Incompetent and left-wing biased BBC

I often check the BBC news website for this or that region – thinking I will at least get a half competent digest of what is going on. Now I am not so sure – perhaps the BBC is just a great waste of time.
Note that you click on Asia to get Australian news – here is a screen shot. For days now the Australian stories have been – Huawei barred in Australia deal – Australia extinction ‘due to man’ – and Australia’s most wanted man held, which is so important to score 2 links. Refers to the capture of a prison escapee in NE NSW 5 days ago early last Thursday 22 March. I have been looking for the BBC take on the Queensland State election (24 Mar 12) which reduced the ruling Labor party to a single digit number of seats – I think the greatest defeat in an Australian election in my lifetime.
The BBC has nothing on this. Yet when you search for Queensland election – you come up with many articles on Queensland elections – including glowing reports of Labor’s 2009 win. If you search for Queensland election 2012 you still get no BBC ref – but you do get an offsite ref to a Murdoch Australian site. I can only conclude that the BBC news service is very odd, slack and biased to the left side of politics.

11 thoughts on “Incompetent and left-wing biased BBC”

  1. Aren’t you familiar with the criticisms of the BBC from Brits claiming they are in the tank on AGW and most any other leftwing cause, Warwick? Truth and honesty in reporting is not in their interest as with most MSM.

  2. BBC is biased. But what about the ABC?.

    How many saw the 7:30 pm report last night about solar projects and felt as I did.

    It was an extremely unbalanced report. They interviewed two of the most extreme renewable energy proponents in Australia (Matthew Wright and Tristan Edis) but did not get anyone to explain the cost of renewable energy and what the costs do to the price of electricity (and therefore to Australia’s economy).

    Matthew Wright was the lead author of the Beyond Zero Emissions which claims Australia could have zero carbon emissions from energy by 2020. I’ll tell readers some more about that below.

    Tristan Edis is the editor of “Climate Spectator”. He is an extreme and strongly biased proponent of renewable energy – and of changing the electricity system – including the transmissions system and the electricity companies that have to remain profitable in order to provide us a reliable electricity supply – to suit the needs of renewable energy advocates.

    But no one was interviewed who could explain the costs. So below I’ll explain the costs of Matthew Wright’s plan for Zero Carbon Emissions by 2020.

    Added by Ed: Last month we had these articles on this subject – the first two with lengthy discussions;
    Colossal costs to convert Australia to 100% renewable energy – and could it work then ? – Feb 10th, 2012

    US Dept of Energy levelized electricity generating costs -Feb 24th, 2012

    Many articles on electricity generation and renewable energy – Feb 20th, 2012

  3. Matthew Wright is the lead author of the Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 report. The report has been critiqued and completely discredited by many people including by Martin Nicholson and me:

    The analysis assumes that Australia’s domestic air transport would cease, people would move by train, bus and some electric cars by 2020. Electric trains would run all over our grain growing areas collecting wheat stalks and transporting them to the solar power stations to burn them to produce heat for when the sun doesn’t shine enough. There are many other highly optimistic to completely unrealistic assumptions underpinning his analysis. Here are the conclusions from our critique are:

    • The ZCA2020 Stationary Energy Plan has significantly underestimated the cost and timescale required to implement such a plan.

    • Our revised cost estimate is nearly five times higher than the estimate in the Plan: $1,709 billion compared to $370 billion. The cost estimates are highly uncertain with a range of $855 billion to $4,191 billion for our estimate.

    • The wholesale electricity costs would increase nearly 10 times above current costs to $500/MWh, not the $120/MWh claimed in the Plan.

    • The total electricity demand in 2020 is expected to be 44% higher than proposed: 449 TWh compared to the 325 TWh presented in the Plan.

    • The Plan has inadequate reserve capacity margin to ensure network reliability remains at current levels. The total installed capacity needs to be increased by 65% above the proposed capacity in the Plan to 160 GW compared to the 97 GW used in the Plan.

    • The Plan’s implementation timeline is unrealistic. We doubt any solar thermal plants, of the size and availability proposed in the plan, will be on line before 2020. We expect only demonstration plants will be built until there is confidence that they can be economically viable.

    • The Plan relies on many unsupported assumptions, which we believe are invalid; two of the most important are:

    1. A quote in the Executive Summary “The Plan relies only on existing, proven, commercially available and costed technologies.”

