Disconnect the National Grid: Bold Coal State Plan to Ditch the Green Energy Moochers

Keith Pitt. By Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website – www.dfat.gov.au, CC BY 3.0 au, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova; Aussie Federal MP Keith Pitt has urged the coal rich Queensland State Government to disconnect from the national grid, to stop demand from states which make “poor decisions” from driving up electricity prices when their renewable systems fail to deliver.

Imagine if states like California were cut off from their imported power, if they had to generate their own reliable electricity.

Critics of Keith Pitt’s plan have suggested that coal rich Queensland only built all that capacity because they service demand from other states.

But looking at the Energy Action website, it seems likely that by servicing demand from the renewable heavy grids of other states, Queensland may be importing some of their electricity price volatility.

As the recent WUWT BlueScope Steel article demonstrates, messing up your electricity grid with virtue signalling renewables, even indirectly, has real economic consequences.

Before entering politics Federal MP Keith Pitt was an electrical engineer.

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Tom Halla
August 20, 2019 6:10 pm

Definitely a Modest Proposal, with apologies to Jonathan Swift.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 20, 2019 10:50 pm

I suggest there is a better way for Queensland. Cutting off other-state demand is foolish and costly.

Instead, take a daring step backwards. Call it a “porous ring-fence” for Queensland electricity.

Institute a sensible pricing system for Queensland that is independent of any and all other-state demand.

Then charge whatever the market will bear for power demand from other states, to be provided if and only if ALL demands of Queensland are met first.

That will make significant profits for Queensland when there is demand, while preventing the green nonsense from other states from increasing electrical rates in Queensland.

August 21, 2019 12:42 am

Just be prepared to live by the same rules in other markets and when the short run advantage dissapates. The WA attitude in boom times vs bust comes to mind.

August 21, 2019 12:59 am

An excellent non socialist, free market, Friedmanesque approach if I may say so!



Reply to  Roger Surf
August 21, 2019 4:37 am

Thank you Roger,

The best policy for electricity is this: “Keep electricity cheap and keep it reliable.” Any other policy is foolish, costly and destructive.

For the record:

Electricity de-regulation here in Alberta has been a disaster – probably the greatest scam in Alberta history, rivalling CO2/global warming nonsense. I wrote an exposé on this debacle circa 2004, published in the Calgary Herald, but it had no effect. The only thing that saved us was the fall in natural gas prices due to fracking of gassy shales..

Regards, Allan

by Allan MacRae, Calgary Herald, circa 2004

After decades of stable, low electricity prices, Albertans now pay the highest power bills in Canada.

A typical 600 KWH/month Enmax customer in Calgary paid $41/mo for electricity in January 2000. By January 2004 this had increased to $74/mo, up 80%!

This increase in the cost of electricity has a significant impact on all Alberta families. Lower income families in particular have to make hard choices about what they can afford in Canada’s richest “energy” province.

Power cost increases also have significant negative implications for Alberta’s economy. Industries need a good reason to locate in Alberta and our new high energy prices are a real deterrent.

Over time, energy-intensive industries that form a large part of our economic base will tend to relocate to regions with lower energy costs, and a major component of the Alberta Advantage will cease to exist.

Why is this happening? Simply, because Alberta botched electricity deregulation.

Our new deregulated system is a disaster, and the province’s repeated attempts to patch it up haven’t worked, because the flaws are so basic and structural that tweaking the system cannot fix this mess.

BC’s deregulation strategy is very different from Alberta’s. BC is setting aside its low-cost “heritage” electrical supply, which is mostly hydropower, to ensure that this continues to be priced at historic low levels based on original costs.

As new, more expensive electricity generation sources are brought on-stream, a blended rate of new and low-cost “heritage” power will be charged to BC customers. At this time, about 90% of BC’s electricity is “heritage” power that will remain low-cost for the foreseeable future.

In Alberta, we also have inexpensive “heritage” power, most of which is generated from our abundant reserves of low-sulphur, surface-mineable coal. Alberta’s low-cost “heritage” power comprises about 60% of the total generating capacity in our province.

