The Waste is Electrifying

When governments bet your money on lame-brained schemes, you can be sure there is only one loser - the taxpayer. Here's a glaring example the bureaucrats claim was a success!

The Waste is Electrifying

Let's kick off the first Weekly Dose of Common Sense for 2024 with a reminder of just how wasteful government is with your money.

In 2015, taxpayers chipped in to construct a foreign owned solar farm in the mining town of Doolgunna.

Actually, they did a little more than 'chip in'.

Our taxes provided half of the original $43 million construction cost, plus we lent the French owned company another $15 million at concessional rates.

That means the actual owner of the 34,000 solar panels stumped up less than $8 million, or just 20 per cent, of their groundbreaking project.

The power project was to supply the electricity needs of a nearby copper mine.

Since 2017, the solar farm provided around 20 per cent of the mine's power needs. It now supplies none as the mine has shut down.

That means the expensive taxpayer funded project is being dismantled just six years in to it's useful life (an expected 25 years). We have nothing to show for it except for the global boiling we have avoided thanks to the $37 million.

The owner is now tasked with dismantling the project and trying to reuse the solar panels or create a new toxic landfill as their final resting place.

While some may put this bureaucratic bungle down to bad luck, there's simply too much evidence of stupidity for that.

The Australian Renewables Energy Agency (ARENA) which tipped your money into the project, knew the mine was scheduled to close as early as 2021. They also knew there was no other purchaser of the solar generated power when the mine did close.

They still tipped in tens of millions of our money into the project.

Now they are hailing it as a success because it provided proof of concept and saved some diesel.

If that's success in the eyes of our energy bureaucrats, little wonder the country is in such bad shape.

Unsurprisingly, the left-wing think tanks who are all in on the financial folly of unreliable and expensive renewable energy thinks it was a good idea too.

The Grattan Institute spokesman is quoted as claiming it 'provided valuable lessons for solar developers and investors.'

Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute was quoted by the AFR as saying:

“It just shows that when you are using government funding to undertake activities where the intention is to prove up a concept, or drive down costs of undeveloped technology, it is always going to be something that in hindsight could have been different. But at the very least it has proved the concept.”

It certainly did prove the concept that our government (and our money) should stay the heck out of funding energy projects that are best left to the commercial sector.

It's the subsidies for wind and solar that have made our goal and gas power generators marginal businesses. That leaves us with a critical shortage of reliable base load power when it's most needed.

That's part of the reason our home and business power bills have more than doubled. We even have electricity black and brown outs for the privilege of paying more.

There is no greater tribute to the folly of government decision making than the state of Australia's electricity grid and yet they continue to tell us how much better off we are thanks to 'free' renewable energy.

Read the full story

Subscribe for FREE to join the conversation and access additional articles and newsletters for no cost. No credit card information needed

Already have an account? Sign in

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Confidential Daily.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.