- not one east coast state is less than $100/MWh,
- Vic and SA over $200/MWh.
- NSW, once the leader of cheap power is $130/MWh.
- Qld the baston of near 100% govt ownership $106/MWh.
- Meanwhile in the west, WA, a state not historically linked with cheap available power is $45/MWh. If WA had been so cheap in the past it would have had an aluminum smelter by now. In 2010, the NEM wholesale price varied between $30 and $55MWh, depending on the state.
Year to date prices are not looking good for 2019 to be better than 2018 with most of the east coast states at $90/MWh or worse with exception of Tas and Qld, but still over $80/MWh.
Something is clearly wrong and the answer should be obvious if you look at the timelines. The pro-Re won't like to hear this, but every time a coal fire power station was closed on the NEM, the whole price has gone up. It happened in SA, then Vic and to a degree in NSW. NSW now imports power almost continuously from Qld. What will happen with the Liddel closure?
We cannot blame the private operators, they are only doing what they are allowed to do, meanwhile the two states with mostly govt owned assets are happily screwing their own. The People of Qld should be revolting against the Qld govt, drive down to the border and knocking down the transmission lines. No other state govt in Qld has continuously shafted it people and business for power like the current govt and they have the hide to say they want RE. Tas wants Basslink 2, but I fear this will expose more of the Tasmanian grid to the Vic/NEM debacle. Technically it makes sense, but price wise....
We keep hearing coal is not viable anymore, then well why the hell are they still being built elsewhere including EU and right now you can build one in Aus and make an absolute killing on the current market price? Coal is very much viable economically, only if they would be allowed and being allowed means Risk against future retaliation. Seriously the whole anti-coal argument on price is complete BS and its about time people woke up to this.
CO2 is the new pollution people want to stop, we get that. We argued in the past over reducing chemical pollution in the 70's to 90's, no one wants to go back to dirty air and polluted rivers. Today CO2 is now the latest thing we are trying to ban, however its impacts are not felt locally and its future impact is based on computer modelling and educated guess work, so of course the doubters are rightly allowed to doubt. Additionally the use of CO2 taxes as the latest lever to tax the rich and give to the poor doesn't help the argument either. However overall, I think most would agree less CO2 emissions is better than more.
On the side, if we think our focus to reduce CO2 taxes doesn't include a population policy, then we are delusional.
Should the power sector be transitioned to RE, of course. But its in the how that makes the difference in long-term price. How often do you see here people promoting the likes of Solar and wind over coal, but have no clue on how to keep the lights around the clock at an affordable rate? just quoting the Greenie propaganda. Build Snowy 2.0, Build pumped hydro they rattle, but who will pay. In 60 years since dam building started on the main land for hydro on a large scale, how much pumped hydro was ever installed? Brisbane had Wivenhoe and also Tumut is pretty much it, both done on practical/economic grounds.
The boss of Bluescope said it very well, we are not against RE, we are against the transition phase that continues to provide some of the highest power prices in the world and higher than that of countries that have to import the energy. For a country that is gifted with so much energy, this is unacceptable.
So if we are going to go down this path of RE,
- Lets see what is the whole sale price forecast for each step. I suspect if the current prices were published in 2010 and put to the vote, we would have built a new coal power station to replace Hazellwood, at least and likely Northern.
- Lets see what the plan is for each coal fired power station to be closed, no plan, then you need to plan a replacement coal or gas power station
- Lets see where the proposed Pumped Hydro locations will be. Scientists marking off Valleys on the map then saying trust us may turn out differently when compulsory acquisition is started, hint, anyone remember the Mary River Dam fiasco?
- How much RE should be built as "gifted" infrastructure by the taxpayers and how much funded through power prices?
I'm not against RE, but for me right now I want to see a plan that gets the east coast grid wholesale power prices reduced by 5-10% pa for next 5-10 years.
On a side note, why don't we have the same focus on reducing CO2 with land transportation? Gillard's CO2 tax policy was so bad, it even screwed this up and did the reverse.