Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The farce of AGL's refusal to sell Liddell coal-fired power station.

A failure of Federal and state governments to ensure power certainty.

Andrew Bolt, Steve Price, Michael Pachi and Anthony Cox

Podcast May 21 (from 17:00) (LINK)

Steve introduces National Political Editor Macquarie Media Michael Pachi and they talk of AGL’s refusal to sell off Liddell, a big coal fired power station in NSW, which, if taken out of the system will cause power shortages. If and when AGL closes Liddell, AGL will make money from the artificial inflated prices paid to renewable/unreliable energy.

Andrew notes that AGL, last year,  took reporters through the plant to show how it was “worthless, a pile of junk, falling to bits”. This is contrary to recent comments from previous former Chairman of Macquarie Power, Evan Rees. (link)

Andrew asks Michael: “What can the government now to make sure it stays open given their knee-jerk reaction to Tony Abbott when he said to  compulsory buy it and then on-sell it to Alinta.”

Pachi: Abbott said today that..AGL is not in the national interest and that the Federal Government should buy it forcibly from AGL.  ….Whether that can happen or not, I don’t know….

Price and Pachi say that the Federal Government doesn’t have the power to do that.

Andrew: If the issue is - the government does not have the legal power to compulsory acquire this power station, why doesn’t it simply says so?

ENTER caller Anthony Cox (29:50):

Before the NSW Government sold Liddell for $0 or $1, Macquarie Generation had spent $30M revamping it too make it good for the next 20 years (LINK). There are two solutions that the government can zero in on AGL.

The first is a state based solution. We have to put this in a context of what Freydenberg is saying: he says….despatchable power…. will not be able to meet demands and he quotes the AEMO…That means an essential service, ie the supply of electricity, is under threat.

All the states, which own the electricity supply in this country, have “Essential Services Acts.” 

And they can come in and do what they want! if there is a threat to the electricity supply.

Andrew: What a very good point! You are so right!

Anthony: They can take it over, control it…..

Later, Steve, Andrew and Anthony discus power prices:

Andrew: What did we used to pay per Megawatt Hour?

Anthony: ….Liddell was pumping out Electricity for 2.7cents per kilowatt hour - $27 per megawatt/hour.

Andrew quotes the current AEMO prices:
  • SA     130 Mw/h
  • Vic     115 Mw/h
  • NSW  117 Mw/H  and for Queensland, almost a bargain…..
  • Qld     95Mw/h

Anthony: Renewable Power gets preferential treatment. There is NO renewable power coming through. The sun has set and it is not a windy night. That’s why it has come down. Those prices you have quoted in off-peak times are so dear, because the coal fired power stations are duplicating the power of renewables. They have to pay for the power of renewables before they can begin to cover their own costs.

That’s why power in this country is so dear, generally now, because you have two systems running. The coal fired power stations have to keep running to back up the [unreliable-ed] renewables and they have to preferential buy power from the renewables when the renewables are producing power.

The Federal Government could FORCE AGL’s hand by simply removing ALL SUBSIDIES to renewables right now.


1 comment:

  1. What a farce indeed - Reminds me of that old adage "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!"

    Since energy (Gas & Electricity) are essential services, seems to me there's two options:

    1. Return to the past. Forget about AGL & the other 'Carpetbaggers' with their respective noses in the trough of the 'Unreliables' & go invest in the construction of a brand new HELE coal fired power-station(s), owned & operated by The People, for The People via our respective State Govt's.

    Or, alternatively.

    2. In the absence of empirical evidence proving the case against CO2 (as a pollutant & primary driver of so called Global Warming), a commercially focused solution to our energy crisis seems obvious:

    • Defer until at least 2030 (if not forever) the implementation of the UN Climate Accord.

    • Terminate ALL Renewable Emissions Targets (RETs) & proposed Clean Energy Targets (CETs) & instead, introduce a 100% Reliable Energy Target!

    • Cancel ALL Federal subsidies, be they for Renewable Energy and/or fossil fuel generation. No favourites! A level playing field for all!

    • Advocate construction of HELE coal-fired power stations (as are some 1,600 currently being built by other countries around the world!) for future base load power together with ALL forms of other energy generation ie; Wind, Solar, Bio, Gas, Hydro etc - a level playing field for all.

    • To ensure reliability of supply, the Govt to specify:
    1) A minimum QOS standard for ALL Energy providers to meet (eg; 99.98% availability) via what-ever means THEY choose,
    2) Clearly define & impose SUBSTANTIAL financial penalties for those Energy provides who FAIL to meet the minimum QOS standards.

    If these were legislated State Govt energy policies & related QOS standards, we would not need; expensive eastern States interconnecting transmission lines; the costly, parasitic bureaucracy that's evolved around the 'Unreliables' industry (States would again be responsible); nor the proposed Snowy Mk 2.0 scheme.

    Australia would then have a future as a world-class, low cost energy producer (as we once were) & there would NOT be any adverse effect upon the world’s climate.

    Nuclear Energy. Remove the ban on the use of nuclear energy in Australia & commit to a long term plan for developing a Nuclear Industry in Australia in transparent competition with all other energy sources .


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