Frydenberg, IPA trolling renewables on ABC's Q&A – again

Frydenberg, IPA trolling renewables on ABC’s Q&A – again

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The Coalition and IPA tag-team were at it again against renewables on Q&A. It’s disappointing enough that the country’s federal energy minister should have such a blind spot on new technology, but it appears to be a party-wide phenomenon. At least Catweazle was funny.

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Monday night’s Q&A panelists, including federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg and, second from right, Simon Breheny, the director of policy at the Institute of Public Affairs.

The Coalition and the powerful right-wing lobby groups that help direct their policies show no signs of backing off in their campaign against renewables – or any other technology, for that matter, that might usher in a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable grid.

Craig Kelly has distinguished himself on EVs, a sweaty George Christensen on Facebook rails against anything Green or anti-coal, and Matt Canavan continues to wage a war on behalf of the coal industry.

On Monday, on ABC’s Q&A program, they were at it again: energy minister Josh Frydenberg and the Institute of Public Affairs teaming up to demonise renewables, and to propose some hopelessly unrealistic solutions to Australia’s energy trilemma.

It cannot go without comment.

Frydenberg went first, jabbing away at the opposition with some notionally plausible claims about renewables costs and their impact on reliability, claiming that it was wind and solar that was causing South Australia’s problems in both prices and reliability.

Nice line, but it’s as false as it has been.

As this document from the local network operator, then known as ETSA, noted way back in 2005 – way before any renewables came into the system – South Australia had long suffered from a lack of good quality coal, really expensive gas generation, and not enough competition.

To make matters worse, the state experience huge variations of demand.

These variations were caused by South Australia’s climate – mild most of the time, punctured by periods of extreme heat – which forced 90 per cent of households to turn to on the air-con, and grid operators and generators to load up investments to cater for the peak demand that occurred on just a few days a year.

“That is a primary cause of the electricity price differential between SA and other States,” ETSA noted at the time (in 2005). “That is why prices to residential customers are high.”

Now, that volatility still exists today. The crap coal is gone, the gas generators are even more expensive, and market is still plagued by a lack of competition.

Frydenberg, however, would have you believe it is all the fault of renewables.

Finally though, we are seeing what renewables combined with storage can do. Frydenberg may mock the Tesla big battery, as he often does, but it is already spoiling the party for the gas cartel, and more storage will introduce more competition. He should be saying, what a good idea.


Frydenberg may claim the opposite, but the South Australian grid is reliable, even at 50 per cent “intermittent” wind and solar. The stats over the past 12 months suggest that is no impediment to a properly working system, particularly since the cultural and managerial revamp at AEMO.

What it shows is that a high renewable energy system actually works, and it is in the coal-dominant grid on the eastern seaboard, with the tripping of big coal generation units (41 trips this summer alone according to the Climate and Energy College), that is causing the headaches, as AEMO predicted.

It’s disappointing enough that the country’s federal energy minister should have such a blind spot on new technology, but it appears to be a party-wide phenomenon – witness their aversion to renewables, battery storage, and even demand management. At least Catweazle was funny.

The Institute of Public Affairs, on the other hand, is more than just a mischief-maker. It set out a list of policy “wants” when the Abbott government was elected, and the Coalition, even under Turnbull, has done its best to oblige.

The $60 billion claim for the cost of renewables has been rebuffed so many times over the last few years, but the pundits in the Murdoch media, and the right wing blogs and think tanks, have no shame.

The $60 billion number was first thrown around by the then Abbott government in 2015, and related to assumed capital costs. That was debunked nearly three years ago.

Since then, the $60 billion number has been recycled, this time as the ongoing cost of the renewable energy subsidy, but that is also rubbish.

Even if you multiplied all the renewable energy generated by the maximum price of large-scale certificates (LGCs), you would still not get to $60 billion, as we pointed out in this article here: The amazingly positive renewable story the Murdoch media won’t write.

In it, we noted how The Australian had incorrectly calculated a $45 billion figure as the cost of all renewables built under the RET – they assumed all output would receive the market price of LGCs of around $80/MWh), and then added in the CEFC loans (which will be repaid), and the ARENA budget to boot.

As it turns out, much of the new wind and solar generation being contracted ascribes little or no value to the LGC, and even those going “merchant” i.e. selling the LGCs on market, expect them to have negligible or even zero value once the RET is met by 2020.

Even Frydenberg admits that renewables will slash electricity bills significantly in coming years, and this is confirmed by the modelling done for the National Energy Guarantee.

So why haven’t they already had an impact? Well, they have to some extent. But the vast majority of the large-scale renewables target is only now under construction, or about to start, thanks to the three-year investment strike engineered by the Coalition when it sought to kill the RET, then reduce it significantly.

IPA’s Nuclear nonsense

The next claim by the IPA – that you could build 10 nuclear power stations for that price ($60 billion) – is also laughable, and plain wrong.

