO2 emissions, so I’m more than a little skeptical about suggestions that renewables are inexpensive.

        • Egypt also has a solar project “Benban” near Aswan to contain 32 power plants producing 1,650mw of solar power that will cost, barring project overruns, $4bn U.S. which is $2.42 per watt far more than your quoted 0.027 per kwh.

          • You are comparing watts of installed capacity and kilowatt hours of energy; of course the numbers are different.

        • He’s also confusing a bid price for REALITY. Wake me up when these solar plants ever produce 3 cent per kWh electricity over a 10 year average.

        • The cost of supplying to the grid and the cost of running the grid are two different things. When the supplier at $0.02791 cannot provide any power because, for example, it is night time, the grid has to get power from somewhere else. Either that or the grid fails and the power goes out. The question becomes, where does THAT power come from and how much does IT cost? The answer in general is that it comes from another source that is, over all, HIGHER in cost because it must be large enough to supply ALL the power at ANY time, but you still have the capital and maintenance costs when it ISN’T being used, burdening the price when it IS being used.

          From there it gets worse. The cost of running a power plant that is turned on and off continuously to stabilize the grid due to the on/off nature of solar, means that the cost of running that alternative power are even higher. Power sources that can load follow are several TIMES as expensive as those that provide base load. So the solar power may indeed be cheap, but the cost of the power to fill in those gaps when the sun doesn’t shine are VERY expensive.

          That all said, Egypt may be one of the few locations where solar winds up being practical, for the simple reason that they can vary the flow from the Aswan dam, holding back water when solar is supplying power, and increasing the flow when it isn’t. But very few places in the world offer this kind of opportunity, and if Egypt’s power requirements EXCEED the Aswan dam’s capacity, than it cannot be that backup power that makes solar useful and affordable.

          So no, the price the solar suppliers are offering has little to nothing to do with the cost of having it. If solar was FREE, very few jurisdictions could supply power to industry and residential use at an affordable price due to the cost of the power systems that must be in place when the sun isn’t shining. Which happens every day.

        • Move the decimal another place further left, then that is about the correct price needed to bring solar into the grid.

          Why, well that makes it affordable since you need to keep all the non-solar infrastructure in place anyways for when the sun doesn’t shine. Simply really.

        • What are the labour costs which support this pricing? How long will the units last and what will be the maintenance costs be over their lifespan? Too much smoke and mirrors involved when people push projects. One has to be very careful. When politicians are involved you know you are being lied to.

        • ‘Solar’ is your clue, David. It’s good less than a third of the day. Meanwhile, the fixed cost of the real power supply must still be paid.

        • Let’s not forget that the $/kwh calculation is using estimates of efficiency and lifespan that are probably very generous

      • “Affordable” renewables? Seriously?

        Here’s how that goes … The CA PUC allows PG&E to raise my electric rates +20% due to the expansion of “renewables”. This is deemed “affordable” because PG&E and CARB produced “research” indicating the average CA family has far more disposable income than the 20% increase … therefore … it’s “affordable”. CA families will gladly give up their disposable income in order to … save the planet.

    • He is talking 100% more straight up sense than the average Aussie politician from what I’ve seen from posts at Jo Nova’s site.

      I think Littleproud is talking reality to a whole bunch of people that don’t see that starting with SA and moving to other parts of the country that lack hydropower, the government is bringing the grid of vast areas of the country to the verge of collapse and at the same time driving industries which must have reliable power out of business.

  1. Renewables, batteries, and the mandatory fossil fuel plants. Now that’s three major systems that independently need to be able to support maximum demand. It’s only problematic because two of them simply can’t do the job.

    • In my field we have a witticism about project design and development:
      “Faster, Better, Cheaper…pick any two.”

      • In construction it is … cost, quality, speed. Pick any two. Low cost and speed? Quality is left in a ditch.

      • That’s true in any field. And yet the concept is either unknown or fogotten by 2 out of 3 managers, in my experience.

    • To be fair, batteries do support maximum demand. That’s what they’re best at. What batteries cant reasonably do is support baseload.

        • Where did you get the 5 year figure from? Telsa gives their grid storage batteries a 15 year warranty. Heck, their powerwall warranty specifies that the system with still have at least 70% of it’s original capacity after 10 years.

          • I would like to read that warranty because most warranties I have read, for cars for instance, aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

          • I would be interested in knowing on what empirical evidence the 10 or 15 year warrant is based . I was not aware that Li on batteries of the grid storage capacity had been around for long enough to acquire the statistical evidence of longevity. Perhaps they are extrapolating from the evidence of lower capacity batteries , which have been in use for most of that time?

          • Panasonic has had a lot of experience making lithium ion batteries. I’m pretty sure they’ve got a decent idea how long they will last. There is nothing magical about the batteries used for grid storage. There is just a lot more of them.

            Patrick MJD said:

            “I would like to red that warranty because most warranties I have read, for cars for instance, aren’t worth the paper they are written on.”

            Here is their Australian warranty.

            https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/powerwall/Powerwall_2_AC_Warranty_AUS-NZ_1-0.pdf

          • Clear you haven’t read the small print matey! Lots and lots of caveats on that figure you quote direct from the website. So I call BS on their warranty.

          • Patrick MJD said:

            “Clear you haven’t read the small print matey! Lots and lots of caveats on that figure you quote direct from the website. So I call BS on their warranty.”

            Well, please do explain.

          • No way to know? Because Panasonic who have been making rechargable lithium ion batteries since 1994 have no idea how long their batteries are likely to last? I think they probably have a pretty good idea.

            Tesla aren’t using untested prototype batteries.

          • MarkW said:

            “Appeal to authority.
            Yet another logic fail.”

            It doesn’t prove that they will last as long as they say, but their record suggests that they will last as long as claimed. This isn’t a new untested technology they are rolling out for grid storage.

            Panasonic has a good history of making batteries that meet their specifications.

            May as well ask if I can prove that the next 4 cylinder Toyata Camry engine will run and last the expected lifetime. I can’t prove that it will till it does, but there is no reason to believe that it wont. It’s not like it’s a new untested invention.

          • “Appeal to authority. Yet another logic fail.”

            False. Highlighting experience in a relevant area is not an appeal to authority. Is it an appeal to authority if a building contractor mentions that they have been in business for 50 years and have built 1000s of buildings? Of course not.

          • ozspeaksup said:

            “and they have how many functional years use to PROVE that?”

            Telsa don’t make the batteries. Panasonic has decades of successful lithium ion batter production behind them. I’m not sure they have anything to prove. It’s not like they are using some untested prototypes in their grid storage systems.

          • My late father-in -law was a contractor. I asked him about shingle warranties one time. He said, ” what good is a 25 year warranty if the company is out of business”?

          • Let me tell you about the worthlessness of some warranties, tires and batteries bring the worst.

