By Jo Nova
The land that is the Renewable Crash Test Dummy is holding its breath.
This time last year, the Australian energy market turned into a kind of Hunger Games spectacle with daily feeding-fest at dinner time where prices were so burning hot that unhedged smaller retailers begged their own customers to leave them and then the whole market was suspended. The bonfire was so big we’re still paying for it, and retail electricity prices are set to rise another 25% in a few weeks.
So it’s no surprise that as the cold weather arrives downunder, everyone involved in energy is “on edge”. Suddenly Australian corporate leaders are telling it like it is — the Alinta Gas chief says there is just no way we can build enough renewables in time — he can’t even “see a way” of building enough renewables to compensate for the coal units that are being closed.
The man who used to run the Snowy Hydro Scheme agrees (and then some) — saying we need to build a “Snowy” every year, and we are being lied to (his words) and it will take not 8 years, but 80 years to get there. The head of EnergyAustralia says shutting down the Liddell coal plant means the system is “exposed”. These are people at the top (or formerly) of our biggest energy companies.