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Australian energy market likened to Papua New Guinea – unreliable, risky, like “developing nation”


The AEMO, theoretically the Australian Energy Market Operator, warned that people in Victoria and NSW face a high risk of blackouts this summer. Today the Sydney Morning Herald describes how big business is fed-up, calling it “disgraceful” that they have had to spend millions to install back up generators.   The chief of Coca-cola Amatil Australia compared the situation to what they face in Papua New Guinea.

How green is your diesel?

A disgraceful situation — the blackout risk in Australia

by Darren Gray and Nick Toscano.

Australia’s biggest fruit and vegetable grower, Costa Group, has blasted the “disgraceful” state of the nation’s energy market after fears of summer blackouts forced the company to spend millions of dollars on back-up generators to protect its crops around the country.

Harry Debney, the head of ASX-listed horticulture giant Costa Group, said the company had installed back-up generators to protect crops from a disruption to energy supplies in a number of states.

“It’s a disgraceful situation,” Mr Debney said. “We’re so concerned. There’s a lack of reliability, which is even more important than the cost, because if you’re out of production it just really hurts you very badly.”

His concerns were echoed by ASX-listed Alumina Limited which, along with Alcoa owns the majority of western Victoria’s Portland aluminium smelter, and warned that long-term outages could be damaging. Last week Coca-Cola Amatil boss Alison Watkins likened the situation to one the company would face in developing countries like Papua New Guinea while Bluescope has also raised concerns.

In response, the Federal Government is building gold-plated bandaids — spending bazillions to build Snowy 2.0 which will burn up and waste 20 – 30% of the electricity fed into it, but smooth out some of the unreliable supply. Minister Angus Taylor, squarely blames Victoria for “the speed at which the Victorian government was seeking to introduce renewable energy into market – a renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030 – without the baseload capacity to support it.”

Meanwhile, the Victorian Government is in deep denial

Apparently what the nation needs is a joint headlong rush into wind and solar.

Victoria’s energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the the country was lacking “any type of federal leadership when it comes to energy policy”.

“Victoria is investing in renewable energy to put more power into the grid and drive down power prices,” she said. “We stand ready to work with the Commonwealth, whenever they are interested in being constructive on this vital issue.”

If we only had more of the same thing that caused high prices and reckless instability we could get low prices and a reliable supply?

h/t Dave B


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