Such a result only exists in the imagination of right-wing think tanks and nuclear boosters. The bill just for the construction of the new Hinkley nuclear plant in the UK is more than £20 billion. That’s $A35 billion.

If you add in the life-time costs – the metric the IPA is using for renewables – then Hinkley soars to £50 billion, or $A88 billion.

The story is not much better in the US, where the cost of new nuclear plant is soaring and most have been canned, leaving consumers with a hefty bill for an unfinished project.

Then the IPA’s director of policy Simon Breheny, casually claimed that nuclear energy would bring down costs for consumers down.

What sort of nonsense is this? Let’s use Hinkley again: the tariff demanded by the developers (French giant EdF) starts at £92.50 per megawatt hour, $A168/MWh, and rises with inflation (so it will be something like $A500/MWh by 2050).

The UK government estimates the cost of other nuclear plants will be up to £124/MWh in 2025. At least it will be cheaper than that other great white elephant, coal and carbon capture and storage.

So, is nuclear’s high cost the fault, only, of high upfront capital costs? No.

Let’s take a look at the country with the most nuclear plants, France. According to EdF, which runs the nuclear fleet, the cost of just maintaining those reactors in reasonable condition will require average wholesale prices of €55/MWh until 2025.

That translates into a price of $A86/MWh – which compares to where wholesale prices in Australia are now, but above where they are predicted to go once the new wind and solar farms (costing closer to $55-70/MWh) come on board.

And remember, that’s just for maintenance costs. As AGL has found with Liddell, the cost of maintaining ageing technology just does not stack up against the plunging cost of renewables and the various forms of storage.

Imagine if Australia had to pay to build a brand new fleet of coal, or even nuclear plants. Ideological insanity.

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  1. Pedro 3 years ago

    I had to have a good laugh as I heard Frydenberg bemoan that one reason why electricity prices were so high was due to a lack of energy investment due to policy uncertainty. I wonder whose fault that is??

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Pedro, you should know by now….”it’s always Labor’s fault”.

      • Pedro 3 years ago

        I would say 2 decades worth of uncertainty

        • Jon 3 years ago

          Hear hear!!

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      All true, but the stable door is down, and the horse has bolted, is accelerating away. Renewables are leaving the fossils to eat dust.
      The question is, how to sack the Coalition while we still have some on shore industries. With coal exports hopefully doomed, Australia needs other export industries to stay solvent. Why is the Gov’t so blind to that fact???

      • Jolly Roger 3 years ago

        I believe they are not blind at all. They are simply doing the bidding of the incumbents who are trying their damndest to hang on for as long as they can and make as much money as they can. The politicians dont care about what that means for the nation. They only care about the donations they receive and staying in office. They also don’t care about future generations, they only care about their own lives. It doesn’t matter to them what will happen when they are dead.

        • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

          “when they are dead” – you’re a bright charm buddy aren’t you.

          • Michael Murray 3 years ago

            It does raise the question of what kind of world they think their kids and grandkids are going to be living in. I’ve never understood it. I can understand not spending money on health and schools because your kids are going to have enough money to buy their own. But there’s only one planet. There aren’t going to be any bubbles protecting the rich.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            A much hotter world than this. They and their kids and their grand-kids will follow the survival route of me-and-mine first. Everyone expects that thinking but it won’t ensure our survival as a friendly/ community.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            I mean, yeah.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Have you seen the movie ‘Elysium’? When the Moon and Mars are finally made habitable then the current Earth will be the trash heap portrayed in ‘Elysium’ so no urgency by our current politikers to do anything down here on trash heap Earth….the elites will live on the Utopia of The Moon and Mars.

          • Michael Murray 3 years ago

            Yes I’ve seen the movie. But making the Moon or Mars habitable isn’t going to happen in the time frames needed, if ever. We are definitely all going down together. Not sure if that should be followed by a 🙂 or a 🙁

          • Joe 3 years ago

            I was being part sarcastic with the Utopia idea on The Moon and Mars. But Planet Earth is quickly being turned into a trash heap and yes you are right we are all going down together in a screaming heap into hell.

          • Michael Murray 3 years ago

            I suspect that you are also right that as the heap goes down there will be some on the top of it ! I saw a report the other day about people dying when the wet bulb temperature gets above a certain point. That’s when you body can’t cool you by evaporation and you over heat and die. Of course in countries rich enough to have extensive air-conditioning that can be avoided for awhile.

          • Alex Hromas 3 years ago

            Oh yeah!

          • MaxG 3 years ago

            Hettie made a very good point the other day: “the LNP is value-free”. As such, they do not care about anything other than themselves, with some not doing that either… as per Carlo M. Cipolla, the very definition of a stupid person:

        • Hettie 3 years ago


  2. JIm 3 years ago

    Not much joy for Josh from SA State Election Leaders Forum on environmental issues today where Nick Xenophon declared the NEG had ‘deep flaws in its current form’.

