Propaganda Unplugged: Claims Tasmania’s Power Supply 100% Renewable = 100% Fake News

100% reliant on rainfall in what’s said to be a changing climate.


Tasmania’s recent announcement that it is being powered 100% of the time by renewable energy is so much fake news.

Tasmania does, indeed, have enviable hydropower resources, which Tasmania can fairly claim to be a “renewable energy source”.

However, Tasmania suffers severe droughts – just like every other part of Australia. And, when it does, the water eventually runs out. In which case, the Apple Isle either imports coal-fired power across the Bass Strait from Victoria via an undersea cable or, it does what it did a few years ago, and ships in hundreds of MWs worth of diesel generators.

There is very little solar power generated in Tasmania – a place renowned for its bitterly cold winters, snow and heavy rainfall. And it has a trivial 560 MW worth of wind power generation capacity which, of course, produces no power at all for around 60 to 70% of the time. So, in reality, any claims being made about Tasmania’s renewable energy generation hinges almost entirely on its hydropower resources.

Eric Worrall takes a look at the reality behind Tasmania’s bogus 100% renewable energy claims.

Aussie State Tasmania Declares itself 100% Renewable Energy
Watts Up With That?
Eric Worrall
1 December 2020

100% renewable, except when Tasmania’s politicians run down their hydro dams to critical low levels selling green electrons to the mainland, burn out the undersea inter-connector with excessive current, and have to fire up emergency diesel generators.

Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity
Michael Mazengarb
27 November 2020

The Tasmania government has declared that it has become the first Australian state, and one of just a handful of jurisdictions worldwide, to be powered entirely by renewable electricity.

In a statement released on Friday, Tasmanian energy minister Guy Barnett said that state had effectively become entirely self-sufficient for supplies of renewable electricity, supplied by the state’s wind and hydroelectricity projects.

“We have reached 100 per cent thanks to our commitment to realising Tasmania’s renewable energy potential through our nation-leading energy policies and making Tasmania attractive for industry investment, which in turn is creating jobs across the State, particularly in our regions,” Barnett said.

Tasmania has long had one of the greenest supplies of electricity in Australia, with the state’s significant hydroelectricity resources supplying the bulk of the state’s power. Tasmania’s history with hydroelectricity dates back to 1895, with the Duck Reach power plant in Launceston becoming the first publicly owned hydroelectric power station in the southern hemisphere.…

What about that burned out interconnector?

Tasmania grid struggles with drought, bushfires, lost connection
Giles Parkinson
25 January 2016

Tasmania’s electricity grid is facing its biggest challenge in years, with its hydro storage about to fall to its lowest levels ever, bushfires forcing the closure of some power facilities, and a faulty cable cutting the connection between the island and the country’s main electricity grid.

The Apple Isle’s main source of electricity – hydro power – is being challenged by its driest ever spring, pushing reserves down to just 18.9 per cent.

The lowest level ever is 16.5 per cent, reached in 2007, but overall storage levels are predicted to fall to a low of 14 per cent by the end of March – if normal rainfall patterns resume. At current rates, however, some fear they may fall below those levels, although there has been some light rain in recent days.

To make matters worse, the Basslink cable linking the island’s grid to the mainland has been cut by technical problems, and will probably remain closed for another two months, while the raging bushfires have threatened power lines and forced the temporary closure of at least four hydro plants …

I guess the lesson is if most of your state is a giant mountainous watershed you can build enough hydro to go 100% renewable. So not an option for most parts of the world.

Having said that, even the cold, rainy island state of Tasmania suffers droughts. If they have drained their dams selling green electrons to the mainland, and the rains fail, all it takes is a little of their regular undersea inter-connector trouble at the wrong time and they’re back to expensive diesel power. So not quite 100% renewable then.

And of course we’re quietly ignoring the fact Tasmania imports a lot of energy intensive goods.

The saddest part of this story, most of the green campaigners who risked their lives opposing bulldozing and flooding pristine wilderness during the 70s and 80s hydro construction projects have pretty much sold out to the idea of big green. Most of them are now fully on board with concreting the Tasmanian watershed.
Watts Up With That?

What powers Tassie when the water runs out.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    Just some examples of how well Tasmania is able to look after its own energy needs using only ‘renewables’ –
    The following recordings are from:
    Showing the total of ALL energy production sources at the NEM:

    25/11/20 13.25pm Total Generation = 762MW Total Demand
    = 1, 153MW
    1/12/20 15.10am Total Generation = 757MW Total Demand
    = 1,145MW
    6/12/20 9.30am Total Generation = 873MW Total Demand
    = 1,206MW
    7/12/20 10.50am Total Generation = 900MW Total Demand
    = 1,236MW

    Of course some days they do manage to produce sufficient for their own needs but NOT ALL THE TIME just like the rest of the world.
    Even Tasmania has to bow to the vagaries of the natural phenomena of referred to as the Weather.

  2. Tasmania is certainly able to exist on its own plentiful supply of hydro resources and prior to the mainland connection it did just that. In 2006 the interconnector gave Tasmania the ability to export electricity to the mainland (when prices are high?) and import (when prices are low?).
    With government ownership, sturdy long life infrastructure, automated and remote control of generation, and potential profit from exports, it is difficult to understand why Tasmania has Australia’s second highest electricity prices (second to the ACT)

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