Most of the recent growth in Alberta’s electrical generating capacity has been from efficient, natural gas-fired turbines. About 40% of Alberta’s electrical generating capacity now burns natural gas. These plants are quick and easy to build and operate.

One major problem is that natural gas is in increasingly high demand in North America and so gas prices have shot upwards. It is highly probable that natural gas prices will continue to increase and so will the price of electricity generated by burning gas.

Paradoxically, Alberta’s “heritage” power does not bring us the same low-cost advantage as it does in BC. Due to the flawed Alberta power pricing system, our electricity is billed to consumers as if almost 100% of it was generated from high-priced natural gas, even though about two-thirds is actually from low-cost “heritage” coal-fired plants. This pricing system artificially elevates the average cost of power, resulting in windfall profits for the owners and re-sellers of the “heritage” power and unfair, excessive costs for consumers.

One simple and practical solution is for Alberta to follow BC’s example. Alberta could re-establish low rates for our “heritage” coal-fired and hydro power and put an immediate stop to electricity price gouging.

Another structural problem of Alberta’s deregulation plan is that it promotes the development of new natural gas-fired power plants instead of new coal-fired plants, which are less expensive, especially over the long term. Coal prices will continue to remain stable over time, whereas natural gas prices are expected to increase.

While natural gas makes sense for electricity peaking, Alberta should be generating more of its base load electric power from our abundant supplies of low-sulphur coal.

Increased coal-fired power generation will raise concerns from pro-Kyoto activists. Fortunately for humankind, the science used to promote the Kyoto Protocol has now been discredited – there simply is no catastrophic human-made global warming crisis. The false Kyoto crisis will continue only as long as the wasteful government funding that fuels its existence.

Those who advocate increased use of wind and solar power should continue to promote it, but do so without existing publicly funded subsidies that drive up costs and bias capital investment decisions in favor of these inefficient technologies.

The structural problems of Alberta’s existing electricity deregulation program are fatal, and will result in damage to our economy and continued excessive costs to Albertans.

It is time to scrap Alberta’s failed electricity deregulation plan and go back to the drawing board.


August 21, 2019 5:20 am

Generally speaking , utilities are not in a free market, competitive situation, which is what deregulation demands. Unless there is competition, you do NOT have a free market situation, irregardless of anything you say. Some morons think a free market exists whenever there is no govt intervention.

Beta Blocker
August 21, 2019 8:03 am

In your American neighbor to the south, Montana deregulated in the late 1990’s and the price of electricity increased roughly 50% in three years. After deregulation went into effect, every talking point of the sales job used to sell deregulation to the voters was proven to be false. With the consequence that most of the Montana politicians who strongly pushed for deregulation paid the appropriate political price for taking that position.

August 21, 2019 8:11 am

Less government interference means fewer onerous regulations that prohibitively raise the barrier to entry for new competition (this is why big established companies secretly don’t mind the regs, they can float the cost of compliance). The market by definition becomes freer.

Take your socialist apologetics elsewhere, please.

August 21, 2019 9:19 am


Who are you calling a socialist?

If it is me, you are clearly one seriously misguided puppy.

Suggest you read these recent articles:

Jul 20, 2019
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.

Jul 04, 2019
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.

Jun 15, 2019
by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., P.Eng.

May 25, 2019
By Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

April 14, 2019
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.


Andy Richardson
August 21, 2019 4:28 pm

Sounds like this was a prepared response, why are major power users buying up PPAs? Because despite your views on climate, it’s cheaper! This can also be seen in Australia, where companies are taking control of their electricity costs from the legacy providers.

August 21, 2019 4:45 am

No, no, no. Only a actual demonstration of the idiocy of renewables will wake people up. You have to cut ALL fossil fuel input and coal is a great place to start. No one, including the rich and spoiled, should be able to turn their lights on when the wind is calm and the sun not shining. Raising prices just means the rich and spoiled STILL have lights. Cut the cord.