  3. Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

    “really expensive gas generation”
    Is. The. Problem.

    Stop trying to deny it. Our LNG vacuum-sucker-upperers have caused a shortfall in supply of our essential local gas market and the Australian local power market has had to pay (way) overs because of that foreign demand of the foreign market.

    Are you listening yet? We need to ween ourselves off of ‘fuels’. We have bountiful renewable energy (solar, wind, storage, tech) products today to ween ourselves off of our fuel baron ransom-noters.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      ….but the Joshie reckons it’s all been sorted. The NEG is gunna save us $300.00 off our bills.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        yeh I dreamed that in the few hours I sleep.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          Ren…just count the dollars…don’t count the zeees as you dream away.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Dollars, ZZs, no difference to me now Joe. Equal value for both!

            Probs more val on the ZZ’s….

            The whole nation needs to chuck their mobile and get some ZZ’s!

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        Mm. Last I heard it was going to be 50 cents a week. In 10 years. $300 was a surprise. No answers for the packaging guy who saw all manufacturing going off shore unless powe prices fall. Epic fail there, Chris, for not pointing out that businesses are taking control by going renewable.

        • Brian Tehan 3 years ago

          Mark Butler needs to bring some of his colleagues up to speed,i think.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            I guess that those of us who discuss these pages are atypical. We are unusually interested in the energy market and all things associated with it.
            Not so, the nation at large. Cabinet and shadow ministers have their own portfolios to deal with, and the fact that some businesses are investing in R.E. is pretty much under the radar. Still, the questions on QandA are “on notice”. Participants should be briefed about at least the gist of them, so they are not caught flat footed..

        • Joe 3 years ago

          The Sanjeev with his Liberty Steel in SA is the number one example but there are plenty of other businesses cottoning onto the idea of RE pwoering their businesses. But then we all should know via the Abbott, Australia’s new Chief Scientist, …”you can’t make the steel from solar or wind energy”.

    • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

      Just buy LNG off their customers, and ship it to SA. Problem solved.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        Cost of infrastructure (LNG import terminal with regasification plant, pipelines from that to the power generators) might be a fly in the ointment there.

        • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

          Many places have found it to be an economic investment, especially as LNG is now a competitively priced global market. If you rely on pipelines, you only have as much competition as is connected to the pipelines. Here’s one estimate of LNG reception costs:

          The investment and operating costs for a receiving terminal, plus the harbour fees can add a further +0.8 USD/MMBTU to the LNG’s cost. To that we can assume an approximate addition of 0.1 USD/MMBTU for regasification and another 0.2 USD/MMBTU for the pipeline fee.

          So just over 1$/MMBtu, and the CIF price would surely be less than Japan pays, since shipping would be for a shorter distance. I don’t think that pipelines from the LNG terminal to the gas network/power station would need to be very long, so the pipeline tariff is quite generous. You could have opted to build next door to each other in Port Augusta, and likewise at Pelican Point (for Torrens Island and the Adelaide gas grid as well).

  4. Joe 3 years ago

    There he was again on last nights ABC Q&A show, the Joshie, with another public spray at South Australia and Renewables. Imma starting to believe that the Joshie has a fetish about South Australia. All credit to the Bowen who put the Joshie straight that it was a STORM not Renewables that caused the blackout problem. Can someone please send a doctor, the Joshie needs the help.

    • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

      way back in 2005 – way before any renewables came into the system –
      South Australia had long suffered from a lack of good quality coal,
      really expensive gas generation, and not enough competition.

      Wait, lads. I’ve got a brilliant idea. Why don’t we close down capacity so there’ll be even less competition? I mean, importing quality coal and LNG to increase competition is so last century.

      • Darren 3 years ago

        Sounds sensible, but the thing is, the government didn’t shut down SA’s coal generators, their owners did. Like many of Australia’s coal generators they were old and unreliable, so why pour in hundreds of millions of dollars to rehabilitate them when renewable energy (including storage) is cheaper and coal has an inevitable carbon price cloud over its future? The Liddell plant in NSW is under exactly the same sort of pressure, financial reality means it cannot be saved and AGL knows it, even if the federal government refuses to believe it.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          …yep…and who was it that decided to close the Hazelwood….Engie the owners!

        • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

          renewable energy (including storage) is cheaper

          The kind of cheaper that means that SA power prices have risen.

          • Darren 3 years ago

            Go take a look at the same graph for NSW, a state with SFA green energy, and tell me again that SA’s prices are due to wind or solar generation prices. Every NSW line on the graph is now equal to or greater than it’s SA compatriot.

            Better yet, take a look at NEM prices for the Jul-Dec half… SA generation was the cheapest and a net exporter.

          • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

            The problem is a lack of dispatchable capacity.

