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Time to go back to cheap guaranteed electricity

Time to go back to cheap guaranteed electricity

Australia once had cheap reliable electricity to power a growing economy. Then came privatisation, competition policy and so-called “green energy”. The current energy crisis is no accident; in fact the Citizens Electoral Council forecast this disaster in the mid-1990s as the City of London-centred financial oligarchy implemented its privatisation and radical environmentalist agenda.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Thursday, 9 August 2018
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: https://www.cecaust.com.au  

Time to go back to cheap guaranteed electricity

Australia once had cheap reliable electricity to power a growing economy. Then came privatisation, competition policy and so-called “green energy”. The current energy crisis is no accident; in fact the Citizens Electoral Council forecast this disaster in the mid-1990s as the City of London-centred financial oligarchy implemented its privatisation and radical environmentalist agenda.

Before privatisation, we weren’t bombarded with annoying TV ads calling us to change electricity provider. Similarly, we didn’t suffer pestering telemarketers. To add insult to injury, these marketing costs add to our power bills, not to mention greedy executives on multi-million dollar salaries such as AGL boss Andrew Vesey who pocketed $6.9 million last year. Under privatisation and so-called competition policy, snouts are in the trough all along the way, profit being the motive rather than the provision of an essential service for the common good.

How stupid are we?

In 2017 Australia exported a record 200 million tonnes of thermal coal valued at $20.8 billion for other countries to burn, yet we’re shutting down coal-fired power stations at home. How stupid are we?

Industries move offshore, we destroy our economy, but global “emissions” are forecast to keep growing anyway. China, India, and much of the world continue to build coal-fired power stations.

In the last decade Australia exported 78 thousand tonnes of super energy-dense uranium ore concentrates for other nations to use, yet we have a ban on its use here. How stupid are we? World nuclear power generation capacity continues to expand. Presently 57 nuclear reactors are under construction, 17 in China alone. A further 152 have approvals, funding or commitment in place; the World Nuclear Association reports they are mostly expected to be in operation in the 2020s. While Japan temporarily shut down its nuclear reactors following the Fukushima accident, as of July 2018 nine reactors are in operation with the highest of safety standards. Japan’s Fifth Energy Basic Plan, adopted by Cabinet on 3 July 2018, aims for nuclear energy to account for 20-22 per cent of energy output by 2030. Nine planned reactors with a total 12,947 megawatt electric capacity are about to commence construction.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council’s Energy Security Board claims that under the government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG), the average household electricity bill will be around $550 lower each year over the 2020s, this occurring as the “renewable energy” share increases from 17 per cent in 2017-18 to 36 per cent by 2029-30. “Pigs might fly”, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Sydney’s 2GB on 1 August. “This is just wrong, it is completely implausible, it is utterly incredible. The fact is, the more renewables we have got, the higher the prices have got.

And why should the last lot of modelling be any more believable than the modelling before that, which has turned out to be uniformly and constantly false?” While Abbott’s analysis here is spot on, he also shares responsibility for the mess. As prime minister, he signed off on the renegotiated Renewable Energy Target (RET) which he claimed “will put downward pressure on electricity prices while also providing certainty for the industry”. Worse, he signed on to the 26-28 per cent emissions reduction target, essentially a death sentence for much of the Australian economy.

It’s no coincidence that Denmark and South Australia have the highest proportion of wind power in the world and also the most expensive power bills. As Professor Ian Plimer wrote in The Australian on 7 August, South Australia “has the most unreliable grid in the world outside Africa and the most expensive electricity. When South Australians buy electricity at $14,200/MWh, they are paying the equivalent of $400 a litre for petrol.”

Hydroelectricity, the best “renewable” energy source we have, is under threat from anti-dam radical environmentalists who would sooner flush water down rivers into wetlands—a.k.a. swamps—than support irrigation to grow our food, and power generation, necessary for just about everything we do. Hydroelectricity is reliable (unlike intermittent wind and solar power), and it also takes advantage of a high energy flux density, most significantly with the high pressures obtained from a hydraulic head of several hundred metres, typically achieved with reservoirs in the high country. This is why the Snowy Mountains Scheme and Tasmania’s hydropower can provide cheap electricity, but energy-diffuse solar and wind are no match. In the once optimistic era of growth, Tasmania’s electricity production rose 5.5 times in the 13 years to 1963 and factory employment doubled.

Where privatisation has not occurred, competition policy has corporatised government-owned electricity assets, such as Hydro Tasmania, Snowy Hydro and corporations in Queensland. In the National Electricity Market (NEM) these corporations effectively function as private companies. Competition policy has forced State governments to separate the generation, distribution and retail functions.

Given power is sold into the rigged market of the NEM, much of the benefit of state ownership is lost.

As for pollution, while nuclear power is superior, ironically coal-fired power stations often help improve air quality. For example, deadly smogs killed thousands of Londoners in the 1950s as household chimneys puffed out clouds of smoke. Now most electricity in the UK is sourced from coal-fired power stations with electrostatic precipitators that remove more than 99 per cent of particulate pollution.

The skies are blue again! And in Australia, the EPA consistently records better air quality in the Latrobe Valley alongside several coal-fired power stations, than it does in Melbourne’s suburbs where vehicle emissions are more significant.

The misnamed National Energy Guarantee is merely a guarantee to continue with more of the same disastrous policy. Bringing power back under the undeniably successful state-ownership model will provide for the common good and eliminate profit-gouging. And only high energy flux density power sources will provide cheap and reliable electricity. Therefore we must exit the 2015 Paris agreement and end tokenistic “green” energy policy which is crippling to industry and households but has no measurable environmental benefit.

Click here for a free copy of the CEC’s New Citizen special report, “The Infrastructure Road to Recovery”, which details plans for major transport, water and power projects, including for nuclear power that can capitalise on Australia’s abundant reserves of uranium and thorium. that can capitalise on Australia’s abundant reserves of uranium and thorium.

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

Click here to refer others to receive regular email updates from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.

Last modified onThursday, 09 August 2018 04:28

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