As a born and bred member of the Blackout State your author likes to be a tad proactive in following South Australian politics and maintains an email address on several political mailing lists.
Your author, being naturally of the more ‘right’ slant, would also confess if pushed to being somewhat of a fan of current Liberal leader, Mr Steven Marshall.
It was however both surprising and disappointing to receive an email from Mr Marshall’s office this Tuesday afternoon openly stating that he no longer intends to attempt to win the upcoming 2018 South Australian Election.
Not content to trust the medium of email to fully report his admission of defeat to the South Australian masses, Marshall barely gave time for the shock to disperse before reinforcing his upcoming election humiliation with a pre-recorded and unsolicited phone message.
So what has the Liberal Party and Steven actually done?
They have promised, if elected, to spend $380 million on NOT building a coal-fired power plant.
The deeper breakdown of this plan is as follows:
- $200 million to improve the interconnection to the National
- $100 million to provide $2500 to homeowners to install batteries.
- $50 million on storage technologies.
- $30 million towards ‘empowering consumers’ to manage their own demand.
Also ‘renewables’ because they did so well in preventing the 2016 blackout that, to remind readers, blacked out the ENTIRE STATE.
Let us break down some of this stupidity shall we?
$200 million for the interconnector.
The claim here is that SA will benefit by being able to sell our ‘renewables’ to the other states. The flaw here is that if ‘renewables’ are so affordable, then why is South Australia’s electricity now world famously the most expensive? Far from providing an export market, any money thrown at the interconnector is more likely to ensure that if push comes to shove, one of the other states will be in a better position to keep the lights running for the next Adelaide Oval attempt at pink ball cricket. SA can barely supply itself. The emphasis on stowage even admits SA is now expected to not have enough power available. The other states are much bigger in population and overall power demand than SA. Given that the SA surplus is already confessed to often be negative, in what way is South Australia ever going to be considered a cost effective exporter for the Eastern States?
$100 million to help homeowners buy their own batteries.
First up, simply suggesting investing in a battery is openly admitting the state is unable to guaranty 24/7 cheap electricity. Second, like solar panels, this sort of plan only really benefits people who actually own their own home. Renters or mortgage owners under a bit of financial hardship are going to be the people to miss out, effectively making this plan Upper Class Welfare or, to word it another way, exactly the sort of thing the Unions accuse the Snobby Liberal Elite of doing on just about everything else.
$50 million on storage.
Again, if you are forcing people to store you are admitting that you are not going to be able to guaranty supply. There is also the question as to why none of these renewable electricity companies haven’t instead spent their own money on research that might possibly make their products more effective and desirable on the open market. It is almost as if Big Renewable find it easier to just sit back and let gullible governments grant them massive research grants instead of… Oh. Yeah.
$30 million for ‘empowering consumers’.
(Their actual words by the way, and actually bold in the original email.)
What is this? An education campaign? Seriously, in this day and age? Do the brains trust behind this idea honestly believe consumers haven’t considered methods of reducing their power consumption? The full paragraph actually says “financial incentives to manage their own demand”. Is that the new politically correct way of saying “your power bill will reduce if you switch your lights off more often”?
The big screaming elephant in the room is that the need for all these ideas would effectively go away if this money was instead put towards a new power station. There is zero need for stowage if there is power available 24 hours a day. If there is no need for stowage there is no need for stowage research. If you have guarantied power you have no need to beg it from interstate, and indeed have the entire interconnector collapse in blissful apathy.
The entire South Australian Liberal plan could be very easily replaced with a simple pledge to build a new power station.
South Australians, despite what the rest of Australia may believe, do not actually enjoy paying through the nose for electricity. They do not enjoy the international mockery of having their entire state blacked out. Many are educated enough to know that Third World Countries are soon to have more reliable and cost effective power because the governments in those ‘backwards’ Third World places actually have the investment balls to commission new coal plants.
Labor in South Australia hold power by a slim margin. Giving the frustrated voting public a bold dream from opposition is the stuff landslide victories are made of.
Marshall however, with this $380 million disaster, has instead publicly confessed he is willing to lose.