Monday, June 12, 2017

The Treasonous Secession of Climate Confederacy States

Prosecute Governor Brown for treason

After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist states.

Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.

The Constitution is very clear about this. “No state shall enter into any treaty.” Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions.”

Cuomo’s statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

“It is a little bold to talk about the China-California partnership as though we were a separate nation, but we are a separate nation,” Governor Brown of California announced.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, the radical leftist described California as “a real nation-state”.

Brown was taking a swing through China to reassure the Communist dictatorship of California’s loyalty to an illegal treaty at the same time as EU boss Juncker was bashing America and kissing up to Premier Li Keqiang at the EU-China summit. It’s one thing when the EU and China form a united front against America. It’s quite another when California and China form a united front against America.

The Climate Alliance of California, New York, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia and Rhode Island looks a lot like the Confederacy’s Montgomery Convention. Both serve as meeting points for a secessionist alliance of states to air their grievances against the Federal government over an issue in which they are out of step with the nation.

"We’re a powerful state government. We have nine other states that agree with us," Brown boasted.

Two more and Jim Jones' old pal could have his own confederacy.

All the bragging and boasting about how much wealth and power the secessionist states of the climate confederacy represent sounds very familiar. But that wealth and power is based around small enclaves, the Bay Area and a few dozen blocks in Manhattan, which wield disproportionate influence.

Like the slaveowner class, leftist elites are letting the arrogance of their wealth lead them into treason. And as they look out from their mansions and skyscrapers, they should remember that the majority of working class people in California and New York will be far less enthusiastic about fighting a war to protect their dirty investments in solar energy plants and carbon credits funded by taxes seized from many of those same people in these left-wing slave states.

The declared intention of the Climate Alliance, in words appearing on the New York State government website, is to treasonously “convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement”.

States cannot and are not allowed to unilaterally choose to “uphold” a treaty rejected by the President. Their leaders are certainly not allowed to travel to enemy nations to inform foreign powers of their treasonous designs and to solicit their aid against the policies of the United States government.

This is all the more treasonous at a time when the United States is on a collision course with the People’s Republic of China over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and trade agreements.

“It’s important for the world to know that America is not Washington," Brown declared. "Yes, we’re part of the union, but we’re also a sovereign state that can promote the necessary policies that are required for survival.”

Governors don’t normally feel the need to declare that their state is still part of the union. But they also don’t announce that they’re a separate nation and then set off to cut separate deals with enemy powers. No state should be issuing, “Yes, we’re part of the union, but” disclaimers before going to China.

The disclaimer is the first step to leaving the union.

Governor Brown's trip to China isn't funded by California taxpayers. That might be a relief to that overburdened tribe except that it's partially being paid for by the Energy Foundation. Behind that generic name for a pass through organization are a number of left-wing foundations who have been paying for American politicians to travel to the People’s Republic of China.

Donors to the energy foundation include Ecocrat billionaire Tom Steyer who has pumped millions into EF. Steyer’s finances are entangled with China and even with members of the Chinese government.

Steyer has accused President Trump of treason for rejecting the unconstitutional Paris Climate Treaty. But who are the real traitors here?

Other major EF donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bloomberg and George Soros.

There is something deeply troubling about a governor’s treasonous trip being funded by private interests with business ties to a foreign power. If Democrats were really serious about rooting out influence by foreign powers, they would be taking a very close look at Brown’s backers.

But the greater outrage is that the governors of secessionist states are using a manufactured crisis to conduct “diplomacy” with foreign governments in defiance of the policies of the United States.

Washington’s Jay Inslee was recently talking Global Warming in a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. “We’re both very strongly engaged on issues of climate change, on issues of openness to trade, on leadership on refugees as well,” Trudeau declared.

“We share an incredible commitment to defeating climate change,” Inslee flattered him. “And it is a great pleasure we have a national leader on the North American continent who is committed to that.”

And he didn’t mean the President of the United States.

Inslee’s fondness for the illegal Paris Climate treaty is unsurprising as his own efforts on Global Warming similarly depended on unilateral moves that lacked legislative support. But that is a problem for Washington’s Constitution. His participation in a secessionist pact is a problem for our Constitution.

And the problem isn’t limited to the Climate Alliance.

California and many of the other entities declaring that they will enforce an illegal treaty are also sanctuary states and cities. They are choosing not to follow Federal law while implementing foreign treaties that they have no right to unilaterally participate in.

