We were promised a grown up government

Being described as a Pollyanna took me back a peg or two. (Full Definition of POLLYANNA : a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything — Pollyanna adjective — Pol·ly·an·na …


What do you mean? All that was said was I would like to be optimistic of the intention of the new government. That we should expect some transition difficulties but ultimately once the classical change management transition is complete we should have common sense prevail, as you would expect in a democracy.

If there was some unease with the choice of the basic change management strategy it may be because it was thought there was a right to govern. It could explain the expectation that the degree of resistance or indication of lack of resistance by the people, the dependency of the people to expect him to take decisive action was deemed by the Prime Minister as requiring a power-coercive change management strategy.

But something is already showing itself that the key success factors are astray. Whilst it is seen as a problem the identification of the major risk that is apparent may get down to the Culture or organization alignment.

“Tony Abbott promised us a grown up government.

But apparently what he meant was that he would be the only adult in it. His ministers are to be treated as children – worse than children, in fact, because while children should be seen but not heard, Abbott’s team cannot even be seen in public without permission from the top.

And even then they really shouldn’t open their mouths except to paraphrase Abbott’s message. Why, even his favourite choir boy, little Christopher Pyne, got it wrong this week with his talk about killing off university student unions – he was absolutely sure that was what Mr Abbott wanted him to do, but he was sent straight to the naughty corner for suggesting it prematurely. The other kiddies have apparently got the message; the airwaves have been freakishly Liberal-free ever since.

Still more importantly, he will have to pray that the public and the media react to his policies of concealment, silence and obfuscation with the same acquiescence he expects from his ministers. For the moment at least, he is determined to press ahead with the mushroom policy: keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit. ” Source ABC.net.au the Drum by:

Mungo Wentworth MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. View his full profile here.

Co2Land org now asks: What is going on, are we to procrastinate to not be so sure – to be sure!


Our democracy – the need to educate, to influence better environmental outcomes

Increasingly you might hear the comment – we don’t have a democracy anymore and all that we get is push marketing and the pedaling of misinformation. We are told what to think, act and what we feel in order to react ‘appropriately’. Scenario the phone rings – hello, its Adrian mate and if you don’t want to let the community down you will adopt our stance, you don’t want to let the sky fall do you?  You react and say hang on I am a good upstanding community member….you are hooked and steered into a psychological twist.

Whatever scenario you want to paint on the issue a properly functioning democracy requires an educated, well-informed and proactive community. Backing this thread up is a quote from the Executive Director at Liana Downey & Associates – Strategic Advisors to Governments and Nonprofits – contributing to the discussion about the morality of government and some leaders on action on climate change – “I think it just strengthens the impetus to keep educating, and keep moving forward, particularly for those of us with a good understanding of the science. I have had plenty conversations with reasonable, educated professionals who admitted they just weren’t sure if “all this climate change stuff” was really an issue. We have to take the time to acknowledge doubts, and respond to concerns in an informed way that doesn’t patronize people but allows for conversation and progress. Who says there isn’t scope to address the concerns of the cynics? 

This would be an easy time to fall into despair – it’s certainly tempting. But it’s also the most important time to step up, be clear about the facts, and help lead. Government are obviously important players, but not the only decision makers or leaders in our society. There is still plenty of scope to help shape thoughtful sustainable investments, shift consumer and corporate behavior, and keep doing what we know to be right to protect future generations”.

Then we have the comment by Michael O’Flynn – Sustainability and Financial Risk Consultant: “The real culprits are the politicians with their lack of accountability, aspects of the media who cherry-pick “evidence” to push their backer’s agenda, large immoral corporations and their executives who simply care about profits, rates of return and $$$bonuses and some of the mega-rich. We are basically facing a fight between the gung-ho capitalist model who call for less regulation and as happens, have the big bucks and consider all resources as simply a means to derive a profit first and foremost, versus the people. 

It wasn’t so long ago that the god-Father of the current Libs, John Howard and supposedly the Libs too, were keen on an ETS. Exhibit A for long-term culpability for any inaction.”

