6 thoughts on “Is allowing Hazelwood to close the most stupid act of any Australian Govt?”

  1. What gives me the toms is everybody pretending this is a “commercial” decision, i.e. the fault of those greedy sleazy capitalists who own the power station.

    What you never hear is how the State and federal governments have so stuffed the energy market that such a decision makes any commercial sense. Think of the endless subsidies to wind and solar power, many of them hidden, such as directives to take such power whenever it is available, in preference to baseload generation from coal.

    What is gutting to contemplate is that if the government still owned Hazelwood they wouldn’t risk closing it in a pink fit. The backlash over any resulting power cuts would mean instant death for their administration. But if blackouts come now they will just blame the owner, and whinge about the heartlessness of capitalism.

    With any regulated business, the question should always be asked, has the government stuffed the price mechanim? If they have, as is clearly the case with the electricity “market”, then the shortages are their fault, not the market’s.

  2. Sadly, while no one would expect Captain Waffle to know Sh1t from clay when it comes to understanding the difference between power and energy, some of us would have hoped that Tony Abbott at least would have some clue. Sadly no it seems, TA like the rest of the clowns in Canberra really has absolutely no idea about the difference between power and energy.

    Abbott’s blithely mouthing nonsense about a new “2000 Megs” at Snowy being our saviour in years to come is just arrant nonsense. Hazelwood PS while it has the same nameplate rating ~2000 MW can/has produced this output day in day out for decades, rather than than the claimed one week of output to come from Turnbull’s Snowy 2 scheme. Hazelwood, even in spite of the mandatory market distortions imposed on it by the RET in the last decade, has produced more energy than all the wind farms in Australia. Quite clearly the real world energy comparison makes complete nonsense of the current political grand-standing we are being treated to.
    The simple comparison – Turnbull’s 1 week of 2000 MW pumped storage output from Snowy at a cost of $2 billion available in……. 2 years, more likely $4-6 billion in 6 to 8 years against an assured 1600 MW of continuous reliable power, really you have to be kidding?
    The real answer, punt the economy killing RET legislation and free market forces will repair the damage done to the electricity market in a few short years. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

  3. If Turnbull was a “Nation Building PM”, he would have to be first & foremost a Nation Preserving PM.

    He should use Section 109 of the Constitution to over-ride the states & Mandate the preservation of any operational power plant taken off line until it has been fully replaced by a proven reliable alternative.

    Vandalism such as what happened at Port Augusta & is planned for Wallerawang is Treason.

    Considering what we are paying for care & maintenance of the de-sal plants this should be a no brainer.

  4. … sigh.

    This has been coming for well over two decades. Blaming politicians now is utterly futile. Just ask the MSM why there has been no print or air time given to hard-experienced power grid engineers – ever. “No answer” will be its’ courageous reply. It is this hypocritical legerdemain that has deliberately enabled the current situation to evolve.

    @David Brewer

    > ” … directives to take such power whenever it is available, in preference to baseload generation from coal”

    Not a preference, David, but a mandated law (the RET).

    @Bob in Castlemaine

    > ” … The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about”

    You have to think about it – more than that, actually decide how you may cope. There is no way out now. For over two decades, the public has voted for these policies. Why should it not now enjoy the fruits of its’ voting habits ?

  5. Sorry Tom Dundas you have it all wrong. Look at Switzerland where the role of the federal government is strictly limited. The States do the taxing and give a small portion to the federal government for things like defence. Here the federal government should have no role in energy, environment, mining etc. The federal government should give taxing powers (which they took as an emergency in WW2) back to the states. The federal government should not be setting any RET, they should not be subsidising so-called (and unreliable )renewable energy such as solar and wind. Let SA and Vic go into black-outs, let companies leave states that can not supply cheap power. The federal government should have no role in unemployment pay. There should be no equalisation of states by federal government hand-outs. If crazy people want to live in Tasmania or South Australia it should be their choice and thy should suffer the economics of their decisions.
    No Warwick I do not agree with legislation to keep Hazlwood going. The decision is easy -stop favouring solar, and wind. Open the market for electricity by removing all limits and subsidies plus charge the renewables for access to the grid and make them guarantee the supply they contract.

  6. • It will be years or decades before the technology and grid changes that enable provision of affordable, secure and reliable electricity based on high penetration intermittent s are developed, proven and in place, .
    • Our whole society and its economy is based on affordable, secure and reliable electric power and would be up-ended if this were not available.
    • The way forward is not yet known technically or financially – that is mostly why there is no forward energy policy in place.
    • How stupid and irresponsible is it then for the Federal government to be ‘burning our bridges’ by permitting coal fired base load power stations to close – unable to compete with intermittent sources subsidized by the Governments own RET – before a secure, affordable replacement is clearly identified.
    • Gas replacement is already driving electricity costs up significantly, along with the security and reliability threat that comes with the big increase in the daily incidence of generators being switched on and off and attendant potential for failure and non-delivery.
    • Bios of the Finkel panel, headed by our P.M.’s personal Chief Scientist pick, along with the wishful thinking and seemingly deceitful spin permeating its Dec 2016 preliminary report, are not encouraging. The country should fear the coming Finkel Report’s probably ‘green’, Alice in Wonderland engineering, recommendations.
    • Such a ‘green’ report, commissioned by and presented to the Coalition, with no strong political opposition, is likely to lead us to a ‘crazy green’ future. Our economy will be trashed, and we will be told to ‘suck it up’ as the price for saving the planet. Is this all driven by our left-of-centre P.M.’s wish to grand stand on the world stage about his ‘Paris’ commitments?

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