    2. Solar thermal power stations with the performance characteristics and availability of baseload power stations exist now or will in the near future

    Matthew Wright was sent a copy of our critique and invited to post a reply and/or to participate in online discussion and/or debate. He did not reply to any of the offers and invitations.

  4. The cost of renewable electricity for Australia

    Researchers at the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM), University of NSW, did a desk top study called “Simulations of Scenarios with 100% Renewable Electricity in the Australian National Electricity Market” (Elliston et al., 2011).

    The authors claim their study demonstrates that renewable energy could supply 100% of the Australian National Electricity Market’s electricity and meet the demand with acceptable reliability.

    However, they did not estimate the costs of the system they simulated. I have critiqued the paper and made a crude estimate of the cost of the scenario simulated and three variants of it

    Using costs derived from the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET, 2011), the costs are estimated to be: $568 billion capital cost, $336/MWh cost of electricity and $290/tonne CO2 abatement cost.

    That is, the wholesale cost of electricity for the simulated system would be seven times more than now, with an abatement cost that is 13 times the starting price of the Australian carbon tax and 30 times the European carbon price. (This cost of electricity does not include the costs for the existing electricity network).

    Although it ignores costings, the study is a useful contribution. It demonstrates that, even with highly optimistic assumptions, renewable energy cannot realistically provide 100% of Australia’s electricity generation. Their scenario does not have sufficient capacity to meet peak winter demand, has no capacity reserve and is dependent on a technology – ‘gas turbines running on biofuels’ – that exist only at small scale and at high cost.

    An Excel file is provided which you can download, change the inputs and do your own sensitivity analyses.

  5. Further to my above two comments both critiques provide cost estimates for powering all or most of Australia’s electricity with renewable energy. However, it so happens that any amount of renewable energy is expensive and raises the cost of electricity.

    The more renewable energy we add to the grid the more expensive electricity becomes.

    Put another way, no amount of renewable electricity can be added to the grid without raising the cost of electricity.

    Furthermore, renewable energy does not reduce CO2 emissions by much.

    This is what the ABC 7:30 pm report should have made clear – but didn’t!

  6. If we decide, for whatever reason, that Australia must cut its CO2 emissions, the least cost way to do so is with nuclear energy.

    If we substitute nuclear for solar and wind power in the analysis discussed above, the capital cost would be 1/4, the cost of electricity would be 1/3, the CO2 abatement cost would be 1/3 the cost of the renewable energy option – and the CO2 emissions would be 1/3 those from reneewable energy (due to the natural gas back up required if we want a reliable electricity supply).

  7. I had to laugh at a comment by Martin Ferguson at 14.0 minutes into the Tuesdays 7:30.
    ABC Reporter Lisa Whitehead (voiceover)

    Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says the projects are commercially complex and the grant scheme is about lessening the risk for companies building big solar plants.

    Minister Ferguson:

    “… that’s what we’re about. Its not about the operation of the retail market, its about testing technology, grid base load power …”

    No base load power with Solar Dawn or the Moree Solar Farm.

    Solar Dawn is exactly what the program said it was, a solar thermal gas hybrid plant. No heat storage.

  8. BBC and ABC are both very biased on green issues. Not doing their job on public issues, which is to present both sides of the story.

    BBC World Service was much better in the old days. Probably was still left-wind overall, but much straighter in presentation, and taking care to get different views. I remember tuning in during the 1980 Australian federal election. Most of the TV coverage here had called it for Labor. BBC World Service had a live cross to Red Harrison in Sydney who correctly predicted Fraser would get back. Neither political alternative was much chop, but the point was, the BBC would always make sure to keep its head. It had experienced, solid reporters who didn’t belabour you with their political biases, even in long personal reports such as on “From Our Own Correspondent”.

    BBC was still OK through the 80s but TV World Service was never any good and the internet seems to have destabilised the whole show. The main domestic BBC morning radio current affairs show, The Today Programme, is worse than the ABC’s AM – just an endless meander through the world of elf, ejucation an’ wewlfare, and the whinings and stutterings of its denizens about diversity, gender bias, and the evils of Tories and their boodget coots.

    Only positive development in recent years is the fading of the global warming fable. Four years ago I had a game of turning on BBC Radio 4 and then switching off if they started whinging about climate change. It got to the point where you could not go thirty seconds without being obliged to hit the off button. Unfortunately the replacement themes are hardly more real.

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