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When it comes to energy policy, you can always rely on the Coalition for a slogan

Labor’s proposal to subsidise solar battery storage has been met with derision by the Minister for Bringing Down Energy Prices, Angus Taylor, who was quick to deliver his zinger – “Labor has gone from pink batts to pink batteries.”

Good one Angus. Except he probably should have checked Liberal Party press releases which show that the SA government has already introduced a similar scheme.

SATURDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2018

The Marshall Government has today revealed the details of its Home Battery Scheme, delivering on its commitment to provide more affordable, reliable, secure energy for all South Australians.

From October this year, 40,000 South Australian households will have access to $100 million in State Government subsidies to pay for the installation of home battery systems.

In addition, the Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to deliver a $100m CEFC funding package to support the Scheme.

“In working with the CEFC we expect to be able to further assist households overcome the upfront financial barriers to accessing storage technology by offering households competitive, flexible loans where needed, in addition to the subsidies,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “The CEFC has supported investment in home and commercial solar PV and battery storage systems as a way to reduce energy-related emissions. We are pleased that this new arrangement with the SA Government, once finalised, will allow South Australians to access tailored finance for their home energy storage systems.”

While the subsidy will be applied to the battery component only, households will be able to apply for finance to assist with the purchase new or additional solar panels as well as the battery system.

The subsidy will be available to all South Australian households and scaled in line with the size of the home battery system being installed.

Furthermore, South Australian Energy Concession Holders will be able to access a higher subsidy, ensuring households on low-incomes are supported to access the technology.

While the subsidy will vary depending on the size of the battery purchased, it will be capped at a maximum of $6000.

The Scheme will directly reduce electricity costs for the 40,000 households that purchase a subsidised household energy storage system. In addition, the installation of these systems will reduce demand on the network (especially at peak periods) and in turn lower prices for all South Australians.

It will be very interesting to see how the Coalition argue against a policy that passed their own party room, the NEG, and a policy that the Liberal SA government has introduced themselves, battery subsidies.

Their continual assurance that we will meet a target of 26-28% emissions reduction “in a canter” with no policy also tends to indicate that with a proactive policy, Labor’s ambition of 45% reduction of emissions by 2030 should be achievable.

The AEMO’s Integrated System Plan said that the lowest cost replacement for retiring coal plants will be solar (28GW), wind (10.5GW) and storage (17GW and 90GWh). Just 500MW of flexible gas plant will be needed, and no new coal. It says this portfolio in total can produce 90TWh (net) of energy per annum, more than offsetting the energy lost from retiring coal fired generation.

Labor has also promised to invest in improved transmission which will improve reliability according to the AEMO who said that new transmission infrastructure is urgently needed to reinforce existing links between states and create new ones – such as between South Australia and NSW.

Let’s hope the Greens don’t, once again, sabotage the good in search of the perfect.

Let the battle of the models begin.

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42 comments

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  1. Baby Jewels

    The saddest part is, no matter how foolish they make themselves look, there are those who feed on this and cheer them on. Australia, as a general population, seems to be missing a few IQ points.

  2. pierre wilkinson

    “Let’s hope the Greens don’t, once again, sabotage the good in search of the perfect.”
    nailed it as usual Kaye Lee

  3. Matters Not

    So we have a State government prepared to intervene in the market place and a (probable) future Federal government also intending to follow suit. What’s with this picking winners policies?

    The free market ideology tells us that this will all end in disaster. Look at the RC into banking to see how things ought to be done. (But maybe not.)

    BTW, it’s nice to know that lots of people think The Greens are forever in search of a higher standard. You know – like transparency when it comes to political donations and in real time. Anyone know why Labor joined with the LNP to reject that amendment?

  4. Kaye Lee

    I think maybe Labor sold their support in return for the Coalition dropping their push to ban third party donations

    As for the Greens and a higher standard…

    By 2030, 50% renewables and 45% emissions reductions is a good start. Ramp it up if we can. New transmission will help. They are also talking about more small-scaled pumped hydro. Considering the situation we have been in, the Greens should help get this one over the line and then work on improvements once the Coalition are gone. The momentum will be self-perpetuating if they play it right.

