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Fact-checking Craig Kelly is a full-time job

Craig Kelly’s facebook page could keep an army of fact-checkers in full-time employment. It is obvious he is being fed articles to post. What is equally obvious is that he doesn’t read them or do any checking before he adds his juvenile comments.

Take this post from April 7:


To put that 656,000 MW in context, the Northern Power Station, which was prematurely closed and blown up in South Australia had a capacity of 520MW.

So as of January 2018, across the globe there were the equivalent of over 1,200 coal-fired power stations (the size of the Northern Power Station) under construction.

And yet we hear pathetic attempts by green rent-seekers to misled and deceive by claiming ‘’coal is on the way out’’ – and ‘’there is really not that many being built’’.

And meanwhile, to keep their subsidy loaded gravy-train from derailing – and to keep electricity prices artificially higher, they use all types of deceptions to con people into believing we shouldn’t even build just 1 x 1000MW Power station to replace those that have closed in Australia.

Next time a green rent-seeker or one of their acolytes claims, ‘’renewables are cheaper than coal’’ – ask them;

’Then why do 60 countries around the world have more than half a million megawatts of coal-fired capacity under construction ? – Are they all stupid ?’

Mr Kelly quotes, as his source, a report by Coalswarm titled Boom and Bust 2018 TRACKING THE GLOBAL COAL PLANT PIPELINE and includes a table to support his claims.

So what does the report actually say?

Firstly, Mr Kelly only shows part of the table, omitting the column which showed that 635,000 MW of coal power capacity had been shelved.

Whilst he says that 656,000 MW is under “active development”, what he neglects to point out is that only 209,566 MW of that is actually under construction, the other 446,624 MW being in the pre-construction phase and may never be built.

In October, China announced it would stop or delay work on 151 planned and under-construction coal plants as Beijing struggles to respond to a flat-lining of demand for coal power.

The claim that there are “the equivalent of 1200 power stations” under construction and that 60 countries are involved in active development of new coal-fired power is misleading. According to the report Mr Kelly is selectively quoting:

Although ongoing construction is currently underway at 260 locations in 35 countries, construction starts are more geographically confined. During 2017, construction started at 62 locations in twelve countries, including 45 greenfield locations and 17 locations where existing power stations were adding units. The twelve countries where construction starts took place were Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, and South Korea. Of these, only seven countries (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, and South Korea) started construction at more than one location.

Craig Kelly’s claim that renewables are keeping electricity prices artificially high is just wrong – unless he considers Rod Sims, the head of the ACCC, a “green rent-seeker”.

Addressing the National Press Club last September, Mr Sims said that “Forty-one per cent of the increase in electricity prices over the last 10 years has been in network costs and we keep forgetting that.”

He went on: “Those poles and wires that run down your street are the main reason you are paying too much for your electricity.”

According to Mr Sims, extra retail charges account for 24 per cent of the higher prices while higher generation costs as a result of a failure to invest make up 19 per cent of the price hikes.

Green energy initiatives contribute just 16 per cent to the recent price hikes.

And that’s not to mention every price rise being compounded by the 10% GST added on by the Liberal Party when they decided in 2000 that electricity was a luxury rather than a necessity.

If we look at the price of electricity from existing coal-fired power stations, and ignore the cost of health and environmental consequences, Kelly is correct to say that currently coal is cheaper than renewables.

But when nine of Australia’s 12 biggest operating coal-fired power stations are more than 30 years old, we must decide what they will be replaced with and, for new builds, renewables are significantly cheaper than coal and can be built much faster.

To paraphrase Mr Kelly, the next time the minerals council or one of their acolytes claims, “coal is cheaper than renewables”, ask them “Then why has there been a 73% drop in construction starts of coal plants over the last two years and why did 195 countries sign up to the Paris Agreement? Are they all stupid?”



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  1. flohri1754

    Very well dissected and examined … more good work from your keyboard Kaye L.

  2. guest

    Just the question Why did 195 countries sign up to the Paris Agreement? is beyond the understanding of people like Kelly.

    If they do know anything about Climate Change, they do not want to know, let alone talk about it. If they do talk about it, they get it wrong every time.

  3. Rezenebe

    Craig Kelly has delusions of being the Ring Master, but once the clown always the clown!

  4. 245179

    He’s just another member within a troupe of clowns. And we keep on voting them back, go figure.

  5. Keith

    I’m not sure what Kelly means when he calls those supporting science “green-rent seekers”. What we expect from Professional politicians is that they inform themselves of the matters they comment on; but, that is too high an expectation it seems.

    Kelly shows no understanding that coal does not stack up against renewables cost wise. The HELE power plants are more expensive to build, and there are question marks as to whether they work.

    Being informed about climate science through taking notice of the IPA, Heartlands, other denier blogs, or Murdoch newspapers; is similar to gaining ininformation from Donald Duck comics in comparison to Science Journals.

    A major US energy company First Energy has requested being subsidised:

    Utility Giant FirstEnergy Calls for Emergency Subsidy, Says It Can’t Compete

    Australian doubts:

    Industry not supportive:

  6. Stephen2012

    Is the there any doubt that under an LNP government we have a government of corporate vassals, for and on behalf of the corporations, big Business, the Rich and the rich wannabes.

  7. 1petermcc

    I ran into a FB comment claiming Coal was so expensive because we are subsidising Renewables. I pointed him to the Finkel Report and the cost of production for a unit of coal energy of $9, which then gets sold to consumers for an average of $90 and sometimes over $100. My question was “How much of that $9 do you reckon goes to Renewables?”

    After reading this excellent post I’m guessing 16% of it.

    Onya Kaye Lee

  8. totaram

    I think it is a fair strategy to assume that anything put forward by a coalition politician or their supporters is a lie. Only after rigorous cross-checking can it be accepted as “true”.

  9. johno

    Keep up the good work Kaye. Adelaide is having a late heatwave. 3 days in mid 30’s so far. I am betting april will break records.

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