UK government to release comprehensive Net Zero Strategy. The blueprint is “the first step in the comprehensive planning phase that enables a more agile development team to take on the difficult task of safeguarding Britain’s future energy security, a key feature of the national energy security target”.
The Coalition has been debating the national broadband network policy for some time now. Yesterday, NBN Co yesterday announced it had stood firm in the final briefs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The full document can be found here. The summary of the briefings, available on the website here, and here, as well as in a PDF, is available here.
As far as we can tell, the entire document appears to be an effort to try and prove or disprove an oft-repeated claim: that Britain’s energy security is totally at risk with 2030 looming. Industry sources say the outlook is bleak and there could be just as many gigawatts left as these power plants take over – at great cost – with no return being held back. The difference between now and 2023 is moot.
It’s just two years ago that we first met Net Zero: the first time government ministers were candid about the threat that nuclear power is causing. Yesterday, we heard from Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BFI) officials in Australia about the looming deadline they were preparing for. Their presentation was blunt: a date for the end of 2018 is still to be decided.
While it was unclear just what that timeline might look like, it speaks volumes about Net Zero’s current state. It is the only government that offers its own roadmap for the future of energy security, which puts the emphasis not only on the national interest but also on the economic growth and competitiveness of Australia.
While the Australian government has not confirmed it directly until now, there is no confirmation of an announcement regarding the end of the decade for electricity security. One thing is certain: the federal government hasn’t scheduled any talks with the powers-that-be at all.
The BFI’s presentation of the end of the decade is clear. While this latest round of focus on nuclear power in Australia is aimed at reducing emissions, the Australian media has been reporting on the likely significance of nuclear power as Australia’s answer to Britain’s electricity sector. Almost immediately following the announcement of the $2.4 billion financing, Global Energy Security Initiative (IEA) declared that nuclear power was the “new normal”. In keeping with this theme, the group decided the end of the decade would be a “window” for emissions reductions.
The cabinet decision, announced in July, would widen this window to cover the coming decade. The government has already announced a new emissions trading scheme (ETS) whereby claimants will receive a price floor in the payments that is made to utilities for electricity bills going forward. The ETS will provide money to fuel households for electricity bills going towards their costs, but there are no plans to increase that number.
Nuclear power has historically been a generous subsidy. However, a government report just finished notes that in the future there will be only five nuclear ponds within the next three decades meaning that New Power has formally approached the sector with financing. One major proposal is for New Power to install a brand new 40-megawatt capacity yet it will take 12 years to remove coal from electricity. The scheme would provide an emissions trading scheme that would benefit New Power as the electricity customers’ subsidies would increase.
The government plans to deploy a scheme of 125 of the 600,000 power buyers in Queensland into the offshore industry to mitigate against losses by theElectricity sector and low generation capacity through a system of expedited price approval or lowering the electricity price in the event of a huge deficit. The scheme would provide a subsidy for electricity rates to remain within the Tasmanian market, so consumers would save extra when compared to a cheaper coal-fired power station, because their electricity bill would fall during the transition.
This plan is an attempt to mitigate the shortfalls of coal but its intent was to give an exemption from the nuclear power guarantee in the same way that Victoria allows Glenmorre, which has increasingly had energy problems.
In the United States, a $2 billion stock market downturn that has led to price rises in utilities in recent months has produced a surge in market shares. In the US, broad shares in utilities have fallen from 15 per cent a year to 10 per cent since 2007 because customers want their electricity to be cheaper.
In Australia, the nuclear option is set to be a large subsidy that industry customers call too expensive. The government expects to remove $1 billion of nuclear investment by the end of this year but the electricity industry wants to keep an exemption.
New Power would continue to run a New Power system, and customers want to upgrade to a new generation but this involves more debt. The Government wants the nuclear option removed as an option for its customers.
There is one other significant investment that has not yet been undertaken in New Power Australia. The private firm was financed up by
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