Malcolm Turnbull’s Trumpian disregard for the energy facts

“The Coalition campaign in favour of coal, and against renewables, is relentless, even after study after study is produced highlighting how wind and solar, even with integration costs, are a significantly cheaper option than sticking with a coal-based centralised grid.

Last week, the ANU released an analysis highlighting just that. It echoed another detailed study last year, from the CSIRO and the network owners lobby, that put the savings of a high renewable grid at $100 billion over business as usual.

The main fossil fuel generators admit that building new coal power plants is not just a dumb idea, it is uninvestible.

And the financing secured for the third stage of one Australia’s biggest wind projects illustrates why. Electricity from the 109MW Hornsdale 3 project will deliver electricity to its customer, the ACT government, at a fixed price of $73/MWh for the next 20 years.

To put that in context – that is cheaper than electricity almost anywhere on the Australian grid at the moment. It is one-third of the cost paid by Queenslanders for electricity in February, one-half the cost paid in NSW, and it’s cheaper than the predicted prices in any state over 2017/18. ….

And the ACT government that commissioned this? They’re laughing. They know that their cost of electricity is capped for 20 years, but better than that, they get a refund from any excess. So if wholesale prices go above $73/MWh, which is where they are now, then the excess comes back to the ACT and its consumers.

Yet the Coalition continues on, digging themselves deeper into discredited and unfinanceable “clean coal” technologies such as IGCC [Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle]. The world’s flagship IGCC project is at Kemper in the US, where $7 billion has so far been invested and it still hasn’t produced anything.

Renew Economy: Giles Parkinson: 2 March 2017

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