* take nothing for granted    
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2021

Who is Online

We have 53 guests and no members online

Article Index

Costs due to the renewable energy target

 

It is interesting that all parties have steered well clear of blaming Australia’s mandatory renewable energy target (MRET) for any of the past price increases.  Learn more about the MRET here…

Yet, as previously discussed on this website, in 2011 the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), the NSW regulator, blamed the cost of renewable energy certificates for most of that year’s increases.  

IPART  determines the maximum prices charged for regulated electricity services provided by TRUenergy (formerly EnergyAustralia) and Origin Energy (formerly Country Energy and Integral Energy) in New South Wales.

There are now two kinds of certificates under the MRET.  Both are created in response to renewable electricity generation.

Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are earned by domestic PV solar owners; at a fixed clearing house price of $40 per MWh.  There is presently an excess of STCs in the clearing house and they are being discounted by some owners by around $10.

Large scale certificates have renamed Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs); previously called RECs in some places on this website.  The LGC price presently fluctuates between $35 and $45 depending on time of year. 

 

image005 
source: Energy Users Association of Australia http://www.euaa.com.au/green-market-prices/


 

Energy retailers have a legal responsibility to purchase and surrender a proportion of their annual demand.  In 2012 this proportion for LGCs is 9.15%. For STCs the proportion is 23.96%  

Using the above crude numbers it can be estimated that the retailers’ average supply price is raised by around 1.2 cents per kWh; equivalent to around 60% of the carbon tax pass-through.

The actual impact on your electricity bill of these certificates is complex. There are also concessions to trade exposed industry that are factored in.

Like the carbon tax the cost to retailers of renewable energy certificates increases in future.  As the MRET target rises retailers are bound to buy a larger number of certificates and the price of LGCs is also expected to rise due to higher demand.

The MRET is a fixed energy target by 2020 not on the percentage (20%) generated by renewable energy.  The target does not fall with the projected decline in electricity demand as the price rises.

 

Annual MRET Targets 2011-2030 (GWh)*
Year

Target **

2012 16,763
2013 19,088
2014 16,950
2015 18,850
2016 21,431
2017 26,031
2018 30,631
2019 35,231
2020 41,850
2021-2023 41,000

* Targets adjusted as per Subsection 40 (1A) of the Act.
** One gigawatt hour (GWh) equals one thousand megawatt hours (MWh)
Source: http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au

 

As the table shows, the mandatory target rises fourfold between now and 2020; so that it may be as high as 30% of actual generation by then.

 

 


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Denmark

 

 

  

 

 

In the seventies I spent some time travelling around Denmark visiting geographically diverse relatives but in a couple of days there was no time to repeat that, so this was to be a quick trip to two places that I remembered as standing out in 1970's: Copenhagen and Roskilde.

An increasing number of Danes are my progressively distant cousins by virtue of my great aunt marrying a Dane, thus contributing my mother's grandparent's DNA to the extended family in Denmark.  As a result, these Danes are my children's cousins too.

Denmark is a relatively small but wealthy country in which people share a common language and thus similar values, like an enthusiasm for subsidising wind power and shunning nuclear energy, except as an import from Germany, Sweden and France. 

They also like all things cultural and historical and to judge by the museums and cultural activities many take pride in the Danish Vikings who were amongst those who contributed to my aforementioned DNA, way back.  My Danish great uncle liked to listen to Geordies on the buses in Newcastle speaking Tyneside, as he discovered many words in common with Danish thanks to those Danes who had settled in the Tyne valley.

Nevertheless, compared to Australia or the US or even many other European countries, Denmark is remarkably monocultural. A social scientist I listened to last year made the point that the sense of community, that a single language and culture confers, creates a sense of extended family.  This allows the Scandinavian countries to maintain very generous social welfare, supported by some of the highest tax rates in the world, yet to be sufficiently productive and hence consumptive per capita, to maintain among the highest material standards of living in the world. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Merry Christmas

 

 

 

2020 was a terrible year. Last Christmas I wished you a better 2021. But, alas, it was not all beer and skittles.

On the bright side, there were no bushfires and the floods were less damaging. The drought has certainly broken. The bush is recovering well.

But in July Covid-19 reasserted itself and cases grew rapidly so the death-rate also began to rise steeply in NSW. 

A total 641 are now dead due to Covid-19 (to date). Yet, as NSW has a population 8.2 million, this still translates to one of the lowest Covid-related death rates in the world.

Victoria has been slightly worse hit with 1,436 deaths to date. Still exceptionally low by world standards. And the smaller states have remained largely Covid-free. Thus 2,072 dead in eighteen months, due to Covid-19, in Australia, has added negligibly to the expected annual death-rate from all causes (around 165,000 a year). Unless things go horribly wrong next year, the historical impact of Covid-19 will be mainly economic.

That economic impact, due to border closures, both overseas and interstate, and to the cost of assistance to businesses and individuals has been significant. While our children's generation learnt to work from home and the State kept essential services and construction running safely, tourism and entertainment businesses were badly hit.

The lock-downs also caused a lot of stress to our children with school-age kids. So, Wendy spent many days supervising the on-line-home-schooling of our grandchildren, Vivienne and Billy. I helped for a single day. I'm still dining out on that one!

The scare in this State was well-timed. Almost everyone rushed to get their 'two shots' of whichever vaccine was available. So, a country leading: 94.82% of the NSW population over 16, is now vaccinated - with the rollout to younger children well underway.

So far, this has borne fruit and, despite rising case numbers, we currently have less than 200 Covid-cases in hospital in NSW and just eight of those are on a ventilator. So, the borders are opening; masks are voluntary; QR check-in is no longer required in shops; and proof of vaccination is no longer mandatory in bars, gyms and sporting venues. Come and get it!

Predictably, case numbers are rising hourly, so the unvaccinated will soon be infected. This brave minority have opted to rely on natural immunity - nature's way.

The 'natural' case fatality rate (CFR) for Covid-delta is around 2% but could be lower, we hope, for Covid-omicron. It's more deadly with age. So, I'm guessing that only about one in a hundred of the unvaccinated are in the running for a (posthumous) Darwin Award.

Both Wendy and I have had our boosters in preparation.

We hope to travel again in 2022. The last time we saw our German grandchildren in the flesh was in 2019. 

Thanks to WhatsApp we can still get together face-to-face and I can report that both Tilda (4) and Leander (7) understand and speak English, in addition, of course, to their native German. Leander's English is now excellent. Yet it's not quite like us being there or them being here.

Those of you who read last year's message will find what follows familiar. I've barely changed a word.

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

 

 

Japan has 55 nuclear reactors at 19 sites.  Two more are under construction and another twelve are in the advanced planning stage.  Net Generating capacity is around 50 GW providing around 30% of the country's electricity (more here).  

As a result of Japan’s largest earthquake in history on March 11 and subsequent tsunami all reactors shut down automatically as they were designed to do but cooling systems associated with two sites had been damaged. 

Three reactor sites are adjacent to the earthquake epicentre and two were in the direct path of the tsunami.  The Fukushima-Daiichi plant belonging to Tokyo Electric Power Company was particularly hard hit.  It lost all grid connections, providing electricity, and its backup power plant was seriously damaged. 

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright