Why does Josh want Pauline to set climate policy?

NEG propaganda is now as widespread as climate change itself, at The Australian:

The Australian Energy Market Operator could be forced to intervene more often to prevent blackouts in Victoria, as energy users warn of extra costs in excess of $300 million if Labor states veto the national energy guarantee.

Large energy users across the country fear being hit with even higher prices next year after consumers were slugged $50m when the AEMO had to use its emergency powers to force load-­shedding during two days of peak demand during summer.

Amid the threat of higher prices, state energy ministers were warned by business groups and the Clean Energy Council at a private stakeholders meeting in Sydney last night that they needed to back the NEG at today’s Council of Australian Governments meeting for the good of the nation.

Industry has completely lost it here. Thanks to obscene complexity, entrenched oligopolies and slowed renewable investment, the NEG will keep prices up not lower them, as The Australia Institute confirms today:

A large electricity supply system, like the NEM grid, has often been likened to a gigantic machine, with a great many different moving parts. In order to get the best outcome and the cheapest price we need to look at the whole system and not just focus on individual parts. The NEG is only concerned with one narrow solution, dispatchable power, and by doing this it is failing to give electricity consumers and all Australians the best solution that is going to be of the most benefit. The NEG’s narrow solution is not only going to be more expensive it is also does not take proper account of the long term change that the electricity sector is undergoing. At best, the NEG can be seen as an expensive Band-Aid that will eventually have to be ripped off.

Under AEMO’s base case (Neutral) scenario the total renewable share of NEM grid generation reaches 41% in 2030. If rooftop PV is included, the renewable share reaches 48%. The modelling approach means that these levels of renewable supply are perfectly consistent with a secure and reliable supply system, provided that investments have been directed in a timely manner to the required mix of new transmission and other grid service augmentations. Under some other approaches the renewable share reaches nearly 70%, again without compromising security and reliability.

A case study of the effectiveness of the system optimisation approach is provided by the South Australian part of the NEM system. After completion of a new high capacity synchronous interconnector, called RiverLink, between South Australia and New South Wales, during the early 2020s, AEMO concludes that this will be sufficient, in combination with the other new types of grid services described in the report, to eliminate the need for local, continuously operating synchronous, dispatchable generation. Consequently, the model closes all four “baseload” gas generators in the state in 2025, while also, by definition, delivering lower cost bulk electricity than would have been the case had gas generators remained open.

Meanwhile, via the AFR on the NEG impasse:

Victoria’s key conditions are that the emissions reduction target never go backwards, that future targets be set by regulation, be set every three years and three years in advance, and there be a transparency registry to ensure the NEG works in the best interests of consumers.

The sticking point will be the setting of the target by regulation, which is a ministerial decision. Mr Frydenberg refused again on Thursday to budge, saying legislation, which must pass both houses of Parliament, would guard against ad hoc changes to the target which would undermine the investor certainty the NEG aimed to create.

“We are not acceding to their demands, they are demands dictated to by the Greens,” he said.

Given the nature of Australia’s screwed up senate, which is currently controlled by anti-science loons in One Nation, why does Frydenberg want to hand them the power of veto for any change to the NEG’s weak and already met carbon mitigation targets? There is no doubt what they would do. Previously via The Australian:

Key Senate crossbenchers Pauline Hanson and David Leyon­hjelm have warned Malcolm Turnbull they could sink his ­national energy guarantee if he is forced to rely on independent support to secure his signature ­energy reform.

The One Nation Leader said yesterday she was “strongly against” the NEG, and wanted to pull out of the Paris climate deal that required Australia to cut 2005-level emissions by 26 per cent.

“Why should we comply with the UN Paris agreement when major Paris signatories refuse to comply and we sell them our coal?” Senator Hanson told The Australian from a cruise ship off Ireland. “What we need is cheap, reliable electricity and to harness our natural supply of high-quality coal in new low-emissions, coal-fired power stations.”

Senator Hanson, who controls two Senate votes, said government policies favouring renewable energy had made it almost impossible to secure financing for new coal-fired power stations, which she said would deliver cheaper power.

If ever there was a case to allow technocratic decision making then the NEG emissions reduction targets is surely it.

But then that’s not the case if the NEG’s only real goal is to appear to be doing something on climate change while doing absolutely nothing, thus uniting the Coalition’s various splintered support groups in a giant illusion of action.

Victoria is so right. It should absolutely hold the line against this politicised trash policy.


  1. Ronin8317MEMBER

    To keep everyone happy, just buy the coal powered generator, turn it into a tourist attractions, and only turn it on during the few hot periods in summer.