Culture war on AGL continues

Question: what relevance does this have? From The Australian:

The head of government relations with energy giant AGL is a graduate of Al Gore’s climate-change leadership program whose move to the corporate world last year follows a quest to “change the system from within”.

Tony Chappel is part of AGL’s executive team responsible for engaging with federal and state governments and local communities as the nation’s largest coal-fired power producer.

He is helping AGL managing director Andy Vesey’s policy for an “orderly transition” out of coal to renewable energy as the company encounters protests that its plans to shut down the Liddell power station in the NSW Hunter Valley could threaten power supplies.

Mr Chappel, who joined AGL as head of government and community relations in February last year, has been a chief of staff to NSW Liberal minister Rob Stokes, and linked to his party’s moderate faction. He is a former president of the Young Liberals in NSW and was once touted as a candidate in the Sydney state seats of Davidson or Ku-ring-gai.

Mr Chappel told The Australian in 2011 that he had “started to feel quite disconnected” from some policy positions taken by the federal Liberal Party almost a decade earlier, especially on climate change. “I got quite uncomfortable, especially since their position ignored the science,” he said.

Answer: none.


  1. We need more chaps like Chappel, sounds like he has some integrity. Funny that the Australian is trying to stitch him up for being rational an following science over the vibe.

  2. “The head of government relations with energy giant AGL is a graduate of Al Gore’s climate-change leadership program whose move to the corporate world last year follows a quest to “change the system from within”.
    oh that’s rich coming from The Government Gazette.

  3. This is a political hatchet piece out to destroy whatever future career the guy may have within the LNP. Someone is unhappy he may get pre-selection?

    • I think it’s just The Australian freaking out over someone potentially expressing views diverging from it’s idiotic AGW denialism.
      The job is to silence/disgrace/discount/devalue this person.

  4. Let’s face it, AGLs bearded man ads are woeful. A middling advertising agency’s interpretation of the green concerned consumer (there aren’t many of them as the Qantas tick to pay for your carbon footprint will affirm).

    A more truthful adaption would’ve been a South Australian family melting on 40 degree day, aircon stuffed because no power and a harried mum opening the energy bill.

    • HAHHAH Qantas Tick to Pay for Carbon Offset a Proxy for concern about the environment. I’ve heard it all now.

      Clown man.

      I did forget, you’re fresh from your reprising role as Stephen King’s IT (2 point Oh) and brain still a little addled from the Hollywood H00kers and Blow parties though that’s odd as your mining masters no doubt have your deeply ensconsed in a world of Gentlemen Who Like To Play Pups (and play h00kers and Blow) so your use of this device is weird to say the least

  5. Solar and wind energy are transforming AGL from a business providing value to the Australian economy to a parasite that will destroy its host. The company is increasing revenue at an exponential rate riding high on the transition to unrenewable wind and solar generation; revenue increasing 4-fold in the past decade. Their unsubsidised low cost coal generating assets will be closed down so they can feast on massive increase in revenue from high cost gas fuelled generation and massively subsidised, worst than useless, wind and solar assets.

    The next generation will look back on this folly as an incredibly expensive exercise driven by a misguided belief; that all the investment in solar panels and wind turbines can actually reduce CO2 output. It cannot. It may shift the output from Australia to China but there will be no net reduction. Demand for Australian coal will remain strong so that China and like nations can build the equipment demanded to maintain this illusion.

    AGL is one of the first mining and energy businesses to appreciate the potential windfall from the rush to unrenewable wind and solar generation. Others will soon join the bandwagon once they realise how much economic activity it will generate and how their slice of the economic pie will grow. The FIRE slice will become a fraction of the mining and energy sector. All downstream treatment will move offshore. If Tomago freezes this year the smelter will be unlikely to restart. Better to do downstream processing in China where reliable coal fired and nuclear generation are abundant.

    The other growing business will be government hardship assistance for the poor soles stranded on very expensive grid power. The NEM has a limited life span because its value is being destroyed by increasing connection of intermittent generators. Buffered generation from wind and solar requires a wholesale price of $500/MWh with lowest overall cost capacity factors in the range 4 to 5%. This means installed rating at least 20 times the average demand; a row of wind generator on every ridge and solar panels on every roof.

