Do-nothing Malcolm tasers self with SA electricity

Rather than work with SA on its new energy plan, the truly idiotic Do-nothing Malcolm Government is calling the lawyers, via The Australian:

The Turnbull government is seeking legal advice on whether the South Australian government’s decision today to “go it alone” on energy policy constitutes a breach of national electricity market rules.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg described South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill’s policy, announced earlier today, as a “$550 million admission of failure”.

“Going it alone created South Australia’s problems and going it alone won’t fix South Australia’s problems,” he said

“In fact, the measures announced today will only increase electricity prices for South Australians. It has the potential to increase prices for Victorians, for people in New South Wales and in Tasmania.

“We are seeking advice on whether the decision today by South Australia to go it alone is in breach of the national electricity market rules which has kept the system together for the last 20 years.”

Let’s go through the SA plan and see whether the enraged Frydencoal’s summation is correct:

  • SUPPORTING construction of Australia’s biggest battery as part of a $150 million spend on a new renewable technology fund. Batteries work two ways in the grid. They decrease volatility by buying low and selling high (arbitraging) the National Electricity Market (NEM) lowering the average price overall. The second function of batteries is to inject frequency when it is needed so they help stabilise the grid as well.
  • BUILDING a State Government-owned, fast start gas-fired power station. This will work to prevent peaking power spikes and will hold down prices. There is an issue of obtaining the gas but a gas peaking plant can still be profitable with with higher gas prices. And if it is government owned then it can operate without the incentive gouge. This, too, will lower prices.
  • ENCOURAGE the construction of a new privately-owned power station using a Government bulk buy power contract. Obviously more supply equals a lower price.
  • INCENTIVISE the extraction of more gas for use in SA power stations, through a taxpayer-backed exploration fund. Not sure how this will work.
  • GIVING the SA energy minister powers to over-ride other regulators and force power stations to fire up in times of need. During the last blackout, Engie refused to start up Pelican Point plus the AEMO commonweal regulator buggered up the deployment of reserves. Yet the Do-nothing Government then blamed SA Australia for the blackouts. Therefore why wouldn’t they want to have veto power if they’re going to be blamed anyway?
  • CREATING an “energy security target”, which requires retailers to buy 36 percent of their power from baseload sources in SA. Need to see the detail on this but seems reasonable enough.

I can’t see where power prices are going to rise. Batteries and increased supply will bring them down a little and prevent the super spikes to $14k even if the high gas price problem remains. Nor can I see where SA’s actions will cause other state power prices to rise. Battery arbitrages will work to smooth prices there too.

The Weatherill Government has acted decisively and it’s plan looks workable. Especially so since it has also had to work around the shockingly partisan response from a Do-nothing Government which is so bumbling that it can’t see that going legal would be political suicide.

It needs instead to focus on policy and this, via the AFR:

A near twelve-fold jump in gas being pumped into Queensland from other states in the December quarter has provided stark evidence of the drain on energy resources from South Australia and Victoria to compensate for the $80 billion LNG export industry in Gladstone.

Gas from the Bass Strait and South Australia’s Cooper Basin is being sucked towards the north to replace gas being exported to Asia, contributing to the shortage of supplies and spiralling prices for manufacturers in southern states.

“For every gigajoule that is exported, the gap in the domestic space needs to be filled elsewhere,” said John Bartlett at energy advisory Energetics.

