Suddenly, came the realisation that subsidised wind and solar will never replace Australia’s coal-fired power plants. The idea that they ever could was, of course, a perfect nonsense.
Talk about being ‘technology agnostic’, ‘inevitable transitions’ and wind and solar actually ‘competing’ with coal, gas and hydro, say more about the protagonist’s state of mental health, than anything else.
When it’s pointed out that on a dead-calm, frosty morning in July (when people have bounced out of bed, but the sun is yet to bounce over the horizon) every last volt, watt and amp is the product of coal, gas and hydro, the dissembling soon starts. No amount of money or green virtue can purchase wind or solar power on those occasions (and on thousands of others whenever the sun sets or calm weather sets in).
Then follows mutterings about the ‘technology improving’; Einstein-‘smart grids’; ‘mega-storage’ (be it squandering large volumes of electricity to pump water uphill, or insanely expensive batteries, as yet to be built); and ‘demand management’ (ie controlled blackouts).
Then, out of the blue, came an admission from Australia’s head RE zealot, Audrey Zibelman. Audrey hijacked the Australian Energy Market Operator with a mission to destroy Australia’s affordable and reliable power supply. So successful has she been, that she’s been forced into a renewable energy retreat.
Pushing policies designed to wreck the economic viability of coal-fired power plants, Audrey is now dictating terms whereby they will continue to operate until such time as wind and solar are truly, finally and actually ready to ‘compete’.
In other words, forever.
Because ‘competing’ in a market that demands power as and when consumers need it, means being capable of delivering 24 x 365. Which – unless Audrey thinks she can control the weather and the Earth’s rotation, too? – rules out wind and solar any time between now and kingdom come.
Here’s Alan Moran rounding up a very panicked mob of renewable energy zealots.