Human beings breathe air, so it’s a good thing there’s such a huge supply of it. But humans also exhale carbon dioxide, the wicked gas that even in small quantities turns gullible teens and the duller elderly into Greens voters.
What they said: “So at AGL we are getting out of coal”.
What they didn’t say: “So at AGL we are getting out of gas”.
Strange isn’t it? Both produce the Gas-of-Life CO2. If this is all about CO2, why not get out of gas as well? After all combined cycle gas turbine produces just as little CO2 as new technology HELE supercritical coal, but is far more expensive to run. The answer of course is this has nothing to do with CO2, this has everything to do with money.
Both Labor and Laboral are threatening to tax coal and give the money to subsidy farmers. A great time to get out of coal and into subsidy farming. But also a good time to stick with gas.
The problem with coal is that it can produce clean, cheap, reliable baseload power. But when government has totally Finkeled the electricity market it becomes uneconomic to run, because a coal plant cannot easily fluctuate its output on the whim of the weather as regulations now demand.
However gas can rapidly respond to the wind wavering and the sun setting on the solar subsidy farm. AGL knows wind and solar cannot work without backup. Besides hydro, there is only one viable option: open cycle gas turbines. Sure these burn far less efficiently than HELE supercritical coal and produce far more CO2 per MWh, but they can respond instantly to the sudden opportunity to charge spot prices in excess of $10,000 per MWh.
Who cares about Turnbull’s Tax when you are making $3.7 million per hour from gas, just because the wind was too weak or too strong at the Snowtown subsidy farm? AGL is buying into the technologies that provide unreliable power but vast government subsidies, while sticking with the gas that is needed to back them up with the opportunity to charge obscene spot prices.