It’s all going to GLNG. As Credit Suisse said:

■ Our preferred option is to reclaim the third-party gas currently being exported: Aside from the Horizon contract between GLNG and Santos, there was no evidence in the EIS or FID presentations that more non-indigenous gas was required. As such, one could argue reclaiming what has only been signed due to a scope failure, is equitable. Including the Horizon contract GLNG will be exporting >160PJa of third-party gas in the later part of this decade. Whilst we get less disclosure these days, BG previously said that after an initial 10–20% in the early days (now gone) QCLNG would use ~5%

■ Our preferred option is to reclaim the third-party gas currently being exported: Aside from the Horizon contract between GLNG and Santos, there was no evidence in the EIS or FID presentations that more non-indigenous gas was required. As such, one could argue reclaiming what has only been signed due to a scope failure, is equitable. Including the Horizon contract GLNG will be exporting >160PJa of third-party gas in the later part of this decade. Whilst we get less disclosure these days, BG previously said that after an initial 10–20% in the early days (now gone) QCLNG would use ~5% thirdparty gas – 20–25PJa. APLNG is self-sufficient, but as can be seen the other thirdparty gas would get extremely close to balancing the market. Clearly these things are far better done by mutual agreement from all parties, rather than a political mandate.

■ GLNG loses but can all be compensated? We estimate that, at a US$65/bbl oil price, GLNG as an entity would lose US$447m p.a. of FCF if they could no longer toll thirdparty volumes. Interestingly, if Kogas and Petronas could recontract their offtake on a slope of 12x (doable in the current LNG market) then their losses as an equity partner are all offset (not equally between the two albeit). Santos would see ~50% of its US$134mn net GLNG loss offset if the Horizon contract could move up to a slope of 8x from 6x. The clear loser would be Total. We wonder whether cheap government debt, a la NAIF, could be provided at the (new, lower volume) project level or even to take/fund an equity stake in it? In reality all parties (domestic buyers included) have some culpability in the situation, so a sharing of pain does not seem unreasonable 02 March 2017 Australia and NZ Market daily 31

■ If these contracts were then all diverted domestically, at US$65/bbl oil, they should deliver gas at Wallumbilla at $7.50 gj. This is highly competitive gas in the current environment we think and should certainly not be considered unreasonable by domestic buyers

Weatherill has shown Frydencoal and Do-nothing the way. Act decisively in the national interest. The signs at this point are mixed, via The Australian:

“If we’re going to have a ­thriving LNG export industry, we understand that we need a well-functioning domestic market,” Shell country chairman Andrew Smith told The Australian.

“The industry and government can significantly improve the ­situation we’re in.

“On the moratoriums, it’s time to move past the fake issues around the concerns of development and understand that we need this gas to come into the market.”

The meeting in Parliament House today will see the federal government and the industry agree on the need for Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory to unlock mammoth reserves that could easily meet domestic needs.

“Unfortunately, state and ­territory government bans are ­putting at risk thousands of jobs by stopping the development of our gas reserves even by conventional means,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement last night.

“The only sustainable way to guarantee affordable gas reserves is through the responsible development of our gas.”

The federal agenda includes stronger powers for the competition regulator and more pressure on producers to leave more gas for the local market, with a formal “reservation” policy seen as a last resort to force companies to give up some of their exports.

South eastern communities are united in their opposition to being fracced. It’s not state governments it’s democracy, whether we like it or not. More from the AFR:

…Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the meeting threatened to be a whitewash because other key stakeholders were absent.

“It defies sense to leave the groups who control many of the levers on gas policy, the states – and its biggest consumers, the manufacturing industry – outside the room,” he said.

Rubbish. None of the firms should be in the room at all.

The signs are not good that anything will get done. Nobody is even discussing retrospective domestic reservation that I can see. It’s a parlour game for the oligopolists to pretend to care as they gouge.

Meanwhile, to understand the full extent of the stuff up, check this out:

Japan is collecting more tax revenue from Australian liquefied natural gas than the federal government, heightening concern the public is missing out on the wealth benefits of the gas export boom.

Japan, which is the single-biggest buyer of Australian LNG at 30 million tonnes a year, levies an import tax that will deliver $2.9 billion to its national coffers over the next four years, according to research conducted by the International Transport Workers’ Federation, a member of the Tax Justice Network.

By comparison, Australia will not receive a cent in petroleum resource rent tax from gas projects operating in federal waters over the same period.

