Weak Australian Government fails to connect new energy sources

Date published: 2018-11-29

Weak Australian government energy engineering, enabled by AEMO

The mandate of the current minority federal government to still rule Australia continues to be the rhetorical claim of a "Strong Economy". An economy is our summary term for the overall through-put of goods and services, all of which requires energy, and also requires thoughtful handling of lots of wastes. How is the "strength" of an economy then measured? How can we be sure that the current "political managers" are really doing their job?  My test is to look at how the transition to new energy sources is being managed, especially renewable energy sources, since our old fossil fuel energy systems are chock full of critical sustainability, cost and depletion problems. Economic strength is badly measured by GDP, and should not count how well the "elites" are doing while the banks and CEO's are raking in their tax-free billions. Economic strength needs to be future oriented, and measure the prospects of the much more numerous bottom rungs of society. As for future prospects, they cannot be said to be good, or "strong", while we have so many current unsolved existential energy and climate problems. Although one drastic solution to the climate issues, is to do without have fossil fuel energy altogether, that removes nearly all of what we call the economy today.

The AEMO, the Australian Electric Market Operator, is letting our "Strong Economy" down, by failing to connect new solar energy sources on time. New electricity fails to flow, corporations don't get paid, and the money equivalent of the lost energy fails to materialize to pay the bills. Australian contractors and workers come last. AEMO Grid connections to all those new solar farms in Queensland, which promised to supply additional capacity, and grew expectations of bringing down the grid supply price for all electricity consumers, have been delayed. There have been serious consequences - A old established Australian company, RCR Tomlinson, with a large market capitalization has simply gone out of business. The investor money has vanished. There are now extra thousands of people without a job. The investors included quite a few respectable investment funds handling the super funds of Australian citizens,  and there are reports that work on some of the solar power stations may simply have to be abandoned. ( AFR - https://www.afr.com/business/rcr-tomlinsons-solar-business-could-shut-down-if-no-buyer-found-20181122-h188zp )

RCR Tomlinson, was involved in at least 9 new solar energy farms,  and went into trading halt on November 12, and was put into "Administration" on November 22nd 2018.

I fail to understand how an Australian government, supposedly in support of a "strong" economy, has failed to ensure, that the AEMO, which controls the energy grid of Eastern Australia, is operating efficiently and fairly. The return on energy investment, and returns on money investment need to be guaranteed for new energy projects, else corporations will simply give up on investing in state energy infrastructure, if the AEMO is found to be unreliable. The case ought to be, that new projects which are given go-ahead by AEMO, should have a guaranteed  connection infrastructure ready, or well in progress, before the expected completion of the project.

This current Australian Government has been consistently fighting to abolish investment in new large scale renewable energy projects in Australia, consistently aiming to abolish official Australian renewable investment institutions, stop existing schemes to fund renewable energy, abolish renewable energy targets, and minimize efforts to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The vested interests motivation appears to come from outside the government,  from the Minerals Council of Australia, and numerous coal mining industry lobbyists.

The administration and membership of the AEMO includes the relevant state governments, and most of the larger energy provider - players in Australia. Their ability to manage their own energy transition, welcome in new infrastructure, and look after the larger economic energy and climate interests of the Australian Economy, must be put to the question, since their failures are undermining all new energy investment and employment in Australia. The best hard efforts to produce and pass any decent energy and climate planning have been rejected without justification by the federal government. The failures of the AEMO ultimately resides in the Australian Federal Government, and the state governments, who are official members of the AEMO. Otherwise the AEMO is essentially an industry cartel. They should be judged their results. It appears that the AEMO has just doing its thing according to the current political messages from the current Federal Government, while so much AEMO itself, including its 80% of coal generating interests, surely has a big hand in telling the Federal Government what it wants. In which case it may be unwise for the next ALP government to base its energy and climate policy solely on the basis of reports and information from the AEMO.

The Australian Economy runs on energy, and all the living inhabitants of Australia require a safe climate in order to have an Economy.  Our weak state and federal governments are failing our economy in energy energy and climate, and so are the institutions that their politics have delivered.  Weak Australian governments on climate and energy are failing to produce a survivable economy.

Michael Rynn
Weak Australian Government fails to connect new energy sources. AEMO dithering failure to connect renewable energy. Weak government produces weak economy.
Weak Australian Government fails to connect new energy sources. AEMO dithering failure to connect renewable energy.
Weak Australian Government fails to connect new energy sources