Opinion: Promises of cheaper power are probably empty

The PM is misguided if he believes more coal power will lower electricity costs.

Power prices won't fall

This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison continued his verbal assault on high electricity prices at press conferences and on Twitter.

“You asked about how we’re getting electricity prices down. Here’s my answer,” he wrote before launching into an explanation that was all passion and no substance.

In another video clip showing him having a cuppa with a family supposedly struggling with their power bills, he says that Australia has to “have laws and a big stick to make sure that they (energy companies) do behave”.

In yet other footage, he fronts the media with Energy Minister Angus Taylor to declare his mission to keep “big energy companies under control to get prices down”. Mr Taylor chimes in that the Government is going to ban “sneaky late payment” fees on bills.

Mr Morrison threatened to force big energy companies to divest in order to increase competition, which he said would lead to lower prices. His intentions were met with dropped jaws from business and economic leaders.

But all this talk is at best window dressing and at worst hyperbole, because there is little the Government can actually do in a free market, in this case the highly competitive energy supply market, to force base prices down.

Further, any ideas about building more coal or gas-fired stations to ensure that electricity supply is constant will actually drive up prices as generators factor the new construction costs into their pricing. Someone has to pay for new generation and, as usual, it will be the end customer – you.

The way the Australian wholesale energy market works is complicated. So much so that the only outsiders who understand it thoroughly are regulators and big think tanks. It is all too much for most others.

In a nutshell, it goes something like this.

The National Electricity Market (NEM) monitors how much power the grid needs at short intervals throughout the day and night, depending on consumer demand. Electricity suppliers are obliged by law to match that demand.

The suppliers buy the electricity from about 100 wholesale generators connected to the NEM. The generators place bids into the market and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) decides which offer, usually the lowest, will be taken up, signalling to that generator to pump power into the grid.

And this is where the system is gamed, according to the Grattan Institute, because the generators can manipulate their prices to take advantage of spikes in demand.

On a very hot day when air-conditioners are sucking power from the grid, for example, there can be a shortage of energy to go around. Knowing this, generators such as gas companies will agree to switch their furnaces on to create extra supply for the grid. And guess what? They command a premium price for the favour. That extra expense is then passed onto the customer by the energy retailer.

So until the Government intervenes to stop this gaming, there is very little that will guarantee electricity prices fall. You can take the Prime Minister’s words with a grain of salt, for now.

Earlier this week, Mr Morrison also hinted that the Government might offer cheap loans to companies who agreed to build new coal-fired power plants.

He and others assert that only new fossil-fuelled generators will ensure there is plentiful electricity “when the sun goes down or the wind don’t blow”. This is inaccurate. We now have the technology to build huge, lithium-ion batteries to store the power produced by renewables so that it can be dispatched when needed.

Just ask South Australia which last year took delivery of such a battery system, courtesy of colourful entrepreneur Elon Musk. An assessment of the system by the AEMO declared: “The speed, precision and agility of the battery is unprecedented in dealing with both major power system disturbances and day-to-day frequency variations.”

And as for the Coalition's assertion that renewables are too expensive, that’s another furphy. Renewable electricity in the wholesale market is regularly cheaper than fossil-fuelled power. Plus, solar farms are far less expensive to erect than fossil-fuelled generators. Don’t believe me? Ask Origin Energy.

Finally, for all those who fantasise that we should begin building nuclear power plants because they are emissions-free, think again. If you take the whole lifecycle of nuclear energy into account, it is far from emissions-free. Carbon emissions are created when the uranium is mined, transported and processed to make it into a fuel.

Plus, the volume of water needed to cool the super-hot spent rods afterwards means that whole lakes or other bodies of water would be needed. In fact, per unit of electricity, nuclear plants require vastly more water than coal-fired power stations.

And coal-fired power plants are very water-hungry. If they were not cooled they would turn into big piles of molten metal, such is the high temperatures required to burn the fuel in order to create steam-powered electricity. When so much of Australia is dry and now in the grip of a drought, can we spare a single drop of water to support an energy industry?

Oh, and let’s not even get started about how much more expensive nuclear energy is compared with renewables or where to bury the waste that will remain radioactive for many lifetimes.

Do you think the Government is illogical in calling for more fossil-fuelled electricity generators when there are cheaper, reliable alternatives? Should it be putting in more effort to encourage renewables in a bid to lower Australia’s impact on the climate from carbon emissions?

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    COMMENTS

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    Steff
    26th Oct 2018
    10:48am
    Another article pushing the wonderfull benefits of renewable power.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    11:41am
    Well are they not????

    I'd like everybody to think back to when Tony Abbott ran for office. "You have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax". And many many other LIES to get elected. Here's the next one on the same path with an election all but upon us. DON'T BELIEVE a word of it.

    The reality is that renewables are hurting the coal industry so they put up prices of energy to keep profits in tact lest shareholders desert them. This is only going to accelerate and Morrison and his cronies CANNOT stop the obvious from happening short of banning renewable energy. They ....if they could.

    Bank on higher electricity prices and/or much higher service/accessibility charges. They're coming. Just wait until after the election and they'll be here. Good luck to anybody who refuses to embrace solar and batteries when they become cheaper. A bit like those amongst us who drive 1960s V8 cars where the fuel costs are enormous.
    Greg
    26th Oct 2018
    3:21pm
    There's an election coming up....
    Cowboy Jim
    26th Oct 2018
    4:30pm
    Happy with my electric bill, have been for the last 11 years living where we are. $3.10 average a day, a bit more if we use air con; but then go down to the pub for air con is certainly even more.
    Prefer nuclear energy to these infernal wind turbines blighting the landscapes. We are exporting uranium to other places but we are not allowed to use it. I suppose the hairy leg sandal wearers are against the industry.
    bobm
    26th Oct 2018
    10:55am
    The bright boys from Canberra have now found that electricity prices are too high. Who sold off the power companies for a quick buck---to balance the books.
    If I had a private company and was able to make as much money as I wanted then buy the energy of the country. Australia is stuffed and will have high energy cost. The Chinese are not stupid and have time to burn. Buy energy, buy land for food production, sell the energy at a high cost, send the food to overseas China.
    WA have not sold off the power supply however have screwed the locals with selling off gas at a give away price while we pay high dollar prices to the owners of the Dampier to Bunbury Gas pipeline. Guess who owns this pipe line " overseas companies"
    Reap what you sow
    Rae
    26th Oct 2018
    11:13am
    And haven't the LNP done the dirty on WA over it. 30cents in the dollar return from the GST.
    We are being governed by privateers and traitors.

