When a Treasurer like Tomerot attacks, be afraid

When a Treasurer like Tomerot attacks, be afraid


The Melbourne Institute is a research-only department of the University of Melbourne’s School of Business and Economics. It partners with Australian In presenting the annual Economic and Social Outlook Conference. The last such conference was held in Melbourne on 2 November.

I know very little about the Melbourne Institute. I assume it’s left focused. I’d say it’s a safe assumption these days. Thus it deals with misunderstandings about the real world. It’s an ideal place for Federal Treasurer, Dr. Jim Chalmers, to talk about “Energy, the Economy and This Crucial Decade.” He outdid himself when he covered what he called the “energy transition.” This of course is the shift from cheap and reliable energy to expensive and unreliable energy. Although the government ministers don’t see it that way, being all devotees of the climate change cult church.

I will explore below some of what Chalmers said. I’m not making anything up. But don’t be afraid. Nothing could go wrong. After all, we are in the hands of obsessed fanatics who relentlessly seek to turn Australia into a “superpower”. In their delirious world, “our ability to become a superpower depends on our ability to generate cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable renewable energy.” There are three things that make this goal difficult to achieve and difficult to comprehend. In fact, there are more than three, but three will do.

The first is that many other willing countries are seeking to become green energy superpowers. Not everyone can be a winner. For example, when astronauts at the World Economic Forum identified six potential lead candidates for green hydrogen production, Australia was absent. There were China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States. And Australia? Just an afterthought, it was annexed between Chile, Namibia and Morocco et al. Memo to Chalmers: Talk to Klaus Schwab to rank higher on the list.

The second is that the tyranny of distance seriously hinders Australia in exporting green energy; This means that in the unlikely event that we manage to desecrate enough pristine land and seascapes to produce enough of them. We can imagine building undersea cables, for example, to Singapore (for Cable Sun); Or about making and shipping green hydrogen. But these projects will never fly commercially. They will all fail once government support declines. They are pie in the sky.

The third is that while we are busy cannibalizing reliable power generation, our competitors will continue to rely differently on coal, oil or gas, as they do in China, India and in most of the rest of Asia, and/or will be. Investing in nuclear energy. The entire wind, solar and battery industry could be subsidized for domestic consumption, if it allied itself with authoritarian powers to keep peasants in line with rising energy prices and consequent blackouts, but forget it as an export industry.

But wait. Hope springs eternal, as they no doubt say at AEMO.

“We receive 10,000 times more solar radiation every year than we can use,” Chalmers said.

Yes, he really said that. What did he mean? I know that the sun provides the Earth with energy. We would be a dead planet without the sun. I also know that if we received only a ten-thousandth of today’s solar radiation, we would be dead. Presumably it means there is an abundance of sunlight if only we could harness it and transmit it Shop Enough of it, cheap enough. Ah, spotted it, there’s the problem.

It doesn’t matter that there is always wind. “Our offshore wind potential is expected to exceed that of the world’s current coal-fired power stations,” Chalmers said. How disconnected from reality can you get? Who among his young followers wrote this nonsense to him? Let’s mention again that the bleeding is clear, just because it’s windy at sea doesn’t mean we can pick up, move and transport Shop Such disruption in the form of affordable electricity. Chalmers must certainly be aware of the UK government’s recent failure to attract bidders to build offshore wind turbines. From Reuters: “Offshore wind developers have walked away from Britain’s latest renewable energy auction… arguing that the price offered by the government does not reflect rising industry costs, which is holding back wind energy projects globally.” These are wind projects GloballyJim.

But, ever optimistic, he said, “We have the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen investment proposals in the world.” A series of proposals means plans. Robbie Burns comes to mind: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go wrong gBack(This is “perverse” according to Sassenachs.)

Amid the fantasy, there is a hint of realism that shines through:

It is important for me to acknowledge that without more decisive action, at all levels of government, working with investors, industry and communities, the energy transition may not meet what the country needs.

Indeed, this may and will certainly happen, unless we change course, including by turning a completely deaf ear to the siren of net zero.

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