  5. Matters Not

    Listened to Mark Butler today – here, there and everywhere on the media. As Gibson would have said: played strong – done good.

    Certainly had his act together. Hope he can sustain that.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Yes, Butler is good. He knows his stuff and is strong too. I think he has done his homework well on this one, both on a policy front and politically – hard for the Coalition to attack.

  7. my say

    Its the nature of the coalition to attack thats all they have got ,they have started on the pink bats already
    the gutter press will start tomorrow ,

  8. Matters Not

    Presumably, Labor has a host of TV clips demonstrating LNP support for NEG type policies.

    Think it would be politically helpful if an Australian battery manufacturer could be identified for the morrow who is prepared to laud the scheme and provide a mind blowing spiel on the technology.

    Peter Holmes à Court, for example, would be a good front man. Articulate and all that. Then there’s Mal Turnbull who might say a few words re the NEG. If not in person, then there’s plenty of footage.

  9. Michael Taylor

    Andrew Bolt has a hissy fit on 2GB over Labor’s plan. Full of holes, won’t reduce costs, unreliable blah blah blah.

    So says the expert. 😳

  10. Kaye Lee

    Labor need to have this one ready to roll out to counter the battery waste problem.

    The CSIRO have done a report that says “Australia could become a world leader in the re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries.”

    Low battery recycling rates can be overcome through better understanding of the importance of recycling, improved collection processes, and by implementing ways to efficiently recycle materials.

    The report also says that an effective recycling industry could also stabilise global lithium supplies to meet consumer demand.

    https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/EF/Areas/Energy-storage/Battery-recycling

  11. Kaye Lee

    Here’s a couple that Labor could use….

    From April

    Morrison used a public appearance on Wednesday to rebuff fresh positioning by conservatives on coal, declaring it “false to think that a new coal-fired power station will generate electricity at the same price as old coal-fired power stations”.

    The treasurer pointed to the price differential between the electricity produced by existing assets and the newer high-efficiency coal plants.

    He said existing plants were bidding into the national electricity market at $30 or $40 per megawatt hour while a new high-efficiency plant, which would take several years to build, would be bidding into the system at about $70 or $80.

    “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.”

    “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.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/04/scott-morrison-new-coal-fired-power-station-not-the-answer

    From June

    Australia solar costs hit “extraordinary” new lows – $50/MWh

    Australia solar costs hit “extraordinary” new lows – $50s/MWh

  12. Matters Not

    Australia (WA in particular) is blessed with large Lithium deposits. But I suspect we have learnt nothing and the huge profits will go elsewhere.

    But we can’t have government intervening in the market place can we? Just think of the f*ck up re LNG exports as an example of what we shouldn’t do. Must think long term. But it’s not in the KPIs for political success.

  13. Kaye Lee

    And right on cue….Craig Kelly

  14. Andrew Chambers

    The real danger of rolling out batteries to LNP members is that they will immediately try to stuff as much energy into it as quickly as possible then run it until it’s drained to 0, repeatedly. Bound to be some terrible fires.

    Can I just ask that Labor not do this and help us to Save an Endangered species?

    Sponsored by News Corporation, helping make the world a safer place for Liberals, one tiny lie at a time.

  15. New England Cocky

    Funny how the Liarbrals overlook the facts that the ALP government LED AUSTRALIA through the GFC with barely an economic ripple before the RAbbott Turdball Morriscum LNP misgovernment ALMOST DOUBLED THE NATIONAL DEBT.

    @Matters Not 1: The unfettered free market has created the present financial disaster because free market economics always favours the rich and powerful.

    However, I agree that political donations should be limited to natural persons who are sole Australian citizens with a $1,000 per rolling year maximum cap and 24 hour disclosure by the recipients. Furthermore, political pressure groups like the IPA should be required to have the same conditions.