            What manufacturers do is give a warranty specifying they will pro-rate the replacement cost if the item fails under warranty based on the current full list price. So, with a battery, the will give you, for instance, a four-year warranty on a battery they know only has a three-year life expectancy. When it fails in three years, they will knock 25% off the full list price of an equivalent battery – one they often put on sale, 25% off. Warranties are often just a way to trap you as a return customer.

            Forty years ago I had a tire fail after just getting about 75% of the guaranteed tread wear. The tire was on sale for 30% off at the time, so I was told if I used the warranty, I would be paying more than just buying it on sale. I have never bought that brand of tire since (although the other brands do it, too).

            Don’t even ask me about the ‘Forever Battery’, indeed guaranteed foreve, once sold by J C Penney. Total rip-off.

            NEVER judge the quality or life expectancy of a product by its warranty!

        • I was basing it on the Tesla car, which need their batteries replaced at 7 years, depending on cycle. So a grid battery would probably not get to 7.

          • How do you figure that? Cars are the worst case scenario for battery longevity. You have to wring the absolute most power possible from a limited size and weight battery. They have to cope with fast charging and discharging, and being more fully charged and discharged in each cycle.

            Grid storage systems have the option of adding more batteries so that each individual unit doesn’t have to be stressed so much. You can’t do that with a car.

            Also, have a look at these figures gathered from real cars in use.

            https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/

            The author has a model S, and his has lost 6% capacity in 5 years.

          • And how do you think a grid storage battery, like the South Australian Hornsdale unit, is supposed to operate? To support FCAS, this battery also has to be subjected to fast discharges, which of course dramatically shorten the battery lifetime. And this battery doesn’t use Tesla cells, it uses Samsung cells, of which nothing is known or documented.

          • I should have added that only 70 MW is used to support FCAS; the other 30 MW is used by the “owner” to charge using cheap off-peak power, usually supplied at night from coal-powered generators, then sold back to the network at peak times. Thus it makes money for its owners, but only pushes up electricity prices for consumers. Really useful eh.

          • “subjected to fast discharges”

            The longer warranty given on the grid storage units suggests that it is very likely that the individual battery cells are not worked nearly as hard as they are in a car. There are lots of things you can do to improve the lifespan of a storage system if weight and size are much less important, and you don’t have to charge and discharge cells as fully or quickly. There is much less incentive to run things at their limits when weight and size are basically irrelevant.

            Think about how many individual cells are in a Tesla grid storage system. Working together, they don’t have to work that hard individually to deliver a lot of power. They can have heavier cooling systems too.

            You can’t do any of those things in a car under circumstances that mean that the range of a car using these batteries is on the lower end of what is acceptable to the market.

          • Philip Schaeffer:

            This from a former professional engineer at a major US utility. Batteries are an ancient technology & only minor incremental improvements are possible now. They will never have any large-grid scenario use other than worst-case situations of a blackout & providing the small amount of power needed to restart reliable power-producers. Imagining anything more than that for large-scale grid operations is unicorn/rainbow thinking.

            If you’d like to power your house completely w/batteries & solar or wind — go ahead (as you said, nothing really complex about it). Let us know how it works out in economics and practicality.

          • “Batteries are an ancient technology & only minor incremental improvements are possible now.”

            That is not true. Costs have come down dramatically, reliability has improved, density has improved. Oh, and prices/kW have come down by 16% per year between 2007 and 2017. How exactly is that “incremental”?
            https://electrek.co/2018/06/09/tesla-battery-energy-density-cost-breakthroughs/
            https://mackinstitute.wharton.upenn.edu/2018/electric-vehicle-battery-costs-decline/

          • Chris, costs on new type (lithium for ex) batteries come down, but they aren’t an advancement that’ll make any major difference. The reason they come down is because the manufacturing process was new, and eventually becomes more efficient. It only brings lithium batteries down to more reasonable levels instead of being very expensive. So your “points” aren’t anything new or unexpected and say nothing about my comments. You definitely know nothing about large-scale grid operations/technologies, which I addressed.

          • Beng, you didn’t provide any details about large scale grid operations. None. You just said that batteries wouldn’t work. It’s already working in South Australia for a smaller scale deployment. Are the price points where they need to be for gigawatt deployments? No. But at a 16% decline per year in price/MW, they will get there soon. You see, battery companies don’t just sit around and say “it can’t be done!”. They roll up their sleeves and get to work.

          • “But at a 16% decline per year in price/MW…”

            …so once they got to 6 years and 3 months in your 10 year timescale, they should have been paying me to take the batteries off their hands! Your comment is nonsensical.

          • Red, come back after you’ve taken a basic maths class. An average decline of 16% year on year does not lead you to zero in 6 years, 3 months.

          • Grid storage batteries have to be charged and discharged fast as well.
            The charge and discharge patterns are going to be pretty much random as well. The odds are that the cars batteries are going to have a charge/discharge pattern that is much closer to the optimum.

            Adding more batteries adds more cost. No manager is going to do that. They are going to try and get by with as few batteries as possible. Please try to rejoin the real world.

          • MarkW said:

            “Adding more batteries adds more cost. No manager is going to do that. They are going to try and get by with as few batteries as possible. Please try to rejoin the real world.”

            So you think that the weight and space limitation involved in cars won’t lead to the battery storage systems in them being run harder than something that can sit on a concrete slab?

            Your logic would suggest that the engines they use in ships would be run just as hard as those in trucks. Have a look at the rated power output for otherwise identical truck engines when they are specified for marine use.

            The same Fiat Iveco engine that powered my fathers prawn trawler was rated for nearly twice the horsepower for road transport applications.

            Using a large engine that is downrated adds more cost. So, why don’t trawlers use a 6 litre turbo truck engine to get 200HP instead of the 14 litre model rated at the same power?

          • Question: Is there sufficient lithium and cobalt, for instance, to actually produce sufficient supplies of batteries for the purpose?

          • “I was basing it on the Tesla car, which need their batteries replaced at 7 years, depending on cycle. So a grid battery would probably not get to 7.”

            That is not true, the life is far longer than 7 years. Existing Tesla owners are experiencing less than 10% loss in energy capacity after 160,000 miles. 160,000 miles is 10 years life. And the batteries are still perfectly usable after 10 years.
            https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/

      • Batteries support maximum demand in … solar lights, but not in grids. They do help deal with instabilities resulting from intermittent generators, but not at all with the absence of energy aspect of intermittency.

      • The new 100MW battery in SA, built by Elon Musk, will keep the Tomago Aluminium smelter going for about 8 minutes. A town of about 40,000 people, around 1 hour. The Aluminium smelter requires power 24/7 from a reliable source.

        • The point of the battery isn’t to carry full load for any significant length of time. Its only there to make sure that when supply drops for a few seconds or minutes at most then voltage doesn’t drop and trip everything out. Its also there for FCAS. And I expect its also used to cover peak loads which means the fossil fueled sources can run at their most efficient levels.

