Suicide Watch: Morrison Government’s Latest Energy Policy A Guaranteed Economy Wrecker

The answer to saving the economy was right there in front of him.


The Federal government’s policy of continuing to subsidise hopelessly unreliable wind and solar has driven power prices through the roof and businesses out the door.

At a time when every industry and business is looking for some sign of sense and reason from policymakers, instead of delivering a raft of policies that just might keep these enterprises afloat, the Morrison government have headed to the periphery.

Rather than create opportunities for base-load power generation (whether by preserving existing coal-fired power plants, building new High Efficiency Low Emissions plants or scrapping the ban on nuclear power generation), the Liberal/National Coalition continue to waffle about pumped hydro and battery storage and are giving credence to the most ridiculous concept of all: turning wind and solar power into hydrogen gas. An economic nonsense, if ever there was one.

Energy hungry industries and businesses watching the economy collapse following the COVID-19 lockdown can only despair.

Their Federal Energy Minister is pushing policies which sound like they were written by the Greens or the Clean Energy Council. [Note to Ed: why do the notionally conservative Liberals keep trying to win the hard-left Green Adam Bandt’s inner city Melbourne seat and other seats inside the goat cheese and latte zone?]

And the head of the Business Council of Australia drifts between a form of bureau-speak-waffle and outright delusion.

Angus, Jennifer this is a simple game: shore up existing baseload generators, build new ones, starting with HELE coal plants and get us on the path to a nuclear powered future, stop subsidising chaotically intermittent wind and solar and, for heaven’s sake, stop waffling about grid-scale battery storage which does not exist and never will.

Terry McCrann is one of the few economic commentators in this country who actually gets it.

Like STT, McCrann simply cannot believe his ears. At a time when Australian businesses and industries are facing an economic Armageddon, their so-called leaders appear to have simply given up and thrown the Australian economy to the wolves.

Emissions debate goes from inane to ridiculous
The Australian
Terry McCrann
23 May 2020

I give it to Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott over Angus Taylor, the Minister for “Energy and Emissions Reduction” — four words, by the by, that capture everything that is so hopelessly and destructively wrong about government in general in the 21st century and this Morrison government more and very specifically.

Westacott did manage to nose Taylor out in mouthing the most mindless pap per page — she packed an impressive lot into a single page whereas his was spread out over 74 pages in his “Technology Investment Road Map Discussion Paper”.

Westacott was commenting on Taylor’s paper on behalf of the business council, the curdled cream of the Australian business community; so, true, she was essentially only developing his inanity theme.

“All Australians want action on climate change,” Westacott asserted. Actually, no, Jennifer: not all Australians are so mindlessly stupid as you claim. All Australians do not want to take utterly futile and indeed actively stupid action that would be — indeed, already is — all pain and zero gain.

She followed with a sentence that managed to fit more idiocy in so relatively few words than I would have thought possible.

“By not picking winners and remaining technology neutral”: are you kidding? The entire, albeit chaotically ramshackle, policy is exactly about picking “winners” and not remaining technology neutral.

“By not picking winners and remaining technology neutral”: are you kidding? The entire, albeit chaotically ramshackle, policy is exactly about picking “winners” and not remaining technology neutral.

It’s all-about closing down our existing highly efficient coal-fired power generation while eliminating any chance of it being progressively replaced by next generation coal-fired generation (or nuclear, which if properly done could be a close second best); to say nothing of destroying energy-intensive value-adding industries reliant on cheap power like aluminium smelting.

While at the same time it deliberately seeks to force-feed the use of otherwise useless wind and solar generation, backed up by some form of inefficient and almost as useless “battery”, whether Tesla-style, “big battery” Snowy 2, or gas-fired stations which would spend most of their time lying highly inefficiently idle.

She was though, beautifully, utterly inadvertently and completely unknowingly right about the policy not “picking winners”; no, it is precisely about picking losers: hence my quotation marks around the word in the earlier sentence.

“A more carbon efficient economy”: out in the real world as opposed to the jargon of public sector and business bureaucrats, what the hell does that mean?

I, and I would suggest most rational persons, would want carbon to be used efficiently like any other resource in the economy, like indeed it is already in a coal-fired power station.

