Terry McCrann is an energy clown

Honestly, Tez, this is just poppycock:

Thank you Mike for so promptly demonstrating the truth of what I wrote about Origin’s proposed closure of a real power station, Eraring.

That it would have a cascading impact on all the other real – coal-fired – power stations; forcing their accelerated closures, because the totally destructive and destabilising impact of ever-increasing so-called renewables in the grid rendered the real stations unable to function.

…AGL and Australia’s energy future, the bid is an even bigger – and thoroughly sick – joke. The bidding duo’s core proposal is to replace 7GW (7000MW) of existing AGL real 24/7 coal and gas generation, with “a build-out of at least 8 GW of clean energy and storage (batteries)”. Let’s say, for example, that’s 6GW of wind/solar and 2GW of batteries.

When the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine – for at least 8 hours every night and often 24 hours through a full day – that 6GW could and will drop close to zero; the 2GW of batteries will run flat in a couple of hours. Hullo blackouts; hullo brownouts. And very expensive power, as in even crazier Europe.

That is laughable rot for a veteran business commentator. Did Cannon-Brooks knock together his $30bn proposal in three days?

As well, full grid capacity is rarely if ever required in the real world. Moreover, if the new AGL leaves the grid short, even in the planning phase, then that presents a marvelous opportunity for every other renewable energy provider to gallop into the gap and they will. There’s an $880bn queue to do so.

So long as there is competition, and there is oodles of it in the renewable energy sector, then capitalism and markets abhor areas of excess profitability and new investment will pile in.

This is exactly what has happened over the past five years as the gas cartel drove energy prices mad. Something Tez never bothered to write about despite it being bald-faced energy treason. Competing renewable energy piled in and crushed prices again.

Finally, Australia is nothing like Europe. It has the best renewable energy endowment of wind and sun assets on the planet.

Tezza McCrann’s energy doggerel shouldn’t make it past a semi-literate sub-editor.

Houses and Holes
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  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Teza McCrann’s energy doggerel shouldn’t make it past a semi-literate sub-editor.”

    Time to put Teza out to pasture and send Gotti and Peter Martin with him.

  2. Uncle WattleberryMEMBER

    I feel for the guy, you know? Fancy having to spout that nonsense just to keep your job working for Rupert’s Aussie flagship. It has to hurt.

    • As he slaps down the black Amex for another lunch of braised deer p3n!s and schooners of Drambuie (12th Man style) I’ll bet it doesn’t hurt that much.

      He probably lolz a bit as he taps it out. I can see it now. A single malt Balvenie in one hand, a furrowed brow with a dash of whimsy. “Hrrrm *slurp* what nonsense shall I write to justify my oversized paycheck tomorrow. Hmm what has happened today upon which I can wax lyrical whilst keeping our LNP donors happy. *checks headlines* What fresh hell is this? That very smart billionaire and multi billion dollar investment machine has just lobbed a well priced offer for AGL. This one’s easy. I’ll just reach for my usual bloviating inanity. Love!!! Love? Can you order a table for two at the brasserie for 7, I’ll have this dross knocked up in 5.”

      Sound about right?

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Rupert’s companies political arm, the LNP, are now clearly a bunch of incompetent clowns. So the company has to fall back more on the stenographers at his various media properties to prosecute his particular brand of fiction. Getting a bit late to shuffle the deck chairs before the election…

  3. Old enough to remember when the LNP and all Rupert’s press barons used to go on about market forces and how Mr Market always made the best choice, yet here they (mostly) all are trying to stop the great capitalist markets from operating as they should. If a new technology can come along and replace an aging technology it just shows how badly some executives have judged the market, no doubt because they have been listening to the propaganda from the LNP, Rupeterian etc for decades.

  4. Simple. IPA has LNP as it’s political wing, NEWS LTD as the propaganda arm. Just like Pravda and the China Daily.

    The reason IPA backed the News Ltd start in the 20’s.

  5. Jumping jack flash

    This is just nonsense. Solar plus storage is a viable solution. It needn’t be batteries, compressed air is not a bad solution, neither is using pumped hydro.

