Jun 26, 2012

Parkinson: another day, another carbon price beat-up

The front page stories in today’s mainstream media about bailouts for Australia’s biggest brown coal generators are not quite what they seem.

The front page stories in today’s mainstream media about bailouts for Australia’s biggest brown coal generators are not quite what they seem.

The Australian Financial Review and The Australian — the Bill and Ben of anti-carbon price rhetoric — cited the case of the 1542MW Hazelwood brown coal generator, which they said had to be rescued by their international owners GDF-Suez, as a result of the imminent carbon price.

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7 thoughts on “Parkinson: another day, another carbon price beat-up

  1. CliffG

    “Even with the carbon price, the wholesale price of electricity in real terms is lower than in 2006. But the real price of electricity to households and businesses has increased entirely as a result of the way we regulate prices associated with distribution, transmission [costs] and retail sales.”

    Can someone do a bit more analysis of these details for me.

    My bills have skyrocketed. And can anything be done about “the way we (who’s that?) regulate prices associated with distribution, transmission and retail sales”? I’m freezing!

  2. Damotron

    News Limited seems hell bent on destroying its own credibility and is doing a good job of it.

  3. Frank Campbell

    Just received a letter from our power retailer: price to go up 12% immediately- “largely due to the carbon price”…

    No doubt on Garnault’s income, this is indeed “incremental”.

  4. Same Stale Shoes

    Frank, from memory the carbon tax is responsible for an expected 10% rise in your electricity prices. But don’t look at that in isolation, you should look into what compensation will be awarded to you to figure out its cost to you in real terms.

  5. Frank Campbell


    Indeed, but the “compensation” illustrates the absurd economics of the tax: the cost of virtually everything will rise, not only domestic electricity. The intention is to change behaviour, but big “polluters” will receive virtually full compensation from the revenue raised, which will enable business as usual. The remaining $13 billion or so left will not be used for renewables research but handed to mendicant corporations to spend on wind and domestic solar- which are very expensive and cannot provide useful power by definition (unreliable, miniscule). This entrenches vast capital expenditure in fixed assets which are redundant/obsolete the moment they are installed. Capital is squandered- for decades.

    The entire scheme is a moronic carousel of cash. Emissions will not be reduced. The credibility of all Green politics is subverted- and that’s what really appalls me, as a Green voter.

  6. MJPC

    Frank, your letter was interesting in that we had a salesperson from Origin energy at the front door willing to give us a generous rebate on the energy charges from Integral energy to the extent that they would pay our $100 penalty for changing suppliers mid-contract.

    As we have solar panels and heat pump HWS we have a subsantial credit amassed, so any rebate will mean nothing apart from increasing our credit, as we are very frugal with power usage. I see in the media today that the carbon price will see a further benefit for solar users in that a buy back price has been determined.

    As far as I am concerned it has already done something positive for renewables without even being introduced as yet.

    As for the twin towers of News limited journalistic integrity; todays newspaper is tomorrows base lining for the cocky’s cage!

  7. Frank Campbell

    MJPC: yes, retailers are really pushing churn. This adds substantially to costs, which we all pay, of course. We recently changed retailers- after quite a few years- because according to “Energy Watch”, an alleged broker, our company was offering 10% bigger discounts to other customers – but not us. They’d lied, in writing. The day after, Energy Watch (which we’d never heard of) was exposed as a sleazy operation- the CEO resigned and fled abroad. Power companies cancelled contracts with EW.

    Just another example of regulatory failure- which we all have to pay for.

    Many times, including this week, we’ve been tempted to go solar. We won’t though, because the system is inherently corrupt: subsidises a fragment of the middle class at the expense of all others. Solar subsidies also have nothing to do with the carbon tax, as they predate it by years. World-wide, feed-in tariffs are being rolled back fast. We’ll probably go solar when all rorts have been removed. Apparently a fair feed-in tariff would be around 7 cents KwHr.

    The other motive for solar is getting stronger: get free of utility companies. What we’ve seen recently makes us puke. We provide our own water, gas and heat, so just the damned power grid to get rid of next…

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