The NEG: A Frankenstein Green Energy Policy which Upsets Pretty Much Everyone

Turnbull (centre) with deputy leader Julie Bishop (right) and Helen Coonan (left) in July 2009.
Turnbull (centre) with deputy leader Julie Bishop (right) and Helen Coonan (left) in July 2009. By GiorgiaxmasOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is celebrating passing the National Energy Guarantee, a policy which attempts to please everyone by demanding energy retailers source a portion of their supply from dispatchable sources, while at the same time attempting to encourage investment in renewables to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement commitments.

The green response;

Coalition votes to kill renewables, encourage new coal generation

Giles Parkinson 14 August 2018

Federal Coalition MPs voted on Tuesday to support the National Energy Guarantee that proposes to ensure no new investment in large-scale wind, solar or battery storage for nearly a decade, and also expressed their support for a new government initiative they hope will support new coal-fired generation.

A two-and-a-half hour meeting of Coalition MPs in Canberra produced the result that prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg had been hoping for: support for the NEG, despite opposition from former PM Tony Abbott and former deputy PM Barnaby Joyce.

That meeting and the meeting of Coalition MPs on Tuesday embraced the promise by the Energy Security Board that the NEG – at its current emission reduction target – would ensure there would be zero investment in new large-scale wind, large-scale solar or large-scale battery storage from 2022 to 2030.

That unprecedented investment drought will take Australia from one of the leading countries in the adoption of renewable energy to bottom of the pile, according to analysis from ANU researchers.

Read more:

Australia’s former Primer Minister Tony Abbott pretty much sums up the climate skeptic response;

Tony Abbott defends CO2, attacks his own Paris targets

Mr Abbott reaffirmed on Monday his view Australia should walk away from the Paris commitment and continued to insist the target was an aspiration, not a commitment – a claim which is disputed by everyone else involved at the time with setting the target.

Mr Abbott said it was a “very dangerous move” to use legislation to bind the power sector to what he claimed were only “voluntary guidelines”.

“There is a world of difference between a non-binding target and a mandatory legislative commitment,” he said.

“I have enormous concerns about anything that smacks of our country being dictated to, surrendering our sovereignty really, to the green bureaucrats of Paris.”

Read more:

Clearly not a lot of joy in either camp. The reason is simple – in my opinion Australia has just been served with a “dog poop yoghurt” energy policy.

The dog poop yoghurt fallacy is a demonstration of why compromise is not always a solution. In the words of James Delingpole;

It goes like this: one side of this debate thinks that the best thing to put in yoghurt is fruit; the other side is of the view that what really needs to be added to yoghurt is a nice bit of dog poo. Now suppose we were to compromise. Suppose the latter faction were to concede sufficient ground to agree that only a tiny quantity of dog poo should go into the mainly fruit-rich yoghurt, would this constitute a victory for commonsense?

Of course it wouldn’t. Even if just the smallest, smidgen of a fraction of dog poo were to go into that yoghurt it would still be irredeemably tainted.

What problem does the NEG energy supply compromise solve?

The NEG’s guaranteed presence of coal in the mix ensures CO2 emissions remain high – which is why the greens are upset.

The guaranteed presence of renewables in the mix ensures end user prices remain artificially high – which is why people who support free markets are upset.

Of course these guarantees aren’t really fixed, the actual percentages could be fiddled anytime by government fiat – so the NEG is unlikely to encourage the kind of long term energy infrastructure investment Australia desperately needs.

The only people who stand to gain from the NEG are electricity suppliers, owners of near end of life coal plants and subsidy funded renewables plants. The NEG effectively gives everyone who supplies electricity an opportunity to be a rent seeker, to demand their government mandated slice of the income of Australia’s long suffering electricity consumers.

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August 14, 2018 7:17 am

I tried googling for any sign of public discontent over the electric system in Australia. Maybe I used the wrong search terms but I couldn’t find much. Why aren’t the people rioting in the streets?

Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 7:33 am

Wrong type of public discontent for certain web search sites to care?

Adam Gallon
Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 8:38 am

I wonder how they could object? In the UK, no matter which of the two major parties gets elected, it’ll still be the same result as regards to energy policy.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Adam Gallon
August 14, 2018 11:42 pm

Yes, but in large part the UK is tied to EU eco-barmy energy policies, or lack thereof!!!

Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 9:36 am

“I tried googling”

There’s your problem.

Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 9:58 am

Try using “factory closure” or “mine shutdown” or “last vehicle assembly line” or maybe “rising hunger.”

Patrick MJD
Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 4:22 pm

In answer to your query commieBob, there has been none published. Any dissenting, discontented views are quickly swept under the carpet.

Who ever brings this policy to the next federal election won’t be in politics for long.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  commieBob
August 14, 2018 5:07 pm

As for literal rioting it is unlikely.

People who pay electricity bills are also the sorts of people who ‘own’. Literal rioting tends to result in having a lot of your own stuff broken and anyone smart enough to better their life is usually also smart enough to realise riots are for idiots who can’t think past the moment. Or, to word it another way, Lefties.

As for the metaphorical rioting you need to understand how much of the Australian media operate.

They have a vested interest in keeping Canberra filled with Lefties. They replaced Abbott with Turnbull as they feared Abbott would actually get long term conservative results. Turnbull is now effectively a place holder until they can get the ALP back in charge at the next election. This means the Love Media now need to paint Turnbull as clever enough to prevent the Liberal Party replacing him with someone more conservative, but not good enough to actually win the next election.

Australian media for the most part tell you what you need to know and what you believe. If you believe your power bills are too high, well, you are wrong and probably a racist.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
August 15, 2018 9:17 pm

Craig of Oz from Gayle of Oz. Could not have said it better myself but there will be reckoning about the time the last factory leaves Oz and the green idiots recognize that in cutting emissions from our pastoral industries (which will be their next target) means not enough food for them and no taxes from all the departed industries to keep paying their boondoggle. .

Reply to  commieBob
August 15, 2018 2:04 am

the system of supply is still working ok
SA is a bit(lot) iffy.
type in COST of powerbills in aus and Id say you’ll find many p’d off comments
andif you use it?
fbk should have plenty

Luther Bl't
Reply to  commieBob
August 15, 2018 10:13 am

commieBob, on the right side of the page you will find the words “Jo Nova”. Mouse over and click. No g**gling required.

Another site focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on Australian power supply issues is Stop These Things (

August 14, 2018 7:23 am

DPY works as long as you are the seller and can blame somebody else when customers get sick. The politicians know this quite well; the public not so much.

Ralph Knapp
August 14, 2018 7:32 am

I would love to see an all out world wide televised debate with the best from both sides of the climate spectrum using only verifiable facts in their presentations.

Reply to  Ralph Knapp
August 15, 2018 2:07 am

dream on.
ONLY the right side…theirs= agw
is allowed to present anything to public via msm

August 14, 2018 7:35 am

Typical politician, making laws about things they know nothing about, while trying to secure votes from everyone affected on either side of the discussion..

August 14, 2018 7:58 am

Seems to be trending in the right direction. At least it is bringing discretion back to the prevailing government rather than being a slave to the international Green Blob.

Here in the UK we are right lumbered by our Climate Change Act 2008 with the disastrous consequences of stupid unattainable targets locked into statute with little room for manoeuvre.

Reply to  Alasdair
August 14, 2018 4:10 pm

Not so Alasdair, PM Turnbull is a green fanatic who has used his position to ratify the Paris Accord and push green policy at every opportunity. He occasionally appears slightly reasonable when he knows he can’t get his way overtly, so he schemes and does it covertly while the Ozzie voters continue on in their daze towards a 3rd world future for their kids.

His lunatic renewables schemes are costing the country billions and set to cost us tens of billions more, like his signature Snowy 2.0 Pumped Hydro scheme which is costed at $12 billion and will produce exactly zero power, in fact wasting 20% of the power used for the pumping, power generated (hopefully) elsewhere.

Remarkably, his son is heavily invested in windmills, so nothing to see here; no insider trading. Everything’s kosher mate.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  beowulf
August 14, 2018 4:40 pm


Remarkably, his son is heavily invested in windmills, so nothing to see here; no insider trading. Everything’s kosher mate.”

Interesting to know that and not at all surprising, keeping it in the family. As if a personal wealth of AU$200mil, which was made rather dubiously IMO just before the OneTel collapse, isn’t enough for the Turnbull family.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 14, 2018 5:06 pm

Another buccaneer banker like daddy. Alex owns a lot if Infigen via Keshik Capital.

Reply to  beowulf
August 15, 2018 9:20 pm

Added to which we have no connection to other power supplies ie no nuclear from France so when our lights go out, they really go out!.

Ron Long
August 14, 2018 7:59 am

There you go, it looks like the Ozzies are smart enough not to eat dog poop yogurt, after all.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Ron Long
August 14, 2018 11:47 am

It’s the dingo poop they’re after!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John Harmsworth
August 14, 2018 4:25 pm

Nah! We are after Koala poop…they feed it to their offspring so it has to be good!

Reply to  Ron Long
August 14, 2018 4:36 pm

We’ve been eating dog poop for the last 10 years, only the politicians and their media cheer squad tell us it’s strawberry.

August 14, 2018 8:05 am

The NEG is a disaster. It is possible to increase the percentage of unreliable energy on the grid (a worthless goal). It is possible to reduce the cost of electricity to consumers (a worthy goal). It is not possible to achieve both.

August 14, 2018 8:11 am

Do you suppose it’s possible the Australian government hired Jonathan Gruber as a consultant? This sounds not far off the design of Obamacare, with similar results for costs.

Reply to  DiogenesNJ
August 14, 2018 12:45 pm

what ever happened to that a-hole, what’s he doing now?

did anyone ever poke him in the nose?

