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  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
I note advertising for solar power has dwindled.
T88
That is the result of the government subsidy ending.

This whole solar energy idea sounds good in reality, but is a cause of the higher electricity charges for those who cannot usually pay their bill.   Renters lose out big time.

The people who can afford to pay for the panels get a subsidy to put them on their roof, the cost of their electricity bill is reduced and some even get money back as they were able to use less than they produced.
Electric companies get reduced income but to maintain profits as required by shareholders must increase cost per MW for those who cannot afford the solar panels.   Then that other stupid useless tax kicks in and adds more to the bill.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I have to agree with you about that one, the situation in South Australia was particularly ridiculous as home-owners had a huge government-subsidised installation incentive plus a really big, big feed-in rate.  Anyone who couldn't afford to do it or couldn't because they're renting was subsiding those who did.  A friend of mine in the Riverland got the biggest system that she could get because of it - but then found that she had to wait six months for the 'smart meter' to be installed (but that's another story!). I think they've reduced the 'honeymoon' feed-in rate now but sadly I think this is one of those green initiatives that wasn't well thought-out.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I disagree. The demand for electric power is increasing all the time and we are not building new power stations, so home generation is a way to mitigate that demand and reward the home owner for their investment. At the same time there are calls for Victoria's brown coal generating stations to be closed, but no-one is providing any idea of what alternate power generation technology could replace it. And the greens have no idea, as they have no idea on many issues.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
we are not building new power stations
TheBlacksmith
Who's not building new power stations? At least 8 new power stations have been built in the Western Downs region in the last few years or are in the planning/construction phases. On top of this are large solar and wind projects. I don't know about other parts of the country.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Who's not building new power stations? At least 8 new power stations have been built in the Western Downs region in the last few years or are in the planning/construction phases. On top of this are large solar and wind projects. I don't know about other parts of the country.
"Graham4405"
Oh really? And of what base load capacity would they be? Hazelwood 1600MW, Loy Yang should be double that and Yallourn is a bit less that Hazelwood IIRC. Has Victoria got 4500MW baseload in the pipeline? Um, nup, when the coal goes you guys better get used to candle light and the old push bike to generate power for the TV, RFDS style! That, or stop voting green now.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Oh really? And of what base load capacity would they be? Hazelwood 1600MW, Loy Yang should be double that and Yallourn is a bit less that Hazelwood IIRC. Has Victoria got 4500MW baseload in the pipeline? Um, nup, when the coal goes you guys better get used to candle light and the old push bike to generate power for the TV, RFDS style! That, or stop voting green now.
Aaron
Surely one of the advantages of having Liberal governments at both state and federal levels is that we'll never shut down our brown coal capacity now?  If anything I think the state should re-enter the electricity market and build more base-load brown coal plants so they can help bring the price down, I think the recent hikes in electricity for ordinary consumers and business could justify it.  I'd imagine they could build brown-coal plants to operate much cleaner than Hazelwood now-days.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Surely one of the advantages of having Liberal governments at both state and federal levels is that we'll never shut down our brown coal capacity now?  If anything I think the state should re-enter the electricity market and build more base-load brown coal plants so they can help bring the price down, I think the recent hikes in electricity for ordinary consumers and business could justify it.  I'd imagine they could build brown-coal plants to operate much cleaner than Hazelwood now-days.
don_dunstan
You would think that current technology should be able to reduce the emissions, both particulate and CO2 from a coal-fired power station. But in any event, there is not only no new proposals for plants, but those dopy Green twats are still on about shutting down the existing ones with nothing to replace them.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
They should finish of the rest of Loy Yang and kill off Hazelwood (original 80's plan). That'd slow the greenies down a bit.
  Black Hoppers Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
I note advertising for solar power has dwindled. Those unemployed people must of got jobs driving trucks along with insulation installers on the new Abbott highways.
Only complaint I got about roads now is they are safer but boring to drive on. Might as well take the train and have a kip.
"T88"


Oh yeah, then all the ads every day on all the digital channels are not really there at all then????
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
They should finish of the rest of Loy Yang and kill off Hazelwood (original 80's plan). That'd slow the greenies down a bit.
speedemon08
It's true that the Greens are an obstacle but it's more of problem that the state government refuses to get involved in this 'pure market' created by the Kennett privatisation.

