Saturday 3rd of June 2023

the "socialists" dictators of the turdy-turnbull COALition hate the concept of renewables...

AGL plan for Liddell...

The coal munchers of the rabid CONservatives pseudo-Liberal are betraying their beliefs of "free-market" as they hate "renewable" energy sources taking over the supply of electricity in Australia from their mates, the Coal Merchants. AGL is thus under the gun... Here Mr Leonisky, of the engineering firm WindSun & Sons, gives the schematic plans for the upgrade of the Liddell Power station by 2022, free of charge.

There has been an open tug-of-war between the Government and AGL over the future of the Liddell power plant.

It is due to shut in 2022, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants it to squeeze another five years out of it to prop up the country's ailing energy grid.

Coalition MP Matt Canavan has questioned why the company wants to close the plant — rather than sell it.

"I have serious concerns that their current proposal to shut Liddell power station is about boosting their profits than protecting the energy system — it's certainly not about saving the planet, that's certainly not what AGL are doing, and I think that's becoming transparently clear."

'Highly unusual' for Government to exert pressure on AGL

Shadow energy minister Mark Butler said AGL's motive was clear and simple.

"AGL is the only group that's crunched the numbers of the viability of extending the Liddell power station after 50 years of age, and after it crunched the numbers it came to the view it didn't stack up," he said.

AGL will now prepare a plan for the Government, outlining how it will avoid a market short-fall if it closes the plant.

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an ageing old lady with no underpants...

Coal fails in the heat. And so it did on 10 February 2017, as the heatwave that sparked South Australia’s blackout rolled across into NSW and emergency load-shedding was required in Australia’s biggest state. The Liddell power station failed to perform and could only operate at below half-capacity. In fact, throughout 2016-17 the 45-year-old power station’s average capacity was only 54%. It almost never operates at peak performance.

To increase grid reliability, the last thing you would want to do is rely upon an underperforming, old power station prone to failure during heatwaves.

But the good news is that Australia does not have to wait until after 2022 to put in place an energy security solution. Consumers can pay less, pollution can be cut and the grid made more reliable without waiting to keep a coal plant open which may or may not have a seller or a buyer.

Demand response technology reduces peak demand to keep the grid stable. Cloud computer software is used to control a potential fleet of millions of domestic and commercial devices, from smelters to residential air conditioners, aggregating them into what the CSIRO calls a “virtual power plant”. From the consumer’s perspective, it is as easy as taking a selfie on a tram.

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reviving the old copper network, killing the NBN...

Labor has accused Malcolm Turnbull of bullying the boss of electricity company AGL into agreeing to consider to extend the life of its ageing Liddell coal-fired power station for another five years.

Joel Fitzgibbon, the shadow minister for rural and regional Australia, says AGL has had a well-publicised plan to close the 45-year-old power station by 2022 and transition to cleaner forms of energy.

But after meeting with Turnbull in Canberra on Monday, the chief executive of AGL, Andy Vesey, has agreed to take a proposal to his board to either sell the Liddell plant to someone else or keep it open for another five years, by which time it would be 55 years old.

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lies from the free marketeers...

OUR PACIFIC ISLAND neighbours are justifiably anxious about their impending inundation from sea-level rise and they plead with Australia for no new coal-mines.

The proposed extension of life for the Liddell power station was not an auspicious start to the Prime Minister’s meeting with Pacific Island leaders.

Nor would their anxiety be alleviated by the latest rise in Australia’s greenhouse emissions. But his reassurance to them, that his Snowy Mountains Hydro vision would help them, reminds one of the story-book pictures of Cook landing on palm-fringed beaches and offering useless coloured beads and trinkets to bemused natives.

#2GB Turnbull conning the Samoans into adopting his Hydro Mk2. They love it & it'll work, once they build a mountain & a dam. Mal's a hero?

— Allan Kleiman (@allankmelb) September 8, 2017

It requires a lot of dedication for the Federal Government to avoid mentioning health. Avoidance is cloaked in the mantra of “coal is clean”, “clean coal”, “coal is good for humanity”, “coal is cheap” – all flying in the face of universally known evidence – and, therefore, fake "facts".

In the case of Liddell, it emitted 31,344 tonnes of sulphur dioxide in 2014-15 — an unacceptable act of pollution. In the atmosphere, sulphur dioxide travels great distances and undergoes chemical reactions to form sulphate particles, one of the components of fine-particle air pollution that has serious consequences for health.

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tony turnbull is happy about malcolm abbott...

Tony Abbott has used the second anniversary since losing the top job to declare he’s intent on looking forward, not backward – and has again weighed in to the government’s fraught energy debate to call for an end to all subsidies.

