Our Third World Future
The chickens are coming home to roost in our moribund electricity network. Our Green political zealots are to blame.
A couple of nights ago, Queenslanders were asked to keep their appliances off in order to stop the electricity grid from collapsing.
This is a characteristic of a third world country.
That's what Green zealotry, adopted by almost every political party, has reduced us to.
Successive Premier's have taken public delight in blowing up, decommissioning or railing against the coal fired power stations that have served our country so well for so long.
With hundreds of years of proven coal reserves, it is simply crazy that we can export the stuff to China and India but are effectively prohibited from using it ourselves.
We've even got price caps being imposed by the energy regulator across four states.
Price caps work as disincentives to generators who withdraw supply which increases the risk of widespread blackouts. In some cases, unprofitable generators have been told to keep running with the possibility of seeking compensation for their losses.
It's a total shemozzle and our politicians are to blame.
Some will blame privatisation for the issues but this impacts both state owned and private operators.
The big problem has been the regulatory environment which has demonised fossil fuels in favor of intermittent renewables.
At the most basic level, consider the hundreds of billions in subsidies paid to people to install home solar systems. Not only did government pick up around a third of the cost, the homeowner also received healthy payments for feeding electricity into the grid.
I'm one of those who have a solar system. When it was installed I was receiving 16 cents KwH for my excess electricity. Now it is around 5 cents. That alone changes the economics of home solar installation.
The corporate explanation is that there is excess supply into the grid and so it has less value. That's fair enough but it also highlights the limitations of the renewable push.
Electricity is needed 24/7, not just when the sun is shining and wind is blowing.
That's why we need reliable baseload power - regardless of how it is created.
For those that want to phase out fossil fuels, the obvious green answer is nuclear power. Unfortunately, political cowardice has put paid to any such aspirations even thought the Finnish Greens have embraced the option. They said:
"humanity no longer has the luxury of opposing nuclear power"
The Energy minister Chris Bowen, himself a proponent of renewables even sought to blame the war in Ukraine for the electricity problems.
“There is a big chunk of coal fired power out of action in Queensland. That has led to higher prices, and … with the situation in Ukraine, flooding and it being a bit colder earlier than normal, that has increased the load on the system,”
Frankly, that's a rather idiotic assessment. What the Ukraine has to do with our third world electricity grid in Australia is anyone's guess.
The blame squarely lies with our politicians - state and federal.
Naturally none will be held to account for inflicting unnecessary financial pain on Australian consumers. That's because there is a unity ticket of giving us what they think is good for us rather than what we want for ourselves.
If you ask most Aussies, would you rather keep our electricity reliable and affordable or make Greta Thunberg happy, I know what I'd expect the answer to be.