    Who wanted to borrow $4 billion from the Middle East to buy our mines, gas fields, build the pipeline and a uranium industry? Who stopped him? Who for?
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    11:44am
    Yes Rae. And as I have said many times over it was the Howard regime which flogged off the world third largest LNG deposit (Gorgon) to foreign investors. Now Chevron sells 100% of the gas into Asia. Not one molecule available for Australians...and we, apparently, have an energy shortage and now have to frack around our most fertile farming land????? This is what the Howard left overs in this government have done.
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    12:52pm
    All according to the IPA plan MICK.
    Paddington
    26th Oct 2018
    11:02am
    Solar on every Australian roof is the only way to go and is easy to achieve. Victoria is promising $5000 towards a battery for homeowners in Victoria. People there are already getting help with solar and all governments should come to the solar party. Many companies have already put solar on their roof to offset electricity cost.
    The benefits are two fold by keeping the electricity bills at bay and helping the environment.
    We must start to take seriously that this planet is going to disappear unless we make a concerted effort to look after the environment.
    The deniers need to recognise that greed is the only reason that more is not being done.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    11:29am
    Neighbour recently installed a 2.1Kw (I think) roof system and two 1.3KW batteries for $16,500 - runs his house.... $5000 subsidy would go a long way and make $10,500 viable for many.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    11:51am
    No Paddington. It's the perverse electoral donations from the coal industry which is the road block. That's why our current traitors dressed up as politicians continually try to stump up Adani with public money.

    TREBOR - 2.1 kW is what I put on in the Rudd era. We have over 10 kW and get money back every month other than winter. Looking forward to batteries coming as we will go off the grid when a decent size battery at an affordable price arrives. Currently batteries are uneconomical.
    Oh yes....forget about the two 1.3 kW (Enphase?) batteries. You can get a Tesla which stores around 15 kWh for about the same price.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    12:04pm
    I could be wrong... 22 panels.... I thought they ran at about 120 watts each or something
    Fliss
    26th Oct 2018
    2:05pm
    Got our electricity bill in the mail just yesterday - $88 in credit. Our bills used to be around $900 per quarter. Panels on roof are the way to go.
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:33pm
    Hey Fliss you wrote
    "$88 in credit. Our bills used to be around $900 per quarter"

    Don't you feel any guilt that the poor, who will never be able to afford solar roof panels, are subsidising your installation by being hit with exorbitant electricity bills??

    ALSO This should wipe that smug smile off your face:

    Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than Carbon Dioxide According to New Book, Green Illusions
    http://www.ereleases.com/pr/solar-cells-linked-greenhouse-gases-23000-times-worse-carbon-dioxide-book-green-illusions-80276
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:36pm
    Hey Fliss here's part of the blurb ....Solar Cells Linked to Greenhouse Gases Over 23,000 Times Worse than Carbon Dioxide According to New Book, Green Illusions

    BERKELEY, Calif., June 4, 2012 – Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases or curb fossil fuel use in the United States according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions explains how the solar industry has grown to become one of the leading emitters of hexafluoroethane (C2F6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These three potent greenhouse gases, used by solar cell fabricators, make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless.

    Hexafluoroethane has a global warming potential that is 12,000 times higher than CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is 100 percent manufactured by humans, and survives 10,000 years once released into the atmosphere. Nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more virulent than CO2, and SF6, the most treacherous greenhouse gas, is over 23,000 times more threatening.

    The solar photovoltaic industry is one of the fastest-growing emitters of these gases, which are now measurably accumulating within the earth's atmosphere according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A NOAA study shows that atmospheric concentrations of SF6 have been rising exponentially. A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters documents that atmospheric NF3 levels have been rising 11 percent per year.

    http://pressreleaseheadlines.com/solar-cells-linked-greenhouse-gases-23000-times-worse-carbon-dioxide-book-green-illusions-80276
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:42pm
    More propaganda from your sponsor? Give up. We all know who your sponsor is. Net you'll be spouting the 'clean coal' again....which exists in the media but never in the scientific community. Go for it!
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    12:57pm
    Why should floss feel guilty because other people are poor? That is nonsense.

    No we don't want coal. It uses too much water. Those Indians can use their own water and coal in India. Do they feel guilty that farmers are being denied water to supply the billions of litres they need to dig coal. You bet they don't.
    maxchugg
    30th Oct 2018
    11:21am
    Yet again I find a need to challenge a statement from Mick.

    Where is the evidence that the coal industry is providing the massive funding that you allege?

    On the other hand, if you have a smart TV, take a look at the evidence against the so called need to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Although CO2 has risen recently, the percentage in the atmosphere is extremely low, the effect of the increase has been to make plants grow faster, as any nurseryman could have predicted.

    Anything contributed towards the denial of so called climate science is dwarfed by the contributions of governments and those with a vested interest in selling windmill and solar panels.

    Finally, may I remind you that you do not appear to have responded to my rebuttal of your argument that increased CO2 increases global warming. Ice core records indicate that there is a lag of approximately 800 years between increased atmospheric global warming and increased carbon dioxide. The obvious reason is that when the oceans are warm they expel carbon dioxide, when they are cold they absorb it. Prove this with a couple of bottles of carbonated drink. Put one in the sun and one in the refrigerator and see which one goes flat first.
    Charlie
    26th Oct 2018
    11:04am
    I think we are in for another wave of corporate greed, where the profits of renewable energy farms will all be passed on to the suppliers, while at the same time spruking that its not doing very well..
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    11:30am
    Yup....
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    11:52am
    That's why you have to put in your own system.
    Cowboy Jim
    26th Oct 2018
    4:36pm
    Mick - you cannot have your own system if you are in a unit; everyone will have to agree and with the oldies having to put their hands in the pocket for something like that is simply that - impossible. Had a hell of a time getting a light well approved by my neighbors, would not go thru the solar option with them. When I say oldies - I am past 70 as well.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:40pm
    Fair comment Jim. Maybe up to the Body Corporate to justify high fees by actually doing something to benefit residents.
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2018
    6:43pm
    And renters are up against it. The government should legislate that all landlords have to install sufficient solar for an average family that would occupy the home - i.e. larger systems for larger homes. But of course that would just push rents up again!
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    9:54pm
    It would indeed. Landlords are not charities and rental properties are not playthings.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2018
    11:08am
    Can we just get supply reliability, prices and emissions sorted. Surely someone can do it.