This is a treasonous situation that is more troubling in some ways than the original Civil War because it involves states making open alliance with enemy powers such as China and welcoming them in. State governments are undermining the united front of the national government in the face of the enemy.

"California will resist this misguided and insane course of action," Governor Brown ranted. The logic of “resistance” has inevitably turned into treason.

A civil war is underway. In the last election the territorial majority of Americans rejected the rule of a minority of wealthy and powerful urban enclaves. Outside of their bicoastal bases, the political power of the Democrat faction has been shattered. And so it has retreated into subversion and secessionism.

“China is moving forward in a very serious way, and so is California,” Brown declared. “And we're going in the opposite direction of Donald Trump.”

While Democrats have spent the better part of the previous week waving their arms in the air over a back channel with Russia, one of their faction’s leading governors is openly allying with China against the President of the United States. And the treasonous Democrat media is cheering this betrayal.

Brown and his colleagues are in blatant violation of the Logan Act. Their actions are in violation of the United States Constitution. And all this is another dark step on the road to another civil war.

If the climate confederacy is not held accountable for its treason, the crisis will only grow.


Meet the People Who Are Grateful for Trump’s ‘America First’ Climate Policy

On Saturday morning, a diverse collection of people gathered in front of the White House to support President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

While Washington, D.C., has been frequented by numerous anti-Trump protests since the 2016 presidential election, this event was overwhelmingly positive toward the administration.

Several of those interviewed said they were pro-Trump immigrants who were happy with the president’s “America first” policies.

One woman, Carmen Padilla, who was carrying a “Make America Great Again” sign, told The Daily Signal she was “so grateful that [Trump] had the courage to get out of these bad deals for America.”

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can't be done alone. Find out more >>

While the rally-goers were positive toward Trump, most expressed similar opinions that the media has been unfair to the president and treated him differently than former President Barack Obama.


Scientists challenge Center for Biological Diversity report claiming wild bees near extinction

The headlines, even after years of often-hyperbolic reports about an impending ‘beepocalypse’ and other bee health problems, were startling. “Hundreds of North American bee species face extinction: study,” wrote Reuters. Others, like Voice of America, published similar articles. TIME Magazine even produced a video to accompany an article titled “More than 700 North American Bee Species Are Headed Toward Extinction.”

What prompted this sudden burst in journalistic angst? The articles were based on a report released by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in early March, “Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees.” According to its solo author—Kelsey Kopec—749 North American wild bee species are in decline and almost half of them are at serious risk of extinction. The culprits? Habitat destruction, pesticide use, climate change, and urbanization. The CBD called it a comprehensive, “first-of-its-kind analysis.”

“It’s a quiet but staggering crisis unfolding right under our noses that illuminates the unacceptably high cost of our careless addiction to pesticides and monoculture farming,” said Kopec. “We’re on the verge of losing hundreds of native bee species in the United States if we don’t act to save them.”

Bees have been making headlines since 2006, when a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was first reported in honeybees in the United States. The causes of CCD remain a mystery, but entomologists believe it was probably touched off by a number of factors, including habitat shifts or threats from pests. Many critics of modern agriculture blamed, without evidence, genetically modified crops and some blamed increased use of pesticides, although the evidence for that was scant.

By 2011, the immediate CCD crisis had faded. “We don’t find it anymore,” said University of Maryland Professor Dennis vanEngelsdorp, who coined the CCD name. “No dead bees in the bee yard, in the bee apiary—evidence that that collapse happened very quickly.”

But the “beemageddon” stories have persisted, fueled by reports of higher-than-expected honeybee deaths during winters in North America and Europe in recent years. A split gradually developed between mainstream entomologists and advocacy groups. Scientists believe habitat changes, beekeeper practices, and Varroa mites are the main drivers of honeybee health problems. Groups like CBD blame pesticides, particularly a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids.

The USDA recently announced that the number of honeybee hives in the U.S. hit a 20-year high, and many advocacy groups now concede that their concerns about honeybees may have been overblown. However, after the honeybee apocalypse failed to materialize, the focus of some activists turned to the health of wild bees, which are more difficult to study because they often live in remote areas and are not easily tracked. With the public sensitized to reports about struggling bee health, the CBD report claiming that many wild bee species might be on the verge of extinction was like throwing kerosene on a fire.

What is the CBD?

