Green Energy Construction Company Collapse Triggers Aussie Government Crisis Talks

Essay by Eric Worrall

Green energy construction firm destroyed by the shift to green energy? $10 billion of energy transition projects at risk.

Clough collapse threatens $10b of energy transition projects

Angela Macdonald-Smith and Jenny Wiggins
Dec 6, 2022 – 6.45pm

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen is seeking urgent briefings from his department as the government seeks to limit the fallout from the collapse of engineering contractor Clough, amid a threat to almost $10 billion of projects critical to Australia’s energy transition.

Industry observers warned that Clough’s administration, which occurred after a $350 million sale deal with Italy’s Webuild fell through, would delay and could drive up costs of the Perth-based contractor’s projects.

These include some of Australia’s biggest projects, such as the $5.9 billion Snowy 2.0 storage venture and the $3.3 billion Project EnergyConnect electricity interconnector between South Australia and NSW, as well as one of the few gas power plants being built in the National Electricity Market.

In the wake of the Clough administration, Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic said cost increases appear inevitable for at least some of the projects, including Snowy 2.0 and Waitsia, “with risks of delays also rising”.

Clough was bleeding cash due to unresolved financial claims on lump sum, fixed-priced contracts and delays getting so-called “milestone payments”, which it has blamed on supply chain disruptions.

Read more: https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/clough-collapse-threatens-10b-of-energy-transition-projects-20221206-p5c41s

Why are Australia’s supply chains so unreliable?

Part of the reason is high energy prices caused by the multi-decade green energy push is hammering our manufacturing industry, which means a lot of stuff which Australia used to manufacture now has to be imported. From August 2022;

Research highlights impact of energy crisis

Aug 26, 2022

Topics: Economics Research, Advocacy

National employer association Ai Group has today released new research detailing the impact of rising energy prices on a group of Australian manufacturers.

“Many manufacturers are energy-intensive, and manufacturing businesses are on the front-line of soaring global energy prices”, Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Ai Group said.

“To understand how energy price rises are impacting industry, Ai Group sought feedback from businesses in the manufacturing sector and the responses were sobering.

“More than half of the 78 manufacturers who were contacted reported that they have already suffered significant negative effects from rising energy prices, with expectations that greater difficulties are to come over the next year.

“Only one in six said they can substantively pass-on rising energy prices. For most, the cost must be borne elsewhere on the balance sheet. This is a significant drag that weakens the capacity of energy intensive industries to invest in R&D or job creation.

“Worryingly, approximately one in five say they expect to either cut production and/or employment in the next twelve months due to high energy prices,” Mr Willox said.

Read more: https://www.aigroup.com.au/news/media-centre/2022/Research-highlights-impact-of-energy-crisis/

WUWT recently reported Australian Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s comment “… One way of tackling inflation induced by supply-side shocks is to address the supply…”. While Lowe stopped short of advocating a specific policy response, an obvious way to tackle the supply problem would be to roll back punitive regulatory political attacks on affordable energy, such as Victoria’s “permanent” ban on fracking, which was passed in 2021.

The death of a renewable energy construction company by renewable energy has a certain narrative symmetry. But I don’t feel like laughing. Thousands of people could be about to lose their jobs, just before Christmas.

None of this is likely to convince our net zero obsessed politicians to change course – they are probably trying to figure out how to pump in freshly printed subsidy money to rescue the situation. Because subsidies and price caps seem to be our current government’s go to answer to addressing the problems caused by their economically illiterate policies.

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Nick Stokes
December 6, 2022 6:09 pm

“Green Energy Construction Company Collapse Triggers Aussie Government Crisis Talks”
Clough is a very long standing Australian engineering firm. It is nonsense to describe it as a “Green Energy Construction Company“. Wiki introduces it asThe Clough Group is an Australian Engineering and Construction company based in Perth, Western Australia. It has projects in engineering, construction, operations and maintenance services, principally in the oil and gas industry.”
It built some notable bridges in Perth, and the Barrow Island oilfields development.

Bryan A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 8:04 pm

Do everything to drive carbon intensive manufacturing out of country (to look better WRT the Paris Climate Treaty and subsequent COPs) then blame supply chain issues for what is really a policy change issue

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bryan A
December 7, 2022 3:37 am

The problem is energy prices are too high.

The reason energy prices are too high is because of the delusional Net Zero goal.