  2. Let’s just hear that lovely bit of common sense once again: “I don’t give a rat’s if it’s man-made or not … you shouldn’t feel afraid to turn on a heater or light at night.” You don’t hear that sort of good sense all that often these days. No electricity means no civilization.

    • But! The eco-zealots have framed this as an EXISTENTIAL threat. Therefore, David is “not caring” about the lives of billions of women, children, and fluffy animals. They’ll ALL be DEAD because of David’s shi^^y attitude. Shouldn’t David be KILLED … before he KILLS billions of humans and animals. Turn on that heater, or ICE ignition … and you are MURDERING Billions. Clearly you should be killed. Just like someone should have killed Hitler before the rise of the Third Reich.

      This is the predictable reaction. Eco-zealots will eventually report “climate change scofflaws” and they will be … eliminated by the State.

  3. “Because you know what the biggest thing is I get out there? I talk to pensioners, in my own electorate in Warwick, and it’s cold at the moment, bloody cold. They can’t afford to put the heater on. ”

    BINGO !!!

  4. Australia is less than 1/3 of 1% of the world’s population — 25 million out of 7.6 billion on earth. That’s less than Rhode Island’s 1 million share of the 200 million Americans in the eastern third of the U.S.

    There is nothing measurable Aussies can do, or avoid doing, to change the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Metropolitan Shanghai in China alone has more people than Australia. The most industrialized region in China surrounding the Pearl River delta in the Southeast, has 80 million people, more than three times the population of Australia, and almost double the population of California, the U.S. state turning the most somersaults to decrease their “carbon footprint.”

    China imports much of Australia’s coal and iron ore to continue China’s modernization. China produces and consumes as much coal, steel, and cement — all high carbon-footprint industrial materials — as the rest of the world put together. If Australia tries to revert to a non-industrial lifestyle, China could buy all Australia’s significant assets. China could demand a more generous immigration policy and recolonize Australia with four years worth of China’s annual population growth, without touching their base population.

    When virtue-signaling becomes indistinguishable from futility-signaling, policies need to be re-examined.

    • Tom Gelsthorpe

      Brilliant return to reality. Thank you.

      The Aussies ought to dispense with the hair shirt and get on with life.

    • But we are told by our trusty politicians and media that Australians emit more carbon pollution than anyone else second behind the US. So we must be punished for that.

    • Both Australia and Canada are committing economic suicide with carbon taxes. You are right. The Chinese are waiting to buy us up

      • “Both Australia and Canada are committing economic suicide with carbon taxes. You are right. The Chinese are waiting to buy us up.”

        China is rolling out a nationwide carbon tax.

      • They already own our power stations, sold for a song and the high voltage networks ($10b if I recall). All sold off by our short sighted state governments. How do you dictate, to the private owners, what they should charge for energy.

    • Yes, well said, Tom.
      Policies framed to save the planet often seem to be issued by people who seem blissfully unaware that they are not the only people living on the planet.

      In the UK it has previously been said that some politicians and their supporters seem to think that the British Empire has the same range, power, and influence as it did over a century ago.
      While that attitude has in truth largely disappeared, it also applies to the greater group of ‘Western’ nations. There are certain things moving in the world that they are powerless to prevent or even change, however strong the collective will. The futility of abolishing the use of fossil fuels is one of them. They will not even be able to prevent the use growing further.

      • According to the Dept Foreign Affairs.

        ‘The United States and United Kingdom are the biggest investors in Australia, followed by Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong (SAR of China).

        ‘China is our ninth largest foreign investor, with 2.0 per cent of the total. However, the levels of Hong Kong (SAR of China) and Chinese investment in Australia have grown significantly over the past decade.’

    • I’ll add my voice to the chorus, good work Tom.

      To counter Beijing we need a strong centre right government, but at the moment we have a one party state. Turnbull must go for the good of the nation.

  5. Renewable backed by batteries is an even more ridiculous proposition …

    Yep. The only viable grid backup is pumped hydro where the geography is favorable. It’s been used for years because it makes economic sense.

    I’ve been following ammonia fuel. It can be made from water and air using surplus electricity. It can be stored cheaply in tanks. The latest development comes from Australia. link IMHO, ammonia’s only reason for being is to make renewables feasible. It doesn’t hold a candle to cheap fracked oil and gas.

    p.s. I’ve followed a lot of energy developments over the years. Many have survived the pilot plant stage. None of them have survived long into the production stage. Ammonia fuel is now in the pilot plant stage in many projects all over the world. It looks like it may be viable for niche applications. In that regard it is much like solar and wind. 🙂

    • In order to have “back up” batteries (no matter what kind), you have to have twice as many “bird choppers” ! Half to run the grid and half to charge the so called “batteries” !!

      • Everything in engineering has special cases. Pumped hydro storage is a good example. Where geography permits (ie. very few places) pumped hydro makes it possible to build a smaller power plant because you don’t have to build for peak demand. When you take everything, including inefficiencies, into account, pumped hydro can be the best bottom line option.

        Similar to the above, I engineered a photovoltaic system in the 1970s. It paid for itself in less than a year because the alternative was slinging fuel by helicopter.

        The point is that you can’t be too doctinaire. Anyway, it is likely that very cheap storage would actually reduce the number of bird choppers necessary. I have a little Canada Goose issue right now so I’m not even sure that bird choppers are all that evil. (Just kidding … I think)

    • “Surplus electricity?” What’s that. More than a billion people have no electricity. Of the billions who do, many are so ungrateful, and so unaware of reliable electricity’s importance to modern life, they’re trying to make it more expensive and/or less reliable in order to “save the world.”

      Who does that help, besides self-appointed martyrs to Mother Earth? Who does it hurt? The poor, even if they’re consumed with martyr hunger and believe they deserve to suffer.

        • I can’t find the quote but it is something like: “You can tell how civilized a county is by the amount of havoc caused when the electricity goes out.”

          A cashless society works only because information can be transmitted electrically. If the electricity goes out, you won’t even be able to buy food.

          • Even if you have cash, without power to run the registers, the stores wouldn’t be able to sell to you any way.
            Most stores don’t even put the prices on individual packages anymore.

          • MarkW, while most of what you say there is true, there are still stores (mostly small mom & pop operations) where the cashier is capable of making a cash transaction without a register. They’re a dying breed, but they do still exist.

          • In the event of a blackout, such stores likely will sell out in <4 hours. Anyone have any experience, say during the great Northeast blackout? How long did it take places that could still sell to run out?

        • And even an (arguably) less than civilised country:

          “Communism is Soviet Power + Electrification of the Whole Country”
          Vladimir Lenin, Report on the Work of the Council of People’s Commissars. December 22, 1920

      • Tom

        Thank you for remembering the hundreds of millions who have no electricity at all, and have to pay cash to a kiosk to get their phones charged once a week to receive text messages from family employed in the cities.