And we’re going to export three times the volume and still get nothing. Yet if you levy more tax now, without fixing the failed market first, it will simply be passed on to customers, probably with a mark-up.

Welcome to Nauru only worse.

Comments

  1. adelaide_economist

    What a crazy panicked reaction from Frydencoal. Making no sense whatsoever… no wonder he’s being primed for ‘bigger things’ within the Coalition then. I can see why they’re desperate though. The massive government and (predominantly Murdoch) media snow job against renewable energy hasn’t really worked and more broadly this response by the SA Government might even give people some crazy ideas about reintroducing government intervention into some of the many other glaringly dysfunctional markets in this country.

    • Yes. The lines from the Minerals Council, the IPA, Gina and others have been running hot to Tremble and Frytheworld.

  2. Instead of building a new gas power station, can SA not buy an existing gas power station?

    “The project was rushed through in just three months, a year after a leak at Southern California Edison’s Aliso Canyon gas storage facility released 1.6 million pounds of methane into the air. When that plant went offline, the Mira Loma district lost one of its sources of peak-hour energy; the “peaker plants,” which come online when demand is high, no longer had access to the gas they needed to operate.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/five-questions-you-should-have-about-californias-new-tesla-powered-battery-bank-180962085/

    • Engie says its not for sale….they have “plans” for it once Hazelwood in Vic shuts down. Guessing to gouge the market some more. This was the plant AEMO didn’t order online (why? Probs because Engie has nice contacts in the Federal Libs)

      Hopefully this plan means they won’t get to profit out of Hazelwoods closure. They may sell in the end.

    • macrofishMEMBER

      I suspect they owners have jacked the price so its likely cheaper to build a new one.

      • adelaide_economist

        Yes, something has ‘happened’ because a few months ago I understand the SA government was considering paying them to unmothball on an ongoing basis one of the units at Pelican Point or even add new capacity. I suggest the latest stoushes with Engie have put paid to that although I couldn’t say which party made that decision.

  3. Its at least good to see some action from a government. Question however the cost of the battery system given what capacity and cost overall for the energy stored i.e. what is the LCOE or $/MWh and was this the best overall economic outcome or just a knee jerk from a tweet. Same for the gas plant although perhaps an easier cost to analyse. At the end of the day the cost per tonne of CO2 needs to be the driver along with figure of merit not what appeals to the Twitter commentary. Has the SA government provided any cost justification of this over say pumped hydro or gas reservation from Moomba or any other alternative?

  4. Fuck me, how fucked is this country? Captured from start to finish. A PM of, by and for FUCKWITTEDNESS.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      Only interested in playdates? VP Pence here in April and then The Donald in the US in May?

    • +100. No-one in Canberra has the intellect to tie their own shoe laces, the LNP and Labor are incapable of governing for the people, the Greens are as mad as cut snakes and you wouldnt let the cross benches run anything. Surely a leader would say we are now in crisis, let’s have a bi partisan approach, commission an organisation with respected capability like the CSIRO or Universities to develop a 20 year energy strategy based on a genuine feasibility study of all the options (no exclusions), publish and publicly debate the findings and hopefully bring some sanity into this mess.

      • Lolololololol! Sounds good – like a Henry Review for energy.

        Once we have the 20 year road map, it can be put on the shelf and never mentioned again. Because it doesn’t have enough boomer-bribe and cartel-promotion elements.

      • Yeah, na. Just call in the lawyers. A bit of lawyering and we’ll have this energy crisis fixed in no time.

      • You are being too kind

        These clowns (Weatherill and advisors so far excepted) could not organise a root in a brothel even if they had 1M in gold bullion and cash

        They are that f#cking hopeless

  5. Tassie TomMEMBER

    If there is a legal stouch about SA and the rules of the NEM, it could become a constitutional thing, similar to the Gordon Below Franklin cases. It could be very interesting.

