In order to shut Barnaby Joyce and the Joycettes up, we will fork out $4 million for a feasibility study into a new coal-fired power station.
For some unknown reason, the Joycettes think this will reduce power prices. But, as Jim Molan confessed, they aren’t relying on evidence.
And there was a time when Scott Morrison knew this.
Less than two years ago, then treasurer Morrison smacked down a backbench push for the Turnbull government to back a new coal plant, arguing that high-efficiency coal does not mean cheap energy, and taxpayers would also be left on the hook.
At the time, Morrison rightly said that a new high-efficiency plant would take years to build and would end up bidding into the system at about double the price of existing plants.
“So you don’t just open up one down the road and all of a sudden it is producing power at the same price as Bayswater or any of the others,” Morrison said. “That is just not an economic fact.”
Morrison declared the government was not interested in subsidising any source of energy.
“The days of subsidies in energy are over, whether it is for coal, wind, solar, any of them,” the treasurer said. “That is the way I think you get the best functioning energy market with the lowest possible price for businesses and for households and that is what the national energy guarantee and our energy policies are designed to achieve.”
But dangle the bauble of leadership and watch how quickly he changes his tune – just like Tony Abbott did.
This is all about politicians’ ambition and nothing to do with reality.
The latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics from the AEMO shows just how out-of-touch the Joycettes are.
During the fourth quarter in 2019, wholesale electricity and gas prices fell sharply. According to the AEMO, “a key driver of this outcome was increased supply from wind farms, solar farms, and gas-powered generation (GPG), with combined grid-scale wind and solar output increasing by 39% compared to Q4 2018.”
They go on to say that “Lower prices occurred despite a high number of coal-fired generator outages, increased underlying demand, and record-breaking high temperatures.”
“Although maximum demands were generally higher across the NEM, average operational demands were lower, due to sunnier than average Q4 conditions coupled with a record amount of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in 2019.”
South Australia has come in for a lot of criticism from ignorant politicians and commentators who should appraise themselves of the facts.
“South Australia set a new all-time minimum demand record of 458 megawatts (MW) at 1330 hrs on 10 November 2019, 141 MW lower than 2018’s minimum. During this trading interval, rooftop PV provided an estimated 832 MW of output (64% of South Australia’s underlying demand).”
The idea that coal provides reliability is blown away by the increasing number of outages at old coal-fired power plants – the ones the Joycettes want to keep operating past their use-by date.
“Average black coal-fired generation decreased by 1,061 MW this quarter, reaching its lowest level since Q4 2016. The decline was due to a combination of coal supply issues, unit outages, and displacement by solar output.
Brown coal-fired generator outages remained high this quarter, with units on outage for 20 days on average, compared to the 10-year average of around 10 days on outage per unit per quarter.
Average gas-powered generation (GPG) remained at comparatively high levels, providing cover for coal-fired generator outages.”
Prolonging the life of old coal-fired power generators will not improve reliability. Building new ones won’t reduce energy prices.
So what the fuck are these idiot Joycettes on about?
They talk about saving jobs. The only jobs they are trying to save are their own and they are doing it by bullshitting us all with what Queensland MPs think sounds good to their coal-mining constituents. Their denial of the reality will not serve these constituencies well. What they need is vision for the future and proactive planning and involvement in helping these communities transition to new industries.
Oh for some informed decision-making based on what the country needs rather than the propaganda fed to and regurgitated by idiot Nationals MPs like Llew O’Brien and George Christensen.
If they are incapable of reading what all the experts and regulators are saying then they should be ignored rather than having this handful of ignoramuses threaten us with their childish ego-driven tantrums.
What are you, Scotty – a Prime Minister or a lackey to the Joycettes?
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