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AGL’s green push for greater profit

AGL’s green push for greater profit

Quiz: how many Americans have galloped into town, created a disaster and run off with millions? See clue at bottom.

While Martin Luther King III was stirring the brothers in Tasmania, another American pest was hard at work screwing the nation with high priced electricity. Sharri Markson writing in the Daily Telegraph explains a few home truths about AGL’s CEO Andy Vesey and his cozy little business.

AGL’s greenhouse emissions have blown out by more than 5 million tonnes since American import Andy Vesey took over as boss, launching an advertising blitz promoting the company’s green credentials. The energy giant is now the single biggest carbon polluter in the entire country, with more than double the emissions of the next highest emitter, Energy Australia. Yet this has not stopped Mr Vesey spending an estimated $23 million a year on an advertising campaign to rebrand AGL as a clean, green energy company.

Source: News Corp

AGL Energy is Australia’s biggest carbon polluter but its marketing boasts so-called ‘green credentials’

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said there was a big difference between the green-image it presents to the public and the actual size of its carbon emissions.
“Given AGL is by far Australia’s largest emitter the gap between perception and reality is very large,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The reality of today’s energy market is that fossil fuels are critical to the supply of reliable and affordable power.
“If companies like AGL are going to be truly transparent in promoting their green credentials, they should also tell consumers about the overall nature of their energy generating portfolio and the quantum of their emissions.”

When Mr Vesey was hired to run AGL in February 2015, its emissions were 38.3 million tonnes for the 2014-15 financial year. But by the 2016-17 financial year, its greenhouse emissions had increased by 13 per cent to 43.4 million tonnes.
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, AGL was the biggest emitter in Australia, with Energy Australia coming it second with 21.7 million tonnes — half the emissions of its rival. AGL accounted for around 8 per cent of Australia’s total emissions.

Two months after Mr Vesey took over as managing director and chief executive, he launched a new greenhouse gas policy that pledged to close all existing coal-fired power stations in its portfolio by 2050.
AGL said it would not extend the life of any of its existing coal-fired power and would not build, finance or acquire new conventional coal-fired power stations in Australia.

Asked why its emissions were increasing, an AGL spokesman said its emissions have increased following the “sudden closure” of other coal plants, which required theirs to run at a higher capacity.
“Due to the age of some of our generation plants this can’t continue into the long term,” he said.
“The closure of Liddell in 2022 will reduce our emissions as it’s replaced by low emissions technologies, as described in our NSW generation plan.”

AGL Energy has launched a marketing campaign to spruik its ‘green credentials’ while it takes the gong for the biggest carbon polluter in Australia.
But the spokesman would not comment on how much lower its emissions would be when Liddell closed.
In April last year, AGL announced its major green rebranding campaign in a statement to the stock market.
“Our brand campaign includes­ a TV ad which talks about … our ongoing commitment to investing in renewable­ energy,” the statement read.

CLUE: There must be plenty of people wandering the halls of Canberra wondering what they were thinking when they allowed $10 million-a-year man Trujillo to be the Telstra face for the final share sell-down.



This isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. Henry Lawson smoked them out a hundred years ago.


They come to learn us cricket in the days of long ago,
An’ Hanlan come from Canada to learn us how to row,
An’ ‘doctors’ come from ’Frisco just to learn us how to skite,
An’ ‘pugs’ from all the lands on earth to learn us how to fight;
An’ when they go, as like or not, we find we’re taken in,
They’ve left behind no larnin’—but they’ve carried off our tin.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Penguinite 30/05/2018, 7:38 am

    Surely the light must be dawning in South Australia that they have been duped by a global con-man? Yes the name Tesla and it’s inventor will go down in the annals of history. As will the name of the Premiere who injudiciously took them down the road of solar power.

  • Ian 30/05/2018, 8:21 am

    There’s a good reason why their CO2 emissions have risen. Green generators generate power intermittently, when they produce, the network is forced to buy their power and that means that the coal fired units are allowed to cool a little. They aren’t switched off, just not fed coal as often. So extra customers, regardless of green generators equals more coal/gas to be burned.
    When the sun stops shining or the wind stops blowing the coal fired unit must immediately jump into production to carry the load.
    When you feed a huge burner or ten and don’t use the power it generates you create waste heat and CO2.
    Unless green generators supply their power to a battery backed system so that they can supply a constant load you will never appreciably lower your carbon footprint no matter how many intermittent generators you throw onto the system. The amount of coal that must be ready to be burnt at any instant is almost equivalent to the total load demand and that means boilers must be maintained hot and ready and all burners must be hot.
    Unless you are willing for the lights to go out.

