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 Is this an admission that renewables can’t hack it?

13.09.20.  Well, Well! The penny has finally dropped in that renewable energy can’t supply the required base load electricity. To his credit, PM Morrison has said that if the private sector (read foreign ownership) does not build a gas powered plant the government will? The government should build the plant and retain it as an essential industry and start lowering Australia’s expensive electricity costs—something foreign ownership won’t do! On the other hand, is this nothing more than propaganda from Scotty from advertising?
Scott Morrison will back a new Hunter Valley gas power plant to replace the Liddell coal-fired ­station if the private sector fails to lock in investment by April and inject 1000MW of new energy into the national electricity grid. Outlining the biggest shake-up of Australia’s east coast gas market in decades, the Prime Minister will set a seven-month deadline for the private sector to replace the dispatchable energy lost in 2023 when Liddell closes.

Source: Geoff Chambers, News Corp

Power up or we build gas plant: Scott Morrison

In a major pre-budget speech in Newcastle on Tuesday, Mr Morrison will position gas as the centrepiece of his economic ­recovery plan and commit to ­establishing an Australian gas distribution hub similar to the successful Henry Hub in the US.
Unlocking gas supply, investing in new pipelines and fast-tracking interconnectors between states will lead the Morrison government’s gas-fired recovery plan, with an initial $52.9m allocated in the October 6 budget.
Mr Morrison said delivering more local gas at internationally competitive prices was critical in firing the nation’s economic ­recovery and supporting the manufacturing sector, which ­employs more than 850,000 Australians. “We’ll work with industry to deliver a gas hub for Australia that will ensure households and businesses enjoy the benefits of our abundant local gas while we hold our position as one of the top global liquefied natural gas exporters,” Mr Morrison said.
“Our competitive advantage has always been based on ­affordable, reliable energy. As we turn to our economic recovery from COVID-19, affordable gas will play a central role in ­re-­establishing the strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding government services and opportunities for all.”
In addition to expanding Queensland’s Wallumbilla site as Australia’s major new gas hub, the Morrison government will spend $28.3m on five strategic plans covering the Beetaloo, North Bowen and Galilee basins. The Australian gas hub will be set up to deliver an “open, transparent and liquid gas trading system”.
With the LNG export market valued at $49bn last year, the government is pushing the private sector to invest in the gas market and nation-building projects.
If the private sector doesn’t act, the government will seek to underwrite projects, streamline approvals and establish a special purpose vehicle with a capped government contribution.
Mr Morrison also warned the government won’t risk the affordability and reliability of the NSW energy system and would intervene if forced after AGL last month flagged plans to build a grid-scale battery system at the Liddell site.
The government’s Liddell taskforce found closing the plant without adequate dispatchable replacement capacity risked prices rising by about 30 per cent over two years, increasing to $80 per MWh in 2024 and $105 by the end of the decade.
After years of clashes with AGL over Liddell, the Morrison government is giving the private ­sector until the end of April to ­deliver 1000MW of dispatchable capacity with a generation commitment in place by the 2023-24 summer. With the government-owned Snowy Hydro developing options to build a gas generator in the Hunter Valley at Kurri Kurri, ­Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the market had a “clear obligation” as an essential service to step up. Mr Taylor said that, since 2010, investment in dispatchable energy had “slowed to a trickle”, with about 1.6GW of capacity added to the NEM.
The Morrison government has plans to expand Queensland’s Wallumbilla site.
“Over the last decade, the private sector has not built a single new reliable power plant in NSW,” he said. “And in the five years since the closure of Liddell was first announced, the private sector has only committed to a single dispatchable generation expansion — a 100MW addition to the existing Bayswater plant. This falls far short of what is required.”
The Liddell taskforce investigated the impacts of the power station’s closure on large industrial users including the Tomago aluminium smelter, which employs more than 1800 full-time workers and produces 25 per cent of Australia’s aluminium.
The government is considering changes to energy laws for Tomago and other large industrial firms that support the stability of the electricity system, compensating them for providing grid services and emergency reserves.
The national gas-led recovery plan, which was guided by a report prepared by COVID-19 Commission special adviser Andrew Liveris, will set new supply targets with states and territories and enforce “use it or lose it” requirements on gas licences. To avoid gas supply shortfalls, the government will pursue new agreements with the three east coast LNG exporters and explore options for a domestic gas reservation scheme despite protests from industry groups.
The $10.9m National Gas Infrastructure Plan will identify priority pipelines and critical transport infrastructure, and ­advice on when the government will need to step in when the ­private sector fails to invest. The Australian understands the government will not hesitate in intervening and taking over gas pipeline upgrades if companies baulk on investment.
The government will also pursue reforms around the regulation of pipeline infrastructure to promote “competition and transparency” and support work on a “dynamic secondary pipeline ­capacity market”.
The government will also work with the states to fast-track the Marinus Link, Project Energy Connect and VNI interconnectors under a $250m program, in ­addition to work already being done to accelerate the HumeLink and QNI interconnectors.
Mr Morrison said those links would help put downward pressure on prices, shore up the reliability of the energy grid and create more than 4000 jobs. Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the plan was aimed at encouraging investment to unlock Australia’s “vast resources potential”.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Ozman 15/09/2020, 6:58 am

    Sometimes there is a glimmer of hope from Morrison. He still needs to get some backbone.