The reason for delusional Net Zero is delusional politicians.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 7, 2022 4:44 am

“The reason for delusional Net Zero is delusional politicians.”
Who get support and encouragement from bloggers like Nick Stokes.

Mr.
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 7:15 am

Sheesh Nick.
We all get that headlines never convey the entire story.

This comment of yours reflects what’s wrong with most of the people who have bought the whole “climate crisis / wind & solar” scam – they only take in headlines, never read deeper or wider.

Which is not you Nick.

So why the constant nickpicking?

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Mr.
December 7, 2022 12:39 pm

The story headlines:
“Green Energy Construction Company Collapse Triggers Aussie Government Crisis Talks”
So if in fact it is just an ordinary old construction and engineering company, which does most of its work in the resources sector, including oil and gas, then what is it doing here? What point of the story remains?

The lede expanded on that “point”:
Green energy construction firm destroyed by the shift to green energy?”
And it just isn’t true.

bnice2000
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 2:26 pm

“And it just isn’t true.”

Yes Nick it most certainly IS TRUE.

The energy cost problems are totally laid at the feet of the push for “unreliables”

The whole of society is being hit by this idiocy.

DENIAL won’t help,

Only the realisation that we need to return to the surplus capacity of dispatchable energy that we used to have, will cure the problem.

Mr.
Reply to  bnice2000
December 7, 2022 6:23 pm

^ This.
+ 100.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 2:40 pm

Not true? Says who?

megs
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 10, 2022 1:19 pm

Nick RCR Tomlinson was the oldest construction company in Australia. It was founded in 1898. I say was because it went broke as a direct result of its venture into the renewables industry. More than three thousand people lost their jobs as a result of their closure.

stevekj
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 7:17 am

Yes Nick, because the biggest problem you could find with the article or the points it raises is the characterization of the majority of the company’s business?

The real problem is: how do you pronounce “Clough”? Clo? Clue? Cluff? Cloff? Clow? Clup? Claw?

downunder
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 11:04 am

All corporations and large companies are green, pretending to be green, or are invested in green projects

macha
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 1:57 pm

Yes Nick…used to be profitable….. until recently taking on woke renewables projects and fixed pricing against supply chain issues and inflationary pressures.
You know what they say about past performances..

Last edited 1 month ago by macha
bnice2000
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 2:23 pm

Poor Nick, missed the message yet again. was it intentional.. of course it was. !!

The problem is energy prices, and the cause of that problem has been the move to unreliable wind and solar, and hence not maintaining the surplus of supply we used to have from coal.

The green agenda is eating itself..

Nick Stokes
Reply to  bnice2000
December 7, 2022 4:55 pm

The problem is energy prices, and the cause of that problem has been the move to unreliable wind and solar”
Of course! Greenies all the way down. But in reality:

Clough was bleeding cash due to unresolved financial claims on lump sum, fixed-priced contracts and delays getting so-called “milestone payments”, which it has blamed on supply chain disruptions.”

Perth is a boom/bust place, and interest rate rises always cause trouble.

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 7, 2022 7:58 pm

Hey Nick,

why are you quoting from Wiki when you can just go to the website?

https://www.cloughgroup.com/home

If it is nonsense to describe them as Green then you need to go and have a quick word with their web designer.

Tom Halla
December 6, 2022 6:29 pm

Any time prices are “administered”, there will be malign effects generally. Without an honest price signal, no one knows what anything actually costs.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 7:25 pm

The economic rot set in with Rudd (Prime Minister 2007-2010), the Albanese Government is developing into an entertaining shambles possibly outdoing the Whitlam troupe (1972 – 1975).

Duker
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 6, 2022 8:15 pm

Not what the polls are saying
News Corp poll gives 2 party preferred as 55-45% to Labour to Coalition

Election was 52-48%

MarkW
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 8:36 pm

Of course that doesn’t address the point that Chris H. wrote.
However, it’s hardly unusual to find that the party that promises the most free stuff will also be the most popular. Further proof that the economic rot has reached unsupportable levels.

Mr.
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2022 7:29 am

The aim of socialists to have the majority of citizens totally financially dependent on socialist government has been achieved in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, NZ and many other post WW2 “high achieving” nations.

Predictably, we are now on the pathway to that unenviable status of “shit-hole” countries.