        The Minister is talking common sense – a rare commodity as we know. Curiously, in several countries in Central “Cold” Asia, electricity is taken as a right, and virtually the entire population has it (over 95%), even if they do not use it for heating. My point is that soon there will be a greater % of Australians without reliable electricity than people living in rural Kyrgyzstan or Kazakhstan. You know your economy is in trouble when your social metrics are outperformed by the ‘Stans (apologies to the ‘Stans for using you as an example – there are others).

        And how much does electricity cost the poor in Kyrgyzstan? It was recently increased to $0.02 per KWH from $0.015.

        Suck on that, Sydney.

        • Tom, Crispin

          120,000,000 people in developing countries expected to die by 2050 from smoke related conditions from burning wood and dung for energy, WHO figures.

          Another 1M a year expected to die from vitamin A deficiency golden rice can help alleviate.

          Goodness knows how many millions will dies from Malaria that DDT can also alleviate with little detriment to life in the west.

          We are killing people right now because of the ‘precautionary principle’ that only functions for the benefit western communities.

          Mao and Stalin will go down in history as mass murderers. Mao at least had an agricultural vision, as flawed as it was.

          Climate change zealots will go down in history as the most successful mass murderers in the planets history so far. It’s happening before their very eyes yet they learn nothing from the past.

          • the golden rice didnt even meet the crappy FDA standards for actual supply of VitA they refused health claims
            you know HOW RARE? that is??
            like the corn its been decades and billions wasted that could have been used to provide supplements OR seeds to grow food that has far more vit A
            like some bok choy other green veg a mango or other fruit
            it isnt lack of vit A per se its utter poverty to BUY any decent food at all thats the real problem!

          • ozspeaksup

            It may not have met FDA standards but it’s a lot better than nothing for the poverty stricken for whom it’s their staple food. Of course it didn’t provide much meaningful Vitamin A compared to a western diet, but when a peasant has no vitamin A at all in their diet, at the very least it helps.

            Why on earth do you imagine they grow rice rather than Bok Choi or Mango’s? It’s cheap and suits the land, that’s why it’s a staple food.

            Providing supplements will go the same way as any other hand out in the developing world, straight into the pockets of the corrupt politicians and their criminal gangs.

          • youre aware that DDT is used in asia n africa etc now?
            its just NOT wholesale smothering, but spraying wals and bed netting impregnated with it
            people MISusing the bed nets is an issue, pollutes the water when they fish with them;-/
            and obviously the DDT washed out and holes in them negates the value somewhat;-)

          • ozspeaksup

            I’m well aware DDT is still used for localised application. I don’t think there’s too many people in towns and cities in Africa and Asia using mosquito nets for fishing.

      • Border collies love to chase geese.

        But then how to keep them active for most of the year when geese aren’t passing through?

        Oops. Reply to Bob above.

        Unless the geese are resident rather than transient.

        • We’d better get some geese for our border collie then. It might not work though as he completely ignores the chooks and avian life hereabouts (Vic, Australia). He would love to get in with the sheep though. That would be a nuisance as, although farm bred, he was brought up as an effete city dog for four years before we inherited him.
          I remember Canada geese being a confounded nuisance at a lake near my parents in England. They were in their hundreds in a small area.

    • Any good recent reviews of the economics of ammonia as fuel as a function of electricity price or natural gas or coal prices?

      • It may be viable for replacing diesel generators at remote locations. link Other than that, not much. Right now even coal has a hard time competing against cheap fracked natural gas.

      • Anhydrous ammonia is some nasty stuff. It will kill you if you breathe the fumes or even just get it on your skin. Ask any industrial refrigeration tech (like me for instance).

    • Pumped storage only makes sense as a peaking power source.
      Which is what all of them are designed for.
      As a back up it’s too little

      • Do The Math has calculated it out in all its gory detail. It ain’t pretty.

        University professors often paint wonderful pictures of how easy it will be to power Europe by paving the Sahara with photovoltaic panels. example Then somebody like Do The Math comes along with a cold dose of reality. link

        • I do so like the link to ‘basking in the sun’
          It so beautifully trashes the idea of the GHGE while hardly even mentioning it.

          The atmosphere works to cool the surface – not make it warm.
          There is no Trapped Heat.
          There is Heat Transport. This is not the same thing.

    • commieBob said:

      “The only viable grid backup is pumped hydro where the geography is favorable.”

      I think gravity rail storage looks promising. The concept is very simple.

      • Really? You are really dredging the bottom of the swap! Gravity rail!!! LMAO Simple but mind bogglingly stupid!

        • Well, what ever you do, don’t explain why you think it’s mind bogglingly stupid.

          Why even bother responding with that if you’re not going to explain why it is you believe that to be true?

          • Well, just think about the concept for a while. Rail is great for moving large volumes of stuff long distances over relatively flat surfaces. It’s brilliant at that and we have been doing that for a hundred years or more. Now consider the rail storage concept. It requires shifting a large mass up an incline, which uses a vast amount of energy. Then it rolls down the incline feeding power back in to a grid. What are the losses? This has been discussed here at WUWT, search for the article. You will find the idea is, as I said, mind bogglingly stupid and is why we use rail for what it was invented for.

          • You mean this discussion?

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/23/rail-energy-storage-harnesses-the-power-of-gravity-all-the-livelong-day/

            So, what are the losses? Can you quote the relevant parts from that discussion? I’ve read it all, and I don’t see a showstopper.

            “which uses a vast amount of energy”

            That’s the whole point. You can’t get more energy out than you put in. If 80 efficiency is achievable then it all looks good. Do you know for a fact that this isn’t possible to achieve?

            Are you sure you’ve actually followed all the details of how their system is designed?

          • I haven’t read it, but it would amaze me if it gets >20% efficiency. And I’m talking all the way back to burning fuel. Show me that a gravity rail is more efficienct than burning fossil fuels in a Combined Heat And Power plant at the site that needs it.

  6. 80 years from now our descendants will wonder in awe how people could’ve been so stupid as to believe they (that is, us) could run a 21st Century technological, computer-run society on intermittent electricity sources.

    (They will think this because their landscape, from horizon to horizon in many places, will be littered with broken, rusted, and busted wind turbines.)

    • joelobryan

      In the not too distant future the world will mourn the deaths of millions of people a year from the zealous adherence to climate change dogma.

      Mao demonstrated adherence to dogma to save the people couldn’t work. Why are his mistakes being repeated?

      • Because leftists are convinced that they are the smartest people around, and THEY will make it work this time.

      • You have it backwards Hotscot, it isn’t to save people, this dogma is to kill. They have no intention of saving the planet, animals, or plants. It is entirely designed to kill people.

        • rishrac,
          Unhappily, you are spot on.
          The – Let Me Be Jolly Polite – greenies wish to see a global human population of no more than 750 million [that is slightly less than 10% of the current global population – so nine out of ten folk need to die – without children . . .].