          • Darren 3 years ago

            Only partly true. The problem is lack of investment and lack of competition. Our coal plants are old and fall over often (just read elsewhere, 41 times so far this summer). No one is seriously considering building new coal fired plants. No one. But Abbott killed other investment for 3 years by fucking with the RET and trying to end ARENA multiple times. Then, some generator owners are obviously playing with the NEM, keeping one plant offline during demand peaks and allowing their other plants to make out like, no not “like”, as bandits. The big battery and the public generators have effectively minimised the last issue because if the private generators try to play with the market, the new sources skim their cream. They don’t even have to fire up to do it either. This, and a better gas price, have made SA generation the cheapest in the NEM for the Jul-Dec period, and a net exporter too. I’ve not seen figures for Jan yet.

        • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

          So it was the government that imposed the carbon tax that caused the plant to be closed.

          • Giles 3 years ago

            The state government did not impose the carbon tax, the federal government did. Alinta, the owners of the S.A coal plant, pocketed $59 million in compensation from the carbon price. It announced the closure of Northern one week AFTER the carbon price was repealed.

          • Darren 3 years ago

            Yeah, AFTER they stopped getting the subsidy!

          • Darren 3 years ago

            Nope. The carbon price was only around for 2 years. Coal plants are closing because most are old and the numbers don’t stack up for upgrading them or building new plants. There is a reason no one will lend Adani any money, and the same reasons apply to coal generators. A new coal plant will produce electricity in the $70-$100 per MWh range, while new wind or solar is being sold for as little as A$28/MWh around the world (but add storage costs to this). Add to this the very likely addition of a carbon price during a new coal plants lifetime and the still falling costs of solar, wind and storage, and you can only conclude that coal is dead.

  5. Rob Roy 3 years ago

    I was planning to watch Q&A, but perhaps I should pass. Yelling swears at the screen is never a good look…

    • Joe 3 years ago

      ‘Rob Roy’…it was great movie starring Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange. Watch the movie then go watch the Q&A and swear at Joshie and that IPA dude as much as you like.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      It is actually worth watching, for the stellar performance of the indigenous actress, Shareena ?? On Closing the Gap. My bad, I missed her surname. One powerful, angry , articulate woman. She had the audience spellbound. And she and Louis Adler exchanged a high five across Frydenberg’s face, to great applause.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        Shareena, yeah wasn’t she great, had great passion and conviction. To bad she had nothing to say about RE with that passion. Electric to say the least.

      • Joe 3 years ago

        Yes young Hettie, the Shareena was one angry Aunty. But good on the Shareena, it is rare for us whiteys to see First Nations People so angry on our TV screens. Last week should have been all about ‘Closing The Gap’ and ‘The Apology’ 10th Anniversary activities. But what did we get instead nothing but public insult to First Nations People from Two Tongues Turnbull and then of course the public insult to the nation by the ‘two duelling dickheads’ Two Tonguer and Bonking Baaaaananabee.
        They should both just resign.

        • Marg1 3 years ago

          They should both just resign
          Hear hear

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Young Marg, you are most welcome

  6. Ken Dyer 3 years ago

    Nobody is really interested in what the IPA and Frydenberg have to say, which probably explains why Q&A had one of its lowest ratings. Married at First Sight and My Kitchen Rules were top raters, which sort of says that we are all waiting for the next election to get rid of the WORST LNP COALITION GOVERNMENT EVER.
    Meanwhile, the renewable technology disruption sails on unaffected by this misanthropic bunch of philandering, gun waving bunch of blithering clowns.
    Australia deserves better!

    • Joe 3 years ago

      At least big Mal can point to his big achievement of the year so far…his ‘bonking ban’. As you can see the important matters of state are being dealt with.

      • Cooma Doug 3 years ago

        The BB (bonk ban) doesnt apply during the lunch hour or during power blackout.

        • Joe 3 years ago

          …free time is …Play Time?

    • Lindsay 3 years ago

      Speak for yourself pal. There is more to running an economy than renewable energy. Shorten and his union henchmen will ruin this country. Rudd, Gillard and then again Rudd started the ball rolling and Shorten will finish it.

      • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

        Perhaps you could explain then why giving tax cuts to big business will help GDP, and how cancelling the carbon tax improved green house emissions (hint it didn’t). Oh and provide us with some wisdom regarding why the Adani coal mine should go ahead and how that will benefit Australia.

        • Lindsay 3 years ago

          You obviously have a selective memory as Shorten has supported tax cuts and Adani in the past. For purely political reasons your man is now walking away from both.

          • Brian Tehan 3 years ago

            Shorten supported tax cuts only for smaller businesses, who tend to pay a significantly higher rate of tax. Shorten has never supported any government help for Adani. He didn’t condemn it, so as not to upset North Queensland. He, and every bank, knows that it’s a fizzer without government finance. He tried to sit on the fence until it was untenable.

          • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

            Yes I have a very selective memory. I also have a very fine tuned bullshit detector.