(Yes, the rich can still get generators, but their greed and utter contempt for the “little people” will be glaring. They will be the only houses with lights on.)

Brian R Catt
August 21, 2019 12:54 pm

Poland already do this.

They have thyristor control of the connection to the German grid so they can export coal fired leccy and decline renewable surplus dumping which destabilises their grid.

We should do this with Scotland, so we only take renewables when we need them on cost and capacity grounds. And remove all subsidies, as we are told renewables are now competitive.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 21, 2019 6:45 am

Cutting off one’s nose to spite your face, more likely.

OK, so cutting off all those folks outside your state on the grid, then of course the owners of the plants have to be compensated for the taking. Property rights, you know. Can you afford to make that payment? Didn’t think so.

Secondly, you just made yourself a much less stable grid within your own state.. so when you have your own power emergency, expect to just go dark. Nobody will sell you any power.

File this proposal in the List of Really Stupid Things Proposed as a Means of Denying Reality.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 21, 2019 2:38 pm

I had the pleasure to visit Swift’s place of burial today in Dublin.

The gift shop sells cook books.

Marc L Jackson
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 1, 2019 1:03 am

Actual issues are thermodynamics of coal and the low heating value of steam as the ambient temperature increases the useful work available decreases significantly tripping a failure.

August 20, 2019 6:19 pm

Good day Mr. Pitt

Want to talk providing Queensland coal power plants putting out less CO2 than a natural gas power plant, affordably. https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo

Reply to  Sid Abma
August 20, 2019 7:42 pm

Go ahead and prove it if you can.

Reply to  Sid Abma
August 20, 2019 9:08 pm

Want to talk about a natural gas plant generating electricity at prices less than coal in Australia? You first.

Reply to  Sid Abma
August 20, 2019 10:20 pm

Cat, pigeons – begin.

Reply to  Sid Abma
August 21, 2019 7:18 am

Queensland also produces power from burning baggas, surely that counts as a renewable?

Reply to  Sid Abma
August 21, 2019 7:33 am

I wonder why Sid keeps trying to sell his scheme here.

Does anyone out there happen to own a coal based power plant?

August 20, 2019 6:29 pm

I love it.
Just be sure to avoid the term “non-renewables” when talking about fossil fuels. They are SUPERRENEWABLE: once burned, plants take up the carbon dioxide, making renewable fuels. This is an important propaganda point.

Carbon is what it is. Fossils are not only super-renewable, they are also the only fuels that INCREASE THE CARRYING CAPACITY OF THE EARTH FOR LIFE.

Reply to  LadyLifeGrows
August 20, 2019 7:14 pm

“… once burned, plants take up the carbon dioxide, making renewable fuels. This is an important propaganda point.”

Which means this carbon take-up by plants is solar powered.


Reply to  Marv
August 20, 2019 8:19 pm

Marv: Remember that some steam locomotives burned wood. Hence, renewable energy.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Marv
August 20, 2019 8:37 pm

Well, coal is concentrated sunlight after all.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 21, 2019 3:11 am

Gaia’s organic battery.

Reply to  LadyLifeGrows
August 20, 2019 7:27 pm

That are “Carbon Recycling Plants”. They convert useless fossil carbon into plant food !

Andrew Burnette
Reply to  Gunter
August 20, 2019 8:24 pm

I really like the way you worded that concept. “The convert useless fossil carbon into plant food!” Not only that, they provide valuable energy in the process!

Reply to  LadyLifeGrows
August 20, 2019 7:28 pm

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds | NASA

“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.”

Assuming this “greening” could be used for fuel then it figures that the sunlight that would have otherwise gone to waste in the absence of CO2 is now available for burning or for any other useful purpose due to its chemical conversion by plants.

Bryan A
Reply to  LadyLifeGrows
August 20, 2019 7:38 pm

Fossil Fuels… taking the world from Carbon Deficiency to Carbon Proficiency

Dudley Horscroft
August 20, 2019 7:01 pm

Even better, disconnect NSW from Victoria and South Australia.