    Maybe Morrison ought to read the book of Proverbs. Some sage advice there.

    The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace. (Proverbs 3:35)

    Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. (Proverbs 19:15)

    Government departments need to do something productive that feeds and clothes and houses people, which means providing energy and all the other necessary requisites to sustain a healthy and prosperous life, not be sloths living it up at the expense of the working class who pay for their inflated wages, lurks and perks.

    • Red 15/09/2020, 8:19 am

      However, while the public service continues its policy of promoting failures instead of terminating them Australia will continue to fail. Cant hurt their feelings now, can we??
      Promote them instead…laughable policy from Administration Tribunals, Human Rights and Unions.

      One I know of rose to Level 5 in Health in Canberra by gas-lighting ALL the excellent staff, getting others onto them in packs so she could not be called a bully, and covered up terrible abuses.
      The reward…$$$$$.

      A disease has spread through the public service and public service is no longer its focus. Mates rates only.

      We need a change and sack these idiots!
      We need people who read & understand what is happening overseas with sun & wind failures, not people who only read their pay slips and agreements on entitlements.

  • Uber 15/09/2020, 8:05 am

    This is idiotic. Where will the gas come from? There is coal right at the doorstep.

    • Albert 15/09/2020, 8:33 am

      The gas comes from the various parliament houses we have scattered around the country.

    • DT 15/09/2020, 1:09 pm

      Australia has massive natural gas untapped reserves on and off shore.

      After Qatar we are the world’s major gas source nation.

      There is also oil where there is gas in many areas, including existing oil wells around western Queensland capped by the old Commonwealth Oil Refineries because Middle East oil was cheaper to extract.

      Under Coober Pedy in SA there is another huge oil and gas field not being exploited because of government greenism, and of course the mighty United Nations and related treaties and agreements. The UN is a major roadblock.

      • Graham Richards 15/09/2020, 3:07 pm

        How long did it take for the Government to get permission from the U.N. to even talk about a gas fired power plant?
        This Organization is a cork in the ass hole of progress. ( Like all things Socialist).

        Crazy stuff ! Build a gas fired plant with gas having to be imported into the area when the plant is probably sitting on a coal field!!!

        Stop pissing into the wind Mr PM. Either build a H.E.L.E coal fired plant or do the job properly & build a Nuclear plant ( or two).

        These facilities are for the long term for power in general but more specifically for investment in local manufacturing. Please realise
        one needs to make decisions which look good not for just your 3 year term in office but for the good of all for the next 50+ years!

      • Pensioner Pete 15/09/2020, 5:11 pm

        Spot on Graham.

  • Cliff 15/09/2020, 8:30 am

    Oh that he would bite the bullet and get real and put in some nuclear power stations.

    Notice I didn’t say “that he would say that he would put in” but actually “put some in”, for, when it comes to politicians’ promises, there’s a gulf so wide between saying and actually doing that it’s unbridgeable.

    • DT 15/09/2020, 1:12 pm

      As I have posted here before, during 2019 the Morrison Government reopened the nuclear debate based on the Howard Government Inquiry that recommended modular nuclear generators for Australia, from memory fifty of them.

      But the use of nuclear energy was banned by our parliaments many years ago!!!

      Recently in the NSW Parliament there was a debate regarding lifting the ban on uranium mining, the proposal was rejected by a majority of votes. Greenism won again and the UN as well.

      However, the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into nuclear energy continues.

  • Popular Front 15/09/2020, 8:38 am

    I’ll believe it when I see construction begin, until then it is just a press statement and governments are good at doing that – announce something BIG! and then do nothing.

    Besides, if the Australian voters act with their usual bloody-minded stupidity and elect the ALP rabble, Labor will immediately shitcan the whole project simply because the L/NP proposed it and they didn’t. It is what they always do.

    In the meantime, we’ll keep exporting our LNG at giveaway prices to countries who can’t believe their good fortune and our business naivete.

  • Lorraine 15/09/2020, 9:21 am

    Well I guess its the next best thing to a coal fired power station at least they can pass it by the Greens as a transition fuel.

    • Graham Richards 15/09/2020, 10:23 pm

      Give it a couple of weeks Lorraine & the Green objections, disguised as some other dangerous emission or after effects will surface. More likely though will be EPA considerations &/or banks wanting the projects defunded.

  • Ian A 15/09/2020, 9:43 am

    Yeah, photovoltaics aren’t much good without a battery. Lots of PV without storage isn’t that useful. Once you have both, the equation changes. I prefer controlling my own power source, just as I prefer owning my own tools than getting them from some community workshop, and prefer watching my own TV than going to some social club for it. If I can go independent I will. Call me a cranky old fart, that’s just me.