            In May 2017, it was reported that Mr Shorten and shadow resources spokesman Jason Clare, gave
            support to Carmichael as long as public money was not spent subsidising
            it, including the construction of a rail line from the Galilee to Abbot
            Point port on the Queensland coast. This view has not changed and was recently strengthened by the Queensland Labor Government’s refusal to support NAIF loans to Adani. The politics have all been on the right side of politics, as they continue to try and paint Mr Shorten as a hypocrite. I remind you that it is the Federal COALition and the Queensland LNP who support the Adani mine, and who wanted to give them a billion dollars of taxpayers money despite the Adani mine being economically and environmentally unsound.

            In 2011, tax cuts were part of Labor’s platform. The economy was a very different beast then. Now after several years of LNP COALition profligacy, that has grown Auystralia’s net debt by about $100 billion dollars, it makes sense that Labor opposes these tax cut “subsidies” to big business. How can you reduce a national debt by reducing taxes?

          • Joe 3 years ago

            ….reduce national debt by reducing taxes….I think it’s called ‘The Treacle Down Thingy’

          • Calamity_Jean 3 years ago

            To quote the famous American cartoon character Rocket J. Squirrel, “That trick never works!”

          • Marg1 3 years ago

            Well said!

      • DevMac 3 years ago

        We all gotta vote for politicians unfortunately.

        For mine, The current government chose the other side on the issues I know and care about. They’re all pollies, so they’re all a bunch of fork-tongued popularity chasers.

        The current mob have been taking us in the wrong direction according to the way I see the world. You see it differently, obviously, but don’t be rubbishing one side and putting the others on a pedestal, that’d be hypocrisy.

      • Geoff James 3 years ago

        Hi Lindsay, thanks for commenting, knowing you’re in for a hard time in this forum. Shifting the discussion from trading shots about the respective parties, maybe you’d like to share some insights, because you might have a better understanding than most of how Frydenberg, Breheny, and others are thinking. The bewildered many would appreciate that. I think they’re probably smart and ethical people but the frame of their ethics is so different we can’t recognise it. I certainly don’t – I tend to agree with the commentary in this newsletter. So I ask with absolute sincerity, help us out if you can, it might help to change some minds (we can speculate whose). Cheers, Geoff.

      • Joe 3 years ago

        Ruin the country? Now, Lindsay please remind all the readers here on RE who saved Australia from a recession when the GFC struck?

        • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

          spending 100B on renewables by ALP would of been a nice legacy, instead we go foot paths, roof insulation and school halls….

          • Joe 3 years ago

            ..whats so wrong with footpaths, roof insulation and school halls?

          • nakedChimp 3 years ago

            And we would have gotten some nice fiber in the ground, if those economical hitmen wouldn’t have torpedoed it.

    • Steve159 3 years ago

      Well done Ken

      Looks like you stirred up the IPA sufficiently for them (Lindsay) to post.

      It must be so annoying for them to realise nuclear and coal are dead, way too expensive relative to renewables with storage.

      • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

        And it is even more galling when Turnbull was touting the CFMEU and Adani mine to wedge Labor.
        The CFMEU president is now on record as saying that the Adani mine must be judged on its own merits, thereby aligning with Queensland and Federal labor, The CFMEU has done its homework and knows that there will be few jobs (FIFO workers) and CFMEU members would lose their jobs at other coal mines if Adani goes ahead.

        • Darren 3 years ago

          I saw a recent article where the Adani Australia CEO was raving about the 400 driverless trucks they will use, along with driverless trains. Lot’s of jobs there!

    • Sir Pete o Possums Reek 3 years ago

      Well at least we have a deeper understanding of what they mean by:
      The Institute of Public Affairs.
      Barntoohattaby took it just slightly too literally.

      As for Q&A ? I guess the *idea* is still a good one.
      It seems though that all too often, (or often enough if your a plutocrat [1])
      it is just another node in the spray-cat-urine-over-public-discourse machine.

      (Thereby increasing our collective, reticence to engage in policy or democracy )

      [1] a supporter of the ruling rent seeking leader elites
      or a decaying old white patrician …
      rank with anxiety, noisily fretting over entitlement , wealth and position .
      Or both, or more, its really a much more diverse club than even
      the Pubic-aly (sic) Institutionalised assume…
      and cue the Benny Hill Theme !

      • Ken Dyer 3 years ago

        Well said Sir Pete. Bananaby should qualify for life membership of the Institute of Pubic Affairs.(IPA)

    • Alex Hromas 3 years ago

      Not quite right, we would have a much bigger renewable energy sector with a much bigger Australian input if these pea brains had not set about wrecking it under Mr. Rabbit. They have done nothing to rectify the Rabbit train wreck since utterly hopeless. Renew Economy could save a lot of space and time by cutting to the chase and every time one of the Lib/Mat folk opens its mouth on energy just printing ” Lib/Nat member uttered the same old crap again”.

      • Marg1 3 years ago

        Hear hear!