The Center for Biological Diversity is a nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists. In 2014 it generated more than $14 million in support and revenue. Their report was alarming, so it was not surprising that many reputable news outlets trumpeted its findings.

Part of what made the report so unusual was that it was not written by a team of bee specialists or by independent entomologists, and it excluded any input or even a review from wild bee experts. Instead, this “comprehensive review of all literature” was written by a single author with no training or background in entomology.

Understandably, the report’s catastrophic claims caught the attention of many prominent people in the conservation community, who posted their reactions to listservs and on social media pages. Rather than tout the report, as did many anti-pesticide and anti-GMO groups, they raised concerns about its conclusions.

“Bee scientists are questioning this study,” wrote Sheila Colla, an assistant professor at York University, on Twitter. “It’s been shared widely but it’s [sic] conclusions seem unsupported.”

“This assessment does not state methods or data sources; not currently credible,” noted Emily May, a pollinator conservation specialist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the country’s premier bee research institution.

“This is sad. Makes it hard for public to know who to trust,” added Amy Parachnowitsch‏, an assistant professor at Uppsala University.

“Was it peer reviewed?” others asked. Can more details be provided about the methodology? Why weren’t individual accounts of each of the bee species presented? Who were the scientists behind these startling findings?

Sam Droege, a wildlife biologist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS), was concerned as he reviewed the data—or lack of it. Droege is one of the top native bee experts in North America. His lab in Beltsville, MD, where he is developing native bee survey techniques and monitoring programs, contains thousands of specimens that have been sent to him for identification. He also is a renowned bee photographer and co-author of Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World.

I recently visited Droege in his lab. He called the CBD report “extremely misleading”—so much so that it could undermine the work of bee conservationists. It did not include a “comprehensive review of all literature” as the CBD claimed; it wasn’t peer reviewed; statistical, taxonomic, and natural history problems regarding the species’ records were not addressed; the report’s claims that certain species were in decline—many of which he knows well—are false and not based on evidence; and for many of the species listed as “threatened” or “declining,” there simply is not enough data about them to accurately assess their statuses.

“I know all of the data—in fact, we generated a lot of that—and there’s statistically almost nothing you can do with the information that’s out there to talk about the status,” he said. “They didn’t explain how they determined if a bee had enough data or what that meant.”

The report concedes that there is “insufficient data” for 67 percent (2,900 out of 4,337) of wild bee species, and yet it concludes, “For many of the bee species lacking sufficient population data, it’s likely they are also declining or at risk of extinction.” But without sufficient data, Droege asked, how can one come to this—or any—conclusion? He also wondered how they even arrived at the number of species (4,337).

“In the U.S. and Canada, there are only about 3,600 valid bee names on the books. So where did they come up with those figures?”

Why did the CBD issue the report?

While the report was written in a restrained, scientific-like style, it takes a number of swipes at modern agriculture—especially the use of pesticides. One of the report’s “key findings” is that “A primary driver of [wild bee] declines is agricultural intensification, which includes habitat destruction and pesticide use.”

There is no support for that claim; it’s pure speculation. But the position is in tune with the CBD’s virulent opposition to genetically engineered crops. And CBD promotes a number of positions out of alignment with the consensus science. Its staff consists of more lawyers than scientists, and its executive director is a former member of the radical environmentalist group Earth First. Many journalists treated its report as if it were written by a serious science organization, but the CBD is actually an aggressive advocacy group with questionable views about agriculture and science.

“If someone asks me, ‘What do you know about this report?’ and I say, ‘Basically, it’s BS,’ then how does that go down?” Droege asked me, rhetorically. “People assume that CBD is filled with credible scientists, so we would rather that they do a sufficient vetting process so we could all be like, “Yeah, that’s a good report, their conclusions are useful,’ instead of having to say, ‘No, that’s junk, that’s junk science.’  Potentially, it takes down the credibility of all of our work and our ability to make conservation statements. It doesn’t do any good, there’s no good in that report.”

A CBD spokesperson told the members of a pollinator listserv that “This report is the first publication of a long-term pollinator research and protection project,” an indication that this is only the beginning of a new campaign against pesticides and modern agricultural practices.

If there remain any doubts about one of the prime motivations for the report, a page on the CBD website asks for donations to help save wild bees from pesticides. “Please help protect the wild bees with a donation to the Pollinator Protection Fund today,” it implores. “With your help, the Center is in court working to ban these bee-killing chemicals.”


