Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly'

HOGSBACK reckons the federal government is in such a rush to push the renewables agenda that it is prepared to spend good coin on a gas-fired power station in the heart of New South Wales coal territory at Kurri Kurri.
Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly' Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly' Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly' Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly' Gas station in Hunter is a 'Morrison folly'

This amounts to an overly generous government subsidy to the renewables industry.

This week prime minister Scott Morrison announced with much fanfare, and with energy minister Angus Taylor in tow, that the government would spend $600 million to develop the gas-fired station, which is expected to be in use for only one week a year.

The PM's justification for this extraordinary government largesse with taxpayers' money is that "that the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow" so the renewable power sources need to be backed up with a stable gas supplier.

This amounts to an overly generous government subsidy to the renewables industry, which falsely claims it is the most efficient form of power generation available.

It is ironic that there are already plentiful supplies of high-quality Australian coal, the infrastructure, and the highly skilled workforce already available in the Hunter Valley to continue to provide stable and relatively low cost power generation for 52 weeks of the year.

However, this is not good enough for federal governments, who are in thrall of renewables targets predominantly set by nations that do not have coal industries and had to import all their energy anyway.

First there was the outrageously expensive and potentially environment destroying Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme 2 by former PM Malcolm Turnbull. Now we have Morrison's folly - a $600 million monument to the extent Australian governments are willing to go to "do our bit" to combat climate change.     

It seems Australian governments will go to extraordinary lengths to fit in with everyone else's agenda and ditch the nation's own assets and natural resources.    

This week the International Energy Agency released a road map it says will allow the world to reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050 via a suite of measures including no new coal fired power plants.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the roadmap showed the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net zero energy system was also a huge opportunity for the world's economies.

"The transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind," he said.

"We have to ensure that developing economies receive the financing and technological know-how they need to build out their energy systems to meet the needs of their expanding populations and economies in a sustainable way."

Australia is not a developing economy so we miss out on any help as billions of our dollars are squandered by governments feverishly adhering to the latest IEA pronouncements.

This could end badly for Australia and for the planet if we squander our high quality natural assets such as coal in the haste to conform to external agendas.