    It was a really dumb idea to privatise supple and let hundreds of retailers loose with no control. A very dumb Liberal party stuff up. At least Baird and NAB canoe out a winner.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    11:42am
    I agree Rae our power goes out at least one a week now.
    GeorgeM
    26th Oct 2018
    11:55pm
    Yes, privatisation was really dumb in this instance. Interesting to see Morrison & co tying themselves in knots rather being straight and direct in their actions - trying hard to confuse everyone into believing that they are doing something!
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    11:26am
    Electricity, gas, petrol and road use will continue to rise perpetually for the simple reason that privatisation of those monopolies into the hands of a small group of 'owners', who in concert with their principal shareholder, the 'government', maintain a throttle hold on pricing, and have the added 'need' nowhere apparent previously of paying for duplicated staff PLUS shareholders who were nowhere in the picture in the past.

    Add to that the intrusion of countless foreign corporations buying into these thefts and the offshoring of administrative tasks to low wage havens, and even the claim of 'extra' employment and V activity go straight out the window - since all the extra revenue generated here does not remain onshore, but heads Offshore to tax havens etc at the speed of light, and little remains to support genuine investment in this nation and to sustain existing infrastructure or support any future infrastructure moves aimed at re-developing this New Third World Banana Republic back into a nation standing on its own two feet, and not bowing down to take it up the clacker from every Offshore pirate.

    All this is called The Big Sellout, or Grand Theft Canberra, or Grand Theft Macquarie Street or wherever, as applies to state etc, and politicians (the hands that signed the papers), their families and their cronies are among the principal beneficiaries of these new theft schemes.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    11:31am
    'V activity'? That was 'economic activity' . Damn fingers...
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:03pm
    Yes we are headed the way Argentina went and can blame our governments and their banking bosses.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    11:40am
    My car registration and internet costs are well over twice the cost of my power for a year.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    11:54am
    Well stop driving your Ferrari and get of the 100 Mbps internet plan and you'll be right.
    Your post is actually nonsense are power costs multiples of car rego and internet. Why are you supporting the coal industry? Who are you?
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    3:03pm
    Mick I couldn't get a Ferrari down my driveway for a start. Internet is the fastest they can give me. As I said it cost over twice as much to register my car and for my internet than it does for my electricity.

    Well no one is serious about coal while ever we export it to the rest of the world which does many times more damage than if we generated all our power using coal. We are certainly fools in this country.
    Cowboy Jim
    26th Oct 2018
    4:41pm
    Depends where one lives OG, mine are higher as well although rego in my state is free and as I said above - happy with the electric bill, under $1000 a year most times, pay $500 in advance twice a year and have always a bit of credit left.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    5:55pm
    Mine is no where near a $1000 a year.
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2018
    6:53pm
    Power company pays me. My internet and phone, insurance (including 3rd party as part of my rego) and council rates are the bills that I struggle with.
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:05pm
    Yes I agree OG. My rego and green slip and internet cost well over twice my power bill as well. No concessions for us and I've an i30 which does more off road than most of the SUVs about the place haha.
    Joy Anne
    26th Oct 2018
    11:53am
    It won't happen. All lies. The trouble is the government sold it off to China and since then power has increased. Everyo nbe overseas pays nearly nothing for power and we pay the high prices for them to get rich. Ripping Australians off like everything else. So damn sick of it. The politians get huge increases and pensioners get $8 extra a fortnight which has already gone before we get it. This is a bloody insult to pensioners.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    3:36pm
    If ever The Big Outbreak comes, and china is listed as an 'enemy combatant nation', we can repudiate all debt and kick all Chinese business control out in one hit.

    Trump is pushing China partly because the US owes China trillions.... and if conflict breaks out... it's Hasta La Vista to:-

    Fu Manchu and the National Debt, North American/Australasian Tour 2000- (to be advised).
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:11pm
    Yes Australians are subsidising Chinese companies electricity now. It was deliberate to sell us out to China though.

    Good luck now TREBOR as China has not only the Port of Darwin but a direct supply line all the way to the South and strategically held properties along the way. Our government is formed from yes men who have no idea what they are doing.

    Our fuel is stored in Singapore for goodness sake. How dumb is that. We don't even have an Australian Maritime Industry because they didn't like the union.
    Janus
    26th Oct 2018
    11:54am
    I know that nuclear is a serious option, from a previous consulting life. Nothing is emissions free, but at least the death toll from nuclear (including all of the accidents, and all future lifetime decreases) is vastly lower than coal and gas (2 million deaths PER YEAR).

    If the planet and us humans and most animals are to be saved (too late!) nuclear is vastly better than any "renewable" that you could realistically compare it to. The evidence (not the hearsay) is clear.

    Nuclear is expensive to build, cheap to run. Coal is expensive to run, cheap to build. Solar and wind are limited, inefficient and environmentally dirty. But I am a realist, nuclear aint gunna happen here.

    Sad but true. We have doomed ourselves to a slow and miserable destruction. Glad I won't be here to see it.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:48pm
    You keep posting this BS Janus.

    Are happy to have radioactive waste which is lethal for 500,000 years stored in drums next door to your home? Thought not.
    Perhaps consider where this stuff stored in ANY known container on the planet will not leak before the next 1,000 years are done. IT IS GUARANTEED TO LEAK. Then we get contaminated groundwater (think Newcastle next to the RAAF last year) and people dying of leukemia.

