Renewable or reliable? Energy cannot be both
19 June 2022
Australia’s new ALP government has gigantic green energy plans to be funded by electricity consumers and taxpayers.
They promise (with a straight face) that Australia’s electricity will be 82 per cent renewable by 2030.
They predict a 43 per cent reduction in emissions and being ‘on track for Net Zero by 2050’.
They threaten to litter the landscape with 400 community batteries, 85 solar banks, and a $20B expansion of the electricity grid.
This gigantic ‘green’ electricity plan will need at least 150 million Chinese solar panels covering outback kingdoms of land, plus thousands of bird-slicing metal-hungry wind turbines, plus never-ending roads and powerlines – not friendly to grass or trees and with no room for native birds, bees, bats or marsupials – not green at all.
The ALP has also revived the hoary plan to run an extension cord to Tasmania.
Naturally, some greedy green Tasmanians want to keep all that wind, solar, and hydro energy for themselves. Others dream of sending Northern Territory sunshine up a long cable from Darwin to Singapore.
With enthusiastic support from the new Parliament full of Climatists, Net Zeros, Teals, and Greens (but very few engineers) we can expect a disorderly rush to plaster a mess of electrical machinery and appliances all over the face of Australia.
They will also promote more demand for electricity for electric cars, many seeking overnight charging (despite having zero solar power and intermittent wind power at night). So we will need giant fire-prone batteries to recharge small fire-prone batteries.
When there is no sun on a single solar panel for 12 hours, no one notices; when all wind turbines sit idle for days under a slow-moving winter high, no one cares; but when one aging under-maintained coal plant falters, we notice; when three coal generators fail, we have a power crisis.
Yet we have green millionaires urging quicker closure of our few remaining 24/7 coal-powered generators.
The ALP/Green/Teal plan will clutter the countryside with solar panels, wind turbines, transmission lines, access roads (some bitumen), giant batteries, and fire-prone National Parks.
Eastern Australia recently had several very windy days, which caused many blackouts as trees and powerlines were blown down. Imagine the outages and repair costs after a cyclone slices thru this continent-wide spider-web of fragile power lines connecting millions of wind/solar generators, fire-prone batteries, and diverse markets. Picture the green energy network after the next big flood or bushfire.
Europeans can pretend to run a modern society with intermittent energy from windmills and sunbeams because they can call on reliable energy from French nuclear, Scandinavian hydro, Polish and German coal, Iceland geothermal, North Sea natural gas, and (sometimes) Russian gas, oil, and coal.
Australia has no extension cord to neighbours with reliable energy – we are on our own.
We can have Renewable Energy, or Reliable Energy, but not both.