Crystal clear
One thing is crystal clear, whether or not we get Westacott’s “carbon efficient economy” fantasy unicorn, we will most certainly get a dramatically and permanently less efficient economy in the good, old-fashioned — both normal English and economic — meanings of the word, if we persist in this mad, bad and dangerous embrace of destroying our energy infrastructure.

“Ensuring that new jobs, industries and opportunities are created to keep Australia competitive”; again, are you kidding?

The entire basis of our economy, of any economy — indeed of the entire progress of civilisation through especially the past two to three centuries — and so to “jobs, industries and opportunities” is access to power that is cheap, power that is reliable and power that is plentiful.

Westacott showed she well less than half got that and well more than half didn’t, with her metric of: “affordable, reliable and secure”. No plentiful, affordable not cheap, and there is no way, no way, the energy generation chaos that would ensue from the Taylor-Westacott future would deliver reliable and secure.

Our friends — for some, “friends” — in the Middle Kingdom know all this only too well. That is why China is embracing more and more, and more efficient, coal-fired power and happily selling us wind turbines and solar panels.

For them, it’s a no-brainer two-fer — they get both more efficient and richer, while enabling us to destroy jobs and industry and impoverish ourselves.

I could go on with virtually every paragraph of the Westacott statement.

The so-called “Climate Solutions Fund” has to be expanded. Why? This is all supposed to be the most efficient, the cheapest, the form of generation that will, well, generate the greatest returns.

Technology-focused strategies
Why then does it need government money? On top of the quite literally tens of billions of dollars of both taxpayer and electricity consumer money that has been pumped into useless wind and solar (and now the Snowy 2 big battery, Malcolm Turnbull’s “answer” to Kevin Rudd’s multi-billion-dollar NBN waster)?

“Other technology-focused strategies including on hydrogen, electric vehicles and grid reliability …”

Again, why? We are continually told that all these wonderful things are the cheapest and most efficient; the very future available to unfold before our eyes; so why then do investors need to be led to and then subsidised into them?

And I just love that term “grid reliability”. That’s the money you have to spend to ensure we do actually get electricity when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine; with those quirky buggers, wind and sun, choosing to (not) do so when they decide rather than when it would suit us.

Like what happened in Britain earlier this month. At times Britain can get more than 10,000MW from wind when the wind does, you know, blow. For two whole days it didn’t; for two whole days Britain was getting just 300MW or so from wind — effectively zero.

So where did it get its electricity from? About 45 per cent came from a carbon-emitting, cough, cough, fossil fuel called gas; around 25 per cent from, cough, cough, nuclear; another 10 per cent or so from burning wood and pumping CO2, and 15 per cent from the extension cords to Europe.

Please Jennifer, who will we plug our extension cord into, when we’ve closed the coal-fired generators?
The Australian

15 thoughts on “Suicide Watch: Morrison Government’s Latest Energy Policy A Guaranteed Economy Wrecker

  1. What happens once good people get into politics? Angus Taylor was The Great White Hope but he’s gone straight to the canvas without striking a blow. The big banks world wide stand to make trillions – is it as simple as buying out the politicians?
    Australian politics Is littered with the climate corpses of people who said anything negative about wind and solar power – some powerful string pulling going on by groups who should be on our side.
    The self interest of the banks explains their position but miners? BHP got hit hard in the pocket during the SA state-wide blackout but instead of blaming renewables they’ve invested in them so now come out swinging in defence of them. The raw materials needed for panels, turbines and battery storage must be huge but it’s such a shortsighted stance by miners. They’ll be mining in a third world nation of their creation – Australia. Same with the banks. This road to serfdom is not paved with good intentions – just pure greed.

    1. If your car, petrol or anything else, was only producing ten percent of its claimed capacity you’d be screaming for your money back. So why are wind turbines any different?
      It’s not as if government doesn’t have access to the output figures.
      Perhaps the industry have polititions over a barrel believing they don’t work at full capacity. Words can be slippery such as Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky when he said, “I did not have sex with that woman as I understand it.”

      With our PM the third highest paid leader in the world, along with the cabinet all doing what they’re told by the international private financial cartel, while bossing about such a small population, are we getting value for money?

      Decreased pay and conditions for ordinary workers who have to prove ‘productivity increase’ for a pay rise, different rules apply to an elite that can manipulate its own workload leaving the public none the wiser.

      If the Indue Debit Card is to account for public expenditure going for what it’s meant to, why aren’t electoral allowances fully accounted for? Again, different rules that allows private use, even pocketing the money. Regardless of governing party.