    @MIchael Taylor: Andrew Blot is an immigrant child raised in tiny Goolwa SA who still fighting for recognition in the schoolyard. His ranting on a television network having a reported 3% of the viewers is owned by a foreign media magnate and is his major hit back at his childhood oppressors.

    @Kaye Lee: I am overwhelmed with the breadth and detail of your research for articles. Just fabulous!!

  16. ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Kaye.

    An Aussie company is doing great stuff re battery storage, and not a Lithium atom in sight.

    Home

  17. Diannaart

    Thank you Kaye Lee

    Good point about the Greens. However, there are Independents and small progressive parties to vote for such as the Reason Party, Andrew Denton’s Euthanasia party and more.

    Amid the myriad of substantiated reasons to put the Liarbrils last, is Matthew Guy’s intent to reinstate Religious Instruction (Christian Indoctrination), an end to Victoria’s first safe drug injection room in Richmond (in spite of clear evidence of success), an end to most everything started by Labor: public and private transport infrastructure, sustainable energy, TAFE to be boosted (after years of damage by both major parties).

    It should not be a close election, yet Labor only holds 2 seats and, if you believe the polls, a very narrow lead.

    FFS: Vote. Below. The. Line.

    Keep the bastards in line.

  18. Keith

    I have always stated that Labor is far better than the LNP in relation to policy on climate change than the LNP; but, it is my understanding that Labor supports Adani. If that it is the case that Labor support Adani, why bother having a climate policy. CO2 emissions do not understand any national boundaries, coal sent overseas will provide emissions which will ultimately come back and effect the Australian climate. It is merely a semantic argument to suggest emissions belong to another country that uses Australian coal.
    Scientists have been saying that coal needs to be left in the ground.

    The IPCC latest Report states very clearly that we have little time to reduce greenhouse emissions. There are eminent scientists such as Professors Mann, Hansen, Anderson, Rahmstorf, Trenberth et al that are stating that the IPCC Report is too conservative. Already, just prior to the Paris Accord, Professor Anderson was stating that the 1.5C goal above pre-industrial temperature would be by passed.

    As stated many times the work of Dr Vaks in relation to permafrost thawing, shows that the chance of positive a feedback occurring at an increased temperature of 1.5C is too likely to occur in tundra areas to ignore. Already in tundra areas there is a breakdown of infra-structure such as roads and buildings through slumping, and forests displaying “drunken trees”. “Positive feedback” is an ironic term used by scientists to note extremely negative outcomes.

    Tundra areas contain huge deposits of organic matter that will decompose create greenhouse gases through temperature increasing. As indicated the process has already partially begun, other observable outcomes being greening of tundra areas and the formation of lakes, ponds, and marshes.

    Science is neither left nor right, conclusions are drawn from data collected from a number of sources and observation.
    We have already partially forfeited the future of our children and young people generally, creating coal mines in the Carmichael Basin increases future dangers.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Keith,

    I think Labor have all their fingers and toes crossed that Adani will not be able to find financing and, with the more countries that adopt pro-renewable policy, that financing becomes that much harder. Investors are flocking away from new fossil fuel ventures. They are trying to avoid the sovereign risk of not honouring contracts but, in my opinion, contracts should have deadlines which, if not met, then lapse. There is also quiet talk about being able to block it with “compelling new information” but they are keeping that option quiet.

    This was just Labor’s energy policy. Sounds like we will also have movement on vehicle emissions and some sort of emissions intensity or trading scheme for high power-using industries. I hope to hear something about land-clearing too.

    Even if they don’t have the best plan, we have to get started. Continue the protests against Adani but we have to make progress anywhere we can.