This situation is reversible, and we all know what the answer is.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 9:02 pm

That’s about the same as the Whitlam Government margin in 1972, 53% to 47%.
Within a year or so the inflation rate leaped from 4% to 17% and interest rates from 5% to 20%.

another ian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 11:18 pm

You mean that they’re going to apply him properly this time?

Mr.
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 7:42 am

Whitlam never made any pretense of alignment with “the common people” or “the workers” as Albo does.

Gough was the narcissists narcissist.

It is a common observation though that people who look up to narcissists –
a) failed to recognize them for what they are;
b) suffer low self confidence / esteem and need & seek a “leader”.

Leftist voters to a ‘T’.

May Contain Traces of Seafood
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 9:58 pm

Eric wrote:

My older friends describe Albanese as Whitlam reborn.

Really? Whitlam at least had wit and charisma when he spoke.

I mean he spoke bollocks, but it was witty.

Whitlam got elected with 49.59% of the first preference vote. An Al did not. Sure, simpler times, and the voting base has more than doubled since 1972 but Gough was at least liked by people.

An Al, despite winning government, did actually LOSE support. Gough gained.

Apart from that… DISMISSAL 😀

gezza1298
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 5:15 am

Which just goes to show that the Australian people need to suffer much more and for longer before they come to their senses.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 7:33 pm

Price and wage controls don’t work. Not even short term ones. You can ask US Presidents Nixon and Carter about that.

Duker
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 6, 2022 8:20 pm

US power utilities usually are under ‘price control’, rent controls happen in many cities
Healthcare is under price control for many circumstances

More general price controls were also in WW1 , WW2, and Korean war.

Dont work ? It depends who you ask and what you look at . You are considering just a small area

MarkW
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 8:39 pm

Nobody claimed that US power utilities are under ‘price control’. However prices that most utilities are allowed to charge are set by government commissions.
As to rent control being in many cities, that’s true but totally irrelevant.
Rent control is one of those things that to economic simpletons sounds like an easy and painless fix.
The reality is that it always results in a deterioration of the stock of rental units.

If price controls worked, communism would be a success everywhere it is tried.

Duker
Reply to  MarkW
December 6, 2022 9:55 pm

It’s price control that doesn’t work does it?
Ask those consumers in 1/3 of US market that are under price control

We aren’t talking about communism, which is state ownership of means of production .
Milk production is also price controlled ….in producers favour

Duker
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 10:04 pm
Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 4:18 am

The arguments in your reference are the very same arguments we heard about the breakup of the AT&T and the Bell System monopolies and the introduction of competition into the telephone system.

Those arguments were proved wrong. Today we have far more innovation and lower prices in the telephone system. You can buy cheap phones or expensive phones. You can buy cheap usage plans or expensive plans. You can sign long term contracts or just use pay-as-you-go.

With the old monopolies everyone got the same phone and paid the same price. You could maybe buy one of the “designer” phones Western Electric offered but the guts were all the same.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 4:10 am

It’s price control that doesn’t work does it?
Ask those consumers in 1/3 of US market that are under price control”

Which is why the number of producers of milk has dwindled over time. As opposed to the grain commodities that have no government price controls and set record harvests almost every year benefitting the consumer with abundant supply and lower prices.

If the government can set prices then they *do* effectively own the means of production. It’s closer to Fascism than Communism where Fascism is the *control* of capital and business, not the direct ownership. Neither Fascism or Communism has worked out anywhere.

Tony_G
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2022 8:48 am

My son took an economics class last year. The section on price control firmly concluded that price controls were bad and resulted in shortages. Note that this was at a very definitely NOT right-wing college.

Perhaps Duker would like to read his textbook?

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 8:51 am

You don’t have a clue do you? What do you think farm subsidies accomplish?

It sounds like you think farmers are really the rich elite getting there by robbing the poor! Go learn some US history. They were started under Roosevelt in the New Deal programs.

Mr.
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 9:47 am

Rent-controlled apartments in Manhattan are among the most expensive in the world.

Realtors there promote this status as an advantage to potential buyers, and generous pricing premiums are added.

See, mandated market price manipulation is always open to “work-arounds” by both sides of the equation.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2022 4:46 am

The Roman Empire tried it for a while too- with no luck.
https://mises.org/library/edict-diocletian-case-study-price-controls-and-inflation

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 7, 2022 5:53 am

Thank you for the reference. The more things change the more they stay the same. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it – and that describes most of our “elites” in government today.