    If there is a constitutional battle between the federal government and the SA government it will be “Bye bye Chris Pyne” in 2 years time.

    • Of course, if there’s a High Court challenge, it will probably play out in a year’s time. Just about the time when a long term SA Labor government has to go to the polls.

      I can see it now, doughty little Labor state government taking on the nasty Liberal Feds to keep SA’s lights on after the state Liberals sold the power system.

      As I see it, the Coalition has the choice of letting this go, and SA starts building the infrastructure/controlling the peaks, or it takes on SA Labor and gets blamed for every power outage between now and the next State election.

      No wonder the Coalition is fuming.

    • adelaide_economist

      The NEM is a weird setup so I don’t really understand where the constitutional issues would be. Since energy isn’t specifically mentioned in the (Federal) Consitution, there’s a reason that the NEM only exists by all participating States and the Federal Government passing complementary legislation. Parliament is always supreme and can’t bind itself (although of course it can be challenged in supreme/high court and subject to compensation orders). I guess this is one of those situations where the Federal Government must really hate that each State is still effectively (semi) sovereign unto itself.

  6. The federal government is throwing a hissy fit because the power crisis that it engineered was mean tot drive VIC and NSW into the hands of its oligopoly mates and get them to bend over on gas extraction/development. To strengthen the cost cartel.

    Instead it has caused SA to throw a wobbly and move to destabilize the gouging arrangement. What a backfire!

    Hopefully calling the lawyers to bully the SA State government in will tick off Xenophon & his mates and undermine Malcolm’s legislative power as well. …not that he really needs it in order to Do Nothing. Won’t stop him publishing another Innovation statement!

  7. Competition averse government that sprouts free market noise while it is facilitating an economic dictatorship of frightening scope and it has us in its death grip.

  8. I love how they endlessy argue the more development more gas will fix it argument. An argument only true in a time when the ‘export price’ reigns if you can satisfy global demand with nsw and qld fraccing. Of course if this happened it would be a total disaster for the gas companies as the price would drop.

    They all lie in unison by debating a false argument. No responsability taken for selling resources they clearly don’t have. Thats where the haircut should be. Hopefully these companies will wake up and realise the disaster will be on them if they dont act in the public interest soon.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s not yet registered as a crisis yet because Sydney and Melbourne isn’t suffering from rolling blackout. The ‘punters’ have been hit with mass increase in power bill for ‘network reliability’. Once the blackout starts, they are going to be very,very angry, the government of the day, be they ALP or LNP, will get thrown out unless they offer immediate solution. That’s why the SA ALP is on a winner, because the other side doesn’t even offer a token solution to the problem.

      • I will have a day-long orgasm when Melbourne or Sydney get their blackouts. Would be absolutely awesome – can you imagine the backlash against the population importation racket that will start once the aircon in the average Brighton mansion stops working and the well-heeled boomers are forced to slum it like the lazy young people?!

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        If you want a day long orgasm you need to get multiple investment properties and come along to the seminars! Eventually you’ll achieve the dream of a 24r stint of relations. It’s an amazing experience first time but eventually just becomes the norm. Waiting for a blackout seems a little defeatist in comparison.

    • This.

      Try fracking and there will literally be civil unrest.

      Lots of armed citizens outside the cities.

      #lockthegate

    • adelaide_economist

      Excellent points.

      It’s insane that suddenly the media is awash with stories of Australia being an ‘energy superpower’. Yes, an ‘energy superpower’ that can’t keep the lights on in its own country.

  9. I kind of wonder and someone correct me if I am wrong but to me it seems as though the federal government doesnt care in the slightest around energy supply to its citizen but obviously needs the export dollars more than anything to avoid our current account balance further turning to shit even if it means higher prices to us and even if it means power blackouts.

    • Erwin Schrödinger

      Yeah its got nothing to do with trade balance – it has everything to do with enriching their corporate mates at the expense of ordinary Australians.