  20. helvityni

    Now , now, New England Cocky, Andrew Bolt was BORN in Adelaide ( his parents were immigrants to Oz); his father (an immigrant) was a teacher and principal, so do not worry, Andrew would have spoken better English than his fellow schoolmates; no doubt he was cocky and confident and it was mostly likely him who did the bullying…he might have joined with the true blue Aussie kids in bullying the brown/black/yellow skinned kids…

    There’s no need to start migrant bashing just because someone’s parents are foreign born, leave that to the Dutton and Morrison’s mob….

  21. Michael Taylor

    I worked in government long enough to learn one thing: the better a Labor policy was, the louder and more ferocious came the howls and mockery from the LNP and the Murdoch media.

    The thought that Labor might be on a vote-winner was simply too much. Destroy its credibility from day 1.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Damn! Do you mean to say that I was born in the same state as Andrew Bolt?

    Good thing I moved to Victoria.

    Oh, hang on … 😳

  23. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    Craig Kelly has gone into overdrive. He has posted six threads about batteries in less than 24 hours. He has also appeared on Sky to talk about batteries. It’s excruciating listening to the ignoramus spouting his rubbish unchallenged….but also kinda funny.

  24. totaram

    Kaye Lee: excellent summing up and exposing the contradictions in the coalition ranks. The problem of the “best” energy policy for Australia is a computationally intractable one, no matter how the problem is formulated. Therefore, arguing about what is “best” is pretty futile, unless you happen to be paid shills like Crag Kelly and Andrew Bolt, who manage to solve this problem without any recourse to computation at all! But then that is to be expected. Who needs numbers and calculations, especially when they are too hard to even discuss and describe? Better to run with some simple slogans and propaganda soundbites.

  25. Geoff Andrews

    Those bloody looney Greens: imagine wanting a perfect outcome when they could have gone for a modest, achievable reduction! It’s almost as if they could predict seven or eight years ago that a party (with less than perfect principles) would be able to assert that the figure they rejected, could be achieved “at a canter” ie business as usual.
    At least Labor’s policy on household storage is galloping in the right direction.but I suppose the inner city intellectuals on paid parental leave will want even more perfection.

  26. Kaye Lee

    totaram,

    On thinking about it, my last line – let the battle of the models begin – was kind of pointless. As you point out, it will be a battle of models and facts vs slogans and propaganda.

    Geoff,

    The Greens aspirations are usually what is needed and eventually what is adopted. They should continue to be our conscience pointing us where we have to go – we need a vanguard – but it takes time for the rest of the army to catch up. Forward progress must begin.

  27. Michael Taylor

    No wonder Craig Kelly has gone into overdrive, Kaye. It’s all those damn batteries!

  28. totaram

    Contrary to Craig Kelly’s hysterical posts containing unsupported assertions about costs, here is one costing of various options with methodology and assumptions laid out. It tells a household what the payback period for a battery (alone) or a “system” (PV+battery) will be, with different assumptions on the kinds of tariff being offered to the household. In the worst case the battery will payback in around 20 years. But this assumes the household has bought the battery outright with no subsidies.

    https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/home-solar-battery-storage-worth-it-2018

    How will such a system make electricity less affordable for everyone else? Only Craig Kelly can tell you! With the assistance of Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and other power system (and all-round every other science) experts.

  29. Kaye Lee

    totaram,

    Craig has an….interesting argument….

    “Labor’s announcement of subsidising home battery storage with $200 million of others people’s money had the useful idiots and climate zealot cheering.

    But if they actually took their brains out of neutral, they’d quickly realize that like most Green schemes, this will have the exact opposite effect, and it will actually increase Co2 emissions.

    Firstly, there are the Co2 emissions from manufacturing the battery, which are very substantial.

    Secondly, when electricity generated by roof top solar panels is diverted from being exported to the grid, and is instead sent to charge a battery – that electricity generation no longer being exported to the grid, has to be replaced from somewhere, most likely either from coal or gas.

    Thirdly, there’s the energy lost from charging and discharging the battery, which is about 15%.

    There Bill’s Big Battery away will increase Co2 emissions – the exact opposite of what they claim.”