    • MaxG 3 years ago

      You see this, and I do, and others do, but the high-rating of non-political segments tells you that it will be exactly those who vote for the LNP.

  7. Hettie 3 years ago

    Giles, you are showing your age!
    Catweazle was very funny. I remember him too. That’s one show that deserves a rerun.
    Unlike the lying IPA/Coalition dinosaurs, who deserve only to be towed out to sea and sunk, and their clothes burned.
    Chris Bowen was quietly impressive, not least for the fact that in spite of Frydenberg’s constant interrupting, talking over and droning on, Bowen neither interrupted him nor called him on his rudeness.
    Jones of course cut short and talked over both women on the panel. Rude, smug git.

    • ozmq 3 years ago


      • Gary Rowbottom 3 years ago

        That about sums it up!

  8. Tim Buckley 3 years ago

    The MCA gets onto the ABC board and the IPA gets to spruik its anti-renewables crap on live TV while Josh laughs with embarrassment, followed up with Abbot whinging from the wings to all three people still listening to him backstab Mal, again and again. A pathetic LNP government.

  9. solarguy 3 years ago

    I watched Q&A as usual last night and Joshie and that stooge from the IPA had me in a rage. Chris Bowen told the audience the truth, but with no conviction. Jones was not bipartisan, but what’s new.

    • Durham 52 3 years ago

      I know the article is about the Fraudberg and his IPA mate on Q&A and I read the article, (sound like they just trotted out the same old BS) but I did not watch the show, in fact I gave up watching it years ago. What was once a reasonable attempt at debating serious issues became a phony “exchange of ideas” where the questions are pre selected and the show is moderated to produce sensational events which provide ABC news broadcasts and News 24 discussion programs with fodder for the next day. The supposed ‘balance’ on the panels is pretty much a joke too and on top of that Tony Jones, or the producer in his ear, steers the show towards particular outcomes.

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        The show is some what of a sham and I agree with what you say. It never seems to get anywhere on any issue most times and that gets very frustrating. Some times I don’t why I watch it at all.

        Somebody stop me!

  10. Gus Griffin 3 years ago

    I used to live in a world which tried to punish lying outside of parliamentary privilege. Now the Frydenbergs of the world lie with impunity on every forum they can intrude upon and all we can do is “tut tut” at it.

    • john 3 years ago

      Unfortunately that is life now.
      Evidently you can make up any kind of rubbish and it is published,

      • nakedChimp 3 years ago

        Just because the forum they are using is in the hands of the 1%, doing their bidding.
        It’s like Nazi-Germany or Communist-block really. Propaganda, self-serving.
        Crap world we live in.

  11. Michael Murray 3 years ago

    These variations were caused by South Australia’s climate – mild most of the time, punctured by periods of extreme heat – which forced 90 per cent of households to turn to on the air-con, and grid operators and generators to load up investments to cater for the peak demand that occurred on just a few days a year.

    Yep ! I moved to Adelaide in 1992 and well before renewables if we had a heatwave in Adelaide coinciding with a heatwave in Melbourne there was a chance of some kind of load shedding.

  12. john 3 years ago

    If anyone take in the figure that Institute of Public Affairs uses they are being deluded.
    As to using Nuclear honestly the figures are total rubbish not worth looking at if you have have half brain.

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      totally agree

    • James Thomson 3 years ago

      The world’s leading climate change scientist, James Hansen, along with anyone else who has ever heard of scaling, says we can’t do it without nukes. Germany had the most ambitious renewables program for twenty years and they’re back to burning half their forestry output for power. Compare that to nuclear France’s emissions. And that, not costs brought on by irrational fearmongering, is the only game in town. Do you want emissions to be cut or not?

      • Stephen Gloor 3 years ago

        If James Hansen has heard of scaling perhaps you could ask him, and the others to explain, how to scale up current nuclear construction and completion from its current rate of one every decade or so to the 20 or 30 a year that would be required to make any dent in the energy solution? That sounds like a bigger problem that scaling up renewables from their current and documented exponential growth to a point of replacing fossil fuel generation.

        • Darren 3 years ago

          There are companies working on production line style construction for nuclear generators, based on thorium. At least one wants to be capable of building up to 100 plants per year using a ship yard style of building, whereby modules built on the line(s) would then be assembled on site. As I understand it they have now attained significant Chinese investment. It may or may not eventuate, but their plan is to have production up and running within a couple of years, so if it does this is where nuclear could be a real solution. Otherwise, I suspect you will be right… nuclear is a solution to carbon emissions, but is just to slow and cumbersome – even without protests – to be in place in time.

          • nakedChimp 3 years ago

            Won’t amount to anything.
            Unless it’s as simple as a wind turbine or a solar panel it will need highly paid experts and thus be not economical.
            The only thing that stuff is good for is a civilian subsidizing partner for military nuclear ambitions.
            Maybe some space related applications, but we got a couple more decades/centuries before we really need to R&D the crap out of that – and who knows what alternatives are on the table by then.

