Labour and Greens model

Labour and Greens cite California as one of their models for the energy sector. Their plan is to eliminate any market in generation and have a government department solely responsible for deciding how much power we will need in the future, and how much to pay for it. No generator company will be allowed to build a new power plant without permission from the Government.

So how well does this model work in California. Just one month ago ABC News reported:

For the first time since January, rolling blackouts were ordered in California today, turning out the lights in approximately 500,000 homes, including some in Beverly Hills.

Officials at California’s Independent System Operator (ISO), which monitors the state’s power grid, called a Stage Three alert at midday because of increased temperatures, a higher power demand and a lack of electricity from the Northwest.

And more:

Californians are bracing for power shortages and rolling blackouts into the summer as the peak demand for power is expected to exceed supplies from May through September.

Today’s rolling blackouts came as Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham warned that summer blackouts would not be the end of the California’s power problems.

Now maybe you have a belief that the person Labour and Greens appoint to decide how much electricity generation we need will do a better job than the counterpart in California. But I don’t.

“California is just a sign of the what’s to come if we don’t diversify our energy resources,” he said. “The failure to meet this challenge will threaten our nation’s economic prosperity, will compromise our national security and literally alter the way we live our lives.”

Now consider the combination of a central planner, and the Greens refusing to allow any new coal or large hydro generation.

This story at Calwatch also highlights how the California version of an ETS has meant that one power plant sits idle because they have used up all their carbon credits for the year. This is important because Labour and Greens both want to double the cost of carbon credits and dramatically reduce the “free” allocation. So the combination of a central planner and a far more aggressive ETS would post real issues for security of supply.

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