Last week 500,000 Queenslanders lost power at a moment’s notice. People got stuck in elevators and traffic chaos ensued.
The cause of the power loss was an explosion at the Callide coal-fired power station. Fortunately, no one was injured by the massive blast. And, the power loss lasted only a few hours because other coal fired power stations could ramp up output to replace that lost by Callide.
An hour before the Callide explosion, Premier Palaszczuk posted on Facebook that ‘Renewables = more Queensland jobs, cheaper power and lower emissions’. A few hours later, at 4pm that afternoon, solar was producing just four per cent of Queensland’s electricity supply - despite the outage at Callide - and wind was contributing nothing.
The one positive outcome from the Callide explosion is that it gave us a window into what the world would be like if the Labor-Green-Turnbull alliance gets their way. The Labor party wants to shut down all our coal-fired power plants over the next few decades. Losing just one last week delivered chaos, imagine what would happen if they were all shut down?
We can not have a power system that relies on the weather. I don’t think anyone wants a world where you watch the weather forecast, not to know if you need to take an umbrella, but whether you can turn your heating on.
Renewables are just not reliable enough for prime time. Some will say that batteries or hydrogen are going to save the day.
But a recent study showed that to provide power just to New York City would take the installation of US$3 trillion worth of batteries. New York’s power demand peaks at about the same level as New South Wales. So to provide battery back-up to just one state in Australia would take an investment about double our entire nation’s GDP.
And commercial production of hydrogen is probably decades away. The old physics joke is hydrogen is always 20 years away. This is confirmed as true by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, 40 years ago declaring that the ‘hydrogen car had arrived’. We are still waiting.
The last month I have spent a bit of time in the Hunter region as a by-election was fought to decide the future of the NSW government. The voters I met there were proud of their world class coal industry. The Hunter has the best thermal coal in the world - we have the best coking coal in CQ.
Last week the International Energy Agency released a report stating that to reach net zero, the world should not build any more coal, oil or gas projects. This just demonstrates why we should not sign up to a net zero pledge.
China will not restrict its development. So if we stop our own development we will just let them become stronger while we become weaker. That is why much of the proposed climate change action is a scam. It is a scam that only benefits the goals of the Chinese Communist Party.
We should be able to provide uninterrupted electricity to all Australians. We should build modern coal fired power stations so we can do that. We failed to do that last week and we will only have more blackouts if we adopt net zero emissions and close down all our coal fired power plants.