Winning: Labor party drops 2030 renewable target, Libs build gas plant, (still scared of climate bullies)
Losing unloseable climate change elections has some effect:
In the 2019 election the Labor emissions reduction target was a 45 per cent cut from 2005 levels by 2030:
Greg Brown, The Australian
Anthony Albanese has been given the green light to go to the next election without specific climate change targets for 2030, under an ALP draft policy platform that outlines plans to turn Australia into a “renewable energy superpower”.
The party’s preliminary draft platform — obtained by The Australian — was backed by shadow cabinet this month. The document, a third of the size of the 2018 national platform, makes no mention of a 2030 or 2035 emissions reduction or renewable energy targets. The Labor leader is facing an internal push to drop medium-term targets and focus on a policy of net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Labor will ensure that Australia becomes a renewable energy superpower, harnessing our natural advantages in clean energy to become energy independent from the world, while lowering power prices, reaching zero net emissions by 2050,” the document says.
Labor’s overall direction hasn’t changed, they are still captive to the vested interests and co-dependents of the renewable world. This is still an economy-killing idea based on the fantasy that “renewables are cheap”, but it kills the economy a bit slower than the 2019 plan.
The Libs meanwhile make gas and energy priority one
Government policies to change the weather have, like witchcraft, destroyed a once brilliant honed energy market delivering the cheapest energy in the world. The market is so rigged that the valuable infrastructure called Liddell Coal Plant, built and paid for by a generation of hard work, was given away for free by the NSW state government in 2014, like a McHappy meal, bundled in with Bayswater, and valued at zero dollars in an AGL investor presentation. AGL also own a mass portfolio of other electricity generators, and the market is so screwed, it’s now in AGL’s interest to turn down billion dollar offers to buy Liddell, and to trash the asset in 2022. Nothing gives cheaper electricity than a 30 year old coal plant. Thus one of the cheapest electricity makers in NSW is better off destroyed than selling cheap electricity. That says everything you need to know about how stupid the government policies are.
Given what happened after Hazelwood closed down, with the predictable sudden leap of electricity prices by 85%, the Commonwealth government is now forced to build a reliable power plant that the private market won’t to solve a problem that it created with stupid energy policies to hold back the tide and stop droughts. NSW can’t keep coal plants, or aluminium smelters running, and electricity prices are spiking to $14,000MW/hr, which suits a seller of golden electrons like AGL just fine.
Simon Benson, The Australian
Scott Morrison has elevated energy policy to the primary issue that will underpin key planks of the economic recovery. And he will use the urgency of the pandemic to end a debate that has seen Australia’s competitive advantage of cheap energy of the past lost to rampant ideology.
The market has had plenty of warning, particularly AGL, which is about to see its indolence over the Liddell coal-fired power plant lead to the government building a 700-megawatt gas plant smack in the back yard of Labor member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon.
What Morrison is proposing is nothing short of a complete transformation of the sclerotic east coast gas market, which has failed to invest in any new dispatchable power for the past decade.
Given the AEMO rewards unreliable power at the expense of “despatchable” (controllable, reliable) power, it is entirely predictable that companies won’t build base load in Australia. This move by the Liberal government won’t solve that. But it might reduce the disaster coming.
AGL is the largest coal-fired producer in Australia, but it’s also the largest generator in toto and the largest investor in renewable energy on the Australian Stock Exchange. Spot the conflict of interest? The company controls 30% of the generation in our two largest states, and 40% in South Australia. The man in charge of AGL – Andy Vesey – formerly of New York, earns $6.9 million a year, and can probably afford to pay his own electricity bill. But as Tony Cox points out, he has surrounded himself with Gore-trainees and Get-Up and ALP staffers. Not a great combination for a man controlling something like a fifth (more?) of our generating power. Not surprisingly, after the NSW government practically gave the old coal plant away for free to AGL in 2014, it appears the company has been running Liddell into the ground.
Rather than being incompetent, this is no doubt part of the plan, and an advantage for shareholders in the new tribal world of Good-Lectrons:Bad-Lectrons. After a few more years of AGL management, it won’t be worth taking over.
Bankers explains AGL won’t sell Liddell because then electricity will get cheaper:
But research from analysts at JPMorgan yesterday said it was unlikely the deal would ever eventuate due to a number of market and logistical reasons.
Selling the power station to Alinta would hurt the wholesale prices that AGL can charge for energy from its other assets, the analysts said, while also helping a rival that is determined to eat into AGL’s market share. Operationally, Liddell and AGL’s nearby Bayswater power station are supplied with coal from a single coal loader and are subject to a number of contracts that would need to be unwound.
The climate bullies are still running the national debate
Liberals still rarely have the backbone to risk being called names like “climate deniers”. Amazing how effective that kindergarten technique is.
Even though Labors shock loss in 2019 was a surprise, we should keep in mind that the Liberals only won by two seats. There was no excitement in the base on the conservative side, except for the “excitement” that the thought of a Labor win provided.
The nation still sits in a ridiculous preventable crisis. Most of the world loves coal. China is secretly building plants despite its so called Paris commitment. The only countries dumping coal are those which don’t have much. The Global Patsy-Land of Australia is the largest coal exporter in world — and still has 300 years of coal left. This problem is so easy to solve.
The sacrificial lambs in Australian pay $1300 in hidden climate bills each year in the hope of stopping droughts and bushfires. Who stands for them? Malcolm Roberts, Queensland Senator for One Nation. But not Liberal or Labor MP’s (apart from a few brave ones, thank you Craig Kelly).
September 15, 2020 at 01:59AM