  10. The politics of this are horrible. Electricity prices are going to rise within months, voters will be getting a massive bill, blame the free market, and the federal government is complaining that the SA government is trying to restrain the free market? This isn’t just a tin-ear, it is a reinforced steel ear.

    • I wish I could say I was shocked by the Federal intervention, but that would be a lie. Its entirely expected This is a very bad government, and it is getting worse by the day. Everything for them is now internal, they no longer care about the voting public or even the country. Its an irrelevancy to them, its getting in the way of their internal power jockeying and pocket lining.

      • Powerful interests are pulling strings behind the scenes. All we see are the puppets dancing.

    • The GCC will soon be expanded to become a National GaG-CoCCS (Gas and Grocery Consumption Code of Conduct Scheme).

      It’s the Australian way. That is how we shaft poor people and fellate oligopolists at the same time.

  11. SoMPLSBoyMEMBER

    We ‘think’ its only about generating power to enable society to function, but it’s much deeper. It’s a ‘service’ and the ‘Trade in Services Agreement’ ( a mutation of the TPP) will seek to ensure max profitability for the roaming big capital of the world. The current gov’t ( like all it’s predecessors) will be an easy mark with only ceremonial ‘pushback’. We will be rolled.

    “Each “free trade” agreement has a key provision elevating corporations above governments that codifies the “equal treatment” of business interests in accordance with international law and enables corporations to sue over any regulation or other government act that violates “investor rights,” which means any regulation or law that might prevent the corporation from extracting the maximum possible profit.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/10/tpp-is-not-dead-its-now-called-the-trade-in-services-agreement/

  12. Jay Weatherill I hope you’ll agree is our new national hero.

    And is showing some fairly f$cking astute political tap dancing shoes

    Not only has he devised good policy for his state (and thus him), he has pointed about 1 million Gatling guns at Turncoal and Potato Frydendouche and said “Make My Day”

    As Kelloggs says above, politics of this are horrible. Turnbull can’t challenge SA, he can kiss every state seat goodbye especially The Fixer. He can’t get on board with this plan even though deep down he probably agrees with it, as the Coalition will eviscerate him.

    What can he do?

    Outenflanken ze krafty Southerners? Announce a gassendomestikrezervazionpolitiken und an even bigger battery? It could be like Itchy and Scratchy with their guns, but with batteries, so even more entertaining.

    “My batteries are bigger than yours”

    Sorry I obviously need a lie down

    • Nice comment. I like your style. Commenters like you are the antidote ? ? to the paid trolls from the Minerals Council who infest this place. Keep it up!

  13. There are two quite different uses for batteries:

    1- To even out very short-term daily fluctuations that last a few minutes or very few hours.
    2- To even out the longer-term fluctuations due to the day/night or winter/summer changes

    The first use for batteries makes some sense. The second use absolutely not. The media are deliberately confounding these two uses for batteries and grossly exaggerating the usefulness of batteries.

    I suggest that Turnbull call back his legal bulldogs and just lets South Australia demonstrate to the public how the whole fake Renewable Energy story is fake.

    According to the International Energy Agency, Renewable Energy has received a US$410 billion subsidy over the past 5 years.

    http://www.ibtimes.com.au/renewable-energy-sources-solar-wind-receive-subsidies-2030-research-says-1546832

    Using wind to replace coal is equivalent to going back to the technology used by Captain Cook.

    • Actually alfred, it’s not a bad idea for Turnbull and Frydenburg to get out of the way. Those who say something can’t be done obviously need to step out of the way of those doing it.

      Whether the outcome will be as you predict is another matter. Clearly whatever was done before, privatisation and market regulation, hasn’t worked, so trying a different tack is logical. Point is, we’ll never know unless we try.

      As to your point about batteries, the SA proposal has batteries in association with gas. So, batteries in this case support the system while the turbines spin up, maybe half an hour or so.