Chasmsteed
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 10:30 pm

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”
P. J. O’Rourke

Sweet Old Bob
December 6, 2022 6:33 pm

London bridge is falling down ….

RickWill
December 6, 2022 6:47 pm

 multi-decade green energy push is hammering our manufacturing industry

Are you trying to be funny or is it accidental?

Australia’s manufactuing industry resides in China and it is powered by subsidised coal. The major factor impacting it is their own Wuhan flu and a perverse desire to avoid their own population contracting it. Maybe some cold weather as well right now.

Although you have to wonder if the creators of the Wuhan flu know more about it than they are broadcasting. They are going hard on limiting its spread.

Duker
Reply to  RickWill
December 6, 2022 6:55 pm

That’s because their home grown vaccine was as effective as the major Western ones.
If it’s a ‘flu’ then why did Trump have to be rushed to hospital ,have Covid specific treatments when he caught it and eventually he and 1@st lady have the Covid specific vaccine.

Duker
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 6, 2022 9:48 pm

Not for places where effective vaccines have good coverage , and the newer anti virals for those who are test positive

HotScot
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 5:09 am

“Safe and effective”

Remember that?

But the clotshots don’t stop anyone contracting the coof nor does it stop transmission. We were told that after the clotshot roll out began.

So how is it either?

And the guff about it reducing symptoms is entirely unevidenced. No one knows how ill they might or might not have been.

An experimental drug given emergency use authorisation, having gone through an experimental truncated clinical trial. How much sense does that make?

Now being given to children who, it is known, are at virtually no risk from covid. We were assured this was to save Granny, but Granny is now either dead or ‘vaccinated’, so why are kids still being coerced to take it?

A drug so “safe and effective” governments had to rely on manufactured fear and coercion to convince people to take it.

The safest drug known to mankind, Ivermectin, was banned in most countries. 30Bn human doses over 30 years and only one known death, a rare genetic mutation in a child reacting with the drug. So safe it’s available over the counter in the poorest countries on earth with the lowest literacy rates. They can’t even read the instructions yet no known deaths from overdose. If you have been eating beef, lamb or pork over the last 30 years you have been ingesting it with no ill effects.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  HotScot
December 7, 2022 5:32 am

Indeed, had our “health” agencies embraced the use of repurposed FDA approved drugs – IVM and HcQ – the scamdemic would have been stopped by mid to late 2020, but then big pharma, the FDA, NIH, CDC, etc, would have lost out on big profits. Evidence continues to mount that the clot shot gene therapies are riskier than getting covid.

Redge
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 11:42 pm

Covid is a strain of the flu, just a bit more effective at its job.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 11:55 pm

What is really relevant is that Boris Johnson was also rushed to hospital, stayed there nearly 3 weeks and almost died.
Compare with Trump who suffered for barely more tha 3 days and walked right on through it despite being 20 years older than Boris.
Both (supposedly) = right wing politicians.

It’s not easy but the clues are all around you in almost everyone you see and meet these days, compare Politics with diet & lifestyle habits.
The difficult bit is to understand why Boris was/is effectively starving hungry, all the time. He was and still is, massively overweight -so how on Earth can fat people be starving?

Ehrlich’s prediction came true – zombies like Boris and Biden are going to lead us all, Planet Earth included, to our own extinction.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Duker
December 7, 2022 4:50 am

If the Chinese vaccine was as effect as Western ones- then why does China lock down entire cities to the severe detriment of their economy?

PCman999
Reply to  RickWill
December 6, 2022 10:55 pm

Maybe they are going HARD because:
A) their leadership are old farts, most likely to have serious complications from COVID, and co-morbidities like diabetes and high blood pressure from living off the poor sods
B) the middle management needing to suck up to the higher ups and show that they are effective managers and look good in the monthly reports. They don’t give a rats ass about rights, fairness, poverty, etc.

I’m leaning more towards A) since they didn’t seem concerned about how the draconian lockdowns to try to stop the sniffles, have drastically affected the economy and production. I guess the bosses, all the way up to Xi get paid their kickbacks from the business owners and foreign partners regardless of the production numbers. And that the west is suffering from ‘supply chain issues’ is just a tasty bonus.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 3:47 am

Long-covid may be worse than we think.

Writing Observer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 7, 2022 5:23 am

Long CoViD is an issue. Just as long influenza. Just as long yeast infection. All infectious diseases have aftereffects.