Science, engineering and leadership

Creating balance and stability in a chaotic political and economic environment

James E. Smith and Alex Hatch

Many successful domestic and global companies and enterprises were started and driven by the visionary, problem-solving and leadership capabilities of technically trained founders and/or principals. Historically, those skills and entrepreneurial instincts came from advanced training and education, apprenticeship programs or even self-study.

A large percentage of those companies and enterprises came into existence during a time when an advanced engineering or scientific degree was not necessarily the norm, or even available. Still, the design, decision-making and technical training inherent in today’s degrees were essential characteristics of previous generations’ learning processes through mentoring and apprenticeship programs.

In more recent times, leadership and entrepreneurial efforts have increased, as have the numbers of trained and degreed engineers and scientists to support those efforts. Since at least the middle of the last century, it has become clear that the on-going problems that America and the world face will require increasingly more complex technical solutions.

It is thus a perfect opportunity for a well-trained scientific and engineering community to come to the forefront in the decision-making process. Professionals who have well-developed leadership skills and are globally aware will have the greatest chance to leave a legacy, as history has often recorded in the past. Indeed, it was it seems to have been individuals who had early, rigorous, technical training plus leadership and an entrepreneurial spirit who blossomed most, resulting in the creation of many of the life-changing technologies that we see and use today. The fundamental question therefore might be:

Did the technical training uncover, develop or at least heighten the leadership skill sets of those professionals – or are natural leaders drawn to the rigorous and often more technical arenas?

Most likely, it is a mixture of both, resulting in a technical community that has significantly enhanced leadership and decision-making capabilities, as well as inventive and innovative impulses. But whatever the mixture or cause, a growing number of enterprises have begun to revise their organizational structure to include technical assets in their bureaucratic ranks. These skills often bring into balance the more conservative nature of the typical business community, combined with technical leaders who are often regarded as risk-takers but recognize that visionary leaders often view a path as proper and safe, when most people would regard it as risky.

That’s why governments and companies around the globe are encouraging their technically trained leaders to take a more active role in promulgating their policies and decisions, some even placing these individuals at the top of the decision-making tree.

An example of this is German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a doctorate in quantum chemistry and has often been cited for her analytical method for making policy decisions. This technical-mindedness is one of the reasons Germany has become a strong innovation-driven economy, ranked fifth out of 138 countries for economic competitiveness. U.S. governing bodies have also begun to recognize the need for increasing technical and leadership competencies within their ranks, to better support entrepreneurs and the implementation of needed technical innovations.

It is unclear at this point though whether a critical mass is available that understands the correlation and contrast between: technical training and technology development; professional training and leadership skills; entrepreneurialism and economic impacts; and being a visionary but making tough decisions.  There is growing evidence that the evolution, if not revolution, has started – evidenced by activities in many of our federal and state governing bodies. Perhaps more telling is the growing number of non-governmental organizations and non-profits that are seeking technically minded and trained leadership skill sets to compliment, or replace, their historical business and finance structures.

Needless to say, an ever-increasing number of situations will allow our technically gifted the opportunity to serve their local and larger communities. Most forward-looking universities and even trade schools and training centers have thus recognized that, if they are to survive and provide value to their constituency, they will need to recognize and promote the more technically skilled, while also giving these individuals decision-making and leadership training. (Contrast this to the parochial general education curriculums of the past.) While there is a place and a need for all educational degree types, as well as value in a plethora of business and organizational structures, it is the highly skilled engineers and scientists who best see past today’s risks and roadblocks to envision improved landscapes in the future.

It is clear, at least to many in other countries and several large enterprises, that the social landscape that we take for granted resulted from the direct influence of these highly skilled individuals. If we want more of the same results (and hopefully better ones) in the future, we will need their help going forward. Many of these same kinds of people find that working on current social problems or remedying past technical problems is mundane and likely a waste of their efforts. Organizations and governments that have recognized the need to meet their future fully prepared and on schedule have found ways to entice these professionals into the governance and leadership process, to their collective advantage.

For the United States, a quick look at the number of highly trained scientists and engineers serving in any substantial government or management positions makes it easy to see how our many legislators can be swayed into believing almost any technical gibberish. According to the Congressional Research Service, out of 535 members of the 114th US Congress, only 11 are trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, eight of them as engineers; in contrast, 29 members are professional farmers and 213 are trained lawyers. It is likely that the similar percentages of STEM professionals are found in state legislatures and even in large corporations and other business enterprises.