    I particularly like point 2. To try to pretend that argument makes sense, he linked to an article…trouble is he only quotes the bits he likes from it.

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/4/27/17283830/batteries-energy-storage-carbon-emissions?fbclid=IwAR0-zTHp4V7EumU4vUVuVTvrVh0T6XXgLT8YCkZi9cgXpPAHzXIESs_KPTs

    The part he left out when quoting his own link (which is about the US) ….”If deployed strategically, energy storage can do all the things boosters say, making the grid more flexible, unlocking renewable energy, and reducing emissions. When and if it stores renewable energy that would otherwise have been curtailed, i.e., wasted, then energy storage clearly reduces net emissions. That’s not very common in the US today, but it could get more common as renewable energy grows.”

  30. helvityni

    Good move, Michael, I see Victoria as the most progressive state in Oz; you can have Gladys and NSW will gladly take Daniel Andrews…( I’m confident he’ll be the winner tomorrow.)

  31. totaram

    Kaye Lee: Craig Kelly is such a shill that he tries to have it both ways. CO2 is not a problem he tells everyone, and then says that Bill’s battery subsidy is “bad” because it will increase CO2 emissions! I’ve probably stolen one of Rossleigh’s lines here.

    The rest of his argument is constructed by carefully avoiding any numbers except the 15% storage loss of batteries and then conveniently adding and subtracting vague quantities freely to suit his argument. Any year 10 student would drive a truck through his arguments. Of course, the notion of peak, shoulder, and off-peak energy costs is too hard for him to tackle, even though he was supposed to have been a furniture salesman. I also believe the beetroot is a qualified accountant of some kind. He tried to tell voters that SSM would not allow his daughters to have a proper marriage (to a man)! Amazing the kinds of things they try to fool the voters with, knowing full well that it is bull-shit. The MSM is to blame for not holding them to account and simply repeating their slogans as truth. That is why the coalition primary vote in the polls continues to be higher than Labor’s.

  32. New England Cocky

    @helvityni 1: Thank you of your comment. My advice was that he was born in Holland and with his parents migrated to SA settling in Golwa at the mouth of the Murray River. The article continued that he had suffered difficulties being accepted by the local kids.

    I am not bashing migrants; merely identifying one commentator on a very minor television channel owned by a US citizen who appears intent upon destroying Australia for the benefit of his patrons at the multinational US banks and their clients.

  33. totaram

    New England Cocky: He is another shill. Did you know he first worked for the Labor party but then found the big money was on the other side of the fence and so he moved over. He just does it for the money. I suppose that makes him feel he has now finally “arrived”.
    Not very different from other “poor” immigrants who came here, benefited from social housing and other welfare support, and now like to bash these people as “leaners”. I mean Joe Hockey got free Uni education and objected to some minor fee increase! Just look into the coalition ranks. You will find many of them in there in droves. A sad reflection on the human race.

  34. Miriam English

    It’s my understanding that we could achieve more than 50% renewables if the government did absolutely nothing. To achieve 45% they’d have to drag their feet. If we had a courageous government we could have nearly 100% renewable energy in Australia. But we’ll never get courage in government while we have the best politicians money can buy dominating the scene. 🙁

  35. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    They are aiming for 50% renewables by 2030. The 45% is the emissions reduction target in the energy sector.

  36. Miriam English

    Oops. Thanks for the correction, Kaye. I appreciate it.

  37. Josephus

    Another large coal mine in the Galilee not far from the Carmichael ie Adani coal mine has just been approved by the Queensland government.

  38. Miriam English

    It’s times like these that it is difficult to see a lot of difference between the two big parties.

  39. Kaye Lee

    But the crossbench is getting interesting. It’s amazing what some strong determined women can achieve.

  40. Diannaart

    … and it’s getting interesting in a positive way rather than an “Oh, my giddy aunt, car-crash, the world is ending” way.

    Women are speaking out AND being heard.

    (Even our silences speak volumes)

    🙂

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