We should be rather more concerned about short CoViD “vaccination,” however. More acute CoViD cases (and other diseases) per capita among the fully “vaccinated” than among the never “vaccinated.”

Tony_G
Reply to  Writing Observer
December 7, 2022 8:51 am

Given all the things I’ve heard diagnosed as “long covid” I’m beginning to think it’s a catch-all term for “we have no idea what’s wrong”

Mr.
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 7, 2022 6:34 pm

Yes, but attribution of cause is undetermined.

Are victims of long covid a result of the virus, or the (hastily re-defined by the WHO) “vaccines”?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mr.
December 8, 2022 3:14 am

Good question. There is too much we still don’t know about covid.

Yooper
Reply to  RickWill
December 7, 2022 5:06 am

YeH, but all that Australian manufacturing in China is being done with Australian coal,..eh?

Chris Hanley
December 6, 2022 7:00 pm

“Many manufacturers are energy-intensive, and manufacturing businesses are on the front-line of soaring global energy prices”, Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Ai Group said.

I’m wondering if Mr Willox has read what his senior communications manager has written only recently: “Transition to clean energy an exciting opportunity for everyone”?

PCman999
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 6, 2022 11:02 pm

🙂 exciting opportunities in customs and port facilities receiving the imported wind turbines and solar panels. Fantastic careers in solar panel cleaning. Climb huge heights to do maintenance on turbines. Secure government positions in employment insurance offices processing endless claims from those laid off from industries destroyed by high energy costs. Enjoy ample free time for reading as you take the bus everywhere since only the rich can afford EVs and eventually gas vehicles will be completely banned.

ferdberple
December 6, 2022 7:35 pm

Until someone has an industry standard formula to cost intermittent energy there is a potential swindle/disaster in every green energy project.

How about:

true cost = energy cost / capacity factor

So for example a green energy project with an all in cost of $100/MWh and 25% capacity factor work have a true cost of

$100/0.25 = $400/MWh

The same project with a 10% capacity factor would have a true cost of $1000/MWh.

This would permit apples to apples comparisons of various energy sources

Last edited 1 month ago by ferdberple
Duker
Reply to  ferdberple
December 6, 2022 8:09 pm

Not only low capacity factor for the ‘intermittents’ but they force down the numbers thermal stations built as base load.
The Navajo coal station in Arizona was built as 3x 750MW generators . Its capacity factor after being built (1976) was around 85%, by 2014 it was 75% and by 2019 when it closed it was in low 60%.
Arizona had 128MW of wind power ‘capacity’ in 2010 and 618MW in 2020. Naturally the wider area generation and demand is to be considered as the grid isnt just for the state

Im sure the numbers will be similar for Australian generation, as well they have very solar takeup which forces baseload stations to become ‘peakers’ which is inefficent and best left to the ‘light duty’ gas generators ( there is a difference in the build quality of gas powered light and heavy duty generators, the light duty being adaptations of aviation jet engines but have higher maintenance costs hence the restricted running times )

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
PCman999
Reply to  ferdberple
December 6, 2022 11:05 pm

You forgot about batteries – you can’t simply discount the intermittency by just building more – the power has to be there when it’s needed.

Redge
Reply to  ferdberple
December 6, 2022 11:44 pm

true cost = energy cost / capacity factor

true cost = energy cost / capacity factor + reliable back-up

Writing Observer
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2022 5:26 am

“True cost” has to be calculated as “nameplate cost” + “backup cost” in any case.

Mr.
Reply to  Writing Observer
December 7, 2022 6:46 pm

+ grid synchronization costs
+ transmission infrastructure construction & maintenance to grids costs

But other than <75% nameplate capacity under-delivery, and necessity for permantly-availble reliable substituted electricity from fossil fueled generators –

WIND & SOLAR ARE TOTALLY FREEEEE!

Chris Hanley
December 6, 2022 7:55 pm

After decades of growth the sad decline in manufacturing in Australia since Rudd’s renewable energy legislation was applied in 2010 is obvious.
Members of Mr Willox’s organization have only themselves to blame.