    • I’m not sure I’d be so cynical as to simply imply that AGL’s revenue growth plans can be directly linked to it’s growing interest in Renewables. I’d like to believe that they can simply see the need to change and are profiting from our social need for change.
      As you point out from a simple engineering perspective suggesting that Solar/Wind/Batteries can provide reliable Manufacturing power is bat shit crazy talk.
      It’s one thing to try to service variable electricity demand with somewhat matched variable generation resources (as in PV output peaks when the sun shines and Residential AC loads also peak when the sun shines) but many (maybe even most) manufacturing loads look rather constant over time and often even constant day vs night as such they require a constant cost constantly available/reliable power source.
      Can you imagine a large fully automated Manufacturing plant ever wanting to deal with the vagaries of Intermittent Renewable power, it’s stupid to even suggest this as a solution. But if that’s what the public wants from AGL and that’s what they’re paying AGL to create than they’ll need to get creative if they want to remain profitable. …the profits just won’t come from supporting the manufacturing sector…

      • AGL have a large number of captive customers who cannot afford to produce their own power – there is no competition here for a company that owns a good proportion of all the generating assets – coal, gas, wind and solar in the market. Customers will be required to pay whatever it costs plus profits. Transfer payments through LGCs and guaranteed market access ensure that. Any business that is building grid scale solar and wind that owns the coal and gas generating assets are in the driver’s seat. Right now 20,000 of AGL’s electricity customers are on hardship programs – bleeding the last drop of blood. Even large customers like Portland smelter are on hardship support through state and federal subsidies so this is further subsidising the high cost of renewable generation into the grid. AGL have embraced wind and solar generation because it is a gold mine of government subsidies and transfer payments through LGCs from trapped consumers to them.

        The grid will remain but with very expensive power having wholesale price rising to around $500/MWh. Anyone who has the capacity, in terms of capital and space, can produce power at their socket for the same price as the wholesale price using wind and solar so they will. Hence the grid costs are spread over a much smaller customer base. I expect all shopping centres are eyeing off their rooftops and basements as potential generating and storage assets. Once they start going off grid you will know the NEM is on its way out as an economic asset. It simply becomes a means for AGL and other energy companies to make the trapped customers poorer. There is early stages of lobbying to ensure more customers stay trapped.

        If AGL had any moral responsibility it would be pointing out high electricity prices must rise to achieve various levels of solar and wind generation into the grid but that would prematurely kill the goose with their golden egg. With the idealogical support from State governments and the general lack of technical competence among government advisers this can go on for a long time before reality bites.

        Less than 40% of consumers equate high electricity costs with wind and solar penetration when it is blindingly obvious if they had any ability to analyse. It will go on for a long time before sense prevails.

  6. The nutty feds should have just let electricity supply remain the responsibility of state governments. Renewable energy targets? Just have state-based ones. And the states do have renewable energy targets…

    In 2001, there were newspaper articles published saying “if Perth gets power cuts in summer, the state government will lose the election”. The feds had nothing to do with electricity, water, and minimum wages then!

    Having the same minimum wage across AUS has been a disaster too. Of course the minimum wage in ACT should be much higher than in Tasmania.

  7. the_bystanderMEMBER

    My GOD, senior management in AGL not only listen to scientific experts and BELIEVE what these experts tell them, but they also want to try and take the initiative to ADDRESS THE PROBEM?!?
    How DARE they: why aren’t they reading poorly written blogs where non-expert ‘skeptics’ lie and mislead gullible people about the climate SCAM that the Jewish banking cartel and the UN are perpetrating in order to create a NEW WORLD ORDER!!!!!?!!?!1111!

  8. Given our export trade in coal & gas – the oppportunity was to have the overseas buyer pay to not only ensure reservation, but that Australian electricity generation & domestic gas use was subsidised.
    510 million tonnes exported.
    55 million tonnes domestic =11% onshore.

    2200 PJ LNG exported
    550 PJ domestic = 25% onshore.

    Imagine the Australian industry & cost of living advantage. The overseas buyer could have easily paid that as of the deal.

    Now we have the situation of the Australian consumer and industry being bled white by these companies as a subsidy to their overseas buyer contracts & the $200 billion blown in development of the gas exports…

    The highest retail prices & network charge gouging in the world destroying our standard of living, destroying industry & jobs, and billions wasted in uneconomic climate change & inneffective solar & wind ideology.

    Every mistake was made here in the national interest.