Tom Halla
August 14, 2018 8:18 am

The dog poop yoghurt is a great analogy for stupid compromises with the irreconcilable and incompatible.

August 14, 2018 8:21 am

I”m seeing parallels here between Turnbull and Trudeau – both having to grapple with the realities of greenness vs reliability.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Mr.
August 14, 2018 8:59 am

Trudeau had to water down his legislation because some of the top 600 CO2 emitters said they would leave the country otherwise. Now his carbon taxes amount to $5 billion over 4 years. If they all pay the tax then Trudeau’s targets dont get met and if they switch fuels to a non carbon source the temperature will go down 4/10000 of 1C in a 100 years. That will still leave Trudeau 183 million tons short of his 2030 commitment. The only way for that to be met is IF 67% of those 600 large CO2 emitters actually left the country. Trudeau is cooked either way and will lose the next election over this carbon tax that he wants to bring in starting Jan 1 2019.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 14, 2018 11:48 am

You are correct except for the part about it effecting temperature in any way whatsoever.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 14, 2018 4:28 pm

“Alan Tomalty”

Turnbull is in a fortunate position because most of the 250 top polluters in Australia were taken care of in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. BTW, HydroTasmania was in the list of top polluters.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 15, 2018 9:25 pm

Also one of Turnbull’s idiocies , Snowy 2.0 which is a hydro scheme will only work in non-drought years. There is a lot of drought in NSW at the moment (the whole state is drought declared) , which is the main part of the Snowy scheme and consequently a distinct shortage of water to pump anywhere but hey, who cares, as long as we can pretend long enough for the next election when he can get his preferred ALP elected. In our household, Turnbull is widely considered an ALP double agent. And as for his son, insider trading anyone?

Reply to  Mr.
August 14, 2018 10:28 am

The initial carbon-tax proposal, which takes effect next year, promised to levy companies on 30% of their emissions at 10 Canadian dollars (US$7.66) a metric ton, rising to C$50 a metric ton in 2022. The revision now sets the taxable emissions at 20%. The Journal’s Paul Vieira reported from Ottawa on Aug. 1 that “government officials are prepared to tinker further with the carbon-pricing regime should domestic industrial sectors bring evidence demonstrating ‘[heightened] competitiveness risks’ due to developments in the global marketplace.”

Canada’s ability to attract capital suffered a setback when oil prices fell hard in 2015. Under Mr. Trudeau, who took office in November of that year, it hasn’t caught up. In an April 13 blog post, Jason Clemens and Niels Veldhuis of the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute noted that Canadian foreign direct investment amounted to C$31.5 billion in 2017, down 56% from C$71.5 billion in 2013. The authors added: “Since peaking in the fourth quarter of 2014, total business investment adjusted for inflation—excluding residential housing—is down almost 17.0 percent. Private-sector investment in factories and other structures is down 23.3 percent. And investment in intellectual property is down 13.3 percent.”

The causes of this capital strike seem to be taxes and regulation, as more than one business leader has noted. Suncor Energy CEO Steve Williams said in February that his company is “having to look at Canada quite hard. The cumulative impact of regulation and higher taxation than other jurisdictions is making Canada a more difficult jurisdiction to allocate capital in.”

August 14, 2018 8:39 am

Sounds like standard parliamentary sausage making to me. Legislative, two party sausage making is bad enough in the USA. Though it sounds like the politicians in Australia use the same methodology as the USA. They have learned to delegate administrative rule making to the technocrats, so it will generally be out of the public eye when the real damage is done.

Dave Anderson
August 14, 2018 8:52 am

Never seen it spelled yoghurt before (and the spell check here tags it). Though I did see an episode of “Family Guy” where Brian got mad as Stewy for pronouncing it like that.

Reply to  Dave Anderson
August 15, 2018 2:12 am

spell check is set to usa english
uk n aus spell it yoghurt
and mangos plural has NO E
neither do potatos, or tomatos

Steven Zell
August 14, 2018 9:08 am

How about thinking outside of the box for a minute? Let’s get the Australian government out of picking winners and losers in the energy business, and let the market (i.e. Australian energy consumers) decide whether they want to pay for energy from coal, natural gas, wind or solar, based on the cost of production and distribution. The only thing the government should regulate are the emissions of particulates and sulfur and nitrous oxides, which are known toxic air pollutants, whose emissions can be drastically reduced using proven existing technology.

Reply to  Steven Zell
August 14, 2018 9:39 am

Doesn’t proven imply existing?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarkW
August 14, 2018 2:16 pm

Not quite, if you take “proven” to mean commercially viable. You may have a technology on the drawing boards to reduce pollutant “A” by 5 9’s (99.999%) but there is only a demonstration (not even pilot scale) unit floating about, and the estimated cost is 100x the next best thing, which is, say, 4 9’s effective, but there are dozens of industrial scale installations about.