    Your post is an irresponsible ratbag post which ignores the dangers. Renewables are the ONLY way forward and they will happen with or without the consent of people like you or the coal industry. When it comes please refuse to use renewable energy!
    Franzl
    26th Oct 2018
    11:56am
    Why is nobody talking about the progress Australian Scientists have made in producing base-load power from sunlight? We have the science, the technology and industry is already working on it, - and the politicians know it. Why are people still talking about nuclear power which looked very good 100 years ago, but proved to be enormously expensive and an environmental disaster? Why new coal which also proved to be a disaster, potentially almost as bad as nuclear? And one more: Why are power companies allowed to charge financially stressed families up to 47% more if they fail to pay their power bill in time? What have we a government for if not to regulate? Self-regulation has proved to be a disaster for all but those who are allowed to self regulate.
    Triss
    26th Oct 2018
    12:21pm
    I agree with you, Franzi, government needs to regulate against huge penalties.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    3:04pm
    Unfortunately we don't have base load power with anything other than fossil fuels.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:49pm
    You are 100% correct Franzl. When battery technology gets dirt cheap this coal based game will be over.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:36am
    ..except in China so the world will still go down the tubes... if we don't become Muslim first..... as some predict will happen with breeding rates...
    KB
    26th Oct 2018
    12:06pm
    Not all of us are able to access or afford batteries and solar. Renters like have limited options as much as I support solar power. I an cynical with the idea that the Liberals will be able to wield the big stick at power companies to give us lower electricity charges.
    Steff
    26th Oct 2018
    12:37pm
    Stop subsidising renewables.
    bob menzies
    26th Oct 2018
    1:00pm
    I agree - last year $3,2b - stop it NOW. If I had the opportunity I switch if everything powered by coal and say to the poor unfortunate souls this is what you want and to the wealthy Wentworth electorate OK you want 100 renewables - we will build 29 wind turbines and place them on Bondi beach and watsons bay and on 1Apr19 everything we find that is powered by coal will be switched off.
    My friends in US tell me that USA is now fully self sufficient in energy - even 3 new coal mines have been opened in past 2 years as well as more gas. They pay 58c to our $1.
    Our biggest export is coal - OK for everyone else to have cheap energy but not us.
    Get out of Paris - cease renewable subsidies today and we might have a chance of cheaper energy.
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:15pm
    Well said steff and bob!!

    Get out of Paris - cease renewable subsidies today and we might have a chance of cheaper energy.

    Also, cease huge coal levies! And coal energy will again be the cheapest!
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:53pm
    You need to inform yourself Steff. The subsidy is zip despite what the coal industry claims.

    You are telling the rich man invested in coal story bob. A lot of hogwash!
    Windmills will NEVER be built on the Sydney coast but rooftop solar will continue to be rolled out. That is what you are really objecting to because this is a danger to your share portfolio and coal income stream. Shameful!
    floss
    26th Oct 2018
    12:54pm
    I worked all my life in the power industry and watched the change that took place when we sold out to the private sector ,just plain stupid.The Government lost all control from then on and will never recover it.Power prices will never fall the present business model will not allow it to.Our stupid Government can talk all they like it just can't happen it is all about base load.
    bob menzies
    26th Oct 2018
    1:03pm
    it is not that simple - private v public - in NSW when in public hands not nearly enough money was spent on basic maintenance - they had to sell off or face the prospect of spending billions to maintain network - money they did not have - this was over 20 years or more of neglect
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    1:54pm
    That's why the drop-out rate hasn't changed? What happened to BlackBaird The Privateer gold plating the lines and wires before flogging off OUR network to profiteers? OUR money spent to make the 'business venture' easier on the poor suffering takeover merchants.... just another way of transferring public wealth into private hands....

    That sounds a lot like Captain Hooknose now telling us we are in a fight with the Fed to get money for hospitals, when she's been telling us that the Big Sellout will give us new hospitals and stuff...

    Seems 'governments' are constitutionally incapable of keeping their stories straight - either that or the think we're all morons out here in CaptiveAudienceLand... the land where even if you think you can never oppose the violent extremes of government in tearing off a chunk of everything...

    We're gonna need a bigger guillotine...
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:19pm
    Hey trebor you wrote

    "gold plating the lines and wires"

    This is a big fat LIE!

    This supposed "gold plating" was merely a LIE to hide the fact that renewables are EXORBITANTLY expensive.

    Has anyone ever asked what form did this "gold plating" take??

    How do you "gold plate" poles and wires????????

    Beats me!
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    3:07pm
    I remember one power supplier in Sydney put in transformers twice the size that was needed at the time and the NSW state government told them they were wasting money and they had to go back and change them all for smaller ones. Fast pace 20 years or more and they then gold plated everything to sell it all.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    3:44pm
    Massive repairs prior to sale - and no difference in service afterwards:-

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/mike-baird-on-a-wire-20140613-zs6md.html

    You are fixated on the alleged subsidies and cost of a new start-up business - and I will say categorically right now that such 'start-up costs' would be considerably lower in public hands as opposed to private. I've explained to you all before how start-up costs are always high for any new venture.... and should be calculated into long term rates of return - but that the current smash-and-grab/ramrod approach to instant millionairism dictates that the clowns who run the show want to apply the start-up costs as the yardstick for all future revenue, thus creating a permanent cost increase rather than a revenue capture worked out over the life of the 'venture'.

    Greed is NOT good.... I know it's hard to keep up, but try at least.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:56pm
    TREBOR - 100% correct!

    Tony Abbott was elected on the blatant lie "you have high electricity prices because of the Carbon Tax". It was NEVER true.
    The reason electricity prices more than doubled after Abbott was put into power by Murdoch was the huge upgrades to the poles and wires. You have this correct!
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:21pm
    That is a lie bob. Baird spent $16 billion on the grid to get an $11 billion deal away. I expect it was the NAB that collected a fat lot of fees.
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    1:27pm
    What a load of leftie/greenie crap this article is!!

    Take for example the LIE "there is little the Government can actually do in a free market"

    HUH?
    A "free" market with HUGE govt subsidies for expensive, unreliable renewables and HUGE levies on CHEAPEST coal fired electricity!
    Someone is seriously one-eyed here.
    Take away the subsidies and levies and coal is BY FAR the cheapest form of energy.

    I remember electricity rates being LOW AND FALLING when Australia had exclusive;y coal fired power.
    Then electricity rates began to skyrocket about 2005 when expensive renewables began to raise their ugly heads.

