Renewable energy or reliable energy — but not both
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% renewable by 2030. They predict 43% reduction in emissions and "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 power lines — not friendly to grass or trees and with no room for native birds, bees, bats, or marsupials. Not green at all.
The whirling triffids are also invading our coastal seas. Sea birds are advised to migrate.
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 N.T. sunshine down a long cable from Darwin to Singapore.
With enthusiastic support from the new Parliament full of Climatists, Net Zeroes, 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 power lines were blown down. Imagine the outages and repair costs after a cyclone slices through this continent-wide spider-web of fragile power lines connecting millions of wind and 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 have lifelines to reliable energy from French nuclear, Scandinavian hydro, Polish and German coal, Icelandic geothermal, and North Sea natural gas, and (sometimes) Russian gas, oil, and coal.
Australia has no extension cord to neighbors with reliable energy — we are on our own.
We can have renewable energy or reliable energy, but not both.