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:
COAL-FIRED POWER : 60 COUNTRIES WITH 656,000 MW UNDER ACTIVE DEVELOPMENT *
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?”