          And, some versions of the [ever-polite] Greenies seem to look for a Global Population of no more than 250 million [less than Indonesia alone; or, roughly equivalent to the populations of those nine cities with bigger populations than New York City – ref http://www.citypopulation.de/world/Agglomerations.html ]

          And most of those will be quasi-slaves to – or used for sexual purposes by – our global nomenklatura.

          Not a very attractive look-out – for most of us.

          But, of course, voting is not to be allowed to disrupt the future [see Brexit, and how the smaller glitterati wish to upset the larger common folk’s vote . . . . . ]

          Auto

    • … their landscape, from horizon to horizon in many places, will be littered with broken, rusted, and busted wind turbines.

      Decommissioning those hulks will cost billions. link It is entirely likely that many/most will simply be abandoned and become eyesores and then hazards.

    • Don’t worry, they’ll have their own epic stupidity to fight against. We’ll be a footnote in history that no one reads (or has been deleted).

  7. For those playing at home, Littleproud is a National. The current Australian government is actually a Liberal-National Coalition with the Nationals being the junior partner.

    The Prime Minister, Turnbull, is a Liberal and is PM because the sitting Liberal members get to elect him. Nationals get no formal say in this process.

    So we have a Leftist Prime Minister leading what is NOMINALLY a conservative political party by grounds that he convinced all the Wets that only he could lead them to victory (a story openly promoted by the Hard Left Australian media) despite the fact that the vast majority of Liberal voters actually being pretty content with Tony Abbott. The Nationals in this partnership are traditionally strong in non-urban areas and very conservative leaning.

    So we have Left Turnbull leading the spineless Liberal party in a formal partnership with the very conservative Nationals. Liberal ministers tow the Turnbull line when appearing on media, but Nationals don’t formally answer to Turnbull so can say what they really feel.

    Parliament in Australia sits again next Monday. If we are going to get a leadership spill here in Australia I feel it is going to happen next week or not at all.

    We live in interesting times.

      • Sorry, I did consider explaining that term and then sort of assumed everyone would know.

        Within the Liberal Party – which you will remember is nominally a conservative group – there are factions because politics is nothing without having supporters within the power structure.

        The groups are known as Wets and Drys. Wets are the more left leaning ‘social’ type faction, being quite open to social reform but never got on well enough within the Unions to ever be able to join the Labor party.

        Drys are the more ‘conservative’ types who were more ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ types of mentality and tend to think that you don’t get anywhere in life whinging about things. Often very tough love sorts but also usually the same sorts who would be the ones standing next to you with the sandbags when the river flooded.

        I was, until I walked away from the party when Turnbull became PM, very much more of a Dry but never really deep enough into the ladder climbing for that to ever be an issue.

        So, while I regard the term ‘Wet’ as a bit on an insult (being more a Dry and all that), the terms Wet and Dry are acknowledged and used both within the Liberal party and by Australian political media.

        Turnbull and his supporters are considered to be Wets, with Chris Pyne usually being accepted as being King Wet within faction politics.

    • Craig do you know if the whole Coalition, in a joint party room debate, will happen next week?

      If Turnbull ignores the Nats over the NEG, there will be political revolt.

      • Lets hope so! Energy is the key policy pollies have going in to next year…and Shorten says his policies will make a “better climate”, his words.

    • well written and oh wouldnt it be nice to boot t*rdball and his termite buddy bi*chchops
      but unless TA steps up?
      or someone like lleyonhelm or littleproud with guts n nous
      and its worked so they cant
      the blinky bill options even worse;-(

  8. Littleproud seems to be a skeptic on a leash. I like that he at least is aware he has a cconstituency. Progressives have ridings, but their mandate is to serve global constituencies, not the poor folk who voted them in unaware of their real agenda.

  9. David Littleproud Speaks Truth to Lack of Affordable Power!

    “I don’t give a rat’s ass…. it’s gotta be affordable…. pensioners….. shouldn’t be afraid to turn on a heater or the lights!”

    Beautiful! Just…… Beautiful!!!

  10. So they want us to believe that:
    -Renewables are dirt cheap
    -Renewables are of infinite supply

    And force us to poverty by a limited and expensive availability of a commodity that’s supposed to be dirt cheap and of infinite supply.

    Hey, tell me what kerosene they smoke so I can avoid to fuel on it.

  11. Climate change within Naturally prescribed parameters. It’s certainly not catastrophic or progressive (i.e. monotonic).

  12. “If we want to go to renewables, if we move to renewables for a healthier environment, to breathe better air, that’s great …”.
    Crikey, the ignorance coming from a responsible minister is depressing, Mr Littleproud, global
    warming climate change carbon dioxide emissions and so-called renewables have absolutely nothing to do with air quality.

    • I don’t agree with everything Littleproud says, but I think he gets the most important point right – affordable electricity is more important than climate action. I’ll take what I can get.

      • “… affordable electricity is more important than climate action. I’ll take what I can get …”.
        Fair enough, nonetheless it is galling to discover that the people we pay to form
        policies that affect our lives, in this case drastically, do not even bother to inform themselves of the fundamentals.
        Probably government ministers are surrounded by advisors who are committed CAGW activists.

        • “manalive

          Probably government ministers are surrounded by advisors who are committed CAGW activists.”

          No probability about it, it’s a dead certifiable fact.

      • ‘I’ll take what I can get.’

        All the politicians are ignorant on the science, thats a given, so as a priority the ginger group must be educated before the next election.

        The brainwashed masses just think Littleproud is a heartless person who doesn’t care about the planet or grandchildren.

        They need to come out in force and say carbon dioxide is a harmless trace gas and doesn’t make the world a warmer place.

    • Not much pollution comes out of a nuclear reactor and no co2. The new fast reactors don’t result in much left over waste and there is better technology than these in the wings, so to speak. But noooo! Nobody wants one in their backyard. All the money being peed away on renewables would go a long way toward building some of these but everyone is worried about Chernobyl type situations. Don’t let incompetent governments run them and don’t build them on geologically unstable areas, as in the Japanese example, and major problems solved.

      • I’d like one ….. but then …I lived within 200 feet of an operating 90 MW reactor for years …
        Maybe that’s why I self identify as Crazy Bob at times …?

          • Because those lines have current moving in both directions, which causes their magnetic fields to cancel out, the strength of the magnetic field drops off very rapidly the further you get away from the lines.

      • Chernobyl was a design rejected by the west as too dangerous. But it was cheap, which is all that mattered to the Soviet masters. Even then, a few million extra to build a containment vessel would have meant the only place contaminated would have been the reactor itself.

        If the back up generator had been put in a water tight room, there would have been no problem at Fukushima.