This is where the current Liberals are nothing like their predecessors - Henry Bolte (like Playford in SA) actually spent big on the SECV in the 1950's.  The belief was that cheap, reliable power would attract industry and benefit consumers; the new generation capacity and infrastructure paid for itself in a very short period of time.  We need Liberals who think like that again; there's an urgent need for a large new base-load plant in Victoria and nobody is interested; the private power-generation companies probably prefer the status quo because they can argue that a power shortage necessitates gouging.

With the carbon tax on the way out it's the ideal time for the state to borrow and build Loy Yang B.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Victoria (and the rest of Australia) could do worse than follow the Loy Yang technology, it's a pretty epically brilliant plant. I spent a couple of days on a tour through it last year (I've been to more power stations than most) a fantastic place!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Tony has apparently had a very cordial meeting with the Indonesian president, mostly focused on trade.

Maybe it's just me but there's a definite change in the way the government engages with the media - they don't really seem to care about the 24 hour media cycle.  I don't have any opinion on that but it makes a big change from people like Mike Rann and Bob Carr who were very focused on media and seemed to have this belief that you should have a new 'message' every day.  I also read today that Christopher Pyne made a big mistake in making those announcements about the changes to university funding last week, apparently Abbott's office didn't see what he was going to say first.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Maybe it's just me but there's a definite change in the way the government engages with the media - they don't really seem to care about the 24 hour media cycle.  I don't have any opinion on that but it makes a big change from people like Mike Rann and Bob Carr who were very focused on media and seemed to have this belief that you should have a new 'message' every day.  
don_dunstan
And isn't it better - not seeing rehearsed media grabs just to get their faces on the TV news every night.

To me, not seeing a politician means s/he is actually doing something instead of talking about it.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
It's true that the Greens are an obstacle but it's more of problem that the state government refuses to get involved in this 'pure market' created by the Kennett privatisation.

This is where the current Liberals are nothing like their predecessors - Henry Bolte (like Playford in SA) actually spent big on the SECV in the 1950's.  The belief was that cheap, reliable power would attract industry and benefit consumers; the new generation capacity and infrastructure paid for itself in a very short period of time.  We need Liberals who think like that again; there's an urgent need for a large new base-load plant in Victoria and nobody is interested; the private power-generation companies probably prefer the status quo because they can argue that a power shortage necessitates gouging.

With the carbon tax on the way out it's the ideal time for the state to borrow and build Loy Yang B.
don_dunstan
Won't happen.

The cost of constructing the second half of Loy Yang B, all 1000MW of it to replace the 1600+MW of Hazelwood, which has plenty of life left in it, on environmental grounds only, is prohibitive.

speedemon08's claim that such a project would slow the greenies down a bit is false. The greens would oppose ANY new coal fired power station unfortunately, and indeed they virtually partied in the streets after any prospect of a new demonstration power station at Morwell, which would have generated 600MW utilising the latest clean coal technology, as proposed by HRL, was shot down. This power station would have emitted 40% less CO2 emissions than other coal-fired power stations, but they were still not happy. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2012/4/17/smart-energy/hrl-freezes-12bn-coal-gas-power-plant-victoria
(Off topic - this is typical of greenies; give an inch and they will take a mile. A good example of this is their quest to lock up all native forest in the central highlands and declare it National Park, even though this area was a barren moonscape after the 1939 Black Friday fires and logged twice since, with their beloved Leadbeaters Possum prevailing and thriving to this day due to responsible forest management and regulatory controls. Meantime, to the detriment of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, they want the industries who rely on that crop to shut down, even if it means you then have to buy your copy paper from Indonesia instead, where orangtans face obliteration due to a couldn't-care-less industry and no government controls)

In any case, Victoria's installed solar capacity was a year ago up to 400+MW and growing.
http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3819
Granted, this is not base load, but it does generate more power in peak periods than not (peak = 7am-11pm normally), and coupled with recently installed gas fired stations such as the one at Mortlake (550MW), the ever increasing construction of wind farms and the DECREASE in demand due to the slowdown in the manufacturing industry and the increase in home solar installations, there is no need to construct a large coal-fired base load power station anymore.
  2301 Train Controller

Location: Banned
I see the stupid fools in the Labor party still don't understand why they received such a thumping.  They still support an ETS and Gillard can't stop spruiking about how good she was, blaming her incompetence and poor management skills on the misogynists.  