    • Graham 30/05/2018, 12:11 pm

      Ian, add to that the fact that an ac electrical system needs significant inertia to set and stabilise the frequency and voltage that can only come from large generators operating 24/7.

      • Ian 30/05/2018, 12:39 pm

        A good electrical inverter with a solid time reference can generate rock steady, phase locked power. It’s just that they cost a hell of a lot more than any of the cheap units people use for their solar inputs, (which are locked to the incoming supply phase only). Wind turbines and other low inertia devices should be forced to use an externally referenced clock, independent of the supply phases, (eg a phase reference from a real power station that is not affected by power factor).
        The reason for the phase lock on ALL low inertia units is simple to understand. Here’s my quick lesson of the day…. Power is supplied in AC, ie it is positive for one half of a 50Hz cycle and negative for the other half. If you were to supply out of phase power to the grid at say 10kW, then the current drawn from the generator, (the true mains), would be near to 20kW, ie twice your solar inverter’s capcity, it would be a LOAD, not a generator.
        In normal operation, to supply power from your solar inverter to the grid you have the inverter use it’s smarts and it makes a voltage, in phase but at a higher voltage than the mains so that the current leaves your property and flows to the lower grid voltage, on a big grid with a very low effective resistance, this might only mean a couple of volts more to transfer 10kW. It takes a lot more if you are at the end of a long single wire feed to a rural property, maybe 10% more than the 230V, (which is the upper limit voltage, 253Vac), at that voltage, that old TV might have a couple of hiccups, so might the old fridge.
        Now here’s the kicker. IF you or your neighbours have a large inductive load, say a big AC unit, that will drag the voltage behind the current and NOW your inverter will make its power to the lagging voltage, BEHIND and out of phase with the real generators, reinforcing the AC lag. IF all solar inverters in your street take up this stance then you have a series of solar generators making power maybe 30 degrees late, this causes the main generator to feel a load equivalent to the sum of the solar inverters multiplied by the 30 degree out of balance load, (180 degree is the out of phase load I mentioned at the start being a complete reversal of the load/generator rating).
        As noted, if the small generators had an independent feed from the main generator, then no generation could ever lag the real one.
        Guess what, that costs money and no household could afford it and the wind generators aren’t required to do it. A MAJOR shortcoming of the low inertia systems.
        Hope that helps, even a little…

  • angry 30/05/2018, 8:44 am


    NO IFFS NO BUTS !!!!


  • Lorraine 30/05/2018, 8:52 am

    any one who obtains their power from AGL should change their supplier. The biggest liars outside our Government are the power suppliers. We are getting a raw deal from both

  • Joe Blogs 30/05/2018, 9:20 am


    “Mark Levin discuss what happens if the electrical grid goes down, will it be easy to take it out, who might take it out, and what can we do to protect it? He is joined with expert Dr. Peter Pry to discuss this matter, and how much of a threat this can be.”

    Meanwhile, everyone’s squabbling about invisible clouds of beneficial gas.

  • Albert 30/05/2018, 9:56 am

    Vesey has his greasy little fingers all over the place. One of his schemes that has drifted off out of sight and hearing with nothing being heard of it for some time. The scheme is to dig up the brown coal in Victoria, turn it into liquid hydrogen and sell it to the Japs. Maladministration was beside himself with joy and at the time told us how wonderful it would be that the plan would would keep the lights on in Japan for the next 240 years.

    Vesey, however, is not interested in keeping the lights on in Australia by using hydrogen to produce a base load energy network because it will eat into the pocket money he intends to grab with his windmills and glass panels. A conman in the same class as Elon Musk.

  • Phil 30/05/2018, 12:00 pm

    Why don’t we have gas fired power stations?
    Oh, that’s right. We’re flogging every ounce of gas that we can get out of the ground to the Chinese for a song. Silly me.

  • Jim 31/05/2018, 11:11 am

    Ian – Thank you for that information.

    So if I interpret it correctly, the whole idea of feeding solar power back into the grid is largely an exercise in futility given the fundamental engineering design deficiencies you describe (the ramifications of no requirement for phase locking) – particularly for a rural property.

    If that is the case the degree of deception that has been imposed on us and the amount of money stolen from us by the political / corporate class is beyond breathtaking – it is treasonous.

    When I put something together it will be off-grid.

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