      As for subsidies? How much have we been subsidising coal for? Example, building rail lines for Adani. Health effects of coal burning paid for by others. Healthcare isn’t free, and if the coal industry hasn’t paid directly, that’s a subsidy.

      • According to the IEA, coal subsidies are derisory. I am not saying that in Australia they are not trying to give away coal to India and Japan almost for free – but that is obviously something that is also wrong.

        Here is a good explanation of the on-going insanity in South Australia. Politicians just cannot take their mitts off energy. They are all in denial as to the total failure of RE.

        “Battery powered SA, could be 100% renewable for just $60 – $90 billion”

        http://joannenova.com.au/2017/03/battery-powered-sa-could-be-100-renewable-for-just-60-90-billion/

      • OMG Joanne Nova. LOLZ

        It’s like I am off the coast at Eden and I have two of the most epic Kingie lures in the world and 10 lines out the boat and I am jigging in a massive school of 1m Kingies and I get a 10x hookup IT IS THE MOST EPIC TROLLING I HAVE EVER SEEN

      • Jo Nova. Yep, every scumbag lying fossilfuel whore on the planet gets trotted out here.

    • I suggest that Turnbull call back his legal bulldogs and just lets South Australia demonstrate to the public how the whole fake Renewable Energy story is fake. renewable energy is the future

      Fixed.

      Whew, trolling is falling on hard times here. ? ?

      • This RE nonsense is all based on the “Global Warming” scam.

        Germany is a leader in RE – and that would have had disastrous consequences this past December (10 days with no wind and no sun) and January (two period of 5 days each and no RE). Luckily for Germany, Polish coal power stations, French atomic power stations and Norwegian hydro plus Czech … rescued them. The country would have otherwise been on it knees.

        Here is the German weather service that has been caught out blatantly lying and hiding its own data. FYI, it has been cooling in Germany for decades:

        “German Scientists Slam DWD German Weather Service Concealment Of February Cooling Trend!”

        http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.wmoBmkLX.dpbs

        And here is the temperature dropping at Germany’s highest mountain:

        Station At Germany’s Highest Summit Measures Midwinter Cooling Of Over -3°C Over Past 30 Years!

        http://notrickszone.com/2017/02/14/station-at-germanys-highest-summit-measures-midwinter-cooling-of-over-3c-over-past-30-years/#sthash.16gq77bc.dpuf

        Of course, it is impossible for the temperature to drop for 30 years up there in Central Europe without something similar happening all over Western Europe. This station is on the Austrian border and close to Italy and Switzerland.

      • You’re a bot, aren’t you? Never respond properly, always link to the ironically-named fossil fuel funded site ‘notrickszone’

        Germany’s renewable energy boom is making life miserable for fossil-fuel producers

        As more wind and solar capacity comes online, the value of fossil fuel-burning plants has plummeted. Both RWE and EON, its main German competitor, have written down the value of their power plants by some €30 billion in recent years, according to Bloomberg, especially since German policymakers announced an aggressive “Energy Transition” (Energiewende) in 2010.

      • “As more wind and solar capacity comes online, the value of fossil fuel-burning plants has plummeted.”

        obviously, if you are forced to have fossil-fuel plants on standby and only pay them for the time the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining that is going to cost a lot of money. These things are not designed to be back-up for the windmills.

        If you are only allowed to run a car factory when the wind is not blowing, you would have exactly the same result. It does not mean that the car factory is not economic.

        RE should be made to stand on its own two feet. They should be compelled to contract for fixed amounts of electricity at fixed times and dates. Fossil-fuel plants should be allowed to compete with them on price. They should have to take out insurance to cover the frequent occasions when the wind is not blowing. Obviously, the insurance tariffs would be prohibitively expensive and the business model shown to be a fraud.

      • 1- “And we’ll soon have other ways of backing up renewables with storage”
        2- ” FFs are dying”

        If this were not a serious matter, I would find these two statements laughable.