          • Darren 3 years ago

            There are no military “nuclear ambitions” tied to thorium reactors. They don’t produce anything useful for military applications, and in fact can use regular nuclear reactor waste or plutonium as part of their fuel cycle.

          • nakedChimp 3 years ago

            The infrastructure, people, processes, companies, education and regulations are what I’m talking about, not the civilian version of a reactor that’s supposed to use non-weaponizable-fissionable-materials..

        • James Thomson 3 years ago

          Look at what France did with nukes within 20 years and what China is doing now and you have the answer to your question. It wouldn’t just make a dent. To power Australia with solar you would need a 41 lane highway stretching 1033 km of solar panels. Now that’s a scaling problem.

          • Stephen Gloor 3 years ago

            Sure however look at them now with:
            “To power Australia with solar you would need a 41 lane highway stretching 1033 km of solar panels”

            So who said anything about solar panels doing all the work? There are already square kilometres of roofs with solar panels and consumers paid for that. That is the problem with you nuke fanboys, you are so obsessed with a solution you forget the problem. The problem is that we use too much energy, we don’t reuse stuff we have, and we don’t recycle fully. Part of any solution has to be reduce, reuse and recycle first – then worry about what we power it with.

      • nakedChimp 3 years ago

        The Germans are easily on their way to go without nukes and coal, the government – lobbied bu the incumbents – did slam on the brakes on RE (wind + solar) as they were building more and more.
        Industry didn’t pay it’s share and is enjoying low electricity prices for a while now. Last year or so even the end-consumer got a bit of that.
        Might want to check out @heinbloed on that stuff or some posts from here:

        • James Thomson 3 years ago

          Germany has cut it’s livestock herd by two million and reduced it’s methane emissions but its carbon emissions have increased since it closed it’s nukes .Look at any German government graph. That’s just a fact. If renewables were going to cut it in Germany their emissions would be similar to France’s by now. They’re not. The experiment failed.

          • Stephen Gloor 3 years ago

            Again with the primary energy use. I suggest you take a look at Germany’s electricity carbon emissions instead of the whole energy emissions that include transport and heating etc. The experiment has not failed it has just not reached one of the biggest polluters yet which is transport. BTW nukes need electric cars as much as renewables.

          • nakedChimp 3 years ago

            The ‘experiment’ was so successful that the electrical power lobby convinced the German government to put a spanner in the RE development, which came to a screeching halt just shy of the target they set to reach a couple of years later.

            And we’ve had enough of France on here about how screwed they are with their nukes, as good as they might seem (at first look) for CO2 emissions.

            I hope you lose more sleep over this as time goes by and the world converts to solar/wind+batteries/otherstorage.
            Now troll somewhere else, I don’t like you posting lies.

      • James Thomson 3 years ago

        Look at what France did in 20 years and what China is doing now and that answers your question. To power Australia by day, before the sun goes down , you would need a highway of solar panels 41 lanes wide stretching 1033 kms. That’s a scaling problem

        • David Osmond 3 years ago

          Looks to me like we’re rapidly solving this scaling problem. It’s predicted we’ll install about 4 GW of PV this year. Keep that up for 11 years and that will get us to 50 GW of PV. That’s enough to provide about 44% of NEM demand. If we do similar with wind, and continue with 7% from hydro and a another % from biofuels and we’re well on the way to a near fully decarbonised electricity grid.

  13. Nigel Dique 3 years ago

    They need to get you on Q&A Giles.

  14. itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

    Perhaps you should be looking at the cost of Barakah: $24.4bn for 5.6GW

    It’s certainly inappropriate to consider Hinkley Point, which is a back door deal to rescue bankrupt Areva, with the hope that the French will look on the UK kindly for Brexit. France, with its predominantly nuclear sourced power, has about the cheapest power in the whole EU. Only countries that depend heavily on coal come in cheaper.

    • nakedChimp 3 years ago

      Can’t be, as they have to buy in from Germany in winter times for high prices and sell them surplus in summer at low prices (so the Germans run their FF plants in winter to help supply the French and shut them down in Summer)

      • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

        Barakah is in the UAE. It’s a newbuild complex being built by the South Koreans, who have built for even less at home.

        • nakedChimp 3 years ago

          My reply was to your last sentence, were you are wrong.
          The Germans make profit (over the year) by trading electricity with France (they buy cheap and sell high).
          If the electricity (wholesale) in France was overall cheaper than in Germany this wouldn’t work, don’t you agree?

          • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

            No, I do not agree. France is connected to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg in addition to Germany. Germany is connected to Sweden, Denmark (and thence to Norway), the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, and Poland in addition to France. The prices on trade over one border do not reflect the average cost of power in Germany, which EU data show is second only to Denmark in the EU.