    FYI: There is NO COUNTRY IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE with loads of EXPENSIVE, INTERMITTENT renewables and low electricity prices and never will be.

    Does the author really believe that China, India et al are scrambling for "expensive" coal power and IGNORING "cheap" renewables??
    The mind boggles at this BLATANT dishonesty.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    3:50pm
    India has a program of installing cheaper alternative energy sources.... cheaper....

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2018/01/30/india-coal-power-is-about-to-crash-65-of-existing-coal-costs-more-than-new-wind-and-solar/#601298324c0f

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/china-coal-fired-power-station-buildup-2018-9

    Speaks for itself - India finds it cheaper to pursue a program of alternatives while China persists with Killer Koal Kulture - the KKK of Asia...
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    5:57pm
    Right wing coal industry sponsored propaganda LUVCO2!
    GeorgeM
    26th Oct 2018
    11:47pm
    I have to agree that this article is the usual leftie / greenie crap meant to win over even more gullible people to the climate change con.

    Nothing wrong in improving our environment. Other than that, the priority MUST BE to lower electricity prices, and to do that Govts need to reverse their massive mistakes - create new coal-fired power stations to ensure ample and cheap electricity availability (increase gas-fired also as needed), take back Govt control of Electricity pricing, and scrap all subsidies for renewables.

    Until China, India and USA agree to any targets, Australia needs to stop shooting itself in the foot and stuffing up it's own people when we have been lucky to have so much natural resources. Sickening how the commentary is usually hijacked by political and extremist views. Too many scientists have become scared to tell the truth about this climate change con, and indeed many are profiting out of this "climate change" industry.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:38am
    It's not as if the captive audience will use more power if it was cheaper...... everyone these days only uses what they must.....

    We've thus far had a cool Spring - no need for the air con yet.... but I still miss being East of the snow country...
    travelman
    26th Oct 2018
    1:40pm
    We have heard it all before, the 'hollow' rhetoric from Scott Morrison and now his new Energy Minister Angus Taylor with his load of garbage. I saw him on ABC 730 report and if it wasn't for the fact he was on the program, I might have thought it a vinyl recording with the needle stuck in the groove, "I am fully focused on getting prices down," he said over and over and over again. The man is a complete idiot and I am looking forward to him and his boss demise at the coming election. There is do doubt in my mind that they know they have no power to get the prices down. HOWEVER, the cost of my energy bill is tumbling down and should be almost nothing to pay and no matter what happens I am now in control of my energy costs. NO MORE BIG BILLS. I am also switching across to AGL whose rates are the best in SA. They have one flat rate of 27.95 cents before GST per Kwh and 16.3 cents per Kwh feed back into the grid. That is far better than my last retailer; I will save $150 over a 90 day cycle. I am so glad I invested in a Solar system. Now, I know some of you will say that going on Solar will push up energy prices but it should not but it does because of the greed of energy suppliers to make as much profit from you as they can. Just like, the fuel companies are doing. If the car industry could be revived in this country and got to work on electric cars or hybrids, then we could break being held to ransom by these criminal companies. The same applies to energy - if instead of being held to ransom by the coal industry and energy suppliers (power stations), more and more people changed to solar and enjoyed having hardly any energy costs then we could break these companies completely. One thing is certain - you cannot rely on this government to do what is right for the people. After all, they haven't done anything right since they came into power. If you think you cannot afford the costs of Solar, you are wrong. With the government rebate and having no or only a little energy bill, you can afford to pay, fortnightly, repayments for the equipment and installation until paid out - You will find that even the total costs of equipment and installation you may have to pay would be much less than your energy bill you are now paying by not having solar. Many thousands of people have solar and have no energy bills to pay so why don't you at least consider and investigate it. England and 28 other European countries are working together to be rid of coal fired energy and be completely on renewables. There is no question that coal, even this so called clean coal (which doesn't exist) is no longer viable, a 'dead horse' being promoted by an ignorant and uneducated government whose only reason is to receive political donations from the coal mining industry to help keep them in power.
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:10pm
    Hey travel you wrote
    "Now, I know some of you will say that going on Solar will push up energy prices but it should not but it does because of the greed of energy suppliers to make as much profit from you as they can"

    Oh, OK so there was no "greed" of energy suppliers before 2005 when we had exclusively CHEAP coal fired power and electricity prices were LOW AND FALLING.
    Why weren't we being "gouged" then????

    The answer is "greed" has always existed and today's exorbitant electricity rates are due solely to the emergence of EXPENSIVE renewables. Nothing to do with the LIE that it's "greed"

    If renewables were so "cheap" China, India etc would not be falling over each other in a mad scarmble to build "expensive" coal fired power stations.
    Please explain why they aren't scrambling for "cheap" renewables ......

    "CHEAP RENEWABLES" IS A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS!

    PULL THE OTHER ONE BABY!
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    1:52pm
    More BLATANT spin in this leftie/greenie article ....

    "Carbon emissions are created when the uranium is mined, transported and processed to make it into a fuel."

    Firstly, it's not "carbon emissions" but colourless, odourless trace gas, plant food CO2 emissions. Calling CO2 carbon is like calling water (H2O) hydrogen!!

    Secondly, Ignoring the "carbon emissions" omits to mention the "carbon" emissions created when the neodymium etc is mined, transported and processed to make it into say wind turbines etc . Also fails to mention the horrendous pollution caused by the manufacture of wind turbines & solar panels.