      As revealed in the film The Coming War On China, western countries can change parties but not policies. Whereas China can change policies but not government. It makes democracy sound dodgy even though both systems are in common sexist toward women.

      Politics like windmills are all about spin, and it’s more than silly putting up with being short-changed.
      If there’s such an environmental crisis, why are so many big city lights on?
      Even ScoMo won’t lead by example and take a pay cut as NZ’s PM has.

  2. With very little fanfare, two condenser were trucked into Adelaide a couple of days ago, apparently they will reduce SA power prices. The sad fact is most people dont know what a condenser is used for and therefore have no idea why they will reduce prices ergo they wont understand why are prices are so high now. All they are told is prices will be reduced so this is a good thing they are told the bad thing that causes the high prices to begin with. They are stupid sheeple everyone of them

    1. A type of battery that on a circuit board if polarity is reversed the top blows off.
      Don’t know if it’s changed but if 1 of 3 main USA high voltage converters fail, with no spare in hand, it would take Taiwan a year to build a new one.
      So much for energy sovereignty.

  3. You need Electrical engineers to design, build and run the power stations of the future and not half-wit politicians and business people who haven’t got the slightest knowledge on how the whole power system works. Until Australia returns to the States being responsible for the power grid and Generation this circus will keep on going forever. One wonders what the next marvelous breakthrough after Hydrogen will be. I suppose it will come from the next meeting of the LNP think tank or ta Greens. thought bubble. Watch this space for more ridiculous, incredible thought bubbles from the mentally retarded politicians as they dismantle Australia’s once cheap and reliable electricity system.

    1. Sop waffling, politicians aren’t halfwits they’re stupid idiots controlled by capitalism; parties can change but not policies, that is the control.
      Try reading and understanding the Constitution, resources are state controlled with crown reciprocal control. The Australia Acts 1986 took away our financial sovereignty putting it into private hands.

  4. I tried to share this article to Facebook and was “blocked”. Clearly someone does not want this article distributed. Our leaders are pathetic – Snowy 2? Seriously?

  5. As Bob Dylan sang once, times are a changing, all the Latte swilling set have turned into champagne socialists and CFEMU members are siding with Ms Hanson, the under 40’s generation are a major disappointment, their ancestors would be turning in their graves.

  6. No surprises I’m afraid in Angus Taylor’s latest roadmap to economic Armageddon, the usual green/left ideologically based pie in the sky fantasies we’ve come to expect from the overpaid, progressive bureaucrats and government funded academics of the climate industrial complex.  All delivered courtesy of a Liberal government that dances to the tune of the opportunistic, lobbyist factional warlords who pull its strings.  The predominant delusions this time being woven around obtaining low cost reliable power from renewables plus storage, while the latest, most efficient form of generation available, high efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal generation technology, doesn’t even rate a mention.  Similarly we see emerging small modular nuclear reactor technology being dismissed in a few shallow, perfunctory paragraphs.
    Placing reliance on developing unproven pig-in-a-poke notions like grid scale battery storage backed wind and solar, and hydrogen production will do nothing but ensure that Australia’s chances of reactivating its economy post Chinese virus will be slim.  The price of Australia’s electricity was once among the lowest in the world but now, after chasing the mirage of  “free” energy from the sun and the wind for nearly two decades it is among the most expensive.  One doesn’t have to be an genius to understand that adding more subsidies for still more renewables will only make matters worse when it comes to power prices, and our international competitiveness.  Of Angus Taylor’s latest flights of fantasy perhaps the best that can be said is that they fit the well known definition of insanity i.e. doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result

  7. I have read the Angus Taylor’s report and have to say the man has lost his ‘marbles’. Terry McCrann has, once again, called the nonsense out. What Taylor has outlined has guaranteed that the current world’s highest electricity prices paid by Australians today is actually the ‘base’ price for future rises with further unreliability a built in feature. The Coalition is currently spruiking about the need for Australia to protect its sovereignty and get more involved in manufacture to be more self reliant, in the same breath they spruik 50% renewable energy with gas as a ‘firming’ agent, no more coal, and a string of undeveloped fantasies as the answer, wow! Our governments, our public servants and our academics are all suffering from the mealey bug that destroys our agapanthus – talk about viruses that jump species.

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