Morrison gas unplan to lift power bills

Sadly, yes, at Domain:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s push to deliver 1000 megawatts of new gas-fired power capacity into the nation’s main energy grid could discourage investment in battery technology, imperil the clean energy transition and risk financial losses for the taxpayer-backed Snowy Hydro scheme.

Experts and industry insiders told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had not forecast any shortfall in dispatchable energy (power that can crank up quickly to fill gaps in the electricity grid).

“There is little need for peaking power in the National Electricity Market until 2030, and no need for baseload gas fired power,” said Matthew Rennie, strategy partner with EY Port Jackson Partners.

“Subsidising excess gas-fired capacity in the market would substantially dampen the investment signals for battery and other new energy technologies, which will not be able to price their services to the market efficiently.”

Not could, will. And renewable storage power is already cheaper than gas-fired power at $10Gj:

Australian energy costs compared

And will soon be MUCH cheaper:

Price of solar and batteries over next 5 years
Price of solar and batteries over next 5 years

That’s the price we pay for a corrupt government. Your power bill is now a direct subsidy to fossil-fuel power because the gas cartel owns the government.

All I can say is, get off-grid as soon as you can.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. NSW folks should keep an eye out for the govt’s interest free loan scheme for PV battery (including backfill of battery to PV only and augment existing PV AND add battery). I think the eval in Hunter called for a wider roll out.

    or check out (discl: I have no financial interest in them)

    • Are these interest free loans like Harvey Normans interest free programs? The interest is baked into the price and if you offer cash you can get the product much cheaper.

  2. “Subsidising excess gas-fired capacity in the market ..”

    All subsidies distort economic signals (and therefore the market and prevent its natural progression). That’s why they’re inherently bad. Not to mention the heinous waste of taxpayer loot.

  3. Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

    1. Start with solar PV on your roof – if you aren’t a renter or have total shading or live in a dog box. There will be more restrictions on solar PV coming so get them installed soon and if you can go as big as possible. Pay a little more for quality panels, you don’t want to get fifth rate equipment that needs replacing in 3 years.
    2. If you receive a very low Feed in Tariff for your surplus power into grid then try to have some east and west facing panels as that will help you self consume more power (and save more money).
    3. Try to load shift to match your solar production ie run your pool pumps / dishwasher / laundry etc during the day when your solar is generating.
    4. Reduce your phantom load – a lot of devices chew up power even when in standby mode, work out which ones and switch them off at the wall or your power board. My TV was using 20W per hour in standby and my multipurpose printer about 30W.
    5. Make sure your inverter is battery compatible – then look at partial storage i.e. enough battery storage to cover you for a night of usage. My household has 4 teen/adults so I have installed a 10kW hour battery. It will cover normal nighttime usage including running the AC for 1-2 hours. It also acts as a backup for my fridge+freezers during a blackout. Single or couple households or smaller houses could get away with less battery.
    6. Going off grid is still very expensive unless you are powering a caravan for 1-2 eco minded types. The problem is you need a lot of battery storage for use during winter when your panels might have low production. I’ve seen some recommend 3-4 days worth which would be very expensive. A cheaper option is some battery plus a generator of some type for use in those unusual situations. If you are building near edge of grid then that is different as you might have to pay a lot of money just to connect to grid so there it would make sense purely to avoid that impost.

    • Thanks – agree with all of that except the battery part – IMO the cost of batteries still outweighs the benefit (on purely economic grounds – appreciate there are some psychological reasons to make it worthwhile).

  4. I’m getting quotes right now for 9kW of panels plus a big battery, with the facility to sell power back to the grid as part of a virtual power plant scheme.

    I’m genuinely excited. 🙂

  5. Arthur Schopenhauer

    As the comments above illustrate, this policy is going to accelerate the adoption of household renewables.

  6. scottb1978MEMBER

    Even with the gas cartel owning the government I still think it will be taken out of their hands very soon. Large scale batteries are rapidly dropping in price worldwide and they will pay for themselves very quickly.

  7. I would lurve to have a gas peaking plant. Imagine being able to charge up to $14k per MWh for a 30 minute slot. Those pesky battery systems are liable to destroy such an opportunity by removing peak loads. So un-Australian.