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Greg

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 #16 
I have just been told, in response to a Votergram asking how solar subsidies could increase power prices for other consumers, that " Subsidies increase electricity prices in this case because the subsidies are funded by charging every one else extra on their power bill. "
I am flabergasted! The government gave the impression that it was providing the subsidies and the assumption would be that they came from consolidated revenue. Now I am being told that in fact the subsidies were being compulsorily and secretly extracted from other power consumers. I have sought evidence of the explanation I have been given. It will be interesting to learn just how this was dealt with on the bills of those who were charged extra to provide the subsidies. I hope that no fraud has been committed on electricity consumers who did not take up solar power. Time alone will tell.

 

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Greg

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 #17 
I am with you Mick1. The article by Ross Gittins in today's paper   (SMH Business p4) shows how badly our politicians have served Australians. Will you join an Action Team if we set one up to do a bit of research then start pushing our politicians to start performing for our benefit. I idly speculate that we could get a reductioon of up to 50% over the next 5 years, continually moving towards clean energy. As a retired Chartered Accountant who has run  various businesses it think we need to get the profit-motive out of power supply and the service-motive back in. If you would like to join us on a trip of power price discovery, let us know on this forum and encourage anyone you know who might be interested, to lend a hand. Voters Network does not receive funding from anyone and that is pitifully small, so we can achieve  lot only when voter actually join in the work of change.
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Greg

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 #18 
Miki makes good points. I am a fan of rooftop solar for home owners as I feel that we are all taken for a ride by power suppliers and benefit from being independent. What does latest coal technology do? What do others think of it and rooftop solar?
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Mick1

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 #19 
Australia's power crisis. There are many alternatives out there, most not very carbon friendly, including many so called renewables, many of which are subsidised by the government, and yet still supply does not meet demand at a respectable cost, as our electricity prices continue to cripple growth and the economy. I would be interested to know the operating costs and the cost per kWhr of the molten salt solar plant in Spain, which has been operating for some time now. I would think that the high working temperatures, the molten salt corrosion and solar flux transients that lead to thermal stresses and fatigue would add significant costs to producing electricity. I can only imagine what the electrolysis would be like. I believe that the most economical and reliable means  of producing power for Australia would be using the latest technology coal fired technology. I believe Australia needs power now, and it would take probably 7 years to build a new power station. It takes roughly 7 years for new transmission lines alone to go from the drawing board to completion. Continuing rising electricity prices are crippling the countries domestic and industrial market. I also worked with gas powered reciprocal engine power generation in central queensland, and the company made obscene amounts of money supplying South Australia during their shortages and peak demand periods, and continue to do so. Also I would add that Power stations are not the only industries to use coal, as the steel and cement industries are the two next-largest consumers. I also believe we should never consider nuclear power, as Chernobyl, Fukushima and Long Island can attest. Fukushima continues to this day to leak radioactive water into the ocean, and they still have no means of reaching the nuclear rods of the reactors as radiations levels are too high even for robotic equipment. Sellafield currently costs the UK taxpayer 1.9 billion Euro a year to run. The site’s reprocessing contracts are due to expire in four years but clean-up may take more than 100 years and cost up to 162 billion. Material housed here will remain radioactive for 100,000 years. This is Sellafield’s great quandary. France is also faced with massive costs to shut down its old Nuclear power stations. We in Australia are blessed with vast quantities of good coal, which we export to other countries to make cheap power, so we can buy their cheap goods. I don't think we are being very clever in my opinion.
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Pat1

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 #20 
The price will always go up if a product is exported and supply is limited in the domestic market.  That is basic economics. Should there then be legislation to limit exporting or trading?
Perhaps we should put the proposal to government
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Greg

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 #21 
the points made by Glenn, Margaret and Bruce are all very sound. Glenn has made the good point that it was cheap coal fired power that gave us a comptitive edge. Margaret has pointed out the advantages of alternative source and Bruce has raised the prospect of demand for clean energy and lowering its cost. I also belive that the energy market is rigged. Someone involved with it told me that energy trading was a major cause and indicated that their organisation had made $1 million out of trading in one year. The end customer must eventually pay the cost. I think energy resources were sold by politicians incapable of balancing their budgets without selling assets and to line the pockets of some of their friends. Government ownership in partnership with private enterprise in the guise of suprannuation funds may have merit for public infrastructure.
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Bruce