        “Stash it away in concrete bunkers, undersea bags, and other strange places”

        The article refers to some scheme by the notorious con-man Elon Musk. The guy who got a cool US$5 billion subsidy from Obama. The article says “97 percent of utility-scale storage in 2014 was in pumped-storage hydroelectric plants”. However the article does not mention that US storage is a tiny decimal of one per cent of annual US electric utility production. I suspect something like 0.001%. I will not bother analysing it any further as it is obvious click-bait with no scientific foundation.

        For a serious look at storage (in UK) check out this which is based on the existing geography (i.e. no need to dig a hole a big multiple of the size of Olympic Dam) and on tide (which is for “free”)

        “Green Mythology: Tidal Base-load Power in the UK”

        http://euanmearns.com/green-mythology-tidal-base-load-power-in-the-uk/

        The second point about fossil fuels “dying” is even more ridiculous. Why do you think the USA has spent trillions of dollars carrying out ethnic-cleansing and trying to subdue the Middle East? For its wind and solar?

        “Taking Iraq’s Oil… The Trump Edition”

        http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/02/01/taking-iraqs-oil-trump-edition

        They even carried out a putsch in Ukraine to try and grab their very limited oil resources. Biden’s son was made a director of their biggest energy company. Do you see the “Chevron” logo next to Victoria Nuland when she proclaimed that the USA had “invested” US$5 billion in overthrowing the legitimate government?

        http://s748.photobucket.com/user/jerrywork4u/media/ukrainechevron_zps34707774.png.html

        Heaven help us! Australians have never been taught critical thinking.

      • Alf, you’re such an obvious rentier troll that I won’t bother engaging with your absurd arguments (global warming is a scam, renewables should not replace coal, Musk is a criminal etc etc). ? ?

      • It’s always good to have a minion of the oil and gas lobby on here to know exactly what not to believe.
        That Alfred for your shit splat on this comments sequence.
        Your drivel only confirms why the rest of the comments in this series are the ones worth paying attention to.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      You left out : to prevent power blackout because power generators would let their power generators stay idle for $$$. There was spare capacity to prevent the blackout. It was not brought online. So the SA government need a plan to stop it from happening again.

      Building a power generator takes years. Building an array of battery will take months. That is why they went for battery. The fact that it will be using Australian technology (rather than Tesla) is even better. If it works, it can become something we can export to other countries as well, even in places that still uses coal power generation.

    • This RE nonsense is all based on the “Global Warming” scam.

      http://www.theage.com.au/comment/despair-is-not-an-option-when-it-comes-to-climate-change-20170312-guwguk.html

      During the summer of 2010-11, Western Australia had an unprecedented marine heatwave. One morning not far from where I live, beach-walkers saw seabirds massed along the shoreline. Birds as far as the eye could see. When they got closer they saw the tide-line covered with dead and dying abalone – thousands of them. The sea had suddenly gotten too hot for these molluscs to endure. So they climbed out off the limestone reefs to escape, only to find themselves – out of the frying pan and into the fire – roasting to death on the sand. A mass stranding of abalone – no one had ever seen the like before.

      Just think of it for a moment, a creature so desperate to escape its own intolerable world it casts itself ashore to die. The pathos of that. And consider what it might mean for all those other creatures, unseen and unnoticed, beneath the sunlit surface.

      Alfred – you are an idiot! How many indicators of global warming do you need??

  14. haimona12MEMBER

    I advised the Energy Security Working Group of SCER in 2010 that NEM multilateral governance arrangements would not hold up under a sustained, multi-jurisdictional, multi-fuel energy shortfall. Jurisdictions would find it difficult to resist threatening to exercise (but may not even need to trigger) their full-some energy emergency powers dating back to the 1979 Iran energy crisis. We also noted there was no formal governance role for the Commonwealth and things could get messy – examples were provided. The then representative from the AEMO gave assurances there was no problem.

