Australian news, and some related international items

South Australia’s big battery will show up the lies of Australia’s politicians and big business

Elon Musk’s big battery brings reality crashing into a post-truth world, Guardian, 8 Jul 17, Tim Hollo For months, politicians and fossil fuel industry have lied about the viability of renewables. Now Tesla’s big battery in South Australia will prove them wrong

• Tesla to build world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia

Elon Musk’s agreement to build the world’s largest battery for South Australia isn’t just an extraordinary technological breakthrough that signs coal’s death warrant. It’s potentially a game changer in the way we do politics, reinserting the importance of basic reality into a debate which has been bereft of it for too long……
What’s this got to do with Elon Musk’s great big battery?…..
sometimes politics comes up hard against reality.

For months now, Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, various fossil fuel energy executives and media commentators like Paul Kelly have been rabbiting on about the “energy trilemma”. It’s their contention that energy policy must deal with cost, reliability and emissions, and that it is impossible to achieve all three at the same time. Conveniently, they choose to put emissions at the bottom of this list and bury it under a pile of coal, which they claim is cheap and reliable.

This is not true. Not even close to it. It doesn’t stand up to basic scrutiny.

Renewable energy, which obviously wins on emissions, is now beating coal on cost. What’s more, with an energy grid managed effectively by people who want renewables to succeed, it is no less reliable than fossil fuels. The fact that arch-conservative, Cory Bernardi, was recently revealed to have installed rooftop solar panels demonstrates that these people do not even believe their own rhetoric. They have just chosen to throw truth onto the fire of climate change for political reasons.

nterestingly, the great bulk of Australians already don’t believe this story. The Climate Institute’s latest (and sadly final) Climate of the Nation report, featuring comprehensive polling data on a range of climate-related issues, showed once again that the vast majority of Australians want to see more renewable energy, do not believe that renewable energy is driving price rises (correctly identifying mis-regulation, privatisation and other corporate price-gouging as more to blame), and don’t think renewables need fossil fuels to back them up in the long term.

The politicians, business people and commentators, however, continue to lie. It suits their agenda, and it clearly activates something in people’s minds – enough to make it worth their while. People know that they are wrong. But they sound like they might sort of be right.

Musk’s gambit closes this book. He has brought reality crashing in.

Within 100 days, there will be a huge battery system making South Australia’s energy grid clean, affordable and reliable, and benefitting the eastern states along with it.

All the talk of building new coal-fired power stations, or a Snowy Hydro 2.0, no longer sounds vaguely “truthy”. It sounds ridiculous. It sounds silly. It sounds like old men yelling at clouds……


July 9, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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