CO2Land org finds this potent stuff, maybe a little emotive, but puts the point across vey well – we are influenced as opposed led. So is the real problem that we have ourselves to blame, that we are followers and not leaders – short answer is not everyone can be the leader. But, we need to stay focused and committed and advocate for what we believe is right. The Adrian example at the beginning of this post was and example of an advocate that recognized that public opinion and political policies are never static and will ebb and flow. Even from within governments positions on issues are not necessarily entrenched within the Party’s or even its voters. It is a case of reacting from the popularity base both within and outside the party and will influence those that make the hard decisions. A documented illustration of this is in Australia where a newly elected Government is already facing rough times over the party’s previous support of climate change policies such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). With the current Prime Minister saying his party does not support the view that climate change is real, and then others within, such as the popular Malcolm Turnbull, openly being supportive of an ETS. This suggests we will be in for more push polling efforts and misinformation peddling is in the wings. Sadly it will also auger well for those that will react with ‘we will review this matter’ and behind the scenes say – no further action required it will go away! He recipe for ‘seeing to be doing and not doing at all’!

CO2Land org will argue that until the opposition parties start acting professionally we can expect nothing more than talk on what is needed on meaningful climate change policies. But either way, neither the government nor the opposition parties can exempt themselves from being detrimental to the obvious environmental dangers we are facing now, and merely taking the arguments to the next election will just be too late.

Thank you to those that contributed to this thread – it shows the potential that there is still some really positive discussion going on. It also put into focus, what recently happened when the Australian Climate Council was established as a privately funded model after the government of the day chose to abandon public funding for its predecessor. We speculate that the thinking behind the funding denial was that it would put aside the issues the entity has uncovered. It might actually come back to bite the climate change deniers and we might even see better outcomes for the betterment of how society views the working of our democracy.

Illustration – LED technology triggers new value proposition.

Is behavior management key to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction? Demand management is a great place to understand GHG sources. Reasonable observations are they not?

Then in a discussion with Carbon Professionals was added an illustration of the view that maintaining interest in the effects of product life cycle is essential  – because the product itself can morph so quickly into another business matter.  If you think business then you will understand – “When things are going wrong in a supply chain, the first reaction is all too often ‘if we could forecast demand better, most of our problems would go away.’” CO2Land org speculates it is not the inability to better forecasting demand that is the main cause of what is ailing that company’s operations….it is the changing conditions that it operates under in creating the demand. It is the need to hold and speculate the demand for its inventory.

CO2Land then postulates the opening paragraph in this post and a position on this: Agreed, it is an interesting statement on the connects that occur with behaviour management and demand management. But: reinforcement can be more difficult after the initial effort, a diminishing return for the effort. Why? The initiative came from a policy and policy can be altered, definitions diffused and vested interests will separate DM and GHG as coincidental to each other. If you follow that you will understand that the business will settle on the economic differences – the measurable, and initially DM works to reduce GHG and then technology (like LED Lighting) removes the need to think about it any more – a new policy is then needed. Motivation must then be linked to another driver.

While discussing this issue a story was printed as


“Shift to LED Lighting May Trigger Cataclysmic Change in Building Automation Industry.”

The story overtly portrays “As we go forward, the case for retrofitting buildings with LED lighting will become very compelling and with it will come a much broader application of controls.

The key difference, though, is that these controls applications and projects will be lighting-centric rather than HVAC-centric and that will make all the difference. These lighting-centric projects will be motivated by LEDs but will naturally incorporate wireless and cloud technology. The result will be the emergence of new players, new technologies and new application delivery mechanisms. The existing industry structure and business models could easily come tumbling down.”

If technology shifts, the business model – what is the value?

Lessons learnt, and studied results suggest that industry structure will remain during the commencing and product development process of the evolutionary change, and this provides incremental gain in the existing value proposition of the company. Once that process markets the technology or change the technology enabled so changes the value propositions, and business survival requires changes in the industry structure.

The example for the building automation industry is that Digital controls were an evolutionary technology shift away from pneumatics, and now LEDs are doing more than making an evolutionary change they are enabling whole new value propositions built on the fact that light affects people and behavior. In this case you can predict the LED transition is and will be far more disruptive to the industry than the introduction of digital controls.

The impact of LED lighting is creating demand for coincident adoption of two other technologies, wireless networking and cloud services. Why? The incumbents in the traditional industries are not geared to extract value from the technology! It is very likely a small company will build a value proposition that is the right combination of business model and technology to drive the industry. Why a small company? Large companies need linear projection for outputs and evolution tends to be non-linear. A smaller company is more likely to be agile and able to adapt, and not shackled by conventional wisdom.  That is they attack with vision and gusto, and not defend with placards to impress the public.