While it is highly unlikely that the non-scientifically trained members of Congress show blatant disregard for the universal truths that have served science and engineering so well through centuries of scientific advancement, their lack of training certainly puts them at a distinct disadvantage on technical and scientific matters, compared to their technically trained counterparts. Most notably, their lack of training can force them to have to take at face value the advice of so-called “experts” testifying before or advising them on scientific issues.

While many of these experts undoubtedly have the best interests of the country in mind, it is possible for any lobbyist masquerading as a scientist to pass off pseudo-scientific jargon and utter falsities as fact to senators and congressmen who simply don’t know any better.

Without a basic understanding of the scientific process that has been so successful and useful in getting us to this point in our collective histories, how can we expect to see a better future if similar men and women are not at the helm? Maybe a little less pandering and a lot more proper decision-making based on scientific facts will make the governance process more attractive to professionals for whom a future legacy of successful advancements is a valued outcome – and thus better for our future.

Via email

Official Australian report says "renewable" power must be backed up by other generators for when renewables don't deliver

Huge costs coming, possibly big enough to derail much more take-up of "renewables"

After widespread power blackouts last summer, the long-awaited Finkel review of the electricity market has put energy security and stability centre stage, with a raft of technical recommendations put to the Council of Australian Governments meeting on Friday. But tackling the more complex issue of how to move beyond the existing renewable energy target remains on the backburner.

A key recommendation is for an Energy Security Board to be established, reflecting the need to ensure widespread blackouts are avoided with the shift to renewable energy as coal-fired power stations are shut down.

But the recommendation has triggered immediate concerns that "going easy" on pushing power generators to cut emissions will place greater pressure on other parts of industry, and the transport sector, to make tougher cuts to their emissions.

In particular, failing to endorse a move beyond the existing target of reducing emissions, by 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, misses an important opportunity. To do so, Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel argued, "may have consequences for security, cost and reliability".

"This will set expectations and help to guide investment decisions in the electricity sector by providing an anchor point for Australia's long-term emissions trajectory."

As a result, by pushing for a so-called "clean energy target"  rather than a more rigorous means of cutting emissions such as with an energy intensity scheme, the recommendation won the immediate backing of the energy utilities.

"While we have advocated for an emissions intensity scheme (EIS), ... a clean energy target is a viable policy option and will unleash the necessary new investment in the national electricity market," AGL said, pointing out the review had found the resource costs of such a scheme were relatively similar to both business-as-usual and an EIS.

The clean energy target would be "technologically neutral", the report noted, while also helping to lower long-term emissions. "For example, a mix of wind, solar and coal generation would be equally acceptable as a mix of wind, solar and gas generation as long as the emissions reduction trajectory is achieved."

Both a clean energy target and an emissions intensity scheme "are credible emissions reduction mechanisms because they minimise costs for consumers, are flexible and adaptable, and satisfy security and reliability criteria", the review found. "Both mechanisms ... deliver better price outcomes than business as usual."

However a clean energy target "could build directly on the experience of the renewable energy target" and avoid the need for new trading rules and further complexity and hence be implemented comparatively painlessly.

Energy Action's director of innovation and sustainability, Paul Bannister, said the decision to opt for a clean energy target was "pragmatic" since it may more easily win political support, rather than an energy intensity scheme.

"But this is always open to meddling," he said, warning of the potential for political intervention in the future.

Similarly, while the review has backed the emergence of so-called "micro-grids" any change could be some time off since a review of the relevant regulations will not begin for a year.

"The development of a functioning smart grid where energy users can sell demand reductions and surplus on-site generation in a free-market environment is central to the necessary reforms," Energy Action's Mr Bannister said. "This is essential to ensure a least-cost outcome for energy users and the economy as a whole."

The chief executive of Origin Energy, Frank Calabria, said he hoped the Finkel review "will pave the way for a more co-ordinated national approach to energy and climate policy".

"The important work now begins as industry and governments work together to translate recommendations into actions.

"Getting Australia's energy and climate change policy settings right is crucial to attracting the investment required to maintain a secure and affordable supply of energy to Australian homes and businesses, as we continue the transition to a low-carbon economy."

