Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

the planet is toast...


burning his underpants

It is called ''the death spiral'' and it is terrifying power suppliers.

At the moment they are awarded price rises to cover the cost of their spending on cables and substations. If power usage slides (as it has been), they are granted further price rises to ensure they can continue to recover those costs.

It has not been a big problem because their customers have had nowhere else to go. Until now.

Energy specialist Lucy Carter of the Grattan Institute outlined the horror scenario for suppliers while launching a new report to be released on Monday about why we are paying too much for power.


She says network charges account for most of the increase in electricity prices. The carbon tax is small by comparison.

''The risk for the companies is that when people get the option of putting solar panels on their roofs and installing batteries and cutting the cord, demand will fall sharply. The people who end up left on the network will be the only ones left paying.'' They will be stuck with extremely high network charges, forcing even more people off the network, pushing network charges higher still. It is what Ms Carter calls ''your death spiral scenario''.

She says it is not upon us yet, but if battery storage improves and network costs keep rising, it will be.

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going towards tony's neoconservative neolithic...

One of the world's most advanced solar power companies has shelved plans to develop electricity plants for the public market in Australia because of the Government's apparent hostility to renewable energy.

Solar Reserve, based in Santa Monica, California, has pioneered a technology that combines mass-scale solar power generation with storage, allowing energy from the sun to be "time-shifted" and used 24 hours a day.


The company hopes the mining industry will take up the technology at remote mine sites which currently rely on polluting - and heavily subsidised - fuel.

But the company has given up on ambitions to generate electricity for the retail market in Australia.

Solar Reserve chief executive Kevin Smith told the ABC's Four Corners program the company had been deterred by a drift in policy and the planned scrapping of the carbon tax.

It was also concerned about the appointment of Dick Warburton, who doubts that carbon emissions are causing global warming, to lead a review of Australia's Renewable Energy Target.

"That policy change pretty much took the life out of the renewable energy sector as far as large-scale projects for utility applications [are concerned]," Mr Smith said.

"Other markets around the world are advancing. Australia is going to get left behind."


go solar...

Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day.

For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a megawatt hour, hovered in and around zero. Prices were deflated throughout the week, largely because of the influence of one of the newest, biggest power stations in the state – rooftop solar.

“Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, demand is down, and operators of coal fired generators are reluctant to switch off. So they pay others to pick up their output.

That's not supposed to happen at lunchtime. Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office building are in use, factories are in production. That's when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money.

The influx of rooftop solar has turned this model on its head. There is 1,100MW of it on more than 350,000 buildings in Queensland alone (3,400MW on 1.2m buildings across the country). It is producing electricity just at the time that coal generators used to make hay (while the sun shines).

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diletante fake greenies...

Motoring Enthusiast senator Ricky Muir has emerged as a surprise would-be saviour of the $2bn Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), seeking to amend the carbon tax repeal bills to stop $435m in funding being stripped from the clean energy body and promising to try to stop its abolition.

Muir’s amendment is very similar to one already circulated by the Australian Greens, and seeks to stop immediate funding reductions for Arena, which the government is seeking to abolish with separate legislation to be voted on in September.

The move raises the possibility that the crossbench could frustrate the government’s intention to abolish Arena. Palmer United party senators have already promised to stop the government’s plan to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the existing renewable energy target.

But the government is already seeking to effectively close Arena ahead of legislation passing, refusing to reappoint board members as their terms expire. The government wants to return $1.3bn in Arena funding to the budget, and then have the industry department oversee around $900m in funding deals that have already been struck.

Muir’s amendment would stop the immediate $435m funding cut announced by the Coalition last September, but a spokesman for the Victorian senator said it was the first step in an attempt to retain the body.


Like Palmer, Muir comes to the table as a fake half-pregnant greenie... If he was genuine, HE WOULD NOT VOTE FOR THE REPEAL OF THE CARBON PRICING... Full stop... He is a two faced weasel who wants to play both side of the coin...  by appearing concerned... IT'S NO POINT REPEALING THE CARBON PRICING while claiming one wants to retain a green energy component in the economy... I know, I'm a bit harsh BUT THIS IS THE REALITY... Muir wants to appear like a good guy... WELL, SHOULD HE VOTE FOR THE REPEAL OF THE CARBON PRICING, HE is a bad guy... who has not understood a single thing about the dynamics of climate change.

the carbon pricing makes business sense...


The best opportunity Australian business has of policy certainty as the world moves to address global warming is to actively support emissions trading now.

AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS SHOULD tell Tony Abbott that he is killing certainty in Australia and that it is bad for business.

The golden rule of business is certainty. Not just in the short term but for decades to come, because unlike government, business deals in long term strategy and investment not just three year electoral cycles.

For some time now, all business has wanted is certainty in which it can make investment decisions, and with the current farce playing out in our federal parliament over global warming policy, that certainty is gone.

When it comes to global warming policy and economic direction some things are undeniable:

One, dangerous climate change is accelerating and the world is moving to act on it through carbon pricing. It is the cheapest and most effective way to bring down pollution.

Two, the existing emissions trading scheme in Australia has been recognised around the world as template legislation for developed countries and it sets us up for trading with the rest of the world.

Three, there are billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines not being invested in Australia now because there is no policy certainty for investment in long lived infrastructure and development.

The choice for business is the certainty of the current law against the risks associated with chaos and dislocation of erratic policy and inevitable steep adjustment as emission reduction targets are increased.

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As Climate is warming up, it is likely that the cost of insurance is going to go through the roof... So far the Aussie winter has been reasonably calm but already, scientists and meteorologists are warning of an incoming El Nino... With global warming added in this component, there is a chance of increase in drought, especially that already present in Western Queensland and northern New South Wales. Other areas are likely to be affected more than ever before... Sydney is also likely to beat heat records again this summer, with bigger stronger bush-fires despite the present back-burning in most prone areas — including the blue mountains. The cost of overall damage from global warming will mount... Not just in Australia, but around the world. It makes business to plan in the reduction of such cost by reducing CO2 emissions and the best way to this is by a carbon pricing... 

back burning in the blue mountains

back burning in the blue mountains — Picture by Gus Leonisky