    • Neville 15/09/2020, 9:23 pm

      And a battery ain’t much good anyway.
      It’s to do with energy density, and discharge. Good for running the grid for a few minutes. And costs a squillion if one decides we need more batteries to increase “back-up”.

  • DT 15/09/2020, 1:05 pm

    Maybe the author missed a few facts when researching?

    For example;

    * The Morrison Government created a sunset clause for the RET and subsidies, no more from 2030. The timing, I understand, was to provide wind and solar installation businesses time to make provision for loss of the taxpayer funded subsidy and as a result, I have read, there has been a decline in development applications for new wind and solar projects, and the renewables industry is not happy.

    * During 2019 negotiations commenced with State governments to allow more gas extraction with supplies in VIC, NSW and QLD to be reserved for the east coast market.

    * During 2019 approvals were given for development of two gas fired power stations, one in VIC and one in SE Queensland by the two State Governments cooperating with the Federal Government.

    * During 2019 the Federal Government started to prepare legislation requiring electricity supply businesses to be more competitive with lowering of electricity pricing targeted.

    * During 2019 the Federal Government backed a proposal for a new HELE coal fired power station to be constructed in North Queensland, still not approved by the Queensland Labor Government as at September 2020. The Federal Government will underwrite the financing of the new power station.

    * Latest news is that the Federal Government is acting to head off electricity generation capacity being greatly reduced when AGL shout down the 2,000 MW Liddell Power Station in NSW. The Federal Government has threatened to construct a new gas fired power station with NSW Coalition Government support to replace the coal fired Liddell generators.

    It is important to consider that PM Morrison was appointed late in 2018 and had to deal with many controversial issues, Murray-Darling water supply is another issue now being rectified to help irrigation farmers and others, and overcome the disastrous so called environmental water flows that released huge amounts of water storage during the drought years.

    Note that now Australia has a severe shortage of rice as a direct result of the water debacle.

    And also don’t forget that since February 2020 COVID-19 has been a major distraction for the Federal Government and the PM.

    • Walahwalah Bishbin 15/09/2020, 4:20 pm

      Thanks DT for the detail on this.
      Keep it coming please!
      Its such a nice change to read good news.

    • Graham Richards 15/09/2020, 10:30 pm

      DT, your statement “ declines in applications for new wind and solar projects, and the renewables industry is not happy“ is one of the the triggers that’ll start the Lib/Lab/Green coalition pushback to derail Morrison’s plans. Remember what the Green lobbyists did to Tony Abbot!!j

  • DT 15/09/2020, 1:19 pm

    Depends on what so called renewables are being discussed, obviously hydro power stations are reliable when there is sufficient water supply.

    Biomass (woodchips) is reliable when there is sufficient wood chip supply and one NSW coal fired power station is being converted to use wood chips produced from land clearing for bushfire protection and timber not usable from logging.

    Wind and solar are however unreliable, unpredictable supply timing, not cost effective without subsidies for profit and government protection from far more efficient coal and gas fired generators in power stations. Even with battery storage and pumped hydro storage wind and solar energy is expensive and inefficient.

    No country has achieved better than an intermittent supply of less than 30% from wind and solar and early users like Germany are now building alternatives, Germany constructing a gas pipeline to Russia for gas fired power stations.

  • Walahwalah Bishbin 15/09/2020, 4:18 pm

    Wow! Movement in the right direction at last, very well done to you Sir.

    • Cliff 15/09/2020, 4:54 pm

      Before congratulating him, wait until he actually does something, Walahwalah. Walking the walk is a very long way from talking the talk, and unfortunately, the latter seems to be Scott Morrison’s speciality.

  • Disgruntled 15/09/2020, 5:13 pm

    On the rice bit; rice is but one of many areas of primary production that has suffered and dwindled away. This “water” issue has been a massive pain for far too long!! The bloody horse has well and truly bolted and one wonders if it can ever be fixed!! A full and comprehensive water register does need to be in place for all to see who the manipulating profiteers really are.

    Then this stupid never ending and always increasing requirement for environmental water needs to come to a stop too. Back in the days long gone there was no env. flows because there was no water to service them, Now we build dams and spend up big; for bloody what???; Just so some silly turkey or two can have a “feel good” feeling and at all of ours expense. I always thought that dams were for productivity improvement; not destruction of productivity!!!

  • Disgruntled 15/09/2020, 5:29 pm

    D T. On the biomass bit; the product is far from being compact enough to be useful from many angles while coal is very compact. perhaps a better use for the waste would be to find a way of converting it all into koala food and then the stupid and foolish and green thinking NSW Liberals could get a brain and shut up; especially that police minister and the minister for the environment in NSW could be included into the koala mix too.

    They could then give Barilaro a spell and let him get on with what he does well and that is representing the bush and saving the bush from the NSW Lib. dills.

  • Penguinite 16/09/2020, 8:41 am

    Is this “the dawning of aquarius” or an attempt at spooning the climate realists in time for next years election. Sadly, I lean to the latter. I will await April Fools Day 2020 with trepidation rather than hope, before confirming my opinion. I just don’t believe Scomo has the getgo!

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