The release of the Finkel review into the electricity system comes as electricity consumers are bracing for another round of "sticker shock" from surging electricity bills.  Prices in the ACT are rising around 20 per cent, while AGL announced on Friday it would raise charges in NSW by 16 per cent from July 1 and by 18 per cent in South Australia for all households on so-called standing offers, as the surge in wholesale prices flows through to consumers.

Yet while the Finkel review was touted as providing a road map to lower electricity prices, the report failed to indicate how this will be achieved, since it has made it clear substantial new investment will be needed in the long-distance transmission  network, for example, with the cost burden to be borne by all consumers.

Central to the report is boosting the role of renewables and it backs new renewable energy projects having backup systems to help improve their reliability and smooth some of the "intermittency" that has plagued the electricity market.

"It's about time," one energy trader said. "Intermittency is the key issue with renewables. It is not unusual these days to see wind providing 40 per cent of all output. But it is not there at peak demand times, when it is needed.

"This has placed an additional cost on consumers and the other generators. So really, it is 'about time' additional renewables had some sort of back up."

Craig Memery of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre warned this will force consumers to pay "more than they should in the long run".

"Requiring new renewable energy operators to invest in energy storage technologies or come up with other ways of addressing their variable output is expensive and unnecessary," he said. "Placing additional obligations on renewable energy generators runs the risk of using less cost-efficient approaches, which translates to higher costs for consumers."

But higher charges are unavoidable with the need to build more transmission lines to accommodate more renewable energy plants.

"There is a lot of infrastructure spending coming," warned Gavin Dufty, policy officer with the St Vincent de Paul Society. "That raises the issue of who pays for it and how it is allocated – and that's quite regressive", referring to the fact that the cost will more likely fall heaviest on households and businesses who can't afford to install solar systems, and the like.

"If you go on a big infrastructure spend, households and small businesses will pay – but you need to allocate that cost in line with people's ability to pay. System security doesn't come cheap. This transition is costly. It is one of the biggest infrastructure challenges we've got – this is big dollars, and will wash through onto the household bill."

The Finkel review warned that newer renewable power generators "will likely be smaller in scale but more numerous than coal-fired generators, so a more co-ordinated approach to transmission planning is required". As part of this, it wants "a long-term, integrated grid plan ... to establish an optimal transmission network design to enable the connection of new renewable energy resources".

"Co-ordination of generation and transmission investment so that networks connect the areas with the best renewable energy resources, at an efficient scale, will be a critical challenge. Transmission businesses need to be incentivised to build the network infrastructure required for the future of the [national energy market], but not to build unnecessarily."

As BusinessDay reported when the federal government first unveiled its plan to boost capacity of the Snowy Hydro scheme in early March, the headline cost of $1.5 billion-$2 billion would double once the need for upgraded transmission links was taken into account, which was confirmed earlier this month in Senate estimates hearings.

And it has gone unnoticed that on the back of the plan by the Victorian government to lift to 40 per cent the supply of electricity sourced from renewable energy within the next decade, plans are already afoot for as much as 5000 megawatts of new renewable projects in western Victoria alone, of which Australian Energy Markets Operator reckons 3000 megawatts will probably be built. But if the AEMO forecast proves to be conservative and the full 5000 MW is built, that would be more than enough to replace three times the capacity of the recently shuttered Hazelwood power station (1600 megawatts), and more than Loy Yang A (2200Mw) and Loy Yang B (1600Mw) combined.

According to AEMO, this will need heavy spending on the transmission network throughout that part of the state to get the power to market, with private estimates that the cost could run to several billion dollars. And unless the network companies are paid to build those links, that renewable energy won't find a home.

"Without network investments to improve [network] strength, the 3000 megawatts of new renewable generation may still be constrained or disconnected," AEMO warned in a recent report, "even after investments to improve network thermal capacity have been carried out."

"Adding 4000 or 5000 megawatts would need a major transmission upgrade of $3 billion-$4 billion," one senior power industry figure said. "There appears to be a 'cargo-cult' mentality taking hold – build it [the network] and they will come. By going about this process the way it has, via a  so-called 'regulatory investment test for transmission' this will push up consumers' bills, since they will have to foot the cost of the expansion and the ongoing cost of operating it.

"There is an existing approach under the electricity market rules which allows for 'scale efficient' network expansion. Under this approach, the builder of the additional generation capacity pays for the network upgrade, which is only fair since it will profit from the move.

"By adopting the approach put out there by AEMO for this network upgrade, this will add to the bills of all electricity users. These upgrades should only proceed if paid for by the generator."



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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