Reply to  Steven Zell
August 15, 2018 2:17 am

oh we would love to!
they can spend mega mil on a vote for less than 0.1% gay marriage
but cant do the same for things that REALLY matter like power supply
wether we WANTED smart meters- hint we didnt!
wether we want the NBN Net – NotBloody Needed farce ,majority of us do NOT!
worse service, ages to connect higher prices bad down/upload times, and when the powers goes off(more n more likely) without a costly backup battery installed you have NO useable landline at all
people with medic alert systems are going to die.

August 14, 2018 9:09 am

Question for our Aussie friends.
Does any of the NEG reverse, in any meaningful way, the disastrous policies of SA and NSW that have set them on the path of energy catastrophe? Or is this just something “Going Forward”?

I do try to keep up, but sometimes politics Down Under just baffles me.

Reply to  TonyL
August 14, 2018 3:08 pm

No, the policies stay in place. Emissions stay high, electricity bills keep rising as RE work towards the magic 26% Paris Agreement (Non Binding remember) and all this will have no impact on the global temperature. In the mean time, our economy appears stable but this due to unsustainable migration rates (1.5%) of our population, which is the highest in the world and this artificially inflates our GDP and all the pollies go “look how well we are doing!”, when in reality people are truely struggling to pay their electricity bills. Less spare change means less change to spend on and support small businesses and as such, this clown show just goes on and on thanks to our deluded politicians and this insane belief that meeting the Paris agreement will be a special moment for the planet.
In reality, the world won’t give a #### and will note Australia’s slide into financial ruin and poverty and remind themselves that is not a model they should follow.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Craig
August 14, 2018 4:32 pm

The Australian economy was always about mining, boom and bust cycles. Since the 90’s however, the economy is housing bolstered by migration. 200,000 people arrive in Australia every year and they need somewhere to live. It’s a ponzi scheme that people believe will never collapse.

Reply to  TonyL
August 14, 2018 5:14 pm

Just another big lie. Nothing will change. Renewable subsidies will stay in place until 2022. Who says that our next government will not extend or increase these? Although technically, it is possible to build a new coal fired power station, the investment climate for such a venture is still very uncertain, and the possibility of such ventures being over regulated to the point of non-viability by green progressive Left state and local government bureaucrats looms large.

Keep your camera handy, the train wreck will be spectacular!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Asp
August 14, 2018 5:40 pm

A bit like this;

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 14, 2018 7:54 pm

Fascinating footage there.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Annie
August 14, 2018 10:41 pm

110 ton locomotive, plus 3 30 ton coaches ramming the flask at ~100MPH.

Reply to  TonyL
August 15, 2018 9:27 pm

Politics downunder baffles me too and I live there!

August 14, 2018 9:18 am

I think the author should update his quote about dog poop. Delingpole first referenced his “dog poop fallacy” in 2011, but way back in 2005 Mark Steyn wrote “It’s a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix ’em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former.”

Besides, everyone likes ice cream more than yogurt.

August 14, 2018 9:54 am

In the world of energy policy you only get to choose 1) costly advocacy policy or 2) more costly “make everyone happy” energy policy. Policy choice 2 is a sign of a weak government marking time. Policy choice 1 is more a pure play advocacy over reach policy designed to waste money and placate special interests while assuming the real economy chugs along and around the contrived energy policy bump in the road. The U.S. has traditionally followed Policy choice 1 among dozens of other waste programs and policies in other departments comprising a vast swamp of ineffective make-work efforts.

Joel O’Bryan
August 14, 2018 10:16 am

The dog poo yogurt analogy is incomplete. Once the dog poo adder camp wins even the slightest capitulation to add even an inconsequential microgram of poo from the fruit only camp, the slippery slope descent has begun.

Jørgen F.
August 14, 2018 10:32 am

Same could be said about Denmark. Only difference – the government here apparently like dog poo yoghurt

Ivor Ward
Reply to  Jørgen F.
August 14, 2018 11:24 am

I’m pretty sure the British Government invented Dog Poop Yoghurt in 2008. They may even have a patent held by Baroness brain dead Worthington.

Reply to  Jørgen F.
August 14, 2018 11:49 am

It’s not so much that the government likes it, rather the government wants you to like it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
August 14, 2018 1:02 pm

And, Mark, the government wants to force you to “like it.”

Reply to  Jørgen F.
August 15, 2018 2:30 am

after the mass riot/cars burning i read about yesterday….they may decide they need to remove the poop?

John Harmsworth
August 14, 2018 11:46 am

People are free to put dog poop in their yogurt if they so choose. In a likewise manner people should be free to fund their dog poop agenda in a democracy with their own money. So why can’t the revenue authorities put a simple question/checklist on the tax submission form.
Which of the following government initiatives would you like to provide additional tax revenue to? Please check off.
How much additional revenue would you like to supply to these causes?

Disclaimer: All government initiatives are ill-conceived, wasteful, inefficiently and poorly done by disinterested employees or contractors who got the job by favouritism and they have unintended consequences which are never good.