        • Two things to clarify on the above, MarkW. First, the “accident” at Chernobyl was the result of running an absurd stress test on the reactor…a test that all the other reactors refused to run for fear of…well…exactly what happened. That all the safeties had to be disabled to run the test was a pretty good indication that it was a tragically bad idea.

          Secondly, I believe it was the diesel tanks being washed away (at Fukishima) that was the real problem. They had no fuel to run the backup generators.

          Again, just clarifications.

          Your point remains: nuclear has an exemplary safety record.

          rip

  13. Not to worry once, our warming alarmist PM Turnbull hears of this transgression, I’m sure we’ll be informed this poor misguided minister has miss-spoken.

  14. “Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of society. It IS that simple.”
    – Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

    My expertise is energy, and I have known the above truth since FOREVER!

    Below is my post from 2009. My publications date back to 2002, when I started trying to persuade the pubic that they were being scammed by global warming hysteria and green energy nonsense.

    Since then, many trillions of dollars have been squandered on green energy schemes that are NOT green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy. It is difficult to believe that people and governments have been so incredibly gullible and utterly imbecilic.

    Excerpted from 2009 (CAPS added here):

    “ONE LITTLE DETAIL THAT YOU PEOPLE SEEM TO IGNORE. ACCESS TO CHEAP, ABUNDANT ENERGY IS WHAT KEEPS US AND OUR CHILDREN ALIVE.

    YOUR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS LIKE WIND POWER AND FUEL ETHANOL FROM CORN SIMPLY DO NOT WORK EFFECTIVELY OR EFFICIENTLY. THEY ARE AN ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER.”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/03/quote-of-the-week-6/#comment-115472

    Matt Bennett (01:59:50) :

    And this will be our downfall. No government with the guts to ignore pathetic pleas of exceptionalism by dirty industries and make the hard decisions. The coal industry and friends down here have known with enough certainty for nearly two decades that their time was up and they should invest elsewhere or fade away. Instead, we have lenient concessions granted where there should be none, making any attempts to significantly cut emissions basically useless – a couple of thousand workers in a filthy industry holding to ransom the long term health of the rest of the planet. Interesting times lie ahead.

    *********************

    Matt, I own no shares in the coal industry but do have some technical background in energy and environment. Not sure that you do – doubt it from your comments.

    Coal-fired power plants can be built to high environmental standards at reasonable costs. This means cleaning up almost all real pollution in terms of airborne emissions.

    Removing CO2 from coal-fired power plant emissions costs a great deal more, and could be justified ONLY IF there was evidence that CO2 caused a serious problem such as catastrophic global warming. At this point, there is NO such evidence, and significant contrary evidence. Earth is now cooling.

    One little detail that you people seem to ignore. Access to cheap, abundant energy is what keeps us and our children alive. While you may be blessed with living in a warm climate, most of us in the developed world live in cold climates – we need energy to heat our homes, and for transportation. Our food travels great distances, especially in winter. We are not prepared to live without fresh fruit and produce, like our great-grandparents did.

    Your alternative energy solutions like wind power and fuel ethanol from corn simply do not work effectively or efficiently. They are an economic and environmental disaster. If you want to subsidize these loser technologies, feel free to do so, but leave me free to do more sensible things with my money.

    ***********************

      • Thank you Johann.

        I wrote above:
        “It is difficult to believe that people and governments have been so incredibly gullible and utterly imbecilic.”

        There is, of course, another interpretation – that these global warming propagandists are not naïve, but are fully aware that CAGW is a false alarm, the greatest scam of all time, but they will profit from it.

        That “profit” from false global warming propaganda is happening now and takes several forms:
        1. Leftists see it as a means to raise funds and gain political power, so they can take full control.
        2. Environmental organizations see it as a means to raise funds and exert political power – and are often allied with the leftists.
        3. Businesses, politicians and political parties see it as a means to profit, by paying bribes to obtain favourable energy regulations.
        4. Scientists and government employees see it a means to obtain large grants to fund research and publications, to build their careers and their departments and gain favour with their administrative superiors.

        This is a work-in-progress – please feel free to add items 5 and 6 etc as appropriate.

        Best, Allan

        • 5. The only group being hard done by are fringe conservatives.
          6. ‘It is difficult to get a fringe conservatives to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

          • Not sure what you are saying here Ryan – who are these “fringe conservatives”?

            Back when I started publishing against CAGW falsehoods in 2002, it was scientists of all political stripes who opposed warmist falsehoods, based on the scientific method. We were usually moderate and respectful in our words.

            For examples, read the articles published then by Richard Lindzen of MIT, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon of Harvard-Smithsonian and John Christy and Roy Spencer of UAH.

            It was the global warming alarmists who were immoderate in their comments, repeating their BIG LIE “the science is settled” and vilifying everyone who opposed them – tactics straight out of leftist Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”.

            I would not describe myself as particularly “conservative” then – I opposed global warming nonsense because it was scientifically false and economically destructive, based on my considerable scholarship and energy expertise.

            I was also on the Board of the largest homeless shelter in Canada for 16 years, and some people mistakenly assumed I was leftist because of that association. I described myself politically as centrist, based on science, common-sense and common decency.

            In recent years I have become more outspoken and political in my comments, in reaction to the aggressive and deeply corrupt practices of global warming promoters and their organizations.

            Although we do not discuss our political leanings, I know that some of those who have strongly opposed global warming falsehoods are of the left and others are of the moderate right. Our common cause is that we oppose aggressive liars and financial fraudsters who are doing great harm to society.

            While aggressive global warming hucksterism is a creature of the political left, it is opposed by honest scientists of all political stripes, who support the legitimate interests of rich and poor against deep warmist corruption and huge economic fraud.

            Regards, Allan

          • Cn you name an “aggressive liar” and give an example? I mean a proven example not heresay or opinion.

          • And get sued by these well-financed scoundrels? Thanks a lot Ryan.
            Nice try.

            I will say that EVERY paper published that claims that increasing atmospheric CO2 is driving dangerous global warming and wilder weather is FALSE.

            You can pick for yourself which of the warmists are aggressive in their claims, state ridiculous falsehoods like “the science is settled”, and attack academics and others who disagree with their warmist falsehoods. There are lots of them.

            Read the quotations at http://www.green-agenda.com

            Just a few examples:

            “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society,
            which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”
            – David Brower,
            founder of Friends of the Earth
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of
            saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
            an ecologically sound society under socialism.
            I don’t think it is possible under capitalism”
            – Judi Bari,
            principal organiser of Earth First!
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
            industrialized civilizations collapse?
            Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
            – Maurice Strong,
            founder of the UN Environment Programme
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the
            United States. De-development means bringing our
            economic system into line with the realities of
            ecology and the world resource situation.”
            – Paul Ehrlich,
            Professor of Population Studies
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          • Oh, quit trying to be Nick Stokes. And by that I mean, straining at a detail that might not have been well explained, when in the end the detail doesn’t matter one whit anyway.