Has the pace of change, changed? Business as usual for industry has powerful reasons for resisting change, and techniques are deployed to slow down the introduction of new technologies and systems. It is not unexpected for 10 to 25 years being considered reasonable for a company to adapt to new technology. But LEDs “come from an industry that moves very quickly, as do wireless networking and cloud services technologies. So, to the extent that companies in these adjacent industries choose to involve themselves directly in LED lighting and controls, the historical rate of change in building automation may be a poor indicator of the future.

It is worth noting that in 2005 there was no You-Tube. The cost and complexity of creating and posting video on the web was prohibitive for casual users. Now, only eight years later, almost anyone can create and post videos on the web … and millions of people do every day.”

The above quote does answer the question:  That is how fast things are changing. So, government policy has to get it right too – to survive another election – eh the needs of society!




how to change a capacity market that serves BAU

In States like Western Australia there is potential for around 1 gigawatt of “avoided power purchase” to insulate against price rises through wide scale adoption by 2020, or in WA’s case 25% of the existing market. This is base load regenerative power capacity. In this discussion, Peter Davies of ID Gasifiers, also said “I was struck by the potential for increasing significant reduction of demand. Small scale efficient biomass energy plants are on the way.

CO2Land org recently posted, 10 September 2013:

the claim a capacity market only serves BAU

The quote in the story was from Dr Jeffery Doyle after posting his précis of a recent conference paper ‘A Cautionary Tale’ and reported through Greentech Media.

CO2Land org included in the story that advances in waste to energy technologies could have sufficient volume available in time for the next bidding cycle – assuming a two year timeframe – they have the potential to create an industry that has multiple product streams with the developing technology. This innovation can be described as ‘batteries’. The key is that reliable and predictable supply can be managed to provide the volume needed.

What might help readers understand the story better is some background facts on how the market operates in WA. The state operates its power supply under the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) that was set up so generators can offer electricity for sale to retailers who purchase electricity for their customers. It was part of the Western Australian Government’s reform of the way electricity is generated, distributed and retailed in Western Australia.

The WEM is not state wide in its supply, it in effect ‘islands’ grid connected supply to the more populist corner of the state and calls this bound the South-West Interconnected System or SWIS (an area bound by Kalbarri in the north, Kalgoorlie in the east, and Albany in the south). If you need to know, the ocean forms the boundary to the west. The dominant generation supplier is Verve Energy. Verve provides about 60% of the generating capacity in the SWIS. Verve Energy sells its electricity on the WEM as well as through bilateral contracts with other participants in the market. The majority of Verve electricity is sold to Synergy.

The operator and administrator of the market is called the Independent Market Operator (IMO). The IMO arranges the orderly dispatch of all the electricity traded and the System Operator, which is an independent operating arm of the network business, manages the dispatch.The bulk of electricity is traded as contracts between generators and retailers. In addition, the Short Term Energy Market provides for day-ahead and ‘realtime’ trading.

Reliability of supply is the paramount concern in the SWIS.

More information about the market is available on www.imowa.com.au and www.era.wa.gov.au.

What concerns the discussion, in this instance, is the Reserve Capacity mechanism as is intended to ensure that the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) has adequate installed capacity available from generators and demand-side management options at all times in order to:

  • Cover expected system peak demand including additional capacity to cover the failure of the largest generator on the system and a capability to respond to frequency variations.
  • Remove the need for high and volatile energy prices in the wholesale electricity market (WEM).

The Independent Market Operator (IMO) administers the Reserve Capacity mechanism.

If there is insufficient Certified Reserve Capacity to fully cover the total Reserve Capacity Requirement in a future Capacity Year, the WEM Rules (clause 4.1.16) require a Reserve Capacity Auction to be held to secure additional Certified Reserve Capacity.

A Maximum Reserve Capacity Price (MRCP) is set for each Capacity Year (clause 4.16.1) and determines the expected cost of new entrant peaking plant and other costs required to establish plant capable of supplying electricity to the SWIS (clause 4.16.4). MRCP has the following price setting functions in the WEM:

  • MRCP is the maximum offer price to apply for the Capacity Year for which a Reserve Capacity auction is being held (clause 4.18.2.(b)).
  • MRCP is scaled down by the IMO when there is more Certified Reserve Capacity than required in a particular Capacity Year (clause 4.29.1).