What’s wrong with this idea? Too democratic?

C. Paul Barreira
August 14, 2018 2:52 pm

What is meant in this story by “passing”? Is it the parliament, which has two houses after all? Or has the NEG, in some form, been accepted within the party room of the Coalition? Presumably the bill—if there is one—has yet to be written or rewritten. What is the situation? Surely this thing is not being done by regulation. It all is very unclear—except that Australia appears likely to continue on its suicidal path to industrial oblivion and highly irregular electricity supplies for citizens. What the attraction of second world status is for the Coalition I cannot imagine, but there it is.

Nick Stokes
Reply to  C. Paul Barreira
August 14, 2018 4:03 pm

“What is meant in this story by “passing”?”
Good question. It hasn’t been passed, in any meaningful sense. Turnbull has got it approved by his party members. The key question in Parliament is how the Labor party will respond. There wasn’t any real doubt that the party room would approve; the interest was in how many would threaten to vote against in Parliament (maybe some). If Labor supports it, that will just cause muttering; if Labor opposes, it could sink it.

Reply to  C. Paul Barreira
August 14, 2018 4:29 pm

The NEG proposal is just a new policy. It has not passed any stage of parliamentary debate, only the party room debate of the Liberal (“conservative”) Party on Tuesday. It has not been introduced to parliament at all and when it is, about 10 Liberal and National Party (in coalition with the Liberals) MPs have said they will cross the floor to vote it down. Given that the Liberals only have a 1 seat majority in parliament, it is hopefully doomed for the time being, but it won’t go away that easily. Turnbull will keep pushing his renewable policies.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  beowulf
August 14, 2018 4:45 pm


Turnbull will keep pushing his renewable policies.”

He certainly will and at the next federal election, if he takes the LNP to it, he will be eliminated. Replaced by? Who knows as you know there are very few choices on offer.

Reply to  beowulf
August 14, 2018 9:43 pm

“”Have said they will cross the floor”. You wish.

Incorrect. They said they “reserved the right” to cross the floor. Big difference.

As the Liberal Party, unlike the Labor opposition, doesn’t bind members to voting, this means nothing,

When push comes to shove nothing will happen.

Reply to  C. Paul Barreira
August 14, 2018 9:33 pm

As we have a federal system, similar to the US, with a federal government as well as 6 state governments, not only does it have to pass Federal Parliament, but also the 6 State Parliaments.

Electricity is ultimately the responsibility of each state government, however in the Eastern states, covering NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia & Tasmania, they are linked by an interconnected grid, the NEM (National Electricity Market). The state of Western Australia is not on this grid.

I suspect it’ll pass the Federal Parliament, despite the efforts of the energy Neanderthals in the Coalition. The difficult part will be getting the states on board, particularly Victoria which has an election this November.

The federal government met with the states last week, under COAG (Council of Australian Governments), to go over this policy. We’re know the outcome of negotiations with the states in a month.

Industrial oblivion, second world status? This language is just unmitigated nonsense.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  GeoffL
August 14, 2018 10:45 pm


Industrial oblivion,…”

Do we still make cars, or anything unrelated to house building, in Australia, or just import now?

Alan Tomalty
August 14, 2018 3:38 pm

Vaclav Havel will go down in history as the only politician in the world that had the courage to openly state that global warming is a hoax. I nominate Mr. Havel as the 1st entrant into the Politicians Hall of Fame. I don’t think too many will qualify. Maybe Winston Churchill will be another candidate.

Peter O'Brien
August 14, 2018 4:06 pm

Eric, the NEG has not yet been passed. Only accepted by the Government party room. A long way to go yet.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Peter O'Brien
August 14, 2018 4:48 pm

True however, all other voices are being drowned out and the energy providers can’t wait to “pull” the next coal fired plant because nothing new in coal generation is even planned let alone being built.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 14, 2018 5:21 pm

Actually just yesterday a story came through that the old Vales Point PS on Lake Macquarie near Newcastle is to be upgraded to a larger HELE coal PS within 5 years by an Oz-Japanese consortium. They reckon they can make a go of it financially even though Vales Point has no retail arm (unlike AGL etc) and has been at the mercy of the big players. Will wait to hear more.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  beowulf
August 14, 2018 6:41 pm

This will be interesting to watch. Not surprising it is the big players, like AGL, that control the market.

August 14, 2018 4:34 pm

“The only people who stand to gain from the NEG are electricity suppliers, owners of near end of life coal plants and subsidy funded renewables plants”

No, the electricity consumers like me will benefit.

First of all what the author doesn’t mention is that the NEG replaces the LRET, the letter phasing out in 2020. What the LRET did was effectively subsidise investment in renewables. Thus under the NEG any new investment after 2020 will not be subsidised. So the paragraph I extracted above is misleading.

As the author mentions under the NEG there will be a reliability quarantine where companies owning electricity generators will be required to supply a certain amount of dispatchable generation which will ensure when demand on the grid is high, as on hot summer days, it can be met with dispatchable power. The grid will also be backed up with electrical storage, including pumped hydro like the Snowy II project.

This is all part of the transition to renewables which will continue after 2020. Thus it reflects our Paris target set by the Abbott government in Aug 2015, the NEG has a emission reduction obligation on the generation companies.

It’s a neat solution to meeting a target for the electricity sector, while maintaining reliability in the grid; something that was missing under the RRET

The fact that it is attacked from both sides of the spectrum, from the tree huggers on one side (Greens) and the coal huggers on the other side ( the so callled Monash group), says to me that the policy is pretty well spot on.

Reply to  GeoffL
August 14, 2018 11:54 pm

Um . . . no! This from the COAG version of the NEG, unless there is another superceding version:
“3.6.1 . . . The ESB [Energy Security Board in charge of the NEG] supports the Finkel Review conclusion that no changes should be made to the LRET, which is legislated to continue through to 2030. Following the implementation of the Guarantee, the LRET should continue as legislated without closure to new entrants as suggested by some stakeholders.”

• The LRET continues to 2030 as originally planned
• The LRET target does not increase after 2020, but it stays in place until 2030
• New renewable power producers can be added to the existing list of leeches getting LGCs until 2030
• Consumers continue to pay for both a reliable coal baseload power system plus an every-growing worthless but expensive bunch of renewables
• Power prices continue to escalate out of sight

I take it you do realise that batteries and pumped hydro produce zero power and are a grossly inefficient, inconceivably expensive way of providing power on a grid scale? Forget Tesla’s toy in SA. The latest costing for Turnbull’s Snowy 2.0 folly is $12 billion, for which we could have 3 top notch coal power stations actually generating dirt cheap power 24/7/365 like we used to before renewables came along and wrecked our grid.

The NEG is not there to make things better; it’s just another layer of control to fulfill Turnbull’s emissions wet dream. It’s all about the so-called emissions. Reliability is a smoke screen. The fine for not meeting supply reliability standards is 1/100th of the fine for exceeding emissions requirements. Where do you think the priority lies?

Your “transition to renewables” has fallen on its face in places like Germany, where the reality of renewables is hitting home as they struggle to maintain their once-reliable grid and deal with their mounting renewables costs. I think it was about 50,000 households with power cut off not long ago because they couldn’t pay their bill. Subsidies have been axed. Renewables are on the decline everywhere except Australia.

Despite what Frydenberg and Turnbull are spouting, there is no obligation on us under the Paris Accord to reduce emissions of plant food CO2. There is no fixed obligation on any signatory. It’s a voluntary suicide pact, not a compulsory one, and one we should leave ASAP.

And you expect all this to lower power prices? Axe the RET subsidies. Axe priority supply to the grid by unreliable renewables. Watch the renewable suppliers go broke in a week. Get back to reliable low cost coal generation — like the rest of the world is doing — and there’s your price cut in one fell swoop.

I should also point out that the ESB is run by the anti-coal fanatic Kerry Schott, so I’m sure any output from the ESB will be unbiased. SARK. She should know all about grid management since she has 2 arts degrees and PhD in something or other, like Audrey Zibelman, the boss of AEMO whose only expertise in grid design was somehow acquired by a degree in law.

Reply to  beowulf
August 15, 2018 4:03 am

@beowulf. Come on, as I said the LRET closes for new investment in 2020. As you are well aware the method of paying renewable subsidies is that retailers who buy electricity from the generators have to purchase LGC’s (Large Scale Generation Certificates) for each unit purchased. The proceeds go to the generators per unit of electricity generated.

The subsidies are backloaded, not front loaded, so that the subsidies for renewables for an ultility generator built in 2020 flow though to 2030 when they expire. The imposition of the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET) of which to the LRET is a part, dates back to the Labor government, 2007- 2013. Under the proposed NEG which replaces the RET any generator built from 2021 on, after the Renewable Energy Target has been met, will not be subsidised.

Your post on this is a great example of the type of misdirection one sees in this debate. The renewable energies preferred option post 2020, to replace the RET, is a Clean Energy Target (CET). This is a real possibility if the NEG is defeated and Labor forms government in next year’s election. NEG or CET, your call.

The rest of your comment gets worse. You must be living in an alternative universe if you think renewables are in decline worldwide. I come from this debate as someone who very recently was anti renewable but changed my mind for a number of reasons.

Read the 2018 BP Energy Outlook to get a feel on where we are and where we are going with respect to Energy. In the 37 OECD countries for example, coal peaked in 2012. By 2040 BP forecasts that coal will deceased by ~ 68% over 2012.