South Australia went black when the interconnector from Victoria failed in Sept 2016 – I think that was before Victoria shut Hazelwood in March 2017. It also had major blackouts in December 2016 and Feb 2017 – see the Wikipaedia article. Shut the connectors from Victoria to NSW and Victoria will go black when demand shuts the system down. Perhaps they would have to reopen Hazelwood?

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
August 21, 2019 5:06 am

agree and I live in beknighted Vic
what theyve wasted in wind and solar would have rebuilt hazelwood and repaired /upgraded others in need
privatising the power supply was absolute criminal stupidity!!
and if Andrews doesnt get booted out asap god help us all

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
August 21, 2019 11:02 pm

Reopenng Hazelwood is no longer an option as it is being or has been dismantled

Tom Abbott
August 20, 2019 7:03 pm

It sounds like a plan to me! Common sense rearing its head! 🙂

August 20, 2019 7:08 pm

What a wonderful idea, disconnect California from the National grid. It would be a great pilot project to prove how reliable wind and solar are. 🙂

Calling AOC! Let’s make it happen. I’m sure the Tides Foundation will kick in money for more windmills and solar panels.

Reply to  joe
August 21, 2019 3:27 am

“Imagine if states like California were cut off from their imported power, if they had to generate their own reliable electricity.”

Don’t toy with me, Eric.

A few dark weeks would do the Left Coast a world of good.

Eric Stevens
August 20, 2019 7:11 pm

“Before entering politics Federal MP Keith Pitt was an electrical engineer.”

May I suggest, once an engineer, always an engineer?

It’s good to see a technically educated person in a position of power (no pun intended).

Reply to  Eric Stevens
August 20, 2019 8:10 pm

Once An Engineer, Always An Engineer?

Your statement aroused my curiosity…


nw sage
August 20, 2019 7:13 pm

Queensland should at least be allowed to charge the others on the grid for maintaining spinning reserve (and producing NO net power during that time) whilst the others are fiddling around with solar at night or wind when it is calm. That amount should be applied to their electric bills so as to offset the “standard” charges.

Marc L Jackson
Reply to  nw sage
September 1, 2019 1:12 am

Clearly people here don’t understand electrons very well, supply and demand issues. Throttling issues.
Give the internet to the masses ‘morons’

August 20, 2019 7:13 pm

Well you have to conduct proper scientific experiments like this to see whether or not Qld using coal warms more than the other States using unreliables. Elementary Wattson!

Patrick MJD
August 20, 2019 7:19 pm

With rampant acceptance of “climate science” and renewables in Australia I would say he won’t be an MP for very long.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 20, 2019 8:16 pm

He’ll go mad with frustration if nothing else

Al Miller
August 20, 2019 7:24 pm

Mr. Kitt is singlehandedly restoring sanity to Aus! Well done!
This lesson should be explicitly followed in the case California et al that are suing oil companies for climate. There could be no better action than setting such jurisdictions free from the “tyranny ” of modern fuel that has improved life for all humanity and the world of plants as well. Watching the unpleasant catastrophe that would follow would be more than enough to send Mr. Gore and his fraud inducing followers packing for good!

John Minich
Reply to  Al Miller
August 20, 2019 8:17 pm

Marv: Remember that some steam powered locomotives burned wood. Hence, used renewable energy.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  John Minich
August 21, 2019 7:29 am

But they were made of IRON and STEEL, thereby requiring COAL fires for their construction. ;>)

Izaak Walton
August 20, 2019 7:25 pm

Suppose California refused to pay any more in federal taxes than it received? Would that be fair or
reasonable? Similarly Queensland might be able to go it alone in terms of power but in many other
areas of the economy it relies on imports from the other states in Australia.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 20, 2019 8:57 pm

Sorry Eric, you’ve got that entirely wrong.

With out Queensland’s exports of coal Australia would have no chance of getting any where near paying for it’s imports.