    • Ah, looks like you nailed it – well done. Have you saved the relevant correspondence, so you can re-circulate it to the powers that be or the media with a big “I told you so” scrawled across the front in red pen?

      • haimona12MEMBER

        Yup still have it but there is a huge contract with confidentiality requirements so sadly can’t distribute.

    • Sounds fun. Bring it on.

      SA should really rock the boat. Perhaps even tip the whole thing over and drown all the oil and gas rats that are on board. HA!

  15. Jumping jack flash

    Of course the lawyers! If anyone can fix anything, lawyers can. And if the first lawyer-drop into the fray fails, simply keep adding more until the problem is finally fixed. Or until everyone else commits ceremonial self-disemboweling.

    Look, I don’t care one way or another as to the whole debate about renewable or non-renewable, I just want the bloody market fixed so the oligopoly can’t gouge it.
    I just want cheap electricity, or at least provided to me at cost. It is an essential resource and it is unconscionable to gouge consumers for using it. The idea that it is even a “market” is absurd. It isn’t like Joe the solar panel man can suddenly rock up and start selling cheap electricity, so it isn’t really a market then, in the truest sense of the word, is it?

    Adding more competition isn’t going to help either. Just look at the mess we made by adding competition for the sake of it to telecommunications and private health insurance. We end up being gouged even harder because all the companies then have to extract viability from a shrinking share of consumers.

  16. Only one party would be dumb enough after a near electoral wipe-out in WA on the weekend to start a fight with the next state to go to the polls. Bring it on D. N. Malcolm, see how the people of SA react to the east coast (sorry federal government) bringing in the lawyers because we wont just sit here and mindlessly consume your overpriced electricity. Why don’t you step aside and bring back Abbott too, and ensure that even those people who are dumb enough to vote Liberal think twice. I never ever thought I would support the premier in anything, but finally someone has a plan that wasn’t written by the minerals council and handed over in a carpark late at night in a brown envelope with a promise of gratitude at campaign time.

    • I fully agree with you.

      WA should get off fossil fuels as soon as possible. Batteries are a great idea. They have been around for 200 years – but they offer plenty of possibilities for improvements. Go for it. And I will be watching from the sidelines with a big smirk on my face. 🙂

    • If I understand you correctly, you think that the same politicians who would accept money from coal miners would not accept any from those who sell turbines, “consulting services” and all the associated rabble. Dream on mate!

      US$410 billion has been spent on RE subsidies worldwide to date. Is that not enough to make people like Musk salivate?

      • US$410 billion has been spent on RE subsidies worldwide to date.

        Dubious in the extreme, coming from a rentier troll, but even if it were true, it’s vital that we support renewables in order to survive on this planet.

        Of course fossil fuel subsidies are much, MUCH larger. A 2016 study estimated that global fossil fuel subsidies were $5.3 trillion in 2015, which represents 6.5% of global GDP.

      • Revert2Mean,

        You are unable to answer my points so once again your resort to insults. Your lack of intelligence and knowledge about this subject is transparent to any objective 3rd party. Please don’t bother trolling me. I am of independent-means and retired. I went to the foremost school of engineering in the UK – at a time when only 5% of youngsters managed to get into university at all. Of course, they have dumbed down the exams in order to allow 50% of them to go there nowadays.

        History and geography are no longer taught at school – let alone Latin. The maths tests are a joke to anyone with my background.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2066676/Economy-under-threat-as-maths-exams-are-dumbed-down-says-think-tank.html

        Go ahead plug in your batteries – and join the 3rd world economies.

        Captain Cook used wind-power so I hope that your dream comes true and hits you where it really hurts.

      • Revert2Mean

        Euan is in Aberdeen, Scotland. I am in Melbourne, Australia. He is a good engineer though. 🙂

      • He is a good engineer though.

        If by ‘good’ you mean a faithful purveyor of His Master’s Voice, the fossil fuel industries.