Mike Cannon-Brookes might be an Australian tech-billionaire who wants to buy out one of our biggest energy companies and get rid of coal, but not only does he apparently not understand electricity grids, he doesn’t even know what a free market is.
In a free market customers could choose not to buy green electrons:
If we had a real free market in energy, we could a tick-that-box on our plan that said “100% coal fired, cheapest available reliable electricity”. Instead, all Australians are forced to buy electricity from a hobbled patchwork grid which has been repurposed as a Global Air Conditioner.
It’s a national grid crafted through “Renewable Energy Targets”, and pure hopium. Hidden in our electricity bills, taxes, and frozen-pea packets at Coles, are multiple subsidies to help wind and solar power. Poor Australians have paid to help put discounted solar panels on their rich neighbors roofs, and are paying for back up, storage, stabilizers, unnecessary two-billion dollar interstate transmission lines, and demand management plans.
Every windless minute at night the poor pay more for electricity than they would have — if the Agents of Weather-changing Sorcery were not allowed to romp freely through the energy market. Once upon a time the cheapest, most reliable generator won the bids to supply and set the price, every day and every hour. Then came the Renewable Energy Target which chooseth the Saintly Green Electrons and now we have a grid surging with over-and-under supply, erratic voltage surges, $14,000 price spikes and frequency chaos. Where once massive infrastructure was tuned to run cost effectively 24 hours a day, now it starts up and shuts down, rarely running in the profitable zone, and so is forced to charge more to cover the same costs in the fewer hours it runs.
Poor Australians are paying extra for electricity so the rich can brag about how they’re saving the planet.
Billionaire environmentalist Mike Cannon-Brookes is asked if he will pay YOU for power price hikes after $20BILLION green scheme
Stephen Johnson, DailyMail
Australia’s second richest man Mike Cannon-Brookes has promised more renewable energy will make electricity cheaper – despite a warning from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The 42-year-old billionaire co-founder of software giant Atlassian has refuted Mr Morrison’s suggestion the early closure of coal-fired power stations would cause consumers to pay more for their power.
Presenter David Koch asked him if he would pay consumers if their bills rose.
‘We have a free market for energy prices: we have a logical plan that shows why prices would go down as we have more and more renewables in the grid.’
Just like no place on Earth. No nation ever added more unreliable renewables and got cheaper electricity.
The man reasons like a kid with a lego set and $20 billion dollars. When Minister Frydenberg points out that shutting the old coal Hazelwood plant raised prices by 85%, Cannon-Brookes insists “it will be different” because they have eight years notice (enough time to invent batteries that work?). Then forgetting that Hazelwood was replaced by newer renewables, he claims that it can’t get more expensive, because the new renewables are “new” — not like things made when man landed on the moon. The magic of “New” failed in 2017 when Hazelwood closed, and physics hasn’t changed much since then.
Give us a free market
Let Australians opt out of renewable subsidies, and opt in to buy fossil fuel power, and new coal fired plants will be built and old ones will be restored. The wholesale rates of coal fired power are just 3c per kWh — they fell for 40 years until Kevin Rudd tried to change the global climate.
Now, if Olympic Dam wanted to build its own power plant to save on electricity costs, they would not be allowed to do it. That was Audrey Zibelman’s* big fear — that prices would rise to the point that the Big Energy Customers would leave the grid entirely.
If ten million Australians set up a Co-Op to build a Big Coal Plant and pay for it themselves, the government would ban them or force them to buy chinese carbon credits to offset the free-fertilizer produced by the plant.
The only thing stopping Australians from getting cheap electricity is The Government.
We know that because when Chinese Crypto Miners did a private deal with Redbank power in NSW — they got 100% coal-power direct for just 8c a kilowatt hour, while the Australians running the local newsagent had to pay 28c for the same thing. The loophole they slid through was to be within 1km of the power station with their own cables.
But that 1km rule is only a rule because a politician said so. That can change…
h/t Great Aunt Janet, Earl, Furiously Curious, David-of-Cooyal, Dave, KP
*Zibelman — Formerly the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Organisation (AEMO)