Queensland receives far less back of the GST revenue it generates. Most of it goes to prop up the failed states of South Australia & Tasmania. It also receives far less return of the tax Queenslanders pay from the commonwealth. It has to depend on it’s own mining royalties for much of it’s income.

The same goes for western Australia. It is only WAs exports of iron ore, Queensland’s coal & the north west shelf gas that makes it possible to pay for our imports, much of them bound for the south east states of NSW & Victoria.

Get the facts before commenting.

Reply to  Hasbeen
August 20, 2019 9:14 pm

Just an necessary diversion. Eric is correct. Watch the AEMO realtime energy map in peak summer and it’s obvious that Queensland holds up the southern states. Without Queensland’s reliable coal power they would have lots of disconnects during the peak summer times.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 20, 2019 9:22 pm

The old canard that CA pays more in taxes than it receives is deceptive and disingenuous.

They pay more in fed taxes than they receive from fed programs such as MediCaid, education, etc., but the fed government is a huge employer in the state, and spends enormous amounts on defense. So let’s move the ports to Oregon and Washington, and the military installations and defense projects to the Gulf States, and see what happens. Suddenly, those states are paying more in taxes than they get back, and CA becomes the biggest burden in the country.

Sometimes I wish CA would secede. They would discover very quickly how much they depend on the federal taxes generated by other states.

Reply to  jtom
August 21, 2019 5:38 am

“The old canard that CA pays more in taxes than it receives is deceptive and disingenuous.”

And that’s how it should be across the entire freaking country. If a state is receiving more benefits than it’s paying for, that’s a deficit scenario and that’s completely ignoring things like defense, etc.

And besides, “CA” doesn’t pay taxes. American Citizens living in CA pay taxes. Taxes due have absolutely nothing to due with benefits.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 20, 2019 10:02 pm


A US resident refusing to pay US Federal taxes lands that one-self in the federal penitentiary (i.e. incarceration – loss of freedom).
Try again.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 21, 2019 10:15 am

When will California give back the three electoral college votes and three seats in the US House they’ve stolen from the rest of the US because of their horde of illegals? Asking for a friend!

August 20, 2019 7:31 pm

As soon as the first blackout happened, petitions would start circulating to recall California’s governor. We did it to Gray Davis, we can do it again.

August 20, 2019 7:33 pm

Bad economics. Queensland can charge premium prices for exporting its low-cost electricity to provinces that are dependent on intermittent renewable energy.

August 20, 2019 7:35 pm

This is what we’re all going to have to to do avoid infection with unreliable power. We no longer have the capability to run country-wide grids when insane people keep shoving stability-destroying ‘renewables’ on there.

The ‘renewables’ scam is entirely reliant on importing reliable power from elsewhere as a backup. Stop providing that power, and the whole scam collapses.

Bryan A
August 20, 2019 7:35 pm

If California were severed from the inexpensive Grid sourced electricity and forced to generate all the states demand within state borders, this would force power prices to rise to the point that many businesses would relocate out of state thereby lowering overall demand and making 100% localized generation more likely to meet demand.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2019 6:11 am

Too late, California already has issues with “domestic migration”.

Lots of companies and people have left the state.

Did you know in 2016 more feature films were filmed in Georgia than in California? (I don’t know about since then.)

Even the Hollywood elite don’t want to pay California prices for labor, taxes, etc.

August 20, 2019 7:55 pm

“Before entering politics Federal MP Keith Pitt was an electrical engineer.” – That explains a lot in a very good way.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  TRM
August 20, 2019 8:08 pm

The current Govn’t science advisor is also a qualified electrical engineer.

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 20, 2019 10:20 pm

I presume you mean our Chief Scientist. He advised us that should Australia completely shut down all Carbon Dioxide emissions, it would vary the global temperature by a negligible amount.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
August 20, 2019 11:44 pm


AGW is not Science
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
August 21, 2019 7:45 am

One could just as easily (and accurately) say it would NOT vary the global temperature by ANY measurable amount.

That might be a better way to get the point across.