The former prime minister told 2GB on Thursday he welcomed signs from Malcolm Turnbull that the government was moving away from the clean energy target recommended by the chief scientist to what he is characterising as a “100% reliable energy target.”

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Both men have not understood a single thing about the planet. Both are idiots.

the coal is illegal...

The miner that supplies Energy Australia’s Mount Piper coal power station with coal has sought an urgently expedited court hearing to establish how it can continue to operate without a valid licence.

But Centennial Coal did so without making a formal application for an early hearing and without evidence supporting the need for it, leaving the judge appearing sceptical of the claim.

The move follows an Energy Australia public campaign, arguing the company’s Springvale mine must be allowed to continue operating, despite the NSW court of appeals finding it was polluting Sydney’s drinking water and therefore operating on an invalid licence. Without the licence the 26-year-old Mt Piper power station, which provides about 10% of NSW energy needs, could close before 2042.

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meanwhile, the idiots in kanbra are in denial ...

The implementation of solar energy is rapidly spiraling upward, as current annual production estimates calculate some 305 gigawatt-hours produced globally, an enormous increase from 2010's 50 gigawatt-hour figure.

While current total global energy output is measured in the hundreds of thousands of terawatt hours, the small solar percentage is expected to fuel its rapid adoption as a global energy source, according to a CNBC report.

"Solar is growing exponentially, is what I don't think people realize," according to Norway-based energy executive Steve O'Neil.

"Every two years, the installation rates are doubling and so it's happening around the world now very quickly," he said, cited by CNBC.

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lovely solar panels and heart-warming windmills...


Voters situated around the Liddell power station are already looking beyond coal to cleaner power sources and tend to blame the federal government for the current state of energy policy.

All but a few believe pressuring AGL to keep its ageing power station operating is the wrong way to go.

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liddell spells windmill forwards...


Replacing the Liddell coal power station with clean energy technologies would slash pollution and be at least $1.3bn cheaper than the Turnbull government’s plan to extend the life of the New South Wales plant by five years, a new analysis has found.

A second report released on Monday also found Australia has the potential to lead the world in developing large and home-scale energy storage systems if public uncertainty can be overcome.

Both reports will give the Coag energy council food for thought when it meets in Hobart on Friday to discuss the federal government’s national energy guarantee.

Modelling by the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, commissioned for the Australian Conservation Foundation, found a clean energy package including battery storage, solar thermal and bioenergy, would have a zero pollution outcome compared with 40m tonnes of pollution by extending Liddell.

The foundation’s CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy, said keeping Liddell open beyond 2022 would be bad for the climate and Australia’s ability to achieve its Paris targets.

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renewables are good for you...

Modelling commissioned by the Turnbull government as part of its efforts to back in the national energy guarantee says renewables will drive the first wave of price reductions under the policy. It also floats substantial regulatory intervention to stop the electricity market becoming even more concentrated.

The work by Frontier Economics, obtained by Guardian Australia, says a steep decline in wholesale electricity prices forecast between 2018 and 2022 is due to the entry of 6,000MW of renewable capacity which has already been incentivised by the existing renewable energy target.

It also acknowledges that the policy, which imposes new reliability and emissions reduction guarantees on energy retailers and large energy users from 2020, could also lead to further market concentration in states like South Australia.

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shutting down...

AGL has rebuffed pressure from the Turnbull government and confirmed it will close its Liddell coal-fired power plant, replacing it with a mix of renewable sources.

The decision, announced on Saturday morning, was widely expected, and the company had intimated a similar plan earlier this year.

But it still serves as an embarrassment to the Coalition, which had publicly and privately pressured AGL’s chief executive, Andy Vesey, to either sell the plant or keep it open for another five years.

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a renewable hub...

The AGL chief executive, Andy Vesey, says he plans to “fully execute” his vision of transforming the Liddell coal-fired power station into a renewables hub, saying it will bring cheaper, greener and more reliable energy, while providing quality, long-term jobs for decades.

Vesey left little doubt about his desired future for the plant during a speech on energy policy on Friday, again defying renewed pressure from the Turnbull government

He said transforming the site into an integrated renewables hub – comprising renewable generation, batteries, gas and demand response – would be vastly preferable to extending its life for several years. 


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the ACCC has no mandate to spin the laddle...

AGL's Andy Vesey is filling the role abdicated by the Turnbull Government and the ACCC by recognising the disastrous effects of coal on human health and acting accordingly, writes Dr David Shearman.

‘‘Somebody has to be on the bleeding edge, we [AGL] are going to be the biggest emitter [of carbon dioxide] — that means we are going to need to be responsible, and take action.” ~ Andrew Vesey

When AGL CEO Andrew Vesey made the above statement, he was recognising the social licence increasingly necessary for industry — and was filling a role abdicated by the Federal Government.