    And if we don’t want to use the large-scale grid solutions there’s always household batteries. But the reality is the grids need to release their restrictions on “grid-attached” inverter sizes, or, the cost of multiple household batteries needs to come down. Batteries will surely come down in price, but that will only happen as more people buy them, and it makes no sense to buy them presently due to the cost and inverter restrictions.

    Score 1 to the grids, at least for now.

    • But who pays for the storage? it is clearly not profitable on it’s own at this point or people would be building it already, no?
      That’s the entire gist of the argument here.

  6. full grid capacity is rarely if ever required in the real world.

    This is the biggest problem for free market solution, who is going to build capacity that is only needed for a week or 2 a year? There is not a great deal of profit left on the table if it is only needed even a few months a year.

    • 1% capacity factors have been viable in the past. There are a few reciprocating engine’s burning diesel that essentially offer insurance to the market and earn their income from selling high strike price options (caps). The market design theoretically lends itself to this kind of solution – but in the past they were a curiosity. Shortly we will have all manner of curiosities trying to manage the exit of legacy firm power.

      • “1% capacity factors have been viable in the past.”

        Sure. In the past where the grid was centrally managed for reliability and all generators could be allotted to produce X amount of power a year and profits shared across all generators as desired.
        In a free market auction lowest bidder gets to provide the power environment as currently exists on the other hand?

        • No. It was the market that gave rise to them. With a market price that can exceed $10,000/MWh, say 200 times the average price, lots of parties have an incentive to seek insurance. This created the cap market. The caps allow reserve providers to monetise the reliability they offer.

      • Absolute BeachMEMBER

        “Shortly we will have all manner of curiosities trying to manage the exit of legacy firm power.”
        You mean elegant solutions to complex problems. Like Storedot Ltd in Israel with true fast charge auto batteries (5 min charge gives around 100 miles), all the possible uses for vehicle-to-grid charging, etc. And firming technology is all just gaining momentum compared to automotive- but you want to throw in the towel cos it’s hard to begin?

        • You misread me. I have no problem with such solutions. The dynamics of a hyper volatile market presents unique opportunities. Neoen has already shown what’s possible at Horndale but it’s a solution to only a small part of the problem. As the big thermals head to the graveyard the challenges become greater. Market solutions are my preference but we are playing a dangerous game and putting dogma ahead of hard headed reality runs the risk of ruin.

          • ‘ Neoen has already shown what’s possible at Horndale ‘
            entirely funded by government money even for an upgrade that would have highly accurate cost/income/profit projections. Clearly the investors think/know it’s a money loser.

  7. Renewable generators, up to now, have been free riders on the firm capacity provided by the legacy generators. Sure some of them are building modest storage schemes but these guys are mostly just glorified developers. Find a site, stitch up the contracts, flog it to a dumb super fund. Rinse and repeat.

    In the past the SECVs and Pacific Power’s of the world had detailed long term plans for managing capacity requirements across all timeframes – milliseconds to decades. Those institutions have gone the way of the Dodo but just because their successors wrap themselves in greenery and mouth the sacred ESG liturgies we shouldn’t imagine they are looking further than their own pocket. By all means bring on the transition – but blackouts and turmoil would bring it to a screeching halt.

    • Their successor for long term planning is Mr Market. But as usual short term profits seem a much higher concern than trivialities like grid reliability.

      • Well AEMO has a planning role, but it’s true that the green developers have an incentive to guild the lilly on the firm capacity their projects provide and downplay any requirement for market reform to address capacity concerns. They may well be right. Perhaps the market will get it right and novel forms of capacity will save the day. But many of the players speak with forked tongues behind a facade of faux environmental activism. We just need to be careful to gain the benefits of pirate capitalism and avoid it’s pitfalls.

        • What can they plan and how do they implement it? Order private entities to build generators of the type they desire?

          • They set out a “statement of opportunities”. It’s up to the market to respond – and up to now it has. But the changes that are afoot are vast so it’s an open question as to whether it can continue to work.

          • Up to now legacy assets bought for cents on the $$ have been the response. How much new build has there been since deregulation that isn’t govt subsidised?