In one of the most massaged spin-doctor sales messages in Australian history, the Finkel Report is here to “take the politics out” and solve our energy instability and out-of-control prices. But it’s actually an aggressive green-left weather-control program where cost and stability are secondary to the unspoken but main aim, which is to slow storms in 2100.
If Finkel was really aiming for stability and price control he’d let the free market run, get the government out of our electricity grid and look at the evidence that shows that solar panels and wind farms don’t, won’t and can’t work as global air-conditioners for us or our grandchildren.
Australians, read this line and weep:
“Modelling for the Review estimates that by 2030, 42 per cent of electricity demand will be met by renewable generation.”
This is where South Australia is currently at, but it has a lifeline to coal power in Victoria whenever it needs it. What happens when the whole National Grid needs a lifeline? Pull out your wallet…
How much does an undersea cable to New Zealand cost? It’s only 2,000km.
For the same price, we might be able to afford a new ultra-supercritical coal plant and catch up with Indonesia instead.
Solving our energy stability is really easy and very cheap and if that was his aim, Finkel is not-even-trying. Government efforts to control the planetary climate have created the blackouts and driven cheap electricity providers out of business. Finkel’s “solution” is more of the same but in a different flavor. It’s all things to all people, “finally here” and we’ll all get free ice cream, but please, nobody, ask how much electricity would cost if the Government got out of the way. Nobody mention that wholesale coal-fired volts are 4c per kilowatt hour.
If you like your coal you can keep it (under the ground)
Technology Neutral. My Foot!
Importantly, the scheme would be technology neutral — that is, all forms of electricity generation would be eligible, including coal with carbon capture and storage or gas — provided they are below the emissions intensity threshold.
Finkel has nothing against coal, as long as people meet conditions that defy laws of chemistry. Supposedly coal-fired stations must stuff a massive volume of a beneficial aerial fertilizer into a small hot hole underground. New “carbon capture” coal plants would cost something like 60% more to build yet waste around 40% of all the energy they generate. Carbon capture is a secret code for “death to coal plants”, and not surprisingly, in real life, they crash and burn in financial fireballs.
What do you call “paying a lot more”? That’s your “reward”
Finkel-spin says that electricity will be cheaper than a hypothetical worst case scenario:
Consumers will be financially rewarded if they agree to manage their demand and share their resources such as solar panels and battery storage. Prices for all consumers, not just those who own solar panels or batteries, will be lower than they would otherwise be;
Welcome to your renewable future — managing demand means not having the air-con on when it’s really hot and you really need it. And what kind of prices are “lower than they otherwise would be”? Any kind. Theoretically, any infinitely high price is still lower than it otherwise would be compared to an infinitely-plus-one-plan. It all depends on the modeling.
Judith Sloan is not impressed: “Malcolm Turnbull, I will bet you power bills don’t fall $90″
If you believe your annual electricity bill will fall by $90 every year for the next decade, you will believe anything.
This politically attractive forecast of falling electricity prices mirrors the equally ridiculous modelling result that emerged from the Warburton review of the renewable energy target released in 2015. We were asked to believe wholesale electricity prices would actually fall if the RET were retained in its then current form, with a target of 41,000-gigawatt hours by 2020. (This was adjusted to 33,000GWh.) That’s right — electricity prices were going to fall between 2015 and 2020.
But take a look at what has happened to wholesale electricity prices — and, with a lag, retail prices — in the context of the ongoing RET, an outcome completely divergent from the one the modellers assured us would occur.
Wholesale electricity prices have soared from $50 a megawatt-hour on average to about $150. Retail prices are being raised across a number of states by between 15 per cent and 30 per cent. A household facing an annual electricity bill of $2000 a year easily could be slugged another $400 to $600.
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