  15. MaxG 3 years ago

    Well, the issue is: this is not funny at all. Most sheep believe the nonsense these fascist are spruiking… while we have the result we had at the last election, and may have the same this time. These people, like criminals, are outright dangerous; while Port Arthur may be a stain on our history for Australia, these clowns are committing mass murder on a global scale. Unfortunately, nobody is pursuing this angle.

  16. MaxG 3 years ago

    On another note: Since I am self-reliant on 100% renewables (solar and battery), having no baseload generation, I am very well aware how it actually works — proven… not one second down-time in four years! (While my neighbours enjoy more than 32 hours of outage per year.) And I am in utter disbelieve how any educated mind can talk so much crap. But then, there are flat earthers…

    Disclosure: I have the grid as backup and pull 300kWh per year, which another 10kWh of battery capacity would eliminate, based on my four year data.

    • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

      Live in a bubble,

      Sydney Population is ear marked to go double from 6m (represents 1/4 of the vote in Australia, SA around 7%) with single-family detached home expected to drop from 49% to less than 20% in Sydney, due to urbanisation.,,,,,,

      So who/what do you think is his concern?

      • MaxG 3 years ago

        The LNP babble is false; my point was that 100% renewables works.

        I am not sure, what the SYD population has to do with any of it, unless we see the world as a system.
        If the latter holds true, we should split big banks, cease trading derivatives, ban advertising, remove ourselves from free trade, and the list does not stop there, to fix the general mess the the world is in, solely driven by greed and stupidity. — But I was trying to focus on the LNP babble, not the rest of the world. 🙂

        • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

          Funny I though CO2 does not discriminate were its made but I guess not!

      • Joe 3 years ago

        …when did Sydney get it’s 6 million residents?

        • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

          est at end of 2018 (numbers not in yet for 2017)

          • Joe 3 years ago

            ..ah only estimate. Perhaps you should have stated that in your post then. So please now amend your post to keep with accuracy.

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            well when they publish 2017…. as it was 770k for just 2015,16

            and “ear marked to go” means?

          • Joe 3 years ago

            Where are are you dragging your numbers from? The numbers on The ABS website have Aust. pop. at 5,030,000 as at June 2016 and the increase from 2006-2016 was 773,000. “Ear marked to go” means what and earmarked by whom ?

          • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

            what does “ear marked to go” mean?

  17. JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

    quote “Nice line, but it’s as false as it has been”

    In January there was 2 days were SA and VIC paid 15 times the price of electricity, which equated to SA and VIC had to pay double for January.

    Off course this wont happen ie SA and VIC population wont but who did is the point!

  18. Wilbur 3 years ago

    Rather than discussing climate change, Q&A should have gone onto to talk about the economics of future power, in a simple few sentences, ie something like
    Yes a lot of the Coal and Gas plants are reaching their end of life, which is causing reliability issues and price spikes when they suddenly go offline.
    What you are not being told is that to replace the old plants with new Coal, Gas or Nuclear plants, the price of power will skyrocket further up.
    In terms of new plants, the costs for Coal, Gas and Nuclear, the cost is and is expected to keep increasing in the future. The only price which is coming down is renewables, particularly Solar and Wind
    Around the world in this last year in tenders for new plants, Solar and Wind are cheaper per MWh than new Coal, Gas and Nuclear even when storage is taken into account.
    It is being shown that the combination of Wind and Solar works well in Australia, and that estimates of how much extra storage is required have been dramatically over estimated.
    So renewables will stop excessive increases in power, and soon will be lowering them, much faster than building new fossil plants

  19. nakedChimp 3 years ago

    I count like 3 nuke trolls, never seen before on here.
    and some nutter

    • JoeR_AUS 3 years ago

      wrong again my chimp

      • nakedChimp 3 years ago

        I have a big fat grin on my face right now.

  20. HarryDutch 3 years ago

    No need to look at the French EDF or the US Westinghouse nuclear projects. There is nothing wrong with building 10 nuclear power stations for the price of $60 billion. The Russians, Koreans, Chinese can do that with their Generation III+ Nuclear Reactors. For that very reason the UK is now looking to the east and Finland has already started a project with Russia for the construction of a VVER1200 Nuclear Reactor approved for deployment under the European Nuclear Standard…😁

  21. Warren McIntosh 3 years ago

    as someone who worked in the Power industry for 12 years, I am awaiting this “new Tech” and “innovations to arrive. what I see right now is lippy on a very old pig. Lion batteries are old tech, very good in their days but not the answer to grid storage. as for solar panels…… 26% return on installed capacity????? to replace coal in Australia we would need to install about 1 trillion of the things, and huge amounts of batteries. this isn’t a future that saves anyone. once the conversation become rooted in facts, then let’ s talk. But right now this is a massive advertorial for Panel Manufacturers. once the silicon lie has been overcome and we start installing Solar thermal salt reactor stations (just so you don’t waste your time RAGING about Nuclear at me….. just because I said reactor, doesn’t mean Nukes), Amblin Batteries and pump storage, then we are both innovating and solving the problem

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