    "Clean" Energy's Dirty Little Secret.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449026/solar-panel-waste-environmental-threat-clean-energy?utm_source=social&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=kelly&utm_content=clean-energy

    Toxic Waste From Solar Panels: 300 Times That of Nuclear Power
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/toxic-waste-from-solar-panels-300-times-that-of-nuclear-power/

    Wind turbines are neither clean or green, and they produce, to the nearest whole number, 0% of the world's energy
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/wind-turbines-are-neither-clean-nor-green-and-they-provide-zero-global-energy/#

    Batteries Able to Support Wind, Solar Don’t Exist
    https://stopthesethings.com/2016/09/29/batteries-necessary-to-support-solar-and-wind-power-dont-exist/

    The Brutal Truth About“Clean”,“Green”Wind Power, Disastrous Pollution!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

    THE SEEMING NOT DOING SYNDROME
    Let’s do the maths.
    Last year wind and solar ­energy produced the equivalent of nine days of global primary energy needs. Coal produced 109 days and fossil fuels combined produced 313 days of the world’s ­annual primary needs.
    Despite all these power sources, 1.3 billion people still missed out on electricity and a further 1.7 billion only had partial access…
    Halting or limiting coal or fossil fuels output will simply mean that those with no or partial access to electricity would have to wait much longer in the dark.
    That is an uncomfortable but incontrovertible fact.
    If you limit something or make it more expensive to the poor then you are delaying or denying that access.
    Not just for weeks, months or years, but generations.
    Hundreds of millions of people will live shorter, more miserable lives as a result of the choices of the comfortable and warm.
    Pearson demonstrates how this is another case of what has long fascinated me - the Seeming not Doing syndrome.
    Brendan Pearson, chief executive of the Minerals Council, points out the harsh consequences of dreamy green demands that we ban coal and switch to renewable power:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/seeming_good_achieving_dark/
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2018
    6:49pm
    Install solar and see if you still think renewable are BS. Our caravan is totally self-sufficient. Never been plugged in. And we have all the power we need. The power company pays us for our home electricity. And we have a relatively small system.

    There is technology available to generate large amounts of power very cheaply and in an environmentally friendly way, but then the coal giants wouldn't make money and their politician friends wouldn't be re-elected.
    LUVCO2
    26th Oct 2018
    2:25pm
    Well said steff!

    Another HIGHLY BIASED leftie'greenie article pushing the supposed "wonderfull benefits" of renewable power!!

    Here's a truism '''''
    Attractiveness to lefties/warmists of any source of energy is inversely proportional to its readiness for cost-effective deployment at industrial scale.

    The leftist/warmist agenda is ENERGY POVERTY as high priest Ehrlich said!
    "Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be equivalent to giving an idiot child a machine gun"
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    9:05pm
    Did he say that about petroleum?

    I doubt it.....
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:24pm
    Which is why they never developed Tesla's towers to use electro magnetic energy from the Shield. Nobody could figure out how to make money from it and the coal owners freaked out.
    floss
    26th Oct 2018
    3:16pm
    Yes gold plating the system did go on before the sale and the price was well below the real worth.One huge blunder how ever you dress it up, It was sad to see it all happen.Make no mistake the system was in top shape before the sale a lot better than now.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    9:58pm
    It happens again and again and again in this country. public assets flogged off by ratbag governments who are in bed with the purchasers of public property.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:47am
    It wasn't a blunder, floss.. Mick - it was a deliberate sellout of the national/state utility for a few miserable dollars wasted on fruitless adventurism, and with nothing solid to show for
    it.

    The 'governments' mostly responsible for this travesty are now whining that, despite their advertising in a supine press about privatisation, that they don't have the money for the hospitals and such that they said would be right there in return for $20Bn from privatisation... and they didn't tell you the $20Bn of extra ready to splash around would come from your pockets with higher prices... so now expect the prices to rise again and the State government to whine about the Feds not funding their hospitals and needed infrastructure.

    Meanwhile Gladys rebuilds a stadium, while at the end of the Sydney-Newcastle FREEWAY, there is a roundabout that causes traffic delays extending for kilometres....

    I suppose the next one is that this should be 'privatised' into the hands of Greiner and Co so that it will be 'fixed' and 'run more efficiently'... as long as you pay $25 a trip out of your pocket to feed these parasites... for eternity.

    Total bunch of losers in politics these days... thieves and liars all.
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:28pm
    We are somewhere between 600 and 800 schools short and a couple of dozen hospitals after all the population explosion we had to have to kill wage rises and force house prices into the stratosphere.

    All those skilled workers from countries with free unit here to compete with our poor kids carrying HECS debts and unable to get a proper job now.
    Old Man
    26th Oct 2018
    3:18pm
    "Finally, for all those who fantasise that we should begin building nuclear power plants because they are emissions-free, think again. If you take the whole lifecycle of nuclear energy into account, it is far from emissions-free. Carbon emissions are created when the uranium is mined, transported and processed to make it into a fuel."

    I have no argument with this statement but, in fairness, the exact same argument can be made when wind turbines and solar panels are manufactured. After initial set up costs, nuclear will be cheaper and less polluting than coal and gas fired power plants.

    However, the real question is whether the government has any substance behind its rhetoric and I think that it has. What seems to have been overlooked is the powers that a government can invoke in respect of essential services. This legislation gives a government the power to intervene should there be any adverse affect in relation to essential services of which electricity is one.
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    3:59pm
    They need balls to do that... OM... nowhere in sight....
    Old Man
    26th Oct 2018
    4:24pm
    You may be right, Bob, the way Morrison has allowed Turnbull to to carry on shows a lack of something. What amazes me about the Coalition is their lack of understanding about the voters. Coalition voters are screaming from the rooftops that they want immigration reduced and to walk away from the Paris agreement yet Morrison seems consumed with the need to pander to the Left. Surely he must realise that those he is trying to suck up to would never vote for him or his party no matter what sop they were given.
    Sundays
    26th Oct 2018
    6:06pm
    I agree Old Man. If the Liberals want to be re elected, they need to pick one thing at least that their voters want, be it lower electricity prices, children off Nauru, pause on immigration, and actually make it happen. Their jobs and growth mantra has worn thin especially when most of the jobs are casual employment. Just criticising Labor is not working any more
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:01pm
    OM - I have only one question if you have the slightest doubt about nuclear energy: where do you keep the spent rods which are toxic for half a million years? THERE IS NO SAFE STORAGE FACILITY OR CONTAINER ON THE PLANET!!! That is the problem. The only one!
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:50am
    We plant them firmly in the breasts of Islamist insurgents, Mick.. via depleted uranium rounds in AT projectiles... and bunker busters .....bloody insurgents have so much armour we need those AP rounds en masse....
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:51am
    We irradiate every insurgent country and that solves two problems in one.... two burkas with one stone cold weapon...
    floss
    26th Oct 2018
    3:20pm
    O.G. THAT IS JUST PLAIN RUBBISH .
    Old Man
    26th Oct 2018
    5:08pm
    I'm not sure which OG post you are referring to, floss, but I absolutely agree.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:03pm
    Ditto! Sorry OG. You do peddle the government BS.
    Rae
    27th Oct 2018
    1:31pm
    Was that the bit about car regos and internet because I agree. I use very little energy but my car rego, green slip, insurance and internet is $2800 a year. Energy under $1500.
    Chris B T
    26th Oct 2018
    3:28pm
    Don't be on the Electricity Grid and be self sufficient.
    No Charges at at all.
    No more Whinging or Complaining about Electricity Charges.
    Simple
    A place where you store your own money ( costs for installation ).
    {;-(0)
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2018
    6:46pm
    There have been proposals to force anyone whose property is located where grid connection is available to pay whether they have it or not. It's been done in parts of the US. Wait for it! I reckon it's coming - especially if battery power becomes genuinely economical.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:07pm
    They tried that on with water decades ago. Australians will not sit still for that any more and given the numbers who will drop off the grid politicians will find themselves in the cold if they try it on. I have no doubt they will.

