The press cover of energy issues is deplorable and consequently it is practically impossible to have an informed public debate. This is no small thing. A functioning democracy must have some fairly high proportion of voters who are well informed about the most important.
On energy maters, sins of commission abound when unhelpful information is circulated. And there are sins of omission when politicians and other RE enthusiasts don’t have to respond to searching questions from well-informed journalists and commentators.
To illuminate the situation and have a bit of fun, a prestigious award, analogous to the Brownlow and Rothmans medals, has been created to celebrate leading players in the misinformation game.
Journalists and commentators will compete for Packham Williams points based on their most recent performance. The award will immortalize the contributions of Colin Packham and Perry Williams who both work at The Australian where the management or at least the editorial policy apparently favours warming alarmism and salvation by wind and solar power.
Perry did as much as anyone to set the standard. We don’t see so much of him since he was promoted and fortunately Colin Packham has picked up the baton to carry forward the editorial policy.
For example on July the 25th he wrote that the rollout of batteries across the NEM would be a major boost to Australia’s energy transition because storage was not being built fast enough. That is a vain hope because the capacity of so-called big batteries is pathetically small compared with the power required to get through a windless night.
And on October 9 he wrote that much of Australia’s renewable energy storage woes could be eradicated if the eagerly anticipated Snowy2.0 scheme is completed on schedule. LOL! The scheme never made sense, even before the original timetable went out the window. See the modelling that was done for The Energy Realists.
The launch of Chris Bowen’s grand plan to get the transition back on track has produced an outburst of excitement amongst many commentators, apparently eager to rack up Packham Williams points.
Laura Tingle at the AFR does not write much about energy but she produced a display that earned her three points last week. On November 25 she opined:
The important thing to know is that the proposed underwriting tender for new energy does offer the prospect of overcoming a market failure…
The underwriting gives investors the confidence to know they will be covered if prices crash because of extra supply coming on line…
Plenty of problems remain, of course, in the design of our energy market. But the proposal seems to be the most significant breakthrough – at least in expediting clean energy capacity.
LOL again. As if a market broken by subsidies and mandates can be fixed by subsidising more intermittent energy capacity. Install as much more capacity as you like but on nights with little or no wind you still get little or no energy.
Teach children the ABC of power supply so they can tell their parents about it!
A: Input to the grid must continuously match the demand.
B: The continuity of wind and solar input is broken when there is little or no wind overnight.
C: At present there is no feasible or affordable large-scale storage to bridge the gaps.
Consequently it is suicidal to depend on wind and solar power unless the peak demand can be met by conventional power that is kept on line, or power can be sourced from some other grid.
So Laura Tingle takes out three points in the first week of the Packham Williams medal competition.
Jennifer Campbell, op ed editor at The Australian, gets a retrospective point for spiking this informative and incisive contribution.
LEADER BOARD AFTER WEEK 1
Laura Tingle 3
Jennifer Campbell 1