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 #22 
I agree with you, Glenn, provided the government stops subsidising uneconomical coal fired electricity producers and the attempted forcing of private enterprise to take over such generating systems which are or will be uneconomical.  costs for coal and oil fired generation plants will continue to go up and the renewable costs will continue to come down.  battery farms will keep the supply constant as will solar powered pumped hydro.  Excess coal usage [as an example] to be used for pumped hydro does not save energy.  it uses it to create the potential energy of dams then used to drive hydro electrical power.  solar power can have its excess energy used for hydro power as well as batteries and with no extra burning of resources.  the sun and the wind and the tides will continue regardless.
by all means let economics determine what action is taken and coal fired power generation will rapidly disappear.  i am all for it.
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Margaret

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 #23 
We have the knowledge to deliver reliable energy by alternative means

We must have a Bipartisan effort to address this critical problem from an economic point of view as well as environmental.

Alternative energy is not attractive to cold hard business folk when it is more expensive. The old coal lobby etc make sure this stays the case

Congrats to Mars bars for going solar.

I have just returned from Africa where we saw the salt battery storage and solar array fuelling a town -Uppington. Come on Australia.


  
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Glenn1

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 #24 
We need cheap reliable energy which used to be our big advantage in the world and stop subsidising unreliable wind farms and solar power.
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Greg

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 #25 
On the question of solar pay back period, we have had hot water and roof top solar for years and I feel that the investment has already paid better than a term deposit or shares. In addition the house with solar will probalby sell better if it is not to be demolished. Demolition may die with new banking atttitudes and people realising that they hahve to repay loans sometime.

For a young person buying their first home I would think solar an excellent option and battery storage  might also be a good option. Just being out of the power of unscrupulous suppliers seems reward enough to me.

What do others think of solar?

What about foreign ownership of our electricity assets? Is this a risk too big?
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Greg

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 #26 
Privatisation and energy trading are two ways voters are taken for a ride on electricity pricing.

Who would be interested in an Electricity Action Team to force governments to reduce home electricity prices?

It takes effort for people to make huge profits out of supplying electricity and we would also have to put a good bit of effort into reducing the cost.

For firwst home buyers, solar and wind must be a good option because regular operating costs would be low and the capital cost would be passed on with the home having much higher value when sold. Same would apply to units.

Do others have different ways to cut costs? Anyone with information on electricity trading would be handy.
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Greg

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 #27 
What do members feel about Chinese taking over a power station. We have gone through ownership by British and American interests. Why do we allow foreign entities, particularly foreign government entities to take control of our essential services? As a defence strategy it seems dangerous to me, but what do others think about it? Should superannuation money be partly invested in Austrtalian infraastructure to prevent us enriching the money-lenders everytime governments do anything.

Bankers stand to be the big beneficiaries of the move to cut company tax, not because they will pay less tax but because the government will need to borrow from them to run the country.
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Bruce

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 #28 
I would love this to be coordinated by a neutral body such as the government, but as we have too many levels of government anyway a government body will probably stuff it up due to overregulation by those different levels, so I would be happy for anyone to do it.  I am sure that will all the overcharging that is done by the large commercial suppliers there will be opportunities for the small entrepreneur to step in and make it economical for us..
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Greg

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 #29 
These are good thoughts Bruce. Does anyone know anything about roof-top solar panel networks linking homes, busineses etc? Solar to business during the day and homes at night to some extent. Would there be benefit in a government body oversight rather than giving this to profit-making enterprises?
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Greg

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 #30 
I am reliably informed that part of the solution is a national energy policy and part of it is to ban electricity traders, the speculators who buy energy cheap and sell it dear so that the producers receive small money and the consumers pay big money. How do we find out about electricity traders.
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