Suddenly the NEG is a big, fat coal subsidy

Emissions trajectories are out of control, via The Guardian:

Australia’s emissions over the past year were again the highest on record when unreliable data from land use and forestry sectors are excluded, according to new data from NDEVR Environmental.

If the country’s greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, Australia will miss its Paris target by a billion tonnes of CO2, which is equal to about two years of Australia’s entire national emissions.

NDEVR replicates the federal government’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) quarterly reports, but releases them months ahead of the official data. Previous NDEVR reports’ figures have been within 1% of the official figures when they are eventually released.

And the answer is more coal! Via The Australian:

Coalition MPs have been told a plan to bring on extra base-load power through either new coal or gas is being drafted by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg as an “add-on” energy policy to the ­national energy guarantee, in a move that will lock in future supply and head off a ­potential internal government ­rebellion.

A senior government source last night confirmed that Mr Frydenberg had assured colleagues that he would address concerns about the NEG and the lack of support for coal.

The move comes as Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, acting on the authority of the Nationals partyroom, will lobby Malcolm Turnbull for ­additional measures to drive new investment in coal-fired power stations amid growing unrest over the government’s signature energy policy.

Time for the states to kill it, via Domainfax:

The Turnbull government’s signature energy plan fails to anticipate sudden exits of ailing coal-fired power plants and could lock in targets for a decade – two key design flaws that incline the ACT government to block it, Shane Rattenbury, the territory’s energy minister said.

“It’s very difficult for us to sign up [to the National Energy Guarantee] in the current form,” Mr Rattenbury told Fairfax Media. His support will be crucial for the NEG to succeed because it requires all states and territories to sign up. The Federal Government hopes the NEG will reduce power prices, cut carbon emissions and improve reliability of the grid.

Damn right. Tear it up. Chaos and state targets are better.

Houses and Holes
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    • To me it looked bloody confusing! I think that was the point though. Make some sort of hybrid of renewables/coal thingo confusing enough to hopefully keep Tony Abbott and his Monash Group nutters from tearing the Coalition apart so that Malcolm and Friends could at least get something legislated and agreed upon and take energy security off the agenda until after the next election.

    • Jumping jack flash

      There’s not much else they can do except throw money at stuff to try and fix problems.

  1. Everybody loves coal. Baristas should give away a lump of coal with every coffee they make. We could combine the two things this country can do.

    • I listened in disbelief, outside of politics, replies to questions like that would have discipline consequences, whether in a family matter, employment or even courts. Why do politicians feel that getaway all the time with this?

  2. My working hypothesis since the NEG was “unveiled” was that the desired effect was to shift wholesale revenue toward coal generation to keep coal generation in the game longer than otherwise. The emissions bit was just window dressing. The effect is higher volumes of forward generated capacity contracted, and therefore higher prices (and emissions) than otherwise. This would become apparent from a half decent regulatory impact statement (RIS). A RIS is mandatory for all Commonwealth regulations that materially restrict competition, which is the whole point of the NEG – it is a regulatory instrument, not a market instrument. No RIS is being undertaken. Why? Because it wouldn’t stack up.
    Improving forward liquidity (which is different from the volume of capacity contracted) would be beneficial and an intervention could be justifiable (but that is not what the NEG is about).

  3. Just let the rest of the region power their generators using Australian gas and we’ll use coal. I think that there should also be a coal levy on every MW of solar to subsidise any overseas owners of the coal mines and power stations. If the AUD goes south they need to be compensated for the loss of revenue.