Duker
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 6, 2022 8:23 pm

Its been declining well before that. Definitely since the 90s. and follows the exporting of similar jobs in other western countries .
Japan even has moved a lot of its brands to production in China and they only make the high cost parts in Japan and ship them to China for assembly with lower value parts

Vincent
December 6, 2022 7:59 pm

It seems to me to be very obvious that the ‘average’ prosperity and well-being of the entire human race is dependent on the price and availability of energy supplies. I say ‘average’ because the well-being of the wealthy is not necesarilly affected by a reduction in wealth. A billionaire who’s worth is reduced to 500 million, is still okay, though his ego might be dented, whereas a person at the bottom of the ladder, struggling to afford basic needs, will be in serious trouble.

Most people have personal energy bills to pay, such as home electricity charges, and petrol for their cars. When the price of such energy rises, it also rises for all the industries that produce the food and products we rely upon for our prosperity and well-being, so the effect of rising energy prices must result in a rising cost of all the products we consume and need for our safety and well-being, in addition to personal energy bills and petrol for our cars, unless, of course, the rising energy prices are offset by using the available energy more efficiently, or by changing the lifestyle and behaviour of the population.

Let’s consider the ways we can address the reducing supplies and increasing cost of energy. Using energy more efficiently to reduce cost has always been addressed. Modern ICE vehicles are more efficient today than they were decades ago, and Ultra-Super-Critical coal-powered plants are more efficient at burning coal than old-fashioned plants. This offsets the additional contruction costs of the Ultra-Super-Critical plants, so basically there’s no reduction in energy costs, but a definite reduction in the real pollutants.

Solar panels have increased in efficiency during the past few decades, but only by a few percentage points. The problem is, if we have a significant shortage of energy supplies, resulting in a significant price increase, we can’t solve the problem by suddenly increasing the efficiency of our energy systems.

The only solutions are to quickly restart fossil fuel supplies, or to change the behaviour, demands and interests, of the population. How do we do that?
Following are a few examples that I think are reasonable, although they require a personal initiative that might be too difficult for some.

(1) If food prices increase, and you have a garden, howerver small, then grow your own vegetables instead of mowing the lawn and planting flowers.

(2) If you are seriously overweight, which is equivalent to carrying about 20 to 50 kg of food on your body, in terms of excess fat, with every step you take, then save money by eating less.

(3) If petrol prices are too high, then reduce your amount of driving. Take a bus instead, or drive to the nearest bus stop and park your car near-by.

(4) If your mortgage prices rise, then reduce your expenditure on Christmas presents and unnecessay entertainment expenses, such as paying to watch football competitions.

I could go on, but I’ll leave it there, in case I get too many negative points.

Elliot W
Reply to  Vincent
December 6, 2022 10:35 pm

Forcing the proletariat to downgrade our lifestyles is exactly what the WEF and climate hysterics want to happen. I get forced to “ take the bus” while the aristocracy take their private jets. I have to jettison my modest entertainments while the elite use those private jets to attend polo matches or birthday parties. I have my heat turned off due to “supply shortages” while former presidents hoard propane. All while they make millions of dollars lecturing me I’m the one destroying the planet!

And you’re ok with that? That looks reasonable to you?

Vincent
Reply to  Elliot W
December 7, 2022 5:29 am

I’m not ok with forcing people to downgrade their lifestyle. What I’m suggesting is adaption to changing circumstances, using one’s nous.

A fundamental principle of life is that everything is subject to change, including climate and including the economic environment in various regions, and including the personal wealth of individuals.

CO2 is not a pollutant, but ICE vehicles do emit pollutants. Taking a bus instead of driving your own car could not only save you money on petrol, but could also reduce the real pollutants that are a health problem in congested cities.

Growing your own vegetables could not only save you money, but could prolong your life, especially if you grow them organically without pesticides, and eat lots of them. People generally don’t eat enough vegetables.

An obese person is equivalent to a normal-weight person carrying a 20 kg case of food in each hand, with every step they make, except that it’s easier to walk when that 40 kgs is spread over the entire body. If food prices are high, then this is an opportunity for obese people who are relatively poor, to save money on food by eating less, whilst improving their health at the same time. A win, win.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Vincent
December 7, 2022 6:09 am

Taking a bus instead of driving your own car could not only save you money on petrol, but could also reduce the real pollutants that are a health problem in congested cities.”

Except this reduces demand for petrol meaning the supply goes down and the price goes up. Suddenly it costs more for the bus system to run and the taxes and fees to support it goes up while those forced to use the bus system see no increases in their net income to offset the increase in cost.

This doesn’t even include the loss of utility for the person forced to use a bus system that is run inefficently by the government. Most government-run bus systems are little more than welfare for the poor that can’t afford other transportation that could increase productivity.

