Australian Government adopts NEG: steers away from’Green Energy’ black hole

Posted: January 5, 2018 by tallbloke in Energy, government, solar system dynamics

turbine-backupSigns of a return to sanity down under. The Australian government has opted for reliability over renewables in the power sector.

In the wake of the “System Black” power failure that knocked out South Australia for up to two days in late 2016, the country’s government has dumped the existing clean energy-based policy in favour of a radically different one.

In October 2017 the Energy Security Board (ESB) provided the COAG Energy Council with advice on changes to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and legislative framework. The proposed national energy guarantee (NEG) aims to support the provision of reliable, secure and affordable electricity with a focus on ensuring:

  • the reliability of the system is maintained
  • electricity sector emissions reductions needed to meet Australia’s international commitments are achieved
  • the above objectives are met at the lowest overall costs.

The NEG is a way to encourage new investment in clean and low emissions technologies while allowing the electricity system to continue to operate reliably.

To deliver this transition, the NEG requires retailers to contract with or invest in generators or demand response to meet a Retailers must also keep their emissions below an agreed level.

The guarantee is designed to integrate energy and emissions policy – both energy and emissions targets are reflected in a single energy price. That energy price will signal how much electricity the market needs and when it is needed, while also reflecting the cost of meeting Australia’s emissions targets.

More here:

  1. ivan says:

    The only way this will work is if the government cancels the RET and other green taxes on reliable energy production. Unfortunately I can’t see that happening, after all merchant banker Turnbull has to keep the carbon tax money flowing.

    The NEG is a way to encourage new investment in clean and low emissions technologies while allowing the electricity system to continue to operate reliably.
    In other words it is a way of passing more money over to the unreliables industry while not allowing the building of any new fossil fuel powered generators.

    I assume the snowy pumped hydro would be a recipient of money from this but the problem is it can’t generate any new energy only recycle what has been produced by real generators – fine for covering short term peaks in demand, useless for anything else. The same applies to the SA battery.

    All those types of unreliables will be covered but a few nuclear or coal fired plants won’t.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    The definition of low emission has been carefully set to exclude any HELE coal fired plants, unless they are combined with (more expensive) CCGTs or (much more expensive) renewables. Both these ‘accessory’ production methods would result in higher and higher electricity bills.
    The only result that I can foresee is the usual dithering incompetence from our politicians followed by blackouts.

  3. oldbrew says:

    The dithering incompetents need to be blacked out by the voters.

  4. ivan says:

    oldbrew, that will never happen because of the PR voting system they have there.

    Too many names on the paper and the normal reaction is to start numbering from the top down. This leads to party vote rigging by manipulation to get their people at the top (at least that is how it worked when I was there over 40 years ago and I can’t see the parties changing ‘a good thing’ for anything better).

  5. konradwp1 says:

    Sadly I can report from Australia that the NEG (AKA “No Energy Guarantee”) will not reduce electricity costs or return system reliability to what it was before the AGW madness started.

    The NEG is just driving over the cliff at 90 kph instead of 100 kph under the previous RET. Prices will continue to rise, just slightly slower than under the RET. Reliability may not degrade as fast as under the RET, but it will still rapidly degrade.

    The announced NEG is simply a political game to try and fool the public that their concerns about cost and reliability are being addressed. The plan still involves vastly increasing the amount of wind and solar unreliables connected to the grid. There is simply no way to reduce costs, improve reliability and reduce grid complexity while this is happening.

    In introducing the NEG, the current left leaning uni-party politicians are mendaciously claiming that the NEG will result in reduced costs compared to “business as usual”. The problem here is they class “business as usual” as the post 2005 madness, not the cheep and reliable generation systems we had from 1955 to 2005.

    It is notable that “Frequency Excursion Events” in the eastern states (+/- 0.15 Hz from 50 Hz) has rapidly from under 100 events in 2005 to almost 1600 events in 2017. She’ll not take it captain! She’s breaking up!!.

    Sanity will not be restored in Australia until there is wide spread disconnection and decommissioning of wind and solar subsidy farms.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Agreeing with Konrad…

    No, but you can spend vast amounts of other people’s money trying to do so :/

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    the voting system has become even more complicated, with the introduction of “above the line” voting designed to get people to vote for a party unknowingly. This has resulted in more minor parties all trading preferences e.g. the vote above the line if not used is then transfered to another party, and if that party doesn’t get enough votes then they get transferred to a third and so on. The election in 2013 resulted in an unemployed man being elected as the Senator representing the Motoring Enthusiasts Party with a primary vote of 0.5% (rounded up). Curiously he turned out to be one of the better Senators but he got voted out in the last election.

  8. ivan says:


    That sounds like serious vote rigging and house stuffing. It also appears that Elizabeth needs to order the cleaning of the stables again if the country is to continue in existence as a country and not a state of maybe China.

  9. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    “The proposed national energy guarantee (NEG) aims to support the provision of reliable, secure and affordable electricity ”
    Waiting with anticipation to see how this works!
    If they were really serious they wouldn’t close down existing fossil fuel energy generation based on suspect science.
    COAG will be influenced by ‘Agenda21’, to what extent is unsure.

  10. One thing that has happened quietly is that South Australia has recommissioned a gas turbine power station which yesterday (at least) with other industry gas turbines was producing 50% of South Australia power demand (apart from the 20% of coal power generation imported from Victoria and NSW). Tasmania after the disaster of the Bass link, from Victoria, cable breakdown which required a rush to hire deisel generators to keep the lights on, has recommissioned a gas turbine combined cycle (steam with waste heat boilers) power station near Launceston and is running it continuously so it is available when the wind does not blow or the dams are too low for hydro.

  11. oldbrew says:

    No chance of any one of ‘reliable, secure and affordable’ electricity from part-time highly-subsidised renewables.

  12. ivan says:


    Never was and never will be.

    People can’t afford the electricity produced by the unreliables with all the subsidies. Remove those subsidies and the taxes on real reliable generation and two things will happen – the unreliables die and electricity becomes affordable again. Hand in hand with cheap, reliable electricity the economy progresses.