August 20, 2019 7:55 pm

As one of those people in the big black areas on the map above we always find it amusing that it is called the National grid … political counterfactual naming at it’s finest 🙂

Reply to  LdB
August 20, 2019 8:22 pm

You have to realise that mos of the decisions are made over east. So they claim (almost) everything for themselves.

Meanwhile in the state of Wait Awhile and the territory of Not Today things keep rolling on.

Reply to  lee
August 20, 2019 9:16 pm

Yep. WA and NT also have low energy prices, similar to QLD, and we aren’t connected to the “National” grid, thankfully.

August 20, 2019 8:01 pm

This is what I want to see. Make the so-called renewable worshippers live up to their hype. Make them run an economy solely on their day panels and bat choppers without any back-up power or creative accounting. They wouldn’t last a fortnight.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  David
August 21, 2019 7:49 am

Yes, and make them do it in for a full year to experience all seasons sans modern conveniences that they take for granted courtesy of fossil fuels. If they survive that long. And if not, at least they won’t be trying to force their eco fascism on the rest of us any more.

August 20, 2019 9:18 pm

After Queensland cut itself off from the interstate grid, the next logical step would be for NSW to cut itself off from Victoria and South Australia, leaving the Global Warmistas in those two socialist states to contemplate their navels and the futility of ‘renewable’ power sources during their long periods of blackout. Hazelwood power station could soon be back online, leaving South Australia to work on rebuilding the sensible power system that it foolishly demolished.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 20, 2019 10:34 pm

Both NSW & Victoria have a ban on gas exploration & new gas wells, despite well known reserves. They could easily power their grids with their own gas, but won’t.

Meanwhile they want an embargo on Queensland & the north west exporting their gas at good prices, demanding they sell it to the 2 no well states at prices they want to pay.

Talk about green stupidity.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Hasbeen
August 21, 2019 12:40 am

Australia?!!!!! The smart country!

Reply to  Hasbeen
August 21, 2019 3:43 am

Given all this nonsense got rolling in South Australia, I do wonder what was going on in 1850’s in what then came to be named, “South Australia” during 1857.

This name got me thinking about it because if you look at a map of Australia “South Australia” is not even the Southern most part of Australia – FAIL!

So while proposing to draw a line on some colonial-era map they’ve realized, “Hey, you know what? We’re going to name this.” “Aw, no! What a pain in the ____! What are we going to name it?”

“Well, it’s got to be something dandy, it’s got to capture the quintessence of what it means live here and be a lucky Royal Subject of this great and wondrous southern land!”

“Hey that’s it, let’s call it “South” Australia” … wow!” “Now that’s pretty catchy Mortimer!” “Oh I do say Archie, it fires-up the imagination juices and evokes a visceral range of wondrous visions of a Utopian colonial vista! Egad!”

Seriously, South Australia? Could a State’s name get any more uninspired and bland?

Then there’s “Western Australia”, and “The Northern Territory”, and “The Australian Capital Territory”! It’s like they all just gave it up! They could have chosen to give these places really great and evocative names … but.

“Look Archie, the missus is making a shepherd’s pie tonight, so let’s just call it ‘South Australia’ and knock-off and we’ll sort it out tomorrow.”

Next day they had a bit of a hang-over and couldn’t be ____ed changing it to something else.

What a bunch of pikers!

So all Australia could manage was, “New South Wales”! Then the splitters, ‘Victoria’, decided to really suck-up to the colonial-era Royal family, and called themselves by the Queen’s own name! Victoria!

What a bunch of dorks!

So Queensland then decides they can top that apathetic attempt by calling themselves “The Land of the Queen!”


But all South Australia can manage is ‘South’ – even though there are two other states which project further Southward?


Colonial poster which dates back to 1835:
comment image

The Proclamation of South Australia 1836, Charles Hill:
comment image

Reply to  WXcycles
August 21, 2019 8:54 am

We’re stuck with the dopey climate changers but if you think South Australia was pretty catchy what about New South Wales? Streuth how far from Wales can you get? You convicts got a problem with Orstraya?

