Electricity and Gas Articles:  

Is the AFR rejoining economic rationality?

Catallaxy Files, 4 July 2019

The AFR has spent a decade of extolling the merits of renewable energy.  It has waxed lyrical on the beneficial effects of taxes on fossil fuels (aka renewable subsidies, the NEG).  But, following a passage rightly pointing out the cost imposed on the nation by a gas reserve policy, comes this from the editorial in

This week’s big energy announcements? Just another nail in the coffin of low-cost power

The Spectator, 17 September 2020

The government’s energy policy announced this week is another milestone in the demise of what was once the world’s lowest-cost energy market. The slow fuse priming the bomb was lit in 2001, when Prime Minister John Howard Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) requiring electricity

The Bill Comes Due for Renewable Energy

Quadrant Online, 24 August 2020

Australia’s excessively high energy prices are undermining our competitiveness and cutting our standards of living. Since 2002 Australian governments have introduced climate policies to reduce carbon dioxide.  This has caused high cost and low reliability wind and solar to displace cheap coal and gas power.

California dreamin’, our cheap and reliable electricity nightmare

The Spectator, 20 August 2020

Matthew Warren in the AFR three days ago was highly critical of the electricity market manager’s proposed spending on new transmission lines.  The proposals involve a centrally planned network with over $17 billion of new transmission lines plus a further $10 billion for the Snowy pumped storage

The Business Council maintains its crusade for higher electricity prices

Catallaxy Files, 20 July 2020

 In The Australian today, we have a puff piece by JENNIFER WESTACOTT (head of the Business Council) and  ALISON WATKINS (head of Coca Cola Amatil).  It is headlined “The window of change is open: now is the time for pro-business economic reform” and has the usual exhortatory bromides, demanding “that we

Renewable energy’s destruction of the electricity supply system. Has the penny dropped?

Catallaxy Files, 16 May 2020​

Remarkably,  the Energy Minister joins the market manager in recognising the perverse effect roof-top renewable energy installations have on the electricity supply system.  Those installations impose costs far greater than the value they tap in “free” sunlight.  This is an outcome common with all wind/solar fa

The coronavirus can’t stop the windpower blowhards, let alone economic reality

The Spectator, 30 April 2020

For Australian energy, 2020 started precariously.  The bushfires showed the vulnerability of the nation to its subsidy-induced reliance on renewable energy.    

Average prices in January reached near-record levels. 

Revealed: the sickly state of the National Electricity Market

The Spectator, 26 February 2020

This year’s annual report from the regulatory collective that is the Energy Security Board awards itself gongs for overseeing a (temporary) spot price decline and assembling an armoury if new tools to prevent catastrophe from a system poisoned by renewable energy subsidies. Unfortunately, it declines to

Time to Bight the bullet over gas scare campaign

The Australian, 8 January 2020

The NSW government is considering approving the establishment of a liquefied natural gas import facility moored off Port Kembla. This same government has erected formidable barriers to domestic gas production.

Electricity supply continues is dismal march

Catallaxy Files, 11 December 2019

I have a piece in the Spectator today that draws together some recent developments in energy policy being developed in the half dozen or so agencies that control what is ostensibly, and was in earlier days, a market with supply largely from private enterprise.  I also did a session on the issue with Chris Kenny.

Cheaper power coming? Blink and you’ll miss it if our Paris goals remain

The Spectator, 11 December 2019

There is a panoply of agencies regulating energy at the Commonwealth level and not all of these seem to be rowing in the same direction.  The main agencies are  - The Energy and Environment Department with 490 staff in energy and greenhouse — plus another 454 in its dependent agencies: Clean Energy Finance

Subsidies, bureaucrats, blackouts and bills: inside our electricity disaster

The Spectator, 26 August 2019

The Australian Energy Market Operator is one of the half dozen different government institutions responsible for planning and managing the electricity industry. Like its sister agencies, AEMO accepts no responsibility for the transformation of an industry that over the past five years has gone from supplying

Angus Taylor: fighting for coal and cheap power, but is it too late?

The Spectator, 29 May 2019

In contrast to his predecessor, the eminently likeable Josh Frydenberg, Angus Taylor can be abrasive and has managed to antagonise many within the industry:

  • State ministers for launching the proposal 

Electricity subsidies beget further interventions bringing additional inefficiences

Catallaxy Files, 31 March 2019

Unusually, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has some pre-politician expertise in the sector and is fully aware of the deficiencies of renewables (the exotic wind/ solar ones, not hydro) and the damage done to Australian prices and reliability by subsidised wind/solar.

Energy policy: the $72 billion fair dinkum disaster

The Spectator, 26 February 2019

Energy and climate change policy in Australia and other western democracies is now, along with immigration and its associated fear of imported third world violence, the cutting edge of the political divide.

Liberal luvvies for higher power prices

The Spectator, 20 December 2018

Politicians as targets of the French gilets jaunes are omnipresent in Australia and have, with their climate change-driven energy policies, created even greater economic damage than in France. Notwithstanding the disastrous effects from subsidising renewable energy, politicians’ hubris within the Coalition, ALP and

The mirage of lower renewable energy driven electricity prices

Catallaxy Files, 10 December 2018

Josh Frydenberg claimed the last week in Parliament was a poor one for the opposition and the triumph for the government. He made mention of the Opposition’s inability to get Peter Dutton and its failure to deliver its preferred outcomes regarding Manus Island detainees​

Victorian Government contracts for renewable energy supplies

Catallaxy Files, 13 September 2018

Victoria has announced fifteen-year contract for wind and solar capacity amounting to 650 megawatts (the giant Loy Yang is 2,200 MW but renewables only provide about one third as much electricity per MW of capacity).  The price is said to be under $60 per MWH, while the state government also garners the

Energy Addicted to Waffle and Disaster

Quadrant Online, 18 July 2018

Over the past year, we have seen the misnamed report into "energy security" by Chief Scientist Finkel, the ACCC's report ("restoring electricity affordability") - and now a new annual report by market operator AEMO.  These are in addition to a couple of dozen reviews into specific market-machinery matters and the