    Chris - yes, that is where the world is headed. We already generate enough electricity to meet our needs plus extra. The only thing stopping us cutting the umbilical chord immediately is battery storage. The time is not yet right. Give it 5 to 10 years.
    TREBOR
    27th Oct 2018
    12:58pm
    Watch out for the sneaks in any such situation - we had a septic system down south - had run just under two years and due for inspection at five - the council - bent on providing a bigger sewerage system - sent a kid out to look it over without notice - and then billed us $85 for the privilege of not having sewerage but having their kid inspect it.

    I told 'em to get stuffed - the ex paid it like the chicken she is, bowing down to city hall.

    Shows why the government was so intent on a feminised public service, eh? Essentially new boys on the block and with no idea of issues and how they work in the workplace, and a supine way of handling 'authority' in its dictates, rather than discussing such issues as staffing etc rationally. A 'tame' public service ripe for the plucking, and without the balls (literally) to stand up to despotic government and its dictates and its abuse of the PS as a personal fiefdom instead of an independent advisor and functionary.
    Chris B T
    27th Oct 2018
    2:18pm
    The concern about being charge while not on the Electricity Grid is a two edged sword.
    Electricity companies disconnect for non Payment, so how is it still OK to charge when disconnected.
    ????
    Jim
    26th Oct 2018
    4:28pm
    It wouldn’t matter what the government promised, nobody will believe it, so I guess you have to make up your own mind, there are many that keep pushing the renewables to bring down prices, this might be the case sometime in the future, it certainly isn’t the case at the moment no matter what some people are trying to convince us, personally I don’t think that solar panels and wind generation will fully provide the power we need, we will always need other forms of power generation, what form that will take I don’t know maybe hydro generation can help fill the gap, Labor and the greens are pushing renewables for all of our power, I would like to see their plans and a timeline for how they are going to achieve it, I can’t be generated by hot air alone.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:09pm
    NOBODY could believe ANYTHING the current lot said given their track record since Gillard was ridden out of town with a colossal lie.
    I believe the country will have a mix of energy sources. Solar will be the leading one.
    bobm
    26th Oct 2018
    4:47pm
    In WA we are real lucky. The Government decided not only charge to a fee to draw on the power provided (daily rate) to your property, however now charge you with solar panels, to put power into the grid. They then have the BALLS to tell everyone they didn't raise the price of electricity.
    I have solar panels and I have had one bill in 6 years of $11. Currently in credit of $773. This will run out with the new charges in a few years. Come on the sun everyday for 24 hrs a day.
    I have only 4 years to go then the rate goes back to 7cents per unit paid by Synergy Power.
    micreen
    26th Oct 2018
    4:50pm
    Can anybody tell me what the amount of Government subsudies are given for solar and wind turbines which feed the power grid. I have been led to believe that without them no company would invest in wind or solar as they are both unreliable and cannot be controlled like coal fired power can be. ANYBODY???
    TREBOR
    26th Oct 2018
    9:11pm
    "82% of subsidies is concentrated in the Australian Government's 'Clean Coal Technology', with the remaining 18% of funds allocated to the renewable energy 'Project Solar Systems Australia' $75 million".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_policy_of_Australia
    ozrog
    26th Oct 2018
    5:00pm
    I read that there is a new housing development where they are putting solar panals on every house included in the price. More should do it.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2018
    5:54pm
    Current power system is not designed to take that sort of load.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:12pm
    Current government has made sure it NEVER built in anything to accommodate energy fed back into the system. Funny that. I wonder why they did that.....
    BillF2
    26th Oct 2018
    5:27pm
    The electricity companies are in business to make a profit, and will not willingly take a cut. The political parties get their funds from people like the electricity companies. They cannot afford to bite the hand that feeds them. So there is Buckley's chance of anything changing. If you want to reduce your power costs (in the long term), invest in your own electricity generation with solar panels, windmills, battery storage, etc. Otherwise, take out a second mortgage.
    Blossom
    26th Oct 2018
    5:33pm
    They would allow the construction of coal fuelled power stations when they have been forced to close. Some power stations the water went into the sea.We will eventually run of of Gas if we don't stop exporting it. It will be interesting to see what happens with the wind turbines need servicing. They weren't even built in Aust. The were imported and transported in sections. Solar power can only be relied on when we have plenty of sun. Not helpful when we have a few very dark cloudy days or very thick fog that may not clear until well after 11.30
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:18pm
    A couple of facts:

    1. Australia had an endless supply of gas when Howard was PM. He allowed it to be sold to foreigners and now WE are not allowed to buy even one single molecule.
    2. yes the sun does not always shine. That's why we will need batteries which hold up to 5 days energy. I suggest that batteries with a capacity of around 100 kWh would do the job. This level of storage is not even close but newer batteries using carbon will eventually allow bottomless storage. Likely to happen on our lifetime but still in the future.
    Franzl
    26th Oct 2018
    7:05pm
    All I would like to say after reading those comments: " Thank God, we still have scientists and engineers to solve our problems"!!
    MICK
    26th Oct 2018
    10:21pm
    Don't be sure about that Franzl. Highly credentialed workers frequently head for the US for better pay and anything our bright workers invent is either given away for free of bought up by American companies who can commercialise the idea. Our governments and business are good at running up debt but are unable to run the country. Easier to flog something off rather than make it pay for Australians, including many many lost jobs. Who needs jobs eh?
    Conservative Matt
    27th Oct 2018
    9:50am
    There is a realisation around the world right now that renewables are cheaper than deploying new fossil fuel plant and that each year they're getting cheaper and cheaper. This is causing investors to be weary of betting on fossil fuel based infrastructure which they want a 25 year+ return on. The other advantage to the renewable energy players is that they have small bite sized projects that from planning to revenue generation can be got up and running in 1 or 2 years (depending on the country - ie 2 years in AU but 1 year in places without so much red tape). These are the things that make solar and wind win. Finally it is known that the cost today is the beginning. It's competitive today with new plant but when costs half again (and through history they keep on halving like computer chips) they will dispatch power cheaper than fossil fuels.) On the storage front Tesla is already paying $50kWh to produce lithium ion batteries the only thing keeping the price up is the lack of manufacturing capacity but once that catches up batteries will be affordable for the middle class which will seriously turn things on their head.
    Old B.
    27th Oct 2018
    2:40pm
    Reducing electricity bills could be simpler, get rid of the rip offs in the system that no one seems to talk about. I had the power connected to my property in 1977 and had to pay the full cost of poles wires and transformer. Before they turned it on I had to sigh a document handing the whole lot over to the county council . For the early years they charged me for power used plus a "transformer maintenance "fee for each connection I have on the property. I had a connection to my house, 2 sheds and a pump for water supply to the house. They charged me 4 transformer maintenance fees each bill even though I only had one transformer. I promptly had the power to one shed cut off. Over time they changed the name from transformer maintenance fee to supply charge which is now running at $1.41 per day. This means that for my shed the bill can be around $160 but less than $20 is for power and the rest is for having it available through a transformer that I paid for. It is the same for my house, $1.41 per day plus what ever power we use. The way I see it the supply charge should be to the transformer and after that I should only have to pay for power used. There are thousands of others like me that are supplied from transformers and are being ripped off but nothing is done about it. Imagine if the council charged you water rates for every tap you have in your house.
    travelman
    27th Oct 2018
    5:13pm
    You are right on Mick, Janus doesn't remember Russia and Japan when Nuclear meltdowns, the disaster to life, property and years and years before the land can be occupied safely. They are but two of many. As for renewables, the technology is still in its infancy and yet far better than coal, gas and nuclear in efficiency, environmentally, costs and health. And LUVCO2, you've been listening to much to Donald (Duck) Trump - what he says is not just fake - it is science fiction.
    Alexia
    27th Oct 2018
    5:37pm
    Another political speech with no substance or true facts. No commitment at all and no solutions given, I do NOT believe a word from these people.
    We will not see any action on this for a long time, if any happens ever.
    Entire countries in Europe are using solar and wind energies to supplement or completely supply their electrical needs, at little cost to the people. So it is possible but Australia is behind everybody in everything, due mainly to its political make up.
    ex PS
    31st Oct 2018
    12:07pm
    I reckon we will save about as much on electricity with this plan as we did with the no carbon tax plan. I fail to see how an industry can spend billions on new power plants and not pass the expense on to the customer, it will be made worse by the fact that coal will be uneconomical well before the plant reaches its use by date.
    I would not be surprised if the government and its media backers weren't deliberately holding back on releasing clean energy breakthroughs in order to prove a false political point.

    27th Oct 2018
    5:39pm
    Of course the promise of cheaper power is bollocks. It came from a Lieberal. Those nincompoops couldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it!
    Old Geezer
    29th Oct 2018
    2:10pm
    Labor would just add another tax to it as well.
    ex PS
    31st Oct 2018
    12:11pm
    Yes OG, and I heard that they have a plan to recycle all the dead old people and sell the product to the public as Soylent Green, a well known food supplement.
    If you are going to travel down the road of fantasy, why not go the whole way.
    travelman
    27th Oct 2018
    6:08pm
    LUVCO2, Don't tell me that renewables are dearer than coal - that is absolute crap. I have followed my bills for years and monitored my meter and usage. I also logged the rates of retailers and except for one instance since (in SA) Premier John Olsen sold our utility to private enterprise, the prices have risen every year. My latest account for the winter period was $948 for 101 days. Now I am on solar it should be just a few dollars or credit. I don't go on hypotheticals, BS from Scott Morrison or any other politician - just what my bill says at the end of the cycle of 90 days. I do listen to advice from people I know and can trust to speak the truth and I have had no one tell me that renewables are so expensive that capital outlay makes them unviable. If I had installed solar some six years ago it would more than covered the capital costs and my only expense thereafter would be a few dollars per cycle but probably a credit. That's all I need and know and if people can't understand that what I have is real and true, then they need to 'wake up'. The energy suppliers, not the retailers, are the greedy and immoral problem and the government are deceiving the public just as they did over the greedy and immoral banks. Just a moment I enjoyed with the news was the worker demonstrations in many cities, a few days ago. We need more of that to rid ourselves of the worst government since Federation and I support anyone who is making a stand - a stand that should have been made during John Howard's term of office as Prime Minister. We are often blocked out of the media especially the government media because their staff do not forward to the ministers any correspondence that might be controversial or questioning their policies. So, we are showing this government what we think of their energy policy at the same time 'going out on our own' to make our lives better. All the people need to do to get a government out of office and quickly is a national strike - even the threat of one frightens them sick for they believe we lack the will to stand up against them.
    maxchugg
    30th Oct 2018
    11:07am
    Three questions about the solar battery in South Australia:

    1. How much did it cost?
    2. What is its life expectancy?
    3. When the next blackout comes, how long will it provide enough energy for South Australia?
    Olga Galacho
    31st Oct 2018
    1:33pm
    Hi maxchugg. Did some googling to answer your questions. The SA Tesla battery is valued at $90 million. It stores 100mw of energy. To build a 100mw coal plant would cost around $300 million. Coal plant's lifespan are between 30 and 40 years. I will find out the lifespan of the battery for you.


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