He will be thanked for his leadership by many in the medical profession, for health should be paramount in this debate.

By contrast, the confident assertions on the Liddell Power Station by the ACCC Chairman Rod Sims remind me of the surgeon having completed a brilliant operation to save the sight of an elderly patient — he removes his mask, smiles and acknowledges the admiration of his team when a junior nurse puts up her hand and says rather apologetically, “But Sir, the patient has died”.

The continuation of Liddell as advocated by the ACCC will result in an estimated 80 premature deaths and hundreds of cases of cardio-respiratory disease from air pollution during the five years to closure. These harms could be reduced if air quality standards recommended by the World Health Organisation were adopted, but in Australia this reform is glacial.

Why accept more deaths and illness by extending Liddell’s life?

The health costs from pollution for the Sydney area are reported to be up to $8 billion per annum and Liddell contributes to this; it also has prodigious greenhouse emissions acknowledged by Mr Vesey.

The stated role of the ACCC is that it

' ... will take action where this improves consumer welfare, protects competition or stops conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers, and promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets.' 

Yes, “harmful to consumers” — consumers have to breathe.

There are economists on the ACCC Board who would have been expected to review the full life-cycle costs of coal before Mr Sims made his statement. Did they ignore or were they unaware of the work of eminent Yale economist William Nordhaus? Nordhaus demonstrated, using full cost accounting of all externalities, that coal now has no value to the community — work confirmed by other groups of economists.

Indeed coal is the most expensive energy modality apart from nuclear energy. It requires exceedingly good discipline by the government to do a "John Cleese" and not “mention the war” – the war being the word “health” – for to do so would undermine the ideology that coal is "good for humanity".


In making its deliberations, it is important for the ACCC to use its economic skills to calculate, using accepted formulae, the cost of lives and illness. This cost is contributed by the taxpayer for health services and this "subsidy" allows the ACCC to factor in a spuriously low cost for electricity from coal.  


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Go AGL, fight for the future as much as you can... This is a fight you must win...


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meanwhile, the heat...

The huge warm air mass that broke national records in recent days will edge eastwards, setting up Sydney for three days in a row above 30 degrees.

While the unusual late-season warmth will have many heading for the beach or other outdoor activities, light winds and hazard-reduction burning in the Blue Mountains mean pollution will build up in the Sydney basin. Air quality is expected to be poor for the city on Wednesday, the government said.

The city's April warmth includes a record for the month of 35.4 degrees on Monday and is part of a broad heatwave the likes of which have few precedents this late in the season.

Rival periods for south-eastern Australia include bouts in 1922, 1938 and 1986, Blair Trewin, senior climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology said.


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leave AGL alone...

When AGL politely refused Alinta's offer of $250 million for its Liddell power plant in the Hunter Valley earlier this week, that should have been the end of the Turnbull government's bullying of AGL over the future of the coal-fired generator. Instead, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg switched to jawboning the company to hurry along with its other investments designed to replace Liddell after it is shut down in 2022.

While Mr Frydenberg and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have restricted themselves to telling AGL how it should run its business, Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have gone further. The two dumped Coalition leaders, rebadging themselves as socialists, have urged the government to force AGL to sell Liddell, even if that means compulsory acquisition.

Mr Joyce and Mr Abbott even have a theory about why AGL wants to hold on to Liddell, then shut it down in 2022 and replace it with a mix of renewables and gas. Apparently the company wants to drive up the price of its product, electricity, by keeping its own costs artificially high – unprecedented behaviour for a business operating in a competitive market.

If a company owns an asset, it has a right to determine the future of that asset, including to decline offers from interested purchasers. These basic property rights underpin a successful market economy. They are widely accepted throughout Australian society, though apparently not in some pockets of the conservative Turnbull government.

It is mostly just posturing. Mr Turnbull and Mr Frydenberg need to keep sending the right signals to the climate-change sceptics in their party and the media. Mr Abbott and Mr Joyce need to keep themselves in the spotlight by making as much noise as they can.


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"giantest" battery bank...

Victoria will be home to the largest battery in the southern hemisphere as part of a State Government push to transition to renewable energy.

Renewable energy company Neoen will pay for the 300 megawatt Tesla battery to be installed at Moorabool, near Geelong.

The new battery will be twice the size of the battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.

State Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the battery would improve energy reliability in summer and drive down electricity prices.

“We know in the time of climate change, our summers are getting far hotter and much longer, so that means there is increased strain on our thermal generators,” she said.

“This is part of our plan to deliver security, reliability and affordable power.”

The state has signed an $84 million contract with Neoen for the project.

But Ms D’Ambrosio was not able to say how much Victorians would save on their power bills once the project was built.

“Our independent analysis shows for every dollar that is invested, it will present two dollars for every Victorian in terms of value,” she said.