There *is* a reason why private, for-profit bus systems are few and far between.

As for gardens they *are* good for you. How many city dwellers have enough garden space available to provide even minimum amounts of vegetables, especially during winter months? My youngest son lives in a basement apartment in Somerville, MA just outside of Boston. It’s a concrete jungle. How is he supposed to grow a garden of any size? He depends on farmer’s markets during the summer but they almost disappear during the winter.

You appear to be just another “elitist” who thinks they know how everyone should live but understand nothing about the average person let alone the average city dweller. Prove me wrong.

Vincent
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2022 7:27 am

“Except this reduces demand for petrol meaning the supply goes down and the price goes up. Suddenly it costs more for the bus system to run and the taxes and fees to support it goes up while those forced to use the bus system see no increases in their net income to offset the increase in cost.”

Sorry! You’ve got this completely the wrong way round.

“It’s a fundamental economic principle that when supply exceeds demand for a good or service, prices fall. When demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise.”

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/033115/how-does-law-supply-and-demand-affect-prices.asp

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Vincent
December 8, 2022 6:06 am

When demand goes down then over the long term the supply goes down as well. It’s a matter of the cost of production versus the actual income supporting that production level. If you aren’t getting enough revenue, which is a function of demand versus price, then something has to give.

The cost of production of oil is pretty much fixed. An oil well, once drilled, has the same operating costs whether you are extracting a lot of oil or just a little bit of oil. Same with an oil pipeline. The cost of that infrastructure remains pretty much the same whether you are transporting a lot of oil or just a little.

So, when demand goes down, sooner or later the supply will go down as well. Then the only answer is to raise prices to make up the shortfall in revenue needed to support the infrastructure.

I think what you are describing is a situation where the supply is not very elastic, it remains pretty much constant, like the supply of corn or soybeans over one or two years. The price of that commodity will go up and down based on demand. But over the longer term, say a five year span, the ag producers will adjust by lowering supply and moving into a different commodity such as cotton, sunflowers, milo, rice, etc. Then the price of the corn and soybeans goes UP because of lower demand, not down.

Take a look at the price of a new right front fender for an old International Harvester Scout. After production of the SUV stopped the demand for replacement fenders went down. The price of replacement fenders didn’t go down because of lower demand. The price has escalated tremendously over the years as lower demand resulted in lower supplies and the cost of production remained the same or went up as well.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Vincent
December 7, 2022 3:54 am

“The only solutions are to quickly restart fossil fuel supplies, or to change the behaviour, demands and interests, of the population.”

That is correct.

I don’t personally want to change my behavior, so that only leaves quickly restarting fossil fuel supples as my preferred option.

Writing Observer
Reply to  Vincent
December 7, 2022 5:28 am

In other words, “You’ll own nothing, and be happy!”

HB
December 6, 2022 9:40 pm

Well Ihope half wit Bowen is waking up.
To many parasites with political connections Turnbull for example that think they are onto a cash cow at the taxpayers expense.
Players Spinning the bull shit as ferdberple said capacity factor no where near 100% as some are claiming
.Dumb ass Bowen you need 4 times what they claimed and you have blown the old coal plants you idiot
Snowy hydro smells like a con job to me, just hold the water back when wind and solar is producing is all you are going to need. and if you do get enough surplus by some fluke build the grandiose snowy 2 then
off to get some popcorn LOL

Last edited 1 month ago by HB
Duker
Reply to  HB
December 6, 2022 9:46 pm

Snowy pumped hydro 2.0 was announced by coalition government in 2017

HB
Reply to  Duker
December 6, 2022 10:15 pm

so they got suckered too

megs
Reply to  Duker
December 10, 2022 2:36 pm

That was Malcolm Turnbull’s grand idea. He’s pretty much a greeny anyway, and I’d assume that the same lefty advisors were around long before then. The likes of Flim Flam and his ilk. It’s the advisors who are really in control, no matter who’s in power. I doubt there is anyone in government departments who know how to scope or cost a project. Snowy 2.0 was supposed to cost 2 billion, what are we up to now? I think the latest was 12 billion. And it was supposed to have been completed years ago!

another ian
Reply to  HB
December 6, 2022 11:51 pm

Tony in Oz at Jo Nova has been tracking the AEMO power scene for something like 8 years.