For all energy use, BP forecast that by 2040, coal will make up ~20% of energy use (in 1900 it was 95%), while oil, gas and non fossils will each make up ~ 25%.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  GeoffL
August 18, 2018 5:58 pm

Renewables are not in decline, but the rate of increase has dramatically dropped and will continue to decline. Germany has proven the renewable disaster and is now in the early stages of eliminating renewables “grid priority” which will end any future renewables (new subsidies and new mandates are already gone). Renewables are not unlike ethanol in the USA. Everyone now understands that it’s worth less than nothing, but the mistake is politically impossible to get rid of.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  beowulf
August 15, 2018 6:04 am

Thank you, Beowulf for clearly expressing what most of us who can see through spin will consider spot on. There is such flagrant distortion of the record that some domestic electricity and gas consumers now make decisions based not on facts, but on who spoke or wrote and how much they think that the information source can be believed. Even the politics of the information source come into consumer decisions, more so than I can recall for years back.
Oh for that ideal world when the facts carry most of the weight.
And where the facts are reported accurately. Geoff

Reply to  GeoffL
August 15, 2018 2:15 am

For all the religious dogma about saving the planet by forcing so-called “renewables” down our throats, via mostly foreign corporate predators operating a corrupt energy trading market that would make “Kenny Boy” Lay of Enron blush, what are you doing to stop our coal and gas reserves being sold off to China, Japan and India to be burnt without guilt, without carbon taxes or “renewables” targets?

Coca-Cola to close South Australia factory with loss of nearly 200 jobs
Guardian, Feb 2017
Tomago aluminium smelter ‘on the verge of disaster’ as electricity cut off
SMH, Feb 2017
Victorian power bills soar after Hazelwood coal plant closure [by French company]
SMH, March 2018
SA’s Northern Power Station closure added up to $250 for electricity bills
News.Com, July 2018
Tomago Aluminium warns of ‘energy crisis’ as power supply falters
SMH, June 2018

Or is it only European nations that have to be forced to give up their sovereignty and their industry to “save the planet”?
What’s in it for you?

August 14, 2018 5:03 pm

Mr Worrall, I would like to use a couple of screen grabs from this article in a presentation that I am giving on the state of energy policy in Australia on Friday. Is that OK?

It is the second in a series – the first covered the NEG, the RERT (and other associated acronyms) showing the policy mess in Australia.

I convene a Market Disturbance Workshop for CIGRE every two years and the energy issues in Australia, particularly South Australia, are a major focus for this year (late August) but, in 2016, the presenter predicted the current issues showing the steady deterioration of energy security due to the unfettered introduction of intermittent supplies – the paper from 2016 is available from e-CIGRE, although a fee can be charged to non-members, and the 2018 papers will be available after the CIGRE Session.

The NEG is a mechanisms that is required to restore some confidence in the industry – I am not sure it does any good – due to poor reliability performance recently, but environmental policy is hopelessly politicised in Australia, as your article shows. Professor Simshauser has recently published an article covering the debacle since 2006.

I notice that some commentators are wondering why there is little fuss in Australia – there is in the papers and the political spheres but, for the general public, energy prices, while significantly higher than they need to be, are still relatively low in Australia.

Alex Cruickshank, Melbourne, Australia

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Alex
August 14, 2018 5:11 pm

I wonder if this will be covered by the media and might get people to start to pay attention to what our “leaders” are doing to energy supply in Australia. Would you be able to write and submit an article here at WUWT?

Reply to  Alex
August 14, 2018 5:43 pm

Alex, you are welcome to use whatever you wish from my website at
It shows that there is no direct relationship between temperature and CO2 concentration. As temperature change precedes CO2 change, the UN IPCC claim that CO2 causes temperature is false. It is the reverse because temperature sets the rate of generation of CO2 through seawater outgassing and microbial activity.
Our energy source is the Sun with the level of incoming radiation determined by the configuration of the Moon and the planets.

John in Oz
August 14, 2018 7:04 pm

I have heard various back-benchers on radio prior to the Tuesday party meeting stating that they had not seen the details of NEG plan but that they were expected to vote for/against it at that meeting.

This is another example of politicians making decisions about policies that they have no knowledge of, cannot study before being required to vote on them and do not understand the intricacies and consequences of what they are voting for.

Disturbingly, they do not appear to consider this improper. There’s a good chance that they could be sold a bridge in Sydney should it be offered to them.

A similar example of lack of interest in policy detail was Bill Shorten’s comment from 2012 supporting Julia Gillard:

“I haven’t seen what she’s said, but let me say I support what it is she said.”

Unthinking tribal allegiance with no thought for the people they supposedly resent represent

August 14, 2018 8:44 pm

“meet Australia’s Paris Agreement commitments.”
that’s nice
except that the paris agreement has no commitments.
only Intended Nationally Determined Contributions

August 15, 2018 2:02 am

it hasnt passed yet
has to go to the house?
as i see it it also does nothing to prevent the outrageous rising service/supply charges which are a massive 1/3 of my bill
and if we dont keep mining n using OUR coal then a hell of a lot of small towns /workers/biz suppliers will stay broke/bankrupt ready/suicidal
but then Mal n termite queen dont give a rats about that.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 16, 2018 1:25 am

No it requires the agreement of the States, we are a union of States, they have to give up rights to the Fed. Control of energy has not been handed over because Western Australia and Northern Territory blocked it when it was originally planned by COAG. Western Australia also stopped the handing over of hospitals to the federal government.