Clause 2.26.1 of the WEM Rules requires the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) to review a report provided by the IMO that proposes a revised value of MRCP. In approving the value submitted by the IMO, the ERA is only required to consider if the revised value reasonably reflects methodology specified in clause 4.16 of the WEM Rules and whether an adequate public consultation process has been conducted.

Clause 2.26.3 of the WEM Rules requires the ERA to conduct a review of the methodology specified by clause 4.16 of the WEM Rules on each fifth anniversary of the first Reserve Capacity Cycle.

The opportunity to influence the MRCP is also an opportunity to have in place mechanisms to encourage innovations, albeit Co2Land org has in the 10 Sept 2013 story said would require a courageous action. Writing in a preference to supply clause to alternative solutions or innovations to break the bidding ‘status quo’.

The typical Certified Reserve Capacity notices are typically listed Feb 2012 notices for MRC 2014/15, Jan 2013 for MRC 2015/16. Hence this might help you understand that bids are accepted 2 years into the future, but the need to influence should commence 2 years prior to that time of notice.

Can you bank on that?

the claim a capacity market only serves BAU

An unlikely scenario “Do you think we should run a high voltage line to 
Hawaii?” came from a talk that bidding practices for the Western Australia Electricity Capacity Market having lessons for what might happen in Texas USA. It happens they all have in common that they are isolated grid systems and not part of a national grid. If they were part of a National Grid then they could exchange excess capacity, peak loads and help with a transition to an energy spot market. The quote was from Dr Jeffery Doyle after posting his précis of a recent conference paper ‘A Cautionary Tale’ and reported through Greentech Media.

It is a serious matter that the claim a capacity market does not allow the effective operation of an opportunity to be set for demand response. This assumes demand response can only be reactionary to spot price pressures to be effective. However, at about 2007 it was proven the principles of demand management could be a good fit with the bidding practices of the capacity market, providing an advance intention to provide capacity as a virtual and apparent delivery.

What Dr Doyle exposed was that the problem of ‘business as usual’ is being supported by the bidding system. In practice that is a problem no matter where you provide a market (recently the outgoing CEO of Microsoft was quoted as saying they did not promote their capability to compete against their own Windows Operating System as they would have to destroy their infrastructure advantage in the market). If that is so, then courageous actions are needed to encourage innovation to meet the demand. An example of what could be done is changes to the conditions attached to the bidding requirements.

CO2Land org has noted the advances in waste to energy technologies and they can have sufficient volume available in time for the next bidding cycle – assuming a two year timeframe – they have the potential to create an industry that has multiple product streams with the developing technology. This innovation can be described as ‘batteries’. The key is that reliable and predictable supply can be managed to provide the volume needed. It can also be a multiple of aggregated provider units. 
All that is needed to make these ‘batteries’ available is the authority figures to be a courageous promoter and write into the bidding process that preference would be given to ‘new multi product’ generation. Why because cost of generation is then part of a mix of revenue potential and it encourages business opportunities to price in a way to be competitive with conventional supply for peak demand. Note: I did not claim total energy demand as that would be unrealistic.

That said, Peter Davies then offered after reading through Dr Doyle’s analysis that: “

“I was struck by the potential for increasing significant reduction of demand. Small scale efficient biomass energy plants are on the way.

In States like WA there is potential for around 1 gigawatt of “avoided power purchase” to insulate against price rises through wide scale adoption by 2020, or in WA’s case 25% of the existing market. This is base load regenerative power capacity.

What is most interesting here though is if grid connected they can act as load following systems for wind and industrial solar, negating the argument of the existing coal burners that they need to maintain capacity anyway for when these falter in their dispatch. To add insult to injury the same biomass systems can co-fire coal…so fuel supply limitations are not an issue, and being modular such plants can be expanded as required on quite short lead times. The high quality syngas produced can also be used as feed stock for other processes and products, increasing both plant flexibility and resilience to fluctuations in the electricity market (real or forced by monopoly generators).

Start throwing in advances in lower cost domestic solar energy storage coming out of China shortly and demand for fossil energy generation can only fall even further…anyone want to bet on getting a good return on investment in building a new conventional coal or NG power station?”

As we said: A serious matter – this cautionary tale.