Thank god we now have a Government that has the country's best interests at heart!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Dirty Ballast: Solar systems degrade with time though don't they - what sort of life-span does the average one have I wonder before it's shafted and the panels need replacing?  Wind-farms and solar capacity are also quite unreliable and we now have the problem of escalating natural gas prices due to over-selling of the resource to overseas interests.  I dunno, I just think that a new base-load brown coal station would be a good way to future proof and bring down these stupidly high tariffs but perhaps it was also that thinking that bought us a huge desal plant that turned out to be completely superfluous.

2301: You're making them sound like benevolent Carmelite nuns.  I wonder if you'll still feel the same in another three years?  Time will tell.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
And isn't it better - not seeing rehearsed media grabs just to get their faces on the TV news every night.

To me, not seeing a politician means s/he is actually doing something instead of talking about it.
Donald
Or there's nothing to report, because there's nothing happening.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
....but perhaps it was also that thinking that bought us a huge desal plant that turned out to be completely superfluous.
don_dunstan
Can you please explain why the Desal Plant is completely superfluous, considering we have not been through a single drought year since it was built?

And as there are no new dams being built, or for that matter, can be built, and we have a growing population, housing spreading like weeds and increased water consumption, where is future water going to come from?
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...
Thank god we now have a Government that has the country's best interests at heart!
2301


Do you break into song like citizens of those small-minded, tight-Rse regimes Laughing

Wait for the excuses after utility prices don't fall by the amount attributed to the imposition of Carbon pricing.
  2301 Train Controller

Location: Banned
Do you break into song like citizens of those small-minded, tight-Rse regimes Laughing

Wait for the excuses after utility prices don't fall by the amount attributed to the imposition of Carbon pricing.
Groundrelay
At least we haven't got someone dribbling sh1t every 10 minutes of the day in front of a camera just so they can look like a celebrity.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
And it will be passed onto the all powerful ACCC.

... And nothing changes.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Thank god we now have a Government that has the country's best interests at heart!
"2301"

If you really believe that, you're more naïve than I thought you were.
The Government's objective, which is no different from any before it, is to do a good enough job so that it is re-elected next time around.
If the country benefits significantly during this term that's fine, but the overriding objective is to stay in office.
It's all about the three "P's" - position, power and perks.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Can you please explain why the Desal Plant is completely superfluous, considering we have not been through a single drought year since it was built?

And as there are no new dams being built, or for that matter, can be built, and we have a growing population, housing spreading like weeds and increased water consumption, where is future water going to come from?
TheBlacksmith
At some stage in the future they may get around to switching it on but we're currently up to 79 percent full.  Even if we had an intense drought again like it was eight years ago it would be preferable to put in tough conservation and recycling measures like we did during that period against a multi-billion dollar desalination plant.  Our current Premier is also of the opinion that it will never be switched on while he's in office, just like the North-South pipeline, so on that basis I'd have to call it 'superfluous to current need'.

This is one topic where I have a hundred percent agreement with the Herald-Sun's Andrew Bolt; there were cheaper options they should have looked at first.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
At some stage in the future they may get around to switching it on but we're currently up to 79 percent full.  Even if we had an intense drought again like it was eight years ago it would be preferable to put in tough conservation and recycling measures like we did during that period against a multi-billion dollar desalination plant.  Our current Premier is also of the opinion that it will never be switched on while he's in office, just like the North-South pipeline, so on that basis I'd have to call it 'superfluous to current need'.

This is one topic where I have a hundred percent agreement with the Herald-Sun's Andrew Bolt; there were cheaper options they should have looked at first.
don_dunstan
Yes, and between wars everyone wants to get rid of the army, navy and air force. We are notorious for having short memories of hard times in the past.

But perhaps you might like to address the second paragraph of my question?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
"No new dams" is purely a political decision that could be reversed.  As I said earlier there are conservation measures that were not explored, in particular storm water harvesting.  Most of Melbourne's rainwater continues to wash out to sea... why?  Why not consider minor council-run storages for things like parks and gardens instead of watering those areas from an expensive desal plant?  Why wasn't that even considered?  Why go for the most expensive and energy-intensive option as a first line of defence?  Even with our huge population growth and 'houses growing like weeds' I'm sure we could have managed the next drought period with a couple of smaller dams and more intensive rainwater capture programs.

Telling Melbourne residents "don't worry about it, you can hose your driveway down again, we've got the world's biggest desal plant" is not a good conservation message.  As a country resident, I'm sure you can appreciate the need to conserve water even during our relatively wet years as the last few have been; to me the desal plant reinforced the bad message that "Melbourne people don't have to worry about drought, we've spent our way out of that problem".

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