          • Like most leftists, in Ryan’s world, there are communists, socialists, far right and fringe right.
            That and lying is ok so long as it advances the cause.

    • A great post Allan laden with knowledge and fact. Trouble is the people who set Govn’t energy policy are either uninformed morons, and I am not using that word loosely either, or in the “game”. A lot of the former and a little of the latter.

    • “It is difficult to believe that people and governments have been so incredibly gullible and utterly imbecilic.”

      Sadly it’s not difficult to believe; history is full of examples.

      • saveenergy wrote:
        “history is full of examples”.

        True SE – see Charles Mackay’s book referenced below, published in 1841.

        Such imbecilic scams are not unique, and arise every generation or so – but global warming alarmism is the BIG ONE – the greatest fraud, in dollar terms, in the history of humanity.

        Tens of trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, all based on allegations of dangerous man-made global warming, in a (probably) cooling world.

        The well-being of millions, maybe billions of people has been compromised by this blatant climate-and-energy scam.

        Regards, Allan
        ___________________________

        Reference:

        “EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS”
        Charles Mackay (1841)
        https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Extraordinary_Popular…

        Excerpts:

        “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

        “Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome.”
        ___________________________

  15. The Ag minister is dealing with reality and telling the crowd they have to accept reality and stop hunting for cloud fairies and moon beams????

    What is WRONG with this guy???? Quick, lock him up before they start listening to him and convert to Reality!!!

    What? Oh – sorry, I thought it was a moment of hallucinating, that someone would have the unbelievable NERVE to tell the truth to a live audience.

  16. Well, I’m just one Australian, but I can say that there have been 0 times that I’ve hit the light switch and it didn’t come on that weren’t caused by transmission lines being damaged by storms or car crashes or a tree falling on them.

    • @ Philip Schaeffer.
      ‘I’m all right Jack’.
      Electricity retail prices have risen over 100% concurrent with the adoption of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
      In NSW alone during 2016 there were 30,000 electricity disconnections up from 16,000 in 2009, there are people on fixed incomes afraid to use the heating or cooling they need because of cost.
      https://www.ncoss.org.au/sites/default/files/Cost-of-Living-Report-16-06-2017-FINAL.pdf
      That is shameful in a country that exports thermal coal in massive amounts to supply Asian customers, in fact so far this year coal has been Australia’s top export income earner, last year second only to iron ore.

      • Correct me if wrong but Australia recently became the largest coal exporter, in tonnage, in the world. One ship in recent years carried the largest single export of coal ever IIRC 260,000 tonnes leaving just 15cm between the bottom of the ship and channel. IIRC that was from the terminal at Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

        We even have ads on TV asking why Japan can build “clean” coal plants, burning Australian coal, but we here in Aus can’t. The situation is insane.

        • We have plenty of gas, which produces much less CO2 per unit of power generated, and can be spun up much faster than coal plants to deal with varying demand and varying output from renewables.

          Have you looked into the cost and practicality of “clean” coal? Anyone can make an ad. Building a “clean” coal power station that is cost effective, and actually works, is another issue entirely.

          • By what metric? And what is the relevance of that metric? Does it depend on what you consider to be important with regards to climate on earth, or is it just better by all metrics, regardless of other relevant considerations?

            I’m genuinely all ears if you have something interesting to say.

          • Here’s a couple of metrics.
            They are cheaper than renewables.
            They are more reliable then renewables.
            CO2 is good for the planet.

        • Because, a lot like car ads, the maker of the ad gets to define “clean”. So what the Japanese government and/or advertisers tout to the world as “clean” (and it may be, you might be able to stick your face in the exhaust and inhale… once or twice), may still have every bit of CO2 that the products of combustion ever produced. And I’m fine with that, it’s just that’s not what Gang Green means when they insist on building only “clean” power plants. They mean a power plant that discharges no CO2. Oh, and doesn’t make use of that nasty old fission process, that just feels icky, cuz you know the Bomb or something.

      • So, exactly where does the money from the larger power bills go?

        26% of the increase over the last decade comes from increased retail margins (yay for privatization). 46% comes from the “gold plating” of the distribution network (a combination of greatly overestimating future demand, and government imposed reliability standards to reduce blackouts, introduced in the mid 2000’s)

        Around 17% of the increase is from increased wholesale power prices. Around 16% of the increase is from spending on “green schemes”, accounting for around 6% of a power bill.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-04/energy-policy-solar-electricity-bills-air-conditioning-costs/9298346

        So, 72% of the increase in power costs has nothing to do with the cost of generation, or money spent on green schemes. But I don’t hear much round here from those who are so worried about the high cost of electricity, talking about the things that are responsible for most of the increase in cost.

        • You are right about “gold plating” and that has been the biggest cost, so far. But we are just getting used to the increasing cost directly attributed to RET’s.

        • you forgot the billions wasted on smart power boxes
          ripping out n rewiring millions of homes for sweetfa real benefit to any BUT the power cos!
          they rave about waste but i betcha those units werent sold off to some other nation, but trashed asap!
          at least if theyd been sold n reused someone benefited
          and sale proceeds should have gone back to the bloody consumers who PAID for them fully when new homes were built.

          • I listen to streamed radio from the UK in ads about smart meters and in the advert “Its amazing how much power can be saved with a smart meter!” we are told. “Enough power to power cities for a year” we are told. I wonder how?

          • If I told you I had even the vaguest idea what it is that you’re ranting on about, I’d be lying my arse off.

            edit: just to be clear because of the order the comments are displayed in, I was saying that to ozspeaksup.

        • The “gold-plating” is just a furphy. The increased amount of transmission lines were required to connect to all the new solar and wind farms, as they were scattered all over eastern Australia.

          • Yeah, don’t you remember back in the mid 2000’s when all you heard about from the NSW Labor party was how they wanted to introduce legislation to spend more money on power lines to allow for the upcoming solar and wind boom?

            I don’t. There was no solar and wind boom at the time.

        • Also true here in Alberta, Philip S.

          But note that the justification for our expensive, new, un-needed electrical transmission infrastructure was to support green-energy generation schemes, such as wind power in Southern Alberta.

          We reportedly now have two un-needed multi-billion-dollar DC transmission lines in Alberta that are built into our rate base – my expert contacts in the electricity business say we don’t need either of them at this time.

          Below is a post from 2017.

          Regards, Allan
          ________________________________

          https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/19/doe-secretary-rick-perry-resiliency-pricing-rule-for-coal-fired-and-nuclear-power-plants/#comment-2185775

          Here in Alberta the cost of generating natural gas-fired or coal-fired power is about 2-4cents/KWh.

          Then this cost ~QUADRUPLES due to the way our idiot politicians have mismanaged the costs of Transmission, Distribution and Administration. Costs also increase due to the addition of unreliable, non-dispatchable wind power.

