CSIRO cost energy transition at $1tn (oh plus $175bn to integrate renewables)

CSIRO

As our political class push for net-zero emissions by 2050, we shouldn’t be surprised that there aren’t costings. In reality, we would prefer politicians pave the roadmap to where the mystical decarbonized industries that will replace all of the jobs we will give up in mining, agriculture and transport will come from to fund it all? One way to cut our emissions is to tank the economy. Job done. After all being on the right side of history involves sacrifice. Our grandkids will thank us for it. Greta assures us.

The bigger question is why haven’t our politicians made a b-line to reference our CSIRO’s energy transition costings which exceed $1 trillion with a “T” out to 2050 (p.135)? Note this report isn’t a net-zero study – just lower emissions. So by that logic, net-zero will cost even more. 

You will feel even warm and fuzzier after reading the next sentence.

CSIRO assures us that “these costs do not include the full integration costs of renewables, but that these costs are expected to be significantly less than $175 billion.” Who cares about billions in a world of trillions? Significantly less? Can anyone name a government project that has come in on time and on budget? Submarines? NBN? The beauty of spending other people’s money.

The power generation pathways are quite interesting. In Pathways 1 & 3, solar and wind are capped at 45%. Pathway 1 relies on biomass (actually dirtier than brown coal) with Pathway 3 allowed to include HELE coal, nuclear and geothermal. In Pathway 2 renewables are uncapped with battery storage. Pathway 4 is the same as Pathway 1 but with additional electricity consumption from hydrogen electrolysis for transport.

Electricity wholesale prices are contained on p.231. Even in the best-case scenario, we should expect a 50% increase in electricity costs. In the worst-case scenario on Pathway 3, wholesale prices will surge over 4x. Politicians should proudly tout to the public that they have energy prices under control.

Retail prices remain the cheapest on a no abatement basis (p.233)…who knew? In 2016 dollars, no abatement electricity will rise 40%, Pathways 1-3 +60% and Pathway 4 +80%.

CSIRO also assumes that by 2030, 5% of rooftop solar owners elect to leave the grid increasing to 10% by 2050.

Why aren’t our politicians looking at the world’s biggest renewable crash test dummy – Germany? As we wrote, Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures…The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results…

Note 330,000 German households are in a state of energy poverty and have had their electricity provider cut them off. Australia is around 45,000.

We have a home-grown movement to reference commitment to climate change. 98.9% of households in the electorate of Warringah, that supposedly voted Zali Steggall OAM in on a climate change ticket, still haven’t signed up to her ‘Roadmap to Zero’ plans. Maybe they are just too busy filling their high powered V8 SUVs on Military Rd to get around to it.

If we want to stop global warming, at the very least politicians should stop creating all this hot air. This net-zero policy is an economic suicide note.

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