Reply to  WXcycles
August 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Perhaps their recent weather phenomena could inspire them to rename to North Antarctica, but then Tasmania has first claim to that title.

August 20, 2019 9:40 pm

Islanding Queensland would almost certainly cause the demise of a coal fired power station in Queensland with the consequence of forcing prices up average price.

The wholesale price in Queensland right now is minus $97/MWh and they are exporting at the transmission limit into NSW of just under 1GW. The grid scale solar has been partially curtailed from 1000 to 1330 to avoid getting into more negative price bands.
Solar in the QLD network has peaked around 1GW of grid scale solar and 1.7GW for rooftop solar. That is 2.7GW, not far from half the total midday demand.

Also note that the grid scale solar has tracking arrays so the output is quite flat from 0900 to 1500, it contrast from the sinusoidal profile of the rooftop output.

Right now QLD is the price setter for the entire NEM with all but Tasmania at $0/MWh.

The controllable range of coal generators is limited while their ability to recover from negative price excursions is increasingly limited by the growth in intermittent generators. The state relies on export into NSW to absorb the solar production but that interconnection does not permit the full potential output of solar through the middle of the day.

Once it warms up in QLD the demand will increase and provide head room for coal generators to make money. However the situation is getting tougher for the coal generators each year as their opportunities to recover losses diminish. The connection to NSW increases the opportunities to make money.

August 21, 2019 12:13 am

In Charles Court’s time in Western Australia, arguments like this surfaced, arguing that WA should secede from Australia so as not to have to share its mineral wealth.

The problem came when the Pilbara region, where that wealth was mostly located, revived a long held wish to separate from WA on the same basis. Why should they share it with Perth? Court went quiet after that.

So here too, if they cut of the southern states, why not Brisbane too?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
August 21, 2019 2:00 am

Wrong in many regards Nick.

Western Australia actually voted to secede in 1933 referendum
The problem is there is no mechanism in the Australian Constitution to allow it and we had to refer the matter to the UK parliament which threw it’s hands in the air after 18 months.

The vote still stands as a bit like Brexit which was never completed.

Sir Charles via Lang Hancock and his Westralian Secession Movement reopened the issue after many years of getting a raw deal from the Federal Government. It was initially mocked by Eastern State Politicians who basically said sure go ahead, until Treasury basically told them they could not afford for it to happen. Sir Charles NEVER went quiet on the issue and his son Richard ( a later WA leader) was also a strong advocate for it.

As for your claim that Northern Australia ever wanted to secede can you provide some proof, because at this moment I am calling BS.

The only other area I know that has ever dealt with seceding is the Hut River which was a bit a legal shenanigans by a well read bush lawyer Leonard Casley

Reply to  LdB
August 22, 2019 5:13 am

Unfortunately the Wikipedia entry doesn’t give the full story about the 1933 push that I was taught in history lessons at school. The Eastern part (Kalgoorlie and the mines) didn’t agree with the Perth based elite and had intended to break away from WA (and form their own state) if WA left the Commonwealth. Given that WAs ecconomy relied on the money from the Eastern mines, and the Perth based part of the state had almost no income this would have left WA a failed broke state.

My history teachers claimed the vote was about a politcal message to the Eastern states to stop ignoring WA and given them a fair share of the Commonwealth services. WA winge about NSW, QLD and Vic today robbing them, but it is only in the last 20 years or so that WA has paid more into the Commonwealth revenue than they got back in grants. The Australian Commonwealth reveue sharing arrangements are rather complex because lots of income generated in the various states gets reported as profit in other states (due to head offices being located in Sydney and Melbourne). Federal grants to the states try to balance things up so that each state gets a “fair” share of the pie to provide consistent services across the whole Federation. Though some local state politicians will always cry about not getting their ‘fair’ share they system mostly works fairly well for everyone.

