“Alternative Developments”

March 13th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A pre-asset-sale study in 2011 for the Government had highlighted over-optimistic coal price assumptions and questionable alternative fuels investments, which led ultimately to changes to the board and management, he said.

O’Connor said the previous government had supported as a sustainable business that was looking into alternative developments, while National saw it solely as a cash cow which could help it fund tax cuts.

Very nice of Damien to claim credit for the alternative developments which of course failed, and led to the increased debt. Solid Energy did not borrow money to pay dividends. Dividends come out of profits. Debt is used to fund “developments”.

This reinforces for me why the Government should not own commercially risky trading enterprises. If people want to fund “alternative developments” they should do so voluntarily as direct shareholders.

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12 Responses to ““Alternative Developments””

  1. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Solid Energy’s foray into alternate fuels is just a further example of the costs that the current false belief in man-made-global-warming is costing us all.

    Their biodiesel experiments were doomed from the start – but that was seen as OK because of the false belief that ANY form of alternate energy was going to be viable..

    They threw the normal tests of viability out of the window as soon as ‘global warming’ was mentioned.

    And this wont be the last example of wastful cost that ‘global’warming’ will give us.

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  2. Manolo (13,580 comments) says:

    This reinforces for me why the Government should not own commercially risky trading enterprises.

    Labour lite should be consistent and use this excellent reason to sell its share of AirNZ, and the whole of TVNZ and RNZ immediately!

    [DPF: I agree with Air NZ and TVNZ. Radio NZ is not a commercial enterprise. One could debate if it should be!]

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  3. flipper (3,985 comments) says:

    Bio-diesel…. Ha :)

    There will always be a need for boutique “alternative” (whatever that means) energy sources. But they will usually be costly, and likely to fail until the technology, eventually, catches up with the desire. The Rimutaka saddle, wind powered electricity spource was one such costly failure, and a prime cause of the iconic cafe goin g belloy up.

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  4. queenstfarmer (774 comments) says:

    So over here we have a Labour MP say:

    National was prepared to rape and pillage the revenue of Solid Energy for short-term gain…

    At the same time in Britain, a Labour MP is up in arms over an actor using the word “rape” to criticise policy:

    Shadow Minister of State for Equalities, Kate Green, has slammed Winstone for his remarks. She tells Britain’s Daily Mirror: “These comments are very upsetting and hurtful to survivors of rape…”

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  5. itstricky (1,800 comments) says:

    Dpf. Good diversion piece on evetything that the article is NOT about. eww eww if I mention alternative energy and Labour there will be lots of foaming at the mouth and no one will notice the accusations of financial mismanagement of profits by the Government. Go on go on you know if this was any other political part you would copy n pasting entirely different parts of this.

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  6. RightNow (6,986 comments) says:

    clearly itstricky to understand you’re not at Red Alert.

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  7. cha (3,943 comments) says:

    Solid Energy did not borrow money to pay dividends

    What, Billy Boy Blunder accepted $130m in dividends but they weren’t paid out as a profit?.

    The Government has said it started having concerns about Solid Energy’s position in 2011, yet it accepted $50m in dividends that year. It had already been paid about $80m from 2009 and 2010.

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  8. Alan Wilkinson (1,871 comments) says:

    @itstricky, there is nothing irrelevant about it. Solid Energy plus Labour dived headlong into nutcase “alternative energy” projects that crapped out just as 99% of such projects have all over the world.

    Morons throwing other people’s money at mirages.

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  9. Athena (10 comments) says:

    @Barry-” They threw the normal tests of viability out of the window as soon as ‘global warming’ was mentioned.”
    Rubbish! The huge wasteful, non-viable lignite projects would have added heaps of CO2 to the atmosphere, Solid Energy and Don Elder weren’t concerned about global warming. They spent twice as much on Spring creek as they did on all their forays into renewables combined.

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  10. emmess (1,427 comments) says:

    Sustainable my arse

    There is nothing sustainable about going broke (or at least there shouldn’t be)

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  11. itstricky (1,800 comments) says:

    RN – don’t give two monkeys which blog it is or which political party it is for that matter – I’m pointing out the obvious anomoly (except those blinded by their own beliefs). If it weren’t the Government, he’d be copy n pasting the bits about “Government sucks profits dry…should they have done that?” and be talking it up with “how dare they” and “they don’t know what they’re doing with our money” etc. If someone else did this on their blog and it didn’t agree with his beliefs, he’d slate them for “selective copy n paste” as well. And clearly there’s at least 4 people as blinkered as he is.

    Alan – Sure. And it didn’t say it wasn’t a waste. Probably was. And possibly a bit stupid. And silly to put your name alongside “we invested in this and it sunk” as a PR exercise. But that’s not the point/subject of the article.

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  12. Black with a Vengeance (1,835 comments) says:

    Ain’t nothing commercially risky about trading power generation enterprises. Especially if they’re well managed and stick to their core business….but hey fuck it. If you’re ideological stance is enrich the fatcats and gouge the poor then…sell everything and prepare for a revolution from the next generation.

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