AusNet Services executive general manager of regulation and external affairs, Alistair Parker, said the battery would be able to power about 300,000 homes.

“Its critical role though, will be enabling extra interconnector capacity,” he said.

“If we have a fault in the network it can very quickly give us 250 megawatts and nobody will see the inconvenience in the network.”

Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said the battery was a game-changer for Victoria’s transition to clean energy.

“This big battery gets us halfway to the storage target we need to prepare for the closure of Yallourn Power Station,” he said.

The project is also part of a Government plan to support jobs as the state begins to recover from the pandemic, with more than 85 jobs expected to be created in the construction of the battery.

The battery, which will be built near the Moorabool Terminal Station, is expected to be ready by November 2021.

South Australia’s giant battery has been credited with keeping the lights on, but also driving down power bills.


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concentrated solar thermal thingy...


Australia’s biggest power supplier, AGL, is proposing to build a solar-and-hydro energy facility at the site of its Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW once the plant closes down in 2023.

AGL has been collaborating with Melbourne-based developer RayGen on an Australian-first “concentrated solar thermal” project, which uses a field of rotational mirrors to capture sunlight and stores the energy in water reservoirs. As more coal power exits the market in coming years, advocates of the technology say it could be an alternative to gas and big batteries in supporting renewable energy uptake.


Construction has already begun on a $27 million solar-hydro plant in Carwarp in Victoria’s north-west, while the second phase of the project is being planned at the Liddell site in the Hunter Valley, where AGL also plans to build a large-scale battery system.

“The value of those existing thermal generation sites need to be repurposed over time,” AGL managing director Graeme Hunt told The Herald and The Age. “This is the kind of thing we think fits quite nicely.”


The Victorian plant, which has received $15 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, will be able to deliver 4 megawatts of solar generation and 50 megawatt-hours of storage to dispatch green electricity into the grid when needed. The companies aim to scale the project up 100 megawatts.

“We believe the technology can be just as successful in the Hunter region,” Mr Hunt said.

AGL’s two proposed facilities come as the looming 2023 closure of the Liddell coal-fired power plant has renewed debate about Australia’s energy transition. The Morrison government is ramping up warnings that NSW and Victoria could face blackouts or price spikes without more investment in so-called “dispatchable” power assets. These facilities typically include facilities such as gas generators, batteries or hydro, which are able to supply on-demand electricity in times when weather conditions for wind and solar power are unfavourable.

Last month, it was announced that the Commonwealth-owned Snowy Hydro would build a 660-megawatt gas generator at Kurri Kurri, NSW, to replace AGL’s Liddell plant in 2023. This sparked criticism from climate advocates against expanding the use of fossil fuels, as well as energy industry leaders, who pointed out that regulators do not foreshadow a meaningful future supply shortfall that would warrant the dramatic market intervention of a giant taxpayer-funded gas plant.

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the Commonwealth’s funding for RayGen built on an earlier $3 million in support last year, and demonstrated the government’s focus on backing new technologies that could deliver reliable and affordable power to Australians.


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renewed power...

Household power bills are set to fall over the next three years as state government commitments to cut greenhouse gases drive an influx of cheaper renewable power into the electricity grid.

The Australian Energy Market Commission’s price trends report, released on Thursday, found average annual residential bills in New South Wales are expected to decrease by $50, or 4 per cent, by mid-2024. In Victoria, bills are expected to decrease by 7.7 per cent, or $99, and in south-east Queensland they will drop by $126, or 10 per cent.

The AEMC report said the biggest driver of price falls over the next three years would come from cheaper power sources from wind and solar projects. These weather-dependent generators are set to be supported with on-call dispatchable power from large-scale batteries and gas.

“New generators, mainly renewables, continue to expand capacity and drive significant falls in wholesale prices. We are also seeing positive early evidence of how energy storage, like batteries, is helping to lower prices,” the report said.

Across the national electricity grid there are 2671 megawatts of new solar power generation committed to come online until 2024, and 1393 megawatts of new wind power. The intermittent supply from these power generation sources will be backed up by 904 megawatts of additional gas-fired capacity and 470 megawatts of large-scale batteries.

AEMC chairwoman Anna Collyer said the findings showed that “integrating renewables in a smart way makes it possible to have both lower emissions and lower costs for consumers”.

“We can now see far enough into the future to be confident that power prices paid by consumers will continue to trend downwards over the next three years, despite the staged exit of Liddell power station in 2022 and 2023, one of the biggest coal-fired generators in the national electricity market,” Ms Collyer said.

“We have just under 2500 megawatts (of mostly coal power) expected to exit the grid over the next three years, there are almost 5500 megawatts of committed new large-scale generation and storage projects coming online over the same time period.”


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