Here are two recent observations –

https://joannenova.com.au/2022/12/tuesday-open-thread-129/#comment-2612471

From modelling “The upshot was that wind generation was (proved by all this modelling) CERTAIN to deliver at a Capacity Factor of 38%.”

“Here in Australia, it’s currently operating at 30%, and that is based on my own daily wind data collection and detailing, now up at 218 weeks, so more than four years.

Okay, what am I going to show you?” New wind plant

“30 GWH divided by 1385GWH X 100 = (wait for it) ….. 38%

Huh! Not that it really matters, as the total wind generation in that area is only managing 30% anyway.
Oh, and you know Macarthur Wind Plant, that LARGEST wind plant in the Southern Hemisphere, (now surpassed) well, it is only operating at a lifetime CF of just 24%, and for the most recent 12 Months, it is only operating at 16.3%. And that’s an equivalent of 68MW.
$1.2 Billion for what is basically just a 68MW power plant.
But wind power is just soooooo cheap eh!”

https://joannenova.com.au/2022/12/tuesday-open-thread-129/#comment-2612577

As I mentioned, I used two long term averages for CF, one the full term, and the second, the most recent 52 weeks ….. hence as new wind plants get added over time.”

But newer more efficient wind turbines –

“Two long term CF figures, the second being for the most recent 52 weeks ….. in other words, as those newer tech Turbines come on line.
And, hmm! who would have guessed. The most recent CF figure is either the same, or as is more often the case ….. LOWER THAN the full long term CF figure, so as those newer tech turbines at the most recent wind plants come on line, then they are making ZERO difference at all.”

And sleight of hand, tongue and print

https://joannenova.com.au/2022/12/tuesday-open-thread-129/#comment-2612637

FWIW, the EIA quoted 35% for the U.S., and this figure found its way into the CSIRO GenCost, without any justification as to why 35% was chosen.”

Chris Hanley
Reply to  another ian
December 7, 2022 12:34 am

The capacity factor of a wind turbine ‘is its average power output divided by its maximum power capability’.
However a capacity factor comparison of say a coal plant and wind turbines doesn’t take into account the reliability factor, coal plant probably ~97% wind turbines ~3% 🤫 .

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
Dave Andrews
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 7, 2022 7:22 am

Plus your coal plant could easily operate for 50+ years whereas your turbines would need a couple of replacements to get that far.

Hasbeen
December 6, 2022 9:54 pm

It is hard to believe, but I think Albo & Bowen actually believe the renewable energy scam.

Neither of them appear to be bright enough to be pushing a scam with out stuffing up sooner rather than later. No wonder we are in deep trouble with a couple of dumb ideologues running our power policy. It was a good move buying a 10KVA diesel gen set, provided I can get the diesel to run it.

HB
Reply to  Hasbeen
December 6, 2022 10:16 pm

Sad but true

another ian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 7, 2022 12:07 am

And the paint line is getting closer

December 7, 2022 12:54 am

Sooner or later, there will be adequate numbers of experienced Australians saying “Enough is enough. The actual and projected costs of this climate change dream are too high. The costs of doing nothing much for climate change need urgent recalculation. The country is going under from climate change mania.”
At about this time, when it is obvious that remedies are needed, the presence of a big, low hanging fruit will become more attractive. The fruit, the solution, of course, is to forget about the climate change dogma and let competent people run normal businesses in the way that propelled Australia to a very nice place in the 1980-90 era.
That means no restrictions on hydrocarbon fuels, for one example.
The advantage with this “back to normal” approach is that we know how to do it because we used to do it routinely. Industry is still competent, but is being forced into wrong directions. Sadly, too many good, honest workers are losing their incomes, a horrible outcome for them and their families, because of the cost of this wrong direction, It is sad that ideology is conflicting with known economics, engineering and science.
Geoff S

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
December 7, 2022 2:29 am

The Labor PM is so bent over to the Green Movement, trying to save once safe inner-urban labor seats from the fat cat public service trendies that have moved in, his old name

Anthony Albanese

has been changed to

Up to the Elbow, Easy.

ozspeaksup
December 7, 2022 4:05 am

yes sad re jobs
but hilarious that snowy 2 and the interconnector will fail.
bummer if the gas plant did but that should be a sweeter pickup for some others..
and once again f off with fracking we HAVE good offshore or onshore conventional sources, that dont ruin our best farm areas thanks.

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