          Alberta recently added a new $2 billion DC transmission line that actually has higher (AC-DC-AC Conversion + Line) losses than the old AC system, because the AC-DC-AC conversion losses are about 5%, much higher than the line losses of the old AC lines (which obviously require no AC-DC-AC conversion).

          They had to take power off the old AC lines and put it on the new DC line – otherwise the new DC line would have run at less than 10% of capacity.

          The math IS that simple, but clearly too much for our Alberta politicians.

          Warren Buffet owns the new DC line and gets a guaranteed utility rate-of-return from this nonsense.

          Preliminary Scoping and Engineering was apparently done by Phoebe Buffet.

          • What are the loss figure for the DC line including conversions losses compared to an AC system of the same length? How much would it cost to build an AC system of the same length and capacity?

    • youre pretty young then?
      because i remember the brownout n strikes and no power in adelaide in the 60s n mighta even been early 70s?

      • Well, I’ve only been around for 40.8 ish years, but that’s a pretty decent stretch without power outages due to things other than transmission lines being damaged. The system is actually a lot more reliable than when I was young, but that was true before the gold plating.

  17. Way to go, Mr Littleproud. Thank goodness you seem to be a sensible man who sees that renewable energy sources cannot exist without subsidy and are not reliable. Perhaps you can tell those who want to pollute our Warwick landscape with 280000 voltaic cells that they are wasting lots of money, and that if they go ahead will have to exist without subsidy. Of course you don’t have that power – we are dealing with a Queensland Labor Govt and a pliant local council.

    I am in your electorate and have a question.

    Has anyone in the Cabinet realised that making Navy Ships in South Australia cannot happen without a reliable source of power for the welding etc? Does no one take a broad view of any policy ideas?

  18. Somebody with sense on QandA? That’s gotta be a first.
    And Tony Jones actually let him speak? Will wonders never cease!!

    I gave up on Tony Jones way back in … um … so long ago I don’t remember.

  19. Bloody Politicians – the only time they talk any sense is close to an election, the rest of the time they go missing. You only have to look at Turnbull’s appointments to see the fix is in.
    If Turnbull pitches in a couple of mill and wins the next election for the libs it will be game over… – Once that happens it will back to feeding the big green investment scam with taxpayer funds. The cost of electricity will be forgotten in the rush to make themselves even richer.

    • fair bit of fur flying over that 440BIL dollar handout to private reef cabal
      all in ONE huge hit too-not slow dripfed
      no way to recall?
      being examined
      think how many small homes on govt land that could have provided for homeles and poor

  20. He almost has it. But at least he is brave enough, and has integrity enough, to point out the obvious.
    The next step is to start calling out climate fear bs claims. Whether about droughts or heatwaves or slr or the other long list of things alarmists deceive people over, it is time to call them out.

  21. on tonights news i hear that the vic powercos made 3x!!!!! the profit this yr
    off the backs of people like me who cannot afford to use the oven anymore or the electric hotplates when cooking used to be a joy I havent done any cakes etc except once a yr for xmas
    and that has to be on weekends rate.
    ditto washing vacuuming etc

  22. With a moron like this in charge, it is not surprising Australian agriculture is suffering from the impact of extreme droughts. It is supposed to the spring in Australia and now they have the summer to face. To deny this is not impacted by climage change – from a government minister – beggar’s belief. The country needs someone in charge who is prepared to put remedial effects in place as the situation is quite likely to get worse: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1000797/Australia-drought-aerial-video-live-rainfall-weather-update-food-shortage

    • The drought in the east is NOT due to global warming. If it was, there would have been droughts elsewhere in Australia, but in WA there has been, and still is right now, an excessive amount of rain. Also a recent study has shown that globally, droughts have decreased over the last 60 years. Stop being alarmist and accept that in Australia we regularly have droughts at different times. Nothing has changed in this respect and it never will.

    • Fascinating how the trolls are convinced that prior to mankind burning fossil fuels, the earth’s climate never changed.

    • Ivan, what remedial effects are you, clearly not sharing the same crippling mental disability as that unfortunate minister , proposing. By your own assertions such acts have to be capable of reversing the effects of drought in a timescale of months , and presumably precludes any CO2 mitigation given that the effect of Australian energy use on the global concentration of CO2 is vanishingly small.

    • “ivankinsman

      With a moron like this in charge, it is not surprising Australian agriculture is suffering from the impact of extreme droughts.”

      So, British settlers brought agricultural practices and technology suited to a wetter, milder, cooler climate, to a country that has regular droughts and you expect there to be no issues as a result of a typical Australian drought? Can you tell me how a tax on energy will stop Australia drifting north by 1 metre per year and prevent droughts?

  23. “…achieving a high percentage of grid electricity from renewables means paying for two sets of electricity infrastructure.”

    — You can bet that when you read about the cost to generate electricity from a windfarm that the cost of the backup system is not factored in. The datapoint presented may be of some interest but it is also largely useless. The useful metric has to consider the cost of the entire system.

  24. “If we want to go to renewables, if we move to renewables for a healthier environment, to breathe better air, that’s great, let’s do it, but let’s do it in a responsible way, a responsible way that we can all afford. And we can transition that. But we can’t do it at the moment.”

    Spoken like a true pander bear. I realize the guy is an improvement, and says things which are common sense, like energy needs to be affordable and reliable, but then he goes and says dumb, pandering things like the above.

    • If he’d said that he wanted to drop the expensive unreliables immediately, he’d be out of a job. It’s merely a way of not upsetting the zealots too much just now.

    • He’s a politician, of course he is going to pander if he wants to have any hopes of being elected/re-elected.

    • Reading between the lines, I paraphrased that as, “Go ahead and build all the windfarms you want, just don’t expect to raise the rates to pay for it.”

  25. It is obvious that the Minister of Agriculture did not get the memo. Man must be sacrificed for the good of nature, and the climate.
    Who does he think he is to mention inconveniences such as cost, or reliability?
    Developed nation? The green wackos want to end all development and embrace 3rd world living conditions.

  26. If the Greens in Oz were honest, they would demand the end to mining coal. After all, the atmosphere does not respect national boundaries. Instead, they just demand that Australians suffer while gaining nothing.

    Perhaps the way to destroy them is to join them, and demand an end to their hypocrisy. Out green them. Point out that Australia selling coal to other nations to burn is no different than hospitals having cigarette machines on every floor, or the Vatican owning stock in companies selling birth control. Your moral outrage has no credibility if you are enabling that which outrages you.

    Give politicians a choice between ‘saving the planet’ and saving their biggest single source of revenue, and you will quickly see just how green they are.

  27. I agree with greens that renewables are important for the future especially since we need reliable energy when we run low on oil. However it will be a few years until it’s ready for wide spread use cheaply. Anyone wanting to rush into renewables is a fool.

    • “…since we need reliable energy when we run low on oil.”

      Then the panic can be shelved for a couple of centuries.

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