High efficiency coal still cheaper than renewables


Surprisingly expensive for generating electricity

Yes, despite all the technology that must go into HELE (high efficiency, low emission) coal fired power stations, they are STILL cheaper than farts and sunbeams. What a surprise:

The construction of a new high-efficiency, low emissions coal-fired power station, being considered by the Turnbull government, would cost $2.2 billion — considerably less than the $3bn of subsidies handed out to renewable projects each year, a new technical study shows.

With Australians facing further hikes in their electricity and gas bills following moves by ­energy companies over the weekend to increase bills by up to 20 per cent, Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to deliver relief for households, small businesses and manufacturers.

New analysis, compiled by power and energy sector specialists GHD and Solstice Development Services, reveals it would cost $2.2bn to build a 1000MW ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-power plant and that it would ­deliver the cheapest electricity on the market.

[Read more…]

Peabody's $5bn coal takeover planned in 24 hours?


Hey, I know, let's spend $5bn!

Julia Gillard, desperate to jump on anything that will support her pointless carbon tax, claims that a massive takeover offer is a sign that her tax won’t hurt coal:

JULIA Gillard has seized on a $4.7 billion coal takeover bid as proof of the industry’s ongoing viability as it emerged Tony Abbott repeatedly questioned the purchasing company’s prospects under a carbon tax.

Shrugging off record low opinion polls this morning, the Prime Minister said the takeover of Queensland-based Macarthur Coal by US-owned Peabody Energy was an endorsement of her climate change plan.

“We are seeing the biggest takeover bid in Australian history for a coal company, ” she told ABC radio.

“You couldn’t get a better indication that business people see a good future in coal mining in this country. There’s more certainty now than there was before Sunday.” (source)

Are you seriously suggesting that a five BILLION dollar takeover proposal was conceived and executed in the 24 hours since your carbon tax announcement? That a business about to make such a massive investment just “did it on a whim” after seeing you on the telly on Sunday night?

You’re a lawyer, Julia. You know how these things work. It would have taken months of planning, research and due diligence before this announcement was made. And there’s plenty of that still to be done before the deal is signed. This would have been in the pipeline for ages, and Julia’s announcement had nothing to do with it whatsoever.

And Peabody has had its eye on Macarthur for ages, see here from 2010.

Delusional and desperate (and the media reported it all without any critical thought, as per usual).

Idiotic Comment of the Day: Bob Brown


Delusional

Bob Brown and the Greens in general make so many idiotic comments, on an hourly basis, that they would win this award every single time. But this one stands out as being the most idiotic in a long, long time. From Insiders yesterday (I’ve made it bigger so nobody misses it):

“You know the coal industry has to be replaced by renewables.”

(source) Note that Barrie Cassidy didn’t even pick Brown up about that extraordinary statement…

And reaction has been quick:

Senator Joyce said he was fascinated to know how Senator Brown proposed to keep the national economy running without revenue from coal exports.

”We need the money to pay for hospitals, roads, schools, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme so pensioners can get discounted medicine, and social security,” Senator Joyce said.

”Bob obviously has a magical new way to do it and I am fascinated to know how it works.

”What Bob says is a total and utter fantasy, that some angel will descend from heaven and make everything better. Remember Bob, after you’ve got rid of coal you’ve also got rid of cheap power so there will be no manufacturing industry we will have diddly squat, we will be white beggars of the south Pacific.”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he believed the carbon tax would destroy the coal industry.

”It will destroy the steel industry, the cement industry, the aluminium industry, the motor industry it will be, over time, the death of heavy manufacturing in Australia,” he said. (source)

Coal industry talks on carbon tax end in "deadlock"


Open cast mines in the Hunter Valley

Should we have expected anything else? The carbon tax is a direct attack on the coal industry, and no amount of “compensation” will change that. The government is sinking yet further into the mire.

TALKS between the coal industry and the government have ended in deadlock, with key coal representatives telling the government they cannot accept the industry compensation package on the table and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet sticking to his position.

In the meeting in Canberra yesterday, the coal industry argued for a phased-in approach to the auctioning of emissions permits and the staged inclusion of so-called fugitive emissions (the release of greenhouse gasses during the mining process).

In a submission to the government, the Australian Coal Association argued: “It is perplexing that the government has arrived at variations on its old proposals previously shown to deter investment, reduce Australian competitiveness and destroy Australian jobs in favour of enhanced opportunities for overseas competitors for no environmental gain.” (source)

How many of Australia’s key industry sectors does this government intend to alienate in its attempts to appease Bob Brown, I wonder?

Gillard "faces backlash on clean power"


Hazelwood brown coal power station, Victoria

More trouble at mill for Labor’s green crusade:

THE government’s push to mandate clean power stations could backfire as electricity generators threaten to delay upgrades to dirty coal-fired plants.

In a submission to the government obtained by The Australian, the power generators say tough new carbon pollution standards could apply to expansions to old power stations.

This is despite Julia Gillard’s vow during this year’s federal election that the standards would not apply to existing projects and were aimed at ensuring a dirty power station was never again built in Australia.

The electricity generators have joined Australia’s big miners and banks in warning that the government is raising sovereign risk concerns that could spook investors.

“Owners could be deterred from improving the performance of existing plant if an expansion could trigger new and costly regulatory requirements,” the National Generators Forum states in the submission.

The forum – whose members produce 95 per cent of Australia’s electricity – warns that the plan for cleaner power stations repeats mistakes made in the US, where a crackdown on emissions from new power stations has deterred investors from building them and led to greater use of coal-fired plants that are, on average, 44 years old.

They also complain that the plan is based on technologies that are highly uncertain and say it is probably doomed to fail in Western Australia.

The backlash from the generators adds to the government’s woes over its handling of climate change policy. The government wants to put a price on carbon next year and has maintained this is a crucial economic reform to encourage cuts to pollution and provide greater certainty for business investment.

A multi-party climate change committee is expected to make recommendations on a carbon price by the end of next year.

But the National Generators Forum warns that policies such as an emissions standard for coal generators are redundant when the government has promised to a carbon price.

The group says it is “alarmed by the proliferation of ad hoc policies, at all levels of government, which distort otherwise efficient electricity markets for what are often ill-defined or marginal environmental aims”.

“These policies are rarely complementary to a future carbon price and are usually token policies announced by governments in order to be seen as ‘doing something’ to address climate change,” it says. (source)

Let’s be clear about this. We all want to see power stations emit less pollution, and by that I mean real pollution, such as particulates and toxins, but situations such as the above are all driven by the “global warming” dogma of reducing harmless carbon dioxide. And whereas the former would be governed by market forces and rational cost/benefit analysis, the latter is governed by fairytale green ideology – with predictable results.

Madness: BHP boss "wants price on carbon"


Turkeys voting for Christmas, perhaps? Terry McCrann eviscerates Marius Kloppers for this nonsense:

In his nauseating obsequiousness, figuratively flagellating himself and his company for their carbon sins, Kloppers ‘confessed’ how Australia had one of the highest emissions of carbon dioxide per capita in the world.

Again, his entire focus was on domestic emissions – principally and most obviously from our almost total reliance on coal-fired electricity.

These had to be cut – to stress again, unilaterally and Rudd-like, irrespective of whether or not the rest of the world followed or when.

Accompanied by this throwaway line: that a major consideration was that our “export-based economy is intrinsically carbon intensive”.

Doh. Young Mr Kloppers clearly doesn’t understand the fatal contradiction. Once you accept that producing carbon dioxide is a secular – indeed the greatest secular – sin, the sinning doesn’t stop at the border.

We accept by whatever process a mandatory reduction in our production of domestic carbon dioxide, exactly the same demand will be applied to carbon dioxide being shipped out embedded in resources.

Now none of this is actually about ‘climate change’ – whether the so-called science or the religion. It is about self-interest and the most basic common sense.

Our economy and our present and future prosperity – even our more basic viability as a society – is based totally on producing carbon dioxide. Both in generating almost all our electricity and earning the majority of our export income.

The so-called science demands we cut our output by 80 per cent. So if Kloppers “accepts” the science, he accepts that sort of reduction over the next couple of decades.

He accepts the long-term suicide of BHPB – a strange position for a a CEO paid a multi-million dollar salary.

To what purpose? This is where the common sense kicks in. We can cut our emissions by 100 per cent; we can stop all our exports of coal and iron ore, completely, and we will make not the slightest difference to the climate. Taking the ‘science’ not the religion as gospel.

Yes, let us have a price on carbon. Zero. That’s the certainty that Australia – and BHPB – really need.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Who does the ABC get to comment on this story on News Radio this morning? A sceptic perhaps, to put the other side of the climate change issue? A mining expert perhaps, who would expose the hypocrisy? No – Chrisine Milne, Greens Senator – who was uncritically asked candy-floss questions which allowed her to spout the usual Green climate nonsense, and support Kloppers’ position 100%, as you would expect. There’s quality journalism for you.

Combet: coal industry is safe


Coal safe?

Although how Greg Combet can promise this with a straight face when he plans to introduce a pointless price on carbon [dioxide], and his Labor party is tied up in a formal agreement with the Greens, whose policy is to wipe coal from the face of the earth. Anyway, an interview in The Australian gives us a few hints as to what Greg is about:

As part of its deal to secure government, Labor signed a formal alliance with the Greens, whose policies include the eventual phasing out of the coal industry, Australia’s biggest export earner.

But in an interview with The Australian, Mr Combet said his background as a former coal engineer, union official and MP with coal workers in his NSW electorate meant he did not believe his job was to shut down the coal industry.

“I don’t agree with that. That’s not part of my job at all,” he said.

“I am acutely aware of the challenges that this policy presents. But people jump to these absolute positions, and I just don’t think that’s appropriate.

“I’ve got a responsibility to support those people’s jobs. The coal industry is a very vibrant industry with a strong future. What you’ve got to do is look to how we can achieve in the longer term things like carbon capture and storage for coal-fired power stations.” [Impossible in the near to medium term – and hugely expensive.]

Greens leader Bob Brown has described Australia as being like a heroin addict “feeding the habit” of the world’s reliance on coal. The party’s stated policy is to oppose development of any new coalmines or the expansion of existing coalmines and to phase out all existing coal subsidies. It wants to work towards stopping the development and granting of export licences for all new coalmines.

But in a statement last night, Greens senator Christine Milne, who has the party’s portfolio responsibility for climate change, said she did not intend to rehash the policy differences with Labor as she sought to build “trust” with the new Gillard government. [In other words, sweep our policy under the carpet – for now – so we don’t expose our fundamental ideological differences.] “I have put in a call to Greg Combet to congratulate him and begin the exciting conversation,” she said.

“In the meantime, I hope we can all respect the delicate process of building trust between people coming from different policy positions so we can achieve the best outcomes possible for the climate.”

The Greens can almost sound vaguely reasonable sometimes, especially when they are pulling the wool over the eyes of the mainstream media – but believe me, it’s all an act. Underneath they are as radical as ever, and highly dangerous for Australia.

Read it here.

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