Flight Level
August 21, 2019 12:15 am

It’s actually more than time to fight back. By all means. Green zealots are somehow unaccountable for outright lies and industry damaging propaganda. Courts are very precautious in handling vested interests green disinformation cases.

However the legal complexities behind the contractual nature of an air ticket are a loophole the industry should not oversee before being terminally damaged by green propaganda and it’s legally binding outcomes.

A general industry wide no-flight list for green activists is legally possible to implement under the actual “contract of carriage” particularities of air transport.

From our point of view, greens are terrorists with a wide gamut of methods.

From intellectual abuse and disinformation to outright financial crimes and even conventional terrorist actions, the green mouvance has a sizeable reservoir of potential conditioned perpetrators.

I mean, would you be happy to let on your board a person deliberately and openly belonging to a terrorist ideology group ? Guess not.

Such an action will send a strong signal and allow to inform the public on the real reasons we’re not happy to have them, those who openly criticize and vow for the termination of our activities.

I mean it’s quite a no brainer choice. Is it ethical to deprive worldwide billions of passengers per year from the commodity of affordable SAFE and fast travel in order to satisfy the political and financial agendas of a full blown green mafia ?

If they spit in the soup, keep them away from whatever’s cooking in the cantine.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 21, 2019 1:23 am

A politician who knows what he is talking about. A rarity.

August 21, 2019 2:06 am


What does an electrical engineer know about electrical engineering?:

It doesn't add up...
August 21, 2019 2:43 am

Here’s a quick peek at recent operations of the QNI


They do have some small scale import from NSW at times, but the link goes to maximum export, with price differentials between regions moving up sharply. A view of supply and price within Queensland:


August 21, 2019 3:10 am

Let reality verses virtue-signalling begin!

August 21, 2019 3:23 am

But hey let’s not just cut Victoria and NSW off from electrons subsidized by QLD bill payers, let’s do the same to all the renewables fans. Take them all off the QLD grid supply and out of QLD bill-payer’s wallets and purses!

Make them buy a generator and fuel for it to cover the shortfall, or else buy their own batteries, with their own coin! They can all get a dose of real, ‘reality’.

it should be fine too, given renewables work so well, are so affordable, so competitive, and so capable of saving the world.

Great idea Mr Pitt!

August 21, 2019 6:35 am

From Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome:

‘Embargo On!!’

August 21, 2019 7:52 am

I would love to disconnect Oregon from California but good luck. Back in the early 2000’s (?) with the whole Enron thing California’s grid became very unstable with rolling blackouts and spiking electrical prices. Oregon tried cutting California off because they were exporting their grid instability and increased rates to Oregon. California went to court and got a judge to issue an injunction against the attempt. Damn it’s been a while but think the judge used humanitarian language to block the attempt. Never went farther than that as the grid settled down again shortly thereafter but it would of been a tough case for Oregon if they went ahead with appeals.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Darrin
August 21, 2019 7:36 pm

Oregon is forcing PGE’s Boardman coal fired plant to be shut down in 2021, well before its end of design life, and is directing that Portland General Electric replace the lost capacity entirely with wind and solar. It’s only a matter of time before Oregon begins feeling the pain of an unstable grid.

Rudolf Huber
August 21, 2019 1:49 pm

At last, someone has this idea. I wondered how long until someone pulls the plug. Why would all have to suffer from the mad decisions that others make? I often argued that RE fans should be able to enjoy the benefits of their toys without any interference from the fossil grid. Backup services – who needs them. Get used to cold showers, wimps.

Christopher Dynak
August 21, 2019 2:50 pm

“Who run Barter Town?”


August 22, 2019 3:37 am

The day of reckoning is coming for all these climate changers and their ignorant prescriptions-
Don’t you just love that ‘2019 Statement of Opportunities’ euphemistic name tag for what is the bad news technical people in the know can’t afford to sit on any longer. We’re just putting it out there folks for the omniscient overlords to deal with but don’t forget you heard it here first so don’t blame us. The silence of the lambs for years but now they’re covering their ass.

August 22, 2019 9:46 am

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