The same problem has hit the NEG with other States refusing to ratify it. There is nothing the federal government can do about it unless it gets every state to agree.

Geoff Sherrington
August 15, 2018 3:47 am

Home is Melbourne Australia.
For many months I have been writing letters addressed tot he CEO of the supplier company of our domestic, home electricity, named AGL. I have graphed changes in electricity bills and components of them against time and have calculated compound growth rates. The usual non-response can be summarized as “We are sorry that you do not agree with climate change science” or “We are sorry that you do not like renewables.” That is, they completely miss the point that I continually stress, that AGL has made some terrible decisions to get into renewables, without proper due diligence – and we the consumers have to pay for their horrible, wrong decisions.
Then I look at our domestic water consumption and supply costs and I see much the same pattern of unapologetic price increases, well ahead of increases in the consumer price index.
The question for Aussie readers here is – Have water bills risen like electricity bills because there have been real increases in water supply costs, or because an expensive level of government meddling is common to both electricity and water supply?
(we Victorians already know that gas prices are high in part because the State government has banned fracking and land-based gas supplies are inadequate.)
Any takers? Geoff.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
August 15, 2018 6:10 am

Turdbull, you crooked Labor-Green stooge. And the same goes for all the LINO’s in parliament. You are all useful idiots for the Greens.

August 15, 2018 7:04 pm

Sadly just like Greece we her in Southern and Eastern Australia will have to wit until the lights do go out.

Ironically while the ALP appears frifgtened of where the Green vote will go, its the Unions who drive the Labour political machine, who will finally decide the matter. When what manufacturing jobs that we still have start to suffer the effects of brown outs, long before a total collapse of industrry, ther Unions will suddenly remember that their er one reason for existing is to look after their meembers, will they use theiir conssiderable political power tof force the next Federal government, that of the ALP , to put the interests of the whole country before paandering to the fashionable support of the Green myth.But it may be too late to save this country from a Greek like situation.


August 15, 2018 7:22 pm

Only when the lights do start to go out will we see something like the Viet Nam demonserations in the strteets. But before that when we start to get brown outs and that effects employment, will the union movement suddenly rememberv that they are soposed to look after the workers rather that the present fashionable Green myth.

As the next Federal Govt. will be that of Labour who are scared of th potential Green vote, it will be the Unions who aret the power behind the ALP who will decide things.

PM Turnbull seems to think that Paris agreeemenet is “Binding”which it clearly it is not. But he Turnbull is clearly a Greenie, way back in 2007, when he and Rudd were all for Green things. Of course like so many, Turnbull is rich enough to be able to support fashionable “Causes”, but we “The lesser folk, cannot so afford.

As for the Save the Planet mob, its has never been about the Plaanet, its al abot money from the once rich Western countries going to the dictators and chiefs of mostly Africa, wwhile the likes of India and China, the so called Third World Countries continue to put vast amounts of the good gs CO2 into the atmosphere. . And hiding behind the Green curtain are the hard left so called Greenies, ie Communists, who want World Government.


High Treason
August 15, 2018 10:25 pm

Mr Turnbull is clearly a traitor. He parachuted himself in to what is probably one of the safest Conservative seats in the country by way of a large branch stack of Republicans-outright traitors to the Constitutional monarchy system. The rules have since changed, so it is simply not possible to get 2,000 + new branch members out of an electorate of 80,000 people. Australians are way too apathetic for one in 40 , which is closer to one in 20 Liberal voters to join the party to flush the traitor out.

Reply to  High Treason
August 16, 2018 1:31 am

There is nothing Turnbull or any other Federal Government figure can do, Power generation is a State controlled power having never been ceeded to the federation. If you put it in reverse and all the States agreed to something and Turnbull didn’t like it there isn’t a thing he could do about it. So even if Abbott got back to the job and wanted to build 100 coal fired power stations he can’t because the States won’t allow it.

There is a lot of time and talking being done over something they have little control over and no final say.

August 16, 2018 2:52 am

Whilst it is true that the States control the building and closing down of power stations its my understanding that its the federal government t who decide what subsidies are paid to the power generaters including the windmills and solar panel users.

By simply saying no more subsidies right now as the UK has done, the utilities to survive will have to suddenly find the money to build or upgrade coal fired power stations. After all the real ” fuel coal is far cheaper..

Right now the financial world knows that renewables means rent money from the government, but to quote a old saying, “Take the sugar off the table” problem is solved.

Of course while PM Turnbull talks about ideologies not playing a part in in the discussion, his obsession with the good gas CO2 